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: 26-39 (.400)
- Offensive Rating: 110.5 (16th)
- Defensive Rating: 111.8 (20th)
- Net Rating: -1.3 (18th)
Ten years waiting... and what could be. The Suns are the last and worst-ranked team in the West making it to Orlando. Their .400 winning-percentage trails the Spurs’ .429 and they are two games behind San Antonio in the standings, currently holding the 13th seed in the conference. Their odds at making it to the postseason are basically nil. I guess even in this scenario being called by the NBA to be part of the Orlando Circus will be seen as a victory by Devin Booker, who will finally play July-basketball?
No matter the final record of Phoenix, though, this has been a fun team all year long. The addition—and great play—of Ricky Rubio allowed Booker to get rid of some ball handling and managing duties and freed him a bit on offense. Deandre Ayton missed games but he looked awesome while on the court, and Kelly Oubre Jr. came out of nowhere to have himself a very nice season. Phoenix has nothing to lose, but neither anything to win, so I’m not entirely sure how they’ll approach the bubble. If they keep every fundamental piece on the court on full-time playing minutes, then all of the Suns would make for great DFS plays as the season resumes for the remaining eight seeding games.
Team Leaders (per game):
- MIN: Devin Booker (36.1)
- PTS: Devin Booker (26.1)
- 3PM: Devin Booker (2.0)
- REB: Deandre Ayton (12.0)
- AST: Ricky Rubio (8.9)
- STL: Ricky Rubio (1.5)
- BLK: Deandre Ayton (1.7)
- TOV: Devin Booker (3.9)
- USG%: Devin Booker (28.9%)
- DKFP: Devin Booker (42.4)
- Players Acquired: None
- Players Lost: Kelly Oubre Jr. (?)
The change of the Suns schema this season is obvious looking at the stat leaders of the team. Booker became the go-to scorer leading in points and three-pointers, and usage. Rubio handled the business and orchestrated the offense leading in dimes and also providing some good steal-numbers on D, and Ayton gave it all on the blocks and boards departments. Pretty balanced list, truth be told.
Best of all for fantasy players, is that the Suns valuation in DraftKings DFS slates has been mostly on point, with ROI (Price/DKFP) marks very much in line with the players production. Rubio trumps both Booker and Ayton in terms of return on investment although he’s a lower scorer on average, but it is not that either of the latter two has been wildly overpriced this year. In fact, both Booker and Ayton are top-45 players in ROI this season with Ayton himself ranking inside the top-30 of players that will appear in Orlando’s bubble.
The other “relatively good” DFS option from Phoenix would be Kelly Oubre, whose ROI isn’t that bad and still made the top-60 cut all-players considered—that being said he’s recovering from a knee injury so he will most probably be limited, and that is if he plays at all. As stated in the intro, Phoenix shouldn’t be overly careful with its players because other than Ayton all are already veterans in the league and it is not that they have had injury issues through their careers. I would put the Suns as a true under-the-radar great team in terms of fantasy options, so keep an eye on their players and make them part of your lineups often.