The NBA tips off another fast-paced week of fantasy basketball action on DraftKings with eight games lined up on the main slate. Seven of the 16 teams in action are finishing a back-to-back set, so keep an especially close eye on the availability of the Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Houston Rockets, Indiana Pacers, Oklahoma City Thunder and Toronto Raptors, who are all playing for the second day in a row. Several of those teams are also right in the middle of the trade rumors starting to swirl ahead of the NBA trade deadline this Thursday, so make sure to monitor the news for any trades or assets the teams are trying to protect.
As is always the case at this point in the season and especially with this season’s accelerated schedule, make sure to watch closely for availability updates from @dklive on Twitter and be sure to download the DK Live app to stay up to date with who’s in, who’s out and who should be in your lineup. Value options usually open up throughout the day as players' statuses are updated, but going into Monday the four plays below are my favorite bargain options which can offer solid production at a reduced salary, allowing additional salary cap space for other roster spots.
PG/SG Devonte’ Graham, Charlotte Hornets at San Antonio Spurs, $4,800
The biggest injury news of Sunday was that rookie sensation LaMelo Ball will likely be sidelined for the rest of the season after breaking a bone in his wrist. He was initially listed as probable for this contest on Monday but is now likely done until next fall after further evaluation. Graham is the obvious candidate to slide into Ball’s starting spot and could be a great fantasy play while you can get him at this reduced salary.
Graham started his first 22 games of the season and averaged 14.5 points, 6.1 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 1.1 steals with 3.0 3-pointers in 34.6 minutes. He was sidelined by a knee injury for a few weeks and has only been able to average 19.2 minutes coming off the bench in his six games since returning. It’s unclear if that limitation was due to his health or opportunity, but he’ll definitely have as much run as he can handle now with Ball out. Graham was regularly producing over 30 DKFP per game before his injury, so getting him at this price is a bargain if he returns to that level of involvement and production. Malik Monk ($4,000) is another Hornet who should get more work with Ball out. Cody Zeller (shoulder) has also been ruled out, opening the door for Bismack Biyombo ($3,400) to likely make a second-straight start.
PF/C Bobby Portis, Milwaukee Bucks vs. Indiana Pacers, $4,100
Portis should be in for a bump in usage for the Bucks, who will be without Giannis Antetokounmpo (knee, out) for the second time this season. Portis started in the first game that Giannis sat out back on Jan. 9, and he produced 17 points, 11 rebounds, four steals, three assists and 42.75 DKFP. Portis only made one other start this season and had 12 points, eight rebounds and 26.5 DKFP in 31 minutes against the Pelicans.
Since those two games, the Bucks have added P.J. Tucker ($4,000) to the mix, but Portis is a better candidate to help replace the Greek Freak’s offensive contributions. Portis has been playing limited minutes lately, only reaching 20 minutes once in his past seven games. He has still posted a 23.8% usage rate over his past four games, though, so in an expanded role he should be a great value at this salary. He only played 17 minutes against the Pacers in his one head-to-head matchup against them earlier this season, and he finished with 18 points, nine rebounds and 43.75 DKFP, so it’s definitely a favorable matchup for Bobby Buckets.
SG Grayson Allen, Memphis Grizzlies vs. Boston Celtics, $4,100
Allen has re-entered the starting lineup for the Grizzlies after missing six games with a concussion earlier this month. In his four games since returning to action, he has hit multiple 3-pointers three times and averaged 24.2 DKFP in strong showings against the Suns, Heat and Warriors. His shot was a little off on Saturday on the second night of a back-to-back but he played over 32 minutes and still had 27.0 DKFP thanks to a season-high eight rebounds.
While the Grizzlies’ rotation continues to shift as they chase a playoff spot, Allen is clearly a key part of Taylor Jenkins’ rotation and offers good upside since he takes so many 3-pointers. He has a high ceiling if he heats up from deep and has at least 18.0 DKFP in every one of his games since returning from injury, showing a relatively high floor for a player at around $4K in price.
SG/SF Bogdan Bogdanovic, Atlanta Hawks at Los Angeles Clippers, $3,900
The Hawks inked Bogdanovic to a four-year, $72 million deal this offseason and not surprisingly have been getting him more involved in the rotation lately after he missed six weeks with a right knee avulsion fracture. When he returned, he was mired in an awful shooting slump that including going 2-for-18 from the field in two games against the Raptors and Kings. He has shaken off that slump in his past two games, though, and has also seen a bump in playing time.
On Thursday against the Thunder, Bogdanovic made five 3-pointers and scored a season-high 23 points on his way to 37.5 DKFP in 29 minutes. He played 30 minutes on Friday against the Lakers and had 10 points, three assists and 19.0 DKFP against the Lakers. As the Hawks finish their Los Angeles back-to-back with a matchup against the Clippers, Bogdanovic makes a nice cheap play since he has a high ceiling and should continue to see an increasing role in Atlanta’s rotation. Even with De’Andre Hunter ($5,200; knee, questionable) nearing a return, there should still be plenty of work for Bogdanovic, who the Hawks obviously regard as part of their future core.
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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.
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