After a 10-game Tuesday night binge, the NBA has a solid five-game slate on tap for tonight with some good rivalry matchups and a solid primetime double-header. The Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers tip off the national coverage at 8 p.m. ET before the Golden State Warriors host the Minnesota Timberwolves in what should be a fascinating nightcap. In those games and the other three matchups, there are some great fantasy values to target if you need some cheap options to balance out some of the heftier salaries available on tonight’s 10-team slate. Check out these players who I think are the top options in play for under $4K.
Editor’s note on tonight’s slate: Kevin Durant (thigh) has been ruled out of tonight’s game against the Timberwolves. Al Horford (concussion) has also been ruled out of the Celtics’ game with the Lakers.
Editor’s Note: Kristaps Porzingis (elbow, ankle) has been ruled out of tonight’s game against the Magic.
Frank Ntilikina – PG – NY at ORL – ($3,800) – The Knicks have brought their No. 8 overall pick from last year’s draft along slowly, but he’s growing into a bigger role as the season progresses. He is coming off the bench behind veteran Jarrett Jack ($4,200) but played more minutes than Jack last night. He played 26 minutes and handed out eight assists to finish with 17.25 DKFP despite scoring just three points. On Sunday, he finished with better scoring numbers, putting in 10 points to go with seven assists for 29.0 DKFP.
The Magic are banged up at PG with D.J. Augustin already ruled out and Elfrid Payton (questionable) still dealing with hamstring tightness. In his current role, Ntilikina is getting enough minutes to make him a low-risk play. He has at least 17 DKFP in five of his seven games this season, but he also has a high ceiling given the favorable matchup.
Terry Rozier – PG/SG – BOS vs. LAL – ($3,900) – Rozier has picked up solid playing time in the Boston rotation, helping to cover for the loss of Gordon Hayward. He has played an average of 23.5 minutes per game while producing 21.9 fantasy points per contest through his first 11 games this year. Rozier has at least 17 DKFP in four of his last five games, and like Ntilikina, offers relatively low-risk because he doesn’t have to score a ton of points to offer a solid return on investment.
Tonight, Rozier and the Celtics host the Lakers in what should be a high-scoring game at TD Garden. Rozier thrives in up-tempo contests and should get more than 20 minutes of time on the floor whether the game is close or turns lopsided in either direction.
Jonathan Isaac – SF/PF – ORL vs. NY – ($3,500) – Isaac played a career-high 29 minutes against Rozier and the Celtics on Sunday as a result of Boston blowing out the Magic. He looked good in that time, though, scoring nine points to go with six rebounds and a pair of blocks for 20.5 DKFP.
Isaac is coming off the bench as the primary backup at both forward spots and should continue to get around 20 minutes of playing time every game. With Orlando shorthanded at guard, the Magic are having to rotate more swingmen to the backcourt, leaving more room for Isaac in a solid matchup against fellow-rookie Frank Ntilikina and the Knicks tonight.
Ish Smith – PG – DET vs. IND – ($3,500) – Smith and the Pistons host the up-tempo Pacers tonight as Indiana plays for the second night in a row. While Smith is still coming off the bench behind Reggie Jackson ($6,000), he has been getting enough run to be a cheap fantasy consideration lately, especially in a game that should have plenty of scoring.
Smith has posted at least 18 DKFP in four straight games, scoring at least 10 points in each contest. He usually picks up a few assists and rebounds as well in his minutes leading the second unit. Smith doesn’t have an ultra-high ceiling unless he gets unexpectedly high minutes, but he should be able to approach 20 DKFP, which is a good return at this price point.
Overflows from the Bargain Bin
(Other cheap options worth considering)
- Jamal Crawford – SG – MIN at GS – ($3,900)
- Anthony Tolliver – SF/PF – DET vs. IND – ($3,500)
- Nemanja Bjelica – SF/PF – MIN at GS – ($3,400)
- Doug McDermott – SF/PF – NY at ORL – ($3,500)
- Cory Joseph – PG – IND at DET – ($3,500)
- Dragan Bender – PF/C – PHO vs. MIA – ($3,400)
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