This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Basketball series.
Wednesday is a heavy slate of action, with 26 teams playing, resulting in a rather large player pool. While the stars in this league are universally known in the DFS community, there are plenty of cheaper value plays to choose from to really help solidify your lineups. Ahead, we will look at players with high potential due to other injuries on their team, as well as their opposing matchups.
Tim Frazier, POR at NO ($10) - Damian Lillard missed the first game of his career Monday due to plantar fasciitis in his left foot, and is already confirmed to miss Wednesday's matchup with the Pelicans. C.J. McCollum could also miss the game as well, as he is dealing with an ankle injury. Frazier, who had not played more than 11 minutes in any game this season, took advantage of Lillard and McCollum's absence Monday getting 48 minutes. He put up a solid 12 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, two steals and one block. Given Frazier's price, and the Trail Blazer's unique injury situation, he is a huge value play Wednesday. If McCollum cannot go, Allen Crabbe becomes a great play as well, for the same reasons. Also, they have an advantageous matchup against New Orleans, which allows a league-high 108.2 points per game, and the second most FPPG to opposing point and shooting guards. Both will be popular plays, and if they produce close to how they did Monday, will be great building blocks when starting to put your team together.
Victor Oladipo, ORL vs. HOU ($28) - This play is dependent on Elfrid Payton's status. Payton rolled his ankle Monday, and did not finish the game. Typically, teams tend to be cautious with ankle injuries to avoid a lingering issue. If Payton cannot go, Oladipo should have every opportunity to produce beyond his $28 value. Coming into the season, Nikola Vucevic and Oladipo were considered the anchors of this Magic squad, but after a few weeks coach Scott Skiles decided to bring Oladipo off the bench. The main reason was that Payton and Oladipo did not complement each other well when on the court simultaneously, and Payton was more of a prototypical point guard to play with the rest of the starters. Oladipo has played well in his backup role, but simply has not gotten the minutes and usage to produce like a top-tier guard. If Payton cannot go Wednesday, Oladipo will have an opportunity to prove his worth, and show what he is capable of. Orlando also draws a favorable matchup against the Houston Rockets, who are giving up the fourth most points in the league this season.
Guard to Avoid:
Andrew Wiggins, MIN vs. SA ($31) - This has become a recurring theme in these articles, but important to emphasize nonetheless, Kawhi Leonard is a force to be reckoned with. He just held Paul George, who is putting up MVP like numbers this season, to one of the worst shooting nights of his career. George made just one of 14 shot attempts, finishing the night with seven points, seven rebounds and six assists in 35 minutes. Wiggins has the unfortunate task of facing Kawhi's wrath Wednesday. While Wiggins has been nice this season, posting 21.3 points, 3.8 boards, 1.6 assists, 0.6 steals, 0.7 blocks and 0.7 threes in 35 minutes per game, Wednesday is not the time to bet on a big game. In fact, it is hard to pick any player facing the Spurs, as they allow a league-low 89.0 points per game -- 5.9 points less then the next fewest point total per game.
Matt Barnes, MEM at WAS ($20) - Barnes has been hot lately, posting 13.2 points, 7.0 boards, 1.8 assists, 2.2 steals, 1.4 blocks and 2.2 triples in 33 minutes during his last five games. A big reason for his production increase has been the absence of Tony Allen, who did return in limited fashion Tuesday. While some owners may cool on playing Barnes due to Allen's return, he is more likely to impact Courtney Lee's playing time and usage. Riding Barnes hot play seems like a safe bet given his price and matchup Wednesday. The Grizzlies will head to Washington to take on the Wizards, who have given up the most FPPG to opposing small forwards and are really hurting due to injuries. They also allow the fifth most points per game in the league.
Jabari Parker, MIL vs. PHI ($18) - No team is worse at defending opposing team's power forwards this year than Philadelphia. To go along with their awful frontcourt defense, they are giving up 104.4 points per game, sixth most in the league. Coming off an ACL tear, Jabari has been relatively quiet this year, making this favorable matchup unlikely to be popular by owners. However, after starting the year on a minutes restriction, Parker has averaged 29.0 minutes per game over his last nine contests. His point, rebounds and assists have increased during that time, as well. With Parker's play trending up, and the 76ers having been dismal at defending power forwards, Parker could be a sneaky play.
Forward to Avoid:
Kristaps Porzingis, NY at CLE ($36) - Porzingis has been remarkable this year, blowing away any reasonable expectations set for him prior to the season. He averages 13.0 points, 8.1 boards, 0.7 steals, 2.1 blocks and 0.9 triples, good for 28.4 FPPG. He has cooled off a bit as lately, however, leaving some to wonder if the league is beginning to figure out the young big man. He has only averaged 22.8 FPPG over his last nine games, including two in the single-digit range. His matchup does not bode well for a bounce-back performance, either. Cleveland has been stingy against opposing power forwards this season, giving up the second fewest fantasy points per game, behind only the aforementioned Spurs.
Zaza Pachulia, DAL at BRO ($24) - Pachulia has been one of the biggest surprises in the league this season. After playing well in a backup role for Milwaukee last season, the Bucks decided to trade him to Dallas this offseason. After the Mavericks infamous DeAndre Jordan fiasco, Pachulia unexpectedly went from backup player to starter for Dallas. He has performed exceptionally well and is still reasonably priced. He is one of just nine players averaging a double-double on the season and continues to have a consistent role with his team. He also draws a matchup with the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday, who allow the second most FPPG to opposing centers, making him a quality value play.
Center to Avoid:
Brook Lopez, BRO vs. DAL ($31) - There are not really any obvious bad plays at center Wednesday, besides Karl Anthony-Towns. We discussed why Wiggins was a bad play earlier, and the same reasons apply for Anthony-Towns. Lopez also does not have a favorable matchup either, as Dallas gives up the eighth fewest points to opposing centers in the league. He is also coming off two above average games against subpar frontcourts, so he could possibly be due to regress toward the mean Wednesday, while being more heavily owned than usual.