Welcome back to another edition of Seeking Value in the FantasyDraft Locker Room. There are ten games on tonight’s slate, and there is plenty of action to go around, which should help us uncover some pretty nice value options. Last night was an actual watchable slate of NBA games, with no excessive blowouts and close games with plenty of fantasy scoring. Let’s hope the trend continues tonight.
Typically, I like to go with two guards and two forwards/centers, but I’m going to switch it up a bit tonight, as I really like the value options more at the forward/center position. With all that said, let’s get on to my four favorites.
Taj Gibson – PF – Oklahoma City Thunder – $7,400
Gibson is starting to fit in with the Thunder quite well. His minutes have gone up each game, from 21 to 26 to 32. He also turned into an ace three-point shot, making one from three-quarters court last night. Of course, I jest.
Taj is eating minutes from Damontas Sabonis, for obvious reasons, and is causing Enes Kanter to shift to the center position and eat minutes from Steven Adams. Speaking of Kanter, at about the 5-minute mark of the fourth quarter, I saw Kanter holding his forearm as he was running down the court. He was immediately taken out during Westbrook’s free throw attempts, and I could see a trainer checking it out. He never entered back into the game, but nothing has come out that there was anything wrong.
Why am I mentioning this then? Kanter just came off a forearm injury, and with him being the next most reliable option available after Russ, don’t be surprised if they play it easy with him. I’m not saying they’ll rest him, but maybe they look away from him.
The Thunder has a poor starting five right now, outside of Russ and Adams. This means there are plenty of bench minutes available. I would expect Taj to check in near the 30-minute mark again tonight, and doesn’t even need a point per minute to make value. I’ve got him pegged at around 23 FantasyDraft points. The Suns play at a fast pace and are a defensive nightmare, all which bode great news for Taj’s fantasy value.
Alan Williams – C – Phoenix Suns – $8,700
Alan Williams is going to be in for a big second half. He’s earned praise from Earl Watson, and it’s been backed up by the fact that he’s seeing more attention than Alex Len. In just 24 minutes last night against the Hornets, Williams put up 16/12/0/1/1 to end up with over 35 FantasyDraft points.
The Thunder have a great front court, so you can bet that there will be combinations of Steven Adams, Damontas Sabonis, Taj Gibson and Enes Kanter on the floor for most of the game. This should mean that Williams will see a ton of minutes [for him] again tonight. It also helps that he has been a points-per-minute monster, so 26 minutes can quickly turn into a 40-point outing for him.
The only downside is that with how Russell Westbrook plays, Williams could end up being in a position where he amasses fouls quickly. I’m willing to take the risk on him tonight, and I have a feeling many other players will as well.
Dante Exum – PG – Utah Jazz – $6,000
The Jazz were just embarrassed by the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday, but get a much better situation tonight at home against the Brooklyn Nets. Rodney Hood has already been ruled out for this game, and Exum was getting some of the minutes when Hood was out, including on Wednesday night. Even though he didn’t start, he did see close to 30-minutes in the blowout.
His minutes and production have been all over the place, but you cannot deny the good match-up and the positive situation. This isn’t a guy I think you want to pay any sort of attention to in cash games, but he’s worth a look in tournaments. If he is able to make the best of his opportunity, he could end up putting up a game where he hits 4x value.
Thabo Sefolosha – SF – Atlanta Hawks – $7,100
Call me crazy, but I love the upside for Thabo Sefolosha tonight. He’s proven in the past that he can put up good games, and while he doesn’t do it consistently, this is a good situation for him.
The Hawks will have him on the court a lot to guard LeBron James. In fact, during their first meeting, he was on the floor for 35 minutes to try to counter the offensive potency of James. It worked somewhat, as James was only able to accrue 45-ish FantasyDraft points.
Sefolosha himself didn’t do well, accumulating only around 15 points. I’m not going to hold that against him, though, because I think he’s in a position at home with a Kevin Love-less Cav’s team to put up good value tonight. Am I expecting anything major? No.
Could he hit the 22 FantasyDraft point mark? Yes. I am a big fan of playing guys getting minutes, and that’s a good amount of minutes for someone at his price. He’s sure to garner low ownership, making him a good tournament option.
I hope you enjoyed today’s value plays. You can find more NBA content, including projections, over at ResearchFantasy.