The NBA wraps up the work week with the second 10-game fantasy basketball slate of the week Friday. While there were no games Monday for Christmas Eve, there still has been plenty of interesting action this week, including the LeBron James (groin) injury, which will continue to impact the Lakers as they finish their back-to-back at home against the Clippers. With 20 teams in action and 100 starters taking the floor across the country, there are lots of great fantasy options to consider. If you find yourself coming up short for one or two roster spots, take a look at these bargain value picks, who can provide good production at an affordable salary.
SF/PF DARIUS MILLER, NO vs. DAL, $3,900In a Western Conference rematch, the Pelicans host the Mavericks in a rematch of Dallas’ 122-119 home win Wednesday. Miller started that game in place of Nikola Mirotic (ankle), who has been ruled out of Friday’s game as well. Miller has started three of his past four games and produced more than 21 DKFP in three of those contests before only managing 14.5 DKFP Wednesday with six points, three assists, two rebounds and a steal.
He had at least 21 DKFP in four of his previous five games before that, highlighted by a 20-point, 29-DKFP performance in Milwaukee on Dec. 19. Miller doesn’t typically fill up one category, but has been getting enough usage and minutes to offer solid production across the board. He’s a low-risk play tonight in the Big Easy, but he doesn’t have quite the high ceiling of the next two names on this list.
PF/C THOMAS BRYANT, WAS vs. CHI, $3,800Bryant continues to fill in at center for the Wizards in the absence of Dwight Howard (back). Bryant’s production has been inconsistent during his time filling in but has ticked up recently. He had a monster 31-point, 13-rebound game against the Suns that resulted in 51.25 DKFP Saturday but had come back to earth with performances of 19.75 and 11.75 DKFP in his two games since. Those down games did come on the road and against teams with big centers in Detroit and Indiana, respectively.
Bryant should be set up to bounce back in a very favorable matchup with the Bulls on Friday. He has an extremely high ceiling and should return good value as long as he gets around 20 minutes on the floor. His effort and hustle have led to vast improvement this season and his hard work could result in a big Friday night for the second-year center from Indiana.
PG/SG JEREMY LIN, ATL at MIN, $3,800Lin has been a nice contributor off the bench in his first season in Atlanta, and it looks like he finally is recovered from a nagging back injury. On Wednesday, Lin played 20 minutes and had a typical 12 points, five assists and 24.0 DKFP. Before the injury, he was turning in those kind of numbers on a consistent basis.
In each of his past four games, the veteran has double-digit scoring and at least 19 DKFP. He gets a good matchup against the Timberwolves, who also are dealing with injuries in their backcourt. He has been consistent enough to be a solid sub-$4K play and also offers nice upside if he’s fully healthy.
SG/SF MARCO BELINELLI, SA at DEN, $3,600The Spurs knocked off the Nuggets on Wednesday and will get a rematch Friday in Denver. Belinelli came off the bench in their first meeting with 12 points, five assists, four rebounds and 26.5 DKFP. The veteran has been producing good numbers off the bench, highlighted by a few good shooting nights from long-range.
Belinelli has at least 26 DKFP in three of his past four games and at least 21 DKFP in six of his past nine. He has scored in double digits in eight of his past 10 contests and usually chips in decent assist and rebound numbers as well. Belinelli is a solid option on the wing and is a relatively low-risk play given his recent run of success regardless of game flow.
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