FanDuel NBA Value Plays: Saturday (4/7)
It’s Saturday and we have a five-game slate over on FanDuel tonight. Even with only a handful of games on the schedule, there are a few matchups that feature Western Conference playoff teams fighting for position in the standings. The slate is highlighted by a matchup between the Thunder and Rockets that features two of the top five players on the board in terms of salary (Russell Westbrook and James Harden). Having exposure to this game, which features a 218.5 total, is going to be important on tonight’s slate. In total, there are five players priced at $11,000 or more on FanDuel, so having some value in our lineups is certainly going to be critical.
Here are a few value plays, $5,500 or less, at each position that will allow us to free up some salary we can afford our stud players.
Patty Mills (SAS): $4,800 vs. POR
Mills has been playing some consistent basketball over the past five games, averaging 24.4 FD points across 32.8 minutes per game. As the Spurs continue their final push for a playoff spot in a bunched up race in the Western Conference, they will be heavily reliant upon their starting lineup over the next few games. While Mills price has continued to rise, his opportunity has clearly increased as well and he has been turning in consistent, if not spectacular, fantasy outings over the past few weeks. The Blazers rank ninth in defensive efficiency this season, but C.J. McCollum is 92nd out of 112 shooting guards in DRPM. Mills will be a solid option in cash games and is viable in tournaments.
Sean Kilpatrick (CHI): $4,700 vs. BKN
With Zach Lavine ruled out for the remainder of the season, Kilpatrick has been given a chance to play heavy minutes over the past four games. He has averaged 25.8 minutes over the past four contests and has averaged a fantasy point per minute – putting up 25.8 FD points per game. Tonight’s matchup against the Nets should be another opportunity for Kilpatrick to have another strong outing, as the Nets rank 26th in defensive efficiency rating this season. This is also a revenge game for Kilpatrick, as he played 16 games for the Nets this season prior to being released. His $4,700 is definitely a heavy price to pay, but his recent outings make him an interesting option in tournaments.
Courtney Lee (NYK): $3,600 vs. MIL
The Knicks are tanking hard at this point in the season, but I’m still inclined to take a shot on Courtney Lee‘s price tag in tournaments. While he has been relatively inconsistent for the better part of six weeks, he has seen a solid workload over the past four games – 28.1 minutes per night. If we throw out a 3.2 FD point dud last week, Lee actually put up 23.2 FD points in the other three games that he was active. The Bucks are ranked 19th in defensive efficiency rating this season, so this matchup is certainly beatable on paper. Lee should only carry an ownership around 1 or 2% making him a deep tournament flyer that could potentially return 7x on his salary.
E’Twaun Moore (NOP): $4,800 at GSW
The Pelicans are among the teams battling for position in the Western Conference standings and they get a great pace up matchup against the Warriors tonight. Moore has been volatile over the past few weeks, putting up a 48.2 FD point outing alongside two games of 10.9 FD points or less which both came in plus matchups. While the Warriors rank eighth in defensive efficiency rating this season, they play at the fifth fastest pace in the league and Kevin Durant ranks 70th out of 91 small forwards in DRPM. As long as Moore can avoid foul trouble in this spot, he will be a strong tournament option after burning people against the Suns on Friday night.
Rudy Gay (SAS): $4,900 vs. POR
Much like my write up for Patty Mills, the Spurs are going to be relying on their veteran players a significant amount during this final stretch of the season. Gay has been a solid fantasy contributor for several weeks and he has turned in strong outings in each of the past three contests – averaging 29.9 FD points per game while shooting 57.6% from the field. With the Blazers ranking ninth in defensive efficiency this season, it doesn’t appear to be a great matchup on paper, but Gay has been in great form and has beaten tough matchups over the past couple of weeks (i.e. 33.6 FD points against the Rockets last Sunday). He is a strong option against the Blazers tonight.
Carmelo Anthony (OKC): $5,600 at HOU
There is not a ton to love at the bottom of the PF position tonight, so I am actually looking in the mid-range for plays tonight. While Anthony’s price is sitting $100 above the value threshold, he is still a strong option in this spot. He has been a relative disappointment for most of the season, but he has flashed upside at times – which shows in his 39.8 FD point outing against the Nuggets last week. The Rockets are one of the strong defensive teams in the league, ranking seventh in defensive efficiency rating this season, but Anthony has averaged 26.9 FD points in two games against them this season. While he doesn’t offer a ton of upside against his price tag, he is a decent mid-range play that could offer 6x if he has a strong night from the field.
Jarrett Allen (BKN): $5,300 at CHI
Allen has been playing strong basketball since the All-Star break and is really starting to look like a pro as the season comes to an end. While he has put up some poor fantasy outings over the past few weeks, he has still scored 30 or more FD points in four of the past seven games and gets to face a weak Bulls team tonight. On the season, the Bulls are ranked 28th in FD points allowed to centers and 25th in defensive efficiency rating as a team. Additionally, Allen will get to face off against Cristiano Felicio, who ranks 80th of 81 centers in DRPM this season. This seems like another spot where Allen should exceed 30 FD points which makes him a strong play in cash games and tournaments.
Jay Brancato is an NBA fantasy contributor for FantasyPros. You can follow him on Twitter @jay_brancato.