Welcome back to another edition of Seeking Value in the FantasyDraft Locker Room. There are eight 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 time we talked, we had two value plays turn out nicely [Jeremy Line and Jamal Murray] and two that just didn’t [Kelly Olynyk and Joffrey Lauvergne]. You’ll have that when you are swimming in the seas of bargain plays. With all that said, let’s get on to my four favorites for tonight’s slate.
Ivica Zubac – C – Los Angeles Lakers – $7,700
Zubac is without a doubt my favorite value play today – well, as long as he plays. He played 31 minutes on Saturday in the D-League and 19 minutes last night against the Sixers. In that 19 minutes, he was able to put together almost 25 FantasyDraft points. That is a great return on value for someone at his price range.
Magic Johnson mentioned that he wanted to see Zubac get 30-35 minutes with the starters to see if he’s someone the team can build around. Luke Walton made it known that it’s his team and his decisions, though you’d imagine those words to be a foolish strategy. Luke was not Magic’s choice, and if he isn’t going to listen, he isn’t going to be around long. While that doesn’t directly translate to production, it did immediately lead to Zubac getting a start, and that is a start. He’s going to be a point per minute monster.
The matchup against the Nuggets could play well into his hands. I think he could see over 20 minutes tonight, even if the game goes to a blowout. The Nuggets could be short both Jameer Nelson and Wilson Chandler, so that does reduce some of the upside of the team overall. I am not going to hesitate to run Zubac out in just about all formats, unless we hear something about him not playing, which I don’t see happening.
Zubac could be the next Alan Williams, in terms of cheap value plays that turn into mid-priced players. Get him while he is cheap.
Buddy Hield – SG –Sacramento Kings – $7,800
It looks like Hield is finally getting the chance in Sacramento, and so far, he hasn’t disappointed. Granted, that can always change, but I think he’s good to go tonight. While we know Sacramento isn’t exactly the greatest team in the NBA, they aren’t awful either.
I think that the same thing can be said about Orlando. Orlando has some talent, enough that they’ll keep this game close. If Hield is able to see another 30+ minutes tonight, I think he could pull off a 22-25 FantasyDraft point outing, with upside nearing 30 if his three-point shot is falling.
I’m going to be bullish with him tonight, and I think he’s going to pay off great dividends, and really opens your lineup to be able to play some more high dollar guys.
Patty Mills – PG – San Antonio Spurs – $8,700
I think it’s pretty safe to say that Patty Mills will likely be the most popular value play on tonight’s slate. The Spurs are without Tony Parker and Dejounte Murray, leaving them razor thin at the point guard position. It’s also worth noting that they are short LaMarcus Aldridge and potentially Kawhi Leonard as well.
I bring that up because when those guys, and Mills, are on the floor together, he takes a major back seat. When one of them is not on the floor, he sees an expanded role. When they are both off, look at.
The best part is that the Hawks will actually be playing starters and not their backups like the Spurs saw Saturday against the Warriors. In that game, Mills put up over 30 fantasy points in 21 minutes. Can you imagine what he could do with 30 minutes?
That’s not even mentioning that Dennis Schroeder is awful on defense. He’s the worst. Mills could run circles around him, and if he gets the minutes tonight, he could be in for a monster game, but he will be very highly owned.
Willie Cauley-Stein – C – Sacramento Kings- $9,800
I don’t love using two guys from the same team in an article, but the reality is value is value. Willie Cauley-Stein has seen an explosion in playing time with DeMarcus Cousins out of town. While he hasn’t been overly consistent, he’s still got a ton of upside here.
One thing that the Magic struggle with [and believe me, there’s a lot of things the Magic struggle with], guarding centers is one of them. Seriously, when your own center comes out in an interview earlier in the season because he was moved to the bench because of his offense, and he himself says he’s not a good defender, we’ve got a go to each and every time the team plays.
Even though he hasn’t been consistent, I’ll gladly use WCS tonight with the upside he brings to the table. I think he’s still under-priced, and as long as I feel that way, he’s someone who’s going in my lineup in a plus matchup.
I hope you enjoyed today’s value plays. You can find more NBA content, including projections, over at ResearchFantasy.