Saturday night was a lot of fun, with the 2016-17 NBA season technically getting started via two preseason games. That tiny two-game slate could have been highly profitable if you used the right sleeper picks, especially considering the Dallas Mavericks sat a lot of their veterans and we saw small minutes out of the Golden State Warriors.

On Monday NBA preseason action returns, with a nice six-game slate to really shake things up. Six games will certainly do the trick, especially when you consider all of the potential inactives, the limited minutes for most of the stars and uncertainty with other guys. We’ll take a look at each game and see which options might be the safest in daily fantasy basketball games on Monday night:

Milwaukee Bucks @ Chicago Bulls

The Bucks and Bulls are both teams in transition, as Chicago brought on Rajon Rondo, Dwyane Wade and Robin Lopez in an attempt to complete a quick rebuild, while Milwaukee looked to be a young team on the rise before losing Khris Middleton (hamstring) for possibly the entire season. Wade debuts for his hometown Bulls, but he nor any of the other starters are expected to play much more than 10-15 minutes.

That brings out a hard fade for all of the regular Bulls, but absolutely puts their bench fodder in play. Solid minutes could be had for talented guys like Jerian Grant, Doug McDermott, Tony Snell, Bobby Portis and Nikola Mirotic. Versatile rookie combo forward Denzel Valentine arguably leads the pack, however, as he can fill up the stat sheet and might even log good minutes at the point.

All of these guys could have some value in Monday’s DFS NBA preseason leagues, but they all also carry risk. The best plays here figure to be McDermott, Portis and Valentine. Portis has double-double talent, McDermott can seriously score the ball and Valentine can do a bit of everything. None of these guys are locks to play much more than 20 minutes, but they look the strongest on the Bulls for this first preseason game.

For Milwaukee, it’s going to be tempting to use Giannis Antetokounmpo, who leads the way tonight as the most expensive option ($9.1k). You needn’t worry about him and his high price tag, though, since he won’t be playing regular minutes and Khris Middleton isn’t there to get easy dimes on wide open jumpers. Giannis should see the ball in his hands a ton this year, but banking on some huge triple-double performance in probably 19-22 minutes is a little silly.

I wouldn’t be interested in most Milwaukee players in a full game setting, so naturally few look overly attractive with their minutes likely diced up. That being said, you can consider the likes of Malcolm Brogdon, Rashad Vaughn, Michael Beasley and perhaps Thon Maker (wrist) if he plays. Maker is probably a reach and Beasley does little other than score the ball, so neither feel overly safe off the bench for the Bucks. Neither do Brogdon or Vaughn, two more guys who mostly score and do little else. Still, they’re fighting for minutes at shooting guard now that Middleton is on the shelf. One of those guys could be worth using. Personally, I probably won’t be willing to find out, but they are GPP fodder, for sure.

Charlotte Hornets @ Dallas Mavericks

Dallas and Charlotte have made their main inactives known early on, so we can go ahead and fade Kemba Walker, Devin Harris, Dirk Nowitzki, Deron Williams and Andrew Bogut on the night. Kemba’s absence could open the door for a little extra run for Ramon Sessions, but most starters are a little risky due to preseason run – especially in the first game. Sessions is in play, along with Nicolas Batum, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Marvin Williams and Roy Hibbert – all of which are starting.

In play, sure, but we’re not really into any of those guys. Not only are they all tough to trust, but they won’t be playing normal minutes. Batum is worth a flier along with Sessions, but overall the main guys in Charlotte feel too risky.

Their bench could produce some DFS NBA goodness, though, especially with Cody Zeller out. That could put Frank Kaminsky on high alert today. Charlotte wants to see the former Badger succeed, while he has a DFS friendly game due to his shooting ability and size. He won’t light the world on fire, but he could grab a few boards, block a shot or two and score 8-10 points. That should make him worthy of a try tonight. Jeremy Lamb and Marco Belinelli will also operate off the bench for the Hornets and could be worth a try if they can get hot. Those guys are a little more volatile, though, so for the Hornets it’s probably Kaminsky or bust for us.

For the Mavs, they’re down a ton of big name veterans, so even though it’s the preseason we’re bound to see good run out of some of their intriguing young talent. Wesley Matthews is one of the few Dallas regular expected to start, along with newly added forward, Harrison Barnes.

You could give either of those guys a look, but the guys we really are into are Dwight Powell, Justin Anderson and Seth Curry. The Mavs want all three to be able to fill roles when needed this year, so getting a good look at them during preseason play makes sense. All three were great in their preseason debuts on Saturday, too, and with so many bodies out, all figure to get good run again tonight. They’re without a doubt the three top NBA DFS plays in this game when you consider the way preseason play goes.

