The 2017-2018 NBA Season starts on October 17. There are two games on October 17. In the first game, the new look Boston Celtics travel to Cleveland to battle the new look Cavaliers. In the second game, the Houston Rockets, with a new point-guard in Chris Paul, heads to Oakland to take on the NBA Champion Golden State Warriors.
Since October 17 is only a couple of weeks away, I thought it best to come out with a Top 10 NBA Fantasy Players list. We're going to start playing NBA DraftKings DFS contests before any of us knows it.
1. Giannis Antetokounmpo, SF, Milwaukee Bucks
On most nights he's going to cost a grip. But, the Greek Freak averaged 22.9 points, 8.8 rebounds, and 5.4 assists per game last season. His stats could be even more freakish this season. Why? Unlike so many other players on this list, Giannis doesn't get a lot of help. Not only that, he's a matchup nightmare for every other team in the NBA.
2. Russell Westbrook, PG, Oklahoma City Thunder
Mr. Triple-Double was sensational as the main man in OKC last season. Russell averaged an unreal 31.6 points, 10.4 assists, and 10.7 boards last season. Russell cost close to $14,000 on DraftKings every night he took the court. Look, he's still going to be a DraftKings' stud. Don't expect triple-doubles every night, though. The Thunder acquired Paul George from Indiana. They just acquired Carmelo Anthony from the New York Knicks.
3. Kawhi Leonard, SF, San Antonio Spurs
This could be the season Kawhi Leonard becomes the best player in the NBA. He's one of the few guys that can single-handedly take over a game. Last season, Leonard averaged 25.5 points per game. he dished 4 assists per, and grabbed 6 boards per.
Kawhi's not playing during the preseason to rehabilitate one of his quad muscles. It shouldn't be a huge deal. If he's 100%, there's a good chance he goes off on most nights while at a much lower salary than Harden, Davis, Westbrook, or the Greek Freak.
4. James Harden, SG, Houston Rockets
Harden's fantastic numbers should take a hit now that Chris Paul is the starting point-guard in Houston. It won't be too big of a deal if Harden's DraftKings' salary goes down commiserate with his numbers. Who knows? The Beard might offer value this season.
5. Anthony Davis, PF, New Orleans Pelicans
Anthony Davis averaged 28.8 points and 11.8 boards per game. His numbers could take a slight hit with DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins playing a full season in New Orleans. Davis will more than make up for any hit with his amazing defense. Davis has averaged 3.7 blocks and/or steals per game.
6. Kevin Durant, SF, Golden State Warriors
In his first season as a Golden State Warrior, KD dropped 25.2 per game while grabbing over 8 boards per. He averaged close to 5 assists. There were no issues with Durant playing on the same court as the Splash Brothers.
7. Karl-Anthony Towns, C, Minnesota Timberwolves
I built many an NBA DraftKings DFS squad around Karl-Anthony Towns last season. KAT averaged 25 points and 12 boards per. His numbers should definitely go down this season because the T'Wolves acquired great shooter Jimmy Butler. Then again, Minnesota also acquired terrific point-guard Jeff Teague. Who knows? JB and JT might lean on Towns more than his teammates did last season.
8. Steph Curry, PG, Golden State Warriors
Curry's a tough guy to add to any DFS Team. Steph can drop 40 on any given night. He doesn't always have to drop 40. Sometimes, he's perfectly happy sitting out an entire quarter while Durant or Kyle Thompson gets the glory. Curry did average 25 points, close to 7 assists, and 4.5 boards per game. There could be some nights where he only gets 15 points and 4 assists. Then, there could be some nights where he goes for 35 points, 15 assists, and 12 boards. It just depends.
9. LeBron James, SF, Cleveland Cavaliers
If Dwayne Wade can stay healthy and Isaiah Thomas is over his hip injury, LeBron might not need to do much at all. Wade can pick up any scoring slack while Isaiah is a real point-guard. The Cavaliers have another real point-guard on the team in Derrick Rose.
King James shouldn't come close to his 26.4 points, 8.6 boards, and 8.7 assists per game averages from a season ago. Then again, he might explode for 30 points a game and over 10 boards per because opponents must pay attention to D-Wade and Isaiah.
10. John Wall, PG, Washington Wizards
The Wizards made no splash this offseason. What it means is that Washington is John Wall's team. Wall could easily eclipse his 10 assist per game average from a year ago. He's that good of a point-guard. He might also average more than 23 points per game. Although I've got Wall listed at 10 on my rankings, I could easily see him flying up the rankings after one or two weeks into the season.