As the NBA winds down the regular season, teams are all preparing for the future. For some teams that means getting ready for the NBA Draft Lottery, some are battling for playoff position, and others are just trying to get healthy for the playoffs. As a result, fantasy value can fluctuate wildly from game to game based on usage. At this time of year more than ever, it’s vital to follow late-breaking news to see who is in line for increased production. With nine games on tap for this Friday, there are some value plays who are already emerging as options to check out. Let’s take a look at some of my favorite Friday plays available for under $4K:
Emmanuel Mudiay – PG – DEN vs. NO – ($3,800) – At the start of the season, Mudiay was the starting PG for Denver, but turnover issues and inconsistency caused him to be dropped from the rotation for most of March. Recently, though, he has suddenly become a vital part of Denver’s final push for the playoffs, and I think he makes for a great play tonight against the Pelicans, who have allowed the fifth-most DKFP to opposing PG this season.
Mudiay exploded back onto the scene Sunday in Miami, where he had 17 points and nine assists for 36.5 DKFP. He followed that up with 15 points and seven assists for 26 more DKFP against the Pelicans on Tuesday. On Wednesday against Houston, he only played 16 minutes since Jameer Nelson returned to the lineup, but Mudiay still managed 19 DKFP on six points, six rebounds and three assists. Tonight, Nelson is doubtful, but with the playoffs still a possibility, look for the Nuggets to go full speed resulting in another high-scoring game loaded with opportunity for Mudiay to go off.
Jonathon Simmons – SG/SF – SA @ DAL – ($3,900) – While the Nuggets are battling to stay in the playoff race, the Spurs have locked up the 2-seed in the Western Conference and are going to take tonight’s game in Dallas to rest many of their regulars. Manu Ginobili and Danny Green are injured, and they’ll be joined on the sideline by LaMarcus Aldridge, Pau Gasol and Kawhi Leonard. With those absences, Simmons should get plenty of chances against the Mavericks and is a very low-risk play for his price since he’s guaranteed lots of minutes at both SG and SF.
Simmons has at least 17 DKFP in each of his last three games and played 32 minutes Wednesday when he was also an option in the Bargain Bin. He had 18.25 DKFP in that contest, but I think he should be able to get to at least 20+ tonight since he will get so many looks and be the focus of the offense along with fellow bargain buy Kyle Anderson.
Justin Holiday – SG/SF – NY @ MEM – ($3,400) – The Knicks are also patching together their rotation, but they’re doing it for an entirely different reason than the Spurs. With Derrick Rose out for the year, Kristaps Porzingis’s back tightening up last night, and Carmelo Anthony’s continued rest/injury issues, the Knicks have given increased playing time to Holiday off the bench. The “instant energy” option has risen to the occasion.
Last night, Holiday went 7-of-12 from the field, scoring 16 points on his way to a solid 24.25 DKFP. He has scored in double-digits with at least 22 DKFP in three of his last four games, and he should be a very involved option again with the Knicks in Memphis tonight. Holiday should get 30+ minutes if Chasson Randle stays sidelined and could get even more if Anthony decides to take it easy on the second night of a back-to-back.
Beno Udrih – PG – DET @ HOU – ($3,500) – Everyone is in on Ish Smith, who has taken over the Pistons’ starting PG gig since Reggie Jackson was shut down for the year. But don’t overlook Udrih, who has also grabbed minutes as the primary backup and produced good numbers lately.
He has at least 17 DKFP in each of his last four games and over 22 DKFP in each of his last two games while handing out eight assists in each contest. He produced good points and assists off the bench and should get around 20 minutes tonight in a high-scoring affair against Houston.
Overflows from the Bargain Bin
(Other cheap options worth considering)
- Kyle Anderson – SF – SA @ DAL – ($3,600)
- Georgios Papagiannis – C – SAC @ LAL – ($3,800)
- E’Twaun Moore – SG/SF – NO @ DEN – ($3,400)
- Taj Gibson – PF – OKC @ PHO – ($3,900)
- Langston Galloway – PG – SAC @ LAL – ($3,000)
- Derrick Jones Jr. – SF – PHO vs. OKC – ($3,500)
- Nicolás Brussino – SG – DAL vs. SA – ($3,000)
- Boris Diaw – PF/C – UTA vs. MIN – ($3,000)
- Mindaugas Kuzminskas – SF – NY @ MEM – ($3,800)
- Danté Exum – PG – UTA vs. MIN – ($3,000)
- Troy Williams – SF – HOU vs. DET – ($3,800)
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.