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: 28-36 (.438)
- Offensive Rating: 109.7 (19th)
- Defensive Rating: 111.6 (28th)
- Net Rating: -1.9 (21st)
These Kings have the same record as the Pelicans and the same game-difference (3.5 games behind) with No. 8 seed Memphis as New Orleans and Portland. That is, Sacramento would in theory have the same chances as any of those other two teams to catch Memphis and find a way to make the postseason for the first time since 2006. No pressure. While that group is very tight in terms of regular-season records, digging deeper the truth reveals itself. Sacramento has a worse net rating than all of those other three teams and has been so close to a bottom-third team in both offense and defense through the season.
De’Aaron Fox has made some leap in his sophomore year and has become the leading man of this squad, but on the contrary, Marvin Bagley has lost ample time to injuries and his progression seems to be stunted. Not only that, but Bagley recently injured himself again while in the bubble and will miss the restart entirely. Ugh. Buddy Hield and Harrison Barnes will be the men tasked with carrying Sacramento places during the eight seeding games left in the regular season as Fox will be out at least for a week inside August. It is not looking very good for these Kings, which might opt to not risk their future and preserve all of their still relatively young (Hield, Barnes, Fox, Richaun Holmes, and Bogdan Bogdanov are all under 28 years of age) players’ bodies for next season.
Team Leaders (per game)
- MIN: Harrison Barnes (34.9)
- PTS: De’Aaron Fox (20.4)
- 3PM: Buddy Hield (3.8)
- REB: Richaun Holmes (8.3)
- AST: De’Aaron Fox (6.8)
- STL: De’Aaron Fox (1.4)
- BLK: Richaun Holmes (1.4)
- TOV: De’Aaron Fox (3.1)
- USG%: De’Aaron Fox (28.7%)
- DKFP: De’Aaron Fox (38.6)
- Players Acquired: Corey Brewer
- Players Lost: De’Aaron Fox (until early Aug.), Marvin Bagley
As short as Fox absence might be, it could be a death sentence for Sacramento inside the bubble. The second-year man will miss at least a week into August, and by then the Kings might be very well out of contention already. That’s the problem with betting too much on any of the Kings players on DFS contests. What is Sacramento really playing for in Orlando, and how much risks would the Kings be willing to take inside the bubble when it comes to playing their best players if they’ll end missing the postseason no matter what?
Although Fox has been the No. 1 fantasy scorer for the Kings, the actual most valuable asset in this squad has been season-long surprise Richaun Holmes. Sure, he’s just averaged 29 DKFP per contest, but given his average price of around $5.7K he’s holding into a ROI (Price/DKFP) that leads Sacramento and also has him as a top-50 player in that regard. Close to him is Buddy Hield, whose renaissance from the bench made him wonders. With Fox missing games and Hield already established as a veteran in the league and secured under contract for a few years, the shooting guard might be the leading man of the squad and turn into a bonafide fantasy boom play inside the bubble, even seeing the starting lineup.
Other than those three it is hard to see any other King as a valuable fantasy piece to put in your lineups. Bogdanovic ranks fourth in ROI among Sacramento’s players but it is not that his points per game are otherworldly and with his body hitting free agency later this offseason I’m not too confident on him going over the board with his effort to stay healthy, as his talent has already secured him a good bag during the past few months. Too many questions around a team that lacks talent and chances at making a real postseason run.