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DraftKings NBA: Wednesday Cheat Sheet

Juan Carlos Blanco

Winner of the FSWA 2016 Newcomer of the Year Award, Juan Carlos Blanco has been playing fantasy sports for close to 20 years and covers NBA, MLB, and the NFL for Rotowire.com, including serving as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' beat writer. He has previously written for KFFL.com and remains an avid season-long and daily fantasy player in multiple sports.

Wednesday brings a robust 11-game slate, with a solid selection of high-priced options available. We’ll mostly stay away from the obvious suggestions, instead providing some mid-tier value plays that have mostly outperformed their reasonable price tags, while still throwing in one superstar who’s been worth every dollar this season.

TEAM ANALYSIS

Defense to Avoid
Golden State Warriors at Memphis Grizzlies
The reigning NBA champs are once again sporting a stingy defense that sometimes flies under the radar due to their scoreboard-lighting ways on the other side of the ball. The Warriors rank seventh in the NBA at 97.1 points allowed per game, while the Grizzlies check in next-to-last with a paltry average of 91 points scored nightly. The low points of their offensive struggles came when they tallied a season-low 69 points against this same Warriors squad on Nov. 2. While those extremes aren’t likely to be repeated on the Grizzlies’ home court, Memphis is still the team that has only been able to crack the 100-point mark in three of their first eight games.

Offenses To Use
Houston Rockets
vs. Brooklyn Nets
The Rockets and James Harden have put their early-season offensive struggles behind them, rattling off four straight victories in which they’ve scored an average of 113.5 points per game. Harden has spearheaded Houston’s scoring renaissance, averaging a whopping 38.5 points per game over that stretch. With three full days off since their stirring 109-105 win over the Clippers on Saturday, the Rockets come home Wednesday and also reap the benefits of a refreshed Dwight Howard, who was last seen trampling over Los Angeles’ frontcourt to the tune of a 20-point, 20-rebound double-double.

Teams on a Back-to-Back Set
First game: Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers
Second game: New York Knicks, Charlotte Hornets, Los Angeles Lakers, Toronto Raptors, Boston Celtics, New Orleans Pelicans, Dallas Mavericks, Milwaukee Bucks,

DraftKings.com DAILY PLAYER RECOMMENDATIONS

Point Guard
Jeff Teague vs. NOP ($6,900):
Teague continues to be stubbornly underpriced, as he continues to vastly outperform the cost to acquire him. The Hawks point guard is coming off a near double-double Tuesday night against the Timberwolves that netted 45.5 DK points, and he now draws a Pelicans defense that surrenders 26.4 points per game to point guards (third-worst in the NBA). Teague has only been under 30 DK points twice this season and has already eclipsed 40 DK points on three occasions, all while still priced under $7,000.

Other options: Stephen Curry vs. MEM ($10,500); Damian Lillard vs. SAS ($8,900); Elfrid Payton vs. LAL ($5,600); Ish Smith at ATL ($4,800); T.J. McConnell vs. TOR ($5,500)

Shooting Guard
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope at SAC ($5000):
 Caldwell-Pope is a classic case of a player that isn’t particularly exciting to roster, yet rarely underperforms relative to his price. That could well be the case again Wednesday, with the Pistons’ shooting guard drawing a Kings defense that has been exploited by the position across the stat sheet to the tune of 28.3 points, 5.7 assists, and 4.6 rebounds per game. Meanwhile, Caldwell-Pope has been impressively consistent so far this season, averaging 25.8 DK points per game and coming in under 20 only once.

Other suggestions: James Harden vs. BKN ($10,100); Khris Middleton at DEN ($6,000), Kent Bazemore vs. NOP ($5,200); Marcus Thornton vs. BKN ($5,200)

Small Forward
Paul George at BOS ($8,800):
George is both the obvious and optimal choice at small forward Wednesday, drawing a Celtics defense that he decimated for 50 DK points in a 26-point, 10-rebound double-double last Wednesday. The All-Star followed up that performance with three games of 64, 55.75, and 43 DK points, respectively. He now gets a rematch against a Boston defense that is the third-worst in points allowed to small forwards (a ranking George had a hand in), and he continues to be priced under $9,000.

