DFS NBA Playbook:  October 18 Cover Image
DFS NBA Playbook: October 18
Ben Scherr
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Damian Lillard Headshot

Lillard recorded 27 points (10-20 FG, 4-6 3Pt, 3-3 FT), five assists, five rebounds, three blocks and one steal across 30 minutes during Wednesday's 124-76 blowout win over the Suns.

Lillard was dominant all-around Wednesday. Not only did he score an efficient 27 points, he managed to collect five assists without committing a turnover. He's hardly known for his defense, posting a combined 1.2 steals and blocks last season, but managed to total a combined four steals and blocks as well. Without question, Lillard continues to be one of the best backcourt players in seemingly every fantasy format.
1:34 am (EST)
Jusuf Nurkic Headshot

Nurkic finished with 11 points (2-7 FG, 0-1 3Pt, 7-10 FT), 11 rebounds, one assist, one steal and five turnovers across 23 minutes during Wednesday's 124-76 blowout victory over the Suns.

While 11 points and 11 rebounds in 23 minutes looks good on the surface, Nurkic was inefficient from the field and committed a handful of turnovers, putting a massive damper on his fantasy production. Overall, this game, while discouraging, will probably be chalked up as an outlier in the long run.
1:29 am (EST)
Jamal Crawford Headshot

Crawford scored ten points with five assists and three rebounds in 24 minutes in Wednesday's loss at San Antonio.

Crawford didn't shoot much in the preseason, so it was encouraging to see him get significant minutes and add offense off the bench. His role could increase as he added a needed offensive spark.
1:24 am (EST)
Terrence Ross Headshot

Ross finished with 15 points (5-11 FG, 3-7 3Pt, 2-2 FT), six rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block across 31 minutes during Wednesday's 116-109 win over the Heat.

Ross is often inconsistent, though he flashed his upside Wednesday on both sides of the ball. He shot just 43.1 percent from the field after joining the Magic last season, so while he can get hot, fantasy owners in categorical formats should take note of his deficiencies.
1:24 am (EST)
Taj Gibson Headshot

Gibson started at power forward and scored six points with four rebounds and three assists over 27 minutes in Wednesday's loss at San Antonio. However, he was just 3-of-11 from the field and was 0-for-2 from three-point range.

Gibson didn't play as much in the second half after missing several shots early in the game. Gibson worked on his three-point shooting in the offseason, but that work didn't pay dividends in the first game of the season. While he's in the starting lineup for his defense, he'll need to shoot better or risk losing minutes.
1:20 am (EST)
Evan Fournier Headshot

Fournier provided 23 points (9-17 FG, 3-5 3Pt, 2-2 FT), three assists, one rebound and one steal across 34 minutes during Wednesday's 116-109 win over the Heat.

Fournier averaged a career-high 17.2 points per game on 13.7 shots last season and it appears he'll continue being one of the team's top options on offense once again. That said, he doesn't provide much as a fantasy player other than his scoring. So, if he's bricking shots on any given night, it's tough for him to make up value.
1:19 am (EST)
Gorgui Dieng Headshot

Dieng scored just two points with four rebounds in 14 minutes in Wednesday's loss at San Antonio.

Dieng struggled with his shot (1-of-5 from the field) and looked lost at times working with the second unit. His move back to playing center with the second unit after playing power forward much of the time last season was supposed to pay dividends, but it didn't pan out Wednesday. His usage pattern after the first game is worrisome for his future playing time.
1:14 am (EST)
Elfrid Payton Headshot

Payton provided 13 points (6-12 FG, 1-1 3Pt, 0-2 FT), nine assists, three rebounds, three steals and one block across 32 minutes during Wednesday's 116-109 win over the Heat.

While his four turnovers weren't ideal, Payton provided plenty of value with the rest of his box score to help make up for it. He'll look to continue building on his impressive post-All-Star break stats from last year, where he recorded 13.5 points, 8.4 assists, 7.0 rebounds and 1.0 steal per contest.
1:12 am (EST)
Tyus Jones Headshot

Jones scored three points with two rebounds and one assist in 23 minutes in Wednesday's loss at San Antonio. He played point guard late in the fourth quarter when the game was close over starter Jeff Teague.

Jones was impressive on the defensive end (plus-9 in plus-minus) and had the offense moving despite the lack of his counting stats. Meanwhile Teague was a minus-17 in plus-minus, so head coach Tom Thibodeau may not have liked Teague's defensive effort. Jones played nearly as many minutes as Teague (25 minutes), but we wouldn't expect that to continue. However, it looks like Jones could have a much larger role off the bench than expected.
1:12 am (EST)
Nikola Vucevic Headshot

Vucevic recorded 19 points (6-12 FG, 0-3 3Pt, 7-8 FT), 13 rebounds, two steals, two blocks and one assist across 32 minutes during Wednesday's 116-109 win over the Heat.

Vucevic is being encouraged by the coaching staff to shoot more threes this season, which we saw come to fruition during Wednesday's regular-season opener. While he failed to make one, if he can start knocking them down at a respectable clip, it will add another layer to his fantasy value.
1:09 am (EST)
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