For the first full NBA slate of the season, DFS players get a massive 12-game slate to attack Wednesday. DraftKings continues to offer huge tournaments for DFS players and below are some of my favorite targets at each position.
Haliburton opens the season in an elite spot Wednesday, facing the Wizards on his home floor. Washington ranked 21st in defensive efficiency last season and this matchup boasts the third highest total of the night on the DraftKings Sportsbook at 235 points. Leading the Pacers with a 23.8% usage rate and 51.8% assist percentage last season – which ranked fourth in the league – Haliburton generated 1.4 DKFP per minute. As the guard ascends to stardom, Haliburton should continue to handle a massive role this season and is one of the best spends on the slate. The guard was 2.4 DKFP per game better at home last season and is averaging 50 DKFP per game for the last 10 occasions he has competed in a total of at least 230 points.
Other Options: Kyrie Irving ($10,200, if Luka Doncic (calf) is out), Donovan Mitchell ($9,400, better if Darius Garland (hamstring) is out, De’Aaron Fox ($8,700), Jordan Poole ($8,100)
Tyus Jones, Washington Wizards @ Indiana Pacers ($4,900)
Opposite of Haliburton, Jones is way too cheap for his new role as the Wizards’ starting point guard. With the Grizzlies last season, Jones provided one DKFP per minute. Furthermore, the guard was stellar in the 20 starts he made for Ja Morant, amassing 39.3 DKFP per game. Jones saw a 18.2% usage rate and 36.2% percentage this preseason with Washington, and should log right around 30 minutes a night for his new club this season.
Indiana ranked fifth in pace and 26th in defensive efficiency last season, and Jones should exceed five-times value with ease in this juicy spot.
Other Options: Marcus Smart ($5,800), Markelle Fultz ($5,700), Caris LeVert ($4,900, especially if Garland is out), Talen Horton-Tucker ($4,500)
Victor Wembanyama, San Antonio Spurs vs. Dallas Mavericks ($8,500)
Wembanayama lived up to the hype during the preseason, averaging 19.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2.8 blocks, 1.5 assists and 1.0 steals in only 20.9 minutes per game. The first overall draft choice was unsurprisingly the focal point of the Spurs’ offense, leading the club in usage by a wide margin at 33.9%. Ranking second on the team was Zach Collins, who was far behind at 23.4%. From a fantasy perspective, Wembanyama was magnificent with 1.63 DKFP per minute.
The rookie should see 30+ minutes in his NBA debut Wednesday and should put up a huge fantasy score, regardless of this being an unappealing matchup vs. a slow Mavs’ club. We may never see Wembanyama this cheap again this season and he needs to be one of your core plays for this slate.
Other Options: Zion Williamson ($9,700), Lauri Markkanen ($9,300), Desmond Bane ($7,400)
Ben Simmons, Brooklyn Nets vs. Cleveland Cavaliers ($5,900)
After dealing with multiple injuries last season, Simmons is back to full strength and is poised for a strong start to this season. Starting at point guard in all four of the Nets’ preseason games, the ex-76er handled a 19% usage rate and a massive 50.9% assist rate, both of which are huge leaps from his averages last season.
Simmons scored right over one DKFP per minute with this encouraging workload and should see over 30 minutes to begin this season with him finally healthy again. Simmons scored 33.9 DKFP per game when he logged over 30 minutes last season (15 games) and is one of the best forward values available Wednesday, despite this being a subpar matchup vs. the Cavs.
Other Options: Zach Lavine ($6,800), Franz Wagner ($6,100), Keegan Murray ($5,100), Ziaire Williams ($4,000, if he starts)
Kristaps Porzingis, Boston Celtics @ New York Knicks ($7,200)
While Porzingis is going to see a smaller role in Boston than he did in Washington last season, this price tag is far too cheap for the skilled big man. His salary got all the way up to $10,000 last season and with Boston this preseason, Porzingis garnered a 23.9% usage rate, which only trailed Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown among the Celtics’ starters. Additionally, Porzingis led the club with a 31.9% rebound percentage.
The Latvian has amassed 1.3 DKFP per minute over the last three seasons and has a ceiling 40 DKFP against his former team Wednesday.
Other Options: Domantas Sabonis ($10,300), Bam Adebayo ($7,900)
Obi Toppin, Indiana Pacers vs. Washington Wizards ($3,000)
At this bare minimum price tag and with his PF/C eligibility, Toppin is a tremendous punt play. The former Knick is expected to start at PF for the Pacers this season and should find himself in the 25-30 minute range Wednesday, giving him plenty of time to destroy his low salary in this expected shootout vs. the Wizards.
Last season with the Knicks, the 25-year-old supplied 0.9 DKFP per minute. Plus, while these numbers are inflated given New York was understaffed in these contests, Toppin averaged 34.7 DKFP per game when he started for the Knicks for the final five games of the regular season.
Other Options: Jaren Jackson Jr. ($6,600), Chet Holmgren ($6,500), Evan Mobley ($6,300, better if he starts at center), Jabari Smith Jr. ($5,600), Daniel Gafford ($5,100)
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Hunta512) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skills and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.