This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.
Defense To Avoid
Los Angeles Clippers at Dallas Mavericks: The shorthanded Mavericks have not reached the 100-point mark in six straight games, average a league-worst 90.7 points per game, and are shooting 40.7 percent, also a low water-mark. The Clippers are about the last team they want to see, considering they're giving up only 96.7 points per contest -- third-best in the NBA -- while limiting opponents to a league-best 42.4 percent success rate from the field and causing 15.4 turnovers per contest.
Offense To Use
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Portland Trail Blazers: The Blazers come in to Quicken Loans Arena on the second game of a back-to-back while playing their third game in four nights overall. They're also surrendering the third-most points (111.9) and eliciting the fourth-fewest turnovers (12.3) per game, while the Cavs score a healthy 108.3 points per contest. Cleveland will also be extremely well rested, having last played Friday.
Teams on a Back-to-Back Set
First game of a back-to-back: None
Second game of a back-to-back: Trail Blazers, Lakers, Pelicans, Nuggets, Hawks, Thunder
DraftKings.com DAILY PLAYER RECOMMENDATIONS
Isaiah Thomas, BOS at BKN ($8,000): Thomas has scored over 30 fantasy points in all but one game this season, over 40 in five contests and over 50 once, making him a terrific value at his price point. He's actually scoring a bit more on the road as well, as his 26.9 figure slightly outpaces his 25.8 number at home. The Nets give up the most fantasy points (61.9) to point guards and have surrendered a league-worst 73.6 points to the position over the last five games. Furthermore, they're also either a league-worst or a bottom-five unit in rebounds, assists, steals and field-goal percentage. Meanwhile, Thomas' 252 shot attempts and 33.3 percent usage rate easily lead the Celtics.
Rodney Hood, UTA vs. DEN ($5,800): Hood is also underpriced relative to his upside and production, having scored no less than 20.75 fantasy points in any game this season and more than 30 on four occasions. The Nuggets also give up the most fantasy points (49.0), "real" points (26.4) and second-highest field-goal percentage (46.6 percent) to two-guards and are on the second game of a back-to-back Wednesday.
Kevin Durant, GS vs. LAL ($9,700): Durant is always worthy of consideration, and any time he carries a four-figure price, he's a near plug-and-play. He catches the Lakers on the second game of a back-to-back after a tough win over the Thunder on Tuesday, and Los Angeles is also a bottom-10 squad in fantasy points surrendered (44.4) to small forwards. More importantly, the Lakers have given up the most fantasy points to the position over the last five contests (54.9), along with the highest field goal percentage (50.9). Durant clearly has 50-fantasy point upside any time he's on the floor, making him the obvious top choice at forward.
Kevin Love, CLE vs. POR ($7,700): LaMarcus Aldridge ($6,400) and Andrew Wiggins ($6,800) are also highly viable as mid-tier options, but I give the nod to Love based on upside and matchup. Love's 29.25 fantasy points against the Pistons in the Cavs' last game Friday represented his first time under 40.75 fantasy points over the last four games, and he's already demonstrated a ceiling of 50 fantasy points twice this season. The Blazers are on the second game of a back-to-back after a tough loss against the Knicks on Tuesday and are the worst team in the NBA against power forwards in terms of fantasy points (55.4), points (23.7) and rebounds (13.1) allowed per game.
Ersan Ilyasova, PHI vs. MEM ($4,200): Ilyasova continues to provide relatively solid returns on his bargain prices, along with the occasional 6X-7X performance. He had one such effort against the Heat on Monday, when he tallied 31.75 fantasy points. The Grizzlies have been generally tough against power forwards but have surrendered a robust 45.5 field-goal percentage to the position, which plays well into Ilyasova's ability to score away from the basket. Based on his current price, Ilyasova has failed to generate at least a 4X return only twice this season, making him an appealing value play.
Hassan Whiteside, MIA at DET ($9,000): Whiteside has been tearing through anyone put in front of him, having scored between 49.5 and 58.75 fantasy points in his last five games. All of those performances have been double-doubles, and there's even a 25-rebound outing within that sample. Look for more of the same Wednesday, when Whiteside takes on Andre Drummond and the Pistons. Detroit has given up the fifth-most fantasy points (51.7) to centers, and the most over the last five games (60.7). The Pistons also hold the sixth-lowest field-goal percentage (43.4) in the league, while the Heat have the third-worst (42.4 percent), setting up a ton of rebound opportunities all-around for Whiteside.
Jonas Valanciunas, TOR at HOU ($5,800): Valanciunas' price stands out, particularly in a game where the prolific backcourt duo of Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan could have their work cut out for them both on offense (Lowry vs. Patrick Beverley) and on defense (DeRozan vs. James Harden). Meanwhile, Valanciunas will draw a relatively easier matchup against Clint Capela, who's been a pivotal part of the Rockets surrendering 16.0 rebounds per game to centers, along with the fifth-most blocks (2.6). Meanwhile, Valanciunas has scored no less than 21.5 fantasy points in any game this season, and has scored beetween 28.5 and 48.5 fantasy points over the last three contests.
b>Bismack Biyombo, ORL vs. PHO ($4,100): After a slow start, Biyombo has been providing excellent value in recent games, having scored between 24.75 and 36.0 fantasy points in three of his last four games. He's been his usual, dominant self on the boards, posting a pair of 10-rebound efforts in his last two games and tallying no less than eight boards in his last seven contests.
Nene Hilario, HOU vs. TOR ($3,100): On the other side of the Rockets-Raptors tilt is Hilario, who comes off the bench behind Capela but whose production has been surprisingly steady recent. Nene has scored 16.75 to 25.5 fantasy points over the last four games, and has shot 58.8 percent and averaged 18.8 fantasy points over the last five contests in an average of just 18.1 minutes. While he obviously has a limited ceiling, he makes for a highly viable tournament-only punt play for those desperate for some savings at center.
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