Opening night of the 2015-16 NBA season is upon us. There are three games on the schedule Tuesday to whet the appetite of DraftKings daily fantasy players. Several of the league's biggest names will take the floor, including LeBron James, Stephen Curry and Anthony Davis.
It takes more than just stars to win in daily fantasy, though—production from lower-cost options is often the key to success.
Below is an optimal lineup for October 27, along with five picks likely to outperform their salaries:
|DraftKings Optimal NBA Lineup for October 27|
|SG||Eric Gordon||Golden State||$5,200|
|PF||Anthony Davis||Golden State||$10,400|
|C||Andrew Bogut||New Orleans||$5,000|
|Util||Nate Robinson||Golden State||$3,000|
PG Reggie Jackson, Detroit Pistons ($7,800) at Atlanta Hawks
Reggie Jackson is the second-most expensive point guard available after Curry. However, Jackson is $1,700 cheaper than the reigning MVP and may put up similar numbers at a much better price.
Jackson averaged 30.3 fantasy points per game last year, but that number jumped to 38.6 after he joined the Pistons and took over a starting role. Similarly, Jackson's usage percentage rose from 22.1 to 28.6, which would've put him among the top 10 in the league for a full season.
The above video shows off his budding chemistry with Andre Drummond, which helped Jackson finish fourth in the NBA with 7.2 assists per game in the preseason.
Atlanta also surrendered 50.7 fantasy points per game to opposing point guards during its exhibition contests, ranking among the five worst averages in the league.
SG Eric Gordon, New Orleans Pelicans ($5,200) at Golden State Warriors
Sean Highkin of NBC Sports summed up perfectly why Eric Gordon is a bargain at $5,200:
Tyreke Evans is out, and Jrue Holiday is on a minutes restriction that held him to a preseason high of 18 in New Orleans' final tuneup. After Davis, Gordon is likely the No. 2 scoring option on a short-handed Pelicans team.
Gordon shot 44.8 percent from beyond the arc in 2014-15, third in the league. His 2.3 made three-pointers per game ranked 12th, but that average is sure to increase with his expanded role in the offense.
According to Odds Shark, the over/under for this game is 214.5 points, easily the highest of the night. A fast-paced contest with lots of scoring bodes well for a long-range shooter like Gordon.
C Andrew Bogut, Golden State Warriors ($5,000) vs. New Orleans Pelicans
If you don't want to spend $8,200 on Drummond or $7,300 on Al Horford, the choices at center get ugly quickly. Joakim Noah appears to be a decent value at $6,000, but unfortunately he's no longer starting for the Bulls. Andrew Bogut is the best of the rest at $5,000.
Bogut had surgery this week to repair a broken nose, but Warriors beat writer Diamond Leung reported the big man is back on the court:
Although Bogut averaged 1.7 blocks per game last year, he swatted away 14 shots in three matchups with the Pelicans, his most against any team.
PG Mo Williams, Cleveland Cavaliers ($4,900) at Chicago Bulls
Mo Williams is playing for his sixth NBA franchise in five years. But now he's reunited LeBron James, who helped Williams become an All-Star in 2009. With Kyrie Irving injured, Williams will start at point guard for the Cavaliers.
The 32-year-old put up very respectable numbers when given the chance to start last season, including 17.8 points and 7.6 assists per outing:
|Mo Williams as a Starter in 2014-15 (33 Games)|
The Bulls are a three-point favorite in their own building against Cleveland. A close, hard-fought game should mean more minutes and added fantasy opportunity for Williams and the other starters.
PG Nate Robinson, New Orleans Pelicans ($3,000) at Golden State Warriors
In addition to Evans' absence and Holiday's minute count, reserve guard Norris Cole is also on the shelf for New Orleans. Nate Robinson is in line to be the primary backup at both point guard and shooting guard, making him a steal at only $3,000.
Over four preseason games, Robinson averaged 20.6 minutes, 8.8 points, 2.5 assists and 1.3 three-pointers.
Via Yahoo Sports' Shams Charania, the Pelicans made a roster move Monday to help alleviate their backcourt troubles:
Even with Ish Smith on board, Robinson will still see plenty of action. The defending champion Warriors are a 9.5-point favorite at home versus the depleted Pelicans. This contest could easily become a blowout, giving New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry no reason to push Holiday's minutes.
Both Robinson and Smith may fill up the stat sheet in garbage time.
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