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NBA DFS is among us in preseason form. In NBA DFS understanding minutes are extremely important and that is especially the case in the preseason. Figuring out which coaches are likely to play their guys will provide a good baseline and the only way to really know is to dig into it. To score fantasy points you need to be on the court that is the bottom line. Once you understand who’s going to play then you can try to determine match-up and other determinants.
Some NBA Coaches can be tough to predict while others are fairly easy though in the preseason it seems as though most are fairly tough and in some cases are unsure of how much they will end up letting their guys play. Information is key in NBA Preseason DFS.
We will be covering a lot of these preseason slates but the larger ones will most likely be covered by some sort of cheat sheet. Since this slate is small we went with some analysis.
NOTE TO WISETAKE SLACK USERS: Paulie D will be in the #NBA-DFS Channel from 6:15PM EST-7:00PM EST.
NOTE TO ALL: Be sure to check back for updates we more information comes out closer to game time.
San Antonio Spurs vs Miami Heat
The Spurs played their first preseason game against the Magic on Saturday. DeMar DeRozan, DeMarre Carroll, Patty Mills, Trey Lyles and Marco Belinelli all sat out Saturday mostly for rest purposes. We may see some of these guys tonight but there is a good chance if that is the case that they rest a few others.
Most of the established players only played 14-18 minutes as the Spurs used a lot of younger bench guys to fill in the minutes. Bryn Forbes did play 23 minutes however if some of those guards play today that role could certainly decrease tonight.
We are going to need to see the lineup and injury report for this one. Pop is one of the best coaches in the NBA and he don’t answer to no one especially not NBA fantasy players.
Dejounte Murray, Rudy Gay
Other Options: DeMar DeRozan, LaMarcus Aldidge, Derrick White, Bryn Forbes
The Miami Heat will make their preseason debut with the newly signed Jimmy Butler. Last year the Heat played their main players 19-24 minutes and we have no reason to suspect they won’t do the same again tonight. The match-up should be prime for Bam Adebayo who will be the starter after the team traded Whiteside. Kelly Olynyk, and James Johnson are both out leaving Bam, Meyers Leonard, Udonis Haslem and Kyle Alexander as the only bigs.
You would think the Heat would want to give Butler a chance to play with his new teammates in an NBA game setting making him an attractive play tonight as well. The Spurs electing to not take preseason seriously at all puts the Heat players in some really good spots match-up wise. Goran Dragic can be considered though with his injury history he seems to be the most likely to be limited.
Derrick Jones Jr. and Justice Winslow are the two expected to man the power forward position, the better play may be the one coming off the bench as they are more likely get higher usage on the second unit. Rookie Tyler Herro should also get some time to run with the second unit making him an interesting value play though we don’t really know what to expect from him.
Bam Adebayo, Jimmy Butler
Other Options: Goran Dragic, Derrick Jones Jr., Justice Winslow, Tyler Herro
Dallas Mavericks vs Oklahoma City Thunder
The Mavs are pretty excited heading into their first season with Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis playing together though Porzingis is quite ready just yet. Speaking of Luka it’s no question the ball will be going through him when he’s on the court making him a solid play most nights including tonight. Last year the Mavs played their guys 21-30 minutes in the preseason though they had had three total games and Luka was a rookie.
The Mavs will be without Dwight Powell, JJ Barrea and Kristaps Porzingis leaving their only bigs as Maxi Kleber, Boban Marjanovic and Aric Holman. Both Maxi and Boban make for interesting plays especially Boban though we aren’t sure how much he will actually play and how much of Steven Adams he may see. If Kleber starts at center Boban could get a lot of second unit usage when he is on the court and Jalen Brunson may be the point guard getting the benefit of the easy big target. If Boban doesn’t absorb too much of it or just doesn’t play enough Seth Curry could be left to take a bunch of shots.
Tim Hardaway Jr. should take his shots but with Doncic dominating the ball control he remains a scoring dependent option reliant of efficiency. Delon Wright is an interesting addition to this team but with Doncic considered the true point guard, Wright’s production may be rotation dependent.
Luka Doncic, Boban Marjanovic
Other Options: Maxi Kleber, Seth Curry, Jalen Brunson
The Thunder have a ton of usage to go around now that Russell Westbrook and Paul George are gone. Chris Paul was acquired in the off-season to replace Westbrook and while there was speculation he would get traded he currently remains on the team. Chris Paul is a high assist point guard who should be able to take a solid grasp of the usage here. The question of course is how much will be play but with a new team he’s going to need some time to play with his new squad.
Danillo Gallinari was another off-season pick-up with both Paul George and Jerami Grant gone. Gallinari needs to adjust to his new teammates as well but he should be able to take plenty of shots in this lineup especially if he is staggered with Chris
Paul. The Thunder will be without Andre Roberson for this game leaving an opening for Mike Muscala, Terrance Ferguson and Abdel Nader some extra minutes though none of them are known for being high point per minute players consistently.
