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: 41-23 (.640)
- Offensive Rating: 112.6 (8th)
- Defensive Rating: 109.4 (11th)
- Net Rating: 3.2 (9th)
The Jazz were so close to finish the first part of the regular season as a top-10 team in both offense and defense. That is great, and it was mostly possible because of the over-the-board contributions of Bojan Bogdanovic making up for the absolutely atrocious performances coming from FA-signee Mike Conley. Sadly for Utah Conley entered the bubble while Bogdanovic will be out for the remainder of the season. Ugh. But let’s not get lost into that and take the bull by the horns instead: who truly matters for Utah are the two friends-turned-foes Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert.
You know the story by now, and it is not worth going over it all over again. As long as Gobert and Mitchell connect inside the court and keep their supposed feud aside—if there is even anything between them...—it’d be all good for Utah. Now fourth in the west, the Jazz will be facing either Houston or Oklahoma City in the first round of the playoffs. There is a clear favorite option between those two, but watch out for an upset if it is the Thunder facing the Jazz early. Utah will need to play its best game through the seeding part of the schedule, so they are as safe a DFS bet as any other during the first eight games of the comeback.
Team Leaders (per game)
- MIN: Rudy Gobert (34.6)
- PTS: Donovan Mitchell (24.2)
- 3PM: Donovan Mitchell (2.5)
- REB: Rudy Gobert (13.7)
- AST: Joe Ingles (5.2)
- STL: Donovan Mitchell (1.0)
- BLK: Rudy Gobert (2.0)
- TOV: Donovan Mitchell (2.7)
- USG%: Donovan Mitchell (30.5%)
- DKFP: Rudy Gobert (40.1)
- Players Acquired: None
- Players Lost: Bojan Bogdanovic
As I already mentioned on the regular-season summary above, BoBo will be dearly missed by the Jazz. He was one of the best players from this squad averaging 30 DKFP per game while ranking as third-best Jazz at it. Now the gap between the top-two DoMi and Gobert and the third-best player (Conley) is huge and will make Utah one of the most top-heavy teams inside the bubble. Not that it’s bad for us fantasy players, though.
While Mitchell led Utah in usage rate (30.5%) he doubled Gobert’s numbers (16.1%). That’s because Bojan Bogdanovic amassed more than 25% of plays himself. With the wing gone, it’d make sense to feed Gobert a little bit more and also to see the likes of Jordan Clarkson, Joe Ingles, and Royce O’Neale getting more opportunities and boosting their numbers on offense at the very least.
For our DFS intends and purposes, though, Utah is a stinking sink. I know it sounds hard, but it is what it is. Neither Mitchell nor Gobert have ROI marks (Price/DKFP) even average by league standards, with Mitchell ranking just 90th among players that will play in the bubble. Sure, he’s averaging around 40 DKFP per game, but his price is incredibly high daily for him to be considered a good value. It is even worse for Gobert, who barely cracked the top-100 at 97th. I love the fact that Utah’s best value is Jordan Clarkson. He’s played great since the Jazz traded for him and it is more than probable that he plays more minutes now that BoBo is out, so make him one of your lineup targets at least until the algorithm properly values him and his price catches up to his production.