We’re less than a month away from the Fantasy Basketball trade deadline, a period when Fantasy bargains are made both in regular and DFS formats. With playoff contenders apparent in both conferences, the deadline is expected to be more impactful than last year’s dud; DeMarcus Cousins to the Pelicans aside. In the meantime, there’s plenty to feast on this week, especially for DFS players, who should be able to find some cheap yet effective options.
Dragan Bender, F, Suns: Filling in for the injured Marquese Chriss, Bender put up 36 Fantasy points against the Thunder last Sunday and followed up with 28 FP in Friday’s loss to the Rockets. He’s owned in just 15 percent of CBSSports.com leagues and if Chriss remains sidelined with his hip flexor, Bender could be a sneaky good low-risk DFS play at Portland on Tuesday and at Denver on Friday.
Tyrone Wallace, F, Clippers: Like Bender, Wallace (owned in 10 percent of CBSSports.com leagues) is making a play as a solid bargain DFS option. He had a 41.9 FP effort in Thursday’s win over the Warriors and comes into the week a cheap $4,200 at FanDuel.com.
Bogdan Bogdanovic, G, Kings: He’s averaged nearly 30 Fantasy points per game over his last three games and has seen his ownership in CBSSports.com leagues climb from 25 percent to 37 percent. Boggy is shooting 55 percent from the field this month and is also averaging 50 percent from behind the arc, more reason to consider him at FanDuel with a low price of $5,600.
Allen Crabbe, G, Nets: Back-to-back games of 30-plus FP is enough to get Crabbe noticed, as he’s now owned in 44 percent of CBSSports.com leagues. Crabbe is also a nifty $5,600 play at FanDuel despite the fact he’s a more accurate 3-point shooter than overall scorer of late.
Streamers. Lots of Streamers
Davis Bertans, F, Spurs: The 6’10” native of Latvia scored a career-high 28 points against the Nets last Monday and went 6-for-7 beyond the arc in Saturday’s blowout win over the Nuggets. Bertans can stroke it (59 percent from 3-point range in his last five games) and at a mere $3,600 at FanDuel, he presents an intriguing play considering the Spurs’ schedule is filled with potential blowouts this week.
Willie Reed, C, Clippers: With DeAndre Jordan sidelined, Reed got the start on Saturday and scored 14 points, while adding 13 rebounds and getting his blocks, steals and assists in twos. Reed ($3,700 at FanDuel) has an impressive 20.07 Player Efficiency Rating and has shown in stops in Miami and Phoenix that he can rack up the rebounds. Worth the look if Jordan remains out this week.
Jarrett Allen, C, Nets: Perhaps Saturday’s 16-point, eight-rebound performance in the loss at the Wizards is a sign that Allen will see more minutes. The rookie is shooting a Playstation-like 71 percent from the field this month and with Brooklyn still trying to fit their foundation, Allen is worth the look for those seeking DFS bargains.
Skal Labissiere, C, Kings: The pride of Haiti is averaging 10 points and seven rebounds while managing just 22 minutes per game since returning from the G-League. I’d consider him in DFS formats when the Kings visit the Grizzlies on Friday.
Best Fantasy-Friendly Game of the Week
Warriors-Rockets on Saturday is too easy, so let’s stay on Saturday and go with Raptors-Timberwolves, which features the third and fourth most Minnesota’s efficient offenses in the league, respectively. This will be a collision of Fantasy hoops monsters, with Toronto’s DeMar DeRozan (30.0 points, 6.3 assists this month) going against Karl-Anthony Towns, who’s averaging 19.7 points and 14.4 boards per game in January.
Best of the One-on-One Matchups
Wednesday’s Nuggets-Clippers contest features an intriguing point guard clash between Denver’s Jamal Murray and Los Angeles’ Lou Williams. Murray shot a combined 2-for-14 in games against the Grizzlies and Spurs last week, numbers that have offset what had been a strong stretch of play. Williams is averaging a wicked 31.7 points per game in January while adding six assists per game. Both deserve DFS mention in what could be a potential stack game.
Best Fantasy Matchup to Exploit
Kings center Willie Cauley-Stein ($6,300 at FanDuel) is a name to consider for DFS action on Monday as he takes on a Thunder squad that is 27th in total rebounds per game. Stein had 23 points and 13 boards in Saturday’s loss to the Clippers and continues to entrench himself as the starter in Sacramento.
TEAMS PLAYING FOUR GAMES THIS WEEK
Nets, Pistons, Pacers, Lakers, Grizzlies, Heat, Knicks, Spurs, Raptors, Jazz
TEAMS PLAYING THREE GAMES THIS WEEK
Hawks, Celtics, Hornets, Bulls, Cavaliers, Nuggets, Warriors, Rockets, Clippers, Bucks, Timberwolves, Pelicans, Thunder, Magic, 76ers, Trail Blazers, Kings, Wizards
TEAMS PLAYING TWO GAMES THIS WEEK
Winner: Despite playing three road games, the Spurs get bottom-feeder defenses in the Hawks (23rd in points allowed per game) and Nets (26th) along with a Pacers team that is 20th overall. While the Raptors are ranked ninth, Toronto has allowed at least 110 points in five of their last seven games entering the week. Kawhi Leonard ($9,500 at FanDuel) comes into the week with two straight games of at least 49 Fantasy points and will be a solid play as he continues to shake off the rust.
Loser: The Mavericks’ paltry 6-14 road record will be further stressed by trips to the Nuggets and Trail Blazers. Dallas, 6-4 in their last 10, has just one player who has averaged 20 minutes per game (backup guard J.J. Barea) with a PER above 18. However, rookie guard Dennis Smith has offered bang for his $6,500 price tag at FanDuel, scoring at at least 30 FP in four of his last six. He’s an interesting play at Denver on Tuesday night.