Since Thursday’s trade deadline was a Thanksgiving-style feast of action in the NBA, Friday is the equivalent of Black Friday with great bargains everywhere you look. The NBA has eight games on the fantasy basketball slate to finish the work week this Friday, and the flurry of player movement will shake up many teams’ rotations, opening the door for great new value plays to emerge.
It’s the perfect time to hit the bargain bin if you find yourself running short of salary cap space. Check out these four options who are available under $4K and should be in a position to offer solid returns on Friday’s eight-game slate.
SF/PF DORIAN FINNEY-SMITH, DAL VS. MIL, $3,900The Mavericks moved four starters before the deadline with DeAndre Jordan ($6,000), Dennis Smith Jr. ($5,800), Harrison Barnes ($5,200) and Wesley Matthews all in new homes for the rest of the season. All the movement should lock Finney-Smith into a starting role with consistent production the rest of the way. On Wednesday, the 25-year-old started against Charlotte and had 34 DKFP on a 15-point, 10-rebound double-double. He has 10 boards in each of his past two games, which gives him a good ceiling since he usually stuffs the rest of the stat sheet.
In his 14 starts this season, the appropriately monikered DFS has averaged 9.6 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.1 steals and 32.5 minutes. He should get a nice bump in usage and plenty of run the rest of the season, especially until Justin Jackson ($3,000) gets up to speed. He’s a relatively safe and solid play at under $4K as the Mavs host the Bucks.
SG/SF DAVID NWABA, CLE AT WAS, $3,700Another player getting a boost by many of his teammates heading out of town is the Cavaliers’ Nwaba, who just returned from injury and should get as many minutes as he can handle in a great matchup against the Wizards. Nwaba missed all of January with a sprained ankle but has posted 20.5 and 16.75 DKFP in his two games since returning, including a start Tuesday against Boston.
With Alec Burks ($3,800) and Rodney Hood traded and Cedi Osman (ankle) out, Nwaba should get another start and plenty of work in Washington. Nwaba has shown flashes of potential and is typically a multi-category producer, but he hasn’t gotten an extended look due to circumstances and his own health. That should change over the next few weeks as the Cavs evaluate if he’s part of their future plans or not.
PG ISAIAH CANAAN, MIN AT NO, $3,000It’s time to dive all the way to the very bottom of the bargain bin for the final two picks in Friday’s four in play under $4K. Canaan could be the last man standing at PG for the Timberwolves, making him a great play at PG. On Thursday, Jerryd Bayless ($5,600; toe, questionable) left Minnesota’s game against Orlando after going 0-for-6 from the field while battling a toe issue. He joined Jeff Teague ($5,400; foot, questionable), Derrick Rose ($5,700; ankle, questionable), Tyus Jones ($3,800; ankle, questionable) on the sidelines since they all were out with injuries of their own. While all are questionable for Friday’s game in New Orleans, there’s a chance they’ll all sit and leave all the playing time at the point for Canaan, who inked a 10-day deal with Minnesota on Jan. 29.
Canaan played 21 minutes Thursday to help cover for Bayless’s exit and chipped in a solid 13 points, six assists and 22.5 DKFP. He also had six assists Tuesday in just his second game with Minnesota, so he seems to be picking things up quickly and gelling with his new teammates. Canaan has an extremely high ceiling if he’s the main PG for Minnesota in a great matchup against the Pelicans. Keep a close eye on the Minnesota injury news today and be ready to roll out Canaan if things go his way.
C CRISTIANO FELICIO, CHI AT BKN, $3,000Canaan isn’t the only player with a minimum salary who could end up in the starting lineup with a sizable workload. Felicio could end up in a similar position if the Bulls complete their buyout of Robin Lopez ($4,000) or decide to sit the veteran until they do. With Wendall Carter Jr. (hand) still out and Bobby Portis ($5,300) and Jabari Parker ($5,000) traded to Washington, Felicio could start and get a big workload against Brooklyn.
Felicio is averaging just 9.9 minutes per game this season and hasn’t made any starts, but he did show some potential last season, averaging 9.6 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 16 games started. He hasn’t played more than 20 minutes since Nov. 2, when he had 24.25 DKFP on nine points and nine rebounds against the Pacers. He’s a bit of a flier play, for sure, and I’d take Canaan over him if the Timberwolves’ injured backcourt players are all out. However, he should get enough time to approach a double-double and could end up with an awesome return on such a small investment. If Lopez is ruled out, consider rolling with the 26-year-old Brazilian big man, especially if he’s announced as starter.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Z.Thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.