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The first full slate of NBA games is upon us, and boy is it a juicy one. We have a total of 11 games with three of those games projecting over 215 points tonight. The Portland/Phoenix, Houston/Sacramento, Brooklyn/Indiana, and Philadelphia/Washington games look like the best games to target, while getting exposure to some value plays like Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. It will be important to monitor the news today regarding starting lineups for Charlotte, Boston, Sacramento and New Orleans as those teams have yet to announce who will replace some of their injured starters.

Giannis Antetokounmpo, PG/SF/PF, Milwaukee Bucks

Projected Minutes

Team Total

DvP

FPPG Allowed

Usage Rate

DK Projection

FD Projection

36 100.25 22 40.2 - 47.62 48.57

DK Salary: $10,300 / FD Salary: $10,200

Giannis will be kicking the season off tonight against the Boston Celtics, in what should be an excellent matchup for the young superstar. As we all know by now, or should know, the Boston Celtics suffered a devastating loss with the injury to Gordon Hayward last night. While it is terrible for the team, for Gordon and his family, and Boston fans, it presents a situation to exploit in DFS. The Celtics ran Jaylen Brown, Kyrie Irving, Jason Tatum, and Marcus Smart over 35 minutes last night and had to fly back to Boston for this back-to-back. With the shortened preseason, and a back-to-back to kick off the season, there is a chance that the Celtics could be incredibly fatigued tonight. Brown and Tatum will likely be the two wings tasked with trying to defend Giannis, an assignment that I don't think either will succeed at. We saw LeBron James put up 29 points with 16 boards against the C's last night, and I could see Giannis putting up a massive performance tonight. Giannis looked outstanding in the preseason, averaging 20.5 points, five rebounds, four assists, one steal, and 2.5 blocks in roughly 25 minutes with a usage rate over 34 percent, and he will shoulder the bulk of the offense for the Bucks tonight.

Karl-Anthony Towns, C, Minnesota Timberwolves

Projected Minutes

Team Total

DvP

FPPG Allowed

Usage Rate

DK Projection

FD Projection

38

102

2

44

-

51.30

50.54

DK Salary: $9,400 / FD Salary: $10,000

With the Timberwolves added Jimmy Butler, Taj Gibson, Jamal Crawford, and Jeff Teague in the offseason, there are a lot of question marks surrounding Karl-Anthony Towns and his role in this offense. Looking at how things broke down in the preseason, Towns had the highest usage rate among the starters at 25.3 percent, while attempting the second most shots, behind Wiggins, at 11.3 per game in 23.7 minutes. Obviously, that is a smaller sample size, but if things play out the way I see them tonight, then KAT should be in line for a high-usage, high-production game against the Spurs. The Spurs will be rolling out a trio of LaMarcus Aldridge, Pau Gasol, and Joffrey Lauvergne, none of which are known for their defensive skills, who will struggle to defend Towns as he roams out of the paint and on the perimeter. Towns absolutely destroyed the Spurs in four games last season, averaging 47 DraftKings points per game against them. Towns eclipsed 20 points in three of those four games while pulling down double-digit rebounds in all four. The Spurs have a reputation of being stout defensively, despite being a great matchup for mobile centers last season, and with the uncertainty surrounding Towns' role in the offense, I expect KAT to go overlooked tonight.

Myles Turner, C, Indiana Pacers

Projected Minutes

Team Total

DvP

FPPG Allowed

Usage Rate

DK Projection

FD Projection

34

108.5

30

45.9

-

34.00

26.35

DK Salary: $7,700 / FD Salary: $7,200

Coming off a strong preseason effort, where he averaged 13.7 points, four rebounds, and 1.7 blocks in 13.7 minutes, Turner gets to kick off the season in one of the absolute best matchups on the board. The Nets allowed over 45 fantasy points per game to them, and they won't be any better this season with Mozgov as their starter this season. Turner is a mobile big man that can stretch the floor while providing the Pacers with much-needed perimeter and mid-range shooting while exploiting matchups against slower, less mobile bigs like Mozgov. While we have to take last year's performances lightly because the Nets did make some big changes to their roster, Turner was outstanding in three games against them last season. He averaged 38 DraftKings points in those three contests, including a massive 58.3-point performance last January.

Goran Dragic, PG, Miami Heat

Projected Minutes

Team Total

DvP

FPPG Allowed

Usage Rate

DK Projection

FD Projection

36

109.25

12

34.6

-

36

34.92

DK Salary: $7,100 / FD Salary: $6,400

Last season I loved attacking the Orlando Magic with point guards, and with their lack of defensive additions this offseason, I don't expect that to change this season. Dragic is perhaps one of the most underrated point guards in the NBA, and that is something we can take advantage of tonight in a great matchup against Orlando. The Miami Heat took it easy on Dragic in the preseason, after he had a great showing in EuroBasket, playing him only 18.4 minutes per game. He averaged 9 points on 8.5 field goal attempts, with one rebound, and 1.5 assists in those minutes. Dragic posted a solid 24.2 percent usage rate when on the floor in those limited minutes, so I am not terribly worried about his lack of production in the preseason. The Heat will look a little bit different this season with a healthy Justise Winslow, Josh Richardson taking another step forward, and of course, Dion Waiters being Dion Waiters, but those things actually get me more excited about Dragic's upside tonight. The Miami offense is predicated on having a point guard that can drive into the paint, break down the defense, then kick the ball out to an open shooter on the perimeter. I expect Dragic to notch 8-9 assists tonight while hitting guys like Waiters, Richardson, and Olynyk on open shots, and with Winslow being a competent ball handler, Dragic can get plenty of open shots as well. Dragic averaged 30.85 DraftKings points per game in four games against the Magic last season, scoring exactly 31 in three of those contests, so there is definitely some risk associated with him, but I expect Dragic to actually have a big game tonight.

Jeremy Lamb, SG/SF, Charlotte Hornets

Projected Minutes

Team Total

DvP

FPPG Allowed

Usage Rate

DK Projection

FD Projection

31

100.5

3

36.7

-

32.81

32.53

DK Salary: $5,700 / FD Salary: $3,500

The Charlotte Hornets will be without Nicolas Batum for several months, and without Michael Kidd-Gilchrist tonight, meaning it is the next man up scenario for Jeremy Lamb. When given the opportunity to start for Charlotte, Lamb has always produced. He averaged 31.6 DraftKings points per game as a starter last season, and he averaged 31.1 DraftKings points per game when playing more than 28 minutes last season. Last season without Batum and MKG on the court, Lamb racked up 1.04 fantasy points per minute on a modest 24.4 percent usage rate, and he will get plenty of chances to show he can produce again this year. With the limited depth on the wings in Charlotte, I expect Lamb to see a lot of minutes tonight. Lamb's ownership will likely be high on FanDuel where he is only $3,500 but he is a very valuable cheap option to fit studs like Lillard and Giannis in your lineups.



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