NBA Bargains 2/2/17
Tonight may be one of the stranger nights in daily fantasy basketball history because there is a four game slate and not a single game possesses a spread under 9.0 points. Basically, tonight is a night where you will have to be your own odds-maker and determine which game(s) you believe will stay close and which will turn into blowouts. The good news is blowouts could lead to more minutes for value plays. So with that perfect segue way, let’s get to work…
Note: all fantasy point references are in regards to the scoring system on both DraftKings (DK) and FantasyDraft (FDr) which are the exact same other than triple-double bonus
Point Guards (PGs)
Raymond Felton, Clippers – Although the Clippers are not exactly oozing with personnel worth rostering tonight, Raymond Felton is a sneaky option because the masses tend to gravitate towards Austin Rivers’ upside. While I will admit Rivers possesses the higher ceiling on the two, it is noteworthy that Felton started last game even with Blake Griffin in the lineup. Of course, it is entirely possible the Clippers go back to the Rivers-J.J. Redick-Luc Richard Mbah a Moute-Griffin-DeAndre Jordan starting lineup tonight as they did last time against the Warriors but it does not matter. In that previous game, Felton played 28 minutes off the bench and registered 10 points (PTS), seven rebounds (REB) and five assists (AST) en route to 27.75 fantasy points. In fact, Felton has played 28-plus minutes in five of his last six games and has topped 23 fantasy points in each game he has seen those sort of minutes. Felton may not end up crushing value but he is a safe cash play for the final spot with the potential to at least reach 6.0x on DK if all goes well.
Tim Hardaway Jr., Hawks – Okay so Tim Hardaway Jr. only qualifies as a PG on DK but the value options at the position are extremely limited tonight. The status of Thabo Sefolosha will be worth watching here because Hardaway has averaged 30 minutes per game (MPG) this season without Sefolosha compared to just 23.1 with Sefolosha in the rotation. Having said that, Hardaway’s minutes have been on the rise lately anyways as he had topped 27 minutes in two of four games prior to Sefolosha’s injury on Jan. 27 and at least 22 minutes in the other games. Additionally, Hardaway has attempted at least double-double shots in five of his last seven games. As is the case for most scorers, he is a bit volatile depending on whether or not the shot is falling but this pace of play (225.0 over/under) should suit his style just fine. As icing on the cake, he should see the defense of either James Harden or Eric Gordon most of the time so the individual matchup should be one he can exploit. If Sefolosha sits, he is a viable option in all formats. If Sefolosha plays, he should be left for GPPs only.
Shooting Guards (SGs)
Eric Gordon, Rockets – This is a textbook case of playing a price point because $5,100 is simply too cheap for Eric Gordon in a game where the Rockets are being implied to score 117.5 points. Over the course of the last three games, Gordon has been incredibly quiet from a fantasy perspective but the Rockets blew out their opponent in one game (Kings), got blown out in another (Pacers) and Gordon admittedly was playing through a bad back in their loss to the Bucks on Jan. 23. One caveat here is the back could still be affecting his play which is why his production has been down but, then again, he did hit 7-15 shot attempts last game and grabbed five boards. Assuming you believe in the health, Gordon is a player who averaged 30.5 fantasy points per game (FPPG) in December and 26.8 in January despite a poor stretch so he is probably worth a shot against a Hawks defense that ranks 18th in SG efficiency defense.
Nick Young, Lakers – The Wizards play a reasonably fast pace (15th in NBA), allow the 11th highest three-point percentage to opponents and have specifically allowed the seventh highest three-point percentage to opposing SGs. In other words, now is as good of a time as any to fire up Nick Young especially because he is starting to launch once again. Sort of like Channing Frye, Young is dependent upon others finding him an open shot, which would explain why he has averaged more shot attempts this season when D’Angelo Russell suits up (10.7) compared to when he does not (10.4). Following a six game stretch where Young put up double-digit shot attempts exactly zero times, he is back to launching; he has attempted at least 10 shots in five of his last six games. Like any other pure shooter, he is volatile, but the 15 shot attempts he took last game gives him a lot of room for leeway. $4,100 is still a fair price for a player who could pop for 20-plus real points any time he steps on the court.
