NBA Market Share Report: Value in Brooklyn, Otto Porter, and Another Stud in Houston

James Harden is the same fantasy basketball stud we always knew, but don't forget about Eric Gordon, the other hot hand in Houston.

With the NBA back in full swing, it's truly the best time of the year. We're already experiencing early-season fireworks, too.

Whether it’s a certain freak in Milwaukee doing machine-like things, point guards in the desert forcing trades via Twitter, or the unfortunate series of events that shifted the playoff picture as early as six minutes into the season, there never seems to be a lack of action in the Association.

This Market Report article will once again be a weekly staple here at numberFire as we look to build on last year’s column and search for value within the fantasy hoops exchange. We’ll look for stats relevant to crafting daily lineups throughout the week, touch on flows and trends, and hopefully uncover some emerging opportunities.

And without further ado…Let us hoop!

Bombs Away in Brooklyn

Things are off to a fast start for the Brooklyn Nets, who actually make for a pretty fun watch, at least for the time being. They may not play a lick of defense, but they’re averaging a league-best 121 points per game at a pace that ranks second in the NBA and there is value to be had among the roster.

As our own Alan Goldsher mentioned earlier this week, the Nets have seven guys averaging double-digit scoring totals, which in turn offers up plenty of opportunity. And while D'Angelo Russell may be the name giving off the most buzz following his 30-point debut and later flirting with a triple-double last Sunday, the value is more so offered with a guy like DeMarre Carroll, or even Trevor Booker.

In the realm of DFS tournaments, Russell remains your top option in Brooklyn. His ability to fill it up on any given night provides your lineup with plenty of potential assuming he takes care of the ball even a little bit. But when it comes to the nightly grind of cash lineups, that’s where the other guys come into play.

Take Carroll for example, who’s scoring 33 FanDuel points per game for an average salary of less than $5,200. Sure, Russell’s 37 FanDuel points per game has a nice ring to it, but you’re also shelling out a lot more salary in order to roster just six additional points. Carroll is less likely to go for 40-plus, but he’s shown consistency in reaching solid value.

Or a guy like Booker, whose style of play built around energy and hustle is usually good for between 20 and 30 FanDuel points a night, making him cash-game viable when his salary is in the mid-$5,000 range or below.

The rotation will shake out as the season progresses, but until then, don’t forget about the Brooklyn roster when building cash-game lineups. Lots of guys are seeing action and the Nets like to run. They have the New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets coming up, followed by what should be up-tempo contests against the Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Lakers, and then Phoenix again.

(H)Otto Porter

Please hold your applause ‘til the end, as well as your accusations of my hometown bias, but Otto Porter is currently one of the more efficient fantasy players on the young season.

I know, I know -- small sample size, unsustainable output, etc. But given we’re on the hunt for current values in the market, feel free to ride the Otto wave until he either falls back to Earth or we see a spike in salary that eats into the current price advantage.

Porter has quietly racked up at least five-times value (five fantasy points per $1,000 in salary) in three of his four games, including a 10x outing against Detroit last week and a 7x outing against Denver the following game. He’s putting up a healthy number of shots and hitting at an impressive 51-percent clip, as well as crashing the glass and assuming the role of a downright thief with a league-leading 3.3 steals per game.

Honestly, who can't get behind the idea of Otto doing good mid-range things?

It’s a fiery streak that’s sure to cool, but perhaps not by much. Porter has improved in each of his previous four seasons and was handsomely paid last summer as a budding 24-year-old that could pair well alongside John Wall and Bradley Beal. He’ll face the Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings, Suns, and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the coming week, none of whom should deter you from rostering Porter for under $7,500.

Money on Murray

Prior to his dud against the Miami Heat on Wednesday night, Dejounte Murray was doing his best to steal the show in San Antonio. Despite LaMarcus Aldridge’s solid start, it was the 21-year-old wiry point guard garnering the hype and excitement.

Through his first three games, Murray was available for an average price tag of just $4,733, only to turn around and produce 34 FanDuel points per game, including a 7x outing against Toronto with a fat stat line of 16 points, 14 rebounds, and 6 assists.

Murray will continue to see his fair share of minutes with Tony Parker sidelined, and although he’ll split some time with Patrick Mills, rostering Murray is intriguing for a number of reasons, including his legitimate double-double potential each game. His scoreless Wednesday night will hopefully limit his salary from rising too high, and the Spurs have the Orlando Magic, Indiana Pacers, Boston Celtics, and Golden State in the coming week.

Hot in Houston

With Chris Paul currently on the shelf, the Houston Rockets are leaning on the obvious in James Harden, as well as maybe the not-so-obvious in Eric Gordon, both of whom are sporting similar usage rates at 34 percent and 32 percent, respectively.

While no one’s crazy enough to talk you off rostering Harden -- who’s dropped more than 230 FanDuel points through the first five games -- it seems almost as if Gordon’s work gets caught up in the news surrounding the bigger names on the Houston roster.

Despite a three-point attempt rate higher than The Beard, Gordon is clanking most of them to the tune of just 26 percent. However, from the rest of the field, he’s cashing at better than 61 percent and putting up 24 points per game, which in turn blesses our daily lineups with around 33 FanDuel points a night.

The scoring totals have made Gordon quite the bargain and he has 6x value in four of his last five games to show for it. That said, his average salary of $5,960 should continue to trend upward and we’ll need to keep a close eye on that due to his lack of upside outside of scoring (he’s good for around six assists-plus-rebounds per game).

On the other hand, it seems like a reasonable bet to assume Gordon’s efficiency from deep comes around sometime soon. And once it does, we’ll have a small opportunity to pounce on his services before his salary inflates too much. Until then, we’ll assume he can continue to fill it up against the Charlotte Hornets, Memphis Grizzlies, Philadelphia 76ers, and Knicks coming up.