Defense To Avoid
Atlanta Hawks at Detroit Pistons: No defense particularly stands out Wednesday, but the Hawks make for an intriguing option against a Pistons squad thatís averaged the fourth-fewest points (100.6) at home this season, and seventh-fewest overall (99.8). Detroit has also dropped three of its last four games, while Atlanta has elicited the third-most turnovers in the league (15.1) in January and has held opponents to under 100 points in four of its last five road tilts.
Offense To Use
Milwaukee Bucks at Houston: The Warriors would also make for a very viable option in this spot against a Thunder squad that will be without Steven Adams (concussion), but the Bucks face off with a Rockets squad on the second night of a back-to-back that is already giving up the seventh-most points (107.6) per game. Milwaukee also boasts the third-best shooting percentage (46.7) on the road this season.
Teams on a Back-to-Back Set
First game of a back-to-back: Wizards, Knicks
Second game of a back-to-back: Raptors, Rockets
DraftKings.com DAILY PLAYER RECOMMENDATIONS
Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL at HOU ($10,400): Russell Westbrook (12,100) and James Harden ($11,700) are naturally viable options for those who can afford them, but I suspect Antetokunmpo could be in for virtually as good a night as those two, and at a considerably cheaper price. The Greek Freak has flashed a near 75-fantasy point ceiling this season, and was at 60 fantasy points just two games ago. Heís been on fire from the field -- shooting 58.5 percent over the last three Ė and will face a Rockets defense thatís been more vulnerable to point guards lately despite the presence of Patrick Beverley, giving up the seventh-most fantasy points to the position (59.3) over the last five games.
Elfrid Payton, ORL at NO ($6,200): Victor Oladipo ($5,500) also makes for an intriguing option in this spot for those needing to save a bit of cash, but Paytonís recent upside and his matchup are too good to ignore. The Magic point guard is back in the starting five and has exploded for 36.5, 58.75 and 43.0 fantasy points, respectively, over the last three games. Heís been providing superb production across the stat sheet, averaging 22.3 points, 9.3 assists and 5.7 rebounds over that span, and will face off against a Pelicans defense that surrenders the third-most fantasy points (58.1), fourth-most points (24.5), second-most rebounds (6.9) and sixth-most assists (9.0) to point guards.
Malcolm Delaney, ATL at DET ($3,200): Glenn Robinson III ($3,400) and Gerald Henderson ($3,300) are also viable options at this tier, but Delaney makes for a slightly cheaper and more under-the-radar play. Heís scored 32.0 and 25.25 fantasy points, respectively, in two of the last three games, and has been between 17.25 and 19.25 in three other contests over the last 10. Heís seen at least 20 minutes in six of his last eight, and 19 on Monday versus the Knicks. While his overall upside is naturally capped given his role in the rotation, Delaney has recently shown an ability to return approximately 5x value, at a minimum, on his current price more often than not, making him a nice punt play for GPPs.
Kevin Durant, GS vs. OKC ($9,900): Durant punished his former teammates to the tune of 53.8 fantasy points in his one previous meeting with them this season, and thereís no reason to believe he wonít be line for another massive return Wednesday. Heís scored no fewer than 44.5 fantasy points in nine of his last 10 and tallied between 51.25 and 65.75 in six of those contests. At just a shade under five figures, Durant stands a great chance of providing a 5x-6x return in a contest in which heíll have plenty of motivation.
Kelly Olynyk, BOS vs. NY ($4,500): Thereís plenty of appealing choices at this level Wednesday, including Jae Crowder ($5,600), Thaddeus Young ($5,600), Marcus Morris ($5,500), Trevor Ariza ($5,500) and Ersan Ilyasova ($5,400). However, Olynyk checks in considerably cheaper, and based on recent returns, with just as much upside. Heís scored 44.5 and 34.75 fantasy points, respectively, over the last two games, and scored 20.5 to 24.75 fantasy points in the five contests prior as well. He continues to receive steady minutes, having played no fewer than 23 in the last five, all games in which heís outpaced starter Amir Johnson. Olynyk has also averaged 29.5 fantasy points across 26.4 minutes in two meetings against the Knicks this season.
Michael Beasley, MIL at HOU ($3,700): Beasley is another extremely reasonably priced option at forward Wednesday, and one that brings nice upside himself. Heís scored 19.75 to 25.75 fantasy points in three of his last five games and put up a whopping 48.75 in extended action against the Spurs in another one of those contests. While heís doesnít figure to see starterís minutes, he wonít need many to provide a solid return at a price that seems several hundred dollars under what it should be.
DeMarcus Cousins, SAC vs. IND ($10,600): Cousins is the clear-cut top center choice Wednesday given his massive upside and matchup against a Pacers squad that gives up the sixth-most fantasy points to both centers (50.6) and power forwards (48.3). Neither Myles Turner nor Thaddeus Young should be able to handle Cousins on anything resembling a consistent basis, giving him a chance to build on the 55.3 fantasy points heís already averaging over 20 home games this season.
Nikola Vucevic, ORL at NO ($6,600): Vucevic went for 34.5 fantasy points in the one previous Magic-Pelicans meeting this season, has scored 28.5 to 55.5 fantasy points in his last five games, and no less than 26.5 in any game over the last 10. The Pelicans give up the fourth-most fantasy points to centers (51.1), while also giving up the most rebounds (16.9) and assists (3.7) to the position as well.
Zaza Pachulia, GS vs. OKC ($3,600): Meyers Leonard ($3,000) has seen an uptick in playing time lately, while Joffrey Lauvergne ($3,200) could be in line for extended run once again with Steven Adams (concussion) sidelined for the Thunder. However, I trust Pachulia a bit more than those two options, given that he has a firm spot in the starting five and has scored over 20 fantasy points in six of his last seven, and 19.25 in the one other game during that span. Heís seen at least 21 minutes in five straight, and he should encounter a lot less resistance without Adamsí formidable presence down low.
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