FanDuel NBA Value Plays: Saturday (12/9)
It’s Saturday and we’re another week closer to the holiday season and a new year! It always seems to come up way too fast and I’m never ready for it – but with that being said my shopping can wait another week. Tonight’s main FanDuel slate features eight games and a few studs that I plan on paying up for. With the Sixers and Cavs facing off in a game that features a 218.5 total, I’m leaning toward a stack that includes LeBron James and Ben Simmons. That’s a plan that calls for some value.
Last week, my article’s value plays ended up netting me 10th and 16th place finishes in FanDuel’s Slam tournament so let’s see if we can carry some of that momentum over into tonight’s slate. Here are one to two value plays, $5,500 or less, at each position that will allow you to free up some salary so you can afford your studs.
Patty Mills (SA): $4,000 at PHX
The Spurs have pushed back Kawhi Leonard‘s return to Tuesday night, so it looks like the secondary players in this lineup are going to have one more chance to pick up some extra value. Patty Mills has averaged 26 minutes over the past two games with a 20.3% usage rate. He averaged a modest 20.9 FanDuel points in that stretch, but he was facing much tougher Pistons and Heat defenses. The Suns have given up the 5th most FanDuel points to opposing point guards this season. Mills should have no problem going for 6x at this price point against Tyler Ulis and Mike James.
Ricky Rubio (UTA): $4,900 at MIL
It’s hard to remember a time where Ricky Rubio’s price was under $5,000, if ever, but after four terrible games to start the month of December, here we are. Before I say anything else, I will admit this is a bad match-up on paper. The Bucks have given up the 3rd least FanDuel points to point guards this season and Rubio has been in bad form. However, if I can pay for Rubio at this low of a price tag and get him for what should be an ownership under 10%, I’m interested. The talent is obviously there, and Rubio has flashed 40 FanDuel point upside on multiple occasions this season. This is a great time to be contrarian and buy low.
J.J. Reddick (PHI): $5,400 at CLE
The Cavaliers and Sixers are facing off in an exciting matchup that features a 218.5 total. Unfortunately, Joel Embiid (rest) has been ruled out but it should lead to a ton of usage opening up on the offensive end of the floor. In the 230 minutes Redick has played without Embiid this season, he has seen a 2.4% increase in usage and 0.25 more fantasy points per minute. The Cavaliers have been abysmal against opposing shooting guards this season, yielding the 3rd most FanDuel points per game. If Reddick’s shot is falling, he should be able to eclipse 30 FanDuel points in this match-up.
Troy Daniels (PHX): $3,700 vs. SAS
If we’re paying up for a few studs tonight, chances are we’re going to need a few deep value plays. Troy Daniels fits that bill at a price tag under $4,000. Daniels played 28 minutes on Thursday and was one of the biggest beneficiaries of Devin Booker‘s first game missed due to an abductor strain. Although Daniels only scored 17.8 FanDuel points in Thursday’s contest, I’m willing to take a chance on a player who’s going to play close to 30 minutes at such a cheap price tag. The Spurs defense has been stingy against the shooting guard position, but this is a situation where the price tag should be easy to exploit.
DeAndre Bembry (ATL): $4,300 vs. ORL
Bembry is a bit of a deeper pull on an eight-game slate but he has really been coming on, seemingly out of nowhere, over the past week. He has averaged 21.4 FanDuel points and 25 minutes over the past three games. The Magic are ranked 19th against the small forward position this season and Bembry just played 27 minutes in this same match-up on Wednesday night. He dominates possessions with the second unit and the Magic are banged up at the wing positions. This has the potential to be a very sneaky play.
Rudy Gay (SA): $5,500 at PHX
With Kawhi Leonard set to miss one more game, Rudy Gay is in a prime spot to crush value against the Suns. Since Kyle Anderson went down with an injury, Gay has turned back the clock in the last three games and averaged 33.1 FanDuel points per game across 30.6 minutes per night. Despite this, Gay has actually seen his price decrease $700 after a report came out that pegged Leonard’s return for tonight. T.J. Warren is an above-average individual defender, but the Suns play at such a fast pace that their whole defense is exploitable. I don’t plan on over thinking this one.
Kyle Kuzma (LAL): $4,800 at CHA
Playing Lakers front-court roulette is never fun but, like the real thing, the payouts can be worth it. Kuzma played poorly on Thursday night and was benched down the stretch of a close game against the Sixers. However, I think this is a great bounce back spot against a short-handed Hornets frontcourt that is missing Frank Kaminsky and Cody Zeller. He is two games removed from a 40-point outing and I could see him having similar upside tonight at a decreased price point.
Marvin Williams (CHA): $4,400 vs. LAL
Continuing the trend of targeting power forwards in the Lakers and Hornets game, Williams is in an equally great spot. He went for 34.3 FanDuel points against a poor defense Bulls on Friday night and this match-up is just as inviting with the Lakers giving up the most fantasy points to power forwards. As I mentioned, the Hornets are without Frank Kaminsky and Cody Zeller again tonight. I’ll be going right back to the well on Williams.
Robin Lopez (CHI): $5,200 vs. NYK
Lopez has been a model of consistency this season, averaging 24.7 FanDuel points per game. He’s not the most exciting option on the board but Lopez is certainly someone who won’t burn your lineup. We’re probably looking at 30- to 35-point upside at best, but if we’re paying up for a few studs tonight, Lopez potentially returning 6x is more than enough for me to consider him. The Knicks have given up the 5th most FanDuel points to opposing centers this season and he probably won’t see much of Kristaps Porzingis on both ends of the floor. Like I said, it’s not exciting but it certainly won’t hurt your lineup and you will be able to get him at sub-10% ownership.
Jay Brancato is an NBA fantasy contributor for FantasyPros. You can follow him on Twitter @jay_brancato.