Nothing cures a “case of the Monday’s” better than daily fantasy NBA. Tonight, we have a hearty 12-game NBA slate to dig through; as you’ll see below, there are plenty of value candidates to consider (and injury situations to monitor).
If you want to click top-dollar stars like James Harden or Anthony Davis 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.
Ray McCallum – SAC (FanDuel Price: $5,200)
With Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins out for the remainder of this season, McCallum is bound to see more offensive opportunities. That sets up well, considering he’ll enjoy one of the best matchups in basketball: at home vs the Lakers dead last ranked defense against opposing point guards. The price point is non-prohibitive when considering the spike in playing time (33-38 minutes) and matchup potential.
J.J. Barea – DAL (FanDuel Price: $3,600)
Unable to change their playoff positioning, the Mavericks will rest Monta Ellis (amongst others) tonight, and I’m guessing Rajon Rondo will see limited minutes as well. That vaults J.J. Barea into value consideration, as he should see 25-28+ minutes of action. Despite the subpar matchup at Utah, Barea could return value on sheer playing time.
Dion Waiters – OKC (FanDuel Price: $4,900)
Waiters would become a better play if Westbrook where ruled out, but he’s an adequate value option either way. Portland has struggled defending opposing shooting guards since Wesley Matthews injury, ranking 21st in that department over the past ten games.
Jabari Brown – LAL (FanDuel Price: $3,800)
This is a fantastic situation for Jabari Brown. First off, Jeremy Lin will not play once again, and Brown has seen 34+ minutes while replacing him in the starting lineup. In addition, Wesley Johnson is doubtful, which would solidify Brown’s minutes on the wing. As if you needed more narrative to play Jabari, Sacramento ranks dead last in defensive efficiency against shooting guards.
Omri Casspi – SAC (FanDuel Price: $4,600)
Take everything I said about teammate Ray McCallum, and directly apply it to Omri Casspi. Casspi is seeing heavy playing time with Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins out, translating to a satisfying 32 fppg over the past four games. As if you didn’t already know, the Lakers provide a comfortable matchup in what should be a competitive (defenseless) battle of backup players.
Al-Farouq Aminu – DAL (FanDuel Price: $4,300)
The Mavericks are resting their starters today, meaning Aminu should see plenty of minutes at the SF and PF position. He’s a guy who can stuff the stat sheet, piling up blocks, steals, rebounds, and open-court buckets. I’m expecting him to see more than 30 minutes for the shorthanded Mavs.
Jason Thompson – SAC (FanDuel Price: $4,900)
The Lakers rank dead last in defensive efficiency against power forwards, and Thompson has been seeing more minutes (and offensive opportunities) in the wake of Cousins’ injury. He should see at least 30 minutes once again, which puts him in a comfortable return on investment opportunity considering the outstanding matchup.
Ryan Kelly – LAL (FanDuel Price: $4,800)
On the flip side of this matchup, Sacramento ranks 28th in defensive efficiency against power forwards. Kelly has been seeing heavy minutes for the Lakers, and that should continue to be the case with Wesley Johnson doubtful (will see time at SF and PF). He’s averaging 27 fppg over the past five games, and that appears sustainable moving forward.
Justin Hamilton – MIN (FanDuel Price: $4,900)
I’m labeling Hamilton more of a tournament selection than anything, as there’s substantial foul trouble risk in his help defense on Anthony Davis. Still, Hamilton is seeing 33-35 minutes for the shorthanded Wolves, which could translate to respectable value if he can stay on the court.