Wednesday offers us a 10-game slate as we start to see some noteworthy salary movement among players that are excelling here in the first week. Ben Simmons ($8,800) has jumped $1,000 over the past two games, which certainly represents his current performance, but he doesn’t come at a bargain any longer. The same is true for D’Angelo Russell ($8,800), who has seen a $1,200 increase. Dejounte Murray ($5,800) sees perhaps the biggest increase from $4,100, but still is a great value. There are good options to be had further down the list, and we’ll focus on those and other value plays today.
First, in the high salary category, the usual suspects are there and are everyday options based on individual strategy, but John Wall ($10,200) is my number one pick to meet value as he faces the Lakers. LeBron James ($10,400) lit up the Bulls last night, but he’ll travel to Brooklyn for a back-to-back. Westbrook, Harden, and Durant round out the high salary picks and all are reasonable based on their matchups. To afford them, read on.
Stephen Curry, GS vs. TOR ($8,700): Curry is actually $100 less than Simmons, just an example of how I think Simmons’ increase is a bit premature. The Raptors are facing some injury concerns with Jonas Valanciunas still out and DeMar DeRozan nursing a leg bruise. Couple that with the Warriors’ historical success at home, Curry is a good option if you want to go above $8K here.
Ricky Rubio, UTA vs. PHO ($6,800): No need to elaborate on the matchup here – the Suns have given up an average of 125.3 points over the first four games of the season, and Rubio is usually dependable for around 10 assists on any given night. His output has been a little low so far, but look for Utah to roll tonight, making Devin Booker ($6,900) another attractive option in this range.
Reggie Jackson, DET vs. MIN ($6,000): A pristine example of value, Jackson is posting numbers equal to higher-priced guards, albeit the reality of a small sample size. He’ll face a Minnesota team that has been underperforming defensively and ranks 30th versus the point guard position.
Other guards to consider: Eric Gordon, HOU at PHI ($6,000), Dejounte Murray, SA at MIA ($5,800), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, LAL vs. WAS ($4,700)
LaMarcus Aldridge, SA at MIA ($8,700): With Hassan Whiteside and Dion Waiters sidelined this is a game I’d strongly consider stacking, and Aldridge has been invaluable in Kawhi Leonard’s extended absence. I’m using his eligibility at forward due to some batter-priced options at center, but he’s equally usable in that slot depending on your raster construction.
Kevin Love, CLE at BKN ($7,600): Even though Love is coming off a back-to-back, he only recorded 27 minutes on the floor against the Bulls and with a motley crew of wing players seeing the floor in Brooklyn, it should be a good night for Love if you want to spend in this range.
Otto Porter, WAS at LAL, ($5,900): Porter has been scary good while Markieff Morris sits with an injury, and he’s an elite value play in this matchup. The Lakers rank 26th in the league in rebound percentage and with Porter averaging nine boards per game, look for a good stat line Wednesday.
Other forwards to consider: Tobias Harris, DET vs. MIN ($6,700), Kyle Kuzma, LAL vs. WAS ($4,700),
Karl-Anthony Towns, MIN at DET ($8,600): Detroit has been struggling to rebound the ball, so Towns looks to have a big night inside, although the team may be otherwise outmanned, He’s averaging 42.9 DKFPPG over four games, and shows no signs of slowing down.
Steven Adams, OKC vs, IND ($5,800): Though I’m not a big fan of the overall matchup, Adams remains a great value for the price. He snagged 13 boards against the Timberwolves last Sunday, and with the Pacers ranking 28th in offensive rebound percentage, look for Adams to get close to double-digit totals in that department.
Jakob Poeltl, TOR at GS ($4,500): This is a little more than a punt play. The Warriors have few weaknesses, but defensive success inside might be their softest spot. With Jonas Valanciunas still out, as well as Lucas Nogueira, Poeltl has been more than serviceable as a fill-in. He posted 12 rebounds and 3 blocks against a tough Spurs team, and his totals have been steadily rising as he’s become more comfortable in a starting role. Based on usage alone, he has great value as a contrarian pick for GPP lineups.
Other centers to consider: Marcin Gortat, WAS at LAL ($5,500), Pau Gasol, SA at MIA ($5,000)
As always, check those rosters before tip-off! Friends don’t let friends field scratched players.