Our first article of the season had some hits and misses but the opening week is one of the toughest weeks of the season. The reason for that is because we really don’t know what these rotations are going to look like. That’s going to make this slate tough too but we’re starting to get a hang of things. With that in mind, let’s get into our 10/25 NBA DFS picks.
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10/25 NBA DFS Point Guards
Kyrie Irving (BRK) vs. NYK
You simply can’t play NBA DFS and miss at the point guard position, so, let’s get a couple of studs to kick things off. Irving is just that and he already had the fantasy performance of the season in the opener. Kyrie collected 50 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists in that overtime loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves and it was clear he’s the heartbeat of this club. While that’s going to be impossible to duplicate, the usage is hard to overlook. Irving actually ranked second in the NBA with a 40-percent usage rate while taking an absurd 33 shots. Look for him to continue to run the show until Kevin Durant returns, which will be quite some time. Playing against the Knicks will only make Irving more motivated to go off yet again.
Luke Doncic (DAL) at NOP
Doncic had quite the gem in the opener too and he could be in for a special season. After running away with Rookie of the Year last season, he started his 2019-10 campaign with 34 points and nine rebounds against the Wizards. A 37-percent usage rate in that fixture shows that they want to run the offense through Doncic and that should be the case all season long. The thing that makes him enticing here is the matchup though, with the Pelicans projected to play at the fastest pace in the NBA while owning a subpar defense.
Also Consider: Ish Smith (WSH) at OKC: If you’re looking for a cheap point guard, look for Smith to start again for the Wizards and he always has 10-assist upside when playing 25-30 minutes.
10/25 NBA DFS Shooting Guards
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (LAC) vs. WSH
If you don’t play in season-long leagues, you’re probably unaware that this is one of the biggest breakout candidates of the season. The reason for that is because he was the key piece to the Paul George trade and has free reign to run this weak offense. That was evident in the preseason, when he posted a 29 percent usage rate and led the club in numerous statistics. That form carried over into the season opener, with SGA scoring 26 points on 23 shots against a stifling Jazz defense. Getting to face Washington here is quite the boost from that matchup, with the Wizards ranked 27th in defensive efficiency last season and could be even worse this year.
Marcus Smart (BOS) vs. TOR
Smart is extremely cheap on both DraftKings and FanDuel, as he’s quite the value for DFS purposes. The reason for that is because of his expanded role, seeing a much bigger workload for this revamped roster. The Celtics ridded themselves of Kyrie Irving, Terry Rozier and Al Horford, which opens up the door for Smart to play a ton. That started in the opener, with Smart accumulating four points, four rebounds and eight assists in 33 minutes. If he sees 33 minutes at these prices, don’t fade Smart the way he can stuff the stat sheet.
Also Consider: Dwayne Bacon (CHA) vs. MIN: Bacon had a career game in the opener as the starting shooting guards for Charlotte and should continue to see a career-high in usage and shots taken at a dirt-cheap price.
10/25 NBA DFS Small Forwards
Brandon Ingram (NOP) vs. DAL
With Zion Williamson out for the next two months, Ingram should be one of the focal points of this offense. That was crystal clear in the opener when Ingram led the starters with a 27.2 percent usage rate and 19 shots taken. That allowed him to produce 22 points, five rebounds, five assists and two blocks, which could become common for him when playing for the fastest-paced team in basketball. We’re certainly not worried about any of the wings on Dallas either, sending out guys like Dorian Finney-Smith and Justin Jackson.
Kelly Oubre (PHX) at DEN
It’s crazy how cheap Oubre is on DraftKings and FanDuel. He’s being priced around role players and Oubre is arguably one of the three most valuable players on this team. That was evident in the second half last season, with Oubre averaging 19 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.7 steals over his final 30 games. He showed his value in the opener too, totaling 21 points, nine rebounds and two blocks in 30 minutes of action.
Also Consider: Rodney Hood (POR) at SAC: Hood played 31 minutes in the opener and could regularly see double-digit shots at a cheap price.
10/25 NBA DFS Power Forwards
Jaren Jackson (MEM) vs. CHI
Jackson is primed to have a breakout season and it’s just a matter of time before he starts posting monster lines. This kid was one of the most improved players in the league over the final month of last season and he’ll eventually be one of the best bigs in the league. The reason we like him here is because he gets to face the Bulls. This is a club that ranked 25th in defensive efficiency last season and just allowed the Charlotte Hornets to drop 126 points on them in the opener. Yes, the Hornets scored 126 points! Look for Jackson to feast and stuff the stat sheet in a padded double-double against this terrible defense.
Paul Millsap (DEN) vs. PHX
Millsap is one of the most underrated players in the game and it’s insulting how low these DFS sites keep his prices. This dude has done nothing but produce throughout his career and people continue to undervalue him. What makes him so valuable is his defense, collecting three steals and two blocks in that opener. That’s common for a defensive stud like this and he can provide those elite defensive statistics while accruing a double-double. Those prospects become even more likely against the Suns, with Phoenix ranked 29th in defensive efficiency last season.
Also Consider: Zach Collins (POR) at SAC: Collins is now starting for the Blazers and is a great bet to exceed value at his dirt-cheap price and sky-high potential.
10/25 NBA DFS Centers
Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN) at CHA
This is the best play of the day. Towns is expected to be the heart of this Timberwolves offense and it showed in the opener. He actually finished that game with 36 points, 14 rebounds, three assists, three steals and three blocks en route to 72.3 FanDuel points. That’s a ridiculous fantasy total and it’s scary to think that he did that on a 28-percent usage rate and 22 shots taken. Some expect that usage rate to be even higher with Towns handling the ball more than ever and it’s very possible that he’ll drop another 70-point gem here. Facing the Hornets is the icing on the cake, with Charlotte projected for the lowest win total in the league.
Cody Zeller (CHA) vs. MIN (Update: Zeller is out for personal reasons)
Someone needs to guard Towns and that’s going to guarantee Zeller big minutes. No one else can really match up with him on this roster and it’s becoming evident that Zeller is one of the best players on this team. That was on full display in the opener, when Zeller generated 15 points and 12 boards in 35 minutes of play. That’s huge from a player priced so cheaply, as we anticipate Zeller being $1,000 more on both DraftKings and FanDuel less than a month. A double-double appears to be a 50/50 proposition for Zeller in this expanded role and we’re certainly not worried about Towns on the defensive end.
Also Consider: Nikola Jokic (DEN) vs. PHX: Jokic double-doubled in the opener despite sitting out most of the first half because of foul trouble and could abuse this weak Suns defense.
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