Nothing cures a “case of the Monday’s” better than daily fantasy NBA. Tonight offers a nice, eight game slate, which is the perfect size in my opinion (not too many, not too few).
If you want to click top-dollar stars like James Harden, Pau Gasol, and DeAndre Jordan into your lineup, you’ll need to supplement some bargain picks along the way. Here’s a few “cheapskate specials” to consider at each position:
Remember, you don’t necessarily need the bargain players to have a breakout game. Usually, 4.5 or 5x the listed salary is considered adequate fantasy production. For example, a minimum salary player ($3,500) is looking at 16-18 FP to “pay off” their salary. A $4,600 player would need 21-23 FP, and so on. Be sure to keep that in mind (along with expected playing time) when sifting through the bargain bin.
Deron Williams – BKN - $5,300: Jarrett Jack is listed as doubtful, meaning D-Will should play another full complement of minutes. In Jack’s absence on Friday, Williams posted a solid 40 FP in 40 minutes. The matchup against Denver (20th in D-eff vs PG’s) sets up favorably, playing up in pace as well. Given Williams is still priced like a backup, you’d be wise to take advantage of this situation.
Isaiah Canaan – PHI - $3,500: Canaan isn’t the most efficient when it comes to FP/min totals; however, a starting role for the young 76ers vaults him into the value conversation. He posted 22 FP in 29 minutes yesterday, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he sees more playing time moving forward. Don’t expect a giant return on investment, but Canaan should get the job done considering this minimum price point.
Jamal Crawford – LAC - $5,600: Crawford has absorbed more of the offensive workload with Blake Griffin out, translating to a consistent 32 fppg over the last five. His new baseline sits closer to that mark than his season average of 24 fppg, given the increased role. He’s still underpriced after considering the hotstreak, needing just 25 FP to hit value.
Avery Bradley – BOS - $5,000: We’ve noticed Bradley’s upside in the past two games, hitting 51 and 36 FP respectively. It’s a bit premature to indicate a trend, but the most promising aspect comes in the form of 40+ minutes over that span. A heavy allotment of playing time in this fast paced matchup with Phoenix should serve him well (especially considering this discounted price point). His salary will assuredly rise the next time Boston plays.
P.J. Tucker – PHX - $4,900: Tucker has noticed a nice string of consistency, averaging 26 fppg over the past six. An up-tempo draw vs Boston (23rd vs SF’s) falls right into his wheelhouse, considering potentially more 3-point, rebound, and putback opportunities. Admittedly, I’m skeptical as to whether Tucker can maintain this recent trend moving forward. However, tonight’s matchup provides a comfortable game environment to keep it going.
James Johnson – TOR - $4,500: I’m looking at Johnson as more of a risk/reward pick, but the profit potential is exceptionally high if he sees an extended run. Johnson tallied 47 FP in 35 minutes last game, which can be viewed as an outlier for all intents and purposes. However, JJ only needs 20-22 FP to satisfy this price tag, something he’s done in 3 of the past 5. It’s nice to know that he can carry a tournament team as well, if he sees enough playing time/opportunity.
Terrence Jones – HOU - $5,200: Jones is back in the Houston rotation, taking on more minutes as of late. That has translated to 32 and 28 FP respectively over the past two (27 min average). The matchup against Minnesota couldn’t be much more favorable (Wolves rank 29th vs PF’s), and Jones is still priced according to his previous 18-20 minute allotment.
Brandon Bass – BOS - $4,600: Sullinger is out for the season, and Kelly Olynyk is currently listed as doubtful. That means Bass and Zeller will absorb majority of the frontcourt minutes for Boston. We can safely project Bass for 30-33 minutes, which translates to a 26-29 FP total (based on his FP/min season average). A friendly game environment vs the up-tempo Suns makes that more of a reality.
Alex Len - PHX - $4,500: There’s a plethora of value at the Center position, and it’s tough to go wrong with any of the listed options. Len has enjoyed a larger role with Miles Plumlee out of town, averaging 35 minutes and 29 fppg over the last two. That (plus this still depressed price tag) makes for a fantastic DFS opportunity vs a Boston team that ranks 27th at defending Centers.
Tyler Zeller - $4,500: Zeller will be matched up against Len tonight, and both big men could churn out respectable FP performances. As mentioned in the Bass write-up, Olynyk is doubtful, meaning Zeller should see 30-33+ minutes once again. Phoenix has improved against the Center position, but the still remain susceptible, especially considering their breakneck pace and 28th overall rebound rate.