• Welcome back everyone to another wonderful season of DFS. Well, the actual season NBA has yet to begin, but we can still build are bankroll during the preseason as well. If you’re a Draft Guide owner and have not yet taken the time to read my article on how to take advantage of preseason NBA DFS I suggest you do so real quick. It may help you make more sense of how I selected a lot of my top plays. We have four games on tonight’s slate including a back-to-back that will likely scare most off of ownership. Let’s not waste any further time and jump right into some of my favorite plays for tonight’s slate.

    Point Guard: All about my Trey/ae’s

    Trey Burke $4,800– Burke is drawing that start at point guard for the Knicks tonight, but he is still in an open competition for the starting role against Emmanual Muday and Frank Ntilikina. Burke seems to be the favorite at this point and he also offers the most upside for DFS purposes as well.  His minutes should be safe around 20-plus and there is always the potential chance that Knicks head coach David Fizdale well let him get extra run and opt to see more of Mudiay and Ntilikina in a different preseason game.

    Trae Young $5,800– Young struggled with his shot during Summer League, but targeting highly touted rookies is a smart strategy during preseason. This is their first action against actual NBA competition and coaches generally want to prepare these first-year players as much as possible. We know that almost every player on tonight’s slate will have some sort of minutes restriction, and Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce is no different. Pierce said that not a single person on the team will play all four quarters, but if there is even a chance we could get three quarters from a point guard option that will take a high volume of shots we have to consider him.

    Shooting Guard: Usage/ball-handlers

    Josh Jackson $5,700-Jackson becomes one of the top offensive options for the Suns with Devin Booker ruled out until the start of the regular season. Of course we have to Consider Deandre Ayton at center as well, but that is where I am drawing the line for the Suns. Jackson has stepped up with Booker out and is one of my top options a shooting guard tonight.

    Markelle Fultz $5,600– Brett Brown tinkered with the starting lineup during the Sixers’ first preseason game and it looks like he may be on to something. Fultz has reworked his jump shot and looking comfortable letting it fly against Melbourne and we already know Fultz is another player who could stuff the stat sheet in multiple ways. Starting would hurt his usage slightly, but Brown may want to let Fultz fine-tune his shot and test this new lineup as much as possible before the start of the season.

    Small Forward: Go to Usage

    Ben Simmons $8,000– Sometimes you are inheriting risk when spending up on an elite player during preseason – when I do I try to target the players with the highest usage and DK points per minute. Simmons is a walking triple-double on any given night and could easily provide solid fantasy value in less than 25 minutes. The first thing I look for when constructing a preseason GPP lineup is minutes with usage following that. Simmons has a decent chance to check off both boxes.

    Power Forward: Options are Plentiful

    John Collins $6,500– The Hawks have already ruled out Dewayne Dedmon and Omari Spellman for the game. This should allow Collins to be one of those aforementioned players who could possibly play up to three quarters. Collins is a per-minute beast and will also be one of the go-to options on the offensive end for the Hawks.

    Kevin Knox $5,000– I have been bullish on Knox since Summer League and so have the Knicks, so much so that they are starting him at small forward tonight over Mario Hezonja with Courtney Lee (neck) out. Knox has an incredible basketball IQ and loves to push the tempo and play at a fast face. David Fizdale mentioned wanting to see Knox play with the starters and in multiple lineups, boding well for his minutes and usage tonight.

    Anthony Davis $8,600-It is Anthony Davis and the Pelicans are playing a back-to-back during preseason; these are immediate red flags. But if Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry did a good job of managing his starters’ minutes in the first half last night just so they could play tonight. There is a chance he sits them out after the first half once again, but something tells me Gentry wanted to get a longer look at his starts playing with the new offseason acquisitions. In the first preseason game last year Gentry played four starters for more than 30 minutes, leading me to believe they would have seen at least 25-plus had it not been a back-to-back.  The team has two days after tonight until their next game and it would not shock me if the starters see more minutes against the Hawks than they did last night.

    *Cheick Diallo makes for a strong play in terms of hedging Anthony Davis. The Pelicans lost Jahlil Okafor last night to an ankle injury are already without Nikola Mirotic and Alexis Ajinca. If the Davis and Randle both play limited minutes it would force-feed Diallo 20-plus minutes.

    Center: Per-minute producers

    Deandre Ayton $5,900– As I previously mentioned before, Ayton and Jackson both project as the top offensive options with Booker being held out. They are also two of the younger and more inexperienced players on the Suns’ young roster. These are multiple factors that tend to lead players to leading their teams in minutes during the preseason.

    Nikola Vucevic $7,200– Big Vuc has always been a great point-per-minute producer. Center is one of my favorite spots to target during the preseason because it is much easier for a big to grab a double-double in limited minutes than a guard to dole out 10 assists and score 10 points in limited minutes. The Magic will be rolling out the lineup they are expecting to start on opening night and while I am not entirely confident in Vucevic’s minutes I do think he can do quite a bit of damage with what he is given.

    Enes Kanter $6,600– Kanter slides right into the same spot as Vucevic tonight. There are a ton of centers in play tonight that could produce fantastic DK points per minute, but I only feel truly confident in the minutes of the three I mentioned.  Throughout Kanter’s career we have seen him produce double-doubles in less than thirty minutes and make the most out of his time on the court, this seems like an obvious scenario where most would receive less than thirty minutes so I am putting my trust in the player who is used to producing in that span.

    Honorable Mentions

    PF Marvin Bagley, PG Elfrid Payton, PF Julius Randle

    It feels good to be back and I look forward to spending my NBA season writing articles for you Hoop Ballers. You could find me on Twitter @MikeApotria if you have any questions or comments. Good Luck!

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