For these 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 slate of games. Because of this, I will be ranking the value plays in terms of priority to your lineup.
Just a quick note that these player picks were organized early in the day. For the NBA, there is usually a plethora of news trickling out through the afternoon, which could open up some more value plays. Be sure to keep posted with the NBA Headlines & Injuries section, as the wonderful contributors over there will break down the DFS consequences of every piece of news.
Now onto the bargain plays:
1 - Gerald Green – SG – MIA (FanDuel Price: $3,500)
Luol Deng has been ruled out for the second straight game, and Gerald Green got the start in his absence last time. Not only did Green start, but he played a whopping 38 minutes, producing 23 fantasy points. The efficiency leaves room to be desired, but all you are really looking for is 20+ fantasy points, which is easily attainable with a full complement of starter-like minutes. Take Green at minimum salary, then spend elsewhere.
2 - Tristan Thompson – PF – CLE (FanDuel Price: $5,700)
Thompson has been filling in for the injured Timofey Mozgov, and that will continue tonight. Tristan is averaging a whopping 37 minutes and 30 fantasy points as a starter in the past three games, and that range of production is within reason at Charlotte tonight. He’s an extremely safe play due to the high-minute totals.
3 - Jared Sullinger – PF – BOS (FanDuel Price: $5,800)
Sullinger pulled out of his “mini-rut” on Wednesday, and there’s a good chance he’ll keep the momentum going vs Washington tonight. The Wizards rank 26th in defensive efficiency against Power Forwards this season, exactly the type of matchup Sullinger could exploit. He’s a fine salary saver in all formats tonight.
4 - Robert Covington – SF – PHI (FanDuel Price: $5,700)
Covington has been trending up over the past week, and a price increase is in store any day now. On Wednesday, Covington went for 40 FP, showing upside through 8 combined steals and blocks. Obviously, it’s tough to rely on that every game, but it’s nice to know he has that upside in him. Covington is seeing 35 minutes a game, and taking plenty of shots with Nik Stauskas out. He’s a fine candidate for value in an up-tempo draw at Houston.
5 - Tony Parker – PG – SA (FanDuel Price: $5,500)
Usually you never know with Parker and the Spurs, as his role seemingly changes on a daily basis. However, several factors line up well for Parker tonight. First off, he is playing with a lot of confidence, following back-to-back 35+ fantasy point outings. Secondly, his minute totals seem stable at 32-35. Next, Manu Ginobili has been ruled out tonight, meaning Parker won’t have to give up ball-handling responsibilities when Manu is on the court. Last, the matchup with an inexperienced, fast-paced, defensively-challenged Denver team looks good.
6 - Nikola Jokic – C – DEN (FanDuel Price: $4,400)
Jokic has been very efficient since taking over as a starter. While the matchup against San Antonio doesn’t look great on paper, consider that Jokic went for 47 FP in 32 minutes against this same Spurs team on November 18. The Nuggets will need his interior presence, as Kenneth Faried will reportedly miss another game. That tightens the Denver rotation, meaning Jokic could see enough floor time to inspire upside – that is, if he stays out of foul trouble.
7 - Jeff Green – SF – MEM (FanDuel Price: $4,800)
Jeff Green has been benefitting from Zach Randolph’s absence. That’s not to say that Green can’t produce when Randolph returns (has coexisted with Z-Bo earlier this season), but there is certainly more room for production in Z-Bo’s absence. Green is playing with a lot of confidence following back-to-back 30+ FP games, and facing a fast-paced Atlanta team doesn’t hurt either.
8 - Zach LaVine – SG – MIN (FanDuel Price: $5,500)
Keep a close eye on Ricky Rubio’s status tonight. Rubio tweaked his ankle on Wednesday, and he was unable to finish the game. LaVine stepped in to contribute 31 fantasy points in 27 minutes, including some key plays down the stretch. Rubio is currently listed as questionable for tonight’s tilt at Sacramento. If he’s ruled out, LaVine becomes a no-brainer pick, likely starting in a fast-paced matchup with the Kings.
9 - J.R. Smith – SG – CLE (FanDuel Price: $5,300)
Even though he doesn’t produce much outside of scoring, Smith is still a fine filler due to volume, minutes, and positional scarcity. He will benefit more if Matthew Dellavedova (questionable) is ruled out, as the Cavaliers’ backcourt will likely tighten up. Smith doesn’t have tremendous upside, but he’s a serviceable cheap pick regardless of how the injury development plays out for Cleveland.
10 - Isaiah Canaan – PG – PHI (FanDuel Price: $4,100)
Usual starting shooting guard, Nik Stauskas, has missed the past few games, and Canaan has benefitted with more playing time and production. He is seeing around 30-32 minutes within this role (Stauskas listed out again tonight), hitting 25, 23, and 25 FP respectively in the past three games. That’s not tremendous upside, but it’s decent enough to hold value for the price, allowing you to spend up at other positions.