After a quick breather with a three-game schedule Thursday, the NBA is back with another massive 20-team slate for fantasy basketball this Friday. As you assemble your squad for this Friday night, make sure to keep a close eye on injury situations and players being given the chance to step into larger roles in the rotation. Players in expanded opportunity can ofter deliver great value at very affordable salaries while allowing you to spend up for the stars you want as well. Here are my top four under $4K, who I think are worth considering for your lineup.
SG/SF ALLEN CRABBE, BKN vs. TOR, $3,900Crabbe is growing into a larger role in the Nets’ offense and had 22 points and 34 DKFP in Brooklyn’s narrow loss Wednesday. He hit seven 3-pointers in that game and has made at least three in four of his past five contests. He has more than 16 DKFP in each of those five games with 20-plus DKFP in each of his past four.
The Nets are hosting the Raptors on Friday, and they’ll need Crabbe to continue his hot shooting as they try to keep up with Toronto. Crabbe’s playing time has jumped to more than 30 minutes a night lately, and he maintained a heavy workload even with Joe Harris ($4,300) returning.
PG ELIE OKOBO, PHO vs. MIA, $3,800The Suns cut Isaiah Canaan and lost Devin Booker (hamstring) to injury in the past week and a half, leaving them very thin at PG and thrusting Okobo into a high-volume starting spot. He has played more than 26 minutes in each of his past five games, including three starts, and averaged 9.6 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.0 steals and 19.4 DKFP.
While his numbers don’t leap off the page, the second-round rookie should continue to get plenty of playing time and carry a big part of the Suns’ struggling offense. He shot 5-for-13 on Thursday in Phoenix’s loss to Portland and had 11 points, five rebounds and 22.25 DKFP before fouling out. He has flashed nice upside in a few games earlier this season, producing points and assists, and he’s actually low risk of being a fantasy bust since he’s getting so much work. De’Anthony Melton ($4,200) has played well off the bench, but Okobo should continue to get plenty of run since he is still potentially a bigger part of the Suns’ future.
PF/C MIKE MUSCALA, PHI at DET, $3,800Since the Jimmy Butler ($7,400) trade, Muscala has moved into a larger role off the Sixers’ bench behind starer Wilson Chandler ($3,700). Muscala usually offers solid multi-category production by doing good work on the glass and chipping in a few 3-pointers, assists and blocks.
Muscala consistently has found ways to produce with at least 20 DKFP in each of his past four games. His best game during that stretch came last Friday, when he produced a double-double and had 34.0 DKFP against the Wizards. As Philadelphia visits the Pistons, he has that kind of upside and comes with little risk since he is well-established in his role in the second unit.
PG MONTE MORRIS, DEN at CHA, $3,600Morris is another nice option coming off the bench, who provides good depth and production in multiple categories. He had 13 points, three assists and two rebounds for 19.5 DKFP in just 20 minutes against the Magic Wednesday and has more than 19 DKFP in seven of his past nine games.
The Nuggets already have ruled out Gary Harris (hip) for their game in Charlotte, which opens the door for Morris to play next to Jamal Murray ($7,100) if the Blue Arrow slides to SG. Morris is a good playmaker and leads the league in assist-to-turnover ratio. He is expected to continue to lead the Nuggets’ solid bench unit as they take on the Hornets this Friday.
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.