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.
It’s like opening night all over again. Four teams make their 2018 season debut tonight, while we get a second look at Philadelphia and Miami. All eyes will be on LeBron James and Damian Lillard, facing off in the night’s fastest and likely highest scoring game.
Otto Porter – F – Washington (DRAFT Projection 25.5)
The Wizards open the season with a few injuries to their big men, including an uncertain Dwight Howard and Markieff Morris. Porter is a regular contributor in multiple categories as it is, but I think with some extra usage he can exceed this projection by as much as 10 fantasy points. One of the reasons to dread a matchup with the Miami Heat is their traditionally slow pace, but they actually played fast Wednesday night (107.7 possessions).
Rajon Rondo – G – LA (DRAFT Projection 20.5)
Rondo has the starting PG job for now, and could exceed this projection in assists alone tonight. He’s surrounded by LeBron James, Brandon Ingram, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and maybe Josh Hart at times. This is going to be a new-look Lakers team and Rondo should be up to the task of making the blend of youth and superstardom work. A PG in a fast-paced and high scoring game at Rondo’s price (either salary cap site really, but especially FanDuel ($4500)) or this projection is a steal.
Bobby Portis – PF – Chicago ($5700 both)
Power Forward is a little thin tonight, and Portis will be popular without a doubt. His usage and ability to fill the stat sheet earn him a nod here, as his salary will likely be increasing soon. Dario Saric, a loser in this column on Tuesday, is a great bounceback candidate, but Portis is the higher floor player.
Justin Holiday – G – Chicago (FD: $4500, DK: $4300)
Holiday will start, so at this salary he’s usable no matter what, but if Denzel Washington were to sit out, he’d have a chance at 7-8X value (30-35 fantasy points).
Wendall Carter Jr. – C – Chicago (FD: $5300, DK: 4200)
Rookie Carter Jr. will start at C for the Bulls, rounding out the trio of value plays they’re offering. After a good summer league and some nice preseason performances (e.g. 11 points, seven rebounds, and two assists in 25 minutes vs. New Orleans), the Bulls are embracing the youth movement and sending Robin Lopez to the bench. It won’t be easy facing off with Joel Embiid, but Carter makes for a contrarian C play or Utility option with a reasonable floor/ceiling combo.
Rodney McGruder – G – Miami (FD: $3500, DK: $3900)
McGruder started Wednesday night and returned about 5X value. He played a notable 31 minutes given the Heat’s injuries on the wing, a situation that looks likely to repeat tonight. McGruder was largely forgettable last season, and to be honest, eight points, three rebounds, three assists and a block against Orlando doesn’t seem like much for 31 minutes. However, the salary accounts for that. He’s a way to make James and Embiid fit tonight.
Seth Curry – G – Portland (FD: $3900, DK: $3800)
First let me say that Curry is a tournament only option. Coming off the bench for the Trail Blazers, Curry impressed in the preseason, and we still remember his solid 2016-17 season with Dallas. No team has been more generous to opposing combo guards over the last two seasons than the Lakers (per RotoGrinders.com), but until we see exactly how Portland plans to utilize him, I wouldn’t trust him in cash games. That said, he’s a very interesting pivot in the showdown tournaments on FanDuel.