PG: Derrick Rose, Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Boston Celtics
Some of the top point guards in the league will be going back to work on Tuesday. Derrick Rose isn’t quite on that list anymore, but he’s an interesting cheaper option at the position for DFS that could pay off in a big way against Boston.
Rose is currently the unquestioned starting point guard of the Cavs and will get to play at least 30 minutes with Isaiah Thomas still sidelined. And in the opener against the Celtics, he’ll have the benefit of facing Kyrie Irving, who is a poor defender. That combination of playing time and a favorable opponent could see Rose put up the numbers that will be well worth his relatively cheap value.
SG: Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics @ Cleveland Cavaliers
Jaylen Brown got the starting shooting guard spot for Boston over Marcus Smart, as the Celtics clearly have the confidence in the second-year player to live up to the challenge. And while he obviously won’t be asked to score a ton while playing with the likes of Irving and Gordon Hayward, Brown can do other things to contribute in terms of his rebounding and defense.
Expect Brown to play some significant minutes against the Cavs in order to spend time guarding LeBron James. That extra playing time could give him enough opportunities to rack up a strong stat line in the season opener.
SF: Kevin Durant, Golden State Warriors vs. Houston Rockets
Kevin Durant is a smart play on most nights, but he’ll be especially worthy of a start against the Rockets with the status of the other top small forward, James, a bit shaky due to an injured ankle. Durant, on the other hand, is fully healthy and will take on a Houston team that almost always guarantees a lot of possessions and big numbers.
Durant only faced the Rockets twice last season, but he burned them both times. He filled the stat sheet with 35.5 points, 9.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists, 2.5 blocks, 2.5 steals, and 2.5 three-pointers. If that’s not a stat line worth investing in, I don’t know what is.
PF: Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors vs. Houston Rockets
Durant’s hardly the only Warrior who likes putting up big numbers against the Rockets. His frontcourt mate Draymond Green was also close to putting up a triple-double multiple times against Houston last year, as he averaged 15 points, 9.8 boards, 7.3 assists, 1.8 blocks, and 1.8 steals in four meetings. That’s not quite on Durant’s level of production, but it’s still impressive given that Green isn’t some kind of mutant like KD.
The Rockets’ fast pace plays right into Green’s strengths given his strong rebounding and his desire to push the ball up the court. He should get plenty of opportunities to do those things once again tonight, which makes him a premier play at the power forward position.
C: Clint Capela, Houston Rockets @ Golden State Warriors
Center options during this two-game slate are incredibly scarce. Rockets big man Clint Capela could potentially be the safest play of all, though. In four games against the Warriors last season he put up 15 points and 9.0 rebounds. That includes a pair of impressive 20-point performances.
Capela’s ceiling isn’t that much higher than a possible 20-10 and a few blocks. But beggars can’t be choosers, and with such a limited crop of centers on opening night, Capela represents a fine investment relative to his value.
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