The NBA starts another busy week of action with an eight-game slate on Monday night. The Memphis Grizzlies, Los Angeles Clippers, San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors are playing for the second day in a row, while the Los Angeles Lakers and New York Knicks are starting their week with back-to-back games on Monday and Tuesday. Even with the All-Star break just a little while ago, teams are already being very careful with players’ workloads, so make sure to keep a close eye on important 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.
As you build your DraftKings lineup for a fun Monday night hoops slate, make take a look at these four cheap plays, who can offer solid production at reduced salary while also freeing up salary cap space to allow you to stack up superstars in other roster spots.
PF/C Dario Saric, Phoenix Suns vs. Memphis Grizzlies, $4,200
Saric hasn’t been playing a ton of minutes off the bench, serving primarily as the backup for Deandre Ayton ($6,300). However, the Croatian big man has been heating up lately and offering solid production at this value salary.
Saric has scored double-digit points in five straight contests, averaging 15.0 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.8 3-pointers for 24.0 DKFP per game. Saric has at least 19 DKFP in eight straight games with a solid usage rate of 24.6% during that span. He does a good job on the glass as well, and since he is logging most of his time at center, he should get a solid matchup with Memphis. He doesn’t have a super-high ceiling but has a strong record of consistent production which makes him worth a look at just over $4K.
SF Pat Connaughton, Milwaukee Bucks at Washington Wizards, $4,000
Another role player with solid but not spectacular production lately, Connaughton has become a key part of Milwaukee’s bench and has produced over 17 DKFP in 10 of his past 13 contests while logging 27.0 minutes per game. He has only averaged 8.4 points per game over that stretch but has also contributed 5.0 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.7 3-pointers during that run.
On Saturday in Washington, Connaughton had a solid game with three 3-pointers, 11 points and 23.25 DKFP in 26 minutes off the bench. Like Saric, his role isn’t big enough to give him a super-high ceiling, but he is a solid way to still get good returns since he is such a well-established part of the second unit on a solid team. The matchup should be a favorable one for him, and he should be right around 5x value once again.
SG/SF Jordan Poole, Golden State Warriors vs. Los Angeles Lakers, $3,700
The Warriors took Poole at the end of the first round of the 2019 NBA Draft and the former Michigan Wolverine has shown some nice flashes in his opportunities with the team. He is on a two-way contract, so he got in some valuable work in the G League bubble earlier this season (which is how we snuck the Delaware Blue Coats in the image for this article).
He has made a splash since being called up to the NBA club, though, producing 26 points in 26 minutes in the Warriors’ final game before the All-Star break. He added three rebounds to his five 3-pointers to finish with a solid 37.75 DKFP and appears to have earned his way into a larger role. In the Warriors’ return from the All-Star break on Thursday, Poole logged 20 minutes in a blowout loss to the Clippers but contributed 14 points and 24.75 DKFP. In the Warriors' win over the Jazz on Sunday, Poole also played a significant role, with 18 points off the bench in 22 minutes and a total of 24.0 DKFP. Coach Steve Kerr stated that he wants to give Poole more time since he likes the offensive spark off the bench. His improved decision-making and hot shooting (72.4% true shooting percentage) make him a good option against the Lakers, and he could get even more work if the Warriors decide to rest any of their starters for the second game of their back-to-back.
SG Rodney McGruder, Detroit Pistons vs. San Antonio Spurs, $3,400
The Pistons and Thunder swapped Svi Mykhailiuk for Hamidou Diallo, but Diallo is still battling a groin injury and will not play Monday. Wayne Ellington ($4,000; groin) is also doubtful for this game, which will leave plenty of minutes available on the wing. McGruder has had brief spans of fantasy usefulness in his four-year career and appears to be in the midst of another one as he helps fill in that gap.
McGruder played a season-high 28 minutes on Saturday against the Nets and contributed 10 points, seven rebounds, three steals and two assists for a total of 27.25 DKFP. He also played more than 18 minutes in the Pistons’ two final games before the All-Star break and contributed 37.25 DKFP against the Raptors and 18.5 DKFP against the Knicks. His non-scoring stat rates make him a relatively safe play when he’s getting minutes, and he should be busy in this favorable matchup with the short-handed Spurs.
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