FanDuel NBA Picks and Pivots – Preseason September 30

OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 12: Stephen Curry
OAKLAND, CA - JUNE 12: Stephen Curry /
FanDuel NBA
OAKLAND, CA – JUNE 12: Stephen Curry /

Welcome to the first edition of FanDuel NBA Picks and Pivots, a fantasy basketball column focused on helping you find the best core lineup for this slate of DFS action!

For those of you finding us for the first time, the concept behind NBA FanDuel Picks and Pivots is to first identify key building blocks that can be used for any roster construction and then identify pivot points to help differentiate your lineup in hopes of a big payday!

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As we go throughout the season we will use this space to highlight key roster trends for winning line-ups including point per dollar trends, roster builds for winning GPP line-ups and review our Picks and Pivots plays from the previous slate!

Picks and Pivots is not a simple “best plays” column but rather it focuses on slate strategy and roster construction to help give you insight into how I will look to play this slate! The goal of this article is to dig through the slate, highlight our top plays and give you a sample line-up as an example of what our core roster build could look like using the analysis we lay out in the coming pages!

As always, we will look to update our picks and final lineup thought  prior to lock on our twitter account @FantasyCPR so make sure to give us a follow for all the late breaking lineup news.

Without further ado, let’s get into this week’s slate!

FanDuel NBA
OAKLAND, CA – SEPTEMBER 22: (R-L) Stephen Curry /

FanDuel NBA – Pre-Season Approach:

First things first – WELCOME BACK BASKETBALL! Although we only have a two game pre-season slate tonight, it is a great way to whet our appetite and get back into NBA DFS! Before we jump in, it is important to re-cap one of the big changes for NBA FanDuel this season as blocks and steals are now worth three points each which is a big time change and will change the way you approach roster build as we get into the season.

Keep in mind a few things about the pre-season – first, salary does not matter, you are going to have tons of cap space left over so ignore the salary and just pick your best roster! Secondly, pre-season takes on a different feel this year as we only have four games before top-off which means I expect that we will see the starters get more run initially then they would have in previous “first games” of the exhibition season!

FanDuel NBA – Two Game Slate:

Denver at Golden State: The defending champions will take the floor tonight at home on Draymond Green bobble-head night (narrative anyone?) and will take on a Nuggets team that has added Paul Millsap to their already imposing front line with Nikola Jokic.

Looking back at last pre-season, the Big Four of the Warriors all averaged over 24 minutes per game so building around a Warriors stack on a two game slate is absolutely in play but I would prioritize Stephen Curry ($6,400) who put up over 12 shots per game in the pre-season last year while racking up 2 steals per game which will be critical in this new scoring format. Kevin Durant ($6,200) led the Warriors in points per game and minutes played in the pre-season last year and is the premier small forward play on the slate. Draymond Green ($3,800) is the kind of multi-category producer that should thrive in FanDuel’s new scoring as he led the team in assists and steals last year!

On the Denver side, I simply cannot wait to see how Paul Millsap ($4,600) and Nikola Jokic ($5,300) gel and I expect the them to get a significant amount of run together tonight as they work to prepare the start of the season. The other spot I am looking to target tonight in tournaments is point guard as Jameer Nelson will sit out, which leaves Emmanuel Mudiay ($1,700) and Jamal Murray ($1,800)  left to soak up the minutes as they battle for the PG spot. Mudiay has been the highlight of many pre-season stories highlighting his new sleek frame (down 12 pounds) and in my mind these are the kind of starting battles you want to get exposure to in the pre-season as they are not simply “getting in work” and you can opt to mix/match these Nuggets PG’s if you are multi entering tonight!

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FanDuel NBA /

FanDuel NBA- Lakers versus Minnesota:

The one “stand” I am going to take on this short slate is to fade the shiny new toy for NBA fans as Lonzo Ball takes the floor for the Lakers. I expect Ball will be one of the highest owned players on the slate just because of the name value and head coach Luke Walton has already been quoted via as saying “he figures Saturday will be pretty sloppy, considering that the team has practiced for less than a workweek.” The one item to note here – Brook Lopez has already been ruled out for this game which means we could see players like Julius Randle get more time inside but frankly I am fine taking a wait and see approach on the Lakers here!

The Timberwolves on the other hand get to unveil their shiny new toy in Jimmy Butler ($6,100) and we all know the Wolves love to run their starters for big time minutes so I expect that Butler and the Wolves starters will see a significant amount of run together tonight in their first real game action as a team. Karl-Anthony Towns ($6,500) is my top center play on the board tonight with the news that Lopez will be out for the Lakers as without him in the middle, the Lakers will simply have nobody to slow down the big KAT! Towns put up monster performances routinely against an under-sized Lakers team last year including a 40-21 line for 70+ FanDuel points in their last game of the season!

Although I do worry about the season long prospects of Andrew Wiggins with Jimmy Butler in town, shooting guard is a brutal position tonight as it is on most slates so I have no issues locking in his talent level tonight in the hopes he tries to show that he can co-exist with the Wolves new star!

FanDuel NBA
FanDuel NBA /

FanDuel NBA– Sample Line-Up and Slate Overview

Please Note: This is NOT an optimized line-up, it is simply illustrative to show the type of roster build we can have using the logic previously laid out in Picks and Pivots. My actual line-up may differ from the line-up shown here. 

More from FanSided

PG: Stephen Curry ($6,400)

PG: Emmanuel Mudiay ($1,700)

SG: Andrew Wiggins ($4,800)

SG: Will Barton ($3,000)

SF: Kevin Durant ($6,200)

SF: Jimmy Butler ($6,100)

PF: Draymond Green ($3,800)

PF: Paul Millsap ($4,600)

C: Karl-Anthony Towns ($6,500)

Slate Overview: For those itching to get back into NBA FanDuel, this is a great first slate to ease back in and I would recommend getting some entries in (even free leagues) just to practice and get used to roster build, the new scoring and familiarize yourself with the rosters of the teams. There is no better way to get set for the daily grind of NBA DFS then to jump in and start playing these slates so do no be afraid to take some shots tonight and get yourself ready for a big NBA season!

Next: FanDuel Week 4 NFL Picks and Pivots

Best of luck in your FanDuel NBA contests and stay tuned to Fantasy CPR as we get you set for all the NBA DFS action!