NBA DFS Bargains: Thursday
Every NBA DFS lineup needs to draw from the bottom of the player well to balance those stars who spend through the DraftKings or FanDuel salary cap with such ease. Bargain players are ideally those with low salaries, but plenty of upside. Opportunity is often the key to success for our low-cost lineup fillers. Depending on the size of your DRAFT league, you may not need to dig into the Bargain Bin, but we’ll also highlight a couple guys whose projections seem lower than they should be—potential game changers that your opponents may overlook.
This Thursday features four games, all with fantasy-friendly point totals of at least 212 points. Only the Detroit vs. Cleveland game carries a big enough spread (minus-8) to evoke any blowout concerns. Overall, this is a stronger slate for F and C than the other small slates we've had, which will make even shallow DRAFTS more interesting tonight. It should also allow for a lot of lineup construction variability and freedom on DraftKings and FanDuel.
Gary Harris – G – Denver (DRAFT Projection: 31.6)
Harris should be a top priority tonight vs. a Lakers team that is not only scoring like crazy, but defending like garbage. This should be the go-to game for fantasy points tonight, and I don’t mind loading up on a top center (Nikola Jokic) and/or F before “settling” for Harris instead of Damian Lillard, Russell Westbrook, or Kyrie Irving.
Jaylen Brown – F – Boston (DRAFT Projection: 24.8)
Brown has been a big disappointment, and even though DRAFT has him projected higher than his season average in the night’s lowest point total game, I think he makes for an interesting target in multiple fantasy formats tonight (e.g. tournaments on traditional DFS sites). For one thing, without Andre Roberson, the Thunder have struggled to defend opposing wings, and for another, Brown is playing plenty of minutes (31 and 38 in his last two games). Things will click for him, so while F is pretty deep tonight, Brown could be a nice surprise in bigger leagues.
JaVale McGee – C – LA (DRAFT Projection: 27.7)
Denver has a great frontcourt, and so far this season they have continued to be a formidable fantasy opponent for big men. However, DRAFT has McGee projected for around 10 points less than his season average. The Lakers vs. Nuggets game carries an over/under of 237.5, and the Lakers are the league’s second-highest scoring team…thanks in part to McGee’s scoring contributions (averaging 16.3 points per game). Warriors fans have long appreciated McGee’s efficiency in limited playing time, but now Luke Walton and the Lakers are giving him more minutes (23.2 mpg), allowing for the surge in production. Ranking 17th in the league in player efficiency rating (PER) he has at least six rebounds in each game, with at least three blocks in three of the four games he’s played so far. In a deeper DRAFT, McGee should be fine.
Colin Sexton – PG – Cleveland (FD: $3900, DK: $3800)
Sexton is a great bargain play on both sites today for two or three reasons. His minutes are increasing, and though his results have been a bit up and down, it seems that Cleveland is going to keep giving him opportunities. The Cavs are big underdogs tonight, which means that if the game is out of hand in the 3rd or 4th quarter, Sexton could be given even more court time. Finally, you don’t want to put an inexperienced young player directly in the path of someone like Andre Drummond, but Detroit has been a fairly fantasy-friendly guard matchup.
Ish Smith – PG – Detroit (FD: $5100, DK: $4400)
Speaking of Detroit being a big favorite tonight, Cleveland is a fantastic matchup for opposing guards. Reggie Jacksonis very playable tonight also, but Smith is significantly cheaper and could play more in a blowout. As it is, he’s averaging almost 30 mpg and has scored double-digit points in each of the Pistons’ three games.
Monte Morris – G – Denver (Both: $4300)
Morris featured here on Tuesday and didn’t disappoint. His salary has caught up with him on DK, but he’s still a nice value on FD. Like Harris, highlighted above, Morris should face a pretty easy path to value against an offensive-minded Lakers team. That this is expected to be a closer game than the big victory Tuesday over the Kings does make Morris a somewhat more risky play, but if you’re going stars and scrubs in a GPP, he’s a nice fit.
Both Portland wings are coming off the bench and both are producing from that role. Portland has come out strong offensively, ranking third in the league in points scored per game. This could be an interesting game for fantasy. Portland is a slight road favorite, facing a slower-paced Magic team that has been surprisingly good defensively in a small sample of games. Stauskas has hit 9-of-17 threes, struggling only against the Spurs, while Turner has been more consistently finding contributions with points, rebounds and a few assists. Turner is the safer cheap cash game play, while Stauskas is my tournament pick.