Monday tips off another busy week in the NBA with a fully-stocked, 11-game NBA schedule providing another giant slate for fantasy basketball contests on DraftKings. There are eight teams on the second half of back-to-back sets of games, so monitor the injury and availability news throughout the day by following @dklive on Twitter and downloading the DK Live app. You can also get my bargain picks on Twitter (@ZT_Sports) each day of the NBA season.
As you get your lineups locked in for this Monday, there are some key players from the cheaper end of the player pool to target. The four players listed below come into the day in a position to out-produce their salaries based on their form, matchup and expected workload.
SG/SF Kevin Huerter, Atlanta Hawks vs. Orlando Magic, $3,800
The Hawks announced on Sunday night that De’Andre Hunter (wrist) will need surgery and is expected to miss about eight weeks. Earlier on Sunday, the team beat the defending-champion Bucks by 20 even without Hunter as Huerter made his second start of the season. In his two starts over the past week, Huerter posted 42.25 and 20 DKFP, and he should remain in an expanded role moving forward, especially with Cam Reddish ($3,500) in and out of the rotation last night with a knee issue that caused him to shoot 0-for-7.
Huerter played over 30 minutes in each of his two starts, averaging 19.5 points, 3.5 3-pointers, 4.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists. He showed off his ceiling with 28 points in his first start against the Jazz in Utah by scoring 28 points and producing 42.25 DKFP. He has that kind of a high upside in this matchup with the Magic and should return great value from under $4K once again.
PG/SG Aaron Holiday, Washington Wizards vs. New Orleans Pelicans, $3,500
Holiday also recently moved into the starting lineup, making his third start of the season on Saturday in place of Bradley Beal (personal), who remains away from the team Monday. Holiday played a season-high 34 minutes in that game against the Magic, producing his best fantasy night of the season with 25.0 DKFP on 11 points, four assists, two rebounds and two steals.
When he’s at his best, Holiday has shown that he can fill it up in multiple categories, but he has had a hard time establishing himself in a meaningful role in the second unit during his first season in Washington. Maybe this stint in the starting lineup will result in a better long-term situation for Holiday, but whether it does or not, he’ll be a nice play at this price for as long as Beal is out.
PG/SG Bones Hyland, Denver Nuggets at Dallas Mavericks, $3,400
I was already in on Hyland as a rising fantasy option before Will Barton ($6,800; back) was scratched after his back tightened up during pregame warmups on Sunday. With Barton’s status uncertain for Monday and Michael Porter Jr. (back) still sidelined, Hyland will again be in a key role coming off the bench. After an impressive preseason and Summer League, the rookie languished on the bench early in the season but had already worked his way onto to floor before all the injuries. Now, he has logged over 20 minutes in three straight games while raising his usage rate to 22.9% on the season.
Hyland had a career-high 18 points on Sunday in a win over the Trail Blazers, finishing with 32.25 DKFP by adding three rebounds, three assists and two steals in 23 minutes. He had 22.25 and 30 DKFP in his two previous outings and should continue to get plenty of run as the Nuggets see how much they can count on their first-round pick moving forward. Monitor Barton’s injury status closely because Bones becomes an even better bargain if Barton is ruled out.
SG/SF Talen Horton-Tucker, Los Angeles Lakers vs. Chicago Bulls $3,000
After missing the first 13 games of the season for the Lakers, Horton-Tucker not only made his debut on Sunday against the Spurs but also jumped right into the starting lineup. He played 27 minutes in the eight-point victory and produced 27.0 DKFP on 17 points, four rebounds, an assist, a block and a steal. Horton-Tucker has been sidelined by right thumb surgery from this past offseason, but his conditioning didn’t look to be an issue at all in his first game back. Make sure to confirm he’s playing on the second night of this back-to-back, but he definitely brings a lot of upside if he’s in the lineup for a second straight night.
In his career, Horton-Tucker has shown he can step up when given opportunities to be a key part of the offense. He had a huge 28.7% usage rate in his debut after posting a 21.7% usage rate last season. In the four games that he started last season, THT averaged over 30 minutes per contest and produced 12.8 points, 7.5 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 1.5 steals with a 23.9% usage rate. For as long as he’s starting and LeBron James is out, the 20-year-old brings way too much potential to pass up with his salary at the minimum of only $3K.
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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 do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. 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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