After a very busy Sunday, the NBA catches its collective breath Monday with just three games on the fantasy basketball slate. The Hawks host the Hornets to start things off at 7:30 p.m. ET followed by the Raptors finishing a tough back-to-back on the road in Utah and the Bucks doing the same thing with a stop in Denver.
Even with only six teams in action, there are plenty of ways to build your roster. With Giannis Antetokounmpo (knee) already out, there should be plenty of usage for the Bucks, making their second-tier players popular plays. Trae Young ($10,300), Nikola Jokic ($9,500) and the Raptors duo of Pascal Siakam ($8,700) and Kyle Lowry ($8,400) are also upper-level plays worth a look. If you build around those big salaries, you may need some salary relief, though, so check out these four plays who make sense from under $4K.
PG MONTE MORRIS, DEN vs. MIL, $3,900Morris and the Nuggets catch the Bucks without the Greek Freak and on the second night of a back-to-back after Milwaukee lost to Phoenix, 140-131, on Sunday. Ricky Rubio had a huge triple-double in that contest, and the Nuggets’ backcourt will be looking for similar success against the undermanned Bucks. Morris could be a nice value if he gets a piece of that success and he usually gets enough run off the bench to be one of the best options on this limited slate.
Morris has played over 22 minutes in seven straight games since the All-Star break, even though Jamal Murray ($7,000) has been healthy. Over that span, he has averaged 9.4 points, 3.6 assists and 1.4 steals in 25.4 minutes per contest. He has over 23 DKFP in four of those seven games and is averaging 20.9 DKFP over that stretch. Morris isn’t usually the most dynamic scorer, but his solid assists and steals along with a secure role make him a low-risk cheap play on this slate.
PF/C MASON PLUMLEE, DEN vs. MIL, $3,600Plumlee is a much more volatile option than Morris, but he also has a higher ceiling depending on how close the Bucks can keep this game. Plumlee missed four weeks with a foot issue, but has resumed his role as the primary backup center since returning after the All-Star break.
He doesn’t play as many minutes as Morris but has averaged 7.9 points and 4.6 rebounds in just 15.5 minutes per game over his past seven contests. He had at least 16 DKFP in the first four of those games, culminating in a 29.75 DKFP performance against the Warriors when he quickly racked up 16 points and nine boards in only 14 minutes. He has posted 13.75 DKFP in each of his past two games but could get enough work to exceed that number if Denver pulls away early. Plumlee is more boom-or-bust than Morris, but is still the best affordable big man on the limited slate.
PG BRANDON GOODWIN, ATL vs. CHA, $3,300Goodwin has shown flashes of potential since joining the Hawks and makes my favorite bargains of the day as a result of Jeff Teague ($3,800; illness) being added to Atlanta’s already crowded injury list as questionable for this game against Charlotte. The Hawks have had multiple players miss games with this bug, and Goodwin could be a nice cheap option if Teague becomes the next victim. Teague has been serving as the team’s primary backup PG and playing 20.2 minutes per game over his past five contests. If Goodwin takes most of those minutes, he’ll be a good play against the struggling Hornets.
At the beginning of February, Goodwin played over 20 minutes in three of four games and produced 27.25 DKFP against Dallas, 19 DKFP against Minnesota and 31 DKFP against Boston. Since then, he has only played over 15 minutes one time and had 13 DKFP in 19 minutes last Monday against the Grizzlies when Trae Young was forced to miss the game due to illness. If Teague is ruled out, Goodwin could approach 20 minutes as backup PG and could also play some minutes on the wing if De’Andre Hunter ($5,200; knee, questionable) is out. Keep an eye on Atlanta’s injury report, and be ready to go Goodwin if it looks like he’ll have an opportunity for extended run.
SG/SF PAT CONNAUGHTON, MIL at DEN, $3,100Connaughton has averaged 18.1 minutes per game this season and that exact same amount even with Giannis’s absence on Sunday. He had five points, three rebounds and 12.75 DKFP in his time on the floor after he posted a more solid 21.5 DKFP in 18 minutes against the Lakers on Friday.
In his role off the bench, Connaughton has produced over 13 DKFP in six straight games and he could get more run in this contest, depending on game flow. Ersan Ilyasova ($4,600) started in place of Antetokounmpo but was held scoreless in 15 minutes in Phoenix, so maybe Connaughton will get a bigger chance to step up if Ilyasova starts slow again in Denver.
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