FanDuel Bargain Bin
You’ll often need to dig deep to find some value plays that allow you to fit in the studs you want. Here I’ll give you the guys I’d use at each position and provide some context for which I think are true punts vs. those that are actually safe enough for cash games. I try to keep them under $6000 (well under if possible).
Ishmael Smith $3500: With Jrue Holiday on a minutes limit, Smith has stepped in admirably for the Pelicans. Playing in another potentially high scoring game tonight with the Warriors, but this time at home, I don’t see Smith’s role or his production fading. While he’s getting starters minutes, he’s seeing more of the second units, which is a definite boost when facing Golden State’s top defense. He had almost 37 fpts in Tuesday’s opener.
Rajon Rondo $5100: I don’t like the idea of chasing points, especially points that came off the Lakers, but Rondo’s price is drawing me in. He’s a tournament play only, because of his own inconsistency and Chris Paul’s defense. Darren Collison, for just $700 more, is the safer play.
Eric Gordon $5300: Gordon has been scoring well so far this season, averaging 17 ppg. He’s added a steal in both so far, and despite four turnovers in the opener with Golden State, is averaging 25 fpts per game. He’s not very high upside, but I like him in a high scoring home game as a safe cash game play.
Tony Allen $4800: Some things never change, and one of those is Allen playing 22 mpg and scoring 22 fpts/game. He’s not going to ever push your lineups over the top, so like Gordon, I use him for cash games only, but he is solid. Coming off a night off, the Grizzlies face a Brooklyn team that might be without Joe Johnson. Allen should dominate this weak wing rotation anyway. He already has six steals and would shock no one by doubling that tonight. OK, I’d be pretty surprised, but you get the point.
Otto Porter $5400: Porter is averaging over 30 mpg in the first two, and has been able to fill the stat sheet modestly in every category, including three steals. I’d like to see more scoring, but with Bradley Beal and John Wall, there’s little need, is there? This is one of the higher scoring games on tonight’s slate, and Washington is a big favorite. There isn’t much depth behind the Wizards’ starting wings, so I think Porter’s minutes will be safe.
Harrison Barnes $4600: Andre Iguodala had more minutes last night but it was Barnes you saw on the highlight reels. He had a monster dunk over Dwight Howard you should see if you haven’t. The two are splitting time at the three pretty evenly but given the choice, I’m going with Barnes the starter almost every time. He will only occasionally get you 40 fpts, but he will also rarely kill your lineup. I like the high scoring Vegas predicts here—that’s definitely something to be mindful of when going deep in the bargain bin.
Derrick Williams $4600: Wiliams had a terrific pre-season and was stellar in the opener. He disappointed those attempting to ride the hot hand Thursday night vs. Atlanta, but the Hawks’ bigs were all over the ball and Kristaps Porzingas and Kyle O’Quinn were fairly effective. I think the efficiency and chemistry Williams has shown outside of that game is the real deal, and while the Wizards are another tough matchup, this should be a high paced game. I like the potential for a bounceback effort from Williams at this price.
Marreese Speights $3900: With Andrew Bogut out again at least for tonight, Festus Ezeli will start again. Speights’ calling card is his efficiency...he’s averaging about 2 fpts/minute. I have a hard time recommending a backup forward/center who’s getting only 12 minutes per game, but-- 1) efficiency!, 2) he could see more time in the second night of a back-to-back, and 3) at this price you’re risking very little for a decent floor. What the heck, 4) he plays for Golden State in a game with a 213 over/under.
Mason Plumlee $5000: The Portland frontcourt is crowed with hungry young talent this year. Plumlee was always a great value play when he started for the Nets and he’s started well for his new team, even adding some assists and steals to his stat lines. Phoenix was exploitable by opposing big men last year, and Plumlee posted 15/5/1/3 steals against them last night, with Ed Davis and Myers Leonard both having off nights. Even as I expect those guys to be better tonight, Plumlee seems like the saftest option to roster if you’re going cheap at C tonight (I’m not).
Kosta Koufos $3700: It’s a DeMarcus Cousins ($10,900) night tonight for me, but there’s a ton of backcourt talent you’re going to want exposure to too. So if you want to go cheap at C, I mean really cheap, Koufos is your guy. Most people will go to Willie Cauley-Stein ($5000), which I understand perfectly if he gets the start again, but Cauley-Stein struggled off the bench in this matchup in the Kings opener. Cauley-Stein’s huge night against the Lakers has to get an * from me because it’s the Lakers. Koufos is more experienced and capable of filling the stat sheet in a variety of ways making him the preferable cash game play. He has three assists and three blocks already to go with steady scoring and rebounding numbers.