Bargain Shopping for SF (01/20/16)

By Tom W. Brewer @Tom_W_Brewer
NBA DFS - Bargain Shopping for Small Forwards.

Welcome to our third installment of NBA Daily Fantasy bargain shopping. If you've been playing DFS long enough, you know that when it comes to building a roster, it's the second line guys who can be the difference between winning and losing. Today, we'll be looking at some small forwards who'll help you win without devouring your salary cap.

A quick explanation before we get down to business. A friend asked me the other day what I mean by “bargain” players, as he equates the word “bargain” with K-Mart (the discount store, not Kevin Martin) and doesn't want to gamble on “K-Mart players,” especially not Kevin Martin. So let's clarify what we talk about when we talk about DFS bargains. If you go to our Daily Optimizer and sort by salary, you'll notice a drop-off in talent around the $7,000-$7,500 mark. By and large, the players at and above that salary are your no-brainers, the elite players who give you consistent production.

We'll be focusing on the players a tier below that. We'll be shopping smart for players who consistently score 15+ fantasy points a night without accounting for much more than 10% of your salary cap. To learn more about how to spend your fantasy money wisely, check out our Winning Strategies.

Enough chalk talk. Let's get to it.

1. Chandler Parsons – Dallas Mavericks

Most Recent Salaries: $5,300 (DraftKings), $5,500 (FanDuel), $19 (Yahoo)

The Lowdown: Parsons hasn't quite been the difference-maker Dallas expected him to be when Mark Cuban signed him to a contract in a nightclub back in July of 2014. It's not for lack of talent; injuries have kept Parsons off the court. He had knee surgery last offseason, leading head coach Rick Carlisle to rein in his minutes to start this season, sometimes sitting him for entire quarters. Recently, though, the sharp-shooting Parsons has returned to form. He's playing 30 minutes a game, ranks just outside the top 25 among SFs in scoring and he's in the top 15 in assists. Parsons is averaging around 18 fantasy points for the season, even though his minutes were way down to start the year. Grab him now before his salary skyrockets.

2. C.J. Miles – Indiana Pacers

Most Recent Salaries: $5,200 (DraftKings), $4,400 (FanDuel), $19 (Yahoo)

The Lowdown: The basketball revival is on in Hoosier country. The Pacers remade themselves after a disappointing 2014-2015 campaign, and they're currently in the thick of the playoff hunt. Most of the headlines go to Indiana's Paul George and Monta Ellis, but C.J. Miles is having a career year. He ranks in the top 15 in scoring at his position, despite starting just 24 of the team's 37 games. Even when Miles comes off the bench, he consistently plays 25+ minutes a night, and puts up around 20 fantasy points.

3. Luol Deng – Miami Heat

Most Recent Salaries:
$4,500 (DraftKings), $4,300 (FanDuel), $16 (Yahoo)

The Lowdown: It's difficult to remember the NBA without Luol Deng. The eleven-year vet is currently locking down opposing ball handlers in Miami, helping Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh claw their way back to the top of the heap in the Eastern Conference. Deng has never been his team's first offensive option, but he's made a career out of being a smart, willing defender, an intelligent passer, and a decent rebounder. He ranks in the top 25 small forwards in points and rebounds, and averages over 19 fantasy points a night, including 20+ in three of his last five. Still playing over 30 minutes per game, Deng is a great value for his salary.

4. Al-Farouq Aminu – Portland Trailblazers

Most Recent Salaries:
$5,100 (DraftKings), $5,300 (FanDuel), $18 (Yahoo)

The Lowdown: The Blazers went through a complete makeover in the offseason, losing LaMarcus Aldridge, Aaron Afflalo, Nic Batum, Robin Lopez, and Wesley Matthews. American Horror Story casts don't go through that many changes. Currently ninth in the Western Conference, the 19-25 Trailblazers have found a do-everything guy in small forward Al-Farouq Aminu. Nothing is remarkable about Aminu's game except his consistency. Night in and night out, you can count on him to score about ten points, grab six to seven rebounds, get an assist or two, and take care of the basketball. He's a consistent fantasy player, too, chalking up between 20-23 points per game.

5. Robert Covington - Philadelphia 76ers

Most Recent Salaries:
$5,000 (DraftKings), $4,600 (FanDuel), $19 (Yahoo)

The Lowdown: Robert Covington is proof that Philly's players are still playing hard for head coach Brett Brown despite an abysmal 5-29 record. Covington does a bit of everything. Among small forwards, he's top five in steals, top twelve in blocks, top 20 in rebounds, and a hair outside the top 20 in scoring. He's seeing more minutes in recent games, and it's paying off from a fantasy perspective: he has scored 20 fantasy points in four straight games. After a down December, Covington appears to be playing with confidence in 2016.

Small forward is a loaded position in the Association; this list could literally be twice as long. Take some time to sift through matchups and spend your salary wisely so you can play smart and get money.