NBA DFS Breakdown: All Eyes on the Lakers

NBA DFS Breakdown: All Eyes on the Lakers

This article is part of our NBA DFS Breakdown series.

We've been given a solid 10-game slate Wednesday, though there are surprisingly few injuries to keep in mind. That will probably cause DFS users to flock to the Nuggets-Lakers game. The Nuggets will be paced up, while the Lakers will be without the services of Kyle Kuzma and could also be missing Brandon Ingram, who is questionable.

We should explore all of our options, however. Below is a breakdown of each game on the night.

Timberwolves at Pistons

Over/Under: 223.0
Spread: DET (-5.5)
Notable Injuries
MIN: Luol Deng (Achilles) - Questionable; Robert Covington (ankle) - Out
DET: Zaza Pachulia (Achilles) - Doubtful

In what figures to be one of the more ignored games on Wednesday's slate, Wolves at Pistons has the second-lowest over/under and no significant injuries creating obvious fantasy value. If you want somewhere to look, however, Detroit is the team being paced up. The Pistons are 24th in that metric, while the Wolves check in at 14th-fastest.

Karl-Anthony Towns has been one of the hottest players in the NBA over the past five games, averaging 36.4 points, 16.0 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.0 block (63.8 FP) in 34.4 minutes. Jeff Teague also just had his best performance since returning from injury, dropping 44.0 FP on the Thunder in an 11-point victory.

The Pistons have impressed lately, winning nine of the past 11 games while contending for a playoff berth. The player that jumps off the page is Luke Kennard, as he's found a new comfort level lately. Over the past nine games, he's averaging 24.2 FP, which includes three efforts of at least 30 FP.

Mavericks at Wizards

Over/Under: 230.5
Spread: WAS (-6.0)
Notable Injuries
DAL: None
WAS: Dwight Howard (back) - Out

This contest has a massive expected total. Though there are essentially no injuries to take advantage of in this matchup, value is expected on the side of Dallas. The Mavericks, ranked 18th in pace, are going to be paced up, as the Wizards rank eighth and have the 26th-ranked defense.

The Mavericks have been decimated over the past two matchups, losing by a combined 69 points to Brooklyn and Memphis. While the team itself has obviously struggled, Dwight Powell has emerged through the smoke, posting at least 30 fantasy points over the past two games.

The Wizards have won two of the past three games, securing wins over Minnesota and Brooklyn. If you're willing to take on some risk to get value, Jabari Parker and Bobby Portis are the way to go. The former has gone for 35-plus FP in two of the past three, while the latter has gone for 30-plus FP in two of the past three.

Heat at Hornets

Over/Under: 215.5
Spread: CHA (-3.5)
Notable Injuries
MIA: Goran Dragic (calf) - Out
CHA: None

Both of these squads are bottom-10 in pace, and that matches up with the 215.5 over/under, which is the lowest on the night. And with mostly clean injury reports for both teams, value will be tough to come by. Most DFS users will probably avoid this contest.

If you're looking to deploy someone from Miami, your best chance at big value might actually be Dwyane Wade. You can probably feel safe about putting Josh Richardson and Justise Winslow in your lineup, but the last time either of them hit 40 FP was on Feb. 10. Wade is a riskier alternative, but one that can pop off for a big reward. He's gone for 30-plus FP in half of his past 14 efforts, which includes one performance of 42.9 FP against the Warriors.

Aside from the obvious option of Kemba Walker, your best chances to exceed value on Charlotte seem to be Nicolas Batum and Jeremy Lamb. Batum has seen 37-plus minutes in each of the past four games, averaging 35.3 FP, while Lamb has gone for 40-plus FP in two of the past four contests.

Spurs at Hawks

Over/Under: 235.5
Spread: SA (-5.5)
Notable Injuries
SA: Jakob Poeltl (hamstring) - Questionable
ATL: Dewayne Dedmon (knee) - Doubtful; John Collins (illness) - Probable; Omari Spellman (ankle) - Out

The game with the highest over/under of the night features the Spurs, which is usually a great opportunity to use some of Gregg Popovich's players. San Antonio, the 22nd-fastest team in the league, will visit Atlanta to face the Hawks, who are the second-fastest team.