Dennis Schroder and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander may battle for playing time this season as Schroder is a defensive liability but a more aggressive offensive player. Whichever player comes off of the bench should get a lot of second unit time to work with with Nerlens Noel who is typically a higher point per minute option. Lastly Steven Adams figures to be a better role from a usage and rebounding perspective with Westbrook and George gone, curious to see what he and Chris Paul can do together. If Kleber starts for the Mavericks, Adams should eat him up early. If Boban starts things could get interesting.
Chris Paul, Danilo Gallinari
Other Options: Steven Adams, Danillo Gallinari, Dennis Schroder, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
Minnesota Timberwolves vs Phoenix Suns
The Timberwolves will be without Jordan Bell and Robert Covington has said his plan is to ease into training camp. Bell’s absence and Covington’s potential absence or at least potential restriction could mean more minutes for Noah Vonleh, Jake Layman and rookie Jarrett Culver. The Wolves coaching staff says they have been impressed with the rookie who could get a lot of work tonight as the team tries to get him experience.
Karl Anthony-Towns draws a favorable match-up against DeAndre Ayton who was an awful defender last season. The question of course is how much will he play but you would figure he gets 20 minutes at least especially with Bell and Covington out and/or limited.
Shabazz Napier is currently listed as the back-up point guard and he could certainly draw higher usage on the second unit depending on what the starting lineup looks like. This is Napier’s first year with the team so it wouldn’t be surprising if the team wanted to get a good look at him and how he is comprehending the offensive strategy.
Jarrett Culver, Karl-Anthony Towns, Shabazz Napier
Other Options: Jake Layman, Noah Vonleh, Gorgui Dieng, Andrew Wiggins, Jeff Teague
The Suns picked up Ricky Rubio and Dario Saric this year. Rubio should certainly add a veteran presence to the young team though it will be interesting to see how he meshes with iso-baller Devin Booker. While we can expect Rubio to get time to feel out his new team, the Suns did draft Ty Jerome as potential future point guard for the team and may elect to take a good look at him tonight.
The Suns will be without Kelly Oubre and Mikal Bridges, meanwhile Frank Kaminsky and Aaron Baynes are both questionable for tonight’s contest so we will want to keep track of the injury news here. With Bridges and Oubre both out rookie Cameron Johnson should be able to play quite a bit. Johnson is a sharp-shooter and should be able to fill the Mikal Bridges role quite easily. Johnson is expected to be a shooting dependent player so even with big minutes we have to depend on efficiency. Dario Saric is listed as the teams starting power forward and if Kaminsky is out that would really only leave Saric and Cheick Diallo to man the four.
Deandre Ayton was impressive last year on the offensive end and with Rubio as the point guard he could be looking at even more points. If Baynes and Kaminsky were to miss that would leave Ayton, Diallo and Tariq Owens as the only bigs. Ayton is certainly a good play but if those two miss Diallo would be an appealing high point-per-minute bench option as he may be needed in both 4 and 5 roles.
Dario Saric, Cameron Johnson, Ricky Rubio
Other Options: Deandre Ayton, Ty Jerome, Cheick Diallo, Devin Booker
Denver Nuggets vs Portland Trailblazers
The Nuggets team doesn’t look too different this year. Nikola Jokic and Bol Bol have been ruled out for this game which means Mason Plumlee should the start with Paul Millsap and Jerami Grant listed as the only remaining bigs.
The real headline for the Nuggets tonight will be the NBA debut of Michael Porter Jr. who missed all of last season with a back surgery. Porter did not participate in summer league but is supposedly 100% healthy and will play tonight though we don’t know exactly how much.
The Nuggets are a deep team though it is work mentioning that last season the Nuggets starters did play around 21-24 minutes in their first preseason game. Will Barton figures to see some solid second unit usage but with Porter lurking for playing time and Monte Morris manning the back-up point guard role it’s tough to gauge what guards and forwards will get the most time.
Mason Plumlee, Paul Millsap, Jerami Grant
Other Options: Michael Porter Jr., Jamal Murray, Will Barton
The Blazers are expected to be without Nurkic until around the All-Star break but they did acquire Hassan Whiteside from the Heat. The Blazers no longer have Aminu and will be using Zach Collins in a more primary role with the likes of Anthony Tolliver and Mario Hezonja also in the mix.
Kent Bazemore will make his debut tonight potentially sharing some time at the two with McCollum and the three with Rodney Hood. If Baze comes off the bench he could be looking at some solid usage.
Anfernee Simons was basically red-shirted by the Blazers after drafting him in the first round last year. Simons got some playing time late in the season last year and showed some massive upside. Simons could get some extended time tonight and is prepared to be the back-up point guard this season. Simons is a guy you should get good exposure too as he should dominate the second unit usage.