Happy Hump Day! We’ve got a crooked number of games to watch and play tonight — seven — thanks to the postponement of Hawks-Suns. Still, there are a plethora of options out there for your DraftKings lineups like Luka Doncic and LeBron James. Speaking of LeBron, the Los Angeles Lakers, along with the Oklahoma City Thunder and Brooklyn Nets all played last night, meaning they could be resting players on a back-to-back or dealing with fatigue on the court. We’re already running through some lower-cost options, but more could be available should some starters sit for these teams, so be sure to follow @dklive on Twitter and download the DK Live app to stay up-to-the-minute with all the latest news leading up to tipoff. We’ll let you know who should see an uptick in minutes.
There are plenty of high-profile, high-priced options that are worth considering at the top of the salary structure, but you’ll need to balance out some of those hefty salaries with some cheap plays as well. Check out these four players who seem primed to outproduce their minimal salaries based on form, matchup and expected workload.
SF/PF Kevin Knox, New York Knicks vs. Brooklyn Nets, $3,900
So…you know you have to do something here at small forward against Brooklyn, who has struggled mightily to defend the wing…but what is it that you do? With Reggie Bullock doubtful for this one, we’ll probably see Austin Rivers, who ironically was our featured value play one week ago, get another start in his place. I’m not looking at Rivers, though, who was pretty unspectacular in 38 minutes on Monday, rather I’m looking right at Knox. Under Tom Thibodeau, and playing alongside fellow Kentucky Wildcat Immanuel Quickley, it seems Knox is tapping into the potential many thought he had coming out of last year’s draft. He played a season-high 29 minutes on Monday with Bullock out, and so did Quickley. I’m thinking Thibs runs the duo out there plenty with depleted depth on the wing and at point guard, making Knox a great play considering the hot start to the season he’s been having.
He isn’t quite down near minimum salary, but with so many injuries right now, Hart could see an expanded role on Wednesday. Lonzo Ball has already been ruled out, and Eric Bledsoe was downgraded to questionable with eye irritation. Hart has consistently seen around 27 minutes, and has averaged 23.7 DKFP this year, so even with Bledsoe in the lineup he’s probably a fine call, but without Bledsoe he could be a slate-breaker against the worst defense against point guards. Keep an eye out (no pun intended) for Bledsoe news before tip, because given all the injuries (you can include JJ Redick, too, who’s dealing with a hamstring issue) Hart could be positioned for more usage.
If we know one thing, it’s that the Kings play no defense whatsoever, allowing a league-high 117.9 points per 100 possessions. Jusuf Nurkic left Monday night’s win in the second quarter, so what did Portland do? The Blazers decided to go small, giving Melo 35 minutes, rather than just plug in backup center Enes Kanter. Nurkic is questionable for this one, and if he’s held out, I think we see plenty more of Melo. Even with Nurkic back in the lineup, however, Portland may want to run Anthony back out there considering how instrumental he was in the comeback, and how efficient he was on offense. Clearly, he works for them, and after a modest share of minutes so far this year it might be time Portland decides to give him more.
PG/SG Alex Caruso, Los Angeles Lakers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, $3,100
There’s not a ton of great value on such a short slate, but I think we can find some here with Caruso. Without Wes Matthews due to a sore Achilles, Caruso, Talen Horton-Tucker and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope have all split minutes, but no one has done more with their time on the floor than Caruso, who has gone for roughly 1 DKFP per minute over his last three games. There’s only one man to worry about on the Thunder, and that’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, and Caruso is the Lakers’ best player at locking up opposing point guards. That might keep him on the floor a hair more than normal, combined with the Matthews injury and the fact that the Lakers just played in Houston on Tuesday night, so they might need a little depth. As an added bonus, if this is a blowout, you’ll really see some big minutes for Caruso.
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