The NBA starts another week of fantasy basketball goodness with a six-game Monday night slate that features James Harden ($11,500) and the Rockets landing in New Orleans while Luke Doncic ($10,400) takes on Kemba Walker ($8,900) and the Celtics. There’s also an awesome battle of the bigs as Karl-Anthony Towns ($10,000) and Andre Drummond ($9,800) meet in the Motor City.
While all those stars deservedly will grab the headlines, you’ll need to save up some salary to get them in your fantasy lineup. To help in your quest into the bargain bin, you can find my top four in play under $4K each Monday, Wednesday and Friday here in the DK Playbook. This Monday, we’ve got some affordable plays with big upside, so let’s take a look at the best low-cost options on the board.
PF/C CHRIS BOUCHER, TOR at LAC, $3,400
Boucher is the best bargain on the board this Monday, as he continues to step into a larger role for Toronto while Serge Ibaka (ankle) is sidelined. I highlighted Boucher’s per-minute production from last season in my waiver wire pickups for this week, and he has looked good in his expanded role so far this year as well. He played 24 minutes Sunday against the Lakers and had 15 points, two rebounds, three blocks, two steals, an assist and 29.5 DKFP.
He has played double-digit minutes only twice this season, the past two games, and had more than 20 DKFP in each outing. Boucher hasn’t had an expanded workload like this for an extended time, so there’s no telling how he’ll hold up over the long haul, but for now he’s a great play who can stuff the stat sheet across all the categories. His defensive production keeps him low-risk and should help him return great value in this matchup with the Clippers.
SF/PF TREVEON GRAHAM, MIN at DET, $3,800
Graham returned to the starting lineup Friday for the Timberwolves after coming off the bench for a game. He had a solid 17.25 DKFP on eight points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals in that contest and followed that with 16.0 DKFP in 35 minutes Sunday against the Nuggets. Graham has played more than 30 minutes in each of his past three games and responded with more than 15 DKFP in each game and an average of 17.1 DKFP per contest.
While he isn’t flashy and doesn’t have the high upside of Boucher, he is in a well-established role and plays plenty of minutes for Minnesota. In a good matchup against the Pistons, Graham should be a good option, especially if he keeps getting extra run with the status of Jeff Teague ($5,500; illness) and Shabazz Napier ($3,900; illness) uncertain after both missed Sunday’s game against Denver.
SF/PF GRANT WILLIAMS, BOS vs. DAL, $3,600
While Graham already has established his role in Minnesota, Williams hasn’t done so in Boston, but he should get a chance in the coming weeks with Gordon Hayward (hand) sidelined. Williams was the Celtics’ first-round pick and has appeared in all eight games in Boston’s 7-1 start. He has averaged 10.6 DKFP on 2.9 points, 2.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 0.8 steals and 0.5 blocks in 16.5 minutes per contest. Since his minutes should bump up significantly, he’ll have a chance to increase those numbers to fantasy-relevant levels.
Williams has played 19 minutes or more three times this season and has produced at least 16 DKFP in each of those three contests. He had a career-high 20.25 DKFP against the Raptors earlier this season, when he collected seven rebounds to go with four assists and four points in 22 minutes. His multi-category potential makes him very intriguing, and his comfort level in NBA games has been impressive to this point. Keep an eye on him to see if he’s able to take the next step while Hayward is out.
PG/SG FRANK JACKSON, NO vs. HOU, $3,300
Like Williams and Boucher, Jackson has a chance to step up and fill in for his injured teammate. Lonzo Ball (hip) has been ruled out Monday, which could open the door for more minutes for Jackson. The second-year player has gotten off to a strong start, producing 10.9 points and 16.3 DKFP per game over his first nine contests. He had a little bit of a down game Saturday with just three points against Charlotte, which broke a string of four straight contests with double-digit scoring.
Especially with Ball out, Frankie Flash should be able to bounce back in what should be an up-tempo, high-scoring game against the Rockets. Last year, Jackson had 21.25 and 34.25 in his two games against Houston in which he played more than 10 minutes. He should be lined up for his typical role as a scorer off the bench for the Pelicans and has a high ceiling if he can get his shot dropping in the Big Easy this Monday.
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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.