Daily Fantasy Winners NBA Preview: Breaking Down all 30 Teams and Players’ Salaries (Part 1)

The NBA season is finally here! A ton of players have switched teams, many teams hired new head coaches and unfortunately there are already several injuries to consider in the early going. Let’s dive in.

* Indicates significant injury to start the year
^ Indicates rookie, on a new team or now projected in the starting lineup


Atlanta Hawks

PG – Jeff Teague. FD – $6,500, DK – $7,200
SG – Kyle Korver. FD – $4,400, DK – $5,100
SF – Demarre Carroll. FD – $5,300, DK – $5,100
PF – Paul Millsap. FD – $8,600, DK –  $8,300
C – Al Horford. FD – $7,600, DK – $7,800

The Atlanta Hawks are one of few teams that come into the season with no injuries. That’s especially good news for Atlanta with Al Horford returning after playing a mere 29 games last season. We shouldn’t see too many changes as far as minutes and the rotation are concerned. Coming off the bench who are new players are Thabo Sefolosha, Kent Bazemore and Adreian Payne, but don’t look for them to have any significant daily fantasy value except when starters are injured. This starting five should be set for the entire year. To start the season, Paul Millsap is fairly overpriced considering that his numbers were a bit inflated with Horford out. I certainly wouldn’t hesitate to use Jeff Teague out of the gate on FanDuel. He improved drastically as the season progressed, and I expect his numbers to be at at least a $7,500 level to start the year.


Brooklyn Nets

PG – Deron Williams. FD – $7,700, DK – $7,300
SG – Joe Johnson. FD – $5,900, DK – $6,100
SF – Bojan Bogdanovic^. FD – $4,800, DK – $5,000
PF – Kevin Garnett. FD – $4,600, DK – $4,900
C – Brook Lopez. FD – $7,400, DK – $6,800

The older and injury prone Brooklyn Nets are already a little bit banged up a bit to start the year. Brook Lopez (foot) is questionable on Wednesday night, but he is at least expected to be ready on Saturday. Kevin Garnett is also battling a stomach virus, and he may not be ready for opening night either. Bogdanovic comes over from playing overseas the last few years and should be the starting SF. He’s a 6’8″ wing player who is a solid shooter all around, but he won’t provide much outside of that. There really isn’t anyone to get excited about on Brooklyn, but I’d mostly look at Lopez once he’s 100 percent since he’s a legit 20-10 threat.


Boston Celtics

PG – Rajon Rondo. FD – $8,100, DK – $8,000
SG – Avery Bradley. FD – $6,200, DK – $4,600
SF – Jeff Green. FD – $6,500, DK – $6,300
PF – Jared Sullinger. FD – $6,600, DK – $6,600
C – Kelly Olynyk. FD – $4,800, DK – $5,500

We are still looking for confirmation, but it looks like Rajon Rondo could be ready for opening night. But even if he does suit up, it’s hard to tell how many minutes he’ll actually get, which isn’t a good thing with an $8k salary. I’d say Avery Bradley has a great salary on DraftKings, but with the additions of Marcus Smart, Marcus Thornton and Evan Turner, the Celtics’ depth is much better in the backcourt this year. Jared Sullinger is the guy who has a reasonable price when given the correct matchup. He’s a consistent double-double threat when healthy and getting near 30 minutes.


Charlotte Hornets

PG – Kemba Walker. FD – $7,400, DK – $8,000
SG – Lance Stephenson^. FD – $7,200, DK – $7,100
SF – Michael Kidd-Gilchrist. FD – $3,600, DK – $4,000
PF – Marvin Williams^. FD – $3,900, DK – $4,200
C – Al Jefferson. FD – $9,500, DK –

