We are now nearly full two weeks into the NBA season, and things are starting to become clearer each and every day. The key to long term success in NBA DFS on FanDuel is finding value by locating underpriced players.
Today's article will focus primarily on players you should be targeting in your head to head and 50-50 style games. With that being said, these are not players you should completely exclude from tournament play. Let’s take a look at Saturday’s seven-game slate (excluding the 3:30 PM EST game between the Trail Blazers and Clippers).
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors, $10,000 – Curry is the most expensive point guard on the board for Saturday’s slate, but he should be worth every penny. The Rockets have already ruled out their lockdown defender, Patrick Beverley, meaning the matchup for Curry will be even easier. The Warriors are currently playing at the fastest pace in the NBA and the Rockets also like to push the pace. This game has shootout potential, and the Vegas lines agree, setting the over/under at 205. Curry is a very safe pick for solid production on Saturday.
Mo Williams, Minnesota Timberwolves, $4,100 – Ricky Rubio left last night’s game with what appeared to be a very serious ankle injury. Assuming Rubio misses tonight’s game, Williams is going to make for a great play. Williams logged 31 minutes last night and would be forced to play as many minutes as he can handle in tonight’s matchup with the Heat. At $4,100, Williams should be one of the first players you put on your roster for Saturday night.
Jimmy Butler, Chicago Bulls, $6,700 – At his current price of $6,700, Butler is severely underpriced and close to a must play. The price certainly does not match up with his production, which give us the opportunity to save some cap room to spend elsewhere. Butler exceeded 40 fantasy points for the second time this season in last night’s win over Philadelphia. He will be receiving a pretty large price increase soon, which means this is most likely the last chance to take advantage of the discount.
Courtney Lee, Memphis Grizzlies, $4,500 – Lee is player that continually flies under the DFS radar for some reason. Much of this has to do with the fact that he plays on a non-flashy team that is not known for scoring a ton of points. Lee’s minutes continue to be in the mid thirties and the production has been impressive. In his first game back from a concussion, Lee poured in 35 FanDuel fantasy points, which almost doubles the value threshold for his price tag. You can expect Lee to play heavy minutes and exceed value in his Saturday matchup with the Bucks.
Trevor Ariza, Houston Rockets, $6,400 – This play comes with a little bit of risk, due to the fact that Ariza is a guy that is very dependent on hitting threes in order to be productive fantasy-wise. On Saturday night, I think it makes sense to overlook this risk and roster Ariza for a couple reasons. First off, teammate James Harden will most likely be matched up with a great defender in Klay Thompson. Additionally, Dwight Howard has a difficult matchup up against Andrew Bogut, who has been a solid interior defender throughout his career. These tough matchups for Harden and Howard should open up some opportunities for Ariza. This play does come with some risk, but the moderate price tag of $6,400 isn’t going to kill your budget.
Chris Copeland, Indiana Pacers, $5,400 – The Pacers finally decided to bump Copeland into the starting lineup on Friday, which instantly increases his fantasy value. Copeland logged a whopping 37 minutes last night, scoring 17 actual points. Assuming he starts again tonight, Copland makes for a great play at $5,400 against the Wizards. His current price point is based on a bench role, not a starting gig, and he should log over 30 minutes of playing time again versus Washington. I like Copeland as a core value play tonight.
Anthony Davis, New Orleans Hornets, $10,800 – Well, it s a good thing we were able to find some value at the other positions, because power forward offers none. The Spurs have historically been a team known to play tough, hard-nosed defense, but this is no longer the case. The Spurs will frequently play at one of the fastest paces in the NBA, leaving many transition opportunities for opposing teams. I’m having trouble trying to think of a player on the Spurs roster that has any sort of chance at keeping up with Davis in this matchup. His athleticism will be too much to handle for the aging Spurs defense. It’s hard to expect Davis to return value at his current price tag, but he is the safest bet for production at the power forward position on Saturday night.
Pau Gasol, Chicago Bulls, $8,400 – Sticking with the theme of consistency at the power forward position, Gasol fits perfectly. Gasol is as steady as they come - his minutes are always above 30 (34-41 this season) and his production has been great so far this season (above 33 fantasy points every game). When you really crunch the numbers, he is slightly above one fantasy point per minute. As mentioned in the Anthony Davis writeup, I do not see much value at the power forward position tonight, so it will be best to lock in reliable players such as Gasol.
Marc Gasol, Memphis Grizzlies, $8,200 – Gasol had a disappointing game last night against the Thunder. I do, however, think there is some good to take out of this performance, and that is the fact that his peripheral stats were still there. Gasol was still able to finish the game with nine rebounds, three assists and three blocks. The bad performance was a result of his low scoring (eight points) and turnovers (five). With the exception of last night’s game, Gasol has been a very consistent producer this season. I like him to get back on track Saturday against the weak interior defense of the Bucks.