NBA FANTASY: 2019-20 Season Preview – Part 1
In what has been one of the wildest off-seasons in basketball history, the upcoming NBA season is more intriguing and exciting than ever before. Every day of free agency seemed to deliver one bombshell news item after another.
The catalyst driving teams to swing for the fences and go into win-now mode is undoubtedly linked to the Golden State Warriors dynasty coming to an end. The NBA Finals injuries to Kevin Durant (torn achilles) and Klay Thompson (torn ACL) opened the floodgates for all the half decent teams that have spent the last 4 years watching the Warriors and Cavs, to go all-in.
Several teams mortgaged their futures to the highest bidders, trading away a king’s ransom in future draft picks to gain an elite superstar or two.
Add to this, one of the most hyped up rookie classes since LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade entered the NBA in 2003/04 and you’ve got a perfect storm for a really fun NBA season to follow. Zion Williamson headlines this impressive crop of rookies and has already drawn comparisons to Lebron James and Charles Barkley. So with the NBA season fast approaching, we take a look at the players and teams to pay close attention to this year, both for Daily Fantasy Sports purposes on Draftstars, as well as looking at some of the betting available on our partner sites ClassicBet, Mad Bookie and TopBetta!
Below is every team’s projected starting 5 with betting and DFS notes.
⛹️MVP CANDIDATE ⛹️ – A player in the upper echelon of the NBA, will be in the conversation for MVP in this year’s wide open race!
🏀 ROOKIE STANDOUT 🏀 – Primed to be one of the top rookies this season in the running for Rookie Of The Year (Though it’s Zion’s award to lose at this point).
⭐ DRAFTSTARS STUD ⭐ – A consistent performer that typically will put up big numbers for your Draftstars Fantasy Lineup
💤 SLEEPER ALERT 💤 – A player that will either slip under the radar for a lot of people, or has the potential to greatly exceed most punters expectations
This 6 part series will look at each NBA division. Part 1-2-3 focusing on the Eastern Conference, and Part 4-5-6 focusing on the Western Conference.
Part 1: The Atlantic Division
💸 Championship Odds: $26 💸
Projected Starting 5
- Point Guard: Kemba Walker ⭐ DRAFTSTARS STUD ⭐
- Shooting Guard: Marcus Smart/Jaylen Brown
- Small Forward: Gordon Hayward
- Power Forward: Jayson Tatum
- Center: Enes Kanter
The Boston Celtics swung and missed when it came to most of the high profile players they were targeting in the offseason. The rumours were that they were the Lakers main rival in targeting Anthony Davis, but it seems like that was all smoke and no fire.
Despite having a massive stash of draft picks and trade assets, the Celtics currently look 1 or 2 bad decisions away from being a team in shambles. Boston lost one of their glue guys in Al Horford that held the team together. He wouldn’t light up the boxscores too often but the guy would do it all (13.6ppg, 6.7rpg, 4.2apg, 1.5stl, 0.9blk, 1.1treys, 53.5%fg)
Also gone: backup PG Terry Rozier, Marcus Morris, Aron Baynes.
But the major loss: Kyrie Irving (23.8ppg, 5.0rpg, 6.9apg) is gone – this alone would normally be a devastating blow, however to their credit the Celtics brought in one of the most electric scorers in the NBA in Kemba Walker as his replacement. So they haven’t lost all hope of making some noise this season, but they do seem like they will struggle to compete in the East against Milwaukee and Philadelphia. For DFS purposes, Kemba Walker (25.6ppg, 5.9apg) and Jayson Tatum (15.7ppg, 6.0rpg, 2.1apg) will probably eat up the lion share of usage in this team, with Tatum a massive chance at having the breakout season we expected last year. Kanter could perform well also if he’s given enough court time to rack up his gaudy rebounding numbers. Gordon Hayward, an extra year removed from his devastating (and gruesome) broken leg could return to form this year as well and is one to keep on your radar!
💸 Championship Odds: $23 💸
Projected Starting 5
- Point Guard: Kyrie Irving ⭐ DRAFTSTARS STUD ⭐
- Shooting Guard: Caris Levert
- Small Forward: Joe Harris/Kevin Durant
- Power Forward: Rodions Kurucs
- Center: Deandre Jordan/Jarrett Allen
Goodbye: D’Angelo Russell, hello: Kyrie Irving, DeAndre Jordan, and Kevin Durant
The Nets also added Taurean Prince who had his ups and downs last season and they instantly become a contender for top 4 in the East with the additions they have made. With a healthy Durant the following season the Nets could really become a contender.
For the next season at least though, this is Kyrie’s show to run. He wanted out of Lebron’s shadow and a chance to showcase his skills going solo. He managed to get a taste of that in Boston, but he will really be presented with a chance to feast offensively this season spearheading the Nets offense. Jordan and Allen will probably timeshare at Center most games, limiting their ceiling’s bigtime for Draftstars purposes. However, keep an eye on player news because if DJ gets rested on any back to back sets, Allen becomes a great low cost streaming option!
