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FanDuel NBA Value Plays: Saturday (2/3)

Feb 3, 2018

Trey Lyles should benefit from a matchup against the Warriors

It’s Saturday night and we have an eight-game slate over on FanDuel tonight to kick off Super Bowl weekend. There are eight players priced above $10,000 with Anthony Davis at the top of the board at $12,000. The Cavaliers and Rockets will be squaring up in a game with a 230.0 total, which makes Lebron James and James Harden interesting options. However, with Davis getting a matchup against the Timberwolves and Karl-Anthony Town’s less than stellar defense, I am likely to build my lineup around him and a few plays in the $8,000-$9,000 range.

Since I am going to target Davis, having exposure to strong value plays, especially in the Cavaliers and Rockets game, will be key to putting up a big score. Here are a few value plays, $5,600 or less, at each position that will allow us to free up some salary we can afford our stud players.

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Point Guard

Yogi Ferrell (DAL): $4,200 at SAC

J.J. Barea is currently listed as questionable with an oblique strain, but if he is forced to miss his fourth consecutive game, Ferrell would be a strong punt play at the point guard position. In the three games that Barea has missed, Ferrell has played 32.1 minutes per game and while he has only produced 16.0 FD points per game, the minutes he is seeing are encouraging. The Kings are ranked 13th in FD points allowed to shooting guards but they are ranked 29th in defensive efficiency rating this season. Ferrell is a strong bet for 6x to 7x if he sees 30+ minutes again tonight.

Tyler Johnson (MIA): $5,000 at DET

Since his return from an injury, Johnson has struggled over the past three games, averaging 21.7 FD points. Tonight, Johnson gets a plus matchup against the defense of Ish Smith (59th out of 98 PGs in DRPM) and Dwight Buycks in the backcourt. Johnson’s minutes have trended up in every game since his return and he should be a safe bet for 30 minutes again tonight.  He grades out as a solid low owned contrarian play in tournaments.

Shooting Guard                                                                     

J.R. Smith (CLE): $3,600 vs. HOU

After a 34 FD point outing last week, Smith has been slumping over the past three games. However, his price is only $100 above the minimum and tonight’s game against the Rockets has a massive 230.0 total, as the Rockets play at the eighth-fastest pace in the NBA. In addition to the pace of the game, the Rockets allow the sixth most FD points to shooting guards and James Harden is ranked 58th out of 98 SGs in DRPM this season. If Smith’s shot starts to gall in this game, he will be able to reach 7x in a hurry.

Small Forward

Lance Stephenson (IND): $4,000 vs. PHI

Stephenson is as volatile as they come but his price puts him firmly in play in tonight’s matchup against the Sixers. Over the past four games, Stephenson has averaged 23.3 FD points across 22.8 minutes per game. Robert Covington is a strong individual defender, but the Sixers have given up the seventh most FD points to SFs this season and, as a bench player, Stephenson should avoid him for most of the game. Stephenson has a 20.4% usage rate off the bench this season and is a great play in GPPs on tonight’s slate.

Gerald Green (HOU): $4,600 at CLE

With Gordon (back spasms) forced to miss another game tonight, Green should be locked into a 30+ minute role off of the Rockets bench against a Cavaliers’ defense that ranks 28th in efficiency rating this season. Over the past two games, injuries have forced Green into to expanded role and he has responded with 21.6 FD points across 31.1 minutes per game. The Cavaliers have given up the third most FD points to SFs, which makes Green a strong value play tonight with Gordon out.

Power Forward

Trey Lyles (DEN): $5,600 vs. GSW

Lyles only saw the floor for 14.5 minutes on Thursday night, but prior to that game, he averaged 25.4 minutes and 28.6 FD points over a six-game stretch. The Warriors allow the eighth most FD points to opposing PFs and play at the second-fastest pace in the NBA. In a matchup against the Warriors in early January, Lyles went for 39.5 FD points with a full stat line. Game log watchers will be quick to write off Lyles after Thursday’s performance but playing him at an elevated price tag could be a strong pivot in tournaments.

Dirk Nowitzki (DAL): $5,400 at SAC

Over the past three games, Nowitzki has been a surprisingly strong value play, averaging 25.3 FD points per game. His production is sure to drop off at some point, but he should keep rolling against the Kings defense tonight. The Kings have allowed the third most FD points to PFs and are ranked 28th in defense efficiency rating this season. Nowitzki’s 20.7% usage rate is a lot lower than it has been in prior years but he has shown 30+ FD point upside this season. He is a strong cash game play on tonight’s slate.


Channing Frye (CLE): $4,500 vs. HOU

Frye isn’t the most exciting play on the board but with Kevin Love out of the lineup for an extended period, he is worth mentioning as a punt play. In Love’s absence, Frye has averaged 29.8 FD points and 20.9 minutes over the past two games. In 354.8 minutes with Love off the court this season, Frye has put up 0.86 FD points per minute with  17.0% usage rate. Those numbers don’t jump off the page, but the Cavs are thin in the frontcourt and his minutes have been extended. He is worth rostering at an increased price point in tournaments, as his ownership is likely to drop.

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Jay Brancato is an NBA fantasy contributor for FantasyPros. You can follow him on Twitter @jay_brancato.

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