NBA Bargains 10/31/16

It’s Halloween as we tip-off the week with a four game slate this evening. Despite the lack of games, there are still some big contests, so let’s take a look at some of the value plays that can free up some salary so that you can fit in some of tonight’s top plays.

POINT GUARD

Ty Lawson – The Kings have installed Lawson as their starting point guard while Darren Collins serves his suspension and that trend should continue tonight. He has played over 33 minutes in each of the first three games and despite a low usage percentage (14.4), he has contributed in other categories which has allowed him to top 20 fantasy points in each game. He is averaging eight points, seven assists, 3.7 rebounds, and two steals per game. The Hawks are currently seventh in game pace, which should play into Lawson’s favor as this should create more opportunities and a fast paced game. He is not extremely cheap, but considering it is a four game slate, he offers value at a reasonable price.

Austin Rivers – The Clippers host the Suns in a game that should be paced up as both teams are in the top 10 in game pace and could see a lot of scoring on both ends. Rivers has played at least 26 minutes in each of the first two games and has a usage rate of 18.4 percent. 20+ fantasy points is attainable for him which would be close to 7X on some sites, making him an intriguing tournament option. There is volatility when rostering him, but also some upside.

SHOOTING GUARDS

Jamal Crawford – There is always risk when playing a player like Crawford, but there is plenty of upside to be had. In the first game he played 26 minutes and attempted 12 shots, in Sunday’s game he played 20 minutes and attempted nine shots, but I would not place much emphasis on that as they played the Jazz on Sunday who play at a slow pace. Tonight’s game against the Suns should be much more up-tempo and Crawford should see double-digit shot attempts. He is a streaky shooter, but when he is on, he could accumulate points quickly and this would be a good matchup for that as the Suns struggle defensively. Crawford’s usage through the first two games is 25.2 percent which is significant.

Brandon Knight – Knight has played in at least 25 minutes each game and has a usage rate of 25.9 percent, which is the second highest of the team behind Devin Booker. Knight comes off the bench, but handles the majority of the scoring in that role. This game has a good shot to be the highest scoring of the slate, putting Knight in a good spot to produce fantasy points. He is only playable in tournaments due to his volatility, but he offers a good amount of upside. He should be able to find success against the Clippers second unit.

SMALL FORWARD

Bojan Bogdanovic – There is no doubt that Bogdanovic is a dart throw tonight, but at his low price he offers a good amount of upside and is playing significant minutes for the Nets. He is averaging 27.3 minutes per game and has a usage rate of 23.2 percent. He has topped 26 fantasy points in two of the first three games. The Nets are currently playing at the seventh highest pace in the league and this game currently has a 211.5 over/under and just a six point spread, so both teams should score a decent amount of points.

DeMarre Carroll – A recent report stated that Carroll is about 80-90 percent healthy which could be why he has put up some lackluster numbers, however, he is averaging 32.5 minutes per game and comes at a low price. He has topped 20 fantasy points in each of the first two games and accounts for 40 percent of the Raptors three-point shot attempts, which is a plus as they play Denver who currently leads the league in pace, so Carroll could potentially have some extra looks from beyond the arc. The usage for him is not high which is a negative for me, but at this low price all the boxes will not always check off. He does offer plenty of upside, plays high minutes, and has a plus matchup, all of which make it difficult to completely ignore him on such a short slate.

POWER FORWARD

Kenneth Faried – Faried comes off the bench, however, is averaging 29.2 minutes and over 26 fantasy points per game. His usage is low, but that does not keep him from being productive as he contributes to just about every category, averaging 11.5 rebounds, 1.5 blocks, two steals, and eight points per game. The Nuggets play paced up, which creates more opportunities for Faried to fill up the stat sheet. He is underpriced on most sites and could provide some big returns.

Taj Gibson – He may not be the cheapest PF, but on such a small slate, he presents value at his price. Gibson is averaging 26.2 minutes, 15 points, and nine boards per game. He has a usage rate of 21.7 percent, while attempting at least 11 shots in each of the first two games. He has topped 25 points in every game thus far and presents double-double upside, which offers a bonus on sites such as DraftKings. The Nets play paced up, which could potentially present Gibson with more opportunities.

Trevor Booker – Booker is averaging 27.2 minutes and although his usage is just 14 percent, he has been a good source of boards and steals, while also contributing in assists and blocks, which is why he has been producing quality numbers. He has exceeded value 60 percent of the time by an average of 8.6 points. In addition, he now has two consecutive games with a double-double and has topped 27 fantasy points in each game this season. The upside is there and he has the ability to smash value and provide a great return on investment.

CENTER 

Justin Hamilton – Hamilton has seen a decent amount of minutes for the Nets in each of their games, averaging 27.5 minutes per game. He has been productive off the bench and got the start last game with Brook Lopez out. Hamilton has attempted six three-point shots in each game and has drained 33 percent of them. He has exceeded value 60 percent of the time by an average of 7.1 points. Even with Lopez back in the lineup on Monday, Hamilton has done enough to earn himself some minutes. He appears to be a big part of their rotation and should play 22-26 minutes off the bench.