New York Knicks
💸 Championship Odds: $251 💸
Projected Starting 5
- Point Guard: Dennis Smith Jr
- Shooting Guard: RJ Barrett 🏀 ROOKIE STANDOUT 🏀 💤 SLEEPER ALERT 💤
- Small Forward: Marcus Morris
- Power Forward: Julius Randle
- Center: Mitchell Robinson 💤 SLEEPER ALERT 💤
New York are likely going to struggle a lot this year.
They do have some bright spots with some talented young players, but the Knicks are a dysfunctional team at their core and have struggled to make good decisions in recent years.
RJ Barrett (NCAA stats: 22.6ppg, 7.6rpg, 4.3apg) could wind up being a steal for them at #3 in the draft – he was the #1 ranked player in High School before being overshadowed by his freakishly athletic teammate Zion Williamson.
If he can make his shots some predict Barrett can be a great scorer and have a TMac-like all round game as someone that can rebound, shoot and be a playmaker. The Knicks lineup is primed for Barrett to have a big year and he is paying $5.50 as 3rd favourite for Rookie of the Year.
Julius Randle is a stats machine, you can just tell he is the type of player that studies the boxscore after the game which is exactly what you want from guys on your fantasy team – when he get the ball in a scoring position you know he’s not going to give up the rock. Mitchell Robinson has major sleeper potential this year too, with his propensity to block a lot of shots and grab tons of rebounds. His offensive game is pretty limited to scoring around the basket, but if he can average close to 10 boards a game and 10 points he will be a nice player to start. He did block 9 shots in a single game as a rookie, and vs Orlando he put up 17pts 14 reb, 3stl 6blk which as you know = a ton of points in DFS. Keep him on your radar.
💸 Championship Odds: $8.50 💸
Projected Starting 5
- Point Guard: Ben Simmons ⭐ DRAFTSTARS STUD ⭐
- Shooting Guard: Josh Richardson
- Small Forward: Tobias Harris
- Power Forward: Al Horford
- Center: Joel Embiid ⛹️ MVP CANDIDATE ⛹️ ⭐ DRAFTSTARS STUD ⭐
Philly is a clear top 2 in the East with the firepower they have in their starting lineup from top to bottom. Sure they lost Butler and Redick, but they’ve added in 2 excellent complementary players in Horford and Richardson, that are both good 2-way players.
Simmons and Embiid will be the main guys to target in DFS as long as their price tags aren’t too steep. Embiid had a monster year last season, putting up averages of: 27.5ppg, 13.6rpg, 3.7apg, 1.9bpg and can knock down the three, hitting 1.2 treys per game. His phenomenal individual numbers and the chances of Philly being a top 2 team in the East make him a nice value bet for MVP if he can stay healthy (big if) currently paying $16 at Playup!
Simmons should continue trending up, entering his 3rd NBA season now. Last season his stats were close to a triple double average putting up averages of 17, 9 & 8 for the year. If he can start knocking down threes those scoring numbers could spike, and it wouldn’t be a shock to see the 6’10” point guard average above 20ppg.
Harris, Richardson and Horford could take a step back stat-wise this season. They will all still put up decent numbers, but it’s going a shot in the dark trying to pinpoint which one to play on which day. With several mouths to feed statistically, Embiid and Simmons should always feast first.
It is worthwhile keeping an eye on player news prior to tip off and if one or more players gets scratched late you could find some gems – e.g. if Embiid sits: play Horford! Particularly late in the season, the 76ers will likely be in a good position to take turns resting players unless they are in a tight race for playoff seeding.
💸 Championship Odds: $41 💸
Projected Starting 5
- Point Guard: Kyle Lowry ⭐ DRAFTSTARS STUD ⭐
- Shooting Guard: Norman Powell
- Small Forward: OG Anunoby
- Power Forward: Pascal Siakam 💤 SLEEPER ALERT 💤
- Center: Marc Gasol
The defending champs are coming in to the season at $41 odds.
The Raptors had a chance to go all-in and dominate the next few years of the NBA. They could have landed BOTH Russell Westbrook + Paul George, and with a move like that Kawhi would have stayed put. It would have cost them a boat load of picks, plus several players, but they are rumoured to have rejected the deal because they didn’t want to let go of Pascal Siakam.
Sure Siakam has nice upside as an efficient player, but cmon man! Kawhi + Westbrook + Paul George and Siakam is holding you back from squeezing the trigger on that deal?
The Raptors will still be a competitive team in the East and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them remain in the top 3 of the Eastern Conference Standings. Siakam is going to play a huge role now that Kawhi is gone, and in a sense he will need to prove to management and fans that they made the right choice in keeping him. So in DFS he’d be someone I’ll be targeting right out of the gate to start as long as it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg for my team salary.
We’ll be back tomorrow with the part 2 of the preview
*All odds accurate at time of writing, please check on site for latest betting odds.NBA