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!
Deandre Ayton – Phoenix (DRAFT Projection: 31.9)
It’s tough for DRAFT to establish a baseline projection for rookies, and I have a feeling Ayton could easily top his 32 FP estimate tonight. The top overall pick should see a full helping of minutes immediately while carrying the Phoenix frontcourt. In other words, he will see plenty of opportunities in a nice, competitive, and high-scoring matchup with Dallas. The rookie can do it all, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a 20 point and 10 rebound mark with several blocks as well. His projection should be closer to the 38-40+ FP level in my opinion.
Luka Doncic – Dallas (DRAFT Projection: 25.1)
Looking to the other side of the same game, we have another interesting rookie in Luka Doncic. Similar to Deandre Ayton, the Dallas rookie should see plenty of minutes right away for the Mavericks. The fact that Harrison Barnes and Dirk Nowitzki are out makes that a pretty safe assumption. Doncic has shined throughout the preseason, and this is a very nice matchup while playing against a fast-paced Phoenix team that ranked bottom five in defense last season. I’m moving Luka’s projection closer to the 34-35 FP range.
DraftKings & FanDuel Bargains
Trey Burke – PG – New York (DK: $5,600 / FD: $4,900)
In my opinion, Trey Burke is probably one of the better bargains on both DraftKings and FanDuel. He’s looking at a starting role in a high-scoring matchup with Atlanta. Burke and Emmanuel Mudiay usually split minutes at the point guard position, but the latter has been ruled out with an ankle injury. That means Burke should see heavy minutes as the primary ball-handler for New York. Making matters even better, he’ll fall into some advantageous matchups battling against Jeremy Lin or rookie Trae Young.
Alex Len – C – Atlanta (DK: $5,600 / FD: $5,100)
Alex Len has been an efficient fantasy point per minute scorer throughout his career, but volatile playing time in Phoenix has labeled him a risky DFS proposition. Bouts of foul trouble haven’t helped that stigma either. However, Len could be looking at some serious minutes (28-30+) for Atlanta on Opening Night. The Hawks will be without Dewayne Dedmon and John Collins up front, leaving Len to soak up a fair amount of playing time in the ATL frontcourt. As long as Len stays out of foul trouble, he should be able to retain value while facing a New York team that rank bottom ten in defensive efficiency vs opposing centers last season.
Kelly Olynyk – PF – Miami (FD: $5,400)
You can look towards Olynyk on DraftKings, but the price and overall situation is much better on FanDuel. Olynyk should see quality minutes tonight with James Johnson out and Justise Winslow doubtful for Miami. If you recall, the Miami forward/center flexed solid upside when given adequate playing time last season, and that could be the case tonight while facing an Orlando team that ranked 26th in defensive efficiency vs opposing frontcourts last season. The Magic also ranked 28th in rebound rate.
Montrezl Harrell – PF – LA Clippers (FD: $3,800)
Harrell was a beast down the stretch last season, coming off the bench to routinely post 30-40 FP performances despite limited minutes around 25ish. Due to that upside, he may be worth a look tonight on FanDuel. After all, the new FanDuel scoring format lets you drop the lowest score, so Harrell won’t hurt your squad for near minimum-salary if he flops. On the other hand, he has legitimate ability to pour through 30+ fantasy points if things start going his way. I’m willing to take a chance on him at power forward.