The NBA starts the work week with a busy Monday night of basketball with a dozen games on the schedule. If you’re stocking your lineup with stars, you’ll also need to balance their salaries with some strong value plays. If you need to head to the bargain bin tonight, check out these options who could offer good returns on a minimal investment of under $4K:

Amir Johnson – PF/C – BOS vs. LAC – ($3,800) – Boston continues its West Coast swing as they head back to LA to take on the Clippers tonight after a heart-breaking loss in Phoenix. The Celtics didn’t have two starters in that game as Avery Bradley and Al Horford were forced to sit out with injuries. While Bradley is expected to return tonight, Horford will likely be out a few more games as he battles a sore elbow. In his place, though, Amir Johnson has been playing very well in the middle for Boston.

Johnson doesn’t have to score a ton of points to have a big fantasy day which substantially lowers his risk factor. He only needed 13 real points in each of his last two games to total 32.5 DKFP against the Lakers and 36.0 DKFP against the Suns. When he gets expanded playing time, Johnson is usually reliable for good rebounding and defensive stats which should serve him well against the Clippers tonight. Since LA usually deploys DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin, Boston won’t be able to go small which should leave lots of minutes for Johnson. The Clippers’ defense has allowed the fourth-most DKFP in the NBA to opposing centers over their last five games, so Johnson should be able to get at least 20 DKFP tonight with a ceiling to produce 30+ DKFP for the third game in a row.

E’Twaun Moore – PG/SG – NO @ UTA – ($3,600) – If you’re looking for a consistent but affordable option in the backcourt, the player that I’d take a look at tonight is E’Twaun Moore of the Pelicans. New Orleans got its first win of the Boogie-Brow Era last night in LA, and tonight they’ll head to Utah and face the Jazz. While the front court tandem of DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis gets most of the attention, Moore has been a solid value in the backcourt while logging big minutes since the All Star break. In his five games since the Pelicans acquired Cousins, Moore has played an average of 28.4 minutes per game and has posted 19.4 DKFP per contest.

Last night, Moore played 31 minutes against the Lakers shooting 5-9 on his way to 13 points, two assists, a block, a steal and a rebound for 22.25 DKFP. He has at least 16 DKFP in each of his last five games, and has a fairly high floor since he logs so much playing time. Even though he isn’t one of the top three options in New Orleans’ offense, he could get some extra looks tonight as Davis and Cousins struggle against the Jazz defense on the inside. Moore has plenty to offer if you decide to go cheap at either of your guard slots.

C.J. Miles – SG/SF – IND @ CHA – ($3,800) – Miles hasn’t been quite as consistent as Moore, since he relies heavily on his outside shooting to produce fantasy value. However, if his shot gets going, he has a higher ceiling than Moore, so give him a look if you’re ok with a little added risk in your value slot.

Miles has settled in nicely in Indiana’s starting lineup and has played well since the All Star break averaging 22.4 DKFP on 13.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.4 3PM. He has taken 10 three-pointers in each of the Pacers’ last two games totaling 28 DKFP on 19 points in San Antonio and 23.25 DKFP last light on 13 points against the Hawks. If Miles continues to get that many shots tonight against the Hornets, he should definitely out-produce his salary. Earlier this season against Charlotte, Miles had 23 points and four rebounds followed by 11 points, two boards and two blocks. He only played 19 minutes in that second meeting, but he has been much more integrated into the rotation lately making him a very solid sub-$4K play tonight.

Bismack Biyombo – C – ORL vs. NY – ($3,000) – The Magic got a great game from Bismack Biyombo yesterday and almost pulled off the upset of the Wizards in Washington D.C. Just before gametime, it was announced that Nikola Vucevic was out due to Achilles soreness meaning that Biymobo moved into the starting lineup. He responded with a monster double-double of 14 points and 15 rebounds while adding a pair of steals for a 38.75 DKFP total. He fell just short of returning 13 DKFP/$1K on his $3,000 salary, making him the number one value of the day yesterday.

Since the Magic are playing on the second night of a back-to-back, Biyombo’s salary hasn’t had time to adjust to his big game, so he’s still just $3,000 tonight against the Knicks. If Vucevic is out again, Biyombo is a top value option since he would have to do so little to get to a major return on investment. Even if Vucevic returns, Biyombo is worth a look since Vucevic could be limited and Biyombo has shown he can produce when given the minutes.

Overflows from the Bargain Bin

(Other cheap options worth a look)

  • Arron Afflalo – SF – SAC @ DEN – ($3,300)
  • Nemanja Bjelica – SF/PF – MIN vs. POR – ($3,900)
  • Thabo Sefolosha – SG/SF – ATL vs. GS – ($3,900)
  • Kosta Koufos – C – SAC @ DEN – ($3,700)
  • Toney Douglas – PG – MEM vs. BKN – ($3,500)
  • Jamal Crawford – SG – LAC vs. BOS – ($3,800)
  • Alec Burks – SG – UTA vs. NO – ($3,700)
  • Danny Green – SG – SA vs. HOU – ($3,700)
  • Patrick McCaw – SF – GS @ ATL – ($3,700)
  • Matthew Dellavedova – PG – MIL @ PHI – ($3,900)
  • Glenn Robinson III – SG/SF – IND @ CHA – ($3,000)
  • Anthony Tolliver – PF – SAC @ DEN – ($3,400)


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.