Denver Nuggets @ Toronto Raptors

Denver could be another fun spot to attack some nice, young talent, with guys like Emmanuel Mudiay, Gary Harris, Jamal Murray, Will Barton and Jusuf Nurkic all being in play tonight. Of that group, our favorite plays are Nurkic and Mudiay. Mudiay needs all the time he can get to keep improving as Denver’s lead point guard, while Nurkic also needs work to continue to round into form after an up and down 2015-16 season.

Jamal Murray is very interesting in terms of sheer talent and versatility, but with so many talented wing players in Denver, we’re a little hesitant to pull the trigger in his first pro game. For the most part, we’re sticking to Mudiay or Nurkic when it comes to the Nuggets.

The Raptors played their main guys a bit on Saturday, so it stands to reason they’ll sit or limit some of those guys. Because of that, we’re really only looking at Toronto bench fodder that could step up. Pascal Siakam was solid in his debut this past weekend and he could be in for decent run again tonight. The same goes for Jared Sullinger, who has yet to fully win the starting power forward spot.

This game could be problematic for NBA preseason DFS, so we’re likely sticking with our two favorite Nuggets in this one and fading the Raptors if we can help it.

Orlando Magic @ Memphis Grizzlies

Memphis is expected to sit or limit most of their starters, which could give young guys like Wade Baldwin and JaMychael Green some nice exposure here. Memphis plays slow and defends, which is good in real life but not always great for daily fantasy basketball. We’re not enamored with them tonight, but Baldwin and Green are decent tries.

The real fun could be with the Magic, who will be without Serge Ibaka, Aaron Gordon and Elfrid Payton. D.J. Augustin is mildly interesting as the starter, while guys like Evan Fournier, Nikola Vucevic and Jeff Green deserve cursory glances. The guy you really want to get on is Mario Hazonja, who can stroke it from deep and has the athleticism to be involved all over the place. Orlando wants to see if he can take on a bigger role this year, too, so with some bodies out, he could see some extra run.

San Antonio Spurs @ Phoenix Suns

The Spurs game is another spot where you can safely rule out some key players, as LaMarcud Aldridge, Tony Parker, Patty Mills and Manu Ginobili will all sit this one out. Their official preseason depth chart for this game makes it pretty clear that some key guys will get good run, too:

The guys that stand out the most are rookie Dejounte Murray, Jonathan Simmons and Kyle Anderson. Murray is a terrific scorer who the Spurs want to see work on his decision-making and ability to run an offense, Simmons is a strong scorer and Anderson is a do-it-all combo forward. They’re the three guys to target for San Antonio, as they should return value if they can play to their strengths.

The Suns have plenty of interesting pieces, too, and it begins in a starting lineup that consists of Eric Bledsoe, Devin Booker, T.J. Warren, Jared Dudley and Tyson Chandler. Those guys won’t see normal run in game one, but of that group, Booker and Warren stand out as guys who could make a big impact in a small amount of time. They’re young guys who could use the extra minutes, too, so it’s possible they see a little more run than the other starters.

Phoenix probably won’t run Bledsoe wild after coming off knee surgery, nor will they drive the aging Chandler into the ground. They’ll also want to get a look at big men Dragan Bender, Marquese Chriss and of course, Alex Len. Len feels the safest of that trio, but all three are immensely talented and have upside in the preseason game. Guys like Archie Goodwin and John Jenkins could also make some noise, while rookie point guard Tyler Ulis deserves a long look, as well.

Overall, Booker feels like the safest play for the Suns and it might make sense to stack some of the Spurs guys in this one, instead.

Utah Jazz @ Portland Trail Blazers

Last, but not least, is a matchup between the defensive-minded Jazz and the Blazers. It’s unknown how much of the starters we’ll see in this one, but it could be a good one to fade given the way Utah plays and how the best Portland players might not play very much. That probably has us fading the likes of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum.

There could be some guys to target here, though, as the Blazers still don’t have their small forward spot figured out. That could mean extra run for guys like Allen Crabbe, Evan Turner and maybe even Moe Harkless. No one else really pops up for the Blazers, unless we here of crazy minutes for sure being handed out tonight.

For Utah, Dante Exum makes his gradual return and could be a fun GPP flier behind George Hill. Utah will also want to figure out if Rodney Hood should be starting over Joe Johnson or not, while versatile big man Trey Lyles can do a lot, regardless of how much time he spends on the floor.

Daily fantasy basketball is understandably a mixed bag during the preseason, as inactives and roles are even less clear than they are at times during the regular season. This makes DFS NBA very risky, so you can’t simply roll with just our opinion or your gut. Make sure you research all of the lineups, injuries, inactives and rotations to see which guys are for sure out, which are battling for a roster spot/position and which are simply camp bodies that are unlikely to make an impact and possibly not even play. If you do all that, you at least give yourself a mild edge in trying to win some cash in daily fantasy basketball preseason games.

For this slate, the first good start is fading the star players, as they’re either going to sit or be pretty limited for the most part. From there, focusing on rookies or young guys trying to earn bigger roles is a good way to go. No matter which way you lean, good luck in your DFS NBA games tonight!

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