NBA FANTASY: 2019-20 Season Preview – Part 3

Part 3/6

Southeast Division

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

In part 3, we are focusing on the Southeast Division: Atlanta, Charlotte, Miami, Orlando, Washington

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 3: The Southeast Division

Atlanta Hawks Logo

Atlanta Hawks

💸 Championship Odds: $201 💸

Projected Starting 5

  • Point Guard: Trae Young ⭐ DRAFTSTARS STUD
  • Shooting Guard: Kevin Huerter/Cam Reddish
  • Small Forward: De’Andre Hunter
  • Power Forward: John Collins
  • Center: Alex Len

The Atlanta Hawks are an exciting young team that last season was led by power forward John Collins who averaged ~20ppg-10rpg-2apg, and rookie point guard Trae Young. Add to the mix the #4 and #10 picks from this year’s draft and you have a very youthful team that will look to run and shoot a lot.

For Draftstars purposes, you will want to consider Trae Young for your squad whenever his price isn’t too high. Once he figured things out he went on a ridiculous tear and had people entertaining the question of who the better rookie was between Young and Doncic. His Pre-all-star numbers: 16.9ppg, 3.3rpg, 7.6apg, 1.7 treys ballooned out to 24.7ppg, 4.7apg, 9.2apg and 2.4treys after the all-star break. Take a look at those stats again, they’re basically Damian Lillard stats with except with more assists (Lillard 2018/19 avg: 25.8ppg, 4.6rpg, 6.9apg)

John Collins was a consistent performer also. His peripheral stats were weak largely because he couldn’t swat a fly to start the season, but his blocks per game increased from 0.4 to 1.2 after the All Star break, for him to take another leap forward this season as an elite PF option in DFS he will need to increase his points and rebounds considerably, can hopefully up his BPG to ~1.5 a game.

The Hawks defensive failings and inexperienced line-up is something to take into consideration when looking at player performance bets, as well as choosing opposing players for DFS purposes. Consider also they lost a lot of experience from last season: Bazemore, Prince, Hill, Dedmon, Plumlee are all gone. For instance, you may want to factor in to your decisions when a big man is going up against Alex Len as opposed to a lock-down defensive center like Rudy Gobert or Joel Embiid.

Atlanta probably won’t win too many games but they can be a danger team at times that can upset your multi’s if you think they’re a complete dud. In a 7 game stretch over the last few weeks of the season they managed to go 5-2 with wins over Utah, Philly, New Orleans, Milwaukee, and Philly again. Aside from the Pels who were dealing with the whole Anthony Davis fiasco, those are some quality teams.

The biggest problem for the Hawks though was that they were 3rd last in the NBA in defensive rating (ahead of only the Suns and Cavs). So if things start out the same way and they give up a lot of points, they could also be a team to consider taking overs on game totals. After the first week or so of jitters are out of the way. Look for some big totals against other teams that like to push the pace.

Charlotte Hornets logo

Charlotte Hornets

💸 Championship Odds: $501 💸

Projected Starting 5

  • Point Guard: Terry Tozier 💤 SLEEPER ALERT 💤
  • Shooting Guard: Nicolas Batum
  • Small Forward: Dwayne Bacon
  • Power Forward: Miles Bridges
  • Center: Cody Zeller

Wow. That lineup, it burns my eyes to look at it. The Hornets lost their franchise star Kemba Walker, as well as their 2nd best offensive player Jeremy Lamb. In their place they had added Terry Rozier from the Celtics.

Looking at the team, the stats they lost with Kemba (25.6ppg, 4.4rpg, 5.9apg) and Lamb (15.3ppg, 5.5rpg, 2.2apg) have to come from somewhere and the player that stands out most is Rozier. He had some brilliant stretches as a fill in for Kyrie Irving, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him average close to 20-5-5 this season as their lone bright spot. Batum could carry more of the load also, but not enough that I’d rely on him consistently to add to my lineup.

Aside from Rozier, the Hornets are a team to take a watch and see approach with for fantasy and betting purposes. From their returning players, nobody averaged above 10.1ppg! It’s possible that players like Miles Bridges or Malik Monk fill the void and up their usage rate, but until the season is a few weeks in you’d really just be throwing darts blindfolded trying to anticipate who steps up. That also may open up some betting opportunities for astute punters looking to bet on player performance markets – as a small market team you may find some player trends before the odds reflect the new make-up of the team. Charlotte will most likely struggle to win 20-25 games this season. There could also be their fair share of games where the team just flat out can’t score and put up totals in the 80-90 range, so they’re worth considering taking unders in games against elite teams that could be early blowouts.

