James Johnson

The NBA has one more massive fantasy basketball slate lined up before taking a week off for this weekend’s All-Star festivities. While there are two marquee games Thursday, Wednesday night’s 11-game contests is everyone’s last chance for a packed slate like this until the end of the month. It’s a good night to take advantage of the depth of options available with 22 teams taking the floor.

Even with so many options to choose from, though, you may need to go cheap at a spot or two in order to lock in the big-name, high-priced producers you think can carry you to victory. As you hunt for productive bargains, start your search with a look at these four options in play for under $4K this Wednesday.

SG/SF JORDAN POOLE, GS at PHO, $3,900

Golden State’s trade deadline activity opened up more time for their first-round rookie from Michigan, and Poole has stepped up with double-digit point production in each of his past three games. Poole attempted just six shots combined in his first two games this month, but since then has taken 14, 12 and 11 shots in his three contests, respectively, while playing over 22 minutes in each game off the bench.

Last Wednesday in Brooklyn, he played 27 minutes and had 29.5 DFKP on 16 points, four assists and three steals in the Warriors’ blowout loss. He had 19 points, three assists and 29 DKFP in 23 minutes Saturday against the Lakers, and he followed that with 12 points and 22.5 DKFP in 31 minutes against the Heat on Monday. Poole is definitely someone the Warriors want to be part of their future plans, so look for them to give him plenty of run down the stretch after trading away some of the veteran pieces that have kept him lower on the depth chart most of the year.


PG TYUS JONES, MEM vs. POR, $3,900

After joining the team after four years in Minnesota, Jones has served as Minnesota’s primary backup to Ja Morant ($7,500). His numbers have been a bit inconsistent coming off the bench but he has definitely found a nice groove lately. He has scored double-digit points in six straight games with over 18 DKFP in eight straight contests.

Over his past six games, he’s only averaging 19.9 minutes but is pouring in 13.3 points, 4.2 assists, 1.5 rebounds and 23.8 DKFP per contest. Morant will continue to get all the time he can handle against the Blazers, but Jones has only needed about 20 minutes to return regular 5x value. Especially against the Blazers, who are a good matchup for opposing PGs, Jones can be a nice option as the Grizzlies head into the All-Star break.


C HARRY GILES III, SAC at DAL, $3,700

Giles has started the past three games for the Kings and will likely get the call once again as the Kings visit the Mavericks. Richaun Holmes (shoulder), Marvin Bagley III (foot) and Alex Len (hip) are all banged up and listed as out, leaving Giles as the only true center available for Sacramento.

In each of his four starts in his past five games, Giles has turned in solid production with 27, 18.25, 24 and 20.75 DKFP, respectively. On Monday, he was limited to only 15 minutes against the Bucks due to foul trouble but still had eight points, seven rebounds and 20.75 DKFP. He played 28 minutes in the previous contest against the Spurs and has a very high ceiling if he gets that kind of extended run in this matchup in Dallas.


PF/C JAMES JOHNSON, MIN vs. CHA, $3,500

On Monday, I highlighted Juancho Hernangómez ($3,900) in my bargains, and he came through with a solid 23.25 DKFP. He has produced exactly that amount in each of his two games with the Timberwolves and is a solid option again on this slate in this good matchup against the Hornets. Even though Hernangómez is a solid play, I’m actually going with his new teammate and another Timberwolves’ trade acquisition and highlighting Johnson in this spot for Wednesday. Johnson actually played more minutes than Hernangómez, even though he came off the bench, and also is a little cheaper and comes with more positional flexibility.

Johnson played 20 minutes in his Minnesota debut on Saturday and finished with an impressive 31.75 DKFP on 15 points, five assists, three rebounds and two steals against the Clippers. He played 28 minutes against his former team in Toronto on Monday, totaling 20.75 DKFP on eight points, seven boards and three assists. He is a multi-category producer when he’s at his best and can stuff the stat sheet when he gets extended run. If he continues to see 20-plus minutes, he should be a very nice value play in a great matchup against the Hornets in what could be a very high-scoring contest this Wednesday.


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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.