It’s a busy day in the NBA with 11 games on tap throughout the day to honor Martin Luther King Jr. Day. For Monday’s dive into the bargain bin, we’ll focus on the five games on the early fantasy baskebtall slate on DraftKings. If you’re looking for picks for the late game, check out my top targets in which I included some great values like Kenneth Faried ($3,000) and Andre Iguodala ($3,900).
In the afternoon slate, we get five matchups with plenty of nice value options. The Mavericks and Kings join eight Eastern Conference teams in the player pool of games tipping off between 1 p.m. ET and 3:30 p.m. ET. If you’re playing the bonus early slate and stretched thin for salary, here are the four options I think are set to perform despite being affordably priced under $4K.
SG/SF LUKE KENNARD, DET AT WAS, $3,900The Pistons have been using Kennard off the bench lately, but the second-year wing out of Duke has been productive with double-digit points in each of his past four contests. He has seen his minutes climb as well and played 34 minutes against Miami and 23 minutes against Sacramento in Detroit’s back-to-back last week. He was productive in both contests with 32.75 DKFP against the Heat and 29.25 DKFP against the Kings. Kennard hit four 3-pointers in each of those games and shot a combined 15-for-29.
Kennard’s increased usage in the second unit is a great sign coming into his matchup with the Wizards, who like to play up-tempo and sometimes struggle with perimeter defense. Kennard has taken at least 10 shots in each of his past three games and has produced at least 23 DKFP in five of his past six games with that many attempts. He should be a nice value if he gets that many again this afternoon against the Wizards.
SF/PF CHANDLER HUTCHISON, CHI AT CLE, $3,600The Bulls are in rebuilding mode, so it isn’t surprising that they have given Hutchison plenty of minutes in his rookie season. The 22-year-old first-round pick from Boise State has started to look more comfortable after a slow start. Hutchison has started each of the past eight games for Chicago but has looked much more comfortable in his past four. He had more than 20 DKFP in three of those four games and is averaging 10 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 0.5 assists for 20.1 DKFP per contest.
Hutchison’s minutes and involved role seem to be blowout proof since Chicago is trying to evaluate his part in their future by giving him big opportunities. He played 33 minutes last week even when the Bulls were blown out by 30 in Denver. With a more favorable matchup against the Cavs, Hutchison still should get enough time to be worth a look as a cheap forward play.
PG/SG CAMERON PAYNE, CLE VS. CHI, $3,400On the other side of the Bulls-Cavs matchup, it’s a revenge game setup for Payne, who joined the Cavs after being waived by Chicago earlier this season. He’s on his second 10-day contract with Cleveland and trying to earn a more permanent spot in their rotation. He has played at least 20 minutes in six of his seven games with the Cavs and even got a start in their game Saturday against Denver.
Payne didn’t seem to fit well into the starting five and never even attempted a shot on his way to 4.75 DKFP in 20 minutes. He had much more success off the bench and had contributed at least 18 DKFP in five of his previous six games with Cleveland. Whether he gets another start or returns to the bench, he should have a better game with a chance to strike back at the Bulls and show them that they moved on from him too early.
PF/C D.J. WILSON, MIL VS. DAL, $3,300
Wilson is working his way into a larger role in the Bucks’ second unit and is coming off a pair of strong games as Milwaukee takes on Dallas this afternoon. On Tuesday, Wilson set a career-high with 13 points against the Grizzlies and added two blocks, two assists and two rebounds for 23.5 DKFP. He followed that with another strong game Friday, posting 26.0 DKFP on eight points, 10 boards, two assists and a block agains the Magic.
Wilson has at least 20 DKFP in four straight games and offers a stretch option with his ability to knock down 3-pointers. He also protects the rim, though, with six blocks in those four contests. As long as he keeps seeing minutes in the high-teens or low-20s, Wilson should be a nice bargain at just $3,300 and doesn’t have to do much to return value.
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.