The NBA season has finally arrived! Unfortunately for us, the slate only contains three games. Still, I will dive into the games and see which DFS plays stand out for FanDuel contests on opening night.
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors, $10,400 - The Warriors start their 2015 campaign at home against the New Orleans Pelicans, and they are currently ten-point favorites on the NBA odds board. As we saw on so many occasions last season, the Warriors are consistently capable of blowing out their opponents at home. That being said, we cannot be picky on a three-game slate, so Stephen Curry is not only a viable option at the position, but one that will be very popular tonight.
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Mo Williams, Cleveland Cavaliers, $6,000 - With Kyrie Irving sidelined for the near future, Mo Williams will be the man running the show in Cleveland. Not only will the Cavs be without Kyrie, but LeBron James appears to be heading into the season at less than 100 percent health. The Cavs will be in need of some offensive production, and that happens to be Mo Williams’s specialty.
Jimmy Butler, Chicago Bulls, $7,500 - Jimmy "Minutes" Butler is a guy that the DFS community loves due to exactly what his nickname implies. Butler continuously sits atop the NBA in minutes played and I don't expect this to change even with the new coach in Chicago. The CLE/CHI game is projected to remain the closest of the three games on the slate, which certainly adds appeal to the players involved. Locking in the security of playing time for Butler makes a lot of sense on this slate.
Kyle Korver, Atlanta Hawks, $5,400 - Per usual, shooting guard is a thin position, so why not lock in starter that will likely play around 30 minutes at a cheap price ($5,400)? Well that is exactly what you get with Kyle Korver. He has been a somewhat scoring-dependent fantasy player throughout his career, but once again we're talking about a three-game slate, and we can't be picky. Korver is an adequate option at SG on opening night.
Nikola Mirotic, Chicago Bulls, $5,500 - Mirotic is another player that will be incredibly popular on opening night. He has been a fantasy point/minute monster when on the court, however, the problem was his minutes were inconsistent last season. This season should be a much different story, as Mirotic has been named a starter, meaning the minutes should be steady (around 28-30 per game). He is a budding star in the NBA, and the $5,500 price tag is a steal.
Stanley Johnson, Detroit Pistons, $4,300 - Johnson is a guy that had a very impressive preseason for the Detroit Pistons. With head coach Stan Van Gundy committed to playing small ball this season, Johnson should make an immediate impact off the bench. He was a player that Van Gundy specifically targeted due to him fitting well within his offensive system. I expect Johnson to emerge as a viable fantasy option this season.
Anthony Davis, New Orleans Pelicans, $11,200 - Have you heard? Anthony Davis has apparently added the three-ball to his arsenal for the upcoming NBA season. At this point you have to just feel bad for the opposing player that is tasked with defending this fantasy stud on each play. Davis is clearly a top three overall fantasy player; fade him at your own risk on this small slate.
Ersan Ilyasova, Detroit Pistons, $5,200 - Ersan Ilyasova is a player that has teased DFS players for many seasons. He has been notorious for huge, GPP-winning performances and commonly has then followed those up with complete duds. Much of his volatility in production has been directly correlated to inconsistent playing time. That should not be a factor this season, as Ilyasova has been named a starter and is a guy that fits perfectly in Stan Van Gundy's system.
Al Horford, Atlanta Hawks, $7,200 - While Andre Drummond was an offensive monster last season, he was also a sieve on the defensive end of the court. In addition to Drummond's defensive struggles, the Pistons are projected to play a lot of small ball this season. All in all, the talented frontcourt of the Hawks should have their way in their home opener. Horford has a fair price of $7,200, making him a fine target tonight.