Rolling with an option from the fantasy basketball bargain bin can definitely be a trick or treat, depending on whether you can find the best plays from the seven-game NBA slate on this Halloween. Finding just the right play for less than $4K can set you up for plenty of success as you enjoy your sugar high on Wednesday night, so let’s get right to the four players set up to produce good returns on minimal investments.
SF/PF STANLEY JOHNSON, DET at BKN, $3,800Johnson played a season-high 35 minutes in a loss to Boston on Tuesday, but he remained efficient from the field and scored nine points to go with five rebounds and four assists for 18.75 DKFP. Johnson has played at least 25 minutes in four of his five games this season and has reached 18 DKFP in three of those contests.
Johnson has proven he can go off on some nights, and his increased workload could allow him more involvement in the offense. New Pistons coach Dwane Casey still is looking for answers on the wing, and Johnson has a chance to play his way into a larger role as he tries to show his value in his fourth season in the NBA. Johnson has started all five games he has played this season, and he should be able to take advantage of a good matchup against the Nets.
PG ELIE OKOBO, PHO vs. SA, $3,700The Suns’ second-rounder will be my top value of the night if Isaiah Canaan (ankle; $4,200) is ruled out. Canaan is a game-time decision, but Okobo was impressive after Canaan was forced to leave the game in Oklahoma City on Sunday. With Devin Booker (hamstring; $8,100) also out for that game, Okobo ran the offense for much of the game and finished with 18 points, seven assists, five rebounds and 34.75 DKFP in 31 minutes.
Okobo was impressive, and coach Igor Kokoskov was thrilled with his confidence. Since Okobo is just 21 and Canaan isn’t a long-term solution, the Suns could lean more and more on Okobo even when Canaan is healthy. The Spurs also are dealing with multiple injuries in their backcourt, so Okobo’s matchup should also put him in a place to succeed. His most recent game is enough to make him a good play even if Canaan is active, but if Canaan is out, make room for the Frenchman in your backcourt.
PF/C ED DAVIS, BKN vs. DET, $3,600The Nets continue to get solid bench numbers from Davis as he serves as primary backup to the emerging Jarrett Allen ($5,300). Davis has averaged 19.3 DKFP in just 16.5 minutes per game by contributing 6.0 points and 8.4 rebounds. He has at least 19 DKFP in five of his seven games, including the first time he faced the Pistons.
When Detroit hosted Brooklyn on opening night, Davis had eight points, seven rebounds and 22.25 DKFP, and he’s a reliable play in the rematch at The Barclays. He doesn’t have the ceiling of Okobo, Johnson or even Tim Frazier (below), but he is a solid value and the best big man on the board under $4K.
PG/SG TIM FRAZIER, NO at GS, $3,400When they visit the Warriors in Oakland, the Pelicans will be without PG Elfrid Payon (ankle) and possibly Anthony Davis (elbow; $11,400), who is questionable. One player who should get a bump in minutes and usage while Payton is out is Frazier, who re-joined New Orleans after being let go by the Bucks earlier this month. Frazier played 20 minutes Monday with Payton and Davis out, and he had a quick 17.75 DKFP with five points, three assists, three rebounds, a block and a steal. Even if the game gets lopsided, Frazier should get plenty of garbage time to pick up his typical non-scoring stats and pile up fantasy production.
Frazier has never been much of a scorer, but he did have an impressive stretch at the start of the 2016 season when starting for the Pelicans. In his 20 games in October that year, he averaged 11.2 points, 7.6 assists and 28.4 DKFP per game. He hasn’t had much success since then and struggled last season in spot starts for the Wizards. At this salary, though, he should be ready to at least return value with a sneaky-high ceiling if he gets 20 minutes or more. I prefer Frazier over teammate Ian Clark ($3,200), who also could get more playing time with Payton out and has the revenge game narrative in play. However, Clark only played five minutes Monday even with Payton out, and he has produced over 3.0 DKFP only twice in five games this season.
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.