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).
Darren Collison $5800: Collison, in the night’s highest projected scoring game, should be just as solid in a starting role as he has been off the bench lately. With Rajon Rondo resting, expect Collison to see over 30 minutes as usual and perhaps an uptick in steals and rebounds against a Denver team that ranks near the bottom of the league defensively.
Reggie Jackson $5900: I feel like that big RJax game is coming and it could be in this one with playoff implications against a Bulls team without at least two starters. Chicago is the best point guard matchup on the slate tonight as far as fantasy points allowed this season, and Jackson should be safe for 20-40 fantasy points. It’s the 40+ upside I’m interested in, so he’s more of a tournament play for me. You can get a cheaper (almost) guaranteed 20 fpts for cash games with any of the names below.
Will Barton $5400/Gary Harris $4900: These guys have been taking turns providing value over the past week, with Barton seeing the more consistent court time (over 30 mpg in each of the last four games). Despite coming off a lackluster performance in a good matchup with New Orleans, Barton is my play tonight. In what should be a fairly defense-less game, expect both guys to be pretty popular plays. Harris could be slightly lower owned if you want to save a little bit more, but there are plenty of ways to differentiate at this position tonight.
Norman Powell $3900: I’ve been trusting Powell in both cash and tournament lineups this past week. Toronto is prepping for the playoffs and the word is that they’ll rest some key players again tonight. Powell, in 25-35 mpg over the last four games has returned value each time. We don’t know yet what kind of lineup the Spurs will run out tonight, and Kawhi Leonard’s wing defense is not something to completely ignore, but Powell has been good against Atlanta and OKC, both top defenses as well.
In tournaments, also consider Danny Green ($3900), Seth Curry ($3700), and Gerald Henderson or Alan Crabbe ($3800), both of whom have been seeing significant playing time for Portland over the past month. Henderson is safer, Crabbe has higher upside, but Miami’s defense limits my enthusiasm.
Nikola Mirotic $5300: We are openly chasing points here, as Mirotic has been outstanding in his last two games with 28 points in each and plenty of peripherals. Given ample playing time, I am confident he will be outstanding again…the question is the playing time. It hasn’t mattered that Bobby Portis started (much to the chagrin of those of us who used Portis) vs. Houston or that the Pacers were a tough matchup on paper; Mirotic has exceed 30 fantasy points in each of the four games he’s played over 30 minutes in the last month. If you believe he sees that tonight with Taj Gibson looking very doubtful again, don’t hesitate to slot Mirotic into any or all of your lineups. I will be.
Marcus Morris $5700: Morris is a safer cheap option in the same game. He is the starter and will see the court time, and gets a slightly better matchup defensively. He’s been on fire recently and the Pistons are fighting hard to keep hold of their playoff spot. Morris played 40 minutes last night and notched a double-double in the loss to Dallas, but should be a lock for 35 minutes and 30 fantasy points again tonight.
Willie Cauley-Stein $4900: The price has risen but Cauley-Stein is still a nice value at PF, allowing you to pay up for an elite center if you want. His past two games, vs. Washington and Miami, have left a lot to be desired, fantasy-wise, but tonight he should see a nice bounce-back, potentially at lower ownership given those recent duds. Denver is one of the best frontcourt matchups in the league and the shorthanded Kings could give him closer to 30 minutes tonight.
Lavoy Allen $3800: Allen will start for Myles Turner tonight, so beware of a Turner double-double. Kidding aside, I’ll be using Turner in tournament lineups because I believe he is the greater talent and the matchup is too good to ignore. That said, saving a bundle on Allen makes sense in cash games as he will likely see around 25 minutes and is coming off a really nice effort against the Magic. I wouldn’t expect a repeat performance—it was his best game of the month—but Allen should be serviceable against the woeful 76ers tonight.
Ian Mahinmi $5200: Sticking with a theme, the center facing Philadelphia is a lock for this slot if he’s under $6K. Mahinmi is a threat for a double-double any given night and has been shooting well over the last week overall. I’m probably inclined to spend up for Hassan Whiteside or Andre Drummond who are featured in matchups I really like, but if you’re spending for guards tonight, Mahinmi should be a safe option for all formats.
Also consider Nikola Jokic $5900 in a nice matchup with the Cousins-less Kings and probably without Jusef Nurkic to compete with.