My first run through the madness that is NBA summer league DFS produced mixed results. For one, Donte DiVincenzo was one of my favorite sleeper plays and he didn’t even suit up. In fact, he’s missed every single Bucks game so far with a groin issue.
I did catch the news that he’d be out, though, and relayed that to The Sports Geek world by pivoting to Mikal Bridges. That worked out fine, but if you rolled with my NBA DFS summer league picks, you may have gotten burned by Jordan Howard and Dzanan Musa.
Henry Ellenson, DeAndre Ayton and Mohamed Bamba were all fine enough, though, so hopefully you got away from those goose eggs and found a way to profit.
The big thing with these summer league basketball contests is you just want to get guys that are actually going to play. That’s going to require you hanging out on Twitter up until initial lock, while it also will require a considerable amount of luck.
DraftKings does not have the late swap feature available for these contests, even though this is the exact type of unpredictable DFS genre that demands it.
I am always seeking out value (paying big money for all the studs doesn’t make as much sense here), while I also try to stay on top of starting lineups and refrain from guys who played the night before. Using players on back-to-back nights during the regular season isn’t even advised, so it makes little sense to force the issue in an otherwise meaningless summer game.
The good news is none of these teams played last night, so player injuries or fatigue will be less of an issue.
That being said, I felt safe about rostering Ante Zizic last night and he was randomly scratched. I threw caution to the wind and rolled out DiVincenzo as well, assuming he’d finally be able to make his debut and be had at insanely low ownership.
Neither move worked out, so again, scour Twitter and team websites/newspapers if you plan on going super hard at NBA summer league daily fantasy basketball. I personally play a quarter game or maybe a $1 GPP. I don’t go too crazy, seeing as the spariest of spares can wreck and the biggest names can play under 20 minutes or not even play at all.
That’s a lot to take in, but consider it all as you build out your roster. Also keep in mind that big names like De’Aaron Fox, Trae Young, Derrick White, Derrick Jones Jr., Marvin Bagley, John Collins and Zach Collins are all out or iffy for today’s NBA DFS summer league action.
With that, let’s go over some of my favorite plays as I try to piece together a winning summer league daily fantasy basketball roster at DraftKings:
PG: Derrick Walton Jr. – Miami Heat ($5.5k)
I am down for targeting some Miam perimeter players, as Derrick Jones Jr. was a threat to produce but will miss the remainder of the summer league. That keeps things opened up for Walton, who has already made his presence known with 33.75 fantasy points in his first game.
SG: Rashad Vaughn – Miami Heat ($5.5k)
I’ll also throw in Vaughn, who is looking to prove himself after flaming out in Milwaukee. He doesn’t usually do much other than score, but he’s got a sweet outside stroke and through two summer league games has actually added solid peripherals.
He’s a good price for a guy that has put up 24+ fantasy points in each of his first two NBA summer league outings.
SF: Kevin Knox – New York Knicks ($8.2k)
Knox could be chalky here, although he’s pretty expensive. He should be worth it, as he provides me with an elite late-game hammer and he has all of the upside you can ask for. He’s blown everyone away this summer, averaging 35.4 fantasy points per game in the process.
You really need to keep an eye out for the statuses of some of these big names, though. Knox is worth the risk, but the Knicks could easily opt to be safe and sit him out.
PF: Wendell Carter Jr. – Chicago Bulls ($7.7k)
The same goes for Carter, who could use the experience and has been wrecking (35 fantasy points per game), but could also be held out with zero warning. I love his upside and ability to rack up rebounds and score. He can even hit the long ball and has displayed monster shot-blocking ability, so you’re getting a high upside stud here if he suits up.
C: Mitchell Robinson – New York Knicks ($5.8k)
I also dig Robinson, who has a similar skill-set. He’s far more likely to suit up just because he didn’t play organized ball last year and I’m sure the Knicks want to get him all the time to develop he can stomach. He’s looked good so far and has the ability to rack up fantasy points via blocks, rebounds and outside shots.
Robinson is an elite value play based on his talent and production (29.9 fantasy points per game).
G: Chandler Hutchinson – Chicago Bulls ($5.4k)
Chicago also has a perimeter player you should be keeping tabs on, as Hutchinson has a versatile skill-set and can really score the ball. He’s yet to truly explode in summer league play but he’s put up 21 fantasy points per game and could be a solid value pick tonight.
F: Gary Trent – Portland Trail Blazers ($5.1k)
Ditto for Trent, who was a first round talent coming out of Duke due to his scoring ability. He’s simply trying to make Portland’s roster, so he’s a good bet to play and try to impress with his shooting.
He doesn’t do a whole lot outside of scoring, but perhaps he finally blows up with a big scoring game on this slate.
Util: Grayson Allen – Utah Jazz ($6.8k)
One of my favorites guys to target on this slate will be Allen. Nobody truly likes this kid and he rested in Utah’s last game, so I wouldn’t be that shocked if his ownership is super low.
The good news is Utah is trying him out as a lead guard and so far he’s passed the rest with 20 assists through three games. He put up 38 fantasy points in his last outing, yet he’s still waiting for that true blow-up game as a scorer. Don’t be surprised if it comes today.
There are admittedly some big studs worth eyeing on this slate, but I refuse to force the likes of Jaren Jackson, Mortiz Wagner or anyone else onto my roster just so I can feel better about a stack job. Instead, I’m just getting guys I think offer value or are too good to pass up.
Knox files in as my top stud, while Carter is my next guy I want. Allen is not an absolute must – especially if he continues to rest – but I think other expensive bodies will lower his ownership. The fact that he’s running Utah’s offense makes him a big breakout threat today, too.
These are some of my favorite NBA DFS summer league picks, but be sure to keep tabs on who is playing and who is not. Best of luck!