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FantasyDraft NBA: Wednesday Picks

Juan Carlos Blanco

Winner of the FSWA 2016 Newcomer of the Year Award, Juan Carlos Blanco has been playing fantasy sports for close to 20 years and covers NBA, MLB, and the NFL for Rotowire.com, including serving as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' beat writer. He has previously written for KFFL.com and remains an avid season-long and daily fantasy player in multiple sports.

Wednesday brings a number of intriguing matchups, including a Pacers-Thunder tilt that will feature Paul George’s return to Indiana and Victor Oladipo facing off against his former teammates as well. Several other appealing individual battles also dot the landscape, giving us plenty of options in terms of lineup construction. Without further ado, let’s examine where to go with your dollars on the nine-game slate:

GUARDS:

Premium Option

James Harden, HOU vs. CHA ($22,300): Harden has scored 69.50 and 66.75 fantasy points in his last two games, pushing his season average to an impressive 58.20. He dished out a whopping 17 assists in his most recent contest as well and draws one of the most favorable matchups for shooting guards Wednesday. The Hornets have allowed the third most fantasy points (53.2) to two-guards on the season, along with the most points (30.9) and 3.7 made three-pointers per contest. Harden is also sporting a 34.5 percent usage rate and averaging 1.62 fantasy points per minute since Chris Paul’s return on Nov. 16, putting to rest any concerns about the latter’s presence eating into his production.

Mid-Tier

Kyle Lowry, TOR at PHO ($15,100): Lowry had eclipsed 40 fantasy points in three straight games before a downturn to 24.75 in his most recent contest, but he could well be in for a bounce-back Wednesday. The Suns have been vulnerable to every position, but point guards have been an especially glaring weakness. Phoenix is allowing the most fantasy points (57.1) on the season to ones, including the most (62.5) over the last 10 games. They’ve also yielded the most points (27.1), rebounds (8.2) and steals (3.0) to the position on the season, making Lowry one of the top cash or GPP plays on the night.

Affordable

Milos Teodosic, LAC at ORL ($7,900): Teodosic produced an efficient 21.25 fantasy points in 20 minutes in his return from a 22-game absence on Monday against the Raptors, and he could be in for a bump in both minutes and production Wednesday. The Magic have allowed the seventh most fantasy points (51.3) to shooting guards, along with bottom-10 figures in rebounds (8.3), assists (5.6), steals (2.6) and shooting percentage (45.0). One thing Teodosic can certainly do is score from anywhere on the court, giving him substantial upside for tournaments at a discounted price.

FORWARDS/CENTERS:

Premium

Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL at NO ($21,000): DeMarcus Cousins ($19,800) is also certainly a consideration at this spot and in this same matchup if you need to save some cash. However, Antetokounmpo is worth the extra investment if you can afford it, particularly if Anthony Davis (groin) sits out once again Wednesday. New Orleans has been generous to power forwards irrespective of who’s manned the four anyhow, as they’re now allowing the second most fantasy points (48.5) to fours, including the most (65.1) over the last five games. Moreover, they’re allowing bottom-10 figures to power forwards in virtually every other major category as well, which spells considerable trouble against a player with the versatility of Antetokounmpo, who’s scored over 50 fantasy points in seven of his last eight games.

Mid-Tier

Nikola Vucevic, ORL vs. LAC ($16,000): Vucevic is in the midst of a torrid stretch, one that’s seen him score between 55.25 and 70.25 fantasy points in four of his last five games. The last two contests in that sample came with Evan Fournier (ankle) out of action, and with the latter notably sidelined again Wednesday, Vucevic should have ample opportunity to build on the 27.9 percent usage and 1.71 fantasy points per minute he’s posted in that pair of outings. Moreover, the Clippers check in allowing 37.3 fantasy points per game to centers, along with the fourth highest shooting percentage (57.0) to the position.

Affordable

Mason Plumlee, DEN at BOS ($8,600): Plumlee is likely to draw another start Wednesday in Nikola Jokic’s stead, with the latter expected to still be sidelined with an ankle injury. Plumlee has been able to generate 25.75 and 32.25 fantasy points in his last two games while seeing 20 and 29 minutes, respectively. A similar workload Wednesday could yield strong production relative to price again, as Boston has allowed 36.8 fantasy points per game to centers over the last 10, a notably higher figure than their season average of 30.2. If Jokic were to return and start, then Chandler Parsons ($7,700), who's scored between 23.50 and 28.00 fantasy points in three of his last five games, is a viable option versus a Wizards squad that's been vulnerable to small forwards all season.

UTILITY:

Victor Oladipo, IND vs. OKC ($18,000): Oladipo sports a hefty price tag but could well be worth it versus his former Thunder teammates. Oklahoma City has been relatively tough versus two-guards thanks to Andre Roberson’s stingy defense, but Roberson has been ruled out Wednesday and the Thunder have allowed the second most fantasy points (66.8) to the position over the last five, a considerable bump over the 45.7 figure they’ve yielded on the season. The Thunder has also surrendered the seventh most rebounds (7.6), third most blocks (0.9), and, particularly relevant in relation to Oladipo, the third most made three-pointers (4.1) to the position on the campaign. Oladipo is sporting a team-high 31.2 percent usage rate and averaging 1.27 fantasy points per minute, and he’s scored between 43.75 and 71.75 fantasy points in five of his last six contests.

Paul George, OKC at IND ($14,100): On the other side of the court from Oladipo, George will likely have some extra spring in his step as well while making his return to Indiana. The former Pacer will draw a matchup versus one of the more generous defenses against small forwards this season, as Indiana has allowed the seventh most fantasy points (43.7) to threes on the campaign, including 46.0 over the last five games. Additionally, they’re yielding the most points (23.9), third most blocks (1.2) and highest field-goal percentage (50.0) to the position, while George is averaging an impressive 38.8 fantasy points per game, a figure partly comprised of five performances with more than 50 fantasy points.

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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. Juan Carlos Blanco plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: jcblanco22, FanDuel: jc_blanco22, DraftPot: jc_blanco22, FantasyDraft: jc_blanco22, OwnThePlay: jcblanco22.