After a small five-game slate on Tuesday, the NBA is back in full swing on Wednesday night. We’ve got an 11-game slate starting at 7 p.m. ET, so let’s break down some of the top studs and values at each position to help you build your DraftKings lineups.
Malcolm Brogdon, Indiana Pacers vs. Houston Rockets ($8,000) – Brogdon doesn’t have the reputation of being an elite fantasy point guard, but he’s been fantastic to start the season. He’s averaged 42.9 DKFP per game this season, and he’s scored at least 54.25 DKFP per game in his past two contests.
Brogdon is in an excellent spot tonight vs. the Rockets. They’ve struggled on the defensive end of the court this season, ranking just 20th in defensive efficiency, and they’ve struggled in particular against point guards. Overall, Brogdon is simply too cheap given his matchup and recent production.
Other Options – Stephen Curry ($9,800), Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($7,300)
Lou Williams, Los Angeles Clippers @ Golden State Warriors ($4,400) – The Clippers will be playing on the second leg of a back-to-back, which means they will almost undoubtedly be without one of Paul George or Kawhi Leonard vs. the Warriors. Leonard seems like the most logical rest candidate – George missed last night’s game with an “injury” – but odds are that they will be playing shorthanded.
That means Williams should be asked to carry a larger offensive workload. He finished with 23.0 DKFP in 21.3 minutes last night vs. the Spurs, and he posted his highest usage rate of the season at 33.0%.
Other Options – George Hill ($4,500), Patrick Beverley ($4,000)
Paul George, Los Angeles Clippers @ Golden State Warriors ($8,900) – Again, I’m operating under the assumption that Leonard will be out of the lineup tonight. If that’s the case, George should command a massive usage rate for the Clippers vs. the Warriors. He’s increased his usage rate by 3.7 percentage points with Leonard off the court this season, and he’s led the team with a usage rate of 32.6% in two full games with Leonard out of the lineup. The Warriors are also a friendly matchup, ranking just 21st in defensive efficiency to start the year.
Other Options – James Harden ($11,000), Zach LaVine ($8,300)
Luke Kennard, Los Angeles Clippers @ Golden State Warriors ($4,100) – I promise I’ll talk about a team other than the Clippers soon, but Kennard stands out as one of the best values on the slate if Leonard is unable to suit up. He started in place of George yesterday vs. the Spurs, and he would likely start again if Leonard is given the night off. He played 37.8 minutes last night, and he’s averaged a respectable 0.71 DKFP per minute this season.
Other Options – Kevin Huerter ($4,500), Aaron Holiday ($3,300)
Brandon Ingram, New Orleans Pelicans vs. Oklahoma City Thunder ($8,400) – Ingram has been absolutely balling to start the year. He won the NBA’s Most Improved Player award last season, and he’s taken another step forward in 2021. He’s on pace to average a career-high in usage rate, assist rate, and rebound rate, resulting in an average of 1.34 DKFP per minute. That’s the highest mark on the slate at the small forward position, and Ingram is also averaging more than 34 minutes per game this season. His price has not fully adjusted to his level of production this season, so let’s take advantage.
Other Options – Jayson Tatum ($9,000), Khris Middleton ($7,500)
Jae Crowder, Phoenix Suns vs. Toronto Raptors ($4,600) – Crowder is an appealing buy-low option tonight vs. the Raptors. He’s scored 13.25 DKFP in each of his past two games, but he’s still playing a healthy number of minutes for the Suns. He’s shot just 3-11 from the field over his past two contests, so he should be able to bounce back with some better shooting luck moving forward.
Other Options – Nic Batum ($4,900), James Ennis ($3,100)
Domantas Sabonis, Indiana Pacers vs. Houston Rockets ($9,200) – Sabonis is one of the most talented big men in the league. He put together a ridiculous season last year, averaging 18.5 points, 12.4 rebounds, and 5.0 assists per game, and he’s on pace to better his production this season. He’s averaged 48.4 DKFP per game through his first seven contests, which would best his mark from last season by nearly four points.
He’s in an elite spot tonight vs. the Rockets. The Rockets don’t just struggle on defense, but they’ve also been the second-worst rebounding team in the league to start the season.
Other Options – Zion Williamson ($7,800), John Collins ($7,200)
P.J. Washington, Charlotte Hornets @ Atlanta Hawks ($5,000) – Washington’s playing time has been all over the map recently, but he has been productive when on the court this season. He’s averaging 0.98 DKFP per minute, which is an excellent mark considering his salary. He’s coming off 26.8 minutes in his last contest, and he’s underpriced if he’s going to see that much playing time today vs. the Hawks.
The game between the Hawks and Hornets also stands out as one of the best of the day from a fantasy perspective. The total is set at a slate-high 232.0 points on DraftKings Sportsbook, and the Hawks are merely six-point home favorites. That means this game should feature plenty of back-and-forth action.
Other Options – Marvin Bagley ($5,200), Kelly Olynyk ($4,400)
Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers vs. Washington Wizards ($9,800) – Embiid has struggled from a fantasy perspective recently, which has caused his salary to drop to just $9,800 on DraftKings. That said, it hasn’t entirely been his fault. He’s seen reduced minutes in two of his past three games due to blowouts, and he’s still averaging a stout 1.54 DKFP per minute this season. He should be able to crush his current price tag when he returns to his usual workload.
Embiid is also in a wonderful spot vs. the Wizards. They rank just 27th in defensive efficiency to start the season, and Embiid racked up 52.0 DKFP in his first matchup vs. the Wizards this season. The 76ers are also implied for 118.75 points, which is the third-highest mark on the slate.
Other Options – Nikola Vucevic ($8,700), Rudy Gobert ($7,600)
Brook Lopez, Milwaukee Bucks vs. Detroit Pistons ($4,200) – Lopez has not had the best start to his season. His playing time is way down – he’s averaged just 22.9 minutes through his first seven games – resulting in an average of just 18.02 DKFP per game. That said, he did see over 30 minutes in his last contest, so he appears to be trending in the right direction. The Bucks lead the slate with an implied team total of 119.25 points, and Lopez is a cheap way to get some exposure to them.
Other Options – Myles Turner ($6,300), Richaun Holmes ($5,900)
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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 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.
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