Now we find some significant change. With the additions of Lance Stephenson (questionable for opening night) and Marvin Williams, Gerald Henderson now comes off the bench and Josh McRoberts is on the Miami Heat. First-round pick Noah Vonleh could also get some solid playing time at the 4. Stephenson’s salary is mostly based off of his production with the Indiana Pacers, and his production fantasy wise should stay the same or slightly decrease. Kemba Walker does a lot more with the ball than George Hill, and the Pacers had more horizontal movement that allowed Stephenson to rack up points and assists. Although, we could see a slight increase with Stephenson’s rebounds. As for Williams, if I knew he was going to play 30 minutes, I’d day he’s way underpriced. In the preseason he’s launching three-pointers and actually racking up a fair amount of rebounds, assists and steals against expectations. But with Vonleh and Cody Zeller there, I just can’t see Williams getting enough minutes. Right now, I’ll say he’s slightly underpriced and worth jumping on early for a solid GPP play. And as I was doing often times against weak frontcourts, Al Jefferson is an absolute monster with insane upside. He’s a top-five fantasy play on a daily basis.


Chicago Bulls

PG – Derrick Rose. FD – $8,400, DK – $7,400
SG – Jimmy Butler. FD – $5,700, DK – $5,400
SF – Mike Dunleavy. FD – $4,900, DK – $4,400
PF – Pau Gasol^. FD – $7,600, DK – $7,300
C – Joakim Noah. FD – $8,800, DK – $7,400

Another decent shakeup. Derrick Rose is healthy and Pau Gasol joins the front court to replace Carlos Boozer. Furthermore, Aaron Brooks, Doug McDermott and Nikola Mirotic join Taj Gibson to help the bench scoring. Even with the Bulls as one of the favorites to win the NBA Finals, they are one of the trickiest teams to figure out fantasy wise. How many minutes does Rose get with his health problems? How much does Dunleavy’s minutes decrease for McDermott? How many minutes do Gasol and Noah get to make room for Gibson and Mirotic? It’s a more complex situation that it may look since the bench will get more action than the previous years under Tom Thibodeau. This squad will probably play slightly faster to a more average pace if Rose is Healthy and Brooks at point too. Nevertheless, this team should still be a great defensive unit. So, what to do? I’m fading completely right now on FanDuel. Having three players at $7,600 or higher is just crazy, especially for a team that should have a deeper bench. DraftKings is a bit more reasonable, but I still want to see how this works out in the first few games. I’d probably go with Noah when the Bulls face the Cavs in the early going given how fast Cleveland should play and their weak frontcourt defense.


Cleveland Cavaliers

PG – Kyrie Irving (Unknown – First-game Thursday)
SG – Dion Waiters (Unknown – First-game Thursday)
SF – LeBron James^ (Unknown – First-game Thursday)
PF – Kevin Love^ (Unknown – First-game Thursday)
C – Anderson Varejao (Unknown – First-game Thursday)

Obviously the biggest change from last season to this year. We don’t have salaries yet, but we can guess that LeBron will be over $10,000, Kevin Love will be around $9,000 and Kyrie Irving should be about $7,500. Then Anderson Varejao and Dion Waiters will be around $6,000. If this is true, this is A LOT of money for a starting five. But here’s the key, the Cavs were tied for 15th at 97.7 possessions per game last year. I expect them to be top five and over 100 this season. Also, as far as LeBron going on his no sugar/no carb diet, he says it was only for the mental challenge. I don’t buy it. Sure, that’s a reason and he usually gives himself mental challenges, but this will absolutely benefit in transition with Kevin Love throwing him outlet passes. So, what does this all mean? LeBron will have a season-high for triple-doubles, although I do think his scoring production takes a minor hit given all of Cleveland’s weapons. The one guy who will be heavily overlooked though is Varejao. Most forget that he is actually one of the NBA’s best rebounders when healthy, which he is. He’s also racked up a ton of points in the preseason. That’s partially due to that it’s preseason, but it’s also due to that he’s drawing the opposition’s worst post defender. He’s a great sleeper in the correct matchup.


Dallas Mavericks

PG – Jameer Nelson^. FD – $6,000, DK – $4,600
SG – Monta Ellis. FD – $8,100, DK – $7,800
SF – Chandler Parsons^. FD – $6,800, DK – $7,300
PF – Dirk Nowitzki. FD – $7,900, DK – $7,400
C – Tyson Chandler^. FD – $5,700, DK – $5,700

The Mavericks are a trendy pick in the Western Conference, and I’m on board with that. There is tremendous balance with this unit. Outside of Chandler Parson’s struggles shooting the ball, we saw a fairly average performance from all Mavericks players last night against the San Antonio Spurs. I’ve got nothing here as far as sleepers or mispriced players other than Jameer Nelson on DraftKings. That’s a very safe value play.


