The NBA starts another week of fantasy basketball goodness with a nine-game slate on Monday night. The slate features megastars James Harden ($12,000) and Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,3oo) in good matchups against the Kings and Magic, respectively. Big men Andre Drummond ($10,100) and Karl-Anthony Towns ($9,300) also have good matchups but come with hefty price tags.
Just as important as figuring out what stars to pay up for is finding the right bargains to help balance out your salary cap. To help you in your quest for the best values, check out these four plays available for less than $4K this Monday.
C ENES KANTER, BOS vs. CLE, $3,800Kanter has been sharing time at center with Daniel Theis ($4,200) and Robert Williams (hip) this season, but he could get some extra run on Monday since Williams has been ruled out. Kanter had eight points, four rebounds, three assists and 17 DKFP in 18 minutes against the Nuggets on Friday. He has at least that many DKFP in seven of his past eight games which is enough to make him a solid option if you decide to go with a value play at center.
The Celtics have given him extra run at times, and he has provided good numbers when given extra minutes. He had a double-double against the Knicks on Dec. 1 for 27.75 DKFP, which was his third game in his previous four with over 25 DKFP at that point. Kanter should get enough work to at least be a value play and has a high ceiling as well. It’s also worth keeping a close eye on the status of Gordon Hayward ($3,000; hand), who is questionable to return from a hand injury. Before the injury, Hayward was playing excellent and averaging 36.2 DKFP over his first eight games. He may be limited but wouldn’t have to do much to be a value option at only $3K. Keep a close eye on the Celtics’ injury situation before their favorable matchup with the Cavs.
SG/SF KEVIN PORTER JR., CLE at BOS, $3,800It’s been a rough start to the season for the Cavs, who are just 5-17 and talking about trading veteran All-Star Kevin Love ($6,400). One of the young players that Cleveland is hoping can help turn things around is Porter, who they acquired from the Pistons after he was originally drafted by the Bucks at the end of the first round in this past draft. The rookie is just 19 years old but getting significant run lately.
In five of his past six games, Porter has produced at least 18 DKFP. He has logged 20-plus minutes in four of those six games, including 27 minutes on Saturday in Cleveland’s most recent contest. Porter’s workload seems secure regardless of game-situation since the Cavs are trying to develop him into a part of their future. Typically, he offers pretty balanced production and has chipped in 7.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 21.6 minutes per game over his past six contests. He could help mop up garbage time if the Cavs get blown out, and he has a solid ceiling for a bargain wing.
SF/PF MOE HARKLESS, LAC at IND, $3,500Trying to figure out the Clippers’ rotation has been a dicey situation for most of the season as Doc Rivers continues to swap players in and out of the rotation and starting lineup. However, Harkless has started each of the past 14 games for Los Angeles, so he almost always at least gets a chance to impact the game. Last week, he did put up a bizarre 2.75-DKFP performance despite playing 23 minutes against the Blazers, but other than that he has been fairly reliable.
With the possibility that Kawhi Leonard ($8,300) could be rested on the second game of a back-to-back, Harkless could get a slight boost in usage. He had a strong game on Sunday in Washington, scoring 11 points to go with six rebounds on his way to 27.5 DKFP, which is his best performance since the season opener. Harkless played a season-high 36 minutes in that game and could again be lined up for more work depending on the availability and health of JaMychal Green ($3,500; back), Landry Shamet ($3,100; ankle), Rodney McGruder ($3,000; hamstring) and Leonard or George resting. The Clippers injury report will be another key one to monitor leading up to lineup lock. They do play in the earliest tipoff at 7:00 p.m. ET, so we should have a clear picture before anyone is locked in place for this slate.
PG/SG SHABAZZ NAPIER, MIN at PHO, $3,100After being traded from the Nets to the Warriors to the Timberwolves this offseason, Napier got off to a strong start with his new team before a hamstring injury forced him to miss 12 games and almost a month of action. He returned Dec. 1 and has been working his way back into his role as Minnesota’s primary backup PG.
He only played limited minutes in his first two games back but has looked sharper in his two most recent contests, scoring 13 points in each game. He had 13 points and 15.5 DKFP against the Thunder in 14 minutes Friday and followed that with 13 points, six assists and 26.5 DKFP against the Lakers Sunday. As long as he is available and ready to roll for the second game of the T-Wolves’ back-to-back in Phoenix, he’ll get a favorable matchup against the Suns. Napier’s salary will be on the rise if he rediscovers his early-season form, so take advantage of his bargain price point while you can.
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.