FanDuel Bargain Bin
Today’s Tuesday NBA slate is comprised of four games, with the Raptors and Kings on the second half of a back-to-back. With Russell Westbrook being a near must-play on the slate tonight, we’ll look for bargain plays that let you fit him without too much risk. 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 $4800: Wright has been doing enough off the bench that I’ve used him a couple times recently, but now that Kyle Lowry is questionable with back spasms following a fall last night, he is in position to really exceed value. If Lowry is ruled out, expect high ownership with good results.
Shabazz Napier $4800: With Damian Lillard already ruled out, Napier once again is relevant in the bargain bin. Fortunately, FanDuel felt like it wasn’t going to be worth it to raise his salary, so he can be had coming off an amazing game vs. the Spurs for just a small cap hit. Napier should be in line for 30-plus minutes against Russell Westbrook, and makes for a nice pairing with the star in tournaments.
Tyler Johnson $5400: Toronto is normally a backcourt matchup I avoid, but tonight they’re on a back-to-back and over the last five, they’re actually allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing point guards (plus are likely without Lowry). Johnson is maintaining value with the lingering injuries of Justise Winslow and Dion Waiters, playing around 33-34 MPG and contributing in every statistical category. He projects as a solid cash game play with tournament upside—and he’s going to be ignored with the other two value plays at PG.
Wes Matthews $5500: Sometimes DvP matchups drive my bargain plays, but with Matthews it’s a combination of his heavy 35-37 MPG workload and a major pace boost. While neither team is very good offensively (Orlando is 26th in offensive efficiency, Dallas is 22nd), the Magic play at the sixth-fastest pace, which could serve to put the ball in Matthews’ hands more often. He’s scored double-digit points in five of the last six games with enough peripheral production to pay off this price tag.
Bogdan Bogdanovic $4600: I hate picking a Kings wing, especially coming off a hard game vs. the Spurs. They are still figuring it out up there, but Bogdanovic has played at least 27 minutes in eight of the last nine games. He’s a cash game play that will get you in the neighborhood of 20 fantasy points in that time, thanks to double-digit scoring and surprisingly stable assists (around five per game in the last two weeks). Although the Lakers are the third-best SG matchup, I’m keeping expectations in check here due to the shifty nature of Kings rotations.
Josh Richardson $5600: Richardson is performing like a higher priced player both in consistency and average output over the last 10 or so games. He has over a block and two steals to go along with an average of 18 points per game in the last four. His peripheral production when combined with those not-infrequent nights where he scores over 20 real points make him a viable option in any contest tonight.
Jerami Grant $3700: Potentially way more risk than reward, Grant is getting work with the second unit, typically around 15-20 MPG. He’s capable of 20-plus fantasy points but if you use the money saved here wisely, 15 fpts won’t ruin your lineup.
James Johnson $5700: The safest cheap PF play has to be Johnson tonight. I’ve mentioned Toronto’s overtime win and potential loss of Lowry, but on the season they rank 11th in fantasy points to the position. Johnson has been productive off the bench for the Heat, maybe not quite reaching value, but offering a stable floor in the mid-20 fantasy point range.
Dirk Nowitzki $5300: Coming off a really bad five-point, five-rebound game, even by his aging standards, I’m betting that Nowitzki will bounce back today. A couple weeks ago he was reeling off 18-20 point games every night, and even posted a small double-double. I mentioned the pace bump earlier, which has an equally good effect on power forwards.
Brook Lopez $5100: Lopez looks better and better with every game played since his return from injury. Tonight could mark the first time he surpasses 20 minutes, but he exceeded value in less on Sunday vs. Atlanta. Tonight he gets the best center matchup of the slate (third-best in the league) and I think we’ll see another balanced stat line from the veteran.
Bismack Biyombo $5600: Biyombo has failed to double-double in his last two games (Houston and Cleveland, two of the five worst matchups for centers) so I like him to slyly bounce back with a big game tonight.