Denver Nuggets

PG – Ty Lawson. FD – $8,100, DK – $8,000
SG – Arron Afflalo^. FD – $6,200, DK – $5,600
SF – Danilo Gallinari^. FD – $5,900, DK – $5,100
PF – Kenneth Faried. FD – $7,300, DK – $7,300
C – Timofey Mozgov. FD – $3,700, DK – $5,400

If this is possible, the Denver Nuggets are reportedly going to play faster this season. They ran a second-ranked 102 possessions per game last year. They’re also completely healthy, which means this team is at minimum 10-deep and realistically 12 or 13 deep (not that Brian Shaw will play 13 in his primary rotation). This is a tough one since literally everyone on this team can score the ball. Timofey Mozgov is certainly a steal on FanDuel and Danilo Gallinari is a bargain, particularly on DraftKings with his three-pointers. Denver was one of the most banged-up teams last season, so everyone’s price is probably slightly too high in general with so many younger guys getting minutes, but those are the two exceptions.


Detroit Pistons

PG – Brandon Jennings. FD – $7,400, DK – $7,200
SG – Jodie Meeks*^ FD – $5,300, DK – $3,700
SF – Josh Smith. FD – $7,800, DK – $7,600
PF – Greg Monroe. FD – $6,900, DK – $7,400
C – Andre Drummond. FD – $8,700, DK – $8,700

The Stan Van Gundy era begins in Detroit, who should help get this team heading in the right direction. Jodie Meeks is out for about another six weeks or so, and it will be Kentavious Caldwell-Pope at the 2. However, Greg Monroe is suspended for the first two games of the year. Therefore, it’ll be Kyle Singler at the 3 and Josh Smith sliding up to the 4 to begin the year. But with this team at full strength, the four main fantasy studs are a bit overpriced. Andre Drummond has by far the most upside with his double-doubles and blocked shots. You’ll have to go purely based on matchups until these prices move.


Golden State Warriors

PG – Stephen Curry. FD – $9,600, DK – $10,100
SG – Klay Thompson. FD – $6,400, DK – $7,100
SF – Andre Iguodala. FD – $5,700, DK – $5,100
PF – David Lee. FD – $7,500, DK – $7,000
C – Andrew Bogut. FD – $5,700, DK- $5,300

David Lee is doubtful for the opener and Andrew Bogut has an illness that will keep him out of the opener. Draymond Green till take Lee’s place (per Steve Kerr) and I would expect Festus Ezeli to take over at center. Golden State will need someone to handle DeMarcus Cousins down low. As for the Warriors long term – this team is moving the ball significantly better in the preseason under Kerr. Their offense has been a thing of beauty, and I’m not just talking about when Steph Curry and Klay Thompson catch fire. All five of these prices are about right, and don’t forget about Harrison Barnes off the bench, and he could get into the rotation for 25-to-30 minutes.


Houston Rockets

PG – Patrick Beverley. FD – $4,900, DK – $5,100
SG – James Harden. FD – $9,900, DK – $10,200
SF – Trevor Ariza^. FD – $6,100, DK – $6,200
PF – Terrence Jones. FD – $5,700, DK – $6,300
C – Dwight Howard. FD – $9,500, DK – $8,800

I wouldn’t react to last night’s performance too much here. Remember, it’s the Lakers. Here are the takeaways. Terrence Jones was again a nice sleeper, but a chunk of his stats came when Dwight Howard was in foul trouble. Trevor Ariza was fantastic and has helped Houston’s transition game. James Harden did Harden things. Patrick Beverley will get a ton of minutes this year if Kevin McHale uses Jason Terry as his backup PG part time. Beverley, Jones and Ariza are all approximately $500 too cheap. This team has little depth, so it’s a balance between that and looking at one game against a bad defense.


