The first week of the season is in the books, and now that we’ve seen how lineups/minutes are shaking out, why not put a little money to work? We’ve got a healthy seven-game slate on tap tonight, so let’s dive into the slate and break down some of the best available options for NBA DFS.
Playing NBA DFS can be incredibly rewarding, but it can also make your head spin. It’s our job to make sure you’re winning as much as possible! There are countless variables that can lead to a player’s individual performance, but I’ve found it’s best to focus on just a few that can lead to better predictability.
My favorite factors to track for NBA DFS targets: Matchups (Offensive/Defensive Ratings), Opportunity (expected player minutes, game pace), and Recent Form.
This is the AM VERSION of a living article that will be updated throughout the day, as news comes through the wire.
LET’S GET INTO THE SLATE!!!!
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NBA DFS Targets and Preview for October 29
Magic (1-4) vs. Raptors (2-3)
The surprises have plenty so far this year, the Magic being bad is not really a surprise, considering the team would be rebuilding with the blockbuster trade sending Vuc to Chicago. However, I did anticipate that the Raptors would bounce back from a tough year with budding superstars having undefined roles. Now that Lowry is gone, I figured players like VanVleet, OG, and Siakam would take that next step. It hasn’t happened yet, but Siakam is on the shelf still, so I won’t be too quick to judge. That said, the Raptors have the 9th best net rating in the league at the moment, and the Magic are ranked dead last. Toronto should take this one, fairly handily.
DFS Targets: ORL targets: Suggs, Anthony, Carter Jr. TOR targets: VanVleet, Barnes, and OG. I like Achiuwa, but not against Wendall Carter. I can envision a scenario that Achiuwa gets in early foul trouble and kills his chances to smash value.
Pacers (1-4) vs. Nets (2-3)
The league’s new rule changes which have made it more difficult to get to the free throw line from an unnatural shooting motion, and it’s really tanked James Harden’s value. It’s making it more difficult for Harden to get to the line, and it’s also making him easier to guard because you don’t have to play off of him, respecting that he might blow by you and draw a foul. As a result, the Nets are beatable, and they desperately need Kyrie to return. That’s not happening tonight, and both of these teams are in the bottom tercile of net rating. At the end of the day, only one of these teams has Kevin Durant, so I’ll roll with the Nets. But I don’t feel great about it.
DFS Targets: IND targets: McConnell, Duarte, Turner, Sabonis. BKN targets: KD.
Hornets (4-1) vs. Heat (3-1)
I imagine there are about 15 people in the world that thought the Hornets would be 4-1 through five games this season. Probably half of them play for the Hornets. What we thought would happen doesn’t matter, but what has happened does matter. Adjust your biases. The Hornets are rolling. Both teams are in the top 10 in net rating, but Miami is 3rd. If there’s any team the Hornets can lose to, it’s this Miami team that’s as deep as it’s ever been, quite frankly. The fact that the Heat are 1st in defensive rating should nullify the benefits that the Hornets get from their quick pace. Take the Heat.
DFS Targets: CHA targets: Ball, Bridges, and Hayward. MIA targets: Butler, Bam, Herro, and Lowry.
Kings (2-2) vs. Pelicans (1-4)
Two bottom tercile teams in net rating. The Pelicans have at least been playing average defense, while the Kings defense has been horrendous (outside of Davion Mitchell). The Pelicans can’t score though, and the Kings have an 11th ranked offense (Harrison Barnes playing like an all-star). This game is a toss up. I would hate it if you had to watch it. Kings should win, though.
DFS Targets: SAC targets: Fox, Barnes, and Hield. NOP targets: Ingram, Jonas, and Alexander-Walker.
Mavericks (3-1) vs. Nuggets (2-2)
This pick relies almost entirely on Nikola Jokic. If he plays after bumping knees in his last outing, I expect the Nuggets to pull this one out. If Jokic sits, I’m not convinced Denver has the firepower to beat Dallas. I’ve been expecting much more aggression out of MPJ, but it hasn’t come to fruition yet. Keep an eye on Nikola’s status tonight.
DFS Targets: DAL targets: Luka and Kristaps. DEN targets: Jokic (if he plays) and Barton.
Clippers (1-3) vs. Trail Blazers (2-2)
Both of these teams are off to disappointing starts. Dame can’t hit a three-pointer to save his life (can’t imagine that lasts much longer). Paul George has been unable to carry the Clippers (but he’s demonstrated he’s able to in the past). Honestly, I’m not sure either team’s stats to this point are of use to us, considering their star’s performances to date have been so uncharacteristic. I’ll go with the Blazers for now, as they are the deeper team.
DFS Targets: LAC targets: George and Mann. POR targets: Lillard, McCollum, Nurkic, and RoCo.
Cavaliers (3-2) vs. Lakers (2-3)
I’m not in panic mode with the Lakers, quite yet. They blew a 20-point lead against OKC, which is worrisome, but also something that happens in basketball more frequently than we realize. It usually just doesn’t happen that late in games. Russ and AD will be just fine. If LeBron comes back to the lineup that’ll be the cherry on top, but I don’t think they’ll need him to beat the Cavs (who are admittedly more formidable than I anticipated). Go with the Lakers.
DFS Targets: CLE targets: Mobley, Sexton, Rubio, Lauri, and Allen. DEN targets: Russ and AD.
Don’t forget to check back later in the day as Bradlee will be updating his NBA DFS preview with all the info you need to turn tonight’s slate into a resounding success!
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