Daily Games Cheat Sheet: Wednesday

Daily Games Cheat Sheet: Wednesday

This article is part of our Daily Games Cheat Sheet series.

Wondering if you should trust my advice? Check out my latest Trust Tracker blog post analyzing how last week's recommendations fared.

TEAM ANALYSIS

Defenses to Avoid
Charlotte Hornets at Houston Rockets: The Hornets offense has been bad. On Wednesday, they will be without Al Jefferson (groin) and Lance Stephenson (pelvis). The Rockets defense is dominant. The Rockets are finally playing at something like full strength – Terrence Jones (leg) is still out and Alexey Shved (ankle) is a game-time decision, but the Josh Smith acquisition makes Jones an afterthought, and Shved has logged only 20 total minutes for the Rockets. The Rockets have stifled good offenses at full strength. This matchup could get lopsided early.

Offenses to Use
Phoenix Suns at Oklahoma City Thunder: Two clicking offenses face off against two mediocre defenses. Over their past five games, both of these teams are in the top 10 for offensive efficiency, and bottom half for defensive efficiency. Additionally, since Kevin Durant is likely to return for Wednesday's game, both teams will run at full strength – which hopefully means that both teams will use their most predictable rotations.

Teams on a Back-to-Back Set
First game of a back-to-back: Sacramento Kings
Second game of a back-to-back: Cleveland Cavaliers, New Orleans Pelicans, Phoenix Suns, San Antonio Spurs

DraftKings.com DAILY PLAYER RECOMMENDATIONS
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Point Guard
Austin Rivers, NO (at SA), PG, ($3,000): It feels hard to believe, but Austin Rivers has been a consistent fantasy producer – at least in daily games formats. His role in the rotation is relatively stable, usually seeing minutes in the mid-twenties, plus or minus a few. Even excluding his December 18th start in place of the then-injured Tyreke Evans, Rivers has posted a DraftKings profit in six of his last seven games. In his most recent matchup against the Spurs, last Friday, he posted 25.75 fantasy points.

Cory Joseph, SA (vs NO), PG, ($5,300): If you like the idea of a usually-profitable point guard from the Spurs-Hornets matchup, but want a higher-dollar product, try Joseph. He's been as profitable as Rivers, also posting a DraftKings profit in six of his last seven outings. In games without Tony Parker (hamstring), who is expected to be out Wednesday, Joseph has never played fewer than 30 minutes, and only three times played fewer than 35.

Other suggestions: Reggie Jackson, OKC (vs PHO), PG, ($5,300)

Shooting Guard
Jamal Crawford, LAC (vs NY), SG, ($4,900): More than any other position, I look for shooting guards playing teams with bad perimeter defense. The Knicks perimeter defense isn't just "bad", it's been the worst in the league over their past 10 games. Crawford's fantasy value is built mostly upon his ability to score, which is a great thing for daily games. Before his last game, when he posted only 20.25 fantasy points against a not-as-bad-as-you-think Jazz squad, Crawford was riding a five-game streak of at least 17 points and 25 fantasy points.

Anthony Morrow, OKC (vs PHO), SG, ($3,400): Another long-range sharpshooter against another subpar perimeter defense. Morrow is not as consistent as Crawford, but that's part of why he cost $1,500 less.

Other suggestions: Dion Waiters, CLE (vs MIL), SG, ($4,300)

Small Forward
Jared Dudley, MIL (at CLE), SF, ($4,400): Given the chance to recommend two Boston College Alums in a single article (Reggie Jackson being the first), I have to take it. Dudley hasn't always started since Jabari Parker (knee) went down, but he has averaged 13.5 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.8 steals, and 2.0 threes in just over 30 minutes per game. He's only had two games below 20 fantasy points in that stretch: the first game without Parker, and a 19.5 fantasy point performance last Tuesday. If LeBron James (knee) plays – he's currently day-to-day after sitting out Tuesday's game – then starting Dudley gets a bit dicey, but I'm probably going to use him regardless.

Other suggestions: Corey Brewer, HOU (vs CHA), SF, ($4,900)

Power Forward
Serge Ibaka, OKC (vs PHO), PF, ($7,000): Keeping with today's trend of recommending three-point shooters – do you realize how good Ibaka has gotten from long range? He has gone 11-of-18 (61%) from behind the arc over his last three games. On the season, he's shooting 41 percent, a rate that places him inside the league's top-25 of three-point shooters. And, as mentioned above, the Suns are a below-average defensive team that struggles to cover three-point shooters.

Other suggestions: David West, IND (vs MIA), PF, ($6,400)

Center
Jason Smith, NY (at LAC), C, ($3,800):Cole Aldrich has received a lot of attention in recent days, stepping into the starting lineup and producing for the injured and undermanned Knicks. Unfortunately for daily players, however, Aldrich's 12-point, 19-rebound, 49.75-fantasy-point performance Sunday has jacked up his price too high for him to qualify as "sneaky value". Jason Smith, on the other hand, maintains his stealth. Smith is also now starting for the Knicks, and has seen more action than Aldridge in two of the last three games. Added bonus: Samuel Dalembert (ankle) is only a bench role player when available, but he is questionable for Wednesday. Smith and Aldridge combined for their highest minutes total Sunday, when Dalembert was inactive.

Other suggestions: DeAndre Jordan, LAC (vs NY), C, ($8,300)

INJURY REPORT

Out
Al Jefferson (groin)
Lance Stephenson (pelvis)
Anderson Varejao (Achilles)
Terrance Jones (leg)
Ian Mahinmi (foot)
Josh McRoberts (knee)
Jabari Parker (knee)
Ersan Ilyasova (concussion)
Eric Gordon (shoulder)
John Salmons (personal)
Amar'e Stoudemire (rest)
Cleanthony Early (knee)
Iman Shumpert (shoulder)
Mitch McGary (leg)
Eric Moreland (shoulder)
Kawhi Leonard (hand)
Tony Parker (hamstring)

Game-Time Decision
Jared Sullinger (ankle) is questionable.
Marcus Thornton (calf) has a chance to play Wednesday, but no announcement has yet been made.
Janero Pargo (back) is a game-time decision.
Kevin Love (back) is day-to-day after leaving Tuesday's game.
Shawn Marion (ankle) is day-to-day after missing Tuesday's game.
LeBron James (knee) is day-to-day after missing Tuesday's game.
Alexey Shved (ankle) is questionable.
Justin Hamilton (concussion) is a game-time decision.
Shawne Willians (foot) is a game-time decision.
Larry Sanders (illness) is a game-time decision.
Carmelo Anthony (knee) is probable.
J.R. Smith (heel) is questionable.
Andrea Bargnani (hamstring) will be active Wednesday, but it remains unclear how he will be used, or if he will be used at all.
Samuel Dalembert (ankle) is questionable.
Kevin Durant (ankle) is expected to play Wednesday, but no official announcement has been made.
Ramon Sessions (back) is a game-time decision.

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. Alex Rikleen plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: arikleen, DraftKings: arikleen.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Alex Rikleen
Rikleen writes the NBA column "Numbers Game," which decodes the math that underpins fantasy basketball and was a nominee for the 2016 FSWA Newcomer of the Year Award. A certified math teacher, Rikleen decided the field of education pays too well, so he left it for writing. He is a Boston College graduate living outside Boston.
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