NBA DFS Bargains: Tuesday
Every NBA DFS lineup needs to draw from the bottom of the player well to balance those stars who spend through the DraftKings or FanDuel salary cap with such ease. Bargain players are ideally those with low salaries, but plenty of upside. Opportunity is often the key to success for our low-cost lineup fillers.
Tuesday brings six games in what’s shaping up to be a busy week in the NBA. Golden State and Indiana play in the second half of back-to-back sets, while Milwaukee, Houston and Philadelphia are entering back-to-backs tonight. Five of the six games carry point totals of at least 225 points, but only Milwaukee is a double-digit favorite (over LA Lakers). Houston gets a huge pace bump from the Hawks while Indiana and Charlotte enjoy smaller, but still significantly faster opponents tonight.
Five teams rank in the top 10 in overall fantasy points allowed to their opponents – we should roster Bucks, Rockets, Nets, 76ers and Pacers to take advantage. The LA Clippers get the night’s worst matchup with the Pacers, who allow the third-fewest fantasy points to opponents overall, and Milwaukee and Houston join them in not giving up top 10 DvP (fantasy points) to any position.
Injuries to be aware of, in addition to monitoring the random ‘out for rest’ situations, include DeMarcus Cousins, Kevin Durant, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Andre Iguodala, Lance Stephenson and Derrick Rose. Joel Embiid is already ruled out for rest tonight and Jeff Teague isn’t ready to make his return. Malcolm Brogdon, Cody Zeller, Robert Covington and Allen Crabbe remain sidelined.
JaVale McGee – C -- Los Angeles Lakers (FD: $5500, DK: $4800)
It makes a lot of sense to target this highest point total game of the night, and doing so on the relative cheap won’t be too tough. McGee, along with the rest of the Lakers, face the league’s best defense (ranking first in defensive efficiency) but that normally cohesive unit will look quite different if Antetokounmpo is out. Also like the other Lakers, McGee’s minutes haven’t been as consistent as I’d like, but his efficiency is still remarkable. On DraftKings, he’s easily the best value in his range in terms of both floor and upside, and you don’t have to sacrifice your only center spot on him.
Andrew Bogut – C – Golden State (FD: $3500, DK: $3000)
Kevon Looney – C – Golden State (FD: $4300, DK: $3900)
The Warriors are set to be without DeMarcus Cousins again tonight, and probably Andre Iguodala too. It’s not clear how they plan to handle Kevin Durant on the second leg of the back-to-back given their busy week. If two or three key players are out, there should be some value against a Timberwolves unit that ranks just 24th in defensive efficiency. Bogut played 19 minutes in his return to the team last night, posting a 7/7 line with one steal. Looney may get the start, but just hasn’t shown that he can be a worthwhile fantasy asset (6/3/2 and a steal last night in 17 minutes, for example), so depending on the news we get later in the day, Bogut is the easy decision for me.
Marvin Williams – PF – Charlotte (FD: $5400, DK: $4500)
Vegas has the Charlotte vs. Philly game as a pick’em and I noted above that the Hornets benefit from a faster pace as well as the absence of Embiid tonight. The 76ers are the sixth-best fantasy matchup for PFs, so Williams and perhaps Frank Kaminsky (FD: $4300, DK: $4400), who is seeing close to 30 MPG as well, make for viable F options. I’m using the salary discrepancies to decide – Williams on DK, Kaminsky on FD.
DeMarre Carroll – SF – Brooklyn (FD: $4100, DK: $4300)
Sacramento is one of the generous teams; they rank seventh in overall fantasy points allowed to opponents and play at the second-fastest pace in the league. They also give up the seventh-most fantasy points to SFs, so Carroll and/or Joe Harris(FD: $4300, DK: $4600) should be on your radar. Carroll is a bit cheaper, and has more multi-category upside than Harris, but Harris can get hot from beyond the arc and score 20-plus points, as he nearly did vs. the Kings earlier this year (Harris put up 35 fantasy points in that game).
Nikola Mirotic – F – Milwaukee (FD: $5000, DK: $4800)
If Giannis is out tonight, expect Mirotic to be a popular option. Options like Tony Snell and George Hill are cheaper, and Mirotic isn’t in a great fantasy rhythm right now, but he has more upside than anyone else on this team in a value salary range.
P.J. Tucker – PF – Houston (FD: $4500, DK: $4200)
Given that Atlanta is the most generous fantasy matchup overall (and to PFs, PGs, SGs), you’ll want some Rockets in your lineups tonight. On the road in a high scoring, but smaller than expected margin (Rockets minus-7.5) game, we know that Nene and Iman Shumpert will be out tonight for rest. Eric Gordon, James Harden, Chris Paul and Clint Capela are obvious targets, but if you’re looking to save, Tucker is my guy. He plays a ton of minutes, but doesn’t typically see very high usage. He could get a small bump tonight, and he had a really nice game (for the price) vs. Atlanta earlier in the season.
Tyus Jones – PG – Minnesota (FD: $4700, DK: $5200)
Jones was awful on Sunday after a nice stretch of games but don’t write him off after one bad game. Teague is ruled out for tonight and there seems to be absolutely no reason to force Rose into action tonight, which provides another solid opportunity for Jones to exceed value, particularly on FanDuel. Josh Okogie made up for Jones’ lack of scoring on Sunday, and might be more popular than he deserves as a result of that big, 21-point effort and his low price (FD: $3900, DK: $3600).I prefer to bet on a Jones bounce-back, but if you really need to save salary to fit one more star into your lineup, Minnesota is theoretically short-handed enough to use Okogie a lot tonight given what they saw Sunday.