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FanDuel NBA Bargains: Monday

by Ryan Knaus
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

With a relatively light four-game slate in the NBA tonight, finding value-added players is crucial. Before discussing specific players, let's look at Vegas' over/under and point-spread data:

 

Matchup

Over/Under

Spread

Nuggets at Raptors

206

Raptors -7.0

Bulls at Nets

211

Bulls -6.0

Kings at Hawks

202.5

Hawks -7.0

Suns at Clippers

207

Clippers -10.5

 

There's not a lot of separation tonight in terms of Vegas' expectations. The Bulls vs. Nets have the highest over/under, but it's just 8.5 points higher than the lowest game (Kings vs. Hawks). Similarly, the Clippers vs. Suns game appears to be the most likely blowout, but the Clippers are favored by just 4.5 points more than the Bulls. With that in mind, let's look for value-added players by price range.

 

$7,001 and up

DeMarcus Cousins (C, $9,900) is the most expensive player tonight, but there is enough value to be found that it's relatively easy to fit him into your lineup. He's averaging 33.0 points, 11.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.0 steals over his past two games, good for 50.3 FanDuel points (FDP), and there's nothing too intimidating about a matchup vs. Dwight Howard and Atlanta tonight. The only argument against locking Boogie into your lineups is the potential to play Jonas Valanciunas or Jusuf Nurkic as bargains...more on that later.

 

I will be playing DeMar DeRozan (SG, $7,900) tonight. He's averaging 43.3 FDP yet costs under 8k, which is already a favorable ratio. He'll square off vs. a Nuggets team that yielded the fifth-most FanDuel value to shooting guards last year. Furthermore, DeRozan is sporting a ludicrous usage rate of 40.8 percent through two games -- that's higher than Russell Westbrook, Anthony Davis, James Harden, Damian Lillard and DeMarcus Cousins. I can't think of an argument against DeRozan tonight.

 

Blake Griffin (PF, $9,000) and Paul Millsap (PF, $8,100) are both primed for huge games tonight. Blake squares off against a Suns team that is starting Jared Dudley at PF and giving substantial minutes to rookies Marquese Chriss and Dragan Bender, so he must be salivating over this matchup. Barring a blowout, I'm expecting a 20 & 10 line at a minimum. Millsap should also feast vs. the Kings tonight. He comes in boasting a hefty 31.4% usage rate, and nothing about the Kings' frontcourt suggests they can defend him from the 3-point line to the rim. I'll happily sacrifice at other positions to deploy both studs tonight.

 

 

$5,001 to $7,000


Jonas Valanciunas (C, $6,400) is a solid value on paper, but I'm a bit leery of him tonight. The reason is the matchup vs. Denver's frontcourt. Jusuf Nurkic and Nikola Jokic haven't faced the fiercest centers in the league through two games (Omer Asik and Mason Plumlee), but they've still allowed a paltry 15.7 FDP in those games. That number will come up, obviously, but JV's owners must also consider the risk of foul trouble -- Nurkic has been a beast on post-ups this year and Denver is likely to feed him early and often tonight. Valanciunas is in the mix but I prefer paying up for DeMarcus Cousins or paying less for Nurkic tonight.

 

Is this the game Brandon Knight (SG, $5,800) will break out of his funk? On the one hand, Devin Booker (SG, $6,100) is questionable because of a right big toe injury...even if he plays, he's unlikely to play huge minutes. On the other hand, the Clippers were stingy against SGs last season thanks to pest defenders J.J. Redick and Austin Rivers, and Knight has been awful at just 28.9% shooting this year. I might roll the dice on him in a tournament lineup, but find it hard to trust him for cash-game purposes. For a cheaper punt-SG option, see Sean Kilpatrick below.

 

T.J. Warren (SF, $5,500) is as close to a must-play as you'll find tonight. He's going to have a sky-high ownership rate, though, so don't expect to gain an advantage with him in tourneys. Why will Warren be so popular? He's averaging 28.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 2.0 steals over his past two games. The bad news is that he'll face dedicated-defender Luc Mbah a Moute tonight, whose sole job is to check guys like Warren. I don't expect an offensive explosion tonight, but Warren's floor is high enough that he's basically a lock for 5-6x value with upside.

 

Jusuf Nurkic (C, $5,200) is very cheap, so if you deploy him you can load up with stars at other positions. The Raptors were not a good DFS matchup for centers last year, giving up the sixth-fewest FanDuel points per game to the position, but 25 FDP is likely Nurk's floor tonight. Picking up 5x value with upside is tempting, and if I'm not playing Cousins I'll be rolling with Nurkic.

 

Jeremy Lin (PG, $6,500) has recovered nicely after a poor season opener, and in his past two games he's averaging 16.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, 9.5 assists and 1.5 steals. Rajon Rondo isn't a threatening defender and Lin should cruise to a double-double with extras in a game with the highest over/under of the evening.

 

I'm shying away from Emmanuel Mudiay (PG, $5,900) tonight due to concerns about the matchup with Kyle Lowry -- the Nuggets' young PG has 11 turnovers and seven assists through two games, and I don't expect that ratio to improve vs. K-Low. Instead, I'll be turning toward either Dennis Schroder (PG, $6,300) vs. the Kings, or preferably Ty Lawson (PG, $5,100) vs. the Hawks. Of the two, Lawson stands out as a superior value. He's $1,200 cheaper, for starters, and he's played a minimum of 34 minutes in the Kings' first three games. Schroder, meanwhile, has played just 25 and 28 minutes in his first two appearances. I'm anticipating a solid game from Lawson after two quiet outings vs. the Spurs and Wolves, and there are no cheaper PGs who come close to his upside.

 

Will Barton (SG, $5,300) gets another start at SG tonight with Gary Harris (groin) already ruled out. Barton is averaging 38.0 minutes per game through two games and he's a threat to score 20 points every night as a starter, which is great in a FanDuel system that heavily favors the scoring category. He'll expend a lot of energy trying to check DeRozan defensively, but at this price Barton is still a nice mid-range value.

 

Trevor Booker (PF, $5,300) has been a nice surprise this season, emerging as one of the steadiest players in a rather chaotic Nets' rotation. He's coming off a stellar effort on Saturday, when he posted 14 & 14 with two blocks, one steal and one assist, but he remains an affordable option in a thin pool of PFs.

 

$3,500 to $5,000

 

Sean Kilpatrick (SG, $4,000) is cheap enough to make the cut in a promising matchup tonight. He's averaging 0.92 FanDuel points per minute this year, so a 25-minute allotment should be sufficient for 6x value. That's good enough on a night with a dearth of clear-cut SG values.

 

Can Mike Muscala (PF, $4,200) keep up his torrid play to start the season? He's had two relatively easy matchups thus far vs. the Wizards and 76ers, and he's used the opportunity to average 27.2 FanDuel points. It must be reiterated that this is a tiny two-game sample size, but at just $4,200 there's some incentive to roll the dice here. Ideally, though, I'd like to pay up for both Blake Griffin and Paul Millsap at PF tonight...or just grab one of them with Trevor Booker.

 

Ryan Knaus
Despite residing in Portland, Maine, Ryan Knaus remains a heartbroken Sonics fan who longs for the days of Shawn Kemp and Xavier McDaniel. He has written for Rotoworld.com since 2007. You can follow him on Twitter.