NBA FANTASY: 2019-20 Season Preview – Part 4

Part 4/6

If you’ve missed either of our previous articles in this series you can follow the links below.

In part 4, we are focusing on the Northwest Division: Denver, Minnesota, Oklahoma City, Portland, Utah

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

NBA Eastern and Western Conferences

Part 4: The Northwest Division

Denver Nuggets logo

Denver Nuggets

💸 Championship Odds: $20 💸

Projected Starting 5

  • Point Guard: Jamal Murray
  • Shooting Guard: Gary Harris
  • Small Forward: Will Barton
  • Power Forward: Paul Millsap
  • Center: Nikola Jokic ⛹️MVP CANDIDATE ⛹️ ⭐ DRAFTSTARS STUD

The Nuggets are coming off a great season, going 54-28 (2nd seed in the West). Given that this team is largely intact and the Warriors lost some key pieces, it’s not out too outlandish to think this team could finish the season as the #1 seed in the West next season. The Lakers would probably need to improve by over 20 wins from last season to leap frog them, and the Clippers – whilst vastly improved – are likely going to be missing games from Kawhi and Paul George.

The Nuggets are a dark horse team to take the title, and if they can finish with the #1 seed, a big statistical season from Jokic will plant him firmly in the MVP conversation (20.0ppg, 10.8rpg, 7.2apg, 1.4stl). He’s probably the best passing big in the NBA, and his triple doubles could be a talking point. He can be backed at $11 odds for MVP with Playup.

In terms of Draftstars plays, Jamal Murray (18.2ppg, 4.2rpg, 4.8apg) tends to be a good option – when you can time it right he will propel your team high in the standings, other nights he can be off, so he’s one you are taking a bit of a gamble on and swinging for the fences.

Barton (11.5ppg, 4.6rpg, 2.9apg) can produce a high fantasy point per dollar output when he’s having a good game, and can be one to round out your lineup with. Jokic will put up beast stats, but expect to spend a lot of your salary cap to play him most nights.$20 odds to win the championship is also worth a close look, if this team can finish with the top seed and get home court advantage they will be a tough matchup.

Minnesota Timberwolves logo

Minnesota Timberwolves

💸 Championship Odds: $201 💸

Projected Starting 5

  • Point Guard: Jeff Teague
  • Shooting Guard: Josh Okogie
  • Small Forward: Andrew Wiggins
  • Power Forward: Robert Covington
  • Center: Karl-Anthony Towns ⭐ DRAFTSTARS STUD

One thing you can bank on is that KAT is going to have yet another ridiculously good season.

He started off a little slow, but finished the year putting up crazy numbers:

  • Pre-all-star break: 23.1ppg, 12.0rpg, 3.2apg, 1.8 threes, 51%fg on 16.4fga
  • Post-all-star break: 28.1ppg, 13.4rpg, 3.8apg, 2.1 threes, 53%fg on 19.0fga

He’s a big that can do it all and will do it efficiently too. You’ll need to pay a huge chunk of your Draftstars salary to start him, but when he’s on fire he’s capable of putting up 40pts & 20rebs in a game.

He’d be an MVP candidate if he was putting up those types of numbers on an elite team, but it’s hard to see him getting in the conversation playing for the Timberwolves.

Aside from Towns, Wiggins (18.1ppg, 4.8rpg) and Covington (14.5ppg, 5.7rpg, 2.3stl) can also produce decent lines from time to time, particularly when Covington is racking up a ton of steals. Teague (12.1ppg, 8.2apg) was fast becoming an afterthought, but with Derrick Rose gone maybe he can up his minutes and stats a little this year and bounce back as a relevant player again, especially racking up dimes to Towns. Losing Taj Gibson and Dario Saric also opens up a lot of minutes at the 3-4 spots so will be interesting to see who absorbs their stats.

Oklahoma City Thunder logo

Oklahoma City Thunder

💸 Championship Odds: $201 💸

Projected Starting 5

  • Point Guard: Chris Paul
  • Shooting Guard: Shai Gilgeous Alexander 💤 SLEEPER ALERT 💤
  • Small Forward: Andre Roberson
  • Power Forward: Danilo Gallinari 💤 SLEEPER ALERT 💤
  • Center: Steven Adams

The conundrum with OKC. They went into rebuild mode after trading away Paul George and Russell Westbrook for a boat load of picks. The only issue is, in taking on Chris Paul (15.6ppg, 4.6rpg, 8.2apg, 2.0stl) they are now anchored by one of the worst contracts in the NBA. And to get rid of him, they will likely need to give away some of those draft picks or young players at the same time.

