When looking at “bargains” on FanDuel, typically we’ll focus on players who are priced at $6,000 or lower.
We have a heavy 14-game slate, meaning I will rank the top TEN bargains in the FanDuel player pool, sifting through the seemingly endless swarm of players begging for your fantasy attention.
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. On top of that, the trade deadline is today, so we have even more headlines to monitor than usual ... 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 - Devin Booker – SG – Phoenix (FanDuel Price: $5,400)
Booker is in a fantastic situation tonight. The matchup is elite against a fast-paced Houston team that ranks in the bottom ten at defending opposing shooting guards. Also, Markieff Morris has been traded, meaning somebody will need to pick up the “usage slack”. Booker is the best candidate for an uptick in usage, as he was coexisting well alongside Morris anyway. Additionally, he’s still too cheap, given he’s the primary scorer for this Phoenix team.
2 - Emmanuel Mudiay – PG – Denver (FanDuel Price: $5,700)
This is a really nice draw for Mudiay, as his opponent, Sacramento, ranks 28th in defensive efficiency against opposing floor generals. On top of that, Denver is very thin in the backcourt, given that Jameer Nelson is still out, and Randy Foye has been shipped out of town. That means Mudiay will play 36-40 minutes in this competitive, high-scoring game environment, which means good things for his fantasy prospects. Target with confidence.
3 - P.J. Tucker – SF – Phoenix (FanDuel Price: $4,800)
Tucker has been seeing heavy minutes for Phoenix (38-46), given that T.J. Warren (backup small forward) has been ruled out for the season. Now, Markieff Morris has been traded, which helps solidify Tucker’s minutes even more. The matchup is excellent as well, considering that Houston ranks 27th in defensive efficiency against opposing small forwards. As I’ve already mentioned (and will say so several more times in this column), Houston-Phoenix is a fast-paced, high-scoring, fantasy-friendly matchup to target this evening.
4 - Darren Collison – PG – Sacramento (FanDuel Price: $5,000)
Collison has been doing quietly well for Sacramento lately, hitting 25+ fantasy points in four of the past five games. Now, he should get an expanded opportunity to far exceed that mark, as Marco Belinelli and Omri Casspi are both doubtful tonight. This means Collison will soak up more minutes than usual on the wing, and Denver ranks 27th in defensive efficiency against opposing backcourt members.
5 - Robert Covington – SF – Philadelphia (FanDuel Price: $5,000)
Tucker and Covington make for a decent small forward value duo that allows you to pay up at other positions. However, if I had to decide between the two, I’d give a small lean to Tucker. Robert Covington is looking at a fine situation himself, seeing heavy minutes against an all-around bad New Orleans defense. Covington exploded with 42 fantasy points right before the All-Star break, and his price has not yet adjusted for his starting role for Philly.
6 - Aaron Gordon – PF – Orlando (FanDuel Price: $5,900)
Several things line up well for Gordon tonight. First off, the matchup against Dallas doesn’t look too bad, as the Mavs rank 22nd in defensive efficiency against power forwards. Also, Tobias Harris and Channing Frye are out of the rotation, with Ersan Ilyasova jumping in. That should help solidify minutes for Gordon at both the SF and PF positions. However, the one drawback comes from his unpredictable coach, Scott Skiles. We aren’t sure what his rotation will look like following those recent trades, which throws up some question marks for Gordon. He’s a good play nonetheless, based on recent performance and matchup potential.
7 - Jeremy Lin – SG – Charlotte (FanDuel Price: $4,900)
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist is out for the season, and P.J. Hairston has been traded. New addition Courtney Lee will not play for Charlotte tonight, making them rather thin in the SG/SF positions. This should allow Jeremy Lin to see plenty of minutes (30-35) in the 2-guard spot. That makes him a fine value play for the reasonable salary tonight, especially considering that his opponent, Milwaukee, ranks 27th in defensive efficiency against the shooting guard position.
8 - Tony Parker – PG – San Antonio (FanDuel Price: $5,000)
There’s a little bit of blowout risk with San Antonio tonight, but they are playing on a back-to-back without Kawhi Leonard, which slightly eases that notion. Leonard’s absence could also call for more Tony Parker on offense, and the Lakers have been very generous against opposing floor generals (ranked dead last in defensive efficiency vs PGs). Even though his recent production has been all over the place, Parker is cheap enough to consider in all formats given the nice situation at hand.
9 - Mirza Teletovic – PF – Phoenix (FanDuel Price: $3,800)
As mentioned earlier, Markieff Morris is out of town, and Teletovic/Leuer will likely be the biggest beneficiaries in playing time. I’m leaning slightly with Teletovic, as he was seeing around 20 minutes with Morris still in the rotation, while Leuer failed to play (coaches decision) in the past four games. That has me believing that Teletovic is higher on the pecking order, and the matchup against Houston (dead last vs PFs) is great. UPDATE: Jon Leuer is now listed as probable starter, giving him a slight edge over Teletovic.
10 - Alex Len – C – Phoenix (FanDuel Price: $4,600)
This is the last player recommendation from Phoenix; I promise! We aren’t really sure what the Phoenix rotation will look like at power forward with Markieff Morris no longer on the roster. Teletovic, Len, and Leuer will likely all factor in to soak up those minutes. However, the split is very unpredictable. Taking Teletovic as the cheaper option may be the smart move in cash games. However, looking to Len in tournaments has excellent upside potential if he is awarded with majority of those minutes.