This article is part of our NBA DFS Breakdown series.
Wednesday is Trade Deadline Eve, and it's especially important to keep your eyes peeled for news, as value could emerge if deals go down. For the sake of timeliness, I've excluded posting cash plays and value plays for this edition.
Nuggets at NetsOver/Under: 225.0
Spread: DEN (-2.5)
DEN: Paul Millsap (ankle) - Questionable; Jamal Murray (ankle) - Questionable; Gary Harris (groin) - Out
BKN: Jared Dudley (hamstring) - Questionable; Allen Crabbe (knee) - Probable; Joe Harris (hip) - Questionable; Caris LeVert (foot) - Out; Spencer Dinwiddie (thumb) - Out
Both teams are dealing with their fair share of injury concerns, but it will be the Nuggets (14-12 away) who end up with the oddsmakers' advantage. Denver is 8-2 over the past 10 games and will be facing a Brooklyn (16-12 home) squad that has won six of the past 10 but has lost four of the past five. A quality over/under and multiple players on the mend means this could be a nice target for DFS value.
Running with a skeleton crew, Denver lost to the Pistons on Monday 129-1023. Four players – Monte Morris, Mason Plumlee, Malik Beasley and Will Barton – saw over 30 minutes, while three players – Plumlee, Trey Lyles and Nikola Jokic – posted at least 30 fantasy points in the wake of the blowout. A big loss is a possibility again, as Millsap and Murray could miss Wednesday's action, and the Nets are one game over .500 compared to the Pistons' six games under .500. So while there is value to be had on Denver's side in this matchup, it comes with real risk.
Allen Crabbe appears ready to make his return for the Nets following a 26-game absence, though it's likely he'll be on a minutes restriction. Brooklyn played its most recent game without either of Jared Dudley and Joe Harris, and the pair is questionable heading into Wednesday's action. During that game – a 113-94 loss to the Bucks – no player saw 30 minutes. Two players – Jarrett Allen and Shabazz Napier – posted 30-plus FP. Overall, we've seen strong play recently from Allen, who has two 30-plus FP outings over his past three, and Napier, who has gone for at least 30 FP in three of his past four. On the other hand, D'Angelo Russell hasn't played up to his usual standard over the past two, combining for just 58.7 FP.
Pelicans at BullsOver/Under: 226.5
Spread: CHI (-1.5)
NOP: Anthony Davis (not injury related) - Out; Julius Randle (ankle) - Questionable; Elfrid Payton (ankle) - Out; Nikola Mirotic (calf) - Out; E'Twaun Moore (quadriceps) - Out
CHI: Wayne Selden (knee) - Questionable; Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot (not injury related) - Questionable; Ryan Arcidiacono (nose) - Questionable; Chandler Hutchison (toe) - Out; Wendell Carter (thumb) - Out
We've seen value emerge out of these two clubs on many occasions recently, and now they'll be facing each other. The Bulls (5-20 home) come in with a slight advantage over the Pelicans (8-21 away). Both squads have lost eight of their past 10 games. For DFS owners, this game is one to keep an eye on due to injuries and a high over/under.
The big news from New Orleans is that Anthony Davis is not expected to play in this game despite being healthy, as the Pelicans look to trade the superstar ahead of Thursday's deadline. So, the roster situation should be the same as it has been over the past four games, unless Julius Randle happens to make his return. Over the past two games, six players – Jrue Holiday, Jahlil Okafor, Kenrich Williams, Tim Frazier, Frank Jackson and Cheick Diallo – have a performance of at least 30 FP. Due to how distributed the fantasy points have been, it may be best to go with the cheapest options on the team for DFS in hopes of maxing out value.
Like the Pelicans, fantasy points have been distributed around the Bulls. Over the past four games, seven players – Bobby Portis, Lauri Markkanen, Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn, Robin Lopez, Wayne Selden and Jabari Parker – have at least one 30-plus FP effort. The high mark over that stretch was set last game by Portis, who posted 48.8 FP against the Hornets in Parker's absence.
Wizards at BucksOver/Under: 230.0
Spread: MIL (-12.0)
WAS: Markieff Morris (neck) - Out; Dwight Howard (back) - Out; John Wall (Achilles) - Out For Season
MIL: Stanley Johnson (not injury related) - Out
The Wizards (6-20 away) will try to change their fortunes, having lost four of the past five games. The Bucks (22-4 home), on the other hand, will look to keep their strong play alive. Milwaukee has won nine of the past 10 games. A high over/under makes this game enticing from a fantasy perspective, but each squad has been cemented in their injury situations for a while, so finding obvious value is not easy.
During Monday's fast-paced 137-129 loss to the Hawks, Jeff Green, Trevor Ariza and Bradley Beal each went for 40-plus FP. A surprising performance came from Jordan McRae, who has spent most of his time in the G League but managed to post 38.5 FP in 26 minutes in what was a career game. He may be worth a flier Wednesday, but one shouldn't expect him to repeat. Otto Porter has also looked more comfortable lately, totaling 74.0 FP over the past two outings.
The Bucks arrive at Wednesday's matchup with the normal rotation entirely healthy, so value may be tough to come by. Giannis Antetokounmpo is still making his case for MVP, averaging 59.5 FP over the past six games, including going for 34 points, 14 rebounds, three assists, three steals and three blocks (71.3 FP) against the Hornets before the Bucks' five-game road trip. Over the past three games, only two other players have posted at least 40 FP (Eric Bledsoe and Brook Lopez).