So he really is a bad fit with this team right now. If he does play, expect him to put up big numbers. It benefits OKC to showcase him in the hopes that he gets traded to a contender – a team like the Spurs could really use him if they had the cap space. But failing that, if CP3 is still in OKC after the all star break, expect him to chip a nail and get shut down for months on end. At that point it becomes the Shai Gilgeous Alexander show! Adams (13.9ppg, 9.5rpg) and Gallinari (19.8ppg, 6.1rpg) should put up nice fantasy stats as well, with Gallinari possibly being the best scorer on this team and he could average 20-23+ppg in things go his way. Plus with Adams no longer boxing out to pad Westbrook’s rebounding stats he may average above 10 rebounds per game this season!

Portland Trailblazers logo

Portland Trailblazers

💸 Championship Odds: $36 💸

Projected Starting 5

  • Point Guard: Damian Lillard ⭐ DRAFTSTARS STUD
  • Shooting Guard: C.J. McCollum
  • Small Forward: Rodney Hood
  • Power Forward: Zach Collins
  • Center: Hassan Whiteside/Jusuf Nurkic

The Blazers are going to make the playoffs, but it’s hard to see them going all the way.

They do have one of the most dynamic backcourts in the NBA with Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum who will average roughly 47ppg combined, but beyond that, it’s hard to see what they can do differently compared to every other season.

Lillard puts up great numbers with season averages of 25.8ppg, 4.6rpg, 6.9apg, 1.1stl and is usually a pretty consistent performer too.

The real X-factor for the Blazers is going to be Hassan Whiteside. With Nurkic’s freakishly gruesome injury, the addition of Whiteside makes a lot of sense as he can step in and control the glass and play nice interior defence when he is motivated. However, if a statistically driven coach like Erik Spoelstra was looking for reasons to justify not playing their star bigman for several years, there is clearly something lacking to his game that stops him from making match-winning contributions. Portland also added Bazemore, Hezonja, and Pau Gasol is back for another season and signed with them. They should be in the hunt for a top 6 spot in the West, but aside from the Warriors, the upper echelon of teams got stronger while Portland looks like more of the same.

Utah Jazz logo

Utah Jazz

💸 Championship Odds: $13 💸

Projected Starting 5

  • Point Guard: Mike Conley
  • Shooting Guard: Donovan Mitchell ⭐ DRAFTSTARS STUD
  • Small Forward: Joe Ingles
  • Power Forward: Jeff Green
  • Center: Rudy Gobert ⭐ DRAFTSTARS STUD

The Jazz made a great move in bringing in Mike Conley in place of Ricky Rubio. Conley is a highly efficient and clutch point guard, the perfect fit for a Utah Jazz team that is adept at defence and controlling the pace of a game.

They did lose Derrick Favors, but also added Bojan Bogdanovic, Ed Davis, and Jeff Green.

Rudy Gobert (15.9ppg, 12.9rpg, 2.3blk) and Donovan Mitchell (23.8ppg, 4.1rpg, 4.2apg, 1.4stl) are likely going to be the heavy hitters when it comes to DFS on a nightly basis, but look for Joe Ingles to put up big lines pretty frequently, and for Conley to be a reliable source of fantasy stats as well! The Jazz team could upset a few teams in the playoffs, and may be a nice dark horse bet to win the title if things come together for them.

Stay up to date

For daily player news and updates, sites like Rotowire, Rotoworld, Basketballmonster and ESPN are crucial to stay up to date. Another good tip is to do a quick Twitter search for news shortly before the first games start and line ups lock for the day. You may get a late scoop before some of the big sites pick it up and publish it.

This is going to be an amazing year for basketball. Best of luck on all your NBA bets this season, as well as any big tournaments you enter on Draftstars!

This concludes Part 4 of the NBA Season Preview! Check back tomorrow for Part 5 which covers the Pacific Division, with more NBA content to follow.

*All odds accurate at time of writing, please check on site for latest betting odds.