It’s my favorite time of the year as the NFL season is in full swing, and daily fantasy NBA is back. We have a couple of early games and a nice five-game evening slate of basketball games. Today is tough as we don’t have any clear-cut bargain plays that make the roster construction process easier, but that doesn’t mean we can’t build a solid lineup. Let’s take a look at the players I feel you should be targeting today on FanDuel.
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Emmanuel Mudiay, Denver Nuggets, $5500 – Mudiay is a bit underpriced for a starting point guard that’s likely going to see over 30 minutes of court time. The Nuggets have a snowball’s chance in Hades of keeping this game close in Oklahoma City (the Thunder are double-digit favorites), but since Mudiay is a rookie that needs time on the court to further his development, there’s a good chance he sees his minutes regardless of the game’s dynamic. He’s not shy about shooting, and although he’s been very inefficient this season, he should contribute enough to justify his $5500 price tag.
Isaiah Thomas, Boston Celtics, $7400 – Over Boston’s first two games, Thomas has posted a 35.6% usage rate and a ridiculous 45.1% assist rate. Basically, he does everything when he’s on the court with the second unit. When a player is producing at this level, it doesn’t matter that he comes off the bench and plays just under 30 minutes. He may seem pricey at $7400, and because of his price and minutes, I don’t expect many players to roster him. I normally wouldn’t either, but I don’t feel comfortable with most of the options at the position. Due to how often he handles the ball and is involved in the scoring, Thomas is a high-floor option that has GPP-winning upside on the right nights.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks, $6500 – Giannis returned from a one-game suspension to post a ridiculous 40.8 FanDuel points. He’s a great play on almost every night because he can contribute in all five counting categories. His price tag is much too low to accurately predict what we’re going to get from him on a nightly basis. Roster him now before he’s about $1000 more expensive.
Kent Bazemore, Atlanta Hawks, $4000 – After two disappointing performances, Bazemore got his season on track with a 19-point, nine-rebound line against the Charlotte Hornets. He draws the same matchup again, and although Kyle Korver’s return will eat into some of Bazemore’s minutes, he’s still a fine value play. In most cases, you want exposure to a $4000 player that’s going to play around 30
Nikola Mirotic, Chicago Bulls, $6200 – Priced at $6200, Mirotic is my top per-dollar play at the small forward position. He draws a plus matchup with a defensively-challenged Orlando Magic team, and he should easily finish with between 25 and 30 fantasy points tonight. He’s taken eight three pointers in each of Chicago’s last two games, and as long as those shots are falling at a respectable rate, Mirotic is going to be a solid play that should see his price on the rise sooner rather than later.
DeMarre Carroll, Toronto Raptors, $6300 – After two games, it’s clear that Toronto head coach Dwayne Casey is going to be giving Carroll all the minutes he can handle this season. He’s by far their best wing defender, and he should see heavy minutes again against a Bucks team that has several good wing players. Carroll does everything on the court, and his ability to contribute on both the offensive and defensive end make him a high floor option that is capable of big upside on occasion. Pricing is difficult today, and with no obvious value plays, we need to maximize our salary cap dollars the best we can. Taking a $6300 player that’s likely to finish with around 30 fantasy points is a smart investment on a challenging day.
Marvin Williams, Charlotte Hornets, $4500 – Finally, a player that is a clear, nearly must-play value option. Williams is underpriced at $4500 given he’s played at least 36 minutes the past two games while posting solid double-doubles. As long as he’s seeing this much court time, there’s little reason to fade him at this price, especially on a day where finding value is a challenge. Given he just dropped around 30 FanDuel points on this same Atlanta Hawks team two days ago, I’m not worried about the matchup tonight.
Julius Randle, Los Angeles Lakers, $4400 – Randle was a popular pick against Sacramento, but a matchup with the formidable frontcourt duo of DeMarcus Cousins and Willie Cauley-Stein caused him too many problems. He racked up five fouls in just 16 minutes of court time, teaching us that taking a player in his second full NBA game against DeMarcus Cousins is likely going to end poorly. Fortunately for Randle, tonight’s matchup against a defensively-challenged Dirk Nowitzki is a great opportunity for Randle to get back on track. I think he easily pays off his cheap $4400 price, making him one of the better value options on today’s slate.
Clint Capela, Houston Rockets, $4500 – Terrence Jones has already been ruled out, and Donatas Motiejunas is unlikely to play. The Rockets frontcourt is, once again, very thin, and that means a bigger role for Capela. Make sure he’s starting, and if he is, feel free to deploy him in today’s matchup against the Miami Heat. Capela doesn’t have a lot of upside because of his minutes, but he should see enough time to pay off his modest $4500 price tag.
Roy Hibbert, Los Angeles Lakers, $5200 – Hibbert has yet to see big minutes, but he’s making the most out of his time on the court, posting 32 and 25 points on FanDuel over the past two games. He should do very well against a weak Dallas frontcourt, and if happens to approach 30 or more minutes, he’s likely to finish as one of the better plays on today’s slate.
Additional Plays: Al Horford