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DraftKings NBA: Value Plays for the Week

Dave Loughran

Dave “Loughy” Loughran is a successful Daily Fantasy Sports player who is also no stranger to the seasonal fantasy world. While educated at Temple University, he always managed to prepare his fantasy content before, during and after class. A stat junkie, Loughy digs deep, unearthing statistical gems to help fantasy enthusiasts thicken their pockets. Dave appears on the Shane Dennis show on KFH FM Radio Wichita every Thursday at 7:25ET to provide his weekly fantasy football analysis. Follow him on Twitter @Loughy_D. Value Plays for the Week

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Wednesday, March 26th isn't only the birthday of yours truly, but also the grand finale for the 2013-14 daily fantasy NBA season, as DraftKings is running their $1,000,000 Bank Shot tournament, offering up a whopping $100,000 to the first place winner. For those of you in search of something a little less high stakes, DraftKings is also rolling out their $20,000 Medium Bank Shot and $10,000 Mini Bank Shot with $50 and $5 buy-ins respectively. There's something for everyone on Wednesday, so be sure to get your research in before submitting those lineups.


Ray McCallum, PG, SAC ($3,000): There isn't much to get excited about in terms of value guards on Wednesday, but McCallum could serve as a viable minimum salary punt play in the event that Isaiah Thomas' quad contusion holds him out of action. McCallum's lack of minutes and subsequent fantasy production have kept his price tag in the cellar, yet a substantial boost in value will be imminent in the event that he gets the nod as the Kings' starting point guard. Despite a full slate of games, you'll need to scrape the bottom of the player pool before uncovering anything worth rostering. That being said, McCallum could be a candidate to see healthy minutes in the starting lineup, as the Sacramento front office could use his spot start to evaluate what kind of talent the rookie Detroit product possesses. You could do a lot worse for $3,000, but only if Thomas is in fact sidelined against a Knicks squad that has struggled to contain opposing point guards of late.

A Look Ahead: It's hard to predict what direction Mike Malone will take regarding his point guard situation. The Kings have been out of the playoff picture for months now, and it wouldn't be a terrible idea to keep Thomas on ice until he's 100 percent healthy. McCallum should be considered a serviceable option at a discounted price if Thomas misses time, but doesn't warrant any attention if he remains entrenched in his current negligible role off the bench.

Darren Collison, PG, LAC ($4,000): Collison should retain his position as the Clippers' starting shooting guard until J.J. Redick returns to action, as Jamal Crawford recently expressed his desire to come off the bench. Despite being priced at only $4,000, he has tallied 25-plus DKPTs (DraftKings Points) in seven of his last ten starts, and shouldn't log any fewer than 28 minutes on Wednesday in New Orleans. Crawford's return will take a bite out of Collison's fantasy value, however, he shouldn't meet much resistance in his attempts to meet value (23 DKPTs) against the Pelicans. He is a more than capable scorer and also contributes as an above average thief, averaging 1.7 steals per game over his last ten starts, so consider utilizing his services in what should be a relatively high scoring affair at the Smoothie King Center.

A Look Ahead: Collison's fantasy decline is a near certainty with the return of J.J. Redick looming, but he'll continue to warrant strong consideration at only $4,000 until either his salary rises or he returns to his early season bench role.

HONORABLE MENTION: Rodney Stuckey (DET - $4,500); Shelvin Mack (ATL - $3,100)


Jonas Jerebko, SF/PF, DET ($3,000): Jerebko is a super punt on Wednesday against the Cavaliers, and isn't an advisable start in anything outside of larger GPPs. Josh Smith's recent shooting woes have opened the door to more playing time for Jerebko, who is averaging 14.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 31.1 DKPPG over his last two appearances, while logging 25.5 MPG over that stretch. Serviceable playing time is far from a guarantee and so is his fantasy production, but 18 DKPTs is enough to justify his price tag, and he should match or exceed that number tonight given that his minutes remain consistent with those over each of his last two outings.

A Look Ahead: If Jerebko can maintain a floor time average north of 20 minutes per game, he could warrant a look on short slates or value lacking nights. Continue to monitor his minutes and production in future contests in order to accurately assess fantasy value or lack thereof going forward. The Pistons will face the league's two worst basketball clubs in the Sixers and Bucks later this week, which could potentially provide Jerebko with added appeal as a minimum salary forward option.

Trevor Booker, PF, WAS ($3,700): As noted earlier, finding value won't be an easy task on Wednesday, with the majority of last week's bargains suffering from a significant uptick in salary. That being said, Booker's price tag has gone virtually untouched, making him a viable desperation play with considerably more appeal than the majority of comparably priced options around him. He has managed to finish with 20-plus DKPTs in each of his last four starts, while averaging a well-rounded 8.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.3 blocks, 1.3 steals and 23.2 DKPPG over that span. Booker doesn't possess the upside of fellow power forward Drew Gooden, but his minutes and fantasy production have been consistent enough to put him in play on an uncharacteristically slow night for value options.

A Look Ahead: Nene Hilario will likely remain sidelined for at least a couple more games, which will leave Booker and Gooden to split minutes at the power forward position until he returns. Some surprisingly efficient performances by Gooden have brought his salary up to a very unappealing $4,900 on DraftKings, making Booker the more favorable option based on affordability alone. His consistent 20-25 DKPT outputs keep him relevant in cash games, where steady production is more of a necessity than upside.

HONORABLE MENTION: DeMarre Carroll (ATL - $5,100); Amar'e Stoudemire (NYK - $4,400); Terrence Ross (TOR - $3,900)


Gorgui Dieng, C, MIN ($5,400): The days of finding Dieng at minimum salary have come to an abrupt end, but that doesn't mean he is no longer an option. Through five starts in place of the injured Nikola Pekovic, he is averaging 12.2 points, 13.8 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.2 blocks, 1.2 steals and only .8 turnovers for a stellar 37.5 DKPPG, while shooting 56 percent (23-41 FG) with four double-doubles over that stretch. He is exceeding value at his current price by more than seven DraftKings points per game since entering the starting lineup, and should continue his elevated play on Wednesday night against a weak Atlanta frontcourt if Pekovic is unable to suit up for a sixth consecutive contest.

A Look Ahead: Dieng's salary may have risen to a slightly uncomfortable level, but he has excelled on DraftKings where additional fantasy points are awarded for double-doubles. It's highly unlikely that Rick Adelman will rush Pekovic back into action, as the Timberwolves are out playoff contention and the mistake had been made by bringing him back too early just a couple of weeks ago. The 6'11" rookie center who hails from Senegal should receive ample opportunity to prove his worth as a legitimate NBA big man over the closing weeks of the season.

NOTE: If you are searching elsewhere for comparably priced options at the center position, consider using Tiago Splitter (SAS - $5,500), Tyson Chandler (NYK - $5,300) or Jonas Valanciunas ($5,200), as each of them are underpriced players with 30-plus DKPT upside on Wednesday.
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The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire.