The busiest night of the week is on tap for the NBA this Wednesday with 11 games to build a roster from on the main slate, which tips at 7:00 p.m. ET. Of the 22 teams in action, the Atlanta Hawks, Golden State Warriors, Orlando Magic and New York Knicks are playing for the second night in a row. With those teams dealing with fatigue issues and a host of other players resting or out due to injury, there are several attractive spots to target for fantasy basketball value plays who are poised to step up in larger roles. While the four value options listed here appear to be set up well, any additional pre-lock player news is always important to monitor. Be sure to follow @dklive on Twitter and the DK Live app so you get all the latest news and analysis.
With so many superstars to pay up for, you might need some balance with good affordable options that still bring upside, and the four players listed below are my top value plays of the day. As we approach lock at 7 p.m. ET, I’ll give any updates to these values on Twitter @ZT_Sports, where you can also find my four to play under $4K each day of the NBA season.
PG Tyus Jones, Memphis Grizzlies vs. Brooklyn Nets, $4,600
The Grizzlies will be without Ja Morant (knee) when they host the Nets, which makes Jones an obvious play, but he brings too much upside to pass up despite all the chalk involved. Make your lineup unique in other ways, but don’t pass up Jones when he moves into the starting five. He started on Sunday against the Rockets while Morant was out and produced 13 points, seven boards and 30.25 DKFP. He also had 30 DKFP in a start last week against the Pacers. In fact, he has at least 30 DKFP in each of his four starts since Morant returned to the starting lineup just before Christmas, highlighted by a 44.25-DKFP outing against the Pelicans.
The Nets could eventually be a great defensive team if/when Ben Simmons (back) joins the unit, but for now, they give up plenty of points and get involved in high-scoring games. While this will be the toughest matchup in which Jones has started in a while, he just brings too much multi-category upside to pass on him in a starting role. Since Jan. 1, Jones has produced 1.03 DKFP per minute and his role should guarantee him enough minutes to be a great play under $5K.
SG/SF Reggie Bullock, Dallas Mavericks vs. Houston Rockets, $4,200
Another team that will be missing its biggest star on Wednesday is the Mavericks, who will be without Luka Doncic (ankle). They’ll also be without Davis Bertans (knee) and Tim Hardaway Jr. (foot), who is now unlikely to return even for a playoff run. Bullock just returned from a four-game absence due to a personal matter and should step into a big role with Bertans and Doncic out as well as continuing to help soak up Hardaway’s usage. In the 18 games that Bullock has played since Hardaway’s injury, he has averaged 13.2 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.0 steals in 34.7 minutes per game with a decent 15.1% usage rate.
He came back and immediately stepped back into the starting lineup on Monday, knocking down six three-pointers on his way to 34.75 DKFP in 36 minutes. He had been scuffling a little before the absence, but apparently, he’s refreshed and ready for the stretch run now. The Mavericks will need his long-range production from the outside on the wing to go with their solid guards, so look for Spencer Dinwiddie ($6,400) and Jalen Brunson ($6,700) to keep him very involved while they fill in for Luka on Wednesday.
C Damian Jones, Sacramento Kings at Indiana Pacers, $3,700
The Kings will be without De’Aaron Fox (hand) and Domantas Sabonis (knee) when they visit Sabonis’ former team in Indiana on Wednesday. Sabonis’ absence is made even more impactful since Richaun Holmes (personal) announced he is stepping away from the team for the rest of the season. Without those two big men, Jones will be in line for all the work he can handle with only Alex Len ($3,000) and Trey Lyles ($5,500) able to share the load with him in the middle.
Much like the other Jones discussed above, Damian Jones has shown a lot of upside this season when given the opportunity to take on a bigger role. Jones played 22 minutes and had 29.25 DKFP against the Suns in the game in which Sabonis was injured on Sunday. Earlier this month when Sabonis was suspended and then away from the team, Jones produced 26.75 DKFP against the Nuggets and 17.0 DKFP against the Jazz. He also had several step-up performances earlier in the year and has strong per-minute numbers throughout the season. With so much opportunity and a favorable matchup, your value plays tonight may feel like the truck commercial from the Super Bowl, but it definitely shapes up to be a good night to try and keep up with the Joneses.
PG/SG Joshua Primo, San Antonio Spurs at Portland Trail Blazers, $3,500
In the very last game on the slate this Wednesday, the Spurs will have a chance to continue their attempt to climb into the play-in tournament when they visit the struggling Trail Blazers. For the second time this season, the Spurs have been giving Primo significant minutes, and their first-round pick from Canada is showing significant promise. He’s just three months past his 19th birthday and remains the youngest player in the NBA, but he has stepped into the starting lineup for the Spurs in the past two games since Doug McDermott (ankle) has been ruled out for the season. With Lonnie Walker IV (back) also ruled out for a second straight game, there should be shots for Primo to take, putting him in a good spot to produce value at this salary.
He had a successful run with the Spurs in January, producing at least 18 DKFP in four of five games, highlighted by an impressive performance against the Nets that included him hitting a game-tying 3-pointer to force overtime. In this stint, he hasn’t had any late-game heroic but did have 11 points, three rebounds, two assists and 20.25 DKFP in 34 minutes when the Spurs upset the Warriors in their most recent game on Sunday. He’s extremely raw and doesn’t offer as high a ceiling as the other plays on this list, but he is in a significant enough role in a very favorable matchup to be worth a look at barely more than the minimum salary.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is z.thompson) 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.
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