There are seven games on Wednesday night’s fantasy basketball slate, highlighted by the first meeting of the season between James Harden ($11,700) and his Rockets and Kawhi Leonard’s ($9,700) Clippers. Both teams enter the matchup a strong 7-3 after their first 10 games, setting up a potential Western Conference Finals preview. The Celtics (8-1) and Lakers (8-2) are also off to great starts as they host the Wizards and Warriors, respectively.
With no shortage of big-name stars including The Beard, Kawhi and five others with salaries over $9K, you’ll need to find some salary-saving options that help stretch your budget while still offering good production. To help you in your search of the bargain bin, check out my top four under $4K for this Wednesday.
PG TREY BURKE, PHI at ORL, $3,900
The 76ers are one of three teams finishing out a back-to-back set Wednesday night, so monitor the news carefully to see if Philadelphia rests any of its regulars. Burke actually sat out Tuesday with a calf injury but said he’ll be ready to go for this matchup with his former team, the Magic. In addition to the potential revenge narrative, another reason to give Burke consideration is he could get extra work since Ben Simmons ($6,800) played 35 minutes in his return from an AC joint sprain Tuesday.
Burke has played only two games since joining the Sixers but has put up decent numbers in each. He had 12 points, five rebounds, four assists and 28.25 DKFP in his most recent contest, which was Sunday against Charlotte. If Simmons is out or limited, Burke will have a high ceiling and also could thrive in garbage time if the game gets lopsided. Double-check his status and see what the Sixers are planning to do before tip-off, but he deserves a look if things line up his way.
PF/C ROBERT WILLIAMS, BOS vs. WAS, $3,900
During the Celtics’ hot start, Williams and Daniel Theis ($4,800; finger) have been manning the middle and providing strong defense and limited offense. Enes Kanter ($4,600) just returned from a seven-game absence and will crowd the rotation, which could limit Williams’ fantasy upside. However, with Theis doubtful against the Wizards, the logjam should be eased quite a bit, and Time Lord should be set up for plenty of minutes.
Williams had one of his best games as a pro Saturday in San Antonio, finishing with 34.75 DKFP on 11 points, seven rebounds, six blocks and two assists in 22 minutes. He only played 17 minutes against Dallas on Monday but still had a solid 13.25 DKFP. With 20-plus minutes likely coming his way in this matchup against the Wizards, Williams is a low-risk option with a nice ceiling, provided Theis is ruled out.
C JAVALE MCGEE, LAL vs. GS, $3,700
Minutes have been hard to come by for McGee, but he has continued to produce when he’s on the floor and could get extra run against his former team as the Warriors roll into Los Angeles. McGee only needed 11 minutes to put together 20.25 DKFP against the Suns on 11 points, three rebounds and three assists. He’s battling for playing time with Dwight Howard ($4,300) as Anthony Davis ($9,400) also soaks up time at center.
McGee has scored at least nine points in four straight games despite playing no more than 17 minutes in any of those contests. He has more than 20 DKFP in three of those four games, including a season-high 27.5 DKFP against Chicago last Saturday. His role does put a cap on his ceiling, but he has been high-impact when on the floor, so take a look at his potential revenge narrative against the severely injury-depleted Warriors, who continue to lose more players to injury.
SG/SF BEN McLEMORE, HOU vs. LAC, $3,100
McLemore has played in all 10 games for the Rockets but is averaging only 15.3 minutes per game. The situation is different Wednesday, though, since Danuel House Jr. ($4,400, back) is doubtful and Eric Gordon (knee) is out for multiple weeks. McLemore is expected to move all the way into the starting lineup and will get all the minutes he can handle since Houston doesn’t have many other options on the wing.
Last week, McLemore did play 30 minutes against Memphis and ended up taking 11 shots. He had a solid 19.75 DKFP despite going just 3-for-10 from long-range. He should have enough volume to be a low-risk play at only $3,100 and has the potential for big returns if he hits more of his shots than he did in that outing. Since we haven’t seen him as a starter, there are definitely plenty of unknowns in rolling with McLemore, but he should be able to manage good return on investment just from logging so many minutes.
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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.