FanDuel Bargain Bin
Even on small slates, you have to find creative ways to fit in the studs, and this Thursday is no different. With a lot of tantalizing talent across the board tonight, you need to reach for value. In this column, I generally set $6000 as the bargain threshold, and I try to indicate when I think a position is particularly well-suited--or not--to using the cheap plays given the landscape of the particular slate.
Remember that tonight’s slate starts at 6:00 pm ET to accommodate the World Series game being played in Cleveland at 8:00 pm (and Go Cubs)!
Kris Dunn $4000: Ricky Rubio’s elbow injury is giving the rookie his first start in the NBA. There’s some question about whether he’s ready to run an offense, and he didn’t shoot well in his pre-season action. However, an increase in minutes is always valuable, and at this price, you certainly aren’t risking much by slotting Dunn into one of your PG spots. I think this game is a sneaky one for value today, because both teams are top six in offensive efficiency and bottom three in defensive efficiency. I’d bet the over if I were into that sort of thing.
Matthew Dellavedova $4600: Another team you want some exposure to is the Bucks, facing a New Orleans team that already ranks near the top in fantasy points allowed to every position on the court once again. Delly is playing right around 30 minutes per game and thrived in his last plus matchup with the Brooklyn Nets. If you’re looking to differentiate away from Dunn in value land, Dellavedova could be the sneaky safe play.
Evan Fournier $6000: On a night with plenty of fantasy goodness at the top of the price range (Portland, Golden State, Cleveland, Houston, Indiana), don’t overlook another woeful, defense-less matchup between Orlando and Philadelphia. These teams rank nearly last in field goal percentage and offensive efficiency, turn the ball over, and play relatively fast. Fournier has been a little up and down, but has two games with 20+ points and came away with two steals apiece in his first two games of the season. Expect the higher end of his range of outcomes tonight.
Lou Williams $4300: A lot of people don’t think Williams should have as big a role in the Lakers young, rebuilding offense, but with 20 minutes per game, he’s shooting 60% and boasts a better than average 22.9 assist ratio. The high total on this game and the chance of a Pacers blowout victory could mean more minutes for Williams, who has enjoyed relatively high usage (23.6) and efficiency (32.7) when on the floor.
Aaron Gordon $5900: The 76ers are still a great DFS matchup to target and Gordon has been rock steady for Orlando this season, averaging about 27 fantasy points per game with little variance. I’m not sure tonight’s slate lends itself to players in Gordon’s price range; I think the majority will want to go high-low (stud-dud, etc.) given the high totals on some of tonight’s games and values like Dunn. So, Gordon and a couple other players I’ll list here, along with mid-range guards like Mike Conley, Jeff Teague, C.J. McCollum, and Klay Thompson (who has smashed vs. Portland in the last two years) make for a more contrarian lineup than normal.
Justise Winslow $5000: Miami is the small favorite in a 200 point total game at home, and Sacramento is again one of the worst teams in terms of defensive efficiency and fantasy points allowed to opposing wings/small forwards. Winslow comes in at the higher end of fantasy points per dollar at this position, and has accumulated those points in multiple categories with relatively little variance. He’s probably going to be overlooked a bit tonight as the Heat players often are in DFS but I like the combination of safety and price he gives you tonight.
Gorgui Dieng $5900: Dieng has been a favorite of mine for a couple years now and it’s great to see him off to a hot start, with back-to-back double-doubles. His true shooting percentage (60%) and rebounding rate (23.6) are excellent and I think his usage probably goes up with Ricky Rubio off the court. Dieng falls into the same category as Aaron Gordon above, where I think people will be going higher or lower than his salary and potentially missing out on a high ceiling game.
Al-Farouq Aminu $4500: So if you are going high-low, consider Aminu, who has been a bit up and down so far this season, but is coming off a good performance against a weak defense in Denver. The point total and defensive struggles Golden State has exhibited thus far bode well for Aminu to hit the high range of his outcomes. It’s also likely that he can’t shoot any worse than he has so far, and the regression could start tonight.
Joel Embiid $4500: The 76ers have been forthcoming about their plans to rest Jahlil Okafor tonight and Embiid tomorrow night in their back-to-back set. That’s good news for us, because even though Embiid is on a minutes restriction, at his price he’s been efficient enough to meet value (1.35 fantasy points per minute). The Magic, through a week of basketball, are allowing the third-most fantasy points to opposing centers.