NBA Bargains 11/16/2016

It’s Wednesday and we have a healthy 11-game NBA slate tonight with some intriguing bargain plays that can open up some salary relief in order to fit in some of the high-end expensive players in good spots. Let’s jump right into it and go over some of tonight’s bargains.

POINT GUARD

Elfrid Payton – Payton is $5,800 on both FanDuel and DraftKings, and gets a nice matchup against the Pelicans who have allowed +1.9 points above expectations to opposing point guards. He has a decent usage rate of 20.8 percent, but his peripherals are what gives him the higher ceiling. He averages 5.8 assists, 3.6 rebounds, and one steal per game. New Orleans plays paced up which could create some extra touches for him. Payton offers high upside despite an inconsistent floor, making him an enticing tournament play on tonight’s slate.

Jameer Nelson – Ok, so hear me out, I am not completely thrilled about playing Nelson, but on a night where we need to find some value in order to pay up for James Harden and/or Russell Westbrook, Nelson makes some sense. He is averaging 24.2 minutes per game and will play in an up-tempo matchup tonight against the Suns. Both teams are top sixth in game pace and this contest has the highest projected total of the night and just a one point spread. Phoenix is currently in top three as far as fantasy points per game allowed to point guards. At his low price across the industry, it will not take much for Nelson to pay off his salary.

Jamal Murray – I am scraping the bottom of the barrel here, but again, we have to find some cheap plays that will allow us two fit the expensive players on this large slate. Murray has played at least 20 minutes in each of his last three games and has topped 20 fantasy points in two of those games. This should be a paced up game with plenty of scoring and Murray should be able to pay off his salary at this low price, assuming he plays his 20+ minutes. He is SG eligible on DraftKings.

SHOOTING GUARDS

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – Caldwell-Pope is averaging 33.3 minutes per game, but has played 34 or more minutes in four straight games. He faces a Knicks team that is giving up the second most fantasy points per game to opposing shooting guards and has allowed +4.7 points above expectations. Historically, he has been a volatile play, but this season Caldwell-Pope has been a tad more consistent. I still feel more comfortable avoiding him in cash, but do find him as an enticing tournament play at a reasonable price.

Marcus Thornton – Bradley Beal has been ruled out of tonight’s game UPDATED to reflect that Sheldon McClellan will be starting for Beal.  Thornton is cheap across the industry and draws a favorable matchup against the Sixers who have allowed +1.7 points above expectations to opposing shooting guards, as well as, the seventh most fantasy points per game. Thornton is very volatile and offers a very low floor, so he only makes sense in tournaments. He has played over 21 minutes in each of the last three games and has attempted double-digit shots in two of the games. If he begins the night shooting the ball well, he could provide a nice return on investment, but if not, he could be very frustrating. There is no doubt that he is a risky play, but one that can certainly pay off.

SMALL FORWARD

Marcus Morris – Morris remains reasonably priced across the industry and continues to play over 30 minutes per game, while owning a decent usage rate of 21.3 percent. He has taken 10 or more shots in all but one game and also contributes in other categories such as rebounds and steals. The Knicks are in the top five as far as fantasy points per game allowed to small forwards is concerned, so this is a favorable matchup for Morris. Between minutes and usage, he offers a relatively safe floor and decent upside.

Wilson Chandler – Chandler is listed as probable for tonight’s game, but he has been able to play in each of the last two games with no limitations since returning from a two game absence with a hamstring injury. He comes in at a very cheap price across the industry and in a good spot against a Suns team that has allowed +4.53 points above expectations to small forwards. Chandler has topped 28 fantasy points in three of his last four games played, which would be well over 5X his current salary. As I have mentioned above, this is expected to be a high scoring and fast paced game, which should create more touch opportunities for Chandler.

POWER FORWARD

Channing Frye – Frye is averaging 18.3 minutes per game, but has played 20 or more minutes in three of his last four games and has topped 20 fantasy points in each of those three games. Frye is averaging 3.3 three-pointers per game and has taken 10 or more shot attempts in three of the last four games. Tonight’s matchup is one that favors him as the Pacers have allowed +5.2 points above expectations to opposing power forwards. His ability to sink the three ball and the fact that the Pacers are giving up the fourth most three-pointer per game to power forwards, gives Frye a decent floor tonight, assuming he plays the 20+ minutes. He is priced below $4,000 on both DraftKings and FanDuel.

Dario Saric – In the last four games, Saric is averaging 28.8 minutes, 11.3 points, 7.5 rebounds, one steal, and over 20 fantasy points per game. Tonight the Sixers will be without Joel Embiid which instantly creates more opportunities to the other players on this offense since he absorbs an insane 40.2 percent usage rate.  Saric is fairly priced throughout the industry and has a decent matchup against a Wizards team that has allowed +1.7 points above expectations to power forwards.

CENTER 

Jahlil Okafor – Okafor is slated to get the start tonight for the Sixers as Joel Embiid sits this one out. This is a favorable matchup as the Wizards are yielding the eighth most fantasy points and 15.8 rebounds per game to opposing centers. Okafor is second in Philadelphia with a 27.6 percent usage rate, which should see an uptick tonight with Embiid out. He is priced below $5,000 on both DraftKings and FanDuel, making him very affordable on both sites.

Mike Muscala – Dwight Howard left Tuesday night’s game with a quad injury and his status for tonight is uncertain, if he misses, Muscala is in play. He is averaging one fantasy point per minutes and could see some run tonight. This is a good matchup for Muscala as the Bucks have allowed +3.7 points above expectations to opposing bigs. Assuming he starts tonight, he is a very intriguing option.

Note: It is always wise to keep an eye out for injury news later in the day as this could open up immense value at some positions. Usually the last hour before lock is filled with news that can be very helpful.