Indiana Pacers

PG – George Hill*. FD – $5,200, DK – $6,300
SG – Rodney Stuckey^. FD – $5,600, DK – $5,600
SF – C.J. Miles^. FD – $4,400, DK – $3,800
PF – David West*. FD – $7,100, DK – $6,800
C – Roy Hibbert. FD – $5,800, DK – $6,900

This is the biggest mess for an opener I’ve seen in a long time, not to mention the Philadelphia 76ers being the opponent. George Hiill and his backup C.J. Watson are out for a few weeks. Rodney Stuckey will only be limited in the early going. Paul George is obviously out for a while. David West is out for at least the first three games. Oh, and Lance Stephenson is gone. The starting five for the opener looks like it’ll be Donald Sloan, C.J. Miles, Chris Copeland, Luis Scola and Roy Hibbert. Ouch. Well, everyone is underpriced now! Mostly though, I would definitely play Hibbert in the early going. A lot of people remember his fall off last year, but I expect a fantastic bounceback from him (statistically speaking).


Los Angeles Clippers

PG – Chris Paul (Unknown – First-game Thursday)
SG – J.J. Redick (Unknown – First-game Thursday)
SF – Matt Barnes (Unknown – First-game Thursday)
PF – Blake Griffin (Unknown – First-game Thursday)
C – DeAndre Jordan (Unknown – First-game Thursday)

My pick to win the NBA Finals this season. The addition of Spencer Hawes coming off the bench is huge. This team got a huge monkey off their back by getting an awesome new owner in Steve Ballmer. Nearly everyone on this team is in their prime and craving a championship at the right time. Oh, and Doc Rivers will win Coach of the Year. With no changes to the starting five, all salaries should be about the same as last year, and I wouldn’t expect the minute distributions to change too much from the slightly different-looking bench.


Los Angeles Lakers

PG – Jeremy Lin^. FD – $5,500, DK – $6,400
SG – Kobe Bryant. FD – $9,000, DK – $7,800
SF – Wesley Johnson. FD – $4,600, DK – $4,000
PF – Carlos Boozer^. FD – $6,600, DK – $7,000
C – Jordan Hill. FD – $5,100, DK – $5,900

Ugh, absolutely terrible seeing Julius Randle go down last night, who is now done for the year with a fractured tibia. Best wishes to him in recovery. The Lakers’ performance last night is a glimpse of what we will see for most of the year. Their defense is still atrocious, and they are going to commit a billion turnovers. Kobe Bryant is absurdly overpriced on FanDuel and is a $7,500 level guy at best. Jeremy Lin dealt with Patrick Beverley most of the night, who is one of the NBA’s best defenders. Lin will have better games in the future. We can also give a bump to Carlos Boozer with Randle’s injury. He’s a legit double-double guy every night.


Memphis Grizzlies

PG – Mike Conley. FD – $7,800, DK – $7,200
SG – Courtney Lee. FD – $4,100, DK – $4,000
SF – Tony Allen FD – $3,500, DK – $3,000
PF – Zach Randolph. FD – $7,700, DK – $7,300
C – Marc Gasol. FD – $8,000, DK – $7,800

Matchup pending, I see the Memphis Grizzlies making it to the second round of the playoffs. This team was banged up at times last year and were honestly better than Oklahoma City in the playoffs. This team gets slightly better with the arrival of Vince Carter. Speaking of which, the SF situation is a bit unclear. It looks like Carter will be the sixth man, which makes sense. But we’ll see if Tony Allen or Quincy Pondexter gets the start at the 3. Tayshaun Prince’s days at relevant minutes are coming to an end. Either way, everyone’s price is about fair, and it’s all about matchups from the start.



View all posts by Nick Juskewycz
Nick Juskewycz

About the Author

Sked Nick is a Daily Fantasy Sports enthusiast and a former Bleacher Report Featured Columnist. Most of his time is dedicated to the sports world in front of several televisions, monitors and a projector. This involves researching, writing, watching games or simply keeping up to date on news.He graduated with honors from Bowling Green State University with a degree in sport management and journalism. Furthermore, Nick was a radio play-by-play and color commentator for Bowling Green football, men's basketball, women's basketball and baseball. He also has experience working with the BGSU athletic department.Follow @NickJuskewycz

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