The NBA has nine games on Wednesday night’s fantasy basketball slate featuring plenty of star power led by James Harden ($11,300) and Russell Westbrook ($10,100) hosting the Grizzlies and Joel Embiid ($10,500) and the Sixers visiting Andre Drummond ($7,700) in his new digs in Cleveland. The Celtics and Hornets are playing for the second night in a row while the Knicks and Embiid’s Sixers are scheduled to turn around and play again Thursday.
While you look through the matchups and consider who deserves a spot in your lineup, you may need to dive into the bargain bin to balance out some bigger salaries. If you are searching for deals under $4K, take a look at these four options who bring nice upside along with their affordable price tag.
VALUE OPTION TO CONSIDER
Set your lineups here: NBA $400K Big Jam [$100K to 1st]
PG PATRICK BEVERLEY, LAC at PHO, $3,900Beverley battled a groin injury through the All-Star break and missed a total of five games. He returned on Monday when the Clippers beat the Grizzlies and immediately was back in the starting lineup. He produced six points, three rebounds, two assists and a steal for 14.75 DKFP in just 19 minutes and was able to work his way back slowly due to the blowout nature of that game.
When he’s at full strength, Beverley is definitely worth more than $4K especially in this great matchup against the Suns, but there is more risk than usual involved since he is so recently returned from the sidelines. Prior to the injury, Beverley averaged 10.0 points, 6.2 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 25.9 minutes per game over his previous 10 games, producing 28.9 DKFP per contest. With Reggie Jackson ($5,200) aboard as extra depth, there will be less pressure on Beverley to rush back, but he’s still clearly Coach Doc Rivers’ first choice in the starting five and should be able to offer more production as he ramps back to 100%.
PG/SF JARRETT CULVER, MIN at MIA, $3,600One of the few Timberwolves that spent the whole season with the team, Culver was Minnesota’s first-round pick in the past draft and has put together a solid rookie campaign. He has averaged 19.1 DKFP on 9.1 points, 3.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 0.9 steals per game over the course of the season while his role has fluctuated wildly depending on availability of other players in the rotation.
Culver has posted back-to-back games with 20-plus DKFP in his past two games scoring 14 points against the Nuggets and 13 points against the Mavericks in the Timberwolves’ back-to-back Sunday and Monday. While Minnesota is getting a look at who can be part of their future plans, expect Culver to continue to get enough work to be a solid value play regardless of game flow.
SF/PF JAMES ENNIS III, ORL at ATL, $3,400After signing with the Sixers before the season, Ennis was shipped to Orlando in exchange for a second-round pick at the trade deadline. The change of scenery has opened a pretty big opportunity for Ennis since the Magic are short-handed in the frontcourt. He has played four games with his new team and entered the starting lineup for Orlando’s two most recent contests.
Ennis isn’t typically a high-scoring offensive threat but can chip in solid points while contributing in other categories. He struggled in his first start, shooting just 1-for-6 from the field and totaling only 5.75 DKFP but looked much more comfortable on Monday against the Nets. He played 27 minutes in that contest and produced 22.0 DKFP on 13 points, four rebounds, an assist and a blocked shot. He should continue to be a solid value option if he gets that much workload especially in a favorable matchup against the Hawks.
C JAKOB POELTL, SA vs. DAL, $3,200Last but definitely not least on this list, it’s time to add some Poeltl-power to your lineup since LaMarcus Aldridge (shoulder) has already been ruled out for Wednesday’s game against the Mavericks. Poeltl has offered solid per-minute production for the Spurs lately but has been limited to under 20 minutes in nine straight, averaging only 13.8 minutes per contest.
Before that drought, though, he started the two most recent games that Aldridge missed, producing 40.25 DKFP against the Bulls and 23.5 DKFP the next game despite a tough matchup with the Jazz. Aldridge also missed tow games early in December and Poeltl put up 23.75 DKFP against Detroit and 43.25 DKFP against the Rockets. Since his salary is barely more than the minimum, he will be a great play in every format and comes with both a high ceiling and low risk if he moves into the lineup as expected.
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