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).
Elfrid Payton $5700: Payton has played at least 30 minutes in each of the last four games, posting full stat lines in each of the last three, including a triple-double at Detroit and a double-double vs. Chicago on Saturday. He is in a far better matchup tonight with the Brooklyn Nets, who have allowed the eighth-most fantasy points to PGs this season (third most over the last five games). He’s an affordable, safe play with upside tonight.
Reggie Jackson $6000: This is the cheapest Jackson has been in some time and it’s because he carries some risk. Despite having relatively steady playing time (around 30 mpg), his production varies widely. I like his upside—he has three double-doubles and two other near misses (with nine assists) over the past 10 games. The game with Oklahoma City, who is as hot as anyone right now, carries a high total (215.5) and a narrow spread (-3). Although the Thunder have been a great PG matchup this year-and the best on this slate, anyone who used Kyle Lowry last night could be a bit timid about going back to this matchup. This is where a short memory comes in handy. I love Jackson for tournaments especially, but he should be fine in all formats.
Nik Stauskas $3900: Stauskas is my top value to pair with James Harden tonight at the shooting guard position. The inexpensive 76er can meet value even in big losses and I’d be happy with about 20 fantasy points from him tonight—though he’s exceeded 30 FanDuel points twice in the last eight games (OKC and BKN). Charlotte has given up the seventh-most fantasy points to SGs this season, and they’re somewhat less scary on the road. Stauskas isn’t risk-free, but will enjoy low ownership in a favorable situation tonight.
Courtney Lee $4100: You could go a little higher with Bradley Beal or Kentavious Caldwell-Pope who both also get favorable matchups tonight, but they’ve both been a little inconsistent for their prices ($5600-5700). Lee or Jeremy Lin ($4200) get the 76ers, who have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing SGs over the last five games and have both been pretty steady lately. Lee starts, and typically sees more court time than Lin, making him my favored option from the Hornets.
Otto Porter $5500: If you want some exposure to the night’s highest scoring game at a discount, consider Porter. I view him as a relatively safe, high floor play tonight but we just haven’t seen the extreme upside that he presented before his injury lately. On the plus side, without Andre Iguodala, Golden State has been a top 10 SF matchup and Porter is playing heavy minutes every night.
Richard Jefferson $3500: With the early news that LeBron James will rest tonight, Jefferson will be extremely highly owned in all formats tonight. Houston is the best small forward matchup, and while Jefferson typically doesn’t do much in his 10-15 mpg backup role, we did see him go off at Miami a couple weeks ago. If you want to be contrarian, don’t play Jefferson tonight.
Aaron Gordon $5700: In this tier, I debated between Gordon, Myles Turner, or Marvin Williams. They’re all the same salary, and they’ve all been inconsistent, especially lately. I think the Brooklyn-Orlando game could have a ton of fantasy potential tonight, given how bad the Nets are on defense. They’re also one of two teams on the second half of a back-to-back tonight. On a couple days rest, in a great matchup, I think Gordon has the most upside of the three PFs.
Carl Landry $4700 or Tristan Thompson $4500 or Nene Hilario $4000: The value here will depend on starting lineups. Nerlens Noel and Markieff Morris are both questionable tonight, and if either guy sits out, his back up would make a solid value play. Thompson has been outplaying Timofey Mozgov recently, and could see an uptick in usage with James out, but isn’t a player you can trust. He is a tournament only option against a weak Houston frontcourt.
Ian Mahinmi $5100: The lack of defense in the Chicago frontcourt is widely appreciated; they’ve given up the third-most fantasy points to opposing centers this season. Mahinmi is coming off two really good games that produced over 30 FanDuel points each. While the total on this game may turn some people off, Mahinmi should be a relatively stable, cost effective play.
Dwayne Dedmon $3900: If and only if Nikola Vucevic remains out, and you really need to save at center, Dedmon is settling into his starting role and I’ve discussed the defensive shortcomings of the Nets already. It’s not much to risk for the possibility that Dedmon plays 20 minutes and puts up his third consecutive double-digit scoring effort with a second consecutive double-double.