The NBA continues a busy week with a nine-game fantasy basketball slate this Wednesday. There are three megastars in action as James Harden ($12,800) leads the Rockets into Atlanta while Russell Westbrook (rest) gets the night off, Luka Doncic ($12,300) and the Mavericks host the Nuggets in an important Western Conference clash, and Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,500) and the Bucks close out the slate with a late game in Golden State.
Whether you’re building around one of that trio of stars or some of the other top-tier salaries, you may need to go low with a cheaper play or two to round out your roster. If a dive into the bargain bin is part of your future, here are the top four options under $4K to start your search with.
SG/SF PATRICK MCCAW, TOR at CHA, $3,900McCaw has had no trouble getting minutes since an injury sidelined Norman Powell (shoulder). McCaw has moved into the starting lineup for the past 10 games and averaged over 30 minutes per contest. He played 36 minutes in the Raptors’ most recent game on Tuesday and finished with 21 DKFP on six points, four rebounds, three assists and three steals.
During his 10-game stint in the lineup, he has produced over 15 DKFP seven times including in five of his past six games dating back to a high-water mark of 42.75 DKFP against the Celtics on Dec. 28. McCaw gets a great matchup against the Hornets and should keep getting lots of run until Powell returns.
SF/PF MICHAEL PORTER JR., DEN at DAL, $3,800Porter is set up for a great night and will have a very high ceiling if he moves into the lineup in place of Will Barton (personal), who is away from the team. Porter got a spot start on Dec. 29 and produced 19 points, six rebounds and 28.5 DKFP.
He has stepped in as the Nuggets’ sixth man since then and put together some solid numbers despite inconsistent minutes. He had 33.25 DKFP in his first game of 2020 but only managed 10.0 and 14.25 DKFP in two games since then. He would be high-risk if it wasn’t for Barton’s absence, but with that opportunity, he should be poised to shine against the Mavericks, who have struggled to defend opposing forwards this season.
C ANZEJS PASECNIKS, WAS at ORL, $3,600If you decide to pay down at your center spot, the best option under $4K is Pasecniks, who has been pretty consistent since joining Wizards as a backup center when their frontcourt was decimated by injury.
Pasecniks is averaging 7.7 points and 6.3 rebounds in 21 minutes a game for 17.9 DKFP per contest in his 11 games with Washington. He has over 20 DKFP in three of his past five games and has the upside to produce a double-double if things go his way against the Magic. He has battled some foul trouble, but usually can work around that and put together enough points and rebounds to provide low potential for being a total bust. He doesn’t have as high a ceiling of the other options on this list but has been a steady contributor lately behind Ian Mahinmi ($4,600)
PG CHRIS CLEMONS, HOU at ATL, $3,300Clemons has been shuttling back and forth between the Rockets and the Rio Grande Valley Vipers in the G League. With Westbrook sitting out this game before playing in tomorrow’s contest against the Thunder to finish the Rockets back-to-back, Clemons was recalled Monday after he scored 40 points on Sunday against Austin for the Vipers.
While he hasn’t had a consistent enough role to be a fantasy value with Westbrook and Harden active, Clemons has come up huge in the past games without Westbrook. Russ sat twice in December and Clemons had 31.5 DKFP and 35.0 DKFP in those two contests. He had 17 points, four rebounds, two steals and two blocks in just 16 minutes against the Pistons the first time Westbrook rested, and he followed that up with 16 points and nine assists in 34 minutes against the Pelicans when Westbrook sat Dec. 29. With Westbrook out, Clemons is the top bargain play of the night, especially since he has to do so little to be worth his salary, which is barely over the minimum.
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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 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.