NBA Bargains – 12/18/2016

We conclude the weekend with a nice five-game NBA slate tonight and some 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 – Rodriguez gets a good matchup against the Nets who are yielding the most fantasy points per game to point guards and are bottom three in defense efficiency. Brooklyn also plays at the fastest pace in the league, which should create some extra touch opportunities. Rodriguez has been inconsistent, but in a five game slate and considering the matchup, he is a strong value play at point guard tonight.

Cory Joseph – Joseph has received some run in recent games, averaging 27.7 minutes, 12 points, six assists, 4.3 rebounds, and one steal per game over his last three. During that stretch he has topped 22 fantasy points in each game. He is $3,900 on DK and $4,300 on FanDuel, so paying off his salary should not be a problem assuming his role remains what it has been in recent games.

SHOOTING GUARDS

Sean Kilpatrick – Jeremy Lin’s return does affect Kilpatrick, but with Lin on minutes restriction the impact is not significant. Kilpatrick has been shooting the ball well, especially from beyond the arc. The matchup is one that favors him as the Sixers are giving up 20.4 points per game to opposing shooting guards. This contest has the highest projected total of the main slate and just a 1.5 point spread.

Josh Richardson – Richardson had an off night in his last contest, but he continues to be a big part of the Heat rotation, playing at least 29 minutes in five of his last six games. During that stretch, he is averaging 11.2 points, 3.3 boards, 2.8 assists, and roughly 20 fantasy points per game (site dependent). If Tyler Johnson sits tonight, Richardson is even more valuable, but even if Johnson plays, Richardson can be considered.

SMALL FORWARD

Robert Covington – Over the last four games Covington is averaging 33 minutes, 15.8 points, eight rebounds and over 25 fantasy points per game. He has been hot lately and although he can cool off at any moment, this matchup is one that favors him. The Nets are yielding the most fantasy points per game to small forwards and have allowed +3.67 points above expectations to the position. This should be an up-tempo game and he could see some extra touch opportunities. He is only $5,000 on both FanDuel and DraftKings.

Jae Crowder – Crowder is not a “sexy” play, but he has been fairly consistent and provides steady production. Tonight he faces a Heat team that has struggled against the small forward position in their last 10 games, allowing the sixth most fantasy points per game during that stretch. Crowder fared well against Miami in their last meeting, scoring 17 points, four rebounds, three assists, two steals, and over 30 fantasy points.

POWER FORWARD

Ersan Ilyasova – Ilyasova has been on a nice run since December 3rd (seven games), averaging 31.7 minutes, 17.3 points, 9.1 rebounds, one steal, and over 30 fantasy points per game. Brooklyn is giving up the third most fantasy points per game to the position and have allowed +2.69 points above expectations. He is affordable across the industry and is in a good, up-tempo matchup that should create some extra touch opportunities.

David Lee – Lee could get some run tonight in a potential blowout spot for the Spurs. In the last four games, he is averaging 22.3 minutes, eight points, 7.5 rebounds, and over 18 fantasy points per game. The Pelicans surrender the fifth most fantasy points per game to power forwards and the most rebounds per game to the position. He is very cheap across the industry and could provide a good return on investment.

CENTER 

Jahlil Okafor – Okafor has started at center alongside Joel Embiid who is playing the four and that has worked out well for him. In the last three games, Okafor is averaging 27 minutes, 15 points, seven rebounds, 1.3 blocks, and over 25 fantasy points per game. He plays against the Nets who are yielding the second most rebounds per game to opposing teams and have a -3.3 differential. Brooklyn is giving up the most fantasy points and third most points per game to centers, while allowing +6.73 points above expectations.

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.