The NBA has officially entered the home stretch. Most teams have less than 20 games left on their schedule, so things are ratcheting up as we near the postseason. We have another seven games to choose from on Wednesday, and the DraftKings main slate gets underway at 7 p.m. ET.
Let’s dive into some of my favorite plays at each position.
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Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks at Washington Wizards ($8,800) – Young and the Hawks have not had the season they were hoping for. They’re currently in eighth place in the Eastern Conference standings, a full five games behind the Nets for the final guaranteed playoff spot. Young has also seen a pretty significant drop in efficiency, shooting just 42.7% from the field and 32.5% from 3-point range. He was at 46% and 38.2% in those departments last season, despite averaging more shot attempts per game.
Young has turned in back-to-back disappointing performances, which has caused his price tag to dip to just $8,800. That makes him a clear buy vs. the Wizards. Despite his poor shooting numbers, Young has still averaged an elite 1.51 DKFP per minute over the past month. That’s the third-best mark among Wednesday’s backcourt options, trailing only the significantly more expensive Luka Doncic and Damian Lillard.
The Wizards are also a solid matchup. They rank 20th in defensive efficiency, and this game has the highest total on the slate at 236.5 points. The Hawks’ implied team total of 120 ranks third on the slate, so this is an awesome time to buy low on Young.
Russell Westbrook, Los Angeles Clippers vs. Toronto Raptors ($7,200) – Westbrook is an easy player to scapegoat at this point. The Clippers have gone just 1-5 since Westbrook joined the lineup, but he has been far from the problem. The Clippers have increased their Net Rating by 13.1 points per 100 possessions over Westbrook’s 190 minutes, which is the top mark on the team. That’s not an overwhelming sample size, but Westbrook seems more like the solution than the problem for the Clippers at this point.
Westbrook has also delivered excellent production for DFS players during his tenure with the Clippers. He’s scored at least 38.75 DKFP in four of his six contests, and his playing time is trending upwards. He’s racked up at least 34.1 minutes in back-to-back games, and Westbrook is still capable of racking up fantasy points with the best of them. If he continues to see that much playing time, he’s going to be a nice value at $7,200.
Other Options – Bradley Beal ($8,100), Josh Giddey ($7,600)
Isaiah Joe, Oklahoma City Thunder at Phoenix Suns ($4,400) – The Thunder are likely going to get their doors blown off by the Suns on Wednesday. They’re going to be without Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and talented rookie Jalen Williams, and they’re currently listed as 13.5-point home underdogs. However, they should also be one of the best teams to target for DFS value.
Joe stands out as one of their best options. He’s been an excellent per-minute contributor this season, averaging 0.92 DKFP per minute, and he has typically thrived when given the chance to play extended minutes. He’s logged at least 25 minutes in 10 games this season, and he’s averaged 25.75 DKFP in those contests. With the team’s current injury situation, he should be locked into at least that much playing time vs. the Suns.
Other Options – Kentavious Caldwell-Pope ($3,900), Alex Caruso ($3,400)
Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics vs. Portland Trail Blazers ($10,300) – The Celtics are in the midst of a downswing. They’ve lost three straight games, and each of them has been in excruciating fashion. They blew a 28-point lead vs. the Nets, lost in double-overtime vs. the Knicks and overtime vs. the Cavaliers. The team was playing short-handed in their last contest, but Grant Williams needed to make just one of two free throws to secure the team a victory in regulation. Instead, he bricked both, and the Cavs ended up pulling it out in OT.
Tatum was one of the players who missed that contest, but he is not listed on the injury report for Wednesday’s matchup vs. the Blazers. This is the perfect opportunity for Tatum and the Celtics to get back on track. The Blazers have been an absolute disaster since losing Jusuf Nurkic, ranking dead last in defensive efficiency and 29th in team rebound rate. There’s a chance that Nurkic returns to the lineup on Wednesday, but he will be limited even if he’s active.
Tatum is also cheaper than usual at $10,300. He still leads all of Wednesday’s forwards with an average of 1.42 DraftKings points per minute for the year, and he is routinely among the leaders in minutes played. That’s an appealing combination. Tatum has gone off for at least 60.75 DKFP in four of his past seven games, and it wouldn’t be shocking if he did it again vs. the Blazers.
Brandon Ingram, New Orleans Pelicans vs. Dallas Mavericks ($8,400) – Ingram has posted back-to-back poor showings, finishing with 36.25 DKFP or fewer in both contests. However, he continues to command an expanded usage rate for the Pelicans. He’s upped his usage to 35% since returning from injury in late January, and it has resulted in some big scoring performances. He went for 40 points vs. the Blazers three games ago, and he has at least 21 field goal attempts in five of his past eight games.
The Mavericks aren’t a great matchup on paper, but they have not been the same team since acquiring Kyrie Irving. They were dead-last in pace pre-Kyrie, but they’re 14th over their past 11 games. They also rank just 25th in defensive efficiency over that stretch, so Ingram can find some success in this spot.
Other Options – Kyle Kuzma ($7,500), Lu Dort ($6,000)
Aaron Wiggins, Oklahoma City Thunder at Phoenix Suns ($3,500) – Wiggins is another potential value option for the Thunder. He’s been a solid contributor of late, exceeding salary-based expectations in five of his past six games, and he racked up 22 DKFP in 33.1 minutes on Tuesday. With SGA now sidelined, there’s no reason to expect much less playing time vs. the Suns. Wiggins has averaged a very respectable 0.85 DKFP per minute with SGA and Williams off the floor this season, so he can do some damage with that much playing time.
Other Options – Cam Reddish ($4,700), De’Andre Hunter ($4,500)
Clint Capela, Atlanta Hawks at Washington Wizards ($6,300) – There are more expensive options available at center, but Capela stands out as arguably the best value. Capela has always been an outstanding per-minute producer, and he’s averaged 1.22 DKFP per minute over the past month. The problem has been a lack of playing time, as he’s split the center minutes with Onyeka Okongwu for most of the year.
However, with the playoffs now around the corner, the Hawks are starting to lean a little bit heavier on their starting center. Capela has racked up at least 33.8 minutes in two of his past four games, including his most recent contest. He’s scored at least 35.5 DKFP in three of his past four games, and he’s displayed a ceiling of nearly 50 DKFP. You will gladly take that kind of production at $6,300.
Other Options – Jakob Poeltl ($6,600)
Jaylin Williams, Oklahoma City Thunder at Phoenix Suns ($3,700) – Let’s round things out with one more Thunder value play. Jaylin Williams has been the lesser of the two “J. Williams” rookies in OKC, but he has started to carve out a slightly larger role. He’s logged at least 25.4 minutes in three of his past four games, and he’s returned positive value in each of them. That includes 27.1 minutes and 28.5 DKFP Tuesday vs. the Warriors. Overall, he’s averaged 0.87 DKFP per minute for the year, so he should continue to be a solid source of production at his cheap price tag with around 25 minutes of playing time.
Other Options – Al Horford ($5,500), Dwight Powell ($3,400)
Set your DraftKings fantasy basketball lineups here: NBA $300K Fadeaway [$100K to 1st]
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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.