Draft Kings

DraftKings Preview: Best Value Plays 1/6


The key to winning in DraftKings is having productive players in your lineup that won’t break your budget. Of course, you want players like LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook among others in your lineup, but in order to afford those guys, you’ll need some cheaper options filling out your team.

Each Wednesday, we’re helping you build your lineup by highlighting some of those cheaper players who seem poised to do well given their recent success and upcoming matchup. There are 11 games tonight, which will leave you with plenty of options. These players we’ll highlight will all cost you less than $6,000.

If you haven’t done so already, be sure to enter our DraftKings league before 7 p.m. ET tonight. It is $3 to play (or FREE for new users) and it has a $25,000 first-place prize. Here are six cheap players to keep an eye on tonight:

PG: Jrue Holiday, New Orleans Pelicans – $5,400

If you took our advice the last time we picked out Holiday, odds are you had a good night. Two weeks ago against the Portland Trail Blazers, Holiday had 30.5 fantasy points after dropping 19 points, five assists and two rebounds.

Holiday started off the 2015-16 campaign on a minutes restriction in order to keep him fresh all season long after coming off of surgery over the summer. That restriction has been lifted, and Holiday has been given the green light to play. While he’s still coming off of the bench, Holiday averaged 25.5 minutes per game in December after playing 20 minutes a game in November. He’s coming off of a 36.8 fantasy point performance on Saturday and faces a good matchup tonight against a Dallas Mavericks team that ranks 26th against opposing point guards.

Honorable Mention: J.J. Barea – $5,700

SG: Victor Oladipo, Orlando Magic – $5,800

It looks as though it’s time to give Oladipo a look on your DraftKings team tonight. Magic starting point guard Elfrid Payton has been battling a couple of sprained ankles and the injuries finally became severe enough to cause Payton to miss Monday’s game against the Detroit Pistons. Oladipo stepped into the starting lineup for the first time since Nov. 23 and scored 37.8 fantasy points as he recorded 18 points, seven rebounds, five assists and two steals.

Payton has been battling his injuries for quite a while now and has already been ruled out for tonight’s game against the Indiana Pacers. Magic head coach Scott Skiles moved Oladipo to the bench at the end of November, and he has been there since. The move has not sat well with Oladipo, so look for him to take full advantage of the start in an attempt to try to win back a spot in the starting lineup. The Pacers rank 20th against opposing shooting guards so Oladipo’s hot play should continue tonight as he should be in line to start again in place of Payton.

Honorable Mention: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – $5,400

SF: Tobias Harris, Orlando Magic – $5,900

There won’t be many viable cheap options for you tonight at small forward, so this may be where you want to take a player like Kevin Durant, LeBron James or Paul George. However, if you don’t feel comfortable overpaying for those players, Harris should fill in as a good option for you.

On the season, Harris is averaging 29 fantasy points per game and has been consistent for the most part. He ran into a couple of tough matchups over his last couple of games, but he put together a nice stretch toward the end of December with six-straight outings with at least 26 fantasy points.

Honorable Mention: Chandler Parsons – $5,600

PF: Cody Zeller, Charlotte Hornets – $5,200

With Al Jefferson sidelined due to an injury, Zeller has stepped in and been a solid replacement. He’s averaging a quiet 8.7 points, 5.6 rebounds and one assist per game this season, but he’s been much better since becoming a starter at the beginning of December. He averaged 10.4 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game last month.

Over his last 11 outings, he’s scored at least 20 fantasy points in all but two of those games. During that stretch, he had a couple of 30+ point outings, and he is coming off of a 25.5 fantasy point game. He’s going to be one of the more solid options for you at center within our budget of $6,000 or less.

Honorable Mention: Ryan Anderson – $5,600

C: Jonas Valanciunas, Toronto Raptors – $5,100

It seems as though Valanciunas is nearly back 100 percent since missing time earlier this season with a broken hand. In five games since returning, he’s averaging nearly 25 fantasy points per game. A positive sign is that his time on the floor seems to be increasing as each game passes, and he has since returned to the starting lineup.

He has nearly turned in a double-double in each game he’s played since returning, and is a prime candidate to earn those bonus points DraftKings hands out for double-doubles. He should have another great outing tonight against a Brooklyn Nets team that ranks 27th against opposing centers. Play Valanciunas before his price increases significantly.

Honorable Mention: Mason Plumlee – $5,100

UTIL: George Hill, Indiana Pacers – $5,300

Keep an eye on Hill tonight as he could be a good play against the Magic. Hill missed Monday’s contest in Miami with food poisoning and is listed as questionable tonight in Orlando. Prior to missing that game with the illness, Hill had turned in seven-straight games with at least 20 fantasy points, and had a couple of 40 fantasy point outings during that stretch as well. The last time the Pacers and Magic played, Hill had 42.8 fantasy points after dropping 23 points, seven rebounds, two assists and two steals. We recommend starting him if he can go tonight.

If you are taking our advice tonight, let me know how your team did by reaching out to me on Twitter, @CodyTaylorNBA.


We encourage you to give these players a look as you build your starting lineups for tonight. Here are three contests you can enter now:

$325K Sharpshooter: This contest is only $3 to enter (or FREE for new users) and it features $325,000 in prizes. The top prize is $25,000 and the top 26,000 teams will win cash.

$350K Wednesday Shootaround: This contest is $20 to enter, but the top prize is $50,000. The top 4,000 teams will win cash (and the prizes are much larger).

$25 Double Up: These are some of the easiest contests to win, as you just have to finish near the top half of the field to double your money. If your team does so tonight, you would win $50 (doubling your $25 entry fee). There’s no huge first-place prize, but these are a good way to consistently win cash.

Make sure to follow Basketball Insiders on Twitter at @BBallInsiders.

About Cody Taylor

Cody Taylor

Cody Taylor is an NBA writer in his fourth season with Basketball Insiders, covering the NBA and NCAA out of Orlando and Miami.