Hornets at MavericksOver/Under: 215.5
Spread: DAL (-5.5)
CHA: Tony Parker (back) - Out
DAL: Kristaps Porzingis (knee) - Out; J.J. Barea (Achilles) - Out For Season
The Mavericks (18-7 home) – four wins over the past 10 games –will have a new look Wednesday, with all the players they traded for now available, minus Kristaps Porzingis. That makes finding value on Dallas tricky. On the other hand, Charlotte (7-18 away) has won six of the past 10, looking to secure a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. A low over/under and lack of injuries makes this game one to potentially avoid in DFS.
Kemba Walker has been on fire lately, totaling 122.7 FP over the past two games. Over that stretch, the only other players to post a 30-plus FP outing have been Marvin Williams and Jeremy Lamb. However, it's worth noting Nicolas Batum has looked better lately – 25-plus FP in five of the past seven – and Malik Monk has recorded 25-plus FP in three of the past four, and he could be in for higher usage with Tony Parker sidelined.
Dallas will have three new players – Tim Hardaway Jr., Trey Burke and Courtney Lee – set to debut Wednesday. It seems unlikely the latter two will see enough run to warrant much DFS ownership, but Hardaway could enter the starting lineup and see significant minutes, likely at the expense of the time Ryan Broekhoff has received over the past two outings. It's tough to predict how things will go, but one thing worth noting that appears to be stable is Luka Doncic. The rookie has recorded 55-plus FP in three of his past four appearances, including an outburst of 61.4 FP against the Raptors in a three-point loss.
Suns at JazzOver/Under: 220.0
Spread: UTA (-14.5)
PHX: Devin Booker (hamstring) - Questionable; T.J Warren (ankle) - Out; De'Anthony Melton (ankle) - Out
UTA: Raul Neto (groin) - Probable; Dante Exum (ankle) - Out; Thabo Sefolosha (hamstring) - Out
The Suns (4-23 away) are in the midst of an 11-game losing streak and may not have its star guard, Devin Booker, available. On the other hand, the Jazz (16-10 home), have won seven of the past 10 are have a relatively clean bill of health. Value would certainly open up on the side of Phoenix if Booker is sidelined.
Devin Booker's potential absence complicates things for the Suns, who just got Deandre Ayton back two games ago and put together a pair of competitive outings against Atlanta and Houston – Booker dropping 55.6 FP against the Hawks. Over the past two, five players – Ayton, Booker, Kelly Oubre, Josh Jackson and Mikal Bridges – have put together at least one 30 FP performance. If Booker is out, Elie Okobo would presumably see more action and could be worth a DFS flier.
There have been no surprises from the Jazz lately, as the usual suspects are cleaning up. Notably, Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell and Ricky Rubio each have one performance of at least 40 FP over the past three contests. Gobert put together the best individual performance, going for 45.1 FP against the Hawks in a 16-point win.
Rockets at KingsOver/Under: 236.0
Spread: HOU (-3.0)
HOU: Eric Gordon (knee) - Questionable; Clint Capela (thumb) - Out
Both squads have won six of the past 10 games and will look to continue their winning streaks Wednesday. The Rockets (12-14 away) could be missing Eric Gordon, potentially opening up some value in a game with a high over/under. The Kings (17-10) have a clean bill of health, so value plays won't be as cut-and-dry.
The Rockets have been without one of either Eric Gordon or Chris Paul over the past two games, and that could be the case again Wednesday. Putting aside James Harden's great performances, there have been a variety of contributors over the past two games, with five other players – Chris Paul, Kenneth Faried, James Ennis, Austin River and Gerald Green – posting at least one 30 FP effort. In the prior three games, with both Gordon and Paul healthy, only Harden, Faried and Paul posted 30-plus FP outings.
There have been no notable injuries for Sacramento over the past five games, so examining trends is easier. Over this stretch, Marvin Bagley has emerged, with four performances of at least 30 FP, plus an outburst of 56.4 FP during Monday's win over the Spurs. De'Aaron Fox has played well over the past two, averaging 40.3 FP. Buddy Hield has found success as well, dropping at least 30 FP in four of the past five. Iman Shumpert's and Bogdan Bogdanovic's contributions remain spotty, but they've both racked up 30 FP in two of the past five. Finally, Willie Cauley-Stein has reached that mark three times in the past handful of contests.
Spurs at WarriorsOver/Under: 231.0
Spread: GS (-14.5)
SAS: DeMar DeRozan (rest) - Out; LaMarcus Aldridge (rest) - Out; Derrick White (heel) - Out; Dejounte Murray (knee) - Out For Season
GSW: Damian Jones (pectoral) - Out
Oddsmakers are expecting this game to be a blowout – a fair assumption considering the Spurs (10-16 away) will be without DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge. Regardless, both teams have found success lately, with San Antonio winning seven of the past 10 and the Warriors (19-7 home) victorious in nine of the past 10. Strong value should emerge on the side of San Antonio in this matchup.
The big news for this contest is that coach Gregg Popovich will be resting both DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge, while Derrick White misses a second straight game. So, let's examine who gets a bump in value with those players off the floor. In terms of fantasy points per minute, Rudy Gay's differential (plus-0.61) stands out like a sore thumb, as the next highest bump is plus-0.22 for both Pau Gasol and Patty Mills. Rudy Gay is likely the strongest option from the Spurs when searching for value, though Marco Belinelli and Mills have played the most total minutes with DeRozan and Aldridge off the floor and also represent enticing pivots.
DeMarcus Cousins, Andre Iguodala and Kevon Looney are the main standouts as of late for Golden State. Cousins continues to look comfortable coming back from his injury, and he's averaging 36.1 FP over the past four outings. Iguodala, despite averaging just 24 FP on the season, has put together two 30-plus FP performances over the past three contests. Finally, Kevon Looney, despite being sent to the bench in favor of Cousins, is averaging 28.4 FP in just 20.0 minutes across the past three games.