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 reality, 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 Tuesday 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.
Russell Westbrook – Oklahoma City ($10,500)
Chris Paul – LA Clippers ($7,900)
Dennis Schroder – Atlanta ($5,000)
I don’t mind John Wall in this spot, but Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul are the two expensive point guards I’m mostly interested in. Reports suggested that CP3 would play one of the final two preseason games. He didn’t play last night, so it appears that he’ll be a “go” tonight … We’ll need to be on the lookout for Westbrook’s minutes, but a home matchup against an inefficient defensive team leaves me optimistic nonetheless … When looking at a cheaper option, Dennis Schroder is my favorite pick in that regard. He sat out last game, but should have significant playing time as the likely starter with Jarrett Jack doubtful.
Victor Oladipo – Oklahoma City ($6,900)
Will Barton – Denver ($5,400)
Bradley Beal – Washington ($5,200)
Evan Fournier – Orlando ($4,800)
Jamal Murray – Denver ($4,000)
Oladipo is a solid pick in a fine matchup, but he’s not a 100% necessity if you can’t reach his inflated salary. I’m perfectly content staying in the mid-range for point guard, as Will Barton, Bradley Beal, and Evan Fournier are all in line for steady performances. I really like the way Fournier has taken control of this Orlando offense, and he’s a great selection in all formats … Jamal Murray is a GPP tournament pick who gains fantasy appeal if Emmanuel Mudiay misses another game.
Danilo Gallinari – Denver ($8,000)
Rudy Gay – Sacramento ($7,000)
Aaron Gordon – Orlando ($4,600)
Kelly Oubre Jr. – Washington ($4,000)
Gallinari bit several fantasy backers with a late scratch last game, but he should be ready to roll tonight. I like him, but you don’t necessarily have to force the cumbersome salary if it doesn’t blend organically. Dipping down to Rudy Gay and Aaron Gordon isn’t a bad strategy move by any means. Gordon is especially underpriced relative to his role and upside … Kelly Oubre Jr. has been a preseason fantasy darling. He would become a steady play in all formats if Otto Porter is out once again. That’s certainly an injury situation to monitor.
UDATE: Aaron Gordon and Otto Porter have been ruled out. Mario Hezonja and Kelly Oubre will benefit respectively, but Oubre is the fantasy product to consider.
Blake Griffin – LA Clippers ($7,700)
Paul Millsap – Atlanta ($7,600)
Serge Ibaka – Orlando ($7,000)
Enes Kanter – Oklahoma City ($4,800)
Cheick Diallo – New Orleans ($4,000)
Blake Griffin ended up resting yesterday, but I’m expecting the Clippers to play all of their starters in the preseason finale. This isn’t confirmed by any means, but I have a suspicion we’ll see around 30 minutes for the Clippers’ big three, as they could utilize this opportunity as a tune-up for their first team … Serge Ibaka has been a force in the preseason, and he’s a solid pick in this slate … Paul Millsap is in the same category, as he’s a FP/min beast, nearly a triple-double in less than 20 minutes last game. Putting that into context, Millsap shouldered a heavy offensive load with the other Atlanta starters resting, so we can’t necessarily expect a repeat performance. Griffin is the priority, but I don’t mind Ibaka or Millsap if you can make them fit alongside Blake … The minutes are a concern for Enes Kanter, as he’s playing through a minor knee issue. Still, he’s cheap with a track record of being an efficient fantasy producer. A draw with the Nuggets is the type of matchup where Kanter could post value in just 20 minutes. Playing off the bench against the second-team is an advantage in that regard as well … Cheick Diallo could be a sneaky tournament pick. Anthony Davis is doubtful, and Terrence Jones is questionable for New Orleans. That could force Diallo into substantial minutes in the power forward spot. The rookie from Kansas posted 12 points and 7 boards (11 shot attempts) in 20 minutes last game.
DeMarcus Cousins – Sacramento ($8,700)
Dwight Howard – Atlanta ($6,500)
Jusuf Nurkic – Denver ($5,000)
Steven Adams – Oklahoma City ($4,000)
Both DeMarcus Cousins and Hassan Whiteside are worth considering in this slate. However, they aren’t necessarily a priority, as there are some quality value picks at the position as well. Dwight Howard is underpriced in this spot. His FP/min efficiency may drop with Paul Millsap returning to the frontcourt, but a fraction of his 39 FPPG average over the past two is more than acceptable. The matchup against a hobbled New Orleans frontcourt should help the cause … Jusuf Nurkic may be one of my favorite “per dollar” picks of the position. He has been a force in the preseason, out-producing teammate Nikola Jokic for a fraction of the cost … Steven Adams is coming off an amazing game with 20 points, 11 boards, 4 blocks in 23 minutes. Keep in mind that came against the Minnesota backups (Wolves rested their starters). Also, Adams’ sore ankle was reportedly fatigued following the performance, so there’s a chance he’ll see less minutes tonight because of that. He’s a risk/reward value play for that reason.
UPDATE: Hassan Whiteside has been ruled out ... Bismack Biyombo is out, which means Nikola Vucevic could see some more minutes. This adds some intrigue to his situation, but I'm still looking at guys like Howard, Cousins, and Nurkic ahead of him.