Fantasy Basketball Value Picks: Top Four Players Under $4K

The NBA tips off a busy weekend with an eight-game slate on Friday night. While there isn’t a ton of high-wattage superstars in tonight’s player pool, you could still find yourself digging through the bargain bin looking for a low-cost option who has the potential to produce good fantasy points. As you look to fill that last low-budget roster spot, check out these top options in play for less than $4K.

Jerami Grant  – SF/PF – OKC vs. LAC – ($3,500) – The Thunder could be stretched extremely thin up front if Steven Adams is unable to play after leaving last night’s game with a calf contusion. Grant could get some extra minutes if Adams is out or limited, and he has been playing well in his time on the floor recently, averaging 22 FPPG over his last five contests.

Grant has reached double-digit scoring in four of those five contests while averaging just less than five rebounds per game and kicking in a few blocks and steals as well. Against the Clippers, the Thunder might need him to play around 25 minutes tonight, which should give him some very attractive upside.

Ish Smith – PG – DET vs. ATL – ($3,500) – Smith has been remarkably consistent lately off the bench for the Pistons and makes a good cheap play tonight against the Hawks. He could pick up extra garbage time depending on game flow, but he has been good enough lately to deserve consideration even if he only sees his average, which is about 20 minutes per game.

Smith has at least 10 points in each of his last five games and usually adds in good assist and rebound numbers as well. He has at least 18 DKFP in five straight and is a relatively low-risk play in a good matchup tonight. There’s definitely opportunity to pay up with so many good point guards tonight, but Smith should be a solid play if you decide to go cheap.


Luke Babbitt – SF/PF – ATL at DET – ($3,700) – On the other side of the early game, Babbitt should get plenty of minutes against the Pistons, as the Hawks are running out of players at power forward and center. With Miles Plumlee (quad) and Ersan Ilyasova (knee) out and Mike Muscala (ankle) doubtful, rookie John Collins and Dewayne Dedmon will have to play center against Andre Drummond, which should leave Babbitt a lot of minutes at power forward.

He has started the last two games for Atlanta and played at least 24 minutes in each of his last four contests. In those games, he is averaging 23.1 FPPG with at least 19 DKFP in each contest. He makes a solid cheap forward to take a look at tonight, and he does have upside, as he showed with 29.75 DKFP on Sunday against the Cavaliers.

Editor’s Note: Al Horford (concussion) has been upgraded to ‘Questionable’ for tonight’s game with the Hornets.

Daniel Theis – PF/C – BOS vs. CHA – ($3,000) – With Al Horford (concussion) out and Jayson Tatum (ankle) questionable for tonight, the Celtics will have to rely on Theis and Aron Baynes ($4,300) as they host the Hornets, who bring plenty of size with Dwight Howard and Cody Zeller in the middle. Theis played 22 minutes on Wednesday in Horford’s first game out and finished with a respectable 23.25 DKFP on eight points, five rebounds, three blocks and two steals.

Theis has shown he can contribute on the defensive end, and he can score 8-10 points if he continues to get expanded playing time. He did have 10 points, 10 rebounds and 26 DFKP against the Kings earlier this season, so Wednesday’s solid game isn’t a total outlier. He doesn’t have to do much to return a nice value at just $3K, so give him a look if you need a flier at the minimum tonight.

Overflows from the Bargain Bin

(Other cheap options worth considering)

  • Al Jefferson – PF/C – IND at CHI – ($3,600)
  • Justise Winslow  – SF/PF – MIA at UTA – ($3,900)
  • Patty Mills  – PG – SA vs. MIL – ($3,900)
  • Cory Joseph – PG – IND at CHI – ($3,500)
  • Ed Davis – PF/C – POR vs. BKN – ($3,700)
  • Shelvin Mack  – PG – ORL at PHO – ($3,700)
  • Raymond Felton  – PG/SG – OKC vs. LAC – ($3,400)
  • Thabo Sefolosha  – SG/SF – UTA vs. MIA – ($3,700)
  • Marco Belinelli – SG – ATL at DET – ($3,900)
  • Jonathan Isaac – PF/C – ORL at PHO – ($3,400)

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.