The key to succeeding on FanDuel for the NBA Preseason is simple: Pay attention to the news and take a few chances. Okay, it’s actually a little more complicated in practice, but there’s still an opportunity for savvy daily fantasy players to thrive.
Continue monitoring the NBA Headlines feed here on Rotoworld, as our team has been doing an excellent job relaying information from the beat writers this preseason. You’ll obviously want to pinpoint who’s in/out, which backups benefit as a result, and whose matchup is easier as a result.
Minutes are also a key determinant of success in the preseason. Case in point, we received information that Russell Westbrook would see decent playing time yesterday, and he responded with a statline that rewarded fantasy backers.
This article was written Monday morning, so there will obviously be some changes to lineups and respective players’ status between now and tipoff. I’ll be posting updates as the information rolls in.
Rajon Rondo ($7,000)
Ish Smith ($5,500)
Jeremy Lin ($5,500)
Raymond Felton ($4,300)
Rajon Rondo ($7,000) is probably my favorite pick of the position. He was held out of Saturday’s game for resting purposes, so I anticipate Rondo to be ready to rock this evening. As we all know, he’s fully capable of a hearty statline, even while only seeing 25 or so minutes. Rondo is averaging 25 minutes and 25 FPPG in three preseason games so far, and I consider that his baseline tonight … I really like Ish Smith ($5,500) as my PG2 selection. He has been playing 25-30 minutes every preseason game, trying to get into a rhythm with the starters, taking over for the injured Reggie Jackson … Jeremy Lin ($5,500) is someone to consider for value purposes, as he’s now running the show for Brooklyn. The offense flows through Lin and Lopez in that offense, and the floor general is averaging 27 FPPG in 24 minutes per contest this preseason … Raymond Felton ($4,300) is a sneak, cheap pick only if Chris Paul (questionable) is out. Felton started and played 36 minutes with CP3 not playing last game.
UPDATE: Rondo will play and start ... Kemba Walker is firmly within consideration, as I expect him to get 25+ minutes with Charlotte having rest before this game ... It doesn't look like we'll receive word on Chris Paul before gametime. Raymond Felton is strictly a desparation GPP play.
Giannis Antetokoumpo ($8,000)
Nicolas Batum ($6,100)
Dwyane Wade ($5,800)
Jamal Crawford ($4,900)
Giannis Antetokounmpo ($8,000) is a fantastic option at this positon, and one you should really try squeezing into your lineup. It’s clear the Bucks’ offense runs through him, and he’s seeing even more shots with Khris Middelton out. Lock him in … The SG2 spot is a little murkier. You could look towards Nicolas Batum, Dwyane Wade, or Jamal Crawford. I’m leaning more towards Batum in this spot, as Charlotte has not played in a week, meaning they could give their starters solid minutes (25+) in the rotation … Wade is a decent option, with a strong FP/minute profile, but the playing time is always questionable for the injury-plagued veteran. If Jimmy Butler plays, that will cut into his upside as well … Jamal Crawford is more of a tournament pick. He’s better if Chris Paul is out, which could force more minutes his way. The matchup isn’t great against Utah’s strong defense, but Crawford should be seeing majority of his minutes against the second-team.
Jimmy Butler ($7,400)
Jae Crowder ($5,500)
Joe Ingles ($4,000)
Butler sat out this weekend due to general soreness. We’ll need to monitor his status heading into lineup lock; however, Butler is a very nice play if he starts. The small forward position is pretty weak, and you would be able to absorb his salary fairly easily if he does in fact play … Jae Crowder is a solid mid-range pick at this sparse position. He’s only averaging 20 minutes per game this preseason, but the output comes with reasonable efficiency to leave him firmly within consideration … Joe Ingles isn’t necessarily an efficient fantasy producer, but he could see over 25 minutes in this game. Alec Burks and Rodney Hood are both doubtful tonight, which means Ingles would need to fill in for more playing time. He’s a decent value pick as long as those two players are out.
UPDATE: Butler will play and start ... Jae Crowder is decent but not 100% necessary if you can't fit him in. Coach Brad Stevens said he'll go with the normal rotations, which empties everyone off the bench and gives starters around 18 minutes.
Blake Griffin ($7,700)
Jabari Parker ($5,700)
Tobias Harris ($5,400)
Frank Kaminsky ($4,700)
Taj Gibson ($4,500)
The power forward position is pretty loaded tonight. Blake Griffin is coming off a monster 26 point, five board, two steal, one assist, one block performance last Thursday in just 25 minutes. The matchup against Utah looks difficult, but the individual draw against Trey Lyles (with Derrick Favors out) appears advantageous. You should have enough cap space to make Griffin work, and that’s a pretty good idea … There are several routes you can take for your PF2 position. I really like Jabari Parker, who has been an absolute beast averaging 26 minutes and 28 FPPG through four preseason tilts … Tobias Harris and Taj Gibson are intriguing in their starting roles, but I’d rather take Parker … Frank Kaminsky is a very good tournament pick. Cody Zeller is out, meaning Kaminsky should soak up more minutes at the center position. He’s averaging 27 minutes, 13 points, 7 rebounds, one assist, one steal, one block over the past four preseason outings. Zeller’s absence helps solidify the playing time.
Update: Jon Leuer will start for Marcus Morris. He's a decent pick, but not one you have to side with. I'm still looking towards Griffin, Parker, and Tobias (who also gets a boost with Morris out) over Leuer.
Andre Drummond ($7,000)
Al Horford ($5,800)
Rudy Gobert ($5,000)
Andre Drummond is probably your best bet at this position. He’s averaging a healthy 29 minutes and 40.3 fantasy points over three preseason contests. Don’t overthink it! … Brook Lopez is good, but he’s only seeing around 15 minutes per preseason game, not nearly enough to do some fantasy damage. Greg Monroe is in a similar category, averaging 17 minutes through three preseason games. I’m more inclined to look towards Al Horford or Rudy Gobert if searching for a value center … Horford will likely only see 20 minutes, but he has been very efficient in his new home this preseason. He went for 26 fantasy points in 21 minutes against this same Nets team last Thursday … Rudy Gobert has been even more efficient this preseason, averaging 14 points, 9 rebounds, and two blocks in four preseason games. Even if you have to leave salary on the table to roster Gobert, I don’t believe that’s a bad move. The absence of Derrick Favors allows 7’ 1” center to gobble up all the rebounds.