The NBA has a pair of busy nights planned with 10 games on tap for fantasy basketball Wednesday and Friday. As you attack the 20-team player pool, there are a lot of elite options to consider since the slate is packed with star power. If you’re building around LeBron James ($10,500), Russell Westbrook ($11,200), Anthony Davis ($11,500) or another big-salary star, you might need to take a dive into the bargain bin to balance out your roster. Check out my top value picks of the day to help you pinpoint the best four plays under $4K.
PF/C DEWAYNE DEDMON, ATL vs. WAS, $3,900With John Collins ($6,300) working back up to speed, the Hawks are taking a long look at how a frontcourt with Collins at PF and Dedmon at center works. Dedmon played 31 minutes in his start Monday against Golden State and produced 30 DKFP on six points, 10 rebounds, four steals and a blocked shot. His defensive contributions over his past three games stand out, highlighted by 11 steals.
Dedmon usually produces great non-scoring stats when given extended run and has at least 23 DKFP in seven of his past 10. With Alex Len ($3,500) fading out of the rotation, it looks like coach Lloyd Pierce likes using Dedmon and Collins for big minutes if both are healthy.
PF/C MIKE MUSCALA, PHI at TOR, $3,800Muscala got a spot start with Wilson Chandler (quad; $3,800) out Sunday and turned in a solid 25.25 DKFP on eight points, seven boards and five assists in 28 minutes. He actually had an even better game off the bench against the Wizards on Friday, playing 32 minutes and posting 34 DKFP on 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Chandler is expected to be available against the Raptors, but Muscala still is a solid value play since he has shown he can contribute as part of the second unit as well. He has at least 23 DKFP in three straight games and at least 19 DKFP in six of his past nine. He typically doesn’t get a high volume of shots with all the star power around him, but his work on the glass and as a hustle contributor is enough to make him a solid play if you don’t trust Dedmon, who does bring a higher ceiling than Muscala.
PG MONTE MORRIS, DEN at ORL, $3,700With Gary Harris (hip) ruled out against the Magic and Will Baron (groin) still not ready to return, the Nuggets will be short-handed in the backcourt, which sets up well for Morris and fellow bargain Malik Beasley ($3,500). Morris has been the more consistent contributor of the two and is the best true PG on the Nuggets’ roster. He even could move into the starting lineup in place of Harris if Jamal Murray ($6,700) slides to SG.
Morris had a down night Monday in the Nuggets’ road win in Toronto and finished with just 10.25 DKFP. Before that downer, though, he had at least 18.75 DKFP in seven straight games. He’s usually good for a handful of assists and solid scoring in Denver’s second unit, but he also has shown he can do more when given more run. If he starts, he would pass Dedmon as my favorite bargain of the night, but even coming off the bench he still is the best cheap guard play.
SF/PF STANLEY JOHNSON, DET at MIL, $3,600Johnson always brings a high ceiling but has struggled with consistency again this season. His up-and-down production can be seen in his past four results with 38 DKFP against the Knicks followed by 16, 31.75 and 11.5 DKFP. All of those games were at home, too, so it isn’t a home/road split issue. He has averaged slightly higher numbers on the road this season, producing 22.7 DKFP in his eight road games compared to 17.5 DKFP in 12 home contests.
One reason I think Johnson has a good shot to be more boom than bust in this matchup is Detroit will be without starter Reggie Bullock (ankle), who is averaging 28.2 minutes on the wing this season. Johnson should pick up enough of his usage and minutes to find ways to produce in what could be a high-scoring contest with the Bucks in Milwaukee.
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