This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.
Wednesday's NBA action is jam-packed with ten games to whet your DFS appetite, and we'll be tackling it from all angles to get you prepared.
There are a few games worth noting, and I think one of the most intriguing is the NO/ATL matchup, where a surging New Orleans team plays a ridiculous road-back-to-back in Atlanta after a thrilling (and likely exhausting) overtime win in Boston. It's a tricky confluence of events when you consider what's been happening with Anthony Davis ($10,500). He's averaged an insane 46.5 points, 16.5 rebounds, 2.5 blocks and 2.5 steals over the past two games, and DeMarcus Cousins ($10,800) has also been out-of-sight with a pair of 60-plus DKFP scores in two of his last three contests.
The game has a blistering Over/Under of 221.5 and the Hawks are notoriously weak inside. How do you fade these guys? I can't, but this is one of those spots where we end up seeing one of them take a seat for rest purposes. I have no inside information to verify that, but as news develops over the course of the afternoon, it's a concern worth monitoring. While other games have blowout potential, I anticipate this one will be close, which makes stacking the Pelicans something that I'm definitely considering in at least one of my tournament lineups.
The other game that stands out is due to a liberal 231.5 O/U tag given to the GS/CHI matchup. The Warriors are heavily favored here, but the arrival of Zach LaVine ($5,100) into the Bulls lineup might be making Vegas think that this will be at least somewhat close. I'm not inclined to agree, but nevertheless, Golden State's big three are definitely in play, which we will delve into below. One other intangible to cover is Denver, who will be playing a back-to-back against the resurgent Clippers in the Staples Center after a narrow win at home against Dallas. Some fatigue is to be expected for the Nuggets.
Now we will look at the elites on Wednesday's slate. We've already highlighted two of them and despite the concerns I noted above, it's encouraging that we have no early word about Cousins or Davis resting. Even if you expect a course correction for either of them, both of them have a floor of 45 DKFP if they play, so despite their inevitable high ownership, they are definitely cash darlings. If you can find a way around them in GPPs and can field a similar score, you'd be ahead of the game as I anticipate a lot of people will flock to them.
Two players who could fit that bill are Steph Curry, GS at CHI ($10,400) and Russell Westbrook, OKC vs. LAL ($11,600), who both have excellent matchups. Both players put up around 50 DKFP against their opponents when they last met, and it would be foolish to expect a markedly worse result here. Kevin Durant, GS at CHI ($10,600) will also fare well, as he'll be an added element that the Bulls didn't have to contend with in their last matchup. The final 10k-plus player is Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL vs. MIA ($10,300), who has failed to meet projections in four out of his last five games. I'm not going to him on Wednesday, as I don't like the pace of this game and while you could be contrarian and put him in a couple of places, he's my least favorite spend-up option. John Wall, WAS at CHA ($9,700) almost creeps into this category, and for good reason – he's on a five-game tear where he's averaging 54.6 DKFP over his last five, and put up a similar total against the Hornets earlier this season. You could easily save a grand and start Wall in place of Westbrook or Curry.
We'll now highlight three players per position along with a few other players in each slot that hold equal weight in my predictions. While one player at each spot will be at a higher salary, I'll be aiming to provide value picks as often as possible.
Lou Williams, LAC vs. DEN ($8,700): I think ownership will be a bit slim as many will shy away from Denver's defense, but when you couple Denver's fatigue factor with Williams' near-matchup-proof performances, you have to go with the pure-shooting vet in cash games, as the return of Blake Griffin and the continued absence of Austin Rivers only improve his stock in the starting lineup.
Klay Thompson, GS at CHI ($6,600): I'll trust Vegas and roster Thompson at this mid-level price. He seems to still find a place on the floor even when the Warriors stage a blowout, as coach Steve Kerr values his calm and poise when the second unit starts to filter into the game. He enjoyed a 40 DKFP game against the Bulls previously, and though he's hovered in 30 DKFP range over the past few games, it'll just take a few more assists and rebounds for him to reach value.
There are a lot of ways to spend down at guard, and the status of Lonzo Ball is one of those places where you could find ways to take Jordan Clarkson ($4,800), Josh Hart ($4,100) or Tyler Ennis ($3,700) if Ball sits. His status is something to check on once this lineup is posted, but I'll instead make my third guard…
Tim Hardaway, Jr., NY at MEM ($5,900): With Hardaway back from injury, his salary is low and it won't take much for him to beat the value baseline at this price. He's averaged 34.8 DKDP in his return and hasn't seen any restriction in minutes. He's had that output even with two off nights shot-wise, so I expect him to get further into the groove. He also has eligibility at small forward, so it should be easy to place him. There's a small chance that they may rest him, but it doesn't seem likely at this juncture.
Blake Griffin, LAC vs. DEN ($9,000): The loss of Paul Millsap has given guys like Trey Lyles and Mason Plumlee more opportunities to shine, but neither player matches the defensive prowess of Millsap, and that's one of Denver's Achilles heels. Griffin should easily capitalize on this matchup, especially when you consider the Nuggets are playing two in a row.
Derrick Favors, UTA at SAC ($6.400): This week, Kings coach Dave Joerger somewhat cryptically said that he'll be benching two veterans per game moving forward in order to give his younger players a chance to play – so now we have another reason to fade the Kings. I won't begin to speculate on who will be out tonight, but I think it puts Favors in a good position. He's Utah's best option with Rudy Gobert (knee) out, and even if he ends up tangling with Zach Randolph, there's a lot of potential here if Favors can regain his shot, which has been failing him a bit in the past week. You can also place him at center, but there are other values there that I like.
Marvin Williams, CHA vs, WAS ($4,300): Sometimes you're handsomely rewarded if you keep scrolling and do your homework. Williams is quietly crushing value at his dirt-cheap price as he's become a significantly safer play than Michael Kidd-Gilchrist or Frank Kaminsky. He's had three straight games of 30 DKFP or more, and that's more than you could ever ask for in the 4K range.
Nikola Jokic, DEN at LAC ($8,900): Despite the back-to-back I like Jokic here due to the absence of DeAndre Jordan tonight, and while Blake Griffin could slide in to assist Montrezl Harrell here, the matchup is too good to fade. I went back and forth between Jokic and Andre Drummond ($8,800) but for $100 more Jokic has the shot-making and perimeter presence that Drummond lacks, and you need 15-plus rebounds for Drummond to be as valuable.
Dwight Howard, CHA vs. WAS ($7,600): Speaking of Drummond, Howard had his way with Drummond and completely shut him down on Monday, and while the Wizards are advertised as fifth against opposing centers, I don't see how Marcin Gortat lines up as the favorite against Howard in the paint. Perhaps Mike Scott could lend a hand here, but I think Howard is completely underrated at this spot and a good value.
Montrezl Harrell, LAC vs. DEN ($4,500): Yes, I already mentioned Jokic. Yes, I said he would dominate in this game. However, at $4,500 Harrell is going to get the bulk of Jordan's minutes and he's proven that he can carry a load from his days in Houston when Clint Capela missed significant time. I wouldn't expect miracle numbers, but if you're stacking up elites you may not need more than 25 DKFP in this spot, which is certainly feasible.
I've given you a few spots to monitor for late developments, and this could be a slate where some last-minute maneuvering can make the difference. So, be sure to check in with your lineups before they lock to maximize your potential to score big!