Jakob Poeltl's potential absence is interesting. It would open up more time at center for LaMarcus Aldridge, which may give Rudy Gay, Bryn Forbes and Davis Bertans extra opportunities for minutes. Gay has played especially well lately, going for 35-plus FP in each of the past two games. Derrick White's performances over the past three contests are worth mentioning as well, as the point guard hasn't dipped below 35.0 FP over this stretch.

The main storyline for the Hawks is the expected return of John Collins, who has missed the past three games due to an illness, and the definite return of Taurean Prince, who has missed the past two games while attending to the birth of his child. With those two back in the fold, the fantasy values of Dewayne Dedmon, Alex Len, Kent Bazemore and Vince Carter all take a hit.

Cavaliers at Nets

Over/Under: 225.0
Spread: BKN (-8.5)
Notable Injuries
CLE: Tristan Thompson (foot) - Out; Ante Zizic (concussion) - Out
BKN: Treveon Graham (back) - Doubtful

Considering the Cavaliers are 29th in pace, playing almost any other team could classify as a pace-up situation. The Nets are notably faster, however, coming in as the 12th-fastest team. You may want to avoid the Nets side of this matchup as a result, but we may be able to find some value on Cleveland.

Kevin Love and Cedi Osman warrant strong consideration. Love continues to play well since returning from injury, posting at least 40 FP in two of his past four appearances. Meanwhile, Osman seems to have benefited from Love's return, also posting 40 FP in two of his past four appearances.

The return of Spencer Dinwiddie has killed the value of D'Angelo Russell, who hasn't posted more than 36 FP over the past three games, while Dinwiddie went for 30.9 FP in the Nets' most recent game. Caris LeVert and DeMarre Carroll are worth mentioning, as the former most recently posted 33.5 FP, while the latter has gone for 30-plus FP in two of the past three.

Jazz at Pelicans

Over/Under: 230.5
Spread: UTA (-4.5)
Notable Injuries
UTA: Raul Neto (hamstring) - Out; Dante Exum (ankle) - Out
NOP: Jahlil Okafor (ankle) - Questionable

There are minimal injuries to take advantage of here, though Jahlil Okafor's potential absence could cement Julius Randle and Kenrich Williams' minutes in the mid-to-upper 30s. That said, considering this matchup has a sizeable over/under, you'll likely want a piece of it somehow. New Orleans, who is sixth in pace, will be speeding up the Jazz, who are 13th in pace.

The Jazz have won four of the past five games, losing their most recent game to New Orleans. The two standouts during this stretch have been Derrick Favors and Joe Ingles, who were having underwhelming seasons. But since Feb. 23's win over Dallas, Favors is averaging 36.0 FP, while Ingles is averaging 33.1 FP.

Despite chemistry questions surrounding the Anthony Davis situation, the Pelicans have won three of the past five games. Julius Randle has been excellent over this stretch, collecting 50-plus FP in four of those matchups. Cheick Diallo has also shown upside, posting at least 30 FP in two of the past three games.

76ers at Bulls

Over/Under: 226.0
Spread: PHI (-5.0)
Notable Injuries
PHI: Jonah Bolden (illness) - Questionable; Joel Embiid (knee) - Out; Boban Marjanovic (knee) - Out; Furkan Korkmaz (knee) - Out
CHI: Chandler Hutchison (toe) - Out; Wendell Carter (thumb) - Out

I'm anticipating DFS users flocking to this contest for value --it has a favorable over/under, and the 76ers' frontline remains decimated. Injuries are creating value for Philly, while at the same time, they'll be pacing up the Bulls, who are the 21st-fastest team in the league compared to the Sixers' rank of seven. The 76ers also played yesterday and are on the road, which oddsmakers figure will make for a close game.

With both Joel Embiid and Boban Marjanovic out over the past three games, Ben Simmons and Tobias Harris have seen 40 minutes per night. Simmons has three games in a row with over 50 FP, while Harris has posted at least 45 FP twice. J.J. Redick also had a bounceback game with 32 FP on Tuesday. If Jonah Bolden remains out, Amir Johnson (30 FP yesterday) and Mike Scott (28.8 FP two games ago) see their value increase.

The Bulls have gone 2-2 over the past four games, and the main outlier has been Robin Lopez. Coach Jim Boylen trusts the veteran, giving at least 28 minutes in each game over this stretch. Notably, over the past trio of contests, Lopez is averaging 36.4 FP. When looking for value on Chicago, he's likely the best place to turn.