Small Forwards (SFs)
Andre Iguodala, Warriors – When these two teams squared off five days ago, the Warriors ended up winning 144-98 to it is a bit peculiar the spread only opened at 8.5 points tonight. During that absolute destruction, Andre Iguodala only played 24 minutes but the score certainly had something to do with that outcome. Out of the Warriors’ last four games, only two have remained close and both those games Iguodala played 30-plus minutes, Sans David West and Zaza Pachulia in the rotation, the Warriors are able to use their death lineup and/or smaller lineup for slightly more extended periods of time which obviously benefits Iguodala. Since Iguodala posted a poor fantasy game last time out, his price depreciated $200 and now sits at an affordable $4,000. At that price tag, Iguodala only needs 20 fantasy points for 5.0x value (he has topped that number in seven of his last eight games) and 24 fantasy points for 6.0x value (he has topped that total in two of his last three games).
Dario Saric, 76ers – If Robert Covington were to sit tonight, Dario Saric would once again find himself worthy of consideration. Last night, the blowout certainly helped Saric’s cause as Coach Brett Brown decided to close with him but it is hard to overlook the 23.25 fantasy points in 24 minutes. Sans the minute-eater Covington, the performance was a bit of a disappointment because the last time both Covington and Joel Embiid sat out a game together Saric posted a 21 PTS, 11 REB double-double. According to SportsInsights, the announcement of LaMarcus Aldridge sitting tonight has not affected the line at all so Saric could see some blowout minutes tonight once again. On the second end of a back-to-back, it is possible Saric sees big minutes filling in for Covington as he was supposed to last night as well so there are a variety of paths to success here. The good news is Saric’s price went down $100 after last night so there is still plenty of room for profit.
Power Forwards (PFs)
Ryan Anderson, Rockets – Probably my favorite value play on the entire slate is Ryan Anderson against a defense that has been susceptible to big men who can stretch the floor. First of all, the Hawks rank 28th in defensive efficiency to opposing PFs. Secondly, they have allowed the most three-pointers made (3PM) per game to the PF position (PF) as well as the most PTS per game (23.4). Anderson will be heading into this game having topped 40 fantasy points in back-to-back games on the heels of connecting on 11-21 three-pointers during that span. As we have learned in the past, Anderson is a streaky shooter and he is absolutely en fuego right now and about to face an ideal matchup who struggles in the aspect where he excels. Sure the price has risen, but Anderson has scored 52 points in the last two games so fire him up once again.
David Lee, Spurs – Coach Gregg Popovich is already “Pop-ing” as he ruled out LaMarcus Aldridge early in the day. This means David Lee will likely draw the start at PF and he has been fantastic without the team’s starter at the position. In four games without Aldridge, Lee is averaging 9.5 PTS per game (PPG) and 8.0 REB per game (RPG) but Pau Gasol was active in all those games. Essentially, his ceiling stretches beyond those averages because the team’s frontcourt now consists of just Lee, Dewayne Dedmon and Davis Bertans tonight (all of which are now in play). If looking for the highest ceiling of the bunch, Lee has produced four double-doubles this year so he stands out above the pack.
Ivica Zubac, Lakers – According to Coach Luke Walton, Julius Randle will be active tonight but limited. Lakers beat writer Bill Oram seemed to speculate on Twitter that Randle might not play much if at all so there should still be an extended role available for Ivica Zubac. Unlike the matchup against the Nuggets last game, the Lakers will not be able to get away with small lineups tonight because Marcin Gortat is a big body and he typically plays more than 30 MPG. Especially down the stretch in the fourth quarter, Zubac’s size will be needed on the floor so he should be a lock to play more than 21 minutes he received last time out. Prior to the Nuggets game, Zubac had played 26-plus minutes in two straight and he will head into tonight having topped 25 fantasy points in three straight games. Even with Randle back in action tonight, his presence should hurt Tarik Black more than Zubac, especially because it seems Walton is treating the 7’1” Croatian like the C of the future as of late.
JaVale McGee, Warriors – Yes, it is one of the few “JaVale McGee in cash games” nights because the team is without two of their mainstays in the frontcourt rotation. Last night, McGee drew the start and finished with nine PTS, four REB and four blocks (BLK) en route to 21.50 fantasy points in just 17 minutes. These weird stat lines are nothing new for McGee and neither is efficiency. For the season, McGee is averaging a whopping 1.32 fantasy points per minute (FPPM) and that is only slightly above his career average of 1.04 FPPM. By comparison, teammate Stephen Curry is averaging 1.33 FPPM. At minimum price, McGee is so incredibly efficient that he should find a way to make value even if only allotted 17 minutes once again. If by chance they decide to extend him a bit (to match up against DeAndre Jordan), he could legitimately flirt with 10.0x value.
Good luck everyone and grind on….
If you have any questions you can reach me on Twitter @RSandersDFS or in the FanVice.com premium Slack channel.