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). The main Saturday night slate, though small, is full of high scoring, good-for-DFS games so we should see lots of different DFS lineups tonight.
Donald Sloan $4400: Sloan has been up and down since being thrust into the starting point guard spot for Brooklyn but his performance is almost always closely tied to his opponent’s defensive abilities. In the case of New Orleans, ranked 25th overall in defensive efficiency, he gets a pretty good fantasy matchup that is more appealing with Tyreke Evans probably limited tonight if he does in fact start.
Norris Cole $4700: On the other side of the court, Jrue Holiday is likely to be a very solid play again, but with Evans questionable/probable, Cole becomes the obvious source of value for the Pelicans. He’s an efficient player who fills up the stat sheet and has two near triple doubles over the past four games, including an excellent performance against Sacramento Thursday night. The Nets are the league’s fifth-most generous guard defense for fantasy and Cole should reach value pretty easily tonight.
George Hill $5700: The Denver Nuggets are a sieve to opposing point guards, and Hill is capable of taking advantage. He’s never the highest ceiling player, but playing heavy minutes in a great (third-best) matchup deserves a mention here, and Hill has shot just under 50% from the field and nearly 60% from three point range since returning from a three game absence.
Danny Green $4200: Speaking of three point shooting, Green is making them at a 50%+ rate in the month of January including 11/18 over the past three games. Despite both the Spurs and Cavaliers playing at a very slow pace, and both teams being very solid defensively (first and eighth in defensive efficiency, respectively), Vegas has this as a pretty high scoring and close game, which means fantasy points for us. One place to get them cheap—for tournaments only—is with Green, who over the past three games is averaging 11/5/3 with five blocks and six steals. He’s definitely not without risk and can be/has been one of the more frustrating players to own for DFS, but that keeps his ownership low and he has 30 FanDuel point upside.
Courtney Lee $4000: The pace mis-match of the night features the #1 Sacramento Kings at #27 Memphis, which means the Grizzlies could be looking at some extra opportunities against the Kings 24th ranked defense (points allowed/100 possessions). Sacramento has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing shooting guards this season and while the Grizzlies wing rotations are not the friendliest for fantasy, Lee is playing 25-35 mpg and has scored double-digit points in four of the last five games. Look for his shooting to stay hot tonight.
Trevor Ariza $5700: Aside from the recent Spurs game, Ariza has been playing terrific basketball. He’s getting close to 40 mpg, and has a block in three in the last four games including 13 steals in that span! He’s contributing across the board so that even when he’s not shooting great—the past two games—he’s still not killing you. He should find some nice open looks vs. a Wizards wing defense that has been the most generous this season to opposing SFs.
Myles Turner $5100: Denver is a fantastic matchup for opposing bigs and Turner is simply straight fire since getting his shot a few weeks ago. Even with Ian Mahinmi back, Turner is too good to not see close to 30 mpg and continues to be priced for high ownership. Don’t let that scare you off though as he should easily get you 25+ fantasy points tonight.
Zach Randolph $5800: Randolph is the kind of player who is always low enough owned and volatile enough to either vault or sink your lineup. I feel like this is the kind of game he’ll get up for, with Boogie Cousins across the court, who is a top DFS play today, obviously. The Kings don’t do defense and Randolph has exceeded his FanDuel average against them over the past two seasons by about 3 fantasy points (in five games, per RotoViz game splits app).
Jared Dudley $4400: I refer to Dudley as the Wizards’ Swiss army knife because he fills in wherever he’s needed and he’s been needed everywhere with the amount of injuries this team has endured so far. Otto Porter left Thursday’s game with hip soreness again after missing several games due to the hip, so I don’t have confidence in him playing a ton tonight, even if he does start. Dudley has been finding about 30 mpg, with variable results for fantasy; he’s taken advantage of good matchups, like Denver Thursday night, and should do so again tonight considering the Rockets allow the most fantasy points to opposing PFs and Vegas has this game at 218.5 total.
Nikola Jokic $5400: Indiana ranks fourth in the league in defensive efficiency, so there aren’t a ton of places to look for value against them, but center is the one weakness. Jokic is the best frontcourt player the Nuggets have right now and he has over 35 FanDuel points in three of his last four games. His minutes fluctuate more than you’d like, but his output is pretty highly consistent for this price.
Omer Asik $3800: Asik has a couple things in his favor tonight. One is price; if you’re punting center, punt big. Another is Anthony Davis’ doubtful status, and third is the fact that he’ll be needed to match up with the Nets’ Brook Lopez (also a good play if you’re spending at the position). The Nets have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing centers and when Asik sees over 20 mpg he typically produces at least that many fantasy points.