NBA Bargains 11/10/16
Once again, on a shortened Thursday night slate, there are exactly zero games with over/unders listed below 200 points per game. Essentially, tournament scores should not expected to much lower than usual despite the lack of games. With all the stars in excellent spots, we are going to need our values to exceed value thresholds in order to succeed. Let’s jump right into it and go over the bargains who can provide the production necessary.
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Note: all fantasy point references are in regards to the scoring system on both DraftKings (DK) and FantasyDraft (FDr)
Jordan Clarkson, Lakers – So far this season, Jordan Clarkson’s minutes are down nearly 5.0 per game (32.3 versus 27.4) and it clearly has affected his overall fantasy production. Due to an increase in true shooting percentage (54.9-51.6) and actual shooting percentage (49.0-43.3), he is averaging nearly the identical amount of points through almost three weeks. Over the past two games, Clarkson has shot incredibly well which has led to 18 and 22 points (PTS) respectively and an average of 28.6 fantasy points during that span. Like the Lakers, the Kings are loaded with guards. In fact, the Lakers’ second most common lineup this season features Arron Afflalo at small forward (SF). With the Lakers able to go small, there could be a few extra minutes headed Clarkson’s way and the Kings rank below the league average in terms of shooting guard (SG) efficiency defense. At this reasonable price tag, Clarkson is GPP viable.
Jameer Nelson, Nuggets – Rostering Jameer Nelson is dependent on the statuses of some other members of the rotation but, most importantly, Will Barton will miss another 7-10 days. This means Nelson should see at least a few minutes at backup SG as well as backup point guard (PG). If Wilson Chandler were to be out, Nelson could pick up a few minutes as Gary Harris has played some SF over the past few games. The recent announcement that Harris will see more minutes in the near future hurts Nelson some but he still managed 23 minutes against the Grizzlies last game. Additionally, the possibility for a blowout is always in play when facing the Warriors so he would likely play additional minutes if the term were playing from way behind. Like Clarkson, he is not an incredibly safe option and should be reserved for large field GPPs if at all possible.
Lou Williams, Lakers – The best value on the Lakers tonight is easily Lou Williams who has been a lot more consistent than the aforementioned Clarkson. Over the course of his last five games, he has not fallen below 26.00 fantasy points or 14 actual points partially due to the Lakers playing at the second fastest pace of any team in the NBA. Sure the Kings are playing at the second slowest pace so far this year, so the team may play down in place a little, but the Kings are still allowing 22.7 points per game to opposing SG (eighth most in the NBA). At his current price tag on DK, Williams has exceeded 5x value in each of his last five games and 6-8 games overall this season. Therefore, he should be rostered with confidence tonight.
Gary Harris, Nuggets – After playing 30 minutes last game, Gary Harris is firmly locked into an extended role as long as Will Barton remains out. The Nuggets are playing at the fourth fastest pace this year so this game is a stone cold lock to be played uptempo. Even against the Grizzlies, Harris was able to get up 15 shots and that should resemble his role in the short term. If his usage rate were to continue, it would be up nearly five percentage points from 2015-16. All of this is a long-winded way of saying Harris is a fantastic play in all formats due to the combination of pace, role and minutes.
Danilo Gallinari, Nuggets – Nearly all of the Harris tidbit applies to Danilo Gallinari as well. Last year, Gallinari played at least 34.5 minutes in each of his four meetings against the Warriors and never sunk below 30 fantasy points. Of course, the team hired a new coach (Mike Malone) this season and the Warriors have added Kevin Durant so the situation is slightly different, but it is worth noting Brian Shaw felt it was necessary to extend Gallinari’s minutes in this matchup. Gallinari is coming off his best game of the season in which he scored 21 points and grabbed seven rebounds (REBs) but the individual matchup is not great; Durant and the Warriors have only allowed a field goal percentage of 36.9 to opposing SFs. Consequently, Gallinari makes most sense in tournaments due to the fast-paced environment at home. In this situation, volume could supersede individual matchup.
Matt Barnes, Kings – Playing down in pace is a potential negative for Lakers players but that also means the Kings will likely be forced to play up in pace to compete. Additional possessions equates to additional opportunities for PTS, REBs, blocks (BLK), steals (STL), etc. Over the past two games, Barnes has played 30 and 27 minutes respectively and he is still priced below $4,000 on DK. Due to his ability to fill up the box score, Barnes has always produced around 0.80 fantasy points per minute. In a game with the pace sped up and against a team that ranks 19th in SF efficiency defense, Barnes should be a safe bet for 20 fantasy points minimum.
Taj Gibson, Bulls – The departure of Joakim Noah has led to an extreme uptick in rebound percentage for Taj Gibson this season. After producing a 13.7-percent rebounding rate last year, his tally is all the way up to 17.9-percent so far this year. In tune, Gibson is nearly averaging a double-double: 12.3 PTS, 9.0 REBs, 1.0 STL and 1.0 BLK per game. Since the Heat are undersized at the power forward (PF) spot, it is not surprise they have allowed 11.8 rebounds per game to the position, which ranks eighth most of any team. Gibson has a size and physicality advantage on Justise Winslow so he should be able to dominate down low in this matchup.
Mirza Teletovic, Bucks – At minimum price, what do you have to lose? After playing 20-plus minutes just once in his first five games, he has eclipsed that plateau in each of the last two contests. The uptick in playing time has led to him reaching at least 5.83x value at this price tag in each game during that span. Normally, rostering a player totally reliant on shooting is a nerve-racking proposition but not when they are literally as cheap as possible. Oh by the way, the Pelicans are allowing the most points per game to opposing PFs (26.6) so Teletovic is literally in one of the most conducive matchups to his scoring. Note: Giannis Antetokounmpo was in foul trouble last game and the Bucks blew out the Kings two games ago. Still, Teletovic only managed three minutes in the fourth quarter of the blowout. His recent minutes uptick seems to be for real.
Robin Lopez, Bulls – In order to match up against Hassan Whiteside, Robin Lopez is going to be forced into extended minutes by default (unless he gets into foul trouble). Other than Lopez, the only real big body on the Bulls’ roster is Cristian Felicio. For what it is worth, Lopez played 30-plus minutes in three of his four meetings against Whiteside last year. The only game in which he failed to play that many minutes was a result of foul trouble (five fouls in that contest). Almost assuredly, the same will hold true for the Bulls and it should be noted Lopez averaged 22.0 fantasy points per game against Whiteside last season (even with the dud).
Kosta Koufos, Kings – Personnel-wise, this matchup is pretty solid as Kosta Koufos earns additional minutes against teams with two large bodies in the starting lineup. Considering the Lakers start both Julius Randle and Timofey Mozgov, this matchup certainly qualifies. At just $3,200 on DK and $6,400 on FDr, Koufos does not need much to exceed value especially considering he has played at least 20 minutes in five of his last six games (including 23-plus in each of his last two). In theory, Mozgov was brought in to solidify the team’s frontcourt defense but the team still ranks 20th in efficiency against opposing centers. Since Koufos has grabbed at least six REBs in every game this year, he only needs variance to break slightly in his favor to crush value.
Good luck everyone and grind on….
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