NBA Value Bin: Habitual Lin Stepping

The first Friday of the NBA season offers us a 12-game slate, including the much-anticipated matchup between LeBron James‘ Cavs and his former team, the Miami Heat.

LeBron is coming off a slightly disappointing performance, but whether or not he can make good on Wednesday’s 32.75-point outing is of no concern for us, as we’re here to discuss the best value plays for October 30th.

So let’s dig in!

Darren Collison, Kings ($9,200)

Darren Collison enjoyed a career year in 2014-15, posting highs in points (16.1), rebounds (3.2), steals (1.5) and 3-pointers (1.3), so I was curious when the Kings signed Rajon Rondo to a free-agent deal.

Rondo is NOT the same player he was during the Celtics’ championship runs in the late 2000s. He’s coming off the worst year of his career and didn’t make any friends along the way, practically alienating himself from the entire Dallas Mavericks franchise.

Collison thoroughly outplayed Rondo in their first game together, and it showed in fantasy, as the former UCLA Bruin outscored the former Kentucky Wildcat, 25.25 to 19.75. Rondo was repeatedly beaten on defense and was just as bad on offense, shooting just 2-8 from the field and scoring four points with only four assists.

Tonight, the Kings take on the Lakers, a team which Collison averaged 22.5 points and 4.5 assists against last year. With rookie D’Angelo Russell in the Lakers backcourt, Collison will be licking his lips. Make sure to get him in your lineup as he should easily surpass value. The Lakers were the worst team in the NBA when it came to defending point guards last season.

Jeremy Lin, Hornets ($9,200)

The Hornets looked bad in their opener on Wednesday, but Jeremy Lin was one of their bright spots.

Playing in his first game as a Hornet, Lin had 17 points and two assists, en route to 21.25 fantasy points. If you followed Lin during the preseason, this kind of performance was no shocker, as the former Knicks’ sensation lit up the box scores during the exhibition period.

Lin and the Hornets take on the Atlanta Hawks tonight, and while this is no easy matchup, the Hawks will be playing the second game of a back-to-back set as well as their third game in four days. Fatigue will surely be setting in and Lin will take advantage.

The Hawks were a little below average vs. opposing guards last season and the loss of DeMarre Carroll has already shown on the defensive end; their 97.1 points allowed per game was fifth-best in the NBA in 2014-15. It’s early, but they’re already permitting 103.5.

Rodney Hood, Jazz ($7,800)

Simply put — the Sixers are brutal. They continue to be a team to target against in fantasy and that doesn’t look like it’s going to change any time soon.

The Utah Jazz travel to Philly on Friday and this will be a fun game to watch. While we’ll focus most of our attention on the great matchup in the blocks between young studs Rudy Gobert and Nerlens Noel, there are some players to watch for on the wings, with Rodney Hood being on of those guys.

In an interesting and somewhat surprising move, coach Quin Snyder opted to start Hood over Alec Burks in Wednesday’s opener. Burks had been the favorite to start all along, but Snyder decided that he wanted some punch off the bench (or could it have been their Duke connection? Hmmm…). Hood didn’t shoot the ball all that well — he was 0-7 from beyond the arc — but he made up for it by contributing six assists and four rebounds. More importantly, he played 29 minutes to Burks’ 26.

While I do think Burks is the better overall player, we could see this rotation play out for a bit, and as long as Hood is starting he offers solid value at his current price.

Seth Klein

Seth is a DFS writer at FantasyDraft, as well as a writer for TheFantasyFix and Razzball. You can find his player rankings at FantasyPros. Though he was born and raised in Los Angeles, Seth is a lifelong New York sports fan. Seth has no more access to the site than the typical user. Follow him on Twitter at @SethDaSportsMan.

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