The World Series begins tonight which signifies the end of DFS MLB until next year. So….here we are with our NBA Expert Consensus. Back for our 2nd season of this, we hope that you find value in it as with our other Consensus articles. A solid opening night of NBA action with three games including both NBA Finals participants opening their season on their home hardwood. The Spurs head west to take on the Warriors in Kevin Durant’s fist game wearing blue and gold…and the Spurs first game sans-Tim Duncan since the spring of 1997. We also get our first look at the Knicks. New coach and some new firepower alongside Melo and Porzingis could make for an interesting look in MSG this season. Finally, out west, the Blazers host the Jazz in a game that should feature two playoff-bound teams in the Western Conference. A wide range of O/U outlooks from Vegas with the Blazers/Jazz at 192.5, the Cavs/Knicks at 206 and the Warriors/Spurs at 212.
The numbers in the parenthesis are the number of experts that picked that player to give you more context as to the gaps between players and the tiers.
- LeBron James (12x) – The rings will be given and the banner unfurled. And then all the attention in Cleveland will turn to the Indians across the street.
- Kawhi Leonard (11x) – Leonard is coming off his best season yet in which he posted 21.2ppg and 6.8rpg.
- Stephen Curry (10x) – I don’t see Steph taking too much of a hit when it comes to Durant stealing shot attempts from teammates.
- Rudy Gobert (10x) – Has steadily improved in each of his three seasons. Could be poised for a breakout coming off a year in which he averaged 9.1ppg and 11rpg.
- George Hill (9x) – Hill is set to be the starting point guard in Utah to begin the season. Saw his scoring dip a bit last year in Indy.
- Rodney Hood (8x) – With Gordon Hayward out, I would expect Hood to shoulder most of the scoring load. With Favors out tonight, he could put up big scoring numbers.
- CJ McCollum (7x) – McCollum had a breakout year in 15-16. Struggled early-on in the preseason but seemed to right the ship the last couple games.
- LaMarcus Aldridge (7x) – Is Aldridge unhappy? Some media reports say so. Should be interesting to see how he and Gasol gel early.
- Pau Gasol (7x) – Pau is about as consistent as you can get. Has averaged a double-double in each of the last two seasons.
- Damian Lillard (7x) – Lillard enters his 5th year in the league and turned into a full-blown superstar last year. Put up 25.1ppg and 6.8apg in 15-16.
- Mason Plumlee (7x) – Provides the added assist category for a big man. Should be pushed a bit by Ezeli so maybe his production goes up…or his minutes go down.
- JR Smith (7x) – Only played in one preseason game as he was a late signee. Watch to see how many minutes he’s getting out of the gate before throwing him in a lineup. Or play him and hope he goes off for about 6 three-pointers in the 1st half.
- Draymond Green (6x) – IMO, Green will suffer the most from the addition of Durant. That’s not to say he doesn’t still pack a punch in all sorts of categories in the DFS format.
- Al-Farouq Aminu (6x) – Aminu should start in the frontcourt for the Blazers. He’s coming off a year in which he posted double-digit ppg for the first time in his career.
- Joakim Noah (6x) – His numbers hit the skids the last couple of seasons though that was mainly due to injuries. If he’s healthy, he provides a decent DFS option at a fairlyl cheap price out of the gate.
- Trey Lyles (6x) – Lyles would seem to benefit the most from the absense of Derrick Favors tonight. He will look to build off a solid rookie campaign last year.
- Trisan Thompson (6x) – He has the chance to go double-double every time out. Doesn’t get much through the halfcourt offense but gets a ton of rebounds and putbacks.
- Kyrie Irving (5x) – Can Irving build off his ridiculous NBA Finals performance? Had a bit of a calf injury in the preseason so keep an eye on that.
- Courtney Lee (5x) – The journeyman guard will try his hand in New York this season. Always a nice 3-point option.
- Kyle Anderson (5x) – With Danny Green out, Anderson will pick up the minutes. He gets the start tonight and is a solid value option.
- Klay Thompson (5x) – Similar to Draymond, I’d expect his production to dip a bit. The Warriors will be fun to keep an eye on early this season.
- Derrick Rose (4x) – First game as a Knick. If he can stay healthy, he’s not terrible. Of course, he’s still a shadow of his old self.
- Joe Johnson (4x) – With Hayward out, Johnson will start at the 3 for the Jazz. He’s getting up there in age but can still score a bit.
- Derrick Favors (3x) – OUT – Do not roster Favors tonight.
- Kevin Durant (3x) – What will KD do in his first game as a Warrior. Will get go off for 50 or will he play the sidekick role?
- Carmelo Anthony (3x) – Even with roster additions, the offense will still run through Melo. He has seen his scoring dip in each of the last four years.
- Kristaps Porzingis (3x) – The runner-up in the ROY last season will look to continue his NBA stardom. The guy that no Knick fan wanted finished last season averaging 14.3ppg and 7.3rpg.
Best of luck tonight and we look forward to helping you win this season! Get that cash! Follow me on Twitter @mbutlerok.