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!
John Collins – F – Atlanta (DRAFT Projection: 36.2)
John Collins is a beast! Just ask his game log of 41, 41, and 54 fantasy points respectively over the last three games. Collins is carrying this Atlanta team in points and rebounds at the moment, making him a fantastic DFS streamer while he’s riding this hotstreak. Remember, the Hawks are shorthanded up front with Omari Spellman, Alex Pythress, and Miles Plumlee continuing to miss time. That feeds even more into Collins’ upside, and he could have his way against a Dallas team that ranks dead last in rebound rate.
Myles Turner – C – Indiana (DRAFT Projection: 31.9)
Turner undoubtedly has upside with Victor Oladipo continuing to miss time. He has occasionally served as the primary offensive threat for Indiana with Oladipo out of the picture, coming up big with 57 fantasy points on Monday vs Washington. Along with legitimate 20 point 10 rebound potential, Turner also has upside in blocks - racking up nine rejections (!) over the past two games. He should be able to easily beat this projection in a competitive home draw against a Milwaukee team that ranks 29th in rebound rate.
FANDUEL & DRAFTKINGS BARGAINS
Larry Nance Jr. – PF – Cleveland (FD: $5800 / DK: $5700)
Cleveland center Tristan Thompson was injured last game (foot), and he’s expected to miss at least a few weeks. Nance’s fantasy stock was already ascending over the past few games, but he makes for a fantastic bargain choice with Thompson on the shelf. Nance is looking at a pretty good matchup to take advantage of that expanded role, facing a New York team that ranks 29th vs power forwards and 22nd vs opposing centers. As a result, he’s probably one of the best “per dollar” plays on the board tonight.
Bam Adebayo – PF – Miami (FD: $6500 / DK: $6100)
Some people may avoid Adebayo with a heightened salary in a perceived difficult matchup at Utah. However, the Jazz have been surprisingly below average in defensive efficiency vs opposing centers this season – ranking 18th in that category. Bam has been incredible while filling in for Hassan Whiteside while racking up a consistent 40 FPPG average over the past three. He’ll enjoy that role once again with Whiteside still out, and there’s a chance he could see even more upside with Goran Dragic sidelined as well. Adebayo isn’t an absolute “must play” on this 11-game slate, but he’s definitely on my short list through all formats.
Collin Sexton – PG – Cleveland (FD: $5400 / DK: $5200)
Cleveland’s backcourt rotation has been somewhat unpredictable as of late. The return of Rodney Hood and David Nwaba (potentially) adds even more confusion. However, Collin Sexton appears to be immune to that, as other guards like Jordan Clarkson and Alec Burks have seen their playing time fluctuate instead. Meanwhile, Sexton is repeatedly in the 33-37 minute range. The rookie has been inconsistent from a fantasy perspective, but he has displayed some upside over the past two weeks (39 FP at OKC, 44 FP vs WAS). This is a great matchup in a competitive game for Sexton to reach those levels yet again. His opponent, New York, ranks 23rd in defensive efficiency against opposing point guards and 27th in overall d-eff.
Kelly Oubre Jr. – SF – Washington (FD: $5500 / DK: $4900)
The matchup is tough against Boston, but Oubre would become a fine value commodity if Otto Porter Jr (questionable) is ruled out. If Porter ends up playing, I’m viewing Oubre as more of a tournament bargain than anything. The Washington forward has flexed some nice scoring ability lately en route to 32+ fantasy points in three of his last four. Granted, most of that was stepping up in John Wall’s absence, but Oubre could be placed into a similar role if Porter is out tonight.
Kevin Knox – PF – New York (FD: $4900 / DK: $4500)
New York’s rotations have been all over the place this season, so you may want to view Kevin Knox as more of a tournament pick with that in mind. Knox replaced starting forward Mario Hezonja early last game, ending up with 26 points and 15 rebound for 47 fantasy points vs Charlotte on Sunday. There are rumors he will start ahead of Hezonja tonight and see expanded minutes. However, keep in mind that nothing is a guarantee with this team. Knox could pay dividends in a strong matchup at Cleveland if he truly sees those starter-like minutes. I love him in tournaments tonight, and you could plausibly utilize him in cash games if you are willing to tolerate the inherent risk.
Goran Dragic has been ruled out tonight. Tyler Johnson (PG) is probable for Miami, and he’s a candidate to start against a Utah team that ranks 21st in defensive efficiency vs opposing point guards. If Johnson is starting, he’s a good (but not a must) play that is probably better on DraftKings due to the roster flexibility. Justise Winslow (SF) also becomes a reasonable value filler with a more stabilized role in Dragic’s absence.
Trae Young (PG) of Atlanta is a true boom-or-bust tournament option tonight. His fantasy ability is directly tied to him scoring points via long jumpers and dishes assists to others hitting long jumpers. However, the Hawks rank bottom five in shooting percentage, and Young has struggled to find any consistency with his shot this season. Having said that, there’s a chance his upside shows up in an intriguing matchup at Dallas. The Mavericks are banged up in the backcourt, so there’s a chance Young could have fellow rookie Jalen Brunson guarding him.
Speaking of Jalen Brunson (PG), he’s not a bad DFS option either. The rookie from Villanova has been seeing 30+ minutes with Dennis Smith Jr.sidelined (ruled out again tonight), and he’ll see a boost while playing up in pace against an Atlanta defense that ranks among the worst in the league.
As you probably noticed in the write-ups above, the power forward position has plenty of value to offer this evening. Due to that high opportunity cost, I’m viewing Daniel Theis (PF) of Boston as a tournament only selection. Al Horford is out and Aron Baynes is limited for the Celtics, which could translate to respectable minutes for Theis. If the playing time corresponds (there’s a chance both teams could play small), the matchup looks good against a Washington team that ranks 29th in defensive efficiency vs opposing frontcourts.
Do you have time for one last tournament cheapie? Jaron Blossomgame (SF) stepped up after Tristan Thompson’s early departure Monday at Milwaukee, registering 29 fantasy points (11 points, 10 boards) in 25 minutes. Is there a chance he could see viable minutes and usage with Thompson out? Maybe. Is it difficult to predict the Cleveland rotation? Absolutely. Food for thought in tournaments if you are willing to take a chance on the second-year player out of Clemson.