Monday starts the first full week of the new NBA regular season, and there are nine games on the DraftKings NBA slate to get the week started with a flourish. Salaries are starting to adjust to production levels over the start of the season, so value is getting a little harder to find as we head into our first Monday night basketball of the season. As we approach tip-off, make sure to keep up with all the latest news with fantasy analysis by following @dklive on Twitter and downloading the DK Live app.
As you find just the right blend of superstars, midrange plays and smash spots, you might find yourself coming up short of salary at a spot or two. To help you find the best bargain value options from the shallower end of the salary pool, you can check out my Bargain plays each Monday, Wednesday and Friday here on the DraftKings Playbook. You can also follow me on Twitter where I’ll send out waiver wire alerts and present four plays under $4K each day. Here are my favorite bargain options from the 18 teams taking the floor this Monday.
SF/PF Franz Wagner, Orlando Magic at Miami Heat, $4,400
Both Wagner brothers are actually with the Magic, but it’s the younger brother, rookie Franz Wagner, who has been getting the playing time to be a good bargain play. He has slotted into Orlando’s starting five for all three games the Magic have played and logged over 32 minutes while averaging 10.7 shot attempts and a 15.2% usage rate over those contests. He has turned those consistent opportunities into an average of 24.4 DKFP on 12.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.0 rebounds per game.
Wagner played a season-high 39 minutes on Sunday in New York and totaled 25.75 DKFP despite a disappointing night shooting (4-for-11). If he knocks down some more shots while continuing his good rebounding production, he should be an even better play against the Heat as Orlando wraps up its road back-to-back. Wagner’s large role makes him a relatively low risk, especially for a rookie.
PG Ish Smith, Charlotte Hornets vs. Boston Celtics, $4,000
The Hornets are also on the second day of back-to-back games after knocking off the Nets in Brooklyn on Sunday afternoon. In their impressive 3-0 start, Smith has been a valuable source of veteran leadership and contributions in the Hornets’ second unit. He could get a little squeezed for playing time when Terry Rozier ($6,300; knee, questionable) is ready to return, but he has definitely made the most of his opportunity while Scary Terry has been out.
On Sunday, Smith had 15 points, four assists, four rebounds and 30 DKFP in his 21 minutes off the bench. He has at least that many assists in each of his three games and has gone over 25 DKFP in two of his three games this season. Throughout his career, Smith has shown he can contribute in spurts off the bench, although he hasn’t been able to establish himself as a starter. At just $4K, he’s the best bargain PG option, but if Rozier returns and you can maneuver your roster, you might want to pivot to his teammate Cody Martin ($3,900), who has also been a great bargain play with over 21 DKFP in each of his three games.
SF/PF Nassir Little, Portland Trail Blazers at Los Angeles Clippers, $3,800
The Blazers raved about Little’s offseason and preseason, and the 21-year-old first-round pick is someone to keep a close eye on early in the season to see if the hype is warranted. He dealt with a hamstring issue toward the end of the preseason and had a minutes limit for his first game this season, logging 16 minutes and producing 10.75 DKFP against the Kings. On Saturday, he played his second game and saw his workload jump to 27 minutes. He produced 25.25 DKFP on 11 points, seven rebounds, two assists and a steal in Portland’s 29-point blowout win.
Little actually moved into the starting lineup for the second half of that game following an injury to Norman Powell (knee). While it looks like Powell avoided major injury, he’s already been ruled out for Monday along with Tony Snell (foot). Without Powell, Little should have a clearer path to minutes and should be able to establish that he’s ready to convert the offseason buzz into useful fantasy production on a nightly basis, especially when his salary is under $4K.
PF/C Grant Williams, Boston Celtics at Charlotte Hornets, $3,700
New Celtics coach Ime Udoka looks like he’ll use Williams as a Swiss Army knife to fill in for any absences. His defensive focus and flexibility give Boston plenty of options, and he should continue to be a nice complementary piece since he doesn’t have to take a lot of shots to contribute across the stat sheet. He started the season opener in place of Al Horford ($5,900) and had 31.75 DKFP on 15 points, five rebounds, four assists, a steal and a block. When Horford returned, Williams had a quieter game Friday against the Raptors, but he was back in a more prominent role Sunday helping to fill in for Jaylen Brown ($7,900; knee, questionable). Williams had 27.75 DKFP in that game, highlight by going 5-for-7 from long range and finishing with a season-high 18 points.
If Brown is out again or the Celtics have other absences as they finish their first back-to-back of the season, Williams should have a good chance to play about 30 minutes again. If he gets that kind of run, he is a great bargain option who can return value in multiple categories.
Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jetsfan196) 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.
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL).
Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (IN/MI/NJ/PA/WV/WY), 1-800-522-4700 (CO/NH), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), 1-888-532-3500 (VA), 1-800-NEXT STEP (AZ), call/text TN REDLINE 1-800-889-9789 (TN), or 888-789-7777/visit ccpg.org/chat. (CT).
21+ (18+ NH/WY). AZ/CO/CT/IL/IN/IA/MI/NH/NJ/PA/TN/VA/WV/WY only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions.