After a brief offseason, the NBA is once again back in our lives. This season will be very different as COVID-19 has created a condensed schedule and arenas with no fans. Still, there is nothing quite like the excitement of Opening Night. We have a brief two-game slate Tuesday, so let's discuss some players to consider for your Yahoo lineup, as well as a few to possibly avoid.
Stephen Curry, GS at BKN ($44): After being limited to five games last season because of injury, the Warriors have to be ecstatic to have Curry back in the fold. Unfortunately for them, Klay Thompson (Achilles) will be forced to miss his second straight campaign. Curry is without question the top scoring option on the team and he should challenge to lead the league in both usage rate and points per game. Look for him to come out of the gate firing.
Brad Wanamaker, GS at BKN ($10): The Warriors tried to help mitigate the loss of Thompson by acquiring Kelly Oubre Jr., while also drafting James Wiseman. Still, behind their starting five, they are extremely thin. Enter Wanamaker, who averaged 6.9 points, two rebounds, 2.5 assists and 0.9 steals in only 19 minutes a game last season for the Celtics. There's a chance that he regularly plays at least 20 minutes a game this season, so if you're going with a stars-and-scrubs lineup approach for this two-game slate, adding Wanamaker at the minimum salary is a risk to consider.
Guard to Avoid
Spencer Dinwiddie, BKN vs. GS ($19): Dinwiddie is coming off of the best season of his career after averaging 20.6 points to go along with a 29.2 percent usage rate. However, both of those numbers should decline dramatically with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant now healthy. Until we see more of how he plays alongside both players, taking a risk on him at this not-so-cheap salary could be an unwise move.
Kevin Durant, BKN vs. GS ($43): The Nets are ready to finally have Durant play his first regular season game with the franchise. After sitting out all of his first season while recovering from a torn Achilles, Durant has had plenty of time to heal. He's looked great in the preseason and capped things off by recording 25 points, six rebounds, two assists and three blocks across only 27 minutes against the Celtics on Friday. His floor is as high as anyone's on this slate, and he'll likely bring a little extra against his former team.
Kelly Oubre, GS at BKN ($21): In his first opportunity to play heavy minutes, Oubre shined for the Suns last season with averages of 18.7 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 1.9 three-pointers in 35 minutes a game. Even with his breakout performance, they decided to trade him to the Thunder, who quickly flipped him to the Warriors. While he would have been in an ideal situation with the rebuilding Thunder, he still finds himself as one of the leading offensive threats on the Warriors behind Curry. Considering Oubre is virtually locked into a high-minute role, he's one of the more appealing mid-salary players at any position.
Forward to Avoid
Taurean Prince, BKN vs. GS ($15): In real-life basketball, having depth is a blessing. It might be even more so this season with all of the chaos that COVID-19 can create. However, depth is not always a good thing in DFS. Prince should find himself battling for minutes behind Durant, Caris LeVert and Joe Harris. Considering he already doesn't contribute much in the way of assists or defensive stats, a likely decline in playing time could be a killer for his fantasy production.
Serge Ibaka, LAC at LAL ($21): Ibaka is the Clippers' prized offseason acquisition. He was added to replace Montrezl Harrell and the team actually plans to insert him into the starting lineup at center over Ivica Zubac. He's an excellent fit for the team with his defensive prowess and ability to help stretch the floor. While he might not log overly heavy minutes, he's shown that he doesn't need to in order to be productive, evident by the fact that he averaged 15.4 points and 8.2 rebounds in only 27 minutes a game last season with the Raptors.
Marquese Chriss, GS at BKN ($13): The Warriors will be shorthanded up front with Draymond Green (foot) out. Eric Paschall will likely replace Green in the starting five and Chriss could see added playing time off the bench. Rookie James Wiseman could also see limited minutes after having to sit out the preseason (undisclosed). If you are rolling with the aforementioned stars-and-scrubs approach and need to save some salary at center, then Chriss might be your man.
Center to Avoid
DeAndre Jordan, BKN vs. GS ($19): Again, the Nets' depth is not your friend in fantasy. Jordan is primed to start at center, but he has the talented Jarrett Allen pushing him for playing time off the bench. At this stage of their respective careers, Allen is probably the better player. Jordan might only be on this team because of his reported relationships with Durant and Irving. Both he and Allen should play between 20 and 25 minutes on a nightly basis, so it's difficult to justify rolling with Jordan when Ibaka's salary is only $2 more.