Other suggestions: Giannis Antetokounmpo (at DEN) ($7,400), Marcus Morris at SAC ($6,200), Tobias Harris vs. LAL ($5,900)

Power Forward
LaMarcus Aldridge at POR ($6,900):
The power forward spot is typically laden with attractive options, many on the high end of the salary scale. Blake Griffin certainly qualifies any night that he’s in action, as he is Wednesday in a favorable matchup versus the Mavericks, but a considerably less expensive, and possibly timely pivot, is Aldridge in his Portland return. The Spurs’ power forward has only been “Popped” once this season, meaning that he’s mostly steered clear of the San Antonio coach’s sometimes unpredictable rotations. Outside of that 17-minute outing versus the Hornets, Aldridge has played no fewer than 26 minutes, and he has actually been over 30 in every other contest. He’s been very consistent from a fantasy perspective as well, averaging 31.3 DK points per game. In what could be a surprisingly competitive game in front of a rowdy Blazers crowd, Aldridge should receive more than enough minutes to pay off his very reasonable price tag.

Other suggestions: Blake Griffin at DAL ($9,500); Kenneth Faried vs. MIL ($6,500); Tim Duncan at POR ($6,000); Jared Sullinger vs. IND ($5,600)

Center
Al Horford vs. NOP ($7,100):
Center is another position where your eyes could easily wander to temptations such as DeMarcus Cousins (listed as a center but normally playing power forward) in a matchup versus a vulnerable Ersan Ilyasova. However, the productive Horford can be nabbed for a price tag reasonable enough to allow you to still spend into the high tiers at other positions, and he draws a favorable matchup to boot. The Pelicans have struggled defending the center position in the absence of Omer Asik, and even with him possibly grabbing some minutes Wednesday, they are not likely to exceed 20. Alexis Ajinca has not exactly been a defensive support in Asik’s stead, and Horford has yet to score fewer than 28.5 DK points on the season, while posting at least 31.25 in every contest but two.

Other suggestions: Jahlil Okafor vs. TOR ($6,600) ; Zaza Pachulia vs. LAC ($5,600)

INJURY REPORT

Out
Arron Afflalo (hamstring)
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (shoulder)
Terrence Ross (finger)
Terrence Jones (face)
Tony Wroten (knee)
Kendall Marshall (knee)
Carl Landry (wrist)
Robert Covington (knee)
Marcus Smart (toe)
Jrue Holiday (rest)
Norris Cole (ankle)
Tyreke Evans (knee)
Quincy Pondexter (knee)
Kendrick Perkins (pectoral)
JaVale McGee (knee)
Jrue Holiday (rest)
Donatas Motiejunas (back)
O.J. Mayo (hamstring)
Wilson Chandler (hip)
Jusuf Nurkic (knee)
Joffrey Lauvergne (back)
Brandon Jennings (Achilles)
Jodie Meeks (foot)
Gerald Henderson (hip)

Game-Time Decision
Louis Amundson (back)
P.J. Hairston (migraine)
Nikola Vucevic (knee)
Jason Smith (knee)
DeMarre Carroll (heel)
Nerlens Noel (wrist)
Michael Carter-Williams (ankle)
Avery Bradley (leg)
Anthony Davis (hip)
Brook Lopez (foot/back)
Patrick Beverley (concussion)
Terrence Jones (face)
Jordan Adams (knee)
Brandan Wright (knee)
Jabari Parker (rest)
Jameer Nelson (back)
Darren Collison (hamstring)
Seth Curry (back)

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Juan Carlos Blanco plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: jcblanco22, FanDuel: jc_blanco22, DraftPot: jc_blanco22, FantasyDraft: jc_blanco22, OwnThePlay: jcblanco22.