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FanDuel Bargain Bin: Monday

by Ryan Knaus
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

There is only one game this Monday but it should provide plenty of entertainment, as the Thunder and Warriors square off in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals. This game concludes a multi-day Sunday/Monday FanDuel slate while beginning another Monday/Tuesday slate -- due to the limited players available, I'll be discussing both Monday's game as well as Tuesday's Raptors vs. Cavs game. Let's take a look at Vegas' expectations:

 

 

Over/Under

Spread

Thunder at Warriors

224

Warriors -7.0

Raptors at Cavs

202

Cavs -10.5

 

At point guard, Stephen Curry ($10,100) and Russell Westbrook ($10,100) loom large, daring owners to squeeze them both into a lineup by saving elsewhere. After those two studs we have Kyle Lowry ($8,800) and a reasonably-priced Kyrie Irving ($7,300), who draws a brutal matchup vs. a Raptors team that ceded the fewest DFS points to PGs this season. Shaun Livingston ($4,500) isn't appealing with an elevated price and reduced role now that Steph Curry is healthy, which leaves Cory Joseph ($3,700) as the only real punt play at PG. Even CoJo is a shaky bet, though -- he averaged a mere 0.7 FanDuel points (FDP) per minute this season, so a 24-minute game should yield 16.8 FDP, but the slowed-down pace of the playoffs implies a lower return. Matthew Dellavedova ($3,500) is the only other PG who has a reliable role in the rotation...simply put, it's hard to find bargains at PG in these games.

 

Shooting guard has a similar divide with two studs sitting far above the pack in DeMar DeRozan ($7,900) and Klay Thompson ($7,800). Only one player resides in the mid-range and that is J.R. Smith ($4,900), whose perimeter-specialist role is mitigated by copious playing time -- he's logged at least 34 minutes in all eight of the Cavs' postseason games. Smith will chip in a steal and a handful of boards and assists, but he needs to make 3-pointers to return 5x value or better in FanDuel, so it's fortunate that he faces a Raptors team which ranked 29th in 3-point defense (Raptors' opponents made 37.3% of their triples this regular season). A handful of scrubs are available for more adventurous owners, including Dion Waiters ($3,800), Iman Shumpert ($3,600), Andre Roberson ($3,500), Randy Foye ($3,500) and Terrence Ross ($3,500). I don't trust any of them, but if forced to save cash at SG I'd roll the dice on Waiters in an up-tempo game vs. Golden State. With minutes in the mid-20s for most of the postseason, there's a decent chance Waiters will score a dozen points and approach 20 FDP.

 

You can't pay up at every position, but SF is also headlined by dueling stars in LeBron James ($10,000) and Kevin Durant ($10,000), without many appealing fallback options. Here are the FanDuel prices and usage rates of the next-best bunch of SFs:

 

DeMarre Carroll ($4,600): 14.1% usage

Andre Iguodala ($4,500): 12.1% usage

Harrison Barnes ($4,300): 15.2% usage

 

Carroll's wrist and ankle injuries didn't limit him in Game 7 vs. the Heat, as he racked up 23 FDP in 34 minutes thanks to stellar shooting, and in his past four games he's a combined 13-of-27 from the field (48.1%). Playing time shouldn't be an issue, as the Raptors need Carroll as the primary defender on LeBron James, which at least gives him some insulation from a complete dud. Harrison Barnes is also logging solid minutes but that low usage rate seriously hampers his FanDuel appeal, and for tournament purposes I prefer Andre Iguodala's upside.  He's not as appealing with Steph Curry healthy, to be sure, but Iguodala is still capable of dropping 30 FDP when he gets hot, and nothing about OKC's second unit suggests they'll be shutting him down.

 

The Warriors gave up the fifth-most points to opposing PFs this season (21.5 ppg), largely a product of pace, but it's an encouraging stat for Serge Ibaka ($5,200). Ibaka suffers from third-wheel syndrome in OKC's offense but he should log 34+ minutes and only needs 26 FDP to return 5x value. That's well within reach. Patrick Patterson ($4,200) is coming off a strong Game 7 in which he double-doubled with two blocks and one steal, but I'm not chasing that performance. The Cavs were one of the toughest teams vs. PFs this season. Marreese Speights ($3,500) is worth a look if Andrew Bogut's ankle injury unexpectedly prevents him from playing, but for super-sleeper purposes I'm more interested in Channing Frye ($4,000). I'd like him more if he cost the bare minimum, but Frye's stock rose quickly vs. the Hawks -- in the final three games he averaged 15.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 23.4 FDP (5.9x value relative to tonight's price). The Raptors struggled to defend the 3-point line this season, as mentioned above, which is terrific news for Frye since 64% of his points came on 3-pointers.

 

Bismack Biyombo ($6,100) is the most expensive healthy center in this two-game slate. I'm tempted to fade him, however, since his price has risen quickly over the past week and the Cavs present a very tough matchup. Cleveland yielded the third-fewest FDP to centers this season, and Biyombo could be victimized by small-ball since Tyronn Lue has been increasingly willing to stretch the court with Kevin Love or Channing Frye as perimeter-threat centers. Steven Adams ($5,200) has tailwinds after an impressive stretch vs. the Spurs, using his size and athleticism to post three straight double-doubles to close out the series. I'm anticipating a letdown against Golden State's defense, but Adams is still a viable option at this price-point. Tristan Thompson ($4,900) isn't very appealing due to fluctuating minutes and occasional disappearances, especially with Adams available for just $300 more. Additionally, for a bit less you can get Enes Kanter ($4,700) or Andrew Bogut ($4,400), the latter of whom is a game-time decision due to a thigh injury. If Bogut is ruled out, Festus Ezeli ($3,500) would start at center and gain immediate appeal as a punt-C option -- he averaged 1.0 FanDuel points per minute this season (the same as Bogut). Keep an eye on the injury report, and good luck!

Ryan Knaus
Despite residing in Portland, Maine, Ryan Knaus remains a heartbroken Sonics fan who longs for the days of Shawn Kemp and Xavier McDaniel. He has written for Rotoworld.com since 2007. You can follow him on Twitter.