The final full month of the NBA regular season is underway, and there’s a seven-game fantasy basketball slate set to tip off the work week this Monday. James Harden ($10,500) and the Rockets are in New York to face the Knicks, Luka Doncic ($10,300; thumb) is questionable for the Mavs’ game in Chicago, and Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,400) and the Bucks will finish a back-to-back with a game in South Beach.
There are plenty of interesting matchups to break down as you get your roster put together for this Monday night slate. While injuries will play an important role we get closer to tip off, there are already some solid value plays to consider. If you’re headed to the bargain bin to start your week, take a look at these four options in play for under $4K.
SF/PF DERRICK JONES JR., MIA vs. MIL, $3,900While Airplane Mode’s role has fluctuated throughout the season, he has made the most of his chances and become a key part of Miami’s surprising success. He has been in the starting lineup in eight of the Heat’s past 10 games and produced over 22 DKFP in four of his past five. He has double-digit scoring in each of those four games and in seven of his past 12.
Over his past 12 contests, he has averaged 10.6 points, 3.9 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.3 steals and 21.6 DKFP in 25.5 minutes per game. He only played 20 minutes on Saturday against the Nets but still had a solid 24 DKFP and showed good aggression by taking 11 shots. Jones doesn’t usually go off for a monster number, although he is capable of getting hot from long-range. He is a solid multi-category producer, though, and makes a relatively low-risk cheap play since he’s finding plenty of ways to contribute to coach Spo’s ever-shifting rotation.
C MO BAMBA, ORL vs. POR, $3,800The Magic took Bamba with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2018 draft but the 21-year-old seven-footer hasn’t been as successful as they were hoping. Lately, though, he has been putting together very good numbers even in limited minutes off the bench. He has at least 18 DKFP in four straight games despite playing under 17 minutes in each of those contests.
Last week, Bamba had three strong games highlighted by his 15 points, 10 boards, four blocks and 38.5 DKFP in just 17 minutes against the Hawks. He followed that with seven points, eight rebounds and 18 DKFP against the Timberwolves, and finished that back-to-back with eight points, five boards and 18.25 DKFP in 12 minutes against the Spurs. The Blazers have been a great matchup for big men all season, and Bamba makes sense as a cheap play since he has been getting plenty of production in his limited time on the floor. If Orlando can pull away from the banged-up Blazers, he could get some extra run in garbage time as well.
SF/PF MOE HARKLESS, NY vs. HOU, $3,500Since joining the Knicks just six games ago, Harkless is already becoming one of their most reliable fantasy options and is still extremely affordably priced at only $3.5K. Harkless has started each of the past four games for New York and averaged 26.5 minutes per contest. He has over 14 DKFP in each of those games and has averaged 21.7 DKFP on 9.8 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 1.3 steals over those four contests.
Harkless had 30.25 DKFP in his most recent game on Saturday with a well-balanced nine points, three rebounds, three steals, seven rebounds and a blocked shot. He posted a season-high 17 points in the previous game and finished with 27.0 DKFP against the Sixers. Since the Knicks need all the help they can get and Harkless can produce in multiple categories, he should continue to get plenty of run especially against the under-sized Rockets on Monday.
PG/SG MATTHEW DELLAVEDOVA, CLE vs. UTA, $3,400There’s a bit of an odd hole in the salary structure with no PG priced between $3,900 and $3,400 and only Eric Gordon ($3,800) in that range at SG. If you’re looking for a cheap option in the backcourt, you’ll need to either go over $4K or under $3.5K, and one option I like with the most upside in that cheaper spot is Dellavadova. While the gritty Aussie hasn’t had a big role this season with the Cavs, his minutes have been trending upward over the past week and his production has been solid.
Dellavedova will likely get extra run at PG against the Jazz since rookie starter Darius Garland (groin) and Danté Exum (ankle) are both out. Delly could move into the starting lineup, or Cleveland could slide Collin Sexton ($6,000) to PG. Either way, Dellavedova will likely get enough minutes and opportunities to offer good returns at this affordable salary. He has played over 18 minutes in each of his past three games and put up over 16 DKFP in two of those contests, including when he had 12 points and 19.25 DKFP by going a perfect 5-for-5 from the field when the Cavs knocked off the 76ers last week.
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.