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 six games, with three (!) carrying point totals over 230. There are no big blowout risks on the slate, and there aren’t any star injuries to worry about heading into the evening. That means that bargain plays tonight will come from matchups and usage rather than back-up opportunity.
Jamal Murray – G – Denver (DRAFT Projection 32.1)
Murray has exceeded this projection in each of his last three games, all similarly good matchups. If you’re in this range looking for your first (because you nabbed Nikola Jokic and Paul George, for example) or second guard, I prefer Murray’s floor and upside tonight over some of the players projected like he is.
Nemanja Bjelica – F – Sacramento (DRAFT Projection 29.7)
I guess the DRAFT projection makers aren’t ready to buy into Bjelica yet. In the six (of eight) games where he’s played at least 25 minutes, Bjelica has scored at least 33 fantasy points. In the last four games, the Kings have given him a ton of run and he’s averaged around 44 fantasy points per game. I know that Sacramento has a way of messing with a good thing and shifting lineups for no apparent reason, but I have to believe they’re going to stick with this kid. He ranks 27th in the league in player efficiency, thanks in part to his 70 TS%. He’s not fully dependent on scoring, however, as he has two double-doubles in the last four games, and several multi-steal and/or multi-block games this season. One more thing? The matchup with Atlanta is a primo one for forwards.
Colin Sexton – PG – Cleveland (FD: $5000, DK: $4600)
I’ll keep writing about him until his salary goes up. He’s coming off his best game of the season Tuesday night, with 17 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists and a block. Now playing consistently around 25 MPG, Sexton hasn’t wrested the starting job from George Hill yet, but he is consistently doing enough to warrant consideration as a cheap cash game play tonight.
Patrick Beverley – PG – LA (FD: $4600, DK: $4100)
I only ever use Beverley in tournaments; thanks to his dramatic volatility, he’s always low owned. The thing is, most of his statistical variability comes from scoring, meaning his steals, assists, and rebounds actually provide a decent floor for the price. If and when his shot falls, he has 40-fantasy point upside. This is soft ‘analysis’, but after following him for so long, this Philly game feels like one that he could go off in.
Lou Williams – SG – LA (FD: $5000, DK: $5500)
Williams makes for the safer Clippers guard to play tonight. Usable in any and all cash games, Williams has been as rock solid to start this season as he was last year, albeit at about 10 fantasy points fewer per game. Still, his salary makes up for that and in a game total of 230, we have to expect a 20-point effort from Williams tonight.
DeAndre’ Bembry – SF – Atlanta (FD: $5000, DK: $4000)
Bembry caught my attention with his monster 16-rebound game against Dallas last week, but has followed it up with some fairly consistent performances. With 45-fantasy point upside in his back pocket, Bembry has been able to provide production in a variety of ways, making him a safe bet to return 5X value or more in a fast-paced game with Sacramento that should feature tons of fantasy goodness.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist – F – Charlotte (FD: $4100, DK: $3900)
MKG is a frustrating DFS play going back years for me. There are plenty of stars to pick from this game, but if you like the pace upgrade OKC offers, and are spending up on Jokic he has played an at least 22 minutes in the last two games. His scoring is inconsistent, but Kidd-Gilchrist has rebounded well, and OKC has been an ok matchup for opposing wings so far this year.
Marvin Bagley III – PF – Sacramento (FD: $5500, DK: $5000)
Bagley, like Bjelica, is the lottery winner of being the forward that faces Atlanta tonight. They’ve been super generous to opposing forwards, for example Sam Dekker Tuesday night (12/9/4 and three steals). Bagley himself has had some ups and downs, but like Bembry, has that 40-plus fantasy point upside with a decent floor.
Al-Farouq Aminu – PF – Portland (FD: $4900, DK: $4000)
Aminu deserves a mention here, along with teammate Zach Collins, who is right around the same salary on both sites, thanks to this game having the highest point total of the night and New Orleans being a top 10 matchup for opposing PFs. Aminu isn’t the highest upside player, but coming home after a long road trip to face a Pelicans team that plays fast and emphasizes offense over defense could be a spot for him to exceed value.