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: 49-14 (.778)
- Offensive Rating: 113.0 (4th)
- Defensive Rating: 105.6 (3rd)
- Net Rating: 7.4 (2nd)
Considering LeBron had to shut it down last season, the Lakers missing on reaching the playoffs wasn’t much of a big deal. With Anthony Davis part of the team for this year, though, and with LeBron drinking from the Fountain of Youth at age 35, the sky is the limit for the Lake Show. Just look at the numbers above.
The Lakers enter the bubble and the final eight regular-season games ranked second in the league in net rating only behind the mighty Bucks and with top-five ratings in both offense and defense. The very own James is putting up daily 25-10-8 lines and Davis isn’t far behind at 26-9 himself. That’s just insane and these two alone are getting the team places.
At this point in time we already know the drill: put LeBron wherever and he’ll carry his teammates to the Finals. Put him in a team that also features a beast in Anthony Davis, and a bunch of good rotation players in the likes of Kyle Kuzma, Danny Green, and Rajon Rondo, and well, chances are making the Finals is a virtual lock and the championship is halfway through Hollywood.
Team Leaders (per game):
- MIN: LeBron James (34.9)
- PTS: Anthony Davis (26.7)
- 3PM: LeBron James (2.2)
- REB: Anthony Davis (9.4)
- AST: LeBron James (10.6)
- STL: Anthony Davis (1.5)
- BLK: Anthony Davis (2.4)
- TOV: LeBron James (4.0)
- USG%: LeBron James (30.8%)
- DKFP: LeBron James (55.7)
- Players Acquired: Dion Waiters, J.R. Smith
- Players Lost: Avery Bradley, Rajon Rondo (until Sep. 1)
The list of team leaders in each statistical category speaks for itself: the Lakers are a two-man show this year, and it is not that that is bad in any way. LeBron and Davis mix couldn’t have gone better, real-life and fantasy world concerned. Both are valued at around $10K on DFS slates daily, but check out those fantasy outcomes. Only Houston (thanks to James Harden and Russell Westbrook) has two 50-DKFP players on its roster. James and Davis are putting up monster performances daily and that is not changing any time soon.
Other than James and Davis, though, the Lakers don’t offer much for DFS fantasy players. Kyle Kuzma and Dwight Howard are the only other Lakers averaging more than 20 DKFP per game, and none of them features heavily. Los Angeles has signed two wings to boost their scoring through the rest of the season in Waiters and Smith, but it’s hard to see them having overly great fantasy seasons, much less given that they have yet to play a game for the team.
I’d like to offer you some options other than LBJ-AD in terms of fantasy bargains and values, but I’m afraid there is no way to look at this roster positively out of those two. That being said, though, LeBron has turned—as if we didn’t know already...—into a fantasy monster this year and even with his massive price tags he’s worth paying for each and every single day and building your lineup around him no matter the team in front of him. The same goes for Davis, who is a top-60 player in ROI (Price/DKFP) in the whole NBA this season.