Austin Rivers and Danuel House

A dozen teams are in action as the NBA starts another week of fantasy basketball action on Monday night. The Spurs, Magic and Rockets are finishing the second night of back-to-back sets, and Houston is likely to be especially thin with Russell Westbrook (rest) out and James Harden ($10,500; thigh) doubtful.

Due to injuries and potential development, teams continue to adjust their rotations as we near the All-Star break. New fantasy options continue to emerge and offer some nice value plays for this Monday. If you need to balance out salaries and are looking for a creative way to go cheap at a spot or two to pay up for a big star, take a look at these four options who are in play for under $4K.


There’s some great value available from the Rockets since there will be so much usage available without Westbrook and probably Harden. House helped pick up some of the work Sunday with Harden out and finished with 11 points, five rebounds, three assists, a block and a steal for 27.25 DKFP. That total gives him over 20 DKFP in three of his past four games.

House is typically a multi-category producer when at his best and should get enough of a boost in usage to be a relatively safe value play. He has bounced in and out of the lineup and battled a few injuries, but he has taken advantage of a bigger role when available. The fourth-year forward has definitely taken a step forward and is an important piece for the Rockets.


Normally, I try to avoid multiple players from the same team, but this situation is an exceptional one with so much usage available. Rivers will pick up work at both backcourt spots and could even move into the starting lineup. He played 34 minutes Sunday against the Nuggets and finished with 13 points, six rebounds, four assists and 27.5 DKFP.

Rivers missed two games with a thumb injury earlier this month but had posted double-digit points and over 20 DKFP in each of his three games since returning. Like House, he has taken advantage of extra time when it has been available this season and should be a big part of the Rockets’ gameplan without Westbrook and Harden. He has a higher ceiling than House but is a little riskier, as well.


The Magic are still without DJ Augustin (knee) which has opened up the primary backup role for Carter-Williams behind Markelle Fultz ($5,600). MCW has filled that role in each of the five games since he returned from a shoulder injury of his own and has averaged 10.0 points, 3.2 assists, 3.2 rebounds and 20.4 DKFP in those contests.

He had a season-high 36.25 DKFP against the Clippers on Sunday, scoring 15 points for the second time in his past three games and adding eight assists and seven rebounds in just 23 minutes. If he plays over 20 minutes against the Heat, he should have no problem returning good value at such a cheap salary.


The best bargain big man under $4K is also finishing a back-to-back after a successful Sunday. Poeltl faced his former team, the Raptors, and produced 23.25 DKFP in just 13 minutes. He shot an efficient 5-for-7 from the field and finished with 11 points, seven rebounds and two blocks. He now has multiple blocked shots in nine straight contests.

Despite limited minutes, Poeltl has over 20 DKFP in three of his past four contests. He has only played 20 minutes or more once in his past 14 games which definitely limits his ceiling. However, he has been making a big enough impact when he is on the floor to like him in this great matchup against the Bulls.

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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.