The NBA is back and for Wednesday night, we get our first full slate of the season with 12 games on the schedule. Seven of these contests present game totals of at least 225 points on DraftKings Sportsbook, so it’s safe to expect some huge fantasy scores tonight. As always, be sure to be following the DK Live App closely for lineup/injury updates all the way up until roster lock.
Below, I dive into four of my favorite bargain plays to attack on DraftKings, which all cost less than $5K.
PG Tre Jones, San Antonio Spurs vs. Charlotte Hornets, $4,200
With Dejounte Murray now in Atlanta, Jones is the Spurs’ new starting point guard and an elite value play at this soft price tag. In the final 11 games of the season that Murray missed a year ago, Jones started at point guard for San Antonio and thrived with the expanded role, producing 33.2 DKFP in 32.3 minutes per game. Additionally, Lonnie Walker IV – who ranked second only to Murray in usage last season for the Spurs – is also now with the Lakers, and when both Walker IV and Murray were off the court last season, Jones provided 1.01 DKFP per minute, mostly attributed to a team-high 31.5% assist rate. The third-year guard should see 30+ minutes in this season opener and this is a beautiful matchup for him vs. the Hornets. Last season, Charlotte ranked 24th in defensive efficiency and fifth in pace. This tilt’s total is set at 226 points on DraftKings Sportsbook and the Hornets are 1.5-point favorites, which is the tightest spread of this 12-game slate. Jones is a strong bet to eclipse 30 DKFP in this compelling environment and needs to be one of your core plays Wednesday night.
PF/C Santi Aldama, Memphis Grizzlies vs. New York Knicks, $4,000
With Jaren Jackson (foot) on the shelf, Aldama should open the season as the Grizzlies’ starting power forward. With Jackson missing the preseason, Aldama started at power forward in all five contests and was terrific with the role, delivering 27 DKFP in 25 minutes per game. The 6’11” 22-year-old brings compelling upside with his strong outside shot and decent rebounding skills, and should be in line for close to 30 minutes Wednesday with Memphis beat up to begin the season. On top of Jackson, Ziaire Williams (knee) has been ruled out and Dillon Brooks (thigh) is doubtful. With these two and Jackson off the court last season, Aldama contributed 0.9 DKFP per minute behind a 20.1% usage rate. Competing in this matchup vs. the Knicks which boasts a large total of 226 points on DraftKings Sportsbook, Aldama should effortlessly beat his low salary.
C Isaiah Hartenstein, New York Knicks @ Memphis Grizzlies, $4,200
Opposite of Aldama, Hartenstein is an appealing cheap flier for GPPs. Inking a two-year, $16 million contract with the Knicks this summer, the 24-year-old was brought in to be the team’s primary big man off the bench, which is a role that gives him roughly 20 minutes every night, with room for more if Mitchell Robinson struggles or gets into foul trouble. Supplying 1.2 DKFP last season, Hartenstein is a versatile center who can stuff the stat sheet in all categories and this Memphis club he is going against should be susceptible on the defensive end, with key defenders in Jackson and Brooks sidelined. Hartenstein amassed an excellent 31 DKFP per game in his final 10 contests with at least 20 minutes last season and should come with little ownership as a backup center.
PF/C Kelly Olynyk, Utah Jazz vs. Denver Nuggets, $5,000
With Rudy Gobert and Hassan Whiteside out of town, Olynyk is the Jazz’s starting center and he should receive at least 25 minutes on a nightly basis with this club severely lacking appealing front-court options after Olynyk and Lauri Markkanen. Olynyk has always been an efficient fantasy player throughout his career and in Detroit this past season, the veteran provided 1.1 DKFP per minute. Specifically, when we look at the 15 occasions Olynyk logged a minimum of 20 minutes, the big man collected 29.1 DKFP per game, including seven efforts over 30 DKFP. While there is plenty of foul risk associated with going against Nikola Jokic tonight, this Denver defense was a vulnerable unit last season, ranking 19th in efficiency and allowing the eighth most points in the paint. Olynyk brings a ceiling well over 30 DKFP if he can avoid serious foul trouble and is a terrific GPP target, where he should see little attention, given the size of this slate.
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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 skill 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.