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Should you play Eric Paschall in DFS on Opening Night?

With Draymond Green out, we take a look at whether the sophomore forward is worth playing on DraftKings classic slate and in Showdown.

Golden State Warriors forward Eric Paschall reacts after the Philadelphia 76ers committed a turnover late in the fourth quarter at the Chase Center. Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The Golden State Warriors take on the Brooklyn Nets in the first game of the 2020-21 NBA season. We already have a pretty big injury with Draymond Green listed as out due to a foot ailment. So right off the bat, we have to decide who will step up in his absence for the Dubs. This is a new-look Warriors team without both Dray and Klay Thompson, who is done for the year with a torn Achilles. Let’s dive into PF Eric Paschall, who figures to be a player of interest on this slate.

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What to do with Eric Paschall on DraftKings

So Paschall is $3,800 in Classic contests on DK. This is going to make him a VERY popular pick for tonight’s two-game slate. Let’s just cut to the chase, Paschall may be the highest owned player tonight and for that reason, it’s hard to fade him in cash games. The Dubs will essentially go with a four-man front court rotation of Paschall, Kevon Looney ($5,200), James Wiseman ($5,000) and Marquese Chriss ($4,000).

Focusing on Paschall, the Warriors have already said Wiseman won’t start. Looney should end up starting at center with Paschall at power forward. As a rookie, Paschall averaged 14 points and 4.6 rebounds in 60 games overall for the Dubs last season. Early in the season, Paschall was getting big minutes. In November, he played 15 games, averaging 18.1 and 5.8 rebounds in 32.2 minutes per contest. He was getting around 30 fantasy points per night, so that’s sort of the benchmark we’re working with tonight. Around that total would mean Paschall hits over 7x value on his salary.

Now, does this mean we play Paschall in tournaments? Not necessarily. His salary is so low it’s hard to ignore. The issue is with leverage. Paschall is only PF eligible, so you have 3 slots to play him in. This will make it so his ownership could be even more inflated compared to the pivots mentioned above — Looney, Wiseman and Chriss. All three of those guys are only center eligible. This means only two lineup slots are available to play them.

You also have to consider another popular play is Serge Ibaka ($5,200). If you have Serge, you’re down to one center eligible spot. So pivoting off of Paschall to one of the three other big bodies for Golden State makes some sense in GPPs. Chriss gives you similar salary savings and he did average 16.5 points and 11 rebounds per 36 minutes last season. He likely won’t see more than 15-20 minutes, but we know he can be productive and offers some leverage.