The first Monday of the new year is a busy one in the NBA with 10 games on tap. Five of the 20 teams in action are playing the second game of their back-to-back set, and there is sure to be fantasy-relevant breaking news throughout the day as players continue to move in and out of the NBA health and safety protocols. As you get your lineups ready for the DraftKings main slate, which locks at 7:00 p.m. ET, make sure to pay close attention to @dklive on Twitter and the DK Live app to keep up with the latest news and how it should impact your Monday night lineups.
With so much changing on a continual basis, new bargain heroes emerge just about every night. Based on their current form, matchups and expected workloads, the four players below are set up for a great chance to outproduce their bargain-basement salaries. It’s always difficult to project too far ahead in this environment, so I’ll provide updates to these values on Twitter @ZT_Sports, where you can also find my four to play under $4K each day of the NBA season.
PF/C KJ Martin, Houston Rockets at Philadelphia 76ers, $4,500
The Rockets will be without rookie Alperen Sengun (ankle) for about a week, and Christian Wood ($6,200) could face further team discipline after refusing to play in the second half against the Nuggets on New Year’s Day. Martin stepped up in that contest and produced 32.25 DKFP on 15 points, seven rebounds, three assists, a steal and a block.
When he has been called upon to play a larger role this season, Martin has risen to the occasion, producing over 20 DKFP in seven of his past nine games while averaging 22.86 DKFP on 11.1 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game over that stretch. He has produced 0.91 DKFP per minute over that stretch and should be able to return good value against the Sixers, especially if Wood doesn’t play.
SG/SF Amir Coffey, Los Angeles Clippers vs. Minnesota Timberwolves, $4,300
On Saturday, Coffey made a spot start in place of Marcus Morris Sr. ($6,000) and produced one of his best games of the season with 35 DKFP on 14 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Even though Morris is expected to return and Coffey will likely go back to the bench, he has been filling a large role for the short-handed Clippers lately and producing solid numbers.
Coffey has played at least 23 minutes in six straight games averaging 24.2 DKFP on 10.3 points, 5.2 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game. He has hit multiple 3-pointers in each of his past three games, and he’s in a good matchup to keep things rolling as the Clippers host the Timberwolves, who are finishing their back-to-back against the two L.A. teams after losing on Sunday night to the Lakers.
PG/SG Anfernee Simons, Portland Trail Blazers vs. Atlanta Hawks, $4,100
Simons is not on the injury report after clearing the health and safety protocols and it looks like he’ll be able to return after missing just one game. His timing couldn’t be better since the Blazers will be without Damian Lillard (abdomen) and remain without C.J. McCollum (lung). Simons could jump right back into the starting lineup and should be set up for a large workload as long as conditioning isn’t an issue. He started two games earlier this season while Lillard was out but left one of those games after 10 minutes with an injury. In the other start, he posted 12 points, six rebounds, five assists and 29.0 DKFP against the Pistons.
Since joining the Blazers four seasons ago, Simons has often been highlighted as a breakout candidate, and this year he has finally started to deliver on that potential. In his 30 games, he has averaged career-highs with 19.85 DKFP, 11.9 points, 2.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists. If he steps into a big workload against Atlanta, he has an extremely high ceiling and conditioning isn’t likely to be too much of an issue after such a short stint in the protocols.
PG/SG Garrett Temple, New Orleans Pelicans vs. Utah Jazz, $3,800
The Pelicans should be a good source of value if they continue to be without Brandon Ingram ($9,100; Achilles) and Jonas Valanciunas ($9,600; health and safety protocols) who has sat out three of the past four games with a non-COVID illness and then entering the health and safety protocols. Jaxson Hayes ($3,900), Nickeil Alexander-Walker ($4,100) and Herbert Jones ($4,600) are all players who have gotten more run and produced solid numbers as a result, but the veteran journeyman Temple has also been very busy and brings lots of upside from under $4K.
Temple played 35 minutes in the game that Ingram left with his Achilles injury and produced a season-high 22 points and 37.5 DKFP against the Thunder. He started each of the next two contests, posting 28.25 DKFP against the Cavaliers and 27.75 DKFP against the Bucks. If Ingram returns, Temple’s role will likely be reduced, but if he gets another start he should be a great bargain value on this slate.
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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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