NBA Bargains – 12/14/2016

We reach midweek with a nice 10- game NBA slate tonight and 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

Sergio Rodriguez – It has been reported that Rodriguez, who missed last game with an illness, will play tonight. He makes an interesting play at this price point as he has averaged nearly 30 minutes per game in his last four, playing 30 or more minutes in three of those contests. The matchup is not the most appealing one, but he did fare well against the Raptors in their last meeting, scoring 11 points, seven dimes, three boards, and two steals, while exceeded 25 fantasy points.

Jeremy Lin – I would be doing a disservice not pointing out Lin on DraftKings at his very low price of $5,600. Both the Lakers and Nets play up in pace, which should create some extra touch opportunities. Los Angeles is among the top six in fantasy points per game surrendered to point guards and have allowed +4.36 points above expectations to the position. He played 20 minutes in his first game back from injury and topped 27 fantasy points. He should see some more run tonight and comes at way too low of a price. If he starts tonight and has no restrictions, he is as close to a must start as there is on DraftKings.

SHOOTING GUARDS

J.R. Smith – With LeBron, Kyrie, and Love out today, we have several interesting cheap options for Cleveland that can get a lot of run, Smith being one of them. Chances are he will take a ton of shots tonight and play significant minutes, while being at near minimum price. In fact, Smith sees a bump of 13 percent in usage rate with the big three off the court. He had a nice game against the Grizzlies last night, scoring 23 points and shooting 6-of-10 from beyond the arc. He attempted 17 shots and it would not be surprising to see him take that many shots once again tonight.

Iman Shumpert – Shumpert is another Cavs players that can be considered tonight. When the big three are off the court, he sees an 11 percent increase in usage and has a +26.5 +/- differential. He is near minimum price across the industry. He is expected to be in the starting lineup tonight and could play upwards of 27 minutes.

SMALL FORWARD

DeMarre Carroll – This position is very thin tonight for value and maybe throughout the day we will see some more open up. Carroll has been playing steady minutes in his last three games, with at least 29 minutes in each of those contests. During that stretch, he is averaging 10.3 points, 1.3 steals, 2.3 assists, four rebounds per game, and over 20 fantasy points per game. He faces a Philly team that is yielding the fourth most fantasy points to opposing small forwards and have allowed +1.19 points above expectations to the position. The last time he faced off against them, he scored 10 points, five rebounds, three assists, two blocks, and a steal in 21 minutes, which was good for over 26 fantasy points.

POWER FORWARD

Omri Casspi – Rudy Gay is considered doubtful for tonight’s contest which could potentially lead to Casspi seeing a larger role. Gay left early in the last game and that allowed for Casspi to play 30 minutes and top 25 fantasy points. Prior to last game, Casspi was averaging 22.4 minutes, 9.4 points, 4.2 assists, and over 17 fantasy points per game in the month of December. He should see an uptick in usage and minutes so long as Gay is out. He is also SF eligible on DraftKings.

Channing Frye – I normally do not target Frye when LeBron is out, but with Love and Kyrie also out this evening, that changes it up for me. In games where he has played at least 18 minutes this season, he is averaging 13.6 points, 3.9 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and over 20 fantasy points per game. Assuming he plays 20+ minutes tonight, he should provide a great return on investment at his low price.

CENTER 

Bismack Biyombo – Biyombo has played over 30 minutes in two consecutive games and could be in for another heavy workload if Vucevic sits this game out. Biyombo has taken advantage of his playing time in the last two games, scoring over 25 fantasy points in each of those contests. The matchup is not the most appealing one, but if he is going to play 30+ minutes he should be able to pay off his reasonable salary. He is under $5,000 on FanDuel.

Cody Zeller – Zeller has topped 20 fantasy points in three straight games and gets a good matchup tonight. He faces the Wizards who have allowed +3.53 points above expectations to opposing centers and are yielding the fourth most rebounds per game to the position. Zeller has grabbed at least seven rebounds in his last three outings and despite averaging 25.1 minutes per game this season, he has played at least 30 minutes in four of his last seven. At his low price tag, he makes sense if you are not looking to pay up at this position.

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.