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: 46-18 (.719)
- Offensive Rating: 111.6 (13th)
- Defensive Rating: 105.2 (2nd)
- Net Rating: 6.4 (3rd)
How do you properly evaluate the Toronto Raptors? Only OG Anunoby has played in more than 53 games this season, while Norman Powell and Marc Gasol didn’t even reach 45. Serge Ibaka stopped at 50 and Fred VanVleet at 48. If it wasn’t for the monster MPG numbers coach Nurse has put on the bodies of Kyle Lowry, Pascal Siakam, and FVV, it’s not crazy to think that no Raptor other than OG would have crossed the 1,500 minute-mark this season, which is borderline bonkers considering Toronto is the third-best team in net rating league-wide.
While not at Milwaukee’s levels on defense, the Raptors had the second-best defensive unit of 2020 and a top-half offense. Does anyone miss Kawhi Leonard these days up North? I doubt it. Same as I doubt they won’t in a few weeks when intensity ramps up through a few postseason series. These Raptors have been incredible and should be healthy and ready to go like no other team in the league, but I still think they’ll fall short at some point. No matter what they should still make the conference finals and anything else might be seen as a disappointment, so you can count on them to keep piling great numbers through the remainder of the year.
Team Leaders (per game)
- MIN: Kyle Lowry (36.6)
- PTS: Pascal Siakam (23.6)
- 3PM: Kyle Lowry (2.9)
- REB: Serge Ibaka (8.3)
- AST: Kyle Lowry (7.7)
- STL: Fred VanVleet (1.9)
- BLK: Marc Gasol (0.9)
- TOV: Kyle Lowry (3.0)
- USG%: Pascal Siakam (28.2%)
- DKFP: Pascal Siakam (42.4)
- Players Acquired: None
- Players Lost: None
The Raptors entered the bubble as clean as it can get. No additions, no injuries, no COVID-positives, no nothing. They are who they have always been, only healthier. As if they weren’t scary already, Toronto has two 40-DKFP players in its roster and although they’ve needed to play a ton of minutes per game to reach those marks they’re still getting there and in the sprint that we’re entering there is no reason to fear a drop-down in playing time. Watch out for the eight remaining seeding games, though, as Toronto is locked into the No. 2 seed and they might give some rest to the main pieces of the team until the postseason starts.
Kyle Lowry enters the bubble as a top-10 player in terms of ROI (Price/DKFP) while VanVleet sits inside the top-30 league-wide. Someone you might didn’t expect to rank as high as those two: Norman Powell. While averaging a much more moderate 27 DKFP per game, Powell has the 20th-best ROI of all players inside the bubble and is the second-best Raptor in that category.
Siakam has been a little bit overpriced by the DraftKings algorithm, but he’s still a top-70 player with great upside and a legit superstar these days next to Lowry. Don’t buy into Marc Gasol and favor Serge Ibaka, as the difference in prices and performance is more than enough to make the latter a much more valuable DFS play than the former.