FanDuel Bargain Bin
Today’s Thursday NBA slate is comprised of three games, with three narrow spreads indicating a competitive night. With only LeBron James in the tippy-top tier, we’ll look for bargain plays that take advantage of those good matchups. In this column, I generally set $6000 as the bargain threshold, and I try to indicate when I think a position is particularly well-suited--or not--to using the cheap plays given the landscape of the particular slate.
Delon Wright $5700: As long as Kyle Lowry is out with back spasms, it looks like Wright is in command. He played 29 minutes in each of the last two games, and while he hasn’t replicated his massive 25-point, 13-rebound game from a week ago, he is generally contributing in every statistical category and approaching value. Point Guard is exceptionally thin tonight, so I expect his ownership to be higher than it should, but this is the highest point total game on the slate and Cleveland’s defense still ranks 29th in defensive efficiency.
Isaiah Thomas $5400: Thomas is here for real this time. While it’s not ideal to go around clotheslining people and getting ejected from games, it does show that Thomas is playing aggressive basketball. Every game gets him closer to the 40-fantasy point level he was once a cinch for. This is Toronto’s third game in four days, and they’re likely without Lowry tonight. I like Thomas as a pivot from the higher owned Wright in this price range.
You can also save even more with one of the Spurs guards, Patty Mills or Dejounte Murray, as Tony Parker is likely to be out again tonight. Mills is getting more minutes and scoring at a higher rate in general, but Murray produces more peripherals…it’s a good spot to hedge with multiple lineups if you go this way.
Tyrone Wallace $3600: If you’re looking for big savings to pair with teammate Lou Williams or DeMar DeRozan at SG tonight, Wallace could be your guy. He’s played just three games with the Clippers, but has reached or exceeded value in all three. Now that C.J. Williams is dealing with a sprained ankle, I expect to see around 30 minutes of Wallace again tonight. The Kings rank third in fantasy points allowed to opposing 2 guards over the last five games.
Bogdan Bogdanovic $5500: Bogdanovic is becoming one of the pieces of the Kings’ wildly unpredictable rotations that can be trusted. He’s averaged 30 MPG and around 25 fantasy points per game for a couple weeks now, including double-digit scoring in eight of his last 10 games. He’s a fine cash game play tonight.
Kyle Anderson $5600: Anderson again stands to benefit from multiple Spurs injuries, notably Kawhi Leonard who is already ruled out tonight. He’s proven that he can be effective in a 30-minute role. He doesn’t take many shots, but is a capable rebounder and can boost his stat line with multiple steals and blocks. No team has allowed more fantasy points to opposing small forwards than the Lakers this season.
Vince Carter $4200: The aging Carter has to be deployed with caution as I already noted the unpredictable rotations in Sacramento, but he has been good in “island” games like this one. The Kings take on the Clippers at home following LA’s surprising win over the Warriors last night. Carter will take and make a high volume of shots when he gets 25-30 minutes, and showed just last game that he’s still got hustle with three blocks and three steals. I like him tonight, but only in tournaments.
Pascal Siakam $3500: Serge Ibaka is suspended tonight for punching James Johnson on Tuesday night, paving the way for even more value in Toronto. Siakam hasn’t done much lately, and the Raptors could also give OG Anunoby more minutes tonight, but in the past we’ve seen Siakam’s scoring and rebounding push him into the 20-30 fantasy point range, giving him a really nice potential ROI tonight.
Davis Bertans $4500: Bertans has played at least 27 minutes in each of the last four games, and he’s used them productively. This is the kind of player that allows Coach Popovich to rest his stars. It’s a top 5 matchup for power forwards, so even though LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol are likely both playing tonight, Bertans should be able to turn in another 20-25 fantasy point night.
Brook Lopez $4400: Lopez has scored double-digit points in three of the four games since he’s been back, reaching a high of 22 minutes on Tuesday. On the season, the Kings are the third-best center matchup for fantasy, putting Lopez in an enticing position. Of course paying up for DeAndre Jordan is a good idea, and the $6200 Jonas Valanciunas on a bit of a hot streak without Ibaka is nice, but if you decide to spend up on your wings tonight, Lopez shouldn’t hurt your lineups at all and has the potential for a 6-7X value game.