Welcome to the NBA DFS Bargains column, where we’ll sort through underrated players on DRAFT while also mining for value in salary cap formats like FanDuel and DraftKings. Please take note that this article was created earlier in the day, so pertinent injury information and breaking news could add or subtract bargain situations. Paying attention to our NBA News & Headlines feed is one way to stay on top of everything.
With that, let’s go ahead and dive into the bargain bin!
Kyle Lowry – G – Toronto (DRAFT Projection: 32.6)
This is an extremely low projection for Lowry when considering his averaging 37.2 FPPG on the season. Throw in the fact that Kawhi Leonard (questionable) may miss another game, and Lowry seems like a safe bet to surpass the 32.6 DRAFT expectation. He has broken the slump with 42 and 54 fantasy points respectively in his last two – both coming with Leonard out of the lineup. He’d obviously be a fantastic pick if Kawhi misses another game, but I believe Lowry will post a strong outing regardless.
Serge Ibaka – C - Toronto (DRAFT Projection: 32.9)
Kawhi Leonard isn’t the only injury situation for Toronto, although his absence wouldn’t hurt the cause of Serge Ibaka. Raptors’ center Jonas Valanciunas will miss some time with a hand injury sustained on Wednesday. That puts Ibaka into an expanded role with more minutes at center. Serge has been cruising with 44+ fantasy points in three straight, and he’ll continue to 20 point 10 rebound upside as Toronto will lean on him heavily moving forward. His opponent, Portland, ranks 23rd in defensive efficiency vs opposing frontcourts.
FANDUEL & DRAFTKINGS BARGAINS
Fred VanVleet – PG – Toronto (FD: $4700 / DK: $4800)
This pick depends on an injury situation. As mentioned earlier, Kawhi Leonard is questionable tonight. There’s a chance Toronto will hold him out for a third straight game, as the Raptors have been playing well without him. If that’s the case, Fred VanVleet could be looking at another starting nod that has yielded an average of 29 fantasy points over the past two in Leonard’s absence. There’s a good chance he’ll operate in that range with a 27-30 minute workload if Kawhi sits again.
Furkan Korkmaz – SG - Philadelphia (FD: $4900 / DK: $3800)
This pick depends on an injury situation. Jimmy Butler is questionable tonight. He left early in Monday’s game vs Detroit, then sitting out Wednesday’s tilt vs Brooklyn. Furkan Korkmaz filled in admirably while averaging 30 minutes and 34 fantasy points in those two games. If Butler misses tonight’s game vs Indiana, Korkmaz could be looking at another full workload of 30-34 minutes to profile as a solid value play through all formats.
Mason Plumlee – C - Denver (FD: $5600 / DK: $4300)
The Nuggets have several injury situations at the moment as Paul Millsap, Gary Harris, and Will Barton will continue to miss time. Denver has been using Trey Lyles and Mason Plumlee to hold down the frontcourt, and Plumlee moved into the starting lineup on Monday to notch 32 fantasy points in 35 minutes. That solid performance should earn him more playing time moving forward, and he’s a fine value option on both sites.
Kelly Oubre Jr. – SF – Washington (FD: $5500 / DK: $5400)
This pick somewhat depends on an injury situation, but Oubre can be utilized regardless of Otto Porter Jr’s status. Obviously we’d like him more if Porter missed another game, which would then solidify heavy minutes for Oubre. He has taken that role to produce 42 and 26 fantasy points in 37 and 38 minutes respectively over the past two. His skillset combined with a full helping of minutes against a Brooklyn team that ranks dead last vs opposing small forwards would make for an excellent fantasy situation.
Kevin Knox – PF – New York (FD: $5600 / DK: $4800)
Knox broke out with 47 fantasy points in 41 minutes on Sunday vs Charlotte, earning a starting spot with 34 FP in 32 minutes Wednesday at Cleveland. There’s a good chance that’s his new role for the Knicks, as he’s playing great basketball that certainly warrants substantial playing time. The price has slightly risen, but Knox may still be too cheap when considering the recent uptick. He’ll look to flirt with another 20 point 10 rebound game against that same Charlotte team he dominated on Sunday.
As you’ve probably noticed, majority of these bargain plays depend on injury situations. How about another guy who falls into that category? Okay, here you go: Marcus Smart (SG) would see expanded minutes in an excellent matchup vs Atlanta if Jaylen Brown (questionable) missed his second straight game. Smart thrived with 37 fantasy points in 39 minutes at Washington with Brown sidelined on Wednesday.
Don’t forget about Juancho Hernangomez (SF), who has been seeing 36-40 minutes per outing with all of the injuries for Denver. He has averaged 29 FPPG over four games with that role. Tonight’s opponent, Oklahoma City, ranks 25th in defensive efficiency vs small forwards.
I like Markieff Morris (PF) in tournaments. He has been very modest in recent games, but there would be an opportunity for him to step up if Otto Porter Jr missed another game. Foul trouble has been a concern lately, so therein lies the risk. However, if Morris stays on the court, he could make things happen against a Brooklyn team that ranks 25th in defensive efficiency vs opposing frontcourts and 26th in rebound rate.