Big Wednesday is here and if you are recovering from a heartbreaking Tuesday night which saw Jerian Grant go off and Jrue Holiday get some rest, then you might be ready for the ten-game slate in store for tonight. There are quite a few high totals in the mix and some key matchups out there so let’s get to them!
As always, if you have any questions, find me on Twitter @JasonWalker_72 or on the Swayy app @jaywalker72.
Atlanta Hawks @ Charlotte Hornets
Line: Hawks -3
Pace: Atlanta (11th), Charlotte (15th)
Offensive Rating: Atlanta (6th), Charlotte (13th)
Defensive Rating: Atlanta (12th), Charlotte (14th)
Net Rating Differential (the higher the NRD, the more likely for a blowout): 2.1 in favor of the Hawks
The Hawks should attack the Hornets in the frontcourt, where Paul Millsap and Al Horford are poised and skilled to take advantage. Horford carries the recent hot label, averaging nearly 45 DKPPG recently and Millsap is always a threat to go for 50, as he’s done four times this season. Millsap’s 40 DKPPG average leads the Hawks as does his 32 minutes per game.
Opposing bigs do well against the Hawks, but Cody Zeller’s salary has risen to 5.5K and the Hornets don’t use him as much down the stretch, especially if behind, choosing to use Frank Kaminsky’s shooting to open things up for Kemba Walker and Jeremy Lin. But Marvin Williams has slipped down to 4.8K and has done well against the Hawks, his former team, having scored over 30 both times against them this season.
– Paul Millsap ($8,300)
– Al Horford ($7,200)
– Marvin Williams ($4,800)
– Kemba Walker ($8,100)
Milwaukee Bucks @ Washington Wizards
Line: Wizards -6
Pace: Milwaukee (24th), Washington (5th)
Offensive Rating: Milwaukee (19th), Washington (20th)
Defensive Rating: Milwaukee (29th), Washington (19th)
Net Rating Differential: 3.1 in favor of the Wizards
Jerryd Bayless is questionable for the Bucks. Kris Humphries and Marcin Gortat are questionable for the Wizards.
The Wizards continue to struggle against wings, so Khris Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo are in good places again after having big nights last night against Chicago. Middleton can go south at any time, but has averaged 36 per game over his last four and gets a ton of minutes every night, averaging 39 over his last four games and 35 per game for the season.
If Gortat misses again, you can bet folks will be running back to Drew Gooden, who played 26 minutes and scored 33 DK points on the 11th with Gortat out. Milwaukee is a fair matchup at center vs. Greg Monroe, but Gooden’s value , as long as Nene continues to be limited, minutes-wise as he was Monday. If Nene is off of a minutes restriction, he’s the play at 4.1K if Gortat is out. Nobody else leaps off the page as a solid play, as both John Wall and Otto Porter have seen their salaries escalate above a reasonable ceiling in this matchup and Garrett Temple’s salary has as well, moving to 4.6K and averaging about 24 DKPPG recently while starting for Bradley Beal.
– Khris Middleton ($6,800)
– Giannis Antetokounmpo ($6,500)
– Drew Gooden ($3,800)
– Nene Hilario ($4,100)
New York Knicks @ Brooklyn Nets
Line: Knicks -3
Pace: New York (23rd), Brooklyn (19th)
Offensive Rating: New York (14th), Brooklyn (29th)
Defensive Rating: New York (18th), Brooklyn (21st)
Net Rating Differential: 8.6 in favor of the Knicks
Carmelo Anthony is questionable for the Knicks after injuring his ankle Tuesday night.
With Melo out, Kristaps Porzingis is a play that everyone will look to, especially since he came across with such a big game before fouling out last night (46) and because the other two games this season Anthony missed this season, Kristaps should scored 44.25 and 52 DK points, averaging 39 minutes per game in those two outings. Also, Arron Afflalo picked up the slack in Melo’s absence, scoring 48.25 and 27.75 in the same two games. Also, Robin Lopez goes up against his brother, Brook, tonight. Brook has been one of the worst defenders against the center position all year. Robin’s salary has gone up to 5K, so it’s not great ceiling value, but he is in play in cash games
The Knicks have been tough against all positions this season, so focusing on the usage and minutes are going to be the key when looking at the Nets. So that’s Brook Lopez, who has averaged 37 DKPPG and 34 minutes per game. After Lopez, it’s Thaddeus Young, but he’s been struggling recently, so looking to value on the Nets you can find Donald Sloan, who can be a high peripheral guy (20 DK Net points per 36 minutes this season), is only 4K and has 24 minutes per game the last two games.
– Kristaps Porzingis ($7,000)
– Arron Afflalo ($4,900)
– Robin Lopez ($5,000)
– Brook Lopez ($7,600)
Indiana Pacers @ Boston Celtics
Line: Celtics -2.5
Pace: Indiana (9th), Boston (3rd)
Offensive Rating: Indiana (15th), Boston (22nd)
Defensive Rating: Indiana (2nd), Boston (3rd)
Net Rating Differential: 1.6 in favor of the Pacers
Rodney Stuckey is questionable for the Pacers.
Isaiah Thomas keeps on trucking. Marcus Smart back? 40 DK point games. Avery Bradley back, too? 50 DK point games. Thomas single handedly brought the Celtics back Tuesday night and will get a chance to show his productivity resilience against the Pacers and George Hill tonight. All the other Celtics have their minutes and/or production spread around so much, only Jae Crowder seems to get consistent minutes/production every night. Amir Johnson is a solid play, considering his solid playing time the last few games in the middle.
The Pacers can attack the Celtics up front, and Ian Mahinmi is at 5K and can deliver, as long as the minutes are there. Mahinmi has been averaging a solid 25 minutes per game and has delivered almost 30 DK points per game over the last week or so, making his salary a good value tonight with the additional bump from playing the Celtics bigs. Paul George is 8.9K, but his usage is still high (32% in January) and the Celtics are a plus matchup for opposing small forwards. Should Rodney Stuckey miss, CJ Miles jumps in at 4.6K as his usual solid tourney option.
– Isaiah Thomas ($7,800)
– Amir Johnson ($4,900)
– Paul George ($8,900)
– Ian Mahinmi ($5,000)
