For those of us that thrive in the not too big, not too small, just right 6-9 game slates, this week of NBA scheduling is really testing our mettle. For this Wednesday we rebound from the two game Tuesday night to a huge 12 game slate. What's been even tougher is the unpredictable performance of top tier players lately, either due to blowouts, injuries, or simple off nights. Some nights I'm sure I'd be better off just using value plays and leaving thousands of salary on the table! Should you choose to take that approach tonight, I've got you covered here. (I don't really recommend it though). I try to keep these bargain bin plays under $5500 on FanDuel, and as always, I'll give you my thoughts on whether I plan to save or spend at each position. Good luck tonight!
Langston Galloway ($4000): Galloway should be a popular PG punt play tonight, as we all love flocking to the Knicks value plays. When they play the 76ers, oh my! even more so. Despite the utter lack of defense played by the Knicks (2nd last in the league in defensive efficiency), the fact that both teams are terrible on offense (bottom five in offensive efficiency, bottom two in points scored) has this game at the 2nd lowest total of the night according to Vegas. In his favor, Galloway has played significant minutes in the Knicks last five games and averaged 20 fpts over that span. None of those were even remotely good matchups for him (Washington, Milwaukee, Houston...teams I do not play PG against if I can help it). As the 76ers turn the ball over more than anyone, Galloway has a chance to boost his balanced stat line with a few steals tonight too. Philadelphia is 7th in both fantasy points allowed to PG and in DEff vs PG. 30 fpts from Galloway would not surprise me tonight.
Devin Harris ($4100): Dallas is leading the league in offensive efficiency and is No. 2 in points scored per game (108.4). They are huge favorites tonight against the defenseless Timberwolves. As tempting as the starter matchups are in this game, I've learned to take advantage of cheap value in games predicted to end by a wide margin. Enter Devin Harris. He's really nothing special, but when he gets the opportunity to see 20+ minutes he typically reaches value pretty easily. Whether that opportunity arises from injury, foul trouble, or, in tonight's case, a blowout, Harris should be a cheap way to get 20 fantasy points.
Advice: You really have your pick at the PG position tonight. There are top tier studs in good situations (Steph Curry, John Wall), mid-range plays in good matchups (Rajon Rondo, Brandon Jennings), and the aforementioned value plays along with Patrick Beverley ($5400), Grevais Vasquez ($4600), Isaiah Thomas ($5500), and DJ Augustin ($3900) to consider. My strategy will be to mix up my PG, with one high and one low salary play in each lineup. Galloway will be my top value play here.
Lou Williams ($5200): As long as Williams' price tag remains this low, he'll be featured here. The Raptors will attempt to push the pace in Memphis in what should be a competitive game with a fairly high total (for a Grizzlies game anyway). Williams hasn't been negatively impacted by the return of DeMar DeRozan (who also makes a nice play here), maintaining 21-28 mpg, and scoring at least 15 points in three of the last four (and eight of the last ten for that matter!). Memphis, despite still being a good defensive team (11th in defensive efficiency in the league) is exploitable at the SG position, where they are 4th worst in DEff.
Eric Gordon ($5100): Since returning from injury in the last eight games Gordon is averaging 34.5 mpg and 24 fantasy points per game. He's scored double digit points in all but one of those and added a healthy amount of assists and rebounds nightly. That production is not simply due to the absence of Anthony Davis, who is expected to return tonight or Jrue Holiday, whose slack has been picked up primarily by Tyreke Evans. Gordon has a legitimate spot in the Pelicans rotation, and has provided some of the most consistent fantasy numbers at the position over the past two weeks. Taking on the Lakers in a high scoring game in which the Pelicans are favorites is a recipe for continued success.
Advice: Both of these plays are pretty safe cash game options for me. Will you pay up for James Harden tonight after his letdown vs the Warriors on Saturday? Trust Dwyane Wade in a b2b? I won't. I do like several of the mid-range guys tonight: Monta Ellis, Klay Thomspn, DeMar DeRozan, and even Joe Johnson, but I'll be sprinkling both Williams and Gordon into my lineups to save some cash at the position.
