NBA DFS Bargains: Tuesday
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.
Opening night of the 2018-19 season features four rock solid, entertaining and exciting teams from which to build your roster. I can’t wait to get a look at a fully healthy Boston Celtics team, and though we’ll have to wait on Demarcus Cousins to see a fully healthy super, super team, the Warriors are always a joy to watch. Opening night always features a ton of star power, so finding the right bargains is essential. There also isn’t a ton of room for lineup variability tonight, with only two games on the slate. A couple of these bargains are guys that I’d swap in around a solid core lineup to maximize upside while limiting exposure to just one or two of them at a time.
Klay Thompson – G – Golden State (DRAFT projection 27.5)
Thompson was one of the biggest fantasy disappointments last season. With 50-point upside, Thompson simply wasn’t asked to do a ton on the offensively stacked Warriors team. His defense is outstanding, and Thompson’s FG% and 3P% in 2017 were actually the best of his career. Averaging 1.4 fewer shots per game, 1.2 fewer 3’s per game, and 1.5 fewer free throws per game led to his scoring almost 300 fewer points than he had in 2015 or 2016. I don’t necessarily think Thompson vastly exceeds this projection, which is fair (all of the DRAFT projections seem fair today!), but he is a solid, very safe play with 35-fantasy point upside in this matchup with the Andre Roberson-less Thunder.
Dario Saric – F – Philadelphia (DRAFT projection 28)
The 76ers are dealing with a new rotation to start the 2018 season, as well as a few injuries that leave them a bit thin at forward. In addition to Wilson Chandler not being ready to start the season, Mike Muscala is ruled out tonight. Like Thompson, I think Saric’s projection is reasonable, but he’s such a multi-category contributor that he can exceed value any given night. He was stellar in his last two playoff games (vs. Boston), averaging 26 points, nine rebounds and four assists with a block and steal in each.
Damian Jones – C – Golden State (DK : $3000, FD: $4000)
Jones has been named the starting center for the Warriors tonight, with the expectation that minutes will be shared with Draymond Green, Jordan Bell, and Kevin Looney. Jones distinguished himself in the preseason, posting valuable stat lines in limited minutes, so the time share doesn’t scare me too much. Steven Adams, questionable with back stiffness, is a tough opponent, and the Thunder usually do well when it comes to limiting opposing bigs, but Jones’ salary is so low and his opportunity so great that he’s hard to fade tonight.
It seems like OKC always has some kind of wing issue. Now that Andre Roberson is out for a while, we’ll get to see a couple of their young wings in regular season action. Diallo was more impressive in the preseason, and Ferguson is just cleared from a concussion, so my money is on Diallo to exceed value tonight. That said, both will likely get minutes and both are cheap enough – on both sites – that throwing Ferguson in a tournament lineup isn’t out of the question.
Marcus Smart – SG – Boston (DK: $4400, FD: $5700)
Smart should still be expected to have a pretty big role, with Gordon Hayward being on a 25-minute limit to start the season in addition to his normal relief of Jaylen Brown at SG. He’s proven himself a valuable wing player on both sides of the ball, and like Redick, is almost a sure thing to meet value if he gets 25 minutes. He’s obviously a much more preferable play on DraftKings. Semi Ojeleye is the deeper risk/reward play if you’re looking for tournament differentiation and going with a true stars/scrubs lineup.
JJ Redick – SG – Philadelphia (DK: $4900, FD: $5100)
Redick will come off the bench as Philly starts Markelle Fultz and Ben Simmons together tonight. Redick’s experience and steady shooting will guarantee him 25-30 minutes and playing on the second unit may even open up more good looks for the veteran guard (something that may be more relevant when not facing Marcus Smart). My approach to Redick is usually salary based – if $5K is what I have, I trust him to return value but I don’t go out of my way to build around him.