It’s the final Wednesday in January. You know what that means. By age old tradition, I’m supposed to give you three amazing value plays for tonight’s 10-game NBA slate. The tradition technically applies to any Wednesday between October and May, but I swear these three are extra amazing. Scout’s honor.
Let’s dive in.
SF/PF Deni Avdija, Washington Wizards at Houston Rockets, $4,000
“I believe that this [trade] opens up much more growth and opportunity for Deni.” That was a quote from Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard following the departure of Rui Hachimura to Los Angeles earlier this week. I’m not always going to take a team executive at their word, but it’s pretty notable that in Avdija’s first game following that statement, the former lottery pick registered a double-double and 39.0 DKFP in 32.1 minutes — the most run the forward has seen off the bench in 2022-23. I’d expect Avdija sees 30-plus minutes again on Wednesday, as the Wizards are still dealing with a hole the exact size of Kristaps Porzingis (ankle) in their frontcourt. A role that large in a matchup with the Rockets is quite tantalizing. Houston sits eighth in pace (101.3) and third-worst in defensive rating (121.2) in the month of January. That means Washington and Avdija should rack up the counting stats with ease this evening.
C Xavier Tillman, Memphis Grizzlies at Golden State Warriors, $3,200
The matchup isn’t perfect — the Warriors have been known to play opposing big men off the court on certain nights — but it’s hard to argue with the continued viability of Tillman on Wednesday. With Steven Adams (knee) watching from the sideline on Monday, Tillman thrived in just his second start of the season, posting 25.5 DKFP in 29.9 minutes at the bare minimum price. If I’m being honest, after that performance, I was anticipating a rather hefty salary bump for the former second-round pick; yet Tillman finds himself only $200 more expensive for this evening’s festivities. Again, this all simply comes down to opportunity. Tillman is averaging a healthy 0.94 DKFP per minute in 2022-23 and he’s exceeded 25.0 DKFP in both of his chances in Memphis’ starting five. He appears to be an easy path to 7x or 8x value in the center spot.
SG/SF Chris Duarte, Indiana Pacers at Orlando Magic, $3,400
While T.J. McConnell ($6,000) remains a very intriguing DFS asset at $6K, he’s no longer at a price point that I would consider a true value. Alas. Still, that doesn’t mean one of his teammates can’t fill that role in your lineups. With Tyrese Haliburton (knee) weeks away from a return to action and Andrew Nembhard ($4,700; illness) forced to sit out Tuesday’s victory over the Bulls, there appears to be an opportunity for Duarte to step-up for the Pacers. It’s been a disappointing sophomore campaign for the former lottery pick, as injuries have limited Duarte to just 28 games. He’s also shooting a putrid 33.5% from the field and averaging a paltry 7.4 points per game — a far cry from the 17.7 points he was producing in his first seven contests when he broke onto the scene as a rookie last year. However, if nothing else, that stretch showcases Duarte’s ceiling. It’s not like he needs to score efficiently to be viable, either. Duarte was 2-for-11 from the field against Chicago, yet he finished with 28.75 DKFP thanks to nine rebounds. If Duarte draws another start, give him a serious look.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) 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.