The NBA wraps up a full week of drama on and off the court with an eight-game Friday night fantasy basketball slate, which includes all five of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. There is plenty of star power on display, and if you decide to spend big at a few positions, you might find yourself in need of some bargain options to balance out your salary cap. To help you in your hunt for value, here are my top four to play under $4K:
SF OG ANUNOBY, TOR at BOS, $3,700Anunoby has posted more than 20 DKFP in each of his past five games and is benefitting from having Kawhi Leonard ($9,000) on the team to pattern his game after. Anunoby started in place of Leonard earlier this season, but he has stayed involved since Kawhi’s return. He has played 23-25 minutes in each of his past six contests and is a key piece of the second unit.
The Raptors will try to beat the Celtics for the second time this season, as they travel to Boston. Anunoby should be a solid play and comes with nice upside if he can bounce back from a rough 3-for-12 shooting performance Wednesday. Even though he didn’t score much in that contest, he still showed he can produce more than 20 DKFP by chipping in nice non-scoring stats. Due to his established role, he’s fairly low-risk but comes with upside.
SF/PF WILSON CHANDLER, PHI vs. UTA, $3,700Chandler will be the 76ers’ starting PF for the near future after the team traded Dario Saric ($4,300) to Minnesota in the Jimmy Butler ($7,300) trade. The 2007 first-round pick offers solid multi-category production, and the only risk factor to worry about is that he still isn’t ready for a full complement of minutes after recovering from a hamstring injury.
The veteran looked good in his 23 minutes Wednesday, making 6-of-10 shots from the field and scoring 14 points on his way to 21.5 DKFP. He will continue to share time with Mike Muscala ($3,500), but Chandler’s role should increase as he gets healthier throughout the season. He isn’t one of the top scoring options in the starting five, but he should be able to return value as the unit tries to gel against the tough defense of the Jazz.
SG/SF PAT CONNAUGHTON, MIL vs. CHI, $3,600The Bucks added Connaughton this offseason as a free agent, and he has been a solid piece off the bench. He might be set up for an increased workload with Donte DiVincenzo ($3,100) battling knee soreness. DiVincenzo left Wednesday’s game with the injury, and Connaughton played a season-high 27 minutes, scoring 16 points and adding six rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block to finish with 33 DKFP.
Connaughton has at least 25 DKFP in three of his past four games and is stepping up as a scoring option in the second unit. If DiVincenzo is out, Connaughton is my favorite bargain play in a great matchup with the Bulls, and he should still get enough work to be a good investment even if DiVincenzo is active.
PG SHAQUILLE HARRISON, CHI at MIL, $3,500On the other side of the Bucks and Bulls meeting in Milwaukee, Harrison has been stepping up for Chicago and could be earning some extra minutes himself. He had 16 points, six rebounds, four steals and 33 DKFP against the Celtics on Wednesday, thriving in a game loaded with garbage time.
Harrison continues to play ahead of Cameron Payne ($3,200) and has been more productive with his chances so far this season than Payne. Whether the Bulls can keep things close in this contest or not, Harrison should be set up for enough work off the bench to offer good upside from just $3.5K.
One more note in closing: I didn’t have enough room to get a center in my top four under $4K, but my top big-man bargain would be Mitchell Robinson ($3,800), who has multiple blocked shots in five straight games.
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.