The NBA is back in full swing following a relatively light slate on Tuesday. There’s a 10-game main slate starting at 7 p.m. ET, so there are plenty of DFS options to consider.
Let’s dive into some of my favorite plays at each position.
James Harden, Philadelphia 76ers at Toronto Raptors ($9,600) – Harden continues to make his subpar campaign in 2021-22 feel like a fluke. He’s been phenomenal for the 76ers to start the year, averaging 26.8 points, 9.8 assists, and 8.5 rebounds per game through his first four games. Those numbers are what we’ve come to expect from the former MVP, who struggled in 21 regular season games with the 76ers last season.
Add it all up, and Harden has averaged 1.61 DKFP per minute to start the season. That’s the top mark among all of Wednesday’s point guards, and it ranks second on the slate overall. Harden is also carrying one of the largest workloads in basketball to start the year, racking up at least 40 minutes in two of his past three games.
The 76ers draw a tough matchup Wednesday vs. the Raptors, but Harden is simply too cheap if he’s going to continue to produce at this level. Harden was routinely priced at $11,000 or more during his tenure with the Rockets, and that’s the kind of player he is at the moment.
Tyler Herro, Miami Heat at Portland Trail Blazers ($6,900) – I’m buying the Herro breakout in Miami. He moved into the starting lineup this season after winning Sixth Man of the Year, and it’s done wonders for his fantasy stock. He’s on pace for a career-high in points per game, but the biggest difference has been his work on the glass. Herro has averaged 8.8 rebounds through his first four games, and his previous career-high is just 5.0.
With that in mind, it’s not surprising Herro has increased his production to 1.21 DKFP per minute this season. The combination of an increased role and increased fantasy production has yet to be fully reflected in his price tag, so he remains an excellent value.
Other Options – Tyrese Haliburton ($8,300), Kevin Porter Jr. ($7,600)
Josh Richardson, San Antonio Spurs at Minnesota Timberwolves ($3,900) – The Spurs have been a prime source of value early on. Most of their players have been thrust into larger roles after losing Dejounte Murray in the offseason, and they’re expected to be even thinner on Wednesday. Devin Vassell has been ruled out, and his 24% usage rate ranks second on the squad.
Vassell’s shots and minutes are going to have to go somewhere, and Richardson is a candidate to pick up the slack. Richardson has struggled to find his footing the past few years, bouncing between the 76ers, Mavericks and Celtics. However, he’s been unlocked in San Antonio. He’s been red-hot to start the year, shooting 50% from the field and 47.4% from 3-point range. He might be due for a bit of regression moving forward, but it’s also possible the Spurs have simply brought out the best in him. Regardless, he’s averaged 0.87 DKFP per minute so far this season, and he’s a candidate for 30 minutes on Tuesday’s slate.
Other Options – Dennis Smith Jr. ($6,000), Tre Jones ($5,500), Josh Primo ($4,000)
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks vs. Brooklyn Nets ($11,200) – Paying up for Antetokounmpo is almost always a good idea. He’s only played in two games this season, but he’s been as dominant as ever, averaging an absurd 1.93 DKFP per minute. He completely eviscerated the Rockets in his last outing, making 17 of 21 shots from the field while scoring 64 DKFP in 27.6 minutes.
Antetokounmpo is in an awesome spot Wednesday vs. the Nets, who have been nothing short of a disaster defensively this season. They rank dead-last in defensive efficiency, and the Bucks are currently implied for 118 points. The Nets are also capable of putting points on the board, so the Bucks are going to be pushed for the full 48 minutes. That’s an appealing combination.
Keldon Johnson, San Antonio Spurs at Minnesota Timberwolves ($6,800) – You might be bored of reading about the Spurs, and I’m certainly bored of writing about them. I’ll stop as soon as their players are priced properly. Until then, we head back to San Antonio.
Johnson has been the Spurs' leader in usage this season, and he’s on the verge of becoming a star. He’s averaged 20.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game this season, and he’s a big reason why the team currently sits at 3-1. Overall, he’s averaged 1.2 DKFP per minute this season, and he’s scored at least 31.75 DKFP in all four games.
He’s played just 42 minutes without Vassell this season, but the early results have been promising. He’s increased his usage rate to 31% with Vassell off the floor, and he’s increased his fantasy production to 1.38 DKFP per minute. It’s hard to pass up those kinds of numbers at just $6,800.
Other Options – LeBron James ($9,900), Lauri Markkanen ($6,500)
Jarred Vanderbilt, Utah Jazz vs. Houston Rockets ($5,100) – The Jazz are another team that has provided plenty of value to start the year, particularly in the frontcourt. Vanderbilt has started all four games, and he’s been incredibly productive with his playing time. He’s averaged 1.21 DKFP per minute, and he’s scored at least 32 DKFP in three straight games.
Vanderbilt is coming off a season-high 32 minutes in his last outing, and he responded with his first double-double of the year. He’ll face the same Rockets squad on Wednesday, which is one of the best possible matchups for fantasy purposes. The Jazz are currently implied for 119.75 points, which is the third-highest mark on the slate.
Other Options – Isaiah Stewart ($5,400), Troy Brown Jr. ($3,400)
Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors vs. Philadelphia 76ers ($8,800) – Siakam is in a tough spot Wednesday vs. the 76ers, but he’s already proven he can succeed in tough spots this season. He has back-to-back games with at least 49.75 DKFP vs. the Heat, who ranked fifth in defensive efficiency and 29th in pace last year.
Siakam has taken another step forward in 2022-23. He’s increased his production to 1.42 DKFP per minute this season, which represents a massive increase from his average of 1.18 last year. He also continues to play around 40 minutes per game for Nick Nurse, who clearly does not believe in “load management.” I’m glad he’s not my boss or I’d probably be working 18-hour shifts while writing 15 articles per day.
Other Options – Nikola Jokic ($10,900), Bam Adebayo ($7,200), Jakob Poeltl ($6,400)
Kelly Olynyk, Utah Jazz vs. Houston Rockets ($5,600) – I give Vanderbilt a slight edge over Olynyk for the Jazz, but you really can’t go wrong with either player. Olynyk hasn’t been quite as good as his teammate this season — he’s averaged 0.98 DKFP per minute — but he’s historically been much better in that department. He averaged 1.10 DKFP per minute last year, so he could potentially improve moving forward. Olynyk is also getting consistent minutes this season, and he should see around 30 if this game stays competitive.
Other Options – Clint Capela ($5,500), Zach Collins ($3,800)
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mlamarca) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.