Miami Heat logo

Miami Heat

💸 Championship Odds: $67 💸

Projected Starting 5

  • Point Guard: Goran Dragic
  • Shooting Guard: Dion Waiters
  • Small Forward: Jimmy Butler ⭐ DRAFTSTARS STUD
  • Power Forward: Kelly Olynyk
  • Center: Bam Adebayo 💤 SLEEPER ALERT 💤

With the addition of Jimmy Butler (18.2ppg, 5.3rpg, 4.0apg), Miami looks set to make a return to the playoffs this season. Hassan Whiteside (12.3ppg, 11.3rpg, 1.9bpg) is no longer in the team, which really opens things up for Bam Adebayo as a major breakout player to keep an eye on this year.

Adebayo’s production as a starter last season was tremendous, so it makes sense for the team to invest heavily into making him their new stalwart in the middle. His per-36 output for his 28 games he started were: 15.2ppg, 11.7rpg, 4.0apg, 1.5stl, 1.4blk on 59.5% fg Beyond Butler and Adebayo, Olynyk could also benefit this year with Whiteside gone as he can slide over to the 5 for their small ball lineups, and while Dragic seems to be passed his prime from his Phoenix Suns days he can still produce adequate numbers occasionally so should be on your radar if his price isn’t too high as someone to round out your fantasy lineup.

Orlando Magic logo

Orlando Magic

💸 Championship Odds: $151 💸

Projected Starting 5

  • Point Guard: DJ Augustin/Markelle Fultz
  • Shooting Guard: Evan Fournier
  • Small Forward: Aaron Gordon
  • Power Forward: Jonathan Isaac
  • Center: Nikola Vucevic ⭐ DRAFTSTARS STUD

The Magic did well last season to exceed expectations and finish with the 7th seed in the East.

Vucevic is a beast in the Draftstars format, and you can get some Joel-Embiid-like lines at a cheaper price tag if you time it right. His averages last season were: 20.8ppg, 12.0rpg, 3.8apg, 1.0stl, 1.1blk

Aaron Gordon was pretty disappointing last season compared to where most fans projected, and was very hit and miss, but he’s going to remain a player that can give really nice numbers when his shot is falling and he’s grabbing boards. He still managed to average 16.0ppg, 7.4rpg, 3.7apg

Beyond those two, Evan Fournier is a big time scorer at times (15.1ppg). He puts up a lot of points without too many peripheral stats, the rebounds and assists will usually be on the low side. Markelle Fultz gets another chance at a reboot, to show he’s not the biggest bust in recent memory. As long as his mysterious shoulder issue doesn’t return he’s one to keep an eye on with a raised eyebrow – it would take a brave player to start him unless he’s proven some consistency though.

Washington Wizards logo

Washington Wizards

💸 Championship Odds: $501 💸

Projected Starting 5

  • Point Guard: Ish Smith/John Wall
  • Shooting Guard: Bradley Beal ⭐ DRAFTSTARS STUD
  • Small Forward: CK Miles
  • Power Forward: Rui Hachimura 🏀 ROOKIE STANDOUT 🏀 💤 SLEEPER ALERT 💤
  • Center: Thomas Bryant

The Washington Wizards are likely going to be a terrible team this year. A real stinker. But they have some players that will feature heavily in DFS lineups though.

The one player in particular that is going to have a crazy season is Bradley Beal – last season he put up: 25.6ppg, 5.0rpg, 5.5apg, 1.5stl < each of those stats being a career high. This year John Wall is out for the entire season, and the team lost many of their other contributing players (Satoransky, Ariza, Jeff Green, Jabari Parker, Bobby Portis, Dwight Howard).

They did add Isaiah Thomas, who let’s face it would take a miracle to get back to what he was producing in Boston prior to his injuries. The poor guy played hurt and through the death of his sister during the Playoffs, only to be traded by the team and have moronic fans burn his jersey to boot after giving his all. (28.9ppg in 2016/17 vs 8.1ppg last season in Denver) The other players in this team with a lot of upside are rookie Rui Hachimura, who is my pick to make the All-Rookie team this year, and also Thomas Bryant – he managed to have some really nice games last season and is primed for a big year in 2019.

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 3 of the NBA Season Preview! Check back tomorrow for Part 4 which covers the Northwest Division, with more NBA content to follow.

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