After a one-game Tuesday night, the NBA brings fantasy basketball back in a big way with a massive 12-game slate on Wednesday night. Just the Nets, Hornets, Cavs, Mavs, Bucks and Blazers are absent from the 24-team player pool, providing so many different options to consider. The main focus of the basketball world will be on Zion Williamson ($5,000) as he makes his expected debut when the Pelicans host the Spurs. There are also several intriguing matchups on tap including the Lakers at Madison Square Garden, the 76ers visiting the Raptors, and the Nuggets taking on the Rockets in a potential playoff series preview.
As you take a look at the matchups and all the potential plays at each position, take a look at these four options in play for under $4K. They can help stretch your salary at other spots and still provide solid value based on their matchup, form and expected opportunity.
SF/PF RONDAE HOLLIS-JEFFERSON, TOR vs. PHI, $3,900Even with the Raptors getting back to full strength, Hollis-Jefferson has continued to play a significant role off the bench and contributes in multiple categories when on his game. He has played at least 18 minutes in nine of his past 10 games and has produced at least 19 DKFP in each of those nine contests.
RHJ is different than many bench options since he isn’t the “instant offense” producer but more the “stat sheet stuffer.” He has 19, 30 and 28 DKFP in his past three games despite not scoring double-digit points in any of those outings. His 30 DKFP against the Timberwolves on Saturday came on nine points, six rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocks. He followed that with a solid 28 DKFP on seven points, 10 boards, three assists and two steals in 20 minutes against the Hawks on Monday. His contributions across the board make him a nice option under $4K as long as he remains such a key piece of Toronto’s second unit.
SG/SF LANDRY SHAMET, LAC at ATL, $3,800The Clippers are the only team in action on the 24-team slate that are finishing a back-to-back, so watch their injury report carefully to see how much time and usage Shamet is lined up for. The Clippers have shuffled things around throughout the season but Shamet has been involved when healthy and will get a good matchup against the Hawks.
Shamet has moved into the starting lineup for each of the Clippers past four games and scored double-digit points in each contest. He doesn’t contribute across the board like Hollis-Jefferson but serves as a very productive long-range specialist. He is averaging over three 3-pointers per game since returning to the lineup along with 13.5 points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists for 22.7 DKFP per contest. He produces in a totally different way than Hollis-Jefferson but could be set up for even more work if Kawhi Leonard ($10,500) sits, Patrick Beverley ($5,400; groin) is unable to play through soreness, and Paul George ($8,800; hamstring) remains sidelined. Shamet has a very high ceiling if things go his way and hie is able to step into a starring role against Atlanta.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Kawhi Leonard (knee) and Patrick Beverley (groin) have been ruled out for tonight’s game.
C JAKOB POELTL, SA at NO, $3,800Poeltl’s is similar to Hollis-Jefferson’s in many ways since both fill a role off the bench, where good per-minute non-scoring production gives them a good shot to return value. Poeltl typically only plays 15-to-20 minutes but has been finding a way to still be a good source of cheap play at center.
He has at least 17 DKFP in five of his past seven games and in nine of his past 13. He had six points, four rebounds, three assists, three blocks and 23.5 DKFP in just 16 minutes against the Suns on Monday and has over 20 DKFP in three of his past five as a result. Poeltl is firmly behind LaMarcus Aldridge ($6,800) and Trey Lyles ($4,100) in the rotation but can do enough to still make him the best play under $4K in the middle. Other big-man alternatives to consider if you need a cheap play at center include Marquese Chriss ($3,900), Gorgui Dieng ($3,900), Bobby Portis ($3,900) and Omari Spellman ($3,700), but I prefer Poeltl’s established role just slightly over those options.
PG/SG GARY PAYTON II, WAS at MIA, $3,700The Wizards added Payton late in December and the versatile guard has been a pretty significant part of their rotation ever since. He exploded out of the gate with big games while Washington’s backcourt was depleted by injury, and has worked his way back into the lineup even now that everyone is healthy.
Payton returned to the lineup Monday and had 23 DKFP in 19 minutes. He didn’t shoot the ball well, making just 3-of-10 from the field, but added four steals, three assists and four rebounds. His 10 field goal attempts were actually a season-high. He brings a nice defensive element to the starting unit and contributes across the board. If he gets 20-plus minutes, the Mitten should be a solid option as the Wizards visit South Beach.
Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.
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.