Knicks at Suns

Over/Under: 224.5
Spread: PHX (-4.0)
Notable Injuries
NY: DeAndre Jordan (ankle) - Questionable; Mario Hezonja (leg) - Out; Frank Ntilikina (groin) - Out
PHX: T.J. Warren (ankle) - Out

The main storyline for this contest is the potential availability of DeAndre Jordan, which could negatively affect the fantasy value of Mitchell Robinson. Aside from that, things are relatively straightforward from a game script perspective, as both these squads are relatively middle-of-the-road in terms of pace.

Foul trouble limited Robinson to 19 minutes during the Knicks' most recent game, though his workload also took a hit in the previous contest, as he played just 23 minutes. As a result, Luke Kornet and Noah Vonleh have seen increased roles over the past pair of games, with the former going for 25-plus FP once, while the latter has averaged 30.7 FP over the past three. Aside from the big men, Allonzo Trier has been the main source of DFS intrigue lately, averaging 31.8 FP over the past four matchups.

The Suns have put together a nice stretch of games lately, winning three of the past four, including a victory over the Bucks. Deandre Ayton and Kelly Oubre have been the standouts over the past three games, with the former averaging 43.3 FP and the latter averaging 40.7 FP. Tyler Johnson's play also remains extremely spotty, but he managed to drop 35.8 FP against Milwaukee in the Suns' most recent game.

Celtics at Kings

Over/Under: 228.5
Spread: BOS (-1.5)
Notable Injuries
BOS: None
SAC: Marvin Bagley (knee) - Out

Coming off a dominant win over the Warriors on Tuesday, the Celtics enter as slight favorites as they make the short trip to Sacramento. This is another contest with minimal injury concerns, but a high over/under still makes it a quality DFS environment. Notably, the 19th-fastest paced team in the Celtics will be sped up by the No. 1 ranked Kings.

Only Kyrie Irving played 30 minutes Tuesday, so Boston comes in relatively well rested despite the back-to-back. Gordon Hayward's performance was the main standout from the blowout victory over the Warriors. He needed just 28 minutes to post 30 points, seven rebounds, four assists and two steals (50.4 FP). He warrants strong consideration in Wednesday's matchup.

With Marvin Bagley out over the past two games, Buddy Hield, Willie Cauley-Stein and Harrison Barnes have stepped up. Hield cracked 50 FP in the Kings' most recent game, Cauley-Stein is averaging 36.9 FP and Barnes posted 35.5 FP on Monday against the Knicks.

Nuggets at Lakers

Over/Under: 231.0
Spread: DEN (-5.5)
Notable Injuries
DEN: Trey Lyles (hamstring) - Out
LAL: Tyson Chandler (neck) - Out; Lance Stephenson (toe) - Questionable; Brandon Ingram (shoulder) - Questionable; Lonzo Ball (ankle) - Out; Kyle Kuzma (ankle) - Out

In what figures to be a target of DFS users, this matchup has all the elements to find high-end fantasy value. It has the third-highest over/under on the slate, with the 27th-paced team in the Nuggets being sped up by the fourth-ranked Lakers. And even though LA will be slowed down, Kyle Kuzma's definite absence coupled with the potential absence of Brandon Ingram should create value.

Denver is in a slide, having lost three straight games. That said, they've gotten at least one contribution of 40-plus FP from three players over this stretch. Nikola Jokic, Paul Millsap and Will Barton have all hit that mark. Play hasn't been consistent from individuals on this team lately, so each option, even aside from these three, carries an element of risk.

If we assume Kuzma and Ingram are out, on/off numbers indicate that Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Josh Hart have seen the most minutes under that scenario, while JaVale McGee and LeBron James are over 50 FP per 36 minutes. The argument for McGee would be that the Lakers would struggle to play small-ball without Kuzma, and McGee makes sense as a counter to Nikola Jokic.

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 Barutha plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel Username: unclestosh99, DraftKings Username: Roto_Alex.
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Alex Barutha
Alex is RotoWire's Chief NBA Editor. He writes articles about daily fantasy, year-long fantasy and sports betting. You can hear him on the RotoWire NBA Podcast, Sirius XM, VSiN and other platforms. He firmly believes Robert Covington is the most underrated fantasy player of the past decade.
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