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).
George Hill $5800: Hill should return to the lineup tonight for a great matchup against the Kings backcourt, which has allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing point guards this season. Hill should slot right back into his starting role with 35-40 mpg and modest production across the board. He’s never a high-ceiling play, but should meet value with ease in the night’s highest projected scoring game.
Denis Schroder $5000: Targeting the struggling Suns, particular the backcourt, is a sound strategy. Phoenix has given up the second-most fantasy points to point guards this season. While Jeff Teague ($5500) remains the starter, he has been highly inefficient this season. I prefer using Schroder, who can meet value off the bench in 20 minutes any given night, in blowout situations as he’s likely to play a bit more if the Hawks get out to a big lead as Vegas expects.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope $6000: There is no shortage of defensively challenged teams taking the court tonight, as the Lakers, Suns, Hornets and Nuggets are the four worst teams in defensive efficiency. That translates to all kinds of nice positional matchups, including the one for Caldwell-Pope who has been a very steady fantasy presence for the Pistons. Caldwell-Pope is a borderline value with limited upside, but should be one of the safer SG plays tonight.
Kent Bazemore $5100: The Suns matchup goodness applies to Bazemore tonight as well. Bazemore has been up and down but generally takes advantage of good matchups. The risk with Bazemore is that if he’s having an off night, he tends to not only shoot poorly but fails to make up for it in the peripherals too. The benefit is that when he’s ‘on’, he’s likely getting you around 20/5/5.
Also consider J.R. Smith $4700, but with a bit more caution. It should be a nice game for the Cavs, but with a new coach who seems determined to exert his authority on the team, the 25-35 mpg and double digit shot attempts Smith’s been enjoying may not last.
Al-Farouq Aminu $5100: Aminu has been up and down this season, but is coming off a solid outing into an ideal matchup at home vs. the Lakers, who have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to SFs overall, and the most over the past five games. Portland is the big favorite with a nice team total tonight (109) and Aminu’s 28 mpg should be safe if you’re saving at one of the SF slots.
Alonzo Gee $3700: Gee is definitely a punt play, but gets to take advantage of a vulnerable Milwaukee wing defense in the context of a Bucks team that ranks 25th in defense efficiency this year. New Orleans is the decent favorite in what Vegas has as a relatively high scoring game tonight, and Gee has been okay lately. In the last four games, Gee has played 24, 29, 30 and 29 minutes, and only really failed to produce vs. Memphis. If you’re working on getting a bunch of studs into your lineup, Gee’s ~20 fpts could be worth a look at this price.
Also consider T.J. Warren $4100, especially if P.J. Tucker is out. Warren has been criticized by his coach and the Suns are a seriously bad team right now, but Atlanta has been exposed at the SF position over the past five games and Warren has demonstrated his upside more than once this season.
Myles Turner $4200: Turner is red-hot right now and he and Monta Ellis were a big reason Indiana stayed almost in reach of the Warriors last night. The rookie should have an easier time shattering value tonight at the Sacramento Kings, who have given up the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing PFs this season. Over the last three games, he’s averaged 23 points, six rebounds, and almost three blocks per game in about 29 mpg. The Pacers would be foolish to cut his playing time especially as Ian Mahinmi projects to be out again tonight.
Julius Randle $5500: Over the last five games Portland has given up the second-most fantasy points to opposing PFs. Randle has two double doubles over his last three games (against San Antonio and Houston) and has been playing consistently well for some time now. He makes for a fairly safe play at the position tonight in what should be a high scoring game with the Trail Blazers.
Also consider Ersan Ilyasova $5700, who is coming off one of his worst games of the new year. He gets the best PF matchup tonight against the shifting and non-defensive minded Denver frontcourt, which should enable him to get back to the high level he’s been playing at.
Mason Plumlee $5300: It’s hard to go wrong targeting the Lakers, who give up the most fantasy points to the center position this season. Plumlee splits time with Myers Leonard ($4000), who has also been productive lately, but Plumlee is a safer pick if you can spend up a little bit. He is a three-category contributor which helps boost his floor and gives him double double potential tonight especially.