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!
Lauri Markkanen – F - Chicago (DRAFT Projection: 32.3)
I am very optimistic that Markkanen can outpace this projection, and here’s why: 1) Bobby Portis’ continued absence will give Markkanen more minutes and opportunities in the Chicago frontcourt. 2) He’s facing an Orlando team that ranks 19th in defensive efficiency vs opposing power forwards. This should be a competitive game as well. 3) Markkanen posted 45 fantasy points in 36 minutes the last time these two teams met on December 21. 4) Lauri is starting to flexing his rebounding prowess with double-digit boards in each of his past two … Add it all together, and I believe Markkanen should hold a projection much closer to 40 FP tonight.
Justise Winslow – F – Miami (DRAFT Projection: 27.3)
Winslow has been heating up with 31+ fantasy points in each of his past four games. That includes an amazing 24-11-7 line (52 FP) against the same Cleveland team that he’ll see tonight. The Cavaliers rank 23rd in overall team defensive efficiency, also ranking in the bottom ten for d-eff against the small forward position. Winlsow’s baseline should hover around his usual 31 FP with upside for much more.
FANDUEL & DRAFTKINGS BARGAINS
Tomas Satoransky – PG - Washington (FD: $6200 / DK: $4600)
Satoransky will continue to see heavy playing time while filling in for John Wall, and his salary has yet to fully reflect that new role. In five recent games without Wall, Satoransky saw at least 32 minutes in each contest while holding a strong 32 FPPG average over that span. You can safely consider that his baseline with plenty of room for more in a massive 230 over/under against an Atlanta team that plays fast with one of the worst defenses in the league.
Willy Hernangomez – C – Charlotte (FD: $5700 / DK: $3800)
Hernangomez is expected to start for the injured Cody Zeller tonight. As you can see, the salary is much better on DraftKings at $3800, but Hernangomez is also borderline cash playable on FanDuel. I’m expecting somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 minutes this evening, which should give him plenty of time to displays his efficient FP/minute output. The matchup looks reasonably good against a Dallas team that ranks dead last in rebound rate at 47.7%.
DeMarre Carroll – SF – Brooklyn (FD: $5100 / DK: $4000)
This Brooklyn-New Orleans game represents one of the best fantasy atmospheres of the night. The gaudy over/under currently rests at 230 total points with the Nets favored by one. There’s a reasonable chance Carroll will get in on the action while stepping into a larger role with Allen Crabbe and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson out. Carroll has stepped up with 32 and 29 fantasy points in 30 and 35 minutes respectively over his past two games, and the shorthanded Nets will need him to keep producing. He has a great matchup to make that happen, as the Pelicans rank dead last in defensive efficiency vs opposing small forwards.
Alec Burks – SG – Cleveland (FD: $5400 / DK: $4800)
You’ll want to keep an eye on the injury status of David Nwaba. If he continues to miss time, then Burks could retain his expanded role that has translated to 30 and 35 fantasy points over his last two. The matchup isn’t too bad on paper either, as Miami ranks 26th in defensive efficiency against opposing shooting guards. Burks isn’t necessarily a must play, but he’s a fine mid-range filler on both sites if you are looking for salary relief with some plausible upside.
Devonte’ Graham – PG – Charlotte (FD: $3900 / DK: $3400)
Jeremy Lamb is doubtful tonight, and Graham is expected to start in his place. That could translate into some reasonable fantasy success, as Graham has posted efficient performances when seeing playing time this season. For example, he has heated up with 25 and 28 fantasy points through 21 and 24 minutes respectively over his last two. He could see even more minutes tonight against a Dallas team that ranks 23rd in defensive efficiency vs opposing backcourts.
We have several injury-contingent value plays to consider. Pretty much all of these guys would become marquee bargain selections through all formats if they are called upon to step up.
Tyus Jones (MIN) has been solid while starting for the Timberwolves over his past few games. Derrick Rose is doubtful while Jeff Teague is questionable. If Teague misses another game, Jones makes for an excellent bargain … On the other side of that matchup, Kyrie Irving is questionable for tonight’s home draw vs Minnesota. If he’s out, then you probably already know what to do. That’s right; it’ll be “Terry Time” in Boston with Terry Rozier (BOS) jumping into a heavy workload with plenty of usage to make a fantasy splash … There’s a decent chance Nikola Vucevic (questionable) plays tonight, but Mo Bamba (ORL) is waiting in the wings in case Orlando plays it cautious with their star big man. Bamba went for 31 FP in 25 minutes in his only start of the season (vs San Antonio), and he could easily build on that if starting against a Chicago team that ranks 28th vs centers … Sticking with the center position, Dewayne Dedmon is questionable for the Hawks. He has missed the past two games, where Alex Len (ATL) stepped up for 55 total fantasy points in 47 combined minutes. Len is a high-upside fantasy scorer as long as he stays out of foul trouble. He could certainly put up some quality numbers if called upon for more minutes in this high-scoring (230 over/under) tilt at Washington.