It’s Saturday night and we have a five-game slate over on FanDuel tonight. Despite having a handful of games, this is actually shaping up to be a fun slate, as each matchup contains fantasy friendly teams who either play at a fast pace, don’t play much defense, or both. The slate is highlighted by a matchup between the Rockets and Pelicans that features a 226.5 total. Having exposure to this game, primarily James Harden and Anthony Davis, is going to be crucial on tonight’s slate. Since both players are priced over $11,800 on FanDuel, 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.
Cameron Payne (CHI): $5,200 at DET
As the Bulls continue to tank, Payne continues to see an extended run at point guard. Payne has turned this opportunity into some solid basketball, averaging 26.6 FD point per game over the past three. With Kris Dunn expected to be out again on Saturday night, Payne is a great volume play against the Pistons – even at a price tag above $5,000. Both Ish Smith and Reggie Jackson have negative DRPM ratings, and this game has a 6.5 point spread, so Vegas expects it to stay close throughout. Payne has yet to flash 30 FD point upside, but his usage and opportunity could get him there in tonight’s game.
D.J. Augustin (ORL): $5,300 vs. PHX
Augustin put up a dud on Thursday night, but prior to that he actually put together a solid three-game stretch where he averaged 32.6 FD points. I’m not a huge fan of anything in his game, but Augustin is regularly playing 30 minutes a night and has an amazing matchup against the Suns. On the season, the Suns have given up the most FD points per game to PGs and rank last in defensive efficiency rating. Even though Augustin’s salary is sitting on the high side, he has a 35-40 FD point ceiling in a great home matchup tonight.
Eric Gordon (HOU): $5,200 vs. NOP
With Chris Paul doubtful for the Rockets tonight, Gordon will certainly be a chalky play on this slate. In Paul’s absence on Thursday, Gordon entered the starting lineup and responded with 35.1 FD points in almost 42 minutes of action. Tonight, he’ll get a matchup against a Pelicans’ team that is ranked 28th in FD points allowed to SGs. This is the marquee matchup on tonight’s slate and it features a 226.5 total, so having exposure here will be crucial. Gordon is clearly the top value play on tonight’s slate and he will be extremely tough to fade in tournaments.
Troy Daniels (PHX): $3,700 at ORL
On the cheaper end of the spectrum, Daniels is a nice salary relief option based on the Suns’ current injury situation. T.J. Warren has already been ruled out for this game and Devin Booker’s status is up in the air as well. Over the past two games, Daniels has played well in the starting lineup, putting up 24.5 FD points per game across 29.9 minutes. Tonight’s matchup is also a great one, as the Magic rank 26th in FD points allowed to SGs this season and 23rd in defensive efficiency rating. If Booker gets ruled out again, Daniels makes a lot of sense as a punt on a slate where having exposure to top-tier studs like James Harden and Anthony Davis will be key.
Mario Hezonja (ORL): $4,100 vs. PHX
The Suns and Magic game offers a ton of value tonight, as it features two injury-plagued teams that rank in the bottom ten in defensive efficiency rating and top ten in pace this season. Hezonja has not played well as a starter over the past week, but the Magic have had a string of tough matchups against playoff teams. Tonight’s matchup is certainly not that, as the Suns rank 30th in defensive efficiency rating. T.J. Warren’s injury is also a huge boost to Hezonja, as he is now likely to face off against Josh Jackson, who has a -1.73 DRPM this season (91st out of 111 SFs). Look for Hezonja to break out of his slump and have a nice game tonight.
Noah Vonleh (CHI): $4,200 at DET
At this point in the season, Vonleh has been playing some heavy minutes off the bench as the Bulls have nothing left to play for. This is certainly not surprising. What is surprising about it though? Vonleh is actually playing really well. Over the past five games, Vonleh has averaged 25.3 FD points on a cheap price tag. He is finally priced over $4,000 for tonight’s matchup, but he still makes for a solid value play against the Pistons, who rank 23rd in FD points allowed to PFs. He’s not a great player by any stretch, but he is definitely worth considering while he plays the best basketball of his young career.
Nikola Mirotic (NOP): $5,100 at HOU
Mirotic has been a bit disappointing as a member of the Pelicans, but he has shown flashes of upside at times over the past few months. If there was ever a time for him to have an upside game, this certainly seems like the spot. As I mentioned earlier, the Rockets and Pelicans game is the marquee matchup on tonight’s slate and features a huge 226.5 total. Having exposure here will be crucial and it helps that we can get Mirotic for a modest price tag. While he only went for 11.3 FD points in this matchup a few weeks ago, Mirotic has true 40 FD point upside whenever he can get it going despite having a low floor. Don’t be afraid to take a shot on him here in tournaments.
Alex Len (PHX): $4,500 at ORL
With Tyson Chandler likely to be out for the remainder of the season, Alex Len has a big opportunity to showcase himself over the remainder of the season. On Tuesday night, Len had a massive 42.9 FD point game against the Pistons where he put up 19 points and 12 rebounds. Tonight he gets to square off against the Magic, who rank 23rd in FD points allowed to centers this season. As long as Len can stay out of foul trouble against Nikola Vucevic, he will be a strong option at the center position on tonight’s slate.