Usually NBA Thursday’s are pretty tame with their game slates, featuring 2-3 matchups at the most. However, we have an uncharacteristically pleasant 6-game slate to pick from tonight.
I’m not complaining.
As I always mention, when looking for “bargains” on FanDuel, we are listing players under the $6,000 salary threshold. I will be ranking the value plays in terms of priority to your lineup.
Just a quick note that these player picks were organized early in the day. For the NBA, there is usually a plethora of news trickling out through the afternoon, which could open up some more value plays. Be sure to keep posted with the NBA Headlines & Injuries section, as the wonderful contributors over there will break down the DFS consequences of every piece of news.
Now onto the bargain plays:
1 - Trevor Booker – PF – Utah (FanDuel Price: $4,000)
Rudy Gobert suffered an MCL sprain in Utah’s last game, and he’ll be out for a while. That means Trevor Booker will likely step into more minutes, with the outside chance of starting as well. Either way, he’s a very solid value play, as he has proven himself as a great fantasy producer when called upon in the past. For instance, he started for Derrick Favors last week, posing 44 FP in 38 minutes. He won’t see that many minutes, but it’s a real possibility he logs 30 or so. That would activate some great value, without much downside for this near-minimum price. Even if he isn't starting, you can still roster with confidence.
2 - Gerald Green – SG – Miami (FanDuel Price: $3,700)
Luol Deng is currently listed as questionable tonight. If he’s out, Gerald Green will get another start, representing capable value for almost minimum salary. Green has started the last three games in Deng’s absence, hitting fantasy totals of 23, 27, and 16 respectively. He only needs 18-20 FP to hit value, and seeing minute totals of 30-36 will certainly help him achieve that with room for more. Check Deng’s status later in the day.
3 - Jae Crowder – SF – Boston (FanDuel Price: $5,000)
Crowder isn’t the most exciting pick on the board, but Small Forward isn’t the most exciting position tonight either. Kevin Durant, Paul George, and Kawhi Leonard are all sitting at the top of the player pool, but odds are you’ll only be able to snag one of them. That means you’ll need a value pick to offset that high price point, and Crowder is the best in that regard. He sees 30-33 minutes a game, averaging a solid 24 FPPG total on the season. That’s all you need from him in this high-scoring matchup with Sacramento.
4 - Bismack Biyombo – C – Toronto (FanDuel Price: $3,900)
Biyombo is a solid source of value, as he has been starting and seeing 33+ minutes with Jonas Valanciunas out. Even though he doesn’t have much of an offensive game, Biyombo can pile op rebounds and blocks to surpass the 20 FP threshold. Facing an up-tempo Denver team that has been generous to frontcourt players certainly helps his cause.
5 - Rodney Hood – SG – Utah (FanDuel Price: $4,800)
Hood is more of a value filler if you need someone to round out your lineup. The shooting guard position isn’t great tonight (like usual), so going value in both spots isn’t necessarily out of consideration. Hood sees a regular 35 minute workload, which could be even more stabilized with a shorter Utah rotation (Gobert out, the Jazz could go small in some instances).
6 - Will Barton – SG – Denver (FanDuel Price: $5,300)
Even though he comes off the bench, Barton still sees a regular 30 minutes per game, which he often translates to solid fantasy production. The good news here is that Barton often sees time against other backup players, which makes it easier to produce consistently. Also, he is blowout-proof in this road matchup against a tough team, as he has been known to rack up garbage numbers in several instances.
7 - Tony Parker – PG – San Antonio (FanDuel Price: $5,500)
Parker isn’t by any means a “core play”, but he’s fine if you need a reliable value PG in a pinch. Most people will shy away from the matchup against Memphis, but the Grizzlies actually rank in the bottom ten against backcourt members this season. The Spurs are on a back-to-back, but Parker only played 18 minutes a blowout win last night; so he should be fresh for a prime matchup at Memphis.
8 - Avery Bradley – SG – Boston (FanDuel Price: $6,000)
Notice that I have the cheaper SG plays like Green, Barton, and Hood listed above Bradley. That means you don’t necessarily have to reach up for the Boston shooting guard, but he is certainly within tournament consideration tonight. Sacramento is one of the worst teams in fantasy points allowed to opposing shooting guards, and Bradley has flexed some scoring upside over the past two weeks. However, his price has risen because of that, and he’s very shooting dependent without the stability of racking up reasonable peripheral stats.
9 - Cory Joseph – PG – Toronto (FanDuel Price: $4,400)
Cory Joseph, otherwise nicknamed “CoJo” has been seeing more time off Toronto’s bench. He has played 33+ minutes in each of the last three games, putting up decent FP totals of 22, 21, and 21 over that span. He doesn’t present much in terms of upside, but if you need a filler to round out your lineup, I wouldn’t feel bad about using Joseph in a favorable matchup with Denver.
10 - Omri Casspi – SF – Sacramento (FanDuel Price: $4,200)
Ordinarily we only target Casspi if Rudy Gay or DeMarcus Cousins are out. However, he has been seeing playing time despite the team being at full health, seeing 33 minutes in that situation last game. Jae Crowder is certainly safer as a value SF, but he is also marginally more expensive. If the $800 difference makes-or-breaks your lineup, taking a chance on Casspi could be worth it.