Bargain Basement Shopping: Daily Fantasy Basketball
Eric Maynor, PG Portland – DraftKings salary: $3,000
The heady decision maker out of VCU played only nine games last season after suffering a torn ACL. That, in tandem with the speedy maturation of Reggie Jackson, ultimately led to Maynor falling out of favor in Oklahoma City (despite being an ultra-efficient reserve in 2009-2011). A shorthanded Blazers team is thankful, as they picked up a potentially valuable commodity for zilch at the trade deadline. Head coach Terry Stotts was not paying lip service when he raved about Maynor’s basketball intelligence, making immediate use of a two point-guard lineup. In his last two games he’s seen 27 minutes per, averaging 8.5 points and 7.5 assists, including a career-high 12 helpers on March 2nd. He lacks the strength (170 lbs.) or explosion to finish at the hoop, but he’s crafty and a serviceable three-point shooter (34% career). His “cool” style and pacing at the controls should result in a low turnover number. Within a week his minimum salary will skyrocket; even more so if the already banged up Nicolas Batum or Wes Matthews should be forced to miss time.
MarShon Brooks, SG/SF Brooklyn – DraftKings salary: $3,000
Brooks falls under the (much) higher risk, higher reward category. I’ll stand firm on an earlier proclamation that Gerald Wallace needs to see his minutes cut, dramatically. Bruised ribs or not. Short-lived evidence of this theory played out on the hardwood in games on February 24th and 26th when Brooks played 32 minutes and 23 minutes respectively. In those two efforts he put up eight points, five rebounds, three assists and a block, while attempting 21 total field goals. In two games since, however, he’s taken the express train back to the bottom of the food chain. While not a knock-down shooter by any means, he is a threat to heat up, something the Nets are sorely lacking currently on the wing. As fantasy players we are forced to live in the present, but Brooks scored nearly 13 points per game last year in under 30 minutes of action. He possesses the scoring capacity and defensive tools to remind us what he is capable of, perhaps when we least expect it. At this point he is a longshot ‘bang for your daily fantasy buck’ option.
Quincy Pondexter, SG/SF Memphis – DraftKings salary: $3,000
Since returning from a knee injury on February 10th, Pondexter appears to have hastily earned the trust of head coach Lionel Hollins. Over the last three games he’s occupied a healthy share of minutes at the off-guard and small forward sports, averaging 11 points, three assists, two three-point makes and converting 10/11 free throws. Best renowned for his slashing ability and activity on the glass coming out of Washington in 2010, Pondexter has clearly made the necessary alterations to his skill set for a specific role in the NBA. With both Zach Randolph and Darrell Arthur questionable for Wednesday’s tilt versus Portland, it’s worth riding the hot hand for at least one more night. Note of caution: keep in mind the instability of the Grizzlies’ bench rotation, which has only gotten more difficult to decipher with the depth they’ve added in recent weeks.
Bismack Biyombo, PF/C Charlotte – DraftKings salary: $3,000
When Biyombo gets 20 minutes of PT tangible results in boards and blocked shots are a given; he has 13 double-digit rebound efforts and seven games with four or more blocks. The difficulty is that at 6’9 245 pounds he’s shooting 43% from the field and is more or less allergic to scoring. According to Vorped.com, 29 of his 91 paint makes (32%) have finished with dunks (somehow he’s even found a way to miss nine dunks). He attempted a season-high ten shots last time out, and I’m going to read that as a sign of newfound confidence! Well, maybe not. Regardless of his skill deficiencies at the offensive end, Biyombo is capable of a 10/15/4 triple slash on a given night, particularly against teams with guards that allow penetration and have less agile big men. Daily fantasy players can cash in by picking their spots with this minimum salary center.
Keep tabs on these minimum salary/rare usage options in DraftKings daily fantasy cash games, where you can enter their weekly $10,000 “Big Wednesday” tournament for $11. In addition, check out their newly unveiled “Bankshot” contest with $150,000 in guaranteed prizes. Entry fee is $200 with qualifier tournaments as low as $5 running through March 27th.
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