The NBA has 20 teams in action this Wednesday night, providing a solid 10-game main fantasy basketball slate. There are a handful of players with salaries of at least $10K and another eight with salaries of at least $8K who are expected to play. Whether you’re building around Luke Doncic ($11,600) on back-to-back nights, rolling with Trae Young ($10,400) against the Nets, or going big and building around Karl-Anthony Towns ($10,600), you may need to save some salary at a few spots to pay up for the superstars your after.
To help you find the right complementary bargain plays, I give you my top four under $4K each Monday, Wednesday and Friday here in the DraftKings Playbook. Check out these four affordable options for Wednesday.
PF/C MAXI KLEBER, DAL vs. MIN, $3,800Kleber posted his second straight game with at least 20 DKFP on Tuesday against the Pelicans, scoring 12 points to go with four rebounds in 21 minutes. In his preceding game, he had six points and nine boards in 22 minutes for 20.75 DKFP against the Lakers.
The Mavericks’ frontcourt can be crowded at times, but Kleber has averaged 25 minutes a game in his 19 contests this season. He usually chips in solid points and rebounds and is averaging 19.3 DKFP per contest. While he doesn’t have the highest ceiling, he does provide steady production at a reliable rate in a favorable matchup.
C DWIGHT HOWARD, LAL at UTA, $3,600Another player who has settled into a specific role that still comes with some upside is Howard, who has had a mostly successful return to Los Angeles. He typically logs around 20 minutes a game but may see a few extra minutes since the Jazz typically play big. Howard is averaging 19.9 DKFP per contest on 7.0 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.4 blockes in his 19.5 minutes per game.
In his past seven games, Howard has produced at least 18 DKFP five times including his most recent game which was Tuesday in Denver. He had 13 points, six boards, two blocks and 24.0 DKFP in that game and will look to finish the Lakers’ back-to-back with another strong game in Utah.
PG EMMANUEL MUDIAY, UTA vs. LAL, $3,200Speaking of Utah, one of the most notable absences that we know of coming into the day is Jazz PG Mike Conley (hamstring). With Conley out, Donovan Mitchell ($7,100) will likely play more point guard, but there’s also a chance that Mudiay steps into a large enough role to be a good value.
In his first year in Utah, Mudiay has averaged 14.4 DKFP in 15.3 minutes per game. His minutes have been very limited recently and he has struggled from the field, scoring just two points in each of his past four contests. Before that, he posted three straight games with double-digit scoring including 12 points and 24.25 DKFP against the Bucks in 19 minutes on November 25. If he gets 25-30 minutes, Mudiay will have a very high ceiling against the Lakers. He’s risky but makes sense if you’re going for a boom-or-bust play at the low end of the salary structure.
PG/SG TY JEROME, PHO at ORL, $3,200Another cheap guard who I actually like even better than Mudiay if he gets enough minutes is the Suns’ Ty Jerome. Phoenix has started the season with Ricky Rubio ($6,700; hand, probable) backed up by a cast of characters including Tyler Johnson ($3,400) Elie Okobo ($3,300) and Jevon Carter ($3,000). Even when Rubio has been hurt, none of those options have regularly stepped up.
However, Jerome had a very encouraging NBA debut on Monday. He only played 12 minutes but had 19.75 DKFP on four points, four assists, three rebounds and three steals. If the first-round pick from Virginia battled a long-term ankle injury, so he may not be ready for a full workload yet, but he has very intriguing upside with such multi-category potential. Okobo and Johnson were healthy scratches last game, so Jerome appears to already have passed them on the depth chart, so keep a close eye on Rubio’s injury and how much time Jerome can handle as the Suns take on the Magic in a favorable matchup on this slate.
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.