With zero games scheduled for Thursday because of Thanksgiving, Wednesday's slate becomes a bit larger, featuring a whopping 14 games. That means there's a plethora of intriguing high-priced, mid-tier and cheap value plays to consider, with the following list detailing some viable candidates:
James Harden, HOU vs DEN ($11,600): With eight players priced at $10,000 or higher, Harden instantly jumps out as one of the top options to pay up for. Both the Rockets and Nuggets rank in the top half of the NBA in pace of play, so the over/under is slated to be one of the highest of the entire slate, which of course means more fantasy points to go around. Harden has scored 50 or more FanDuel points in an incredible eight games straight, with two of those performances topping out at 76.9 and 80.7 FanDuel points. Even with Chris Paul back, Harden doesnít appear to be in danger of slowing down.
Will Barton, DEN at HOU ($5,800): On the opposing side of Harden and the Rockets, we have the Nuggetsí Barton, who should also benefit from an uptempo game. Despite typically coming off the bench, Barton has averaged 32.1 minutes over the last eight games and is essentially getting a starterís workload. With Paul Millsap (wrist) out for at least a few months, Wilson Chandler will likely get more time at power forward, which means even more Barton at small forward. Barton has already surpassed 35 FanDuel points in five games this season, giving him great value at a price of just $5,800.
Mario Chalmers, MEM vs DAL ($5,600): Chalmers is easily one of the best mid-tier options at point guard. Mike Conley (Achilles) is out indefinitely, so Chalmers continues to start at point guard and has averaged about 30 minutes over the last three contests. Heís coming off a performance Monday against the Trail Blazers where he posted 21 points, six rebounds, six assists and one steal, which was good enough for 40.2 FanDuel points. At a mid-tier price, thereís plenty to like about his upside, especially against a weak Dallas squad that gives up the third most FanDuel points to his position.
Jimmy Butler, MIN vs ORL ($8,500): The Magic give up the third most FanDuel points to small forwards and 10th most to shooting guards, so no matter where heís playing on the wing Wednesday, Butler should be in a favorable spot. He had a bit of a dud on Monday, but prior to it had put up 40 or more FanDuel points in four of five games, so this looks to be a prime bounce-back game for the three-time NBA All-Star.
T.J. Warren, PHO vs MIL ($7,500):Warren is at one of his highest prices of the season, but itís for good reason, considering how well he performed in Sundayís matchup with the Bulls (27 points, seven rebounds, one steal and two blocks). With Eric Bledsoe now in Milwaukee, Warren has settled in as second fiddle to Devin Booker, which has resulted in multiple big-time scoring affairs. His potential for an offensive explosion on any given night gives him DFS consideration every time he touches the floor, especially considering the Suns rank in the top three for pace of play.
John Collins, ATL at PHI ($5,200): With both Luke Babbitt (back) and Mike Muscala (ankle) sidelined for Wednesdayís contest, thereís going to be a ton of minutes available at power forward. Sure, Ersan Ilyasova will steal some of workload, but itís Collins thatís the more intriguing play, considering the Hawks would like to get their rookie as much run as possible in whatís going to be a season filled with losses. Collins is sitting at a very reasonable price and should have a good chance of surpassing the 30-point FanDuel mark while on a 30-plus-minute workload.
Marc Gasol, MEM vs DAL ($8,300): The Grizzlies are still without Mike Conley (Achilles) for the foreseeable future, so someone has to score for Memphis, which is where Gasol comes in. In the three games Conley has missed, Gasol posted 71.1, 35.8 and 48.9 FanDuel points, indicating the load has clearly been placed on his back. There isnít much to worry about with a matchup against the lowly Mavericks, so if youíre looking to pay up at the center position, Gasol seems like the wise choice.
Dewayne Dedmon, ATL vs LAC ($5,500): If youíre looking to save a bit of salary and need to go cheaper at the center position, Dedmon is a solid mid-tier option. Heís been very inconsistent with his numbers, which definitely brings with it some risk. However, at his price, thereís still a relatively high ceiling considering Dedmon has notched 40.4 and 56.3 FanDuel points previously this season. When you add that to the fact that the Clippers are giving up the third most FanDuel points to centers, it makes Dedmon on option to consider at the position.
Thon Maker, MIL at PHO ($3,400): Maker is easily the riskiest play provided on this list, which isnít surprising considering heís a near minimum salary. However, with John Henson out with an eye injury and Greg Monroe now on the Suns, thereís really no competition for playing time Wednesday. Maker is going to have to take on a ton of minutes and when heís priced so low, that provides an intriguing high-risk, high-reward situation for those in need of a salary break.