Monday night is another full night of NBA action with eight great matchups on the DraftKings slate. Five of the 16 teams in action are playing for the second day in a row, so be careful of the rotations of the Brooklyn Nets, Charlotte Hornets, Golden State Warriors, New York Knicks and Sacramento Kings who are on the second game of their back-to-backs. Make sure to watch out for any injury updates at @dklive on Twitter and the DK Live app, where you can get all the latest news and fantasy analysis. You can also find my bargain picks on Twitter (@ZT_Sports) each day of the NBA season.
As you get your roster set, make sure to take a look at these ultra-affordable plays who are in a position to out-produce their cheap salaries based on their form, matchup and expected workload.
PF/C Frank Kaminsky 4,300, Phoenix Suns at Sacramento Kings, $4,300
While he hasn’t been a regular part of the rotation when the Suns are fully healthy, Kaminsky has taken advantage of his two games without Deandre Ayton (leg), who has already been ruled out for this contest against the Kings. Even though JaVale McGee ($4,000) has started each of those contests, Kaminsky has logged 28 and 29 minutes in the two games that Ayton has missed, producing 35.25 DKFP against the Pelicans and 32.0 DKFP against the Hawks. In those two games, he has averaged 16.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.0 blocks with a usage rate of 17.2%.
While he still may not be a regular contributor, Frank the Tank can definitely be a nice value Monday against the Kings, who have struggled defensively against opposing big men allowing the 10th-most DKFP to opposing centers so far this season. Regardless of the game script, he should see 20-plus minutes, which makes him a nice option at this salary.
SF/PF De’Andre Hunter, Atlanta Hawks at Golden State Warriors, $4,000
Hunter and the Hawks would like to very quickly forget their game against Kaminsky’s Suns from Saturday night. In the 121-117 loss, Hunter struggled badly from the field shooting just 1-for-9. He still had a decent night with five rebounds, two assists and a steal, but it was a letdown after Hunter had chipped in 33.5 and 21.0 DKFP in his two previous contests against the Nets and Jazz, respectively.
The third-year forward has been limited by injuries throughout his time with the Hawks, but he is still very much a part of their plans moving forward. He has started all nine games he has played this season, averaging 11.8 points, 2.9 rebounds and 18.5 DKFP in 29.1 minutes per contest. His 18.3% usage rate should lead to him exceeding that production if his shot comes around a little bit. He has taken at least nine shots in every one of his nine games, so the opportunities are there, and he should be due for some positive regression after Saturday’s shooting issues dropped his price back to $4K.
PG/SG Gary Payton II, Golden State Warriors vs. Atlanta Hawks, $3,400
On the other side of that matchup in San Francisco, Payton is starting to find a little bit of traction in establishing himself as a key contributor off the bench for a deep Warriors squad that has started the season 8-1 mostly on the strength of its depth. Payton has seen an increased role in his past three games playing over 17 minutes in each contest and producing 29.25, 31.5 and 26.25 DKFP at a clip of 1.6 DKFP per minute.
In each of those three impressive showings, he has reached double-digit scoring while averaging 13.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.7 steals. Sure, it’s fun to play with nicknames like “The Mitten” as an homage to his father, the OG Gary Payton, but don’t think that this Payton is a gimmick that isn’t worth your fantasy attention. If he stays so productive, he could continue to lock himself in as a key part of Golden State’s second unit.
SG/SF Wayne Ellington, Los Angeles Lakers vs. Charlotte Hornets, $3,100
The Lakers are a little bit of a mess right now with LeBron James (abdomen) sidelined and Anthony Davis ($10,200; finger, questionable) uncertain with a stomach issue and a finger injury. While Russell Westbrook ($10,400) will probably take most of the offensive workload, there is definitely some space for some peripheral players to step into fantasy relevance, especially in a juicy matchup against the Hornets, who have been one of the most fantasy-friendly matchups to attack this season.
The Lakers supporting cast includes several bargain options to consider, including Austin Reaves ($3,200), Sekou Doumbouya ($3,700) if Davis is out, and even Malik Monk ($3,300) against his former squad. My favorite of the bunch, though, is Ellington, who is just coming back from a late start to his season due to a hamstring issue. The veteran logged 25 minutes in the Lakers’ loss on Saturday and had eight points and 13.5 DKFP. He has been a streaky shooter throughout his career, especially from long range, and has had bursts of fantasy relevance. The Lakers' best plan is to surround Westbrook with shooters, and Ellington is one of the best they have. At barely more than the minimum, he doesn’t have to do much to return value, and I love the upside he brings if he starts finding a groove from distance.
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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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