The NBA regular season is coming to a close, and we have a relatively small slate Wednesday on DraftKings. There are six games to choose from starting at 7:00 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.
Russell Westbrook, Washington Wizards @ Atlanta Hawks ($12,400) – I’ve been complaining about Westbrook’s salary for weeks, and it appears as though the good people at DraftKings are finally listening. They’ve priced Westbrook up to $12,400 for tonight’s matchup vs. the Hawks, which represents an increase of $1,400 from his last start.
Still, I am not deterred. Westbrook has been an absolute monster recently, finishing with at least 63.25 DKFP in eight of his past nine games. That includes at least 80.25 DKFP in four of his past five. He should continue to carry an expanded workload with Bradley Beal out of the lineup, so I have no problem targeting Westbrook at his increased price tag.
Other Options – Trae Young ($9,100), Dejounte Murray ($7,100)
Ish Smith, Washington Wizards @ Atlanta Hawks ($3,600) – Paying up for Westbrook means we're going to have to save money elsewhere, and we can do that with one of his teammates. He’s coming off 27.75 DKFP over 23.1 minutes in his last game, and he should be looking at a similar workload on Wednesday. Smith has averaged 0.87 DKFP per minute this season, so he doesn’t need a ton of playing time to potentially return value.
Other Options – Raul Neto ($4,700), Payton Pritchard ($3,100)
Editor’s note: Marcus Smart (calf) and Kemba Walker (knee) will not play tonight.
Marcus Smart, Boston Celtics @ Cleveland Cavaliers ($6,100)
If that happens, Smart would be one of the biggest beneficiaries. He’s increased his usage rate by 3.8 percentage points with Brown and Walker off the court this season, resulting in an average of 0.91 DKFP per minute. He’s in a nice spot vs. the Cavaliers, who rank tied for 26th in defensive efficiency.
Other Options – Jordan Clarkson ($7,500), Joe Ingles ($6,500)
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Los Angeles Lakers vs. Houston Rockets ($4,200) – KCP has been playing all the minutes he can handle recently. He’s logged at least 35.1 minutes in each of his past three games, and he’s responded with at least 29.5 DKFP in all three games. The Lakers are tentatively expected to get LeBron James ($10,200) back for this contest, but Anthony Davis ($10,400) could sit after dealing with some groin tightness yesterday vs. the Knicks.
Other Options – Alex Caruso ($4,900; questionable), Anfernee Simons ($3,400)
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Evan Fournier, Boston Celtics @ Cleveland Cavaliers ($5,500) – Fournier is another member of the Celtics who is going to have to pick up the slack on Wednesday. He’s been great recently with Brown out of the lineup – he’s scored at least 33.5 DKFP in five straight games – and he will see some additional usage with Walker out vs. the Cavaliers.
Other Options – Luka Doncic ($10,800), Kevin Durant ($9,800)
Bruce Brown, Brooklyn Nets vs. San Antonio Spurs ($3,900) – Brown has been a valuable role player for the Nets this season, and he’s averaged a strong 1.04 DKFP per minute over the past month. The Nets could have their “big three” in the lineup for just the eighth time this season, but that should still leave a role for Brown. I would expect him to play at least 20 minutes, and that should be enough playing time for him to return value vs. the Spurs.
Other Options – Royce O’Neale ($4,500), Rudy Gay ($4,400)
Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics @ Cleveland Cavaliers ($9,400) – The Celtics are going to be a popular team to target on Wednesday, and Tatum is obviously one of their strongest options. He’s seen a usage rate bump of 6.0 percentage points with Brown and Walker off the court this season, resulting in an average of 1.36 DKFP per minute. He’s played at least 38 minutes in each of his past three games, and he’s coming off 56.5 DKFP yesterday vs. the Heat. The Cavaliers represent a much easier matchup, so he has the potential for an even better performance tonight.
Other Options – Kelly Olynyk ($7,800), Bojan Bogdanovic ($6,900)
Kyle Kuzma, Los Angeles Lakers vs. Houston Rockets ($5,400) – Kuzma has the potential to be one of the best values of the day if Davis is ultimately ruled out. He’s increased his usage rate by 2.1 percentage points with Davis and Dennis Schroder off the court this season, resulting in an average of 0.93 DKFP per minute. He’s played at least 31.1 minutes in each of his past five games, so he’s very reasonably priced in a great matchup vs. the Rockets.
Other Options – Danilo Gallinari ($5,000), Davis Bertans ($4,000)
Editor’s note: Robert Williams (toe) will not play tonight.
Robert Williams, Boston Celtics @ Cleveland Cavaliers ($5,100) – Center looks like a nice position to save some salary. Williams has missed two of the Celtics’ past three games with a foot injury, which has caused his price to dip to just $5,100. However, he’s still averaged 1.11 DKFP per minute over the past month, so he should be able to pay this price off easily when he returns to the lineup.
If he’s out, Tristan Thompson ($5,000) would be a viable alternative. He hasn’t been nearly as dominant as Williams on a per-minute basis, but he should see most of the center minutes if Williams is unavailable.
Other Options – Jarrett Allen ($6,900), Jakob Poeltl ($5,300)
Dean Wade, Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Boston Celtics ($4,000) – Wade is coming off 37.8 minutes and 45.5 DKFP in his last outing, and he could be looking at another huge workload on Wednesday. Cedi Osman ($5,800) is currently questionable, while Isaiah Hartenstein has already been ruled out. Kevin Love ($5,900) isn’t currently listed on the injury report, but he could be shut down at any moment. That wouldn’t leave the team with much depth behind Wade at power forward.
Other Options – Jaxson Hayes ($4,900)
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