A new week and a new month of fantasy basketball opportunities get underway with a nine-game slate on DraftKings this Monday night. After a lighter schedule on Sunday, only the Charlotte Hornets and the Portland Trail Blazers are on the second night of back-to-back games while the other 16 teams are returning to action after getting Sunday off. Even though it’s early in the season, there are some important injury issues to keep an eye on, so stay locked in for news that opens up value later in the day by following @dklive on Twitter and downloading the DK Live app. You can also find my value picks each day of the NBA season @ZT_Sports.
In this post, we’ll focus on the best bargain plays for Monday. These ultra-affordable plays are poised to out-produce their affordable salaries based on form, matchup and expected workload.
PG Monte Morris, Denver Nuggets at Memphis Grizzlies, $4,400
With Jamal Murray (knee) still out for a while, the Nuggets have given their starting PG spot to Morris, who has had an up-and-down start to the season. In his six games, he’s averaging 20.1 DKFP in 28.6 minutes per game on 11.2 points, 3.7 assists, 1.8 rebounds and 0.5 steals. While his 0.7 DKFP per minute average for the whole year isn’t very impressive, he has been looking more comfortable lately and has put together two very strong outings in his past three games, resulting in 28.0 DKFP against the Jazz and 30.5 DKFP against the Timberwolves.
In Saturday’s game in Minnesota, he hit a pivotal shot in the Nuggets’ 93-91 win and finished with 16 points, five assists and four rebounds to produce 1.01 DKFP per minute. The workload should be there once again as the Nuggets continue their road trip with a stop in Memphis. The Grizzlies are also a very favorable matchup, having given up more DKFP per game to opposing PG than any other team in the NBA. Since he is getting so much work, he’s relatively low risk and should be able to return good value as he tries to build on Saturday’s strong showing.
SG/SF Luke Kennard, Los Angeles Clippers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, $4,400
The Clippers are also playing without one of their superstars early in the season and trying to figure out where the offense will come from with Kawhi Leonard (knee) out. While Paul George ($10,700) is definitely picking up most of the work, there is still a major need for secondary scoring options, and lately, Kennard has been stepping up to fill that void. He has reached double-digit scoring in three of his past four games with multiple 3-pointers in each of those four contests.
Kennard has played 33 minutes in each of his two most recent games, even though both were not competitive coming down the stretch. If he helps take up some of the potential garbage time in this contest against the Thunder, he should get a chance to continue contributing good fantasy totals. He had 16 points, four boards and two steals against the Trail Blazers last Friday night on his way to 28.5 DKFP.
PG/SG Shake Milton, Philadelphia 76ers vs Portland Trail Blazers, $3,600
The Sixers will continue to be without Ben Simmons (personal) as they open the week by hosting the Trail Blazers. Filling in at PG has boosted the stock of Tyrese Maxey ($5,600) to the point where he can’t really be considered a bargain anymore, but now it looks like Maxey could lose some playing time to Milton, who is returning from an ankle injury that kept him sidelined for the first four games of the season.
Milton has been limited to 16 and 19 minutes in his first two appearances, but he has not been hesitant to jump right back into the spotlight with usage rates of 31.5% and 26.3% in those two contests. He had 13 points, five assists and 24.25 DKFP in his debut against the Pistons and followed that up with 11 points, four rebounds and 21.5 DKFP against the Hawks on Saturday. As his minutes ramp up, his usage will likely dip, but he should definitely get enough work to return at least 5x value while his salary is under $4K.
PF/C Larry Nance Jr., Portland Trail Blazers at Philadelphia 76ers, $3,500
The Trail Blazers acquired Nance this offseason in a trade that sent Lauri Markkanen ($5,300) to the Cavs and Derrick Jones Jr. ($3,200) to the Bulls. Nance has been solid in his first six games with Portland but is still finding his spot in a crowded frontcourt rotation. He has played between 15 and 22 minutes in every game this season and has produced over 17 DKFP in four of his past five contests.
Sunday night in Charlotte, Nance had eight points, seven rebounds and 23.75 DKFP against the Hornets for his best fantasy production of the season. He has proven to be a good source of points and boards when he’s on the floor, and he may get more playing time against the Sixers, who tend to roll with bigger lineups. If Nance can get around 20 minutes, he should be able to easily return value and could work his way into a larger role in the Blazers’ second unit.
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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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