The NBA starts another week of what already has been a fascinating regular season with a nice six-game fantasy basketball slate this Monday. The Rockets will try to bounce back from their off night last night by finishing their back-to-back with a trip to Memphis, but the most intriguing game on the slate might be the 4-2 Bucks going on the road to face the 4-1 Timberwolves. The unbeaten Sixers are in the desert to play the Suns, and the injury-riddled Warriors will close out the night as they host the Blazers.
As you dig through the rosters of the 12 teams in action, you might find yourself in need of some bargain plays to stretch your salary to fit the stars you want to build around. To help you find the best values, check out my top four in play for under $4K on this Monday.
SG/SF BRUCE BROWN JR., DET at WAS, $3,200
The Pistons have been depleted by injury in their backcourt with Reggie Jackson (back) out four weeks, Derrick Rose (hamstring) listed as out and Tim Frazier ($3,300; shoulder) also doubtful. For years, the Pistons have talked up Brown’s ability to be their PG but have given him only limited opportunity to show he can handle the job. All the injuries, though, have opened up a nice window for the second-year player from Miami.
Brown delivered a big game in his first start at PG on Saturday, playing a massive 40 minutes against the Nets and posting 39.0 DKFP on 22 points, seven assists, two rebounds and two steals. Expecting that level of production from him on a nightly basis seems like a reach, but he brings too much potential to overlook at just barely over $3K and in a great matchup against the Wizards. Brown might be ready to take the leap to the next level, and he should continue to log heavy minutes if Frazier joins Rose and Jackson on the sidelines.
PF/C GORGUI DIENG, MIN vs. MIL, $3,300
Another player taking advantage of an expanded opportunity is Dieng, who has a much shorter window than Brown as he fills in for Karl-Anthony Towns during his two-game suspension. Dieng started and played 24 minutes against Washington on Saturday, producing 39.5 DKFP on 18 points, eight rebounds, three blocks and two steals.
Dieng always has been a good per-minute producer and can fill up the stat sheet across the board. His non-scoring numbers make him relatively low-risk, especially at this price and with more than 20 minutes expected to come his way once again. He has shown in the past he can be productive when given a larger role, and he’ll get another start before Towns returns against the Grizzlies.
SG/SF DAMION LEE, GS vs. POR, $3,600
The Warriors have been wiped out by injury unlike any team in recent memory. With all their starters injured, there have been plenty of chances for other players to step up and produce in larger roles. While there hasn’t been much consistency among the fill-in group, Jordan Poole ($4,100), Ky Bowman ($4,300), Eddie Paschall ($5,000) and Glenn Robinson III ($4,700) all have had their moments. Lee is another cheaper option who has been productive and comes with a high ceiling as the Warriors host the Trail Blazers.
Lee has scored at least 13 points in three of his past four games, including a 23-point, 43.25-DKFP outburst in the Warriors’ lone win of the season last Tuesday in New Orleans. Lee should continue to get plenty of shots and offers some solid non-scoring stats as well. He’s had at least 20 DKFP in three of four and has a good chance to offer good return on investment again in this matchup.
SF/PF DAVIS BERTANS, WAS vs. DET, $3,900
Bertans’ consistent role with the Wizards and his steady production normally would be outstanding at under $4K, but with the options listed above he might be overlooked for some of the flashier plays. The former Spur has fit in nicely with the Wizards and played at least 27 minutes in every game this season. He is averaging 14.4 points, 3.0 rebounds, 1.4 assists and 22.9 DKFP in his first five games of the year and has a favorable matchup against Detroit.
At times, Bertans can be streaky depending on his long-range shot, but in such a large role he usually finds ways to contribute even if he’s not hitting from the outside. He can score 20-plus points when his outside game is on, and he is a steady and safe play to consider if you have to go under $4K.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is Z.Thompson) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.