Marcus Smart ($4700) – A lot of people are going to be chasing points today. Mainly, because we’ve only had a 1 or 2 game sample size of what to expect this NBA season. It’s easier to gravitate towards Isaiah Thomas’ 27 point eruption off the bench in only 29 minutes. It’s harder to look beneath that and notice that starting PG Marcus Smart had himself a nice little game as well, just without the stats that catch the eye.
Smart is a point guard who has limited upside on the scoring end, but has awesome peripherals. Point being, this past Wednesday. He only scored 13 points, but added 5 assists, 2 steals, 2 rebounds 1 block and only 1 turnover. Doesn’t seem too sexy, right? That stat line adds up to 30 DK (Draft Kings) points. At his current price point, all you’re looking for from him to reach value is 23.5. If his shots start falling, you’re in for a big night cause everything else will fall into place. You also don’t have to worry about him losing time to Thomas. Smart has proven that he’s more than capable of defending both guard spots, allowing Brad Stevens the luxury of playing both Smart and Thomas at the same time.
Speaking of Thomas, something to keep an eye out for . . . he had a usage rating of 36.5 on Wednesday! That’s the kind of number that’s reserved for superstars in this league. Just something to monitor moving forward.
Gary Harris ($3400) – Harris beat out Randy Foye for the starting SG spot this preseason and I doubt there will be any change to that in the foreseeable future. They need to see what they have in their second year shooting guard. At this point in his career, we have a pretty good idea of who Randy Foye already is.
In his first game playing alongside rookie Emmanuel Mudiay, he had a solid stat line of 5 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals. Again, not sexy right? That totals out to 26.8 DK points. He only needs 17 points to reach value tonight.
Al-Farouq Aminu ($4600) – There’s an ongoing theme to today’s column. None of these guys are scorers and I prefer it that way. Aminu has already carved out his role in Portland. Let Lillard and McCullum score as much as they please and he’ll do the rest.
Of Aminu, Stotts was just a complimentary: “He was solid defensively, big rebounds. He plays kind of an understated game that’s very effective for us,”
Wednesday against New Orleans, AFA scored only 9 points but racked up 8 rebounds to go along with 2 blocks and a steal. It gets you a modest 24 DK points, but it’s worth noting he did that in his first game back after not practicing much this week nursing a hamstring injury. Only Alan Crabbe and Maurice Harkless are playing behind him so it’s clear he’s their preferred option. The minutes will be there.
Marvin Williams ($3500) – I’m just giving you advanced notice: Charlotte will be switching Williams and Cody Zeller out for each other often in the starting lineup throughout the season. It’s what they did last year when MKG (Michael Kidd-Gilchrist) was sidelined. With MKG likely out for the year (shoulder surgery), it’s just bound to happen again so it’s always a situation worth monitoring.
I usually prefer Williams when starting only because of his ability to hit outside shots, but on Wednesday something else I fell in love with was his minutes played. In 38 minutes, he delivered a double double (28 DK points) on 4-10 shooting. He’s likely to get the start again today going up against Milsap so if the minutes are there again, you might reach value (17.5) by halftime.
Festus Ezeli ($3100) – Andrew Bogut was diagnosed with a concussion after Tuesday night’s opener and didn’t make the trip to Houston with the team. Ezeli immediately draws the start and the tough task of trying to slow down Dwight Howard. Draft Kings has him priced as a backup Center at only $3100. These are the kinda plays you jump on immediately and use as building blocks for you lineups.
Howard might be rusty missing most of the preseason with back issues. He’s also making his season debut after missing the opener due to being suspended so the matchup may not be as tough as it looks on paper. I’ll tell you what does look good: what Festus did in only 17 minutes against New Orleans in Golden State’s opener (13 points, 4 rebounds, 1 block, 1 steal and an assist for a total of 23 DK points). As long as he avoids any foul trouble against Dwight, those numbers should double with the minutes that will be available to him tonight. Remember, he’s pretty much the bare minimum and only needs 15.5 points to reach value.