It’s been quite a—boring—ride but we’re almost there, folks. Starting July 30, the NBA will enter a vortex of daily action that will get us back to our couches to indulge as much basketball as we can with games coming left and right. With such a short time between now and the restart (and with the four months we have endured without any NBA hoops around) it makes sense to go through the 22 teams that made it to Disney’s bubble to review what they did during the first months of the 2019-20 season and what we can expect from them going forward. Consider this a primer on who to target, who to avoid, and a know-it-all reviewing exercise of what will be there when NBA DFS contests come back in less than 14 days time.
As has always been the case, I will be using data from both the official NBA website paired with information from DFS contests held on DraftKings through the first months of the season. Every chart uses the same scale (salaries from 3K to 10K except when they don’t fit, fantasy points from 0 to 65) so they can be easily compared between teams to see where each player ranks league-wide.
Regular Season Stats
- Record: 43-21 (.671)
- Offensive Rating: 112.9 (5th)
- Defensive Rating: 106.8 (4th)
- Net Rating: 6.1 (5th)
Boston ranks fifth in net rating in the NBA this season, and that means Toronto (3rd) is over the Celtics at this point and entering the bubble at least by this metric. That’s cool, but it doesn’t align with my expectations of what each of these two teams will accomplish come playoffs time. I have Boston over Toronto in the East and only behind the Lakers, Clippers, and Bucks overall. Boston won’t be missing any player—for now—and will feature its full roster from earlier in the season, making them one of the strongest squads to make it to Disney... and to put players in upcoming DFS slates.
Team Leaders (per game)
- MIN: Jayson Tatum (34.6)
- PTS: Jayson Tatum (23.6)
- 3PM: Kemba Walker (3.3)
- REB: Enes Kanter (7.7)
- AST: Kemba Walker (4.9)
- STL: Marcus Smart (1.6)
- BLK: Daniel Theis (1.3)
- TOV: Jaylen Brown (2.3)
- USG%: Jayson Tatum (27.9%)
- DKFP: Jayson Tatum (42.1)
- Players Acquired: None
- Players Lost: None
If you push a bit, you can make a compelling argument about Boston being a title favorite. It is not the most probable outcome, sure, but given the circumstances and with everything in the air regarding player situations and potential exits, who truly knows what will happen in Orlando. The Celtics easily rank in the second-tier of contenders below Milwaukee and both Los Angeles’ teams, but other than that they have as good a chance at the chip as anyone.
Looking at fantasy data from DraftKings early-season slates, the Celtics are one of only six teams (Clippers, Thunder, Sixers, Suns, Raptors) with four players averaging more than 30 DKFP per game, and the only one with five, all of them starters in theory. Those are overly high-performance levels, and the reason why all of them except Marcus Smart are bordering the $7K price tag on average. That means you should be aiming for Marcus Smart more often than not, as he’s coming at a good value and boasts a great ROI potential.
Other than Smart, Gordon Hayward comes in third in terms of the ROI (Price/DKFP) relation per game and someone that might not catch the eye of most DFS players but still is having a great ROI season is Daniel Theis (favor him over the other big man, Enes Kanter), who ranks fourth among Celtics in that metric while coming at an average price of just $4.6K per contest.
Don’t be afraid of paying high to include Jayson Tatum in your lineups, as he’s the go-to option for the team every game and has the highest ROI among Celtics by a mile even given his over-the-top salaries this season.