FanDuel Bargain Bin
Today’s Tuesday NBA slate has just three games, and they’re all interesting. With just a couple top stars on the slate tonight, we’ll look for bargain plays that offer a reasonably high floor to complement a more solid, mid-range value lineup than a stars and scrubs lineup. 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.
Spencer Dinwiddie $5800: Expect nearly 100 percent ownership of Dinwiddie tonight, as he’ll be the starter in a Nets backcourt super-low on healthy bodies. In two games where Dinwiddie has played around 30 minutes, he’s averaged 40 fantasy points. Boston is a pace downgrade for all the Nets, and that hurts a little, but Vegas thinks this game stays fairly close and Dinwiddie should be all about opportunity.
Dejounte Murray $4400: The minutes for Murray and Patty Mills ($4500) have been frustratingly variable to start the season. Mills is probably the safer play in what is the third-best PG matchup in terms of fantasy points allowed, but he doesn’t offer much upside. Murray is coming off his best game since the first week of the season, in which he scored 17 points to go along with four rebounds, five assists and a block. Given the great matchup I want exposure to the Spurs PG, and I lean slightly more towards Murray, but this is close to a coin flip.
Wesley Matthews $5100: Matthews should be slated for heavy minutes tonight against a Spurs team that is low-key susceptible to opposing 2-guards. The problem with Matthews is his inconsistency. Any given night he can score from zero (yes, zero points in 33 minutes is in his game log) to 20-plus points. I accept the variability in peripherals for a shooting guard, but the scoring has to be there for Matthews to reach value. J.J. Barea ($4200) is a safer path to 18-20 fantasy points, but he lacks the upside Matthews offers.
Manu Ginobili $4100: After taking Saturday night off, Ginobili should be well-rested for tonight’s Texas rivalry. Dallas ranks 28th in defensive efficiency and the Spurs’ implied team total is 104 points. It’s a matchup that should suit the pure shooter Ginobili, and I won’t be surprised if he’s responsible for around 15 of the Spurs points tonight.
C.J. Miles $3100: In this case you can have it all; the bargain basement salary and the secure path to playing time. Norman Powell missed shootaround this morning, leaving it extremely unlikely that he plays tonight. Miles should be in line for 20-plus minutes off the bench in what should be a fun and high scoring game.
Trevor Ariza $5700: Ariza’s price never changes, and for the most part, neither does his production. He’s the perfect high-floor play on this three-game slate, with solid double-digit points, 5-7 rebounds, a couple assists and a steal or two.
Kyle Anderson $5200: Please don’t take the message that you want a lineup full of cheap Spurs, because you don’t. If you spend on PG and SG, however, Anderson makes a nice SF fill-in with one of the $6-7K guys (Harrison Barnes, DeMarre Carroll, Jaylen Brown). Anderson has scored at least 10 points in back-to-back games and posted his first double-double Friday night. He fills the stat sheet which gives him a nice floor with upside in a good matchup like he’ll see tonight.
Trevor Booker $4300: Booker looked good Saturday night in Utah, after missing the previous four games with back soreness. The Nets need healthy bodies so I like Booker to see at least 20 minutes off the bench tonight, and although Boston is currently the best defensive team in the league and ranks second in rebound rate, Booker should reach value at this salary.
Ryan Anderson $4600, Luc Mbah a Moute $4300: The Raptors chief defensive weakness comes at the PF position where they’ve given up the third-most fantasy points this season. Anderson is the safer play with more minutes and the starting job, but his scoring is down this season. Mbah a Moute is a capable 3-point shooter as well, and has been boosting his stat lines with 2-3 steals per game since his return from a sore knee. Both players come with 30-fantasy point upside and 10-fantasy point floors.
Jonas Valanciunas $5300: I haven’t tried to build a lineup that would force me off Clint Capela, Pau Gasol or Al Horford yet, so I don’t know if there’s even a reason to go this low at center. If you are choosing to save big here, and in case it’s not clear, I’M NOT, Valanciunas offers the most upside. There is definite risk with him as both his minutes and production have varied dramatically this season, and Houston is a top-four rebounding team. His rebounding, scoring and block numbers are all down relative to his career averages but a modest double-double is in his range if you insist on saving here.