When we are talking about bargain plays on FanDuel, typically we’ll focus on players who are priced at $6,000 or lower.
Let me just tell you that there are plenty of fine option under that salary threshold for this Friday’s slate of games. Because of this, I will be ranking the value plays in terms of priority to your lineup.
1 - C.J. McCollum – SG – Portland (FanDuel Price: $6,000)
McCollum will likely be an extremely popular selection tonight, and you can’t really argue with it. He is a low-risk, high-reward play with fantastic usage numbers within this offense. After all, he posted a whopping 37 points, 6 rebounds in the season-opener, flexing some spectacular upside. This matchup against Phoenix should be a fast-paced, relatively high-scoring affair, and McCollum is a great value pick within that,
2 - Nikola Mirotic – PF – Chicago (FanDuel Price: $6,000)
Mirotic’s price rose $500, but I still believe he is undervalued considering the expected production. Now starting for the Bulls, Mirotic put up fantasy performances of 29 and 34 respectively in the first two games. His 25 minute total against Cleveland was due to foul trouble, as we can safely expect him to log 30-32 minutes otherwise. He is a scoring/rebounding threat who should average somewhere near 1.0 fantasy points per minute this season. Lock him in.
3 - Emmanuel Mudiay – PG – Denver (FanDuel Price: $5,500)
Mudiay simultaneously flexed his upside and risk in the season opener at Houston. He posted a sweet 17 point, 9 assist, 5 rebound line in 38 minutes, but he also accounted for 11 turnovers. The matchup against Minnesota tonight is juicy, as Vegas has this as a 3.5 spread with a 204 over/under. If Mudiay can cut back on some of the turnovers (expected against a less aggressive Minnesota defense), he could provide an excellent return on investment.
4 - Mo Williams – PG – Cleveland (FanDuel Price: $5,800)
Let’s not forget about Mo Williams here. He will continue to start for Kyrie Irving, serving as LeBron’s right-hand man in the Cavaliers offense. Williams exploded for 37 fantasy points in the season opener at Chicago, then accounted for just 17 FP and 23 minutes in a tough back-to-back situation at Memphis. The Cavs are rested and at home tonight, which leads me to believe that Mo Willy will near his fantasy output from Chicago moreso than the last performance.
5 - Joffrey Lauvergne – PF – Denver (FanDuel Price: $3,700)
Jusuf Nurkic was pegged to be Denver’s starting Center this season, but a knee issue is keeping him out of the lineup for the time being. Joffrey Lauvergne is the primary beneficiary of that, sliding into the starting role for this fast-paced Nuggets team. Lauvergne posted a solid 22 fantasy points in 22 minutes in the season opener, and he was cut short on playing time with Denver trying to counter Houston’s small lineup in the second half. He could see even more minutes (and subsequent fantasy production) in a nice matchup vs Minnesota.
6 - Meyers Leonard – C – Portland (FanDuel Price: $5,000)
Most fantasy preseason articles were gushing over Damian Lillard’s likely increased usage for the new-look Blazers, but let’s not forget about the sizeable uptick in playing time and production for Meyers Leonard. He saw 34 minutes in the season opener vs New Orleans, pouring in 12 points, 8 rebounds, and 28 overall fantasy points. He will be a force on the glass all season, and an expanded jump shot bolsters some fantasy upside. As long as he’s seeing a full complement of minutes, he should be a solid value pick at this price range.
7 - Louis Williams – SG – LA Lakers (FanDuel Price: $4,900)
It was Lou Williams, not Kobe Bryant who the Lakers turned to for the game-winner on Wednesday. He missed the shot, but that’s not the point. His role in this LAL offense is significant (that’s what I’m getting at), as the purple and gold will lean on him for scoring, especially within their second unit. This is a nice matchup against the Kings, whose backcourt defense is suspect at best.
8 - Rajon Rondo – PG – Sacramento (FanDuel Price: $5,100)
Rondo wasn’t bad, but he wasn’t great in Sacramento’s season opener vs the Clippers. He posted 18 fantasy points in 25 minutes, and I’m expecting him to expand on both of those marks vs the Lakers tonight. This is a fantastic all around matchup for the Kings, and Rondo could get things going with double-digit assists. He’s nothing more than a tournament option, as I’d rather have the two previously listed value PGs ahead of him. Still, it’s hard to deny Rondo’s upside given the matchup.
9 - Marcus Morris – SF – Detroit (FanDuel Price: $5,600)
I’d rather have Mirotic for $400 more, but combining him with Morris wouldn’t be a bad approach either. Marcus is seeing 35+ minutes a game, pouring in fantasy points of 36 and 21 respectively. Morris should see a full helping of minutes once again, and he’s a player who can contribute in every category, holding some scoring upside as well.
10 - Gary Harris – SG – Denver (FanDuel Price: $4,300)
Harris was very good in the preseason, surprisingly getting the starting nod over Randy Foye heading into the regular season. Harris proved his worth Wednesday at Houston, logging 29 minutes and contributing in every category (5 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 block, 3 steals). It’s inspiring that he had a nice fantasy night despite not scoring very much. He could score and keep the peripherals in a nice matchup against Minnesota tonight. Harris is more of a tournament pick, but one to keep an eye on nonetheless.