We’ve got a massive 11-game slate in the NBA on Wednesday night, featuring plenty of spots to pay up for studs and dig for value. Here’s your cheat sheet for each position:
Target worth paying up for: Russell Westbrook ($9,600) at Washington Wizards (22nd)Westbrook’s exceeded the early fantasy expectations in Houston, with James Harden ($10,100) taking more of a fantasy hit. Westbrook’s averaging a shade under 60 DKFP through his first three games with the Rockets, and should see a fast paced game in a great PG matchup.
Best value: Isaac Bonga ($3,600) vs. Houston Rockets (7th)Bonga starts at SF for Washington, but has G/F eligibility, making him even more valuable to fit into lineups. Bonga’s been a very safe value play this season, playing at least 23 minutes, and scoring at least 19.5 DKFP in each game. His price continues to stay put, so we can lock him in for that 5-6x.
Positional StrategyOne of the stud PGs is probably worth paying up for, especially with value plays to go down to. But there are some really good mid-range options if you want to go that route. Shai-Gilgeous-Alexander ($6,900) has been playing a huge role for the Thunder this season, and should eventually be higher priced. He’s played at least 30 minutes in each games, averaging 41.3 DKFP. There are some other mid-priced guard plays to keep yourself balanced if you want to go the SGA route.
Target worth paying up for: Lou Williams ($6,800) at Utah Jazz (7th)Kawhi Leonard (rest) will be sitting this one out, giving Lou Will an even larger green light, if that’s even possible. Utah has the best defense in the NBA in the early going, but the upside here is too great when you remove Kawhi’s usage from the equation. Williams is averaging 35.6 DKFP, which has him appropriately priced on this slate, but playing just 30 minutes per game. I’d expect him to see a good 35 or more minutes in this one, as long as it stays competitive, which gives him 6-7x upside.
Best value: Damion Lee ($3,000) vs. Phoenix Suns (17th)Lee came in hot out of nowhere Monday in New Orleans, going for 23 points and 11 boards in a 42.25-DKFP effort. Assuming he sees somewhere in the neighborhood of 28 minutes again, there’s easy 10x potential here. This should be yet another high-scoring game, with the total set at 229 against the Suns.
Positional StrategyThere’s less positional strategy with so many games, but I don’t think SG is a good position to spend up on. Maybe you reach to Williams or SGA, but both are under $7,000. I’d punt on value here, with the crucial spend up spots being PG and C.
Target worth paying up for: Giannis Antetokounmpo ($10,800) at Boston Celtics (16th)Giannis is coming off a 41.5-DKFP dud in just 29 minutes against Cleveland, keeping his salary reasonable ahead of a matchup against the Celtics. Giannis dropped over 70 DKFP in each of the first two games of the season, which came against better competition. The Celtics used to have bigger bodies, like Al Horford, to limit The Greek Freak, but now have one of the smallest teams in the NBA. The lack of size here opens up a spot for a monster game from Giannis.
Best value: Los Angeles Clippers at Utah Jazz (14th)No Kawhi leaves plenty of value on the board for the Clippers, for obvious reasons. Williams gets a solid boost in this spot, but there’s more intriguing value plays that could benefit even more from a DKFP per minute perspective. Landry Shamet ($4,400) has already been starting, and playing 32.5 minutes per game, but could see his role, and scoring opportunities expand. Moe Harkless ($4,000) and JaMychal Green ($3,300) are the two plays that likely see their roles expand most.
Positional StrategyThe focus at this position has to be Kawhi’s absence. But the SF position has the most value on this slate, so don’t be afraid to spread it around. Warriors, Kings, Blazers, Celtics and Wizards are all teams with great value at SF.
Target worth paying up for: Pascal Siakam ($8,400) vs. Detroit Pistons (18th)Siakam keeps consistently finding his way into this spot. You could pay up more for Giannis here, and that’d be my preference, but a game like Siakam had on opening night is right around the corner. Detroit has no shot at covering Siakam in the open floor, and Andre Drummond ($9,400) has bigger bodies on Toronto to spend his time covering in the paint.
Best value: Richaun Holmes ($4,500) vs. Charlotte Hornets (15th)Holmes is coming off a huge game against Denver, dropping 45.75 DKFP in 30 minutes. He may not shoot 10-for-14 from the field again, but Holmes was extremely active, with 13 rebounds and two blocks. The Marvin Bagley (thumb) injury is going to continue opening up a role here for Holmes, and the Hornets are the perfect team to target against.
Positional StrategyHolmes could be one of the higher owned players, but it’s tougher to tell with 11 games. Both Harkless and Green are PF eligible, so I don’t think we need to go over much more value.
Target worth paying up for: Karl-Anthony Towns ($9,900) at Philadelphia 76ers (4th)KAT’s looking like the early candidate for fantasy MVP this season, averaging over 68 DKFP through three games. He’s at his cheapest price point of the season, down $900 since Friday, which is because of a more difficult matchup against the 76ers. I’ll take the savings over the matchup, though, and lock Towns in as one of the top plays on this slate.
Best value: Cody Zeller ($6,000) vs. Sacramento Kings (20th)Holmes would qualify as the center value play as well, with no real cheap plays jumping out. Zeller’s in a solid spot though, going up against a soft Kings’ frontcourt on the other side of this matchup. Averaging 39.3 DKFP, Zeller’s a great mid-priced consideration.
Positional StrategyIf I can find the room, I’d like to pay for two centers. KAT should be the highest owned, but Drummond’s off to a fantastic start, and Joel Embiid ($10,000) has a great matchup against the Wolves. Using UTIL on a second pricey center should be a popular strategy.
Key news to monitor on DK Live:Kawhi Leonard (rest) OUT
Enes Kanter (knee) OUT
Zach Collins (shoulder) OUT
Reggie Jackson (back) OUT
Elfrid Payton (hamstring) OUT
Dennis Smith Jr. (personal) OUT
Kevon Looney (hamstring) OUT
Steven Adams (knee) QUESTIONABLE
Wendell Carter Jr. (thumb/eye) QUESTIONABLE
Harry Giles (knee) QUESTIONABLE
Willie Cauley-Stein (foot) says he will make his season debut
Get all the news and analysis up to the minute on DK Live.
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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.