The NBA season is just over a week old, and there has already been plenty of drama and intriguing storylines. The busy start to the season continues with an 11-game giant slate this Wednesday, highlighted by the Raptors and Bucks trying to stay undefeated and the Lakers, Bulls and Cavs still trying to get their first win of the season.
As you try to build your winning lineup, there are plenty of stars to consider including James Haren ($11,400), Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,300) and LeBron James ($11,100). If you go with some big salaries, you’ll need to balance them out with good value, so check out my top four in play for under $4K for this Wednesday.
SF/PF MICHAEL KIDD-GILCHRIST, CHA at CHI, $3,900While Kidd-Gilchrist has never quite lived up to his hype as a No. 2 overall pick, he has settled into a nice role coming off the bench for the Hornets. He has played some small-ball center and power forward, averaging 22.2 minutes per game as part of the second unit. MKG has averaged 8.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.5 blocks and 24.2 DKFP in those four games with at least 15 DKFP in each contest and over 20 DKFP in three of those four games.
He is a low-risk option under $4K since he won’t go totally bust. He doesn’t have super-high upside but did have 34.25 DKFP against Orlando this past Friday. He gets a good matchup against the Bulls in Chicago, so give him a look if you have to spend under $4K at either of your forward spots.
PG CORY JOSEPH, IND AT SA, $3,800The Pacers have a crowded backcourt with Darren Collison ($4,500), Victor Oladipo ($7,800) and Tyreke Evans ($5,400), but Joseph has continued to earn a healthy amount of playing time partly due to his defense. He has been productive on the offensive end as well averaging 8.3 points, 3.5 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 20.2 DKFP in his first four games.
Joseph should be extra motivated as the Pacers visit his former team in San Antonio. Joseph left the Spurs after four seasons and has spent time in Toronto and Indiana since then. Joseph can light it up if he gets his shot going, but even if he doesn’t he has generated enough points, assists and defensive stats to post over 21 DKFP in three of his four games, which is a solid return at this salary.
PF/C GORGUI DIENG, MIN at TOR, $3,600The Timberwolves are still a mess, but they have continued to get good work from Dieng in their second unit. He has at least 19 DKFP in each of his four games and is averaging 10.5 points, 5.5 boards and 1.0 assists in just 16.4 minutes per game. Dieng won’t get a ton of playing time coming off the bench for coach Tom Thibodeau, who is notorious for riding his starters hard and leaving very minimal roles for his bench contributors.
Dieng has been able to produce in his limited time, so far this season, and he’ll look to keep rolling as the T-Wolves head to Toronto to face the Raptors. Dieng has huge upside and could be a beast in a bigger role, but he remains a bit risky since he plays so few minutes. He’s the best big available under $4K on this slate, though, and usually finds ways to contribute.
SG/SF DAMYEAN DOTSON, NY at MIA, $3,500Even though he’s fourth on this list since he’s so cheap, Dotson is my favorite value play of the night. He is set up for extended minutes for the Knicks since Courtney Lee (neck) and Kevin Knox (ankle) are still out. Dotson had a few big games last season after the Knicks drafted him in the second round out of Houston, but he can struggle with consistency at times.
Dotson looked good on Monday, scoring 14 points to go with eight boards, two steals and 30 DKFP in 32 minutes off the bench against the Bucks. He had 20.5 DKFP in his previous contest against the Celtics after not playing in the Knicks’ first two games of the season. Due to the injuries around him, he should be very involved as the Knicks visit the similarly banged-up Heat, so get him in your lineup as a cheap source of value.
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