Here are some plays that jump out on DraftKings at each position for Wednesday’s main NBA slate, along with some strategy unique to this slate.
Worth Paying Up For: Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks at Atlanta Hawks ($10,800)
Luka has been tame over his last four outings, finishing between 45-50 DKFP in each. While he hasn’t bombed, he hasn’t been helping us cash either. This has the makings of a breakout spot against the Hawks. Atlanta allows the second-most DKFP to the PG position, and Doncic has put on some shows in the past against the team that traded him on draft day. With two 85-DKFP outbursts in his last 10 games, this has the upside to be one of those spots.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Theo Maledon, Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Houston Rockets ($4,300)
Maledon has been a popular play with George Hill out, but with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander also sidelined, the entire OKC roster opens up. The rookie is averaging 23.9 DKFP as a starter alongside SGA, and will take on a much larger role without SGA dominating the ball. Houston ranks slightly below average defending the PG position, and will be without John Wall.
Worth Paying Up For: Victor Oladipo, Houston Rockets at Oklahoma City Thunder ($7,800)
Speaking of Wall, his absence should open up a nice role for Oladipo to play on the ball for the majority of his minutes. ‘Dipo’s gone for 40-plus DKFP in four of seven games with Houston, and scored 44.75 and 54.25 DKFP in his first two games with the Rockets that Wall missed. OKC down veteran guards should also help open things up.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Hamidou Diallo, Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Houston Rockets ($4,500)
SGA’s absence justifies rostering multiple OKC wings. Diallo had been very efficient with 15-20 minutes while Hill was out, and now we should see a huge boost in playing time. Coming off a 15-4-2 line for 26 DKFP in just 15 minutes against Houston, there’s clearly some production to be had here. The Rockets rank 29th in DKFP allowed to opposing SGs.
Worth Paying Up For: Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics at Sacramento Kings ($7,900)
Brown’s had an extremely safe floor night after night, finishing with at least 36 DKFP in each of his last 10, which is just shy of reaching value. That safe floor comes with a high ceiling, going off for 55 and 62-DKFP efforts in that same span. Brown’s salary has taken a slight dip over the last few games, despite Marcus Smart being out of the lineup, opening up some extra opportunities for a top-heavy Celtics lineup. The Kings play at a fast pace and aren’t a good defensive team, ranking 23rd in DKFP allowed to SF.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Lonnie Walker IV, San Antonio Spurs vs. Minnesota Timberwolves ($3,800)
LaMarcus Aldridge has already been ruled out for the Spurs, so there will be a trickle-down effect here. Walker doesn’t exactly fill in for LMA, but there will be more small-ball, opening up some extra minutes for the wing. Walker’s been in a little bit of a shooting slump, but dragging his price down $1,800 over the last 10 games doesn’t make much sense. With more to go around here, this is a good buy-low spot in a matchup against a poor Minnesota defense.
Worth Paying Up For: DeMar DeRozan, San Antonio Spurs vs. Minnesota Timberwolves ($6,900)
DeRozan’s coming off a couple terrible games, so I was hoping for more of a discount here. Regardless, he’s still underpriced with Aldridge off the floor, leaving him as the go-to-guy on the wing, and as a small-ball PF. DD scorched the Wolves for over 50 DKFP in their previous meeting this season.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Miles Bridges, Charlotte Hornets vs. Philadelphia 76ers ($4,600)
PJ Washington, who averages just over 29 DKFP in 29 minutes per game this season, has been ruled out for Charlotte, opening up playing time in an already thin frontcourt. Cody Zeller ($5,800) has been doing his thing in the middle, and should continue to be a strong play at center. Bridges has been worth about 20 DKFP in 25 minutes off the bench all season, but assuming he steps into Washington’s role, and potentially even plays over 30 minutes, he should bring some good upside into this contest for $4,600.
Worth Paying Up For: Bam Adebayo, Miami Heat vs. Washington Wizards ($9,300)
The Heat have had bodies in and out all season, but Adebayo has become a staple from a production standpoint. He’s good for 35-plus minutes each game, and is a consistent 40-DKFP producer with a high ceiling. A matchup against Washington should help Bam scratch that ceiling. The Wizards are the fourth-worst defense at defending centers, and Bam shredded them in limited minutes in the first matchup — 35 DKFP in just 21 minutes. Assuming he gets his normal run this time around, 50-plus DKFP would come easy.
Best Bang For Your Buck: Jakob Poeltl, San Antonio Spurs vs. Minnesota Timberwolves ($4,600)
Poeltl is the man that should fill in a bunch of those LMA minutes, and given the matchup, his upside becomes very intriguing. The center averaged just under 24 DKFP in the last two games against Memphis, but averaged under 20 minutes with Aldridge in the lineup. If we see 25-plus minutes here against the worst ranking defense versus opposing centers, Poeltl carries plenty of upside.
Overall Lineup Strategy
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While I wrote up Doncic, and think he is a strong play, this is a rare 10-gamer that you can probably get away without playing someone for $10,000 — there’s only three of them. Building a balanced lineup with values stemming from the injuries with Charlotte, San Antonio and OKC makes sense, and even cheap studs like Oladipo and Brown help build off injury news within their own teams.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jedlow) 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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