After a relatively quiet day on Tuesday — at least on the court — the NBA is back in full swing on Wednesday. There are 11 games to choose from, including a 10-game main slate starting at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Let’s dive into some of my favorite plays at each position.
Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks vs. Utah Jazz ($12,300) – Doncic finally disappointed fantasy players in his last game — if you can call 44 points and 58.25 DKFP disappointing. That would be a season-best type of outing for most players, but we’re looking for a bit more at a $12K-plus salary.
The good news is Doncic continues to post an otherworldly usage rate this season. He was at 42.1% in his last game, and he’s posted an average usage rate of 40.9% so far this season. He’s led the league in that department in each of the past two years, but his current mark is on pace to shatter his previous career-high.
The only reason Doncic’s fantasy points were a bit down in his last outing was he struggled to rack up the peripherals. However, Doncic still leads the league with a 51.5% assist rate, and he’s on pace for a new career-high in rebound rate, as well. Add it all up, and Doncic has averaged 1.83 DKFP per minute so far this season. He’s worth consideration as a stud basically every time he takes the floor, and Wednesday’s matchup vs. the Jazz is no exception.
Jrue Holiday, Milwaukee Bucks vs. Detroit Pistons ($8,200) – The Bucks draw one of the best possible matchups Wednesday vs. the Pistons. They rank 29th in defensive efficiency to start the year, and they’ve also played at an above-average pace. The Bucks are currently implied for 117.25 points in this spot, which is the top mark on the slate.
Holiday has been upgraded to probable for this matchup, and he’s coming off back-to-back double-doubles. He’s scored 52.75 and 66 DKFP in those outings, and he’s averaged 1.26 DKFP per minute this season. With Khris Middleton still sidelined, Holiday should continue to serve as the team’s No. 2 scoring threat and top facilitator next to Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Other Options – Trae Young ($9,900), Jalen Brunson ($6,900)
Davion Mitchell, Sacramento Kings at Miami Heat ($4,200) – Very rarely does what the Kings do make a lot of sense. Mitchell was solid down the stretch as a rookie, yet the team seemingly forgot he was on the roster to start the year. He played 16.1 minutes or fewer in four straight games, so he was buried pretty deep in the rotation.
However, an injury to De’Aaron Fox changed things in their last game. Mitchell racked up 31.3 minutes of playing time, and he responded with 34 DKFP. With Fox sidelined on Wednesday, Mitchell is set up for another big performance. The Heat are a tough matchup, but it’s hard to ignore Mitchell as the team’s starting point guard at just $4,200. He’s the best value option on the slate.
Other Options – Kevin Huerter ($5,500), Alex Caruso ($4,600)
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks vs. Detroit Pistons ($12,600) – The decision between Antetokounmpo and Doncic for the top spot on Wednesday’s slate is a tough one. Doncic has been slightly better on a per-minute basis and is a bit cheaper, but Antetokounmpo has the superior matchup and a longer track record. He’s averaged around 1.8 DKFP per minute for the better part of four seasons, while Doncic just recently entered that rarified air.
Antetokounmpo is coming off just 44.75 DKFP in his last outing — also vs. the Pistons — but he scored at least 64 DKFP in each of his previous four contests. He’s seen a nice spike in usage to start the year with Middleton sidelined, and Antetokounmpo can pile up the peripherals like no one else in basketball. I ultimately give Antetokounmpo a slight edge over Luka, but it’s very, very close.
DeMar DeRozan, Chicago Bulls vs. Charlotte Hornets ($8,500) – The Bulls are a solid team to target on Wednesday’s slate. They’re playing on the second leg of a back-to-back, which means Zach LaVine is expected to get the night off. They’re also taking on the Hornets, who were one of the best matchups in fantasy last year. They haven’t been quite as friendly for fantasy purposes to start the new season, but Chicago’s implied team total of 114.5 still ranks seventh on the slate.
DeRozan figures to be one of the biggest beneficiaries of LaVine’s absence. He’s increased his usage rate by +3.6% in games without LaVine this season, and he’s averaged 49.08 DKFP per game. DeRozan also averaged 48.81 DKFP in 13 games without LaVine last season, so he’s underpriced at $8,500 on Wednesday.
Other Options – Julius Randle ($7,700), Gordon Hayward ($6,500)
Patrick Williams, Chicago Bulls vs. Charlotte Hornets ($3,700) – On the opposite end of the spectrum, Williams should be a solid value play for the Bulls. His per-minute production has been lacking this season — he’s averaged just 0.66 DKFP per minute — but he should make up for it with plenty of volume. He’s played at least 31.3 minutes in back-to-back games, and those were with LaVine in the lineup. LaVine averaged 35.5 minutes in those contests, so there are even more minutes available vs. the Hornets.
Other Options – Isaiah Stewart ($5,700), PJ Washington ($5,700)
Pascal Siakam, Toronto Raptors at San Antonio Spurs ($9,500) – Fred VanVleet missed Monday’s contest, and he’s currently questionable with a back injury. If he’s ruled out, Siakam will be asked to take on an even larger workload than usual vs. the Spurs. Siakam has already been excellent this season, averaging 1.43 DKFP per minute, and he increased both his usage and assist rate with FVV sidelined. He finished with 61.5 DKFP vs. the Hawks, even though he played fewer minutes than usual in a blowout win. The Spurs rank just 24th in defensive efficiency to start the year, so Siakam has the potential for another monster performance.
Other Options – Nikola Vucevic ($8,000), Jakob Poeltl ($7,000)
Brook Lopez, Milwaukee Bucks vs. Detroit Pistons ($5,400) – Lopez missed most of the regular season last year, but he has been a massive part of the Bucks’ early season success in 2022-23. He’s also provided fantasy owners with a ton of value, exceeding salary-based expectations in all six games.
Lopez has taken things to another level recently, scoring at least 36.5 DKFP in three straight games. He’s logged at least 33.4 minutes in all three contests, and he’s historically been the type of player who can average more than a fantasy point per minute. He’s averaged 1.09 DKFP per minute so far this year, so it’s hard not to love him at just $5,400.
Other Options – Alperen Sengun ($5,900), Mitchell Robinson ($4,900)
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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.