After last night’s six-game return from the All Star break, the NBA is back in earnest with a jam-packed, 10-game slate for this Friday night. As you try to start your DFS fantasy basketball week off with a win, check out our new feature which can be found each Monday, Wednesday and Friday here in the Playbook. This post is designed to highlight the players who can produce DraftKings points despite their affordable price. Whether you’re searching to fill a final roster spot with a cheap option or going with a “stars and sleepers” strategy, these are my top four plays under $4K from tonight’s 20 teams in action:
Raymond Felton – PG/SF – LAC vs. SAS – ($3,900) – With Chris Paul still not quite ready to return to action, Felton has remained involved enough to be a great value play. He has over 27 DFKP in three of his last four games and at least 24 DKFP in eight of his last ten. He had 13 points, 5 assists, 3 boards and 3 steals in 24 minutes last night against Golden State for a solid 29.75 DKFP. Tonight, the Clippers finish a brutal back-to-back against the Spurs. When the two teams last met on 12/22, Felton had 13 points, 4 boards and 3 assists in 23 minutes, and he should be set up for a similar workload tonight if Paul is still out. Felton also brings positional flexibility with his unique PG/SF availability, making him fit in either your guard or forward slot as well as utility.
Alex Len – C – PHO @ CHI – ($3,800) – Heading into the All Star break, Alex Len was starting to gather some momentum off the Suns’ bench. He scored double-digit points in each of his last four games averaging 12.3 points to go with 7.5 rebounds, 1.5 blocks and 1.0 assists. Len needed just 23 minutes against the Lakers in his last game to have 15 points and 9 rebounds for a solid 30.25 DKFP before fouling out. He’s high-risk since he is still firmly behind Tyson Chandler, but as the Suns play for the future Len could get expanded playing time over the last few months of the season. Tonight, he and the Suns revisit where Chandler started his career as they face the Bulls in Chicago. The Bulls did just deal Taj Gibson which will weaken their front court rotation defensively, while the Suns traded away P.J. Tucker for players they are expected to waive or buy out. This could open up some time for Len and Chandler to share the court which is an idea that coach Earl Watson toyed with last season a bit.
Caris LeVert – SF – BKN @ DEN – ($3,700) – The Nets shipped out Bojan Bogdanovic to the Wizards at the trading deadline, which should open up playing time for the Nets’ promising rookie out of Michigan, Caris LeVert. LeVert could move into the starting lineup tonight in Denver where the Nets face a very beatable Nuggets’ backcourt. He only started one other game this season, shooting a woeful 1-9 and finishing with just 4 points and 5 rebounds. He was struggling with his shot going into the break as well, but if the Nets are ready to give him extended run with the starting unit, we could see more of the upside he flashed in January when he averaged 9.3 points, 2.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 0.9 steals in 22.9 minutes per game.
Ian Mahinmi – C – WAS @ PHI – ($3,000) – If you’re looking for a solution all the way at the bottom of the bargain bin, check out the Wizards’ backup big man Ian Mahinmi in a great matchup against the Sixers. No team in the NBA has given up more DKFP to opposing centers this season than Philadelphia, and they’ll be without Nerlens Noel (traded to Dallas) and Joel Embiid (knee injury) tonight. While Richaun Holmes and Jahlil Okafor step in, the Sixers will be thin up front. Mahinmi could be in for an increased workload at a perfect time since it was expected that his minutes limit would go from 12-14 minutes per game to around 20 minutes after the break. If he gets 20 minutes in tonight’s matchup, he could definitely return big value and even approach the low-grade double-double which he was reliable for last year when he started for Indiana.
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.