Daily fantasy sports have become big business, despite a few rocky periods where legality was called into question. Sites and apps like DraftKings have persevered and adapted to the point that they are now firmly established in a kind of gray area in between gaming, betting, and sports analysis. And it’s not just players who are benefiting from it. According to one recent write-up, DFS could net New Jersey as much as $2 million in tax revenue in a single year—and that’s just one state!
Not too long ago, when DraftKings picked up a coveted gaming license in Malta to expand its European presence, it was noted that DFS was seeing a rise the world over. Of course, different sports are more popular overseas, but this means that the community of players competing in daily tournaments is still growing. Now, people all over the planet are taking an interest in professional leagues.
This means things are only going to keep getting more competitive for NBA DFS players. Players hoping to profit from DraftKings need to be more in tune with their sports than ever before in the years ahead. So, in the interest of constant education and looking toward the future, we wanted to devote a few words to the incoming crop of NBA rookies. We don’t know for sure which players will declare for the draft or what kind of situations they’ll wind up in but these are all likely candidates for stardom. With the basketball season wrapping up and March Madness upon us, here are a few potential rookies you’ll want to have on your DFS radar the moment the 2017-18 NBA season begins.
The 6’4’’ Washington guard has been out for an extended time due to injury and plays for a team with no hope of making the NCAA Tournament. Regardless, he’s still number one on draft boards across the internet. Quick, athletic, decisive, and already able to shoot and score in different ways, he’s been billed as the best instant impact guard prospect since Kyrie Irving. On the right team, he could put up major stats from day one.
Referred to by some as the second coming of Jason Kidd (despite being 6’6’’), Lonzo Ball has pretty much solidified himself as the likely number two pick behind Fultz. He’s more of a distributor, while Fultz might be more of a scoring combo guard, but Ball can do it all. He’s the sort of player who might regularly put up triple-doubles in the NBA once he gets accustomed to the pro game (though he’s not quite as good as his father seems to think).
The third elite point guard in this draft, Smith is a definite step below Fultz and Ball. But he’s still an outstanding talent who can pour in points from all over the court, and he may get a chance to run a team right off the bat. Projected in the 4-7 range, Smith could go to a team like the 76ers, Kings, or Magic, all of which are in desperate need of help from the guard positions. If one of these situations comes to fruition, his pure statistical output could be about as good as that of any rookie.
Duke’s star forward has all the tools to thrive in the NBA. He’s long, athletic, and fluid, with a solid jump shot and terrific rebounding ability already in his tool belt. It’s difficult to think of a stylistic comparison for Tatum—he might fall somewhere between Paul Pierce and Grant Hill if he reaches the potential he’s flashed this season—but he should be able to do well in multiple statistical categories that can help DFS lineups. Tatum can fill up the stat sheet and is a star in the making.
Finally, Kentucky’s athletic sharpshooter has to be mentioned. Monk might be a little undersized for an NBA shooting guard, but he hits from deep like no one else in this draft class. He always seems to score in bunches and has the ability to take over a game when he’s making his shots. With the proper fit, he could be an impact scorer right away at the next level.