The NBA starts the final full week before the All-Star break with a six-game Monday slate highlighted by big-name fantasy stars like James Harden ($12,900), Giannis Antetokounmpo ($10,900) and Nikola Jokic ($10,500). There are plenty of high-scoring options to target, but you’ll need to compensate by sliding in some cheap plays as well. As you dive into the bargain bin, take a look at these four options, who come loaded with upside despite their salaries coming in at under $4K.
SG/SF MARCO BELINELLI, SA AT SAC, $3,900Belinelli has continued his journey through the NBA as a sharpshooter for hire and is in the midst of his second successful tenure with the Spurs. The 32-year-old Italian is averaging 11.1 points, 2.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 2.0 3-pointers in 22.4 minutes per game in his 52 games off the bench for the Spurs. He’s coming off a particular successful stretch as the Spurs visit Sacramento, which was another one of his stops earlier in his career.
Belinelli has made multiple 3-pointers in 11 of his past 12 games, averaging 15.3 points, 2.2 assists, 2.3 rebounds and 23.8 DKFP per contest. He has at least 23 DKFP in four of his past six games and could be set up for extra work with Derrick White (heel) sidelined. Belinelli makes a lot of sense to keep using as a bargain play for as long as he stays hot.
PG/SG FRANK JACKSON, NO VS. IND, $3,700Jackson had a career-high 25 points in Saturday’s loss to Belinelli and the Spurs. He added two boards and two assists to finish with 31 DKFP. He has been getting more run with Elfrid Payton (ankle) and E’Twaun Moore (quad) sidelined and is starting to show he can establish himself as a part of the Pelicans’ future core once they (likely) part ways with Anthony Davis.
Jackson played a massive 42 minutes Saturday, which isn’t likely to be a pattern moving forward. However, he has shown enough to deserve more usage going forward and now has double-digit points and more than 21 DKFP in three of his past four contests. The Pacers’ backcourt is banged up as well coming into this matchup in the Big Easy, which sets up for Jackson to have the highest ceiling of any of my bargain plays on the slate.
PG ELIE OKOBO, PHO VS. HOU, $3,500The Suns have been patient with Okobo, who has had plenty of ups and downs so far in his rookie season. With De’Anthony Melton (ankle) sidelined, Okobo has started has started the past four games. His strongest performance over that stretch came against Atlanta on Saturday, when he passed out a career-high 11 assists to go with nine points on his way to 29.75 DKFP.
Okobo likely will continue to start alongside Devin Booker ($9,000) in the Phoenix backcourt as the Suns welcome in the Rockets. If he can build on Saturday’s performance, he is a solid play at this price. He is riskier than Jackson but does have enough upside to be worth considering.
PF/C CHEICK DIALLO, NO VS. IND, $3,200The bargain big man with the most upside on this slate is the Pelicans’ Cheick Diallo, who has taken over as the primary big off the bench behind Jahlil Okafor ($7,000) due to injuries to Anthony Davis (finger), Nikola Mirotic (calf) and Julius Randle (ankle). Diallo is averaging 17.1 minutes off the bench over his past five games and typically puts up solid per-minute numbers.
He matched his season-high with 31.0 DKFP on Saturday with 13 points, eight rebounds, three assists, a block and a steal. He likely will be a solid value play if he gets around 20 minutes of playing time against the Pacers. Diallo has a high ceiling if he gets a larger workload, but Okafor has been playing well lately, which usually caps Diallo’s minutes.
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