Jeff Green ($5600): With several high scoring, large spread games on tap tonight, I am liking this more competitive Raptors Grizzlies matchup. Toronto's overall defense gets a little better with the return of DeRozan, but they've allowed the 4th most fantasy points to SF on the season. Since joining the team, Jeff Green's scoring has improved and he's still contributing around 5 reb and 2 ast per game with the occasional block or steal for a consistent average of 25 fpts/game. I don't see Green having the same high ceiling he had in Boston as a primary playmaker but I do like his floor here.
Kyle Singler ($3700): Singler is a GPP only play near the minimum salary. Despite consistently getting over 20 minutes a game, Singler will sometimes return 8 fpts, sometimes 30 fpts. It's very frustrating, but when he's on, it's a huge boon for your lineup at his cost. Tonight the Pistons take on the Orlando Magic in Detroit, in a game with a 209 o/u. Orlando allows the 5th most fpts to SF, and is 3rd worst in DEff to the position. When Detroit played Philadelphia last weekend, Singler went off, scoring 20 real points in the good matchup. It's a risk, but the stars appear aligned for a good Singler performance tonight.
Advice: There are a lot of ways to play the pesky SF slots tonight, with all the stud players, including LeBron James, looking at least probable for their games tonight. I'll likely be looking to save here in at least one slot with Green. Gordon Hayward, Chandler Parsons, and Nic Batum all have sweet matchups in the mid-range salary pool, but they all have the wrong combination of low ceiling and low floor for me lately. Andrew Wiggins and Draymond Green are in the same range and despite tougher matchups on paper, make better plays tonight.
Channing Frye ($4300): Frye started the season off on hot fire, but quickly cooled off, especially in his shooting. Over the last five games, however he has made some strides to becoming a useful fantasy commodity again. In those games, he's played at least 32 minutes as a starter and scored at least 20 fpts. That's not terrific efficiency, but for his price, the output is more than sufficient. The scoring is still erratic (range of 3-17 points) but he's reliably adding rebounds, assists, steals, and a couple blocks. In a matchup with the Pistons 2nd most generous frontcourt in terms of fantasy points allowed (7th in DEff to the PF position), Frye is a great salary saver.
Nene Hilario ($5500): Nene Hilario, since returning from injury, has gradually regained my confidence in his ability to produce for DFS in the right situations. A relatively high scoring, but more importantly close game with OKC is that right kind of spot. Nene should see the high end of his minutes range, 28-30ish, and with OKC being 9th in DEff to PF and allowing the 13th most fpts here, he should be able to reach value. While his scoring is a little erratic, his rebounding is solid and he's been randomly contributing assists (eight vs Chicago) and steals (four vs Philadelphia) which obviously boost his fantasy totals. I think 25 fantasy points is a reasonable expectation in what should be a fun game to watch tonight.
Advice: There are tons of options at this position too...it's the nature of 12 game slates. Anthony Davis, Dirk Nowitzski, Pau Gasol, and Kevin Love have great matchups if you want to spend, but there's good value in the mid-range with Markieff Morris or Nerlens Noel too. I'm personally not going to use Thomas Robinson tonight, but expect him to be super popular with LaMarcus Aldridge out. Amare Stoudemire is enticing against the 76ers, but his salary ($6000) is too high given the shaky minutes he's seeing since coming back from the knee injury.
Omer Asik ($4900): Rostering Asik on the right night is its own kind of reward. He's always had potential, but whether it's marred by injury or situation, he's always been hard to trust in DFS. A game with the Lakers is a game I'm willing to chance him. He's scored at least 22 fantasy points in the last five games and that's due to a few things. A couple more minutes per game, much better rebounding, and slightly better scoring. With Davis back in the lineup, he may regress slightly, but this production started before Davis missed time. If Davis plays with any limitation or reduced minutes, I like Asik even more, but this is a guy I'm okay with in cash games for salary relief.
Myers Leonard ($3900): If you truly want to punt the center position, something I rarely do, look at Leonard. The upside of a double double is there...he has two in the last eight games, and the floor is reasonable for the price...14-15 fpts. The main reason I'm willing to consider him, with Aldridge out, of course, is that the Phoenix Suns are giving up the 8th most fantasy points to C and are 4th worst in DEff to C this year. It's a true bargain bin risk/reward play.
Advice: I'm reluctant to fade the higher priced C plays today with DeMarcus Cousins, Nikola Vucevic, Tyson Chandler, Al Horford and even Rudy Gobert in good spots. Chandler, in particular at $7100 against the Wolves is too good to pass up.