NBA Value Bin: Pepsi Nikola

Monday kicks off a brand new week in the NBA, and with it comes a nine-game slate that includes the San Antonio Spurs traveling to Oakland, CA to face the Golden State Warriors for what is so far the game of the year.

With so many games on the schedule, you’ll want to make sure to roster superstars like Stephen Curry and DeMarcus Cousins, and to do so you’ll need to save some salary elsewhere. Finding value in cheaper players will be the key to taking home DFS glory.

Here are the top NBA DFS value plays for Monday, January 25.

Value Play of the Night

Nikola Jokic, Nuggets ($8,700)

A groin injury sidelined Kenneth Faried for Saturday’s game vs. the Pistons and Nikola Jokic took advantage. The 20-year-old rookie from Serbia tied a season high with 31 minutes played in the Nuggets’ 104-101 win, and he made good use of the extra time, scoring 17 points with five rebounds, three assists, two steals, three blocks and one 3-pointer. Those numbers led to 38.3 fantasy points, his third-highest fantasy output of the season.

On Monday, the Nuggets open the Pepsi Center doors for the Atlanta Hawks, who have struggled on their West Coast trip, losing two of three games, including two straight to the Kings and Suns. According to the Denver Post, Faried admitted that he didn’t feel right when he woke up Saturday morning and that his injury could be “significant”. Based on these comments, it sounds like Faried is closer to doubtful than the questionable tag the team has given him.

If Faried does indeed sit out, Jokic should again be forced into heavy minutes — and that’s a good thing; the Hawks are 27th vs. big men over the last two weeks. They have also allowed the most steals to opposing frontcourts in that span, and Jokic is second among all centers with 2.3 steals per game in the past week.

Other Players to Consider

Josh Smith, Rockets ($7,800) – J-Smoove is all the rage again! The mercurial small forw…err…power forward was traded BACK to the Rockets this weekend and did quite well in his first two games, scoring 26.3 and 31.3 fantasy points, respectively. He’ll lose a chunk of value when Dwight Howard comes back, but that doesn’t look like it’ll happen Monday. Enjoy the ride while the tickets are still cheap.

David West, Spurs ($7,800) – Boban Marjanovic is the hottest thing to hit DFS since the November 2014 version of Chris Copeland, but with Tim Duncan already ruled out of tonight’s contest, I like David West — not Boban — to be the safer investment if you want to reach value. The veteran has posted at least 20 fantasy points in seven of his last eight games, and is better suited to combat the Warriors style of play than the lumbering Marjanovic.

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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