The NBA continues its fast break of a season with 10 more games on tap this Monday night. A whopping 11 of the 20 teams taking the floor are on the second night of a back-to-back set of games, so buckle up for what should be a wild ride. Given all the players potentially resting and dealing with injuries, illness or load maintenance, keep a close eye on @dklive on Twitter throughout the day and download the DK Live app to stay up-to-the-minute with all the latest news and fantasy impact leading up to tipoff.
There are lots of big stars to consider in potential smash spots, but you’ll need to balance out your lineup with some cheap plays as well. Thankfully, there are some great bargain options including the four listed below.
PF/C Isaiah Roby, Oklahoma City Thunder at Portland Trail Blazers, $4,600
Since Al Horford (personal) has been away from the team following the birth of his child, Roby has been getting increased run and been fairly productive in an expanded role for the rebuilding Thunder. He has at least 1.0 DKFP per minutes in seven of his past eight games and has totaled at least 24.0 DKFP in four of his past five.
On Sunday, he posted the first double-double of his career with 10 points, 10 boards and 30.5 DKFP in 26 minutes against the Clippers. While his usage rate hasn’t been especially high in his five straight starts, he is averaging over 25 minutes per game and doing a good job especially on the defensive glass, where he has a 20.3% rebound rate over those five games. He should continue to post solid numbers in this favorable matchup against the Blazers, who are extremely short-handed in the frontcourt with Jusuf Nurkic (wrist) and Zach Collins (ankle) still sidelined and Enes Kanter ($6,600) not offering much defensively.
PG/SG Jalen Brunson, Dallas Mavericks vs. Denver Nuggets, $4,700
Brunson has been a crucial part of the Mavs’ rotation since returning from the health and safety protocols four games ago. His teammates Josh Richardson, Dorian Finney-Smith and Maxi Kleber are all still sidelined in the protocols for at least one more game, leaving Brunson another busy night of work against the Nuggets. Brunson has started all four games since returning and played 31.2 minutes per contest, averaging 14.3 points, 3.8 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 0.5 steals for 24.5 DKFP per contest.
On Friday against Houston, Brunson only took four shots in a quiet performance as the Mavs were blown out by the Rockets, but I think he will bounce back for another solid game before losing his spot in the starting lineup when those other players return to action. The Nuggets have allowed the sixth-most DKFP to PG, so Brunson should be in a good spot to produce in this uptempo matchup in Dallas.
SG Wayne Ellington, Detroit Pistons vs. Philadelphia 76ers, $4,200
At the start of his 12th season in the NBA, Ellington was not even in the Pistons’ rotation, but he has stepped into a very prominent role lately and caught fire from long-range. The veteran sharpshooter has made 21 3-pointers over his past four games shooting 58.3% from distance over that stretch. While that obviously isn’t sustainable long-term, he has been known to go on these heaters during his career and is a great source of upside until he cools off. He has moved into the starting lineup for six straight games and played over 25 minutes in each of his past five. In that five-game stretch, he has had an effective FG% of over 80% in four games, and the advanced metrics love him right now since he’s so dialed-in from long-range.
With Derrick Rose (knee) and Killian Hayes (hip) remaining out Monday, Delon Wright ($5,500) and Ellington will have to shoulder most of the offensive workload in the backcourt. Ellington had 17 points, four rebounds, two assists, two steals and 30.25 DKFP in 27 minutes in the first game of this two-game set against the Sixers, and he will look for similar success in this rematch with his former team.
PG/SG Carsen Edwards, Boston Celtics at Chicago Bulls, $3,000
If you’re looking to go super-cheap, the one option that stands out with the info we have as of Monday morning is Edwards, who should get increased run for Boston with Kemba Walker (knee) sitting in the second game of the back-to-back and Payton Pritchard (knee) also sidelined due to sprained MCL. While Marcus Smart ($6,400) will get most of the work at PG and Jeff Teague ($3,700) could get added run as well, Edwards looked very sharp in his return to the floor on Sunday after an extended absence due to the health protocols.
The game turned into a blowout early against the Cavaliers, allowing Edwards to play a season-high 19 minutes and produce 27.75 DKFP with 18 points, five rebounds, an assist and a steal. He has been productive in each of his games with extended run this season, but the big question is whether he’ll get enough time to have an impact. Without Walker and Pritchard, he could have a brief window to step up again in this one, making him a solid punt play at the minimum salary unless more value opens up later in the day.
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