Jimmy Butler Minnesota Timberwolves

A huge 9 game NBA slate is on the card this Saturday with tipoff for the first games set to go at 10am (AEDT).

There are plenty of DFS riches to chase on this slate, with the following headline contests among a raft of smaller options:

We have broken down the matchups and highlighted the key plays to help you build your winning DFS line-ups.


NBA game breakdown

Data provided by Notorious of RotoGrinders.

Plenty of big game totals to target on this slate, none bigger than the massive Sacramento Kings @ New Orleans Pelicans 230 point game. New Orleans played at a blistering pace last year and upped the ante in preseason, but Sacramento have an even faster projected pace as we can see below:

NBA Game Breakdown

Data provided by Notorious of RotoGrinders.

Perhaps even more important than game total is which teams are in a pace up matchup. As you can see both Brooklyn and Memphis appear to be a massive pace up matchups with New York and Atlanta who just played each other in an absolute track meet.


It is very early to predicting the value plays with line-ups not being confirmed until closer to tipoff, however we can still identify some of the more obvious plays.

Trey Burke (DraftStars salary $8,570) only played 21 minutes in the New York Knicks opening matchup but was still able to return 24 fantasy points against the Atlanta Hawks. He has another positive matchup vs Brooklyn where he will be defended for the majority of time by D’Angelo Russell who was ranked 78th out of 82 point guards in defensive Real Plus-Minus (RPM) last season. Monitoring minutes for Burke will be interesting this season, however at this stage the first game looks like an aberration with Ron Baker playing 27 minutes in a blowout.

Gordon Hayward (DS $8,870) is still rusty as he returns from a year off with a catastrophic ankle injury. He also doesn’t have the ideal matchup vs Toronto who have added Kawhi Leonard to their wing defenders this year. That said, at this price Hayward has to be in consideration for your teams. In his first game he returned 23 fantasy points despite a subpar performance in which he went 4/12 from the field. He bring 40 point upside and a solid floor.


Dennis Schroder (DS $11,080) was our recommendation on the first day of the season and he didn’t disappoint posting 44.5 fantasy points with Russell Westbrook on the sidelines. If Westbrook is still out injured he will be a great play once again playing in a pace up match vs the Los Angeles Clippers.

Jayson Tatum (DS $9,810) looked like the best player for the Celtics and possibly the best player on the floor opening night vs the Philadelphia 76ers. Scoring 39 fantasy points he picked up right where he left off in the conference finals last season. Despite this it appears his price has dropped most likely due to the matchup. Regardless he is way too good to be at this price point and I suspect this is the cheapest he will be all season.

D'Angelo Russell (DS $11,230) should be played in GPPs only, but makes for a nice alternative roster after his dismal performance in their first game. His opponent, the New York Knicks, looked to be playing up tempo in their opening match which will suit Russell’s game style.


Jimmy Butler (DS $15,570) is still priced nicely for his second match of the season where he faces significantly weaker competition. Against the Cleveland Cavaliers he will be defended by Cedi Osman and Rondey Hood who both graded negatively in defensive RPM last season. Jimmy also brings a bit of narrative to his games at the moment as someone frustrated with his position on the team he looks to be taking this out aggressively taking 23 shots in their first game while his whipping boy Towns sat back and watched (taking just 6 shots).

Victor Oladipo (DS $15,720) matches up with the Milwaukee Bucks who throughout the preseason and into game one have significantly increased their pace of play under new coach Mike Budenholzer. This should give Victor a pace up matchup that he thrived in last season. Furthermore the Bucks have had their issues with lead guards defensively as we saw with Kemba Walker’s 40+ point performance in the opening game.

If you are looking at spending all the way up:

  • Anthony Davis (DS $21,350) has a great matchup vs the rudderless Sacramento Kings, however beware of the blowout potential in this contest
  • Giannis Antetokoumpo (DS $20,170) will continue to benefit from the Bucks new up tempo game style
  • Paul George (DS $17,040) has a great matchup vs the Los Angeles Clippers and will still benefit from a high usage rage if Westbrook is out again, however his price might be too high to offer upside
  • Beware of Golden State Warriors players who have a matchup against the best defensive team in the league, the Utah Jazz

DraftStars Join Now

Always remember to gamble responsibly. When the fun stops, stop. If gambling is having a negative impact on your life, seek support at Gambling Help Online.  18+ only.