After a fun weekend of basketball, the NBA helps us get a new week started with a solid seven-game slate this Monday highlighted by fantasy stars like Isaiah Thomas, Carmelo Anthony and James Harden. Two of the biggest stars in the game, Kevin Durant and LeBron James come into the day with their status unclear after missing their team’s games on Saturday. If you’re looking to stock your DraftKings lineup with star power, you’ll also need to balance out those hefty salaries with some players from the bargain bin. As we head into this Monday and you start building your lineups, check out these four players who all cost less than $4K but can still produce enough fantasy points to be worth considering.
Skal Labissiere – PF/C – SAC vs. MIN – ($3,400) – The Kings unloaded DeMarcus Cousins and Matt Barnes at the deadline giving them a fresh, younger look, under coach Dave Joerger. The team has played well since the All-Star break and trade deadline, and has gotten a boost in both games from Skal Labissiere who spent most of the year shuttling back-and-forth to the D-League’s Reno Big Horns. Labissiere has been excellent in each of his two games since the break with a career-high 12 points on Thursday and 20.25 DKFP followed by 8 points and 13 rebounds for 27.25 DKFP on Saturday in 23 minutes against Charlotte. Labissiere is a big part of Sacramento’s future, and look for him to get plenty of playing time against the big front line of the Timberwolves tonight. If you have to spend under $4K, he would be the first name on my list of options to check out.
Nik Stauskas – SG – PHI vs. GS – ($3,800) – While you have to love the upside of a young player like Skal, there is also some nice value with former Kings’ SG Nik Stauskas who has been extremely consistent in his role off the bench for the 76ers. Stauskas has scored double-digit points in seven straight games and has at least 18 DKFP in each of those contests. His best game during that run came against the Spurs when he had a huge 37.25 DKFP mixing in 7 assists and 7 rebounds with his 16 points. Stauskas should get good minutes tonight against the Warriors whether the game is close or not. He gets his shots almost every game and is a lower-risk option than Skal tonight even though he doesn’t offer quite the same upside or roster slot flexibility.
Jaylen Brown – SG/SF – BOS vs. ATL – ($3,900) – The Celtics should get Avery Bradley back soon, but look for Brad Stevens to continue to find ways to keep rookie Jaylen Brown involved in the Celtics’ rotation. Brown has at least 13 points and 20 DKFP in each of his last three full games (had to leave one early with a hip injury). Last night, he played 26 minutes against the Pistons in Detroit totaling 23.75 DKFP on 13 points, 5 boards, 2 steals and an assist. If Bradley is back tonight, Brown becomes less safe, but either way he has shown enough to earn playing time off the bench for the up-tempo Celtics who should be in for a high-scoring game as they host Atlanta in a rematch of last year’s playoff series.
Derrick Williams – PF – CLE vs. MIL – ($3,600) – The Cavs added Derrick Wiliams six games ago and have been using him as their primary backup PF off the bench behind Channing Frye while Kevin Love recovers from knee surgery. Williams has averaged 9.5 points, 2.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 23.8 minutes per game for Cleveland and has looked fairly comfortable in the Cavs’ rotation. He has at least 16 DKFP in four straight games and will have a good matchup tonight against Milwaukee who are in the top ten for DKFP allowed to opposing forwards this season. Williams doesn’t have as high a ceiling as the other three players in the bargain bin, but he’s a relatively safe play whose minutes will be fairly stable whether LeBron starts or sits.
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.