The NBA heads into the first weekend of the regular season with a big nine-game slate this Friday with all 18 teams playing their second game. There have been some nice value plays over the first few days of the year, but it can sometimes be tricky to figure out which players are one-game wonders and which players can be counted on moving forward. If you need to save some serious salary by shopping under $4K, here are the top four options worth considering:
C BOBAN MARJANOVIC, LAC vs. OKC, $3,900Is it finally time to FREE BOBAN like Twitter has been calling for? Marjanovic played just 18 minutes in the Clippers’ season-opening loss to Denver and had 18 points to go with eight rebounds for 27 DKFP. He outproduced starter Marcin Gortat ($4,400), and he could move into a bigger role if he keeps producing.
Marjanovic is still risky since he has flashed before, only to fade back into the background of limited playing time. Coach Doc Rivers seems ready to use him enough to make him fantasy relevant, though, and he showed Wednesday that he doesn’t need a ton of minutes to quickly make a fantasy impact.
PG DERRICK ROSE, MIN vs. CLE, $3,900Rose came off the bench and played a massive 31 minutes in the Timberwolves’ season-opener. He shot an ugly 3-for-12 to finish with just eight points, four rebounds, two assists and 15.5 DKFP, but its impossible to ignore his heavy workload and big-time opportunities. Coach Tom Thibodeau is known for playing his starters huge minutes, and even though Rose came off the bench, it’s clear he’s still one of Thibs favorites.
In this matchup, Rose gets a possible revenge game against the Cavs, who he played with at the start of last season. If he gets his shot going and he plays similar minutes to the opener, he has a very high ceiling.
C DAMIAN JONES, GS at UTA, $3,800Jones started the Warriors’ win on Tuesday and played 27 minutes against the Thunder. He looked comfortable, scoring 12 points to go with three boards and three blocks to produce 23.75 DKFP. Coach Steve Kerr said he’ll continue to start for the next few games as the team heads out for a road trip to Utah and Denver.
He’ll have a tough matchup in this one against Rudy Gobert ($7,900), but the bright side of the matchup is that Jones will likely get a dose healthy minutes since his size and athleticism will be needed on the defensive end. He should produce a solid amount of points and rebounds while adding in a few blocks. He doesn’t have quite as high a ceiling as Boban, but he’s a somewhat safer option since he’s going to get the start.
SG/SF GARRETT TEMPLE, MEM vs. ATL, $3,600The rotation has some interesting options and should be a source of value as the Grizzlies find out what works. Temple got the start on Wednesday against the Pacers and had 12 points, two assists and a block in 25 minutes. He shot just 4-of-13 but still finished with a decent 18.5 DKFP.
If his shooting comes around a bit as the Grizzlies take on the Hawks, he should be a nice value play. Temple has shown in the past that he can be a productive option when given extended run, and he makes a solid bargain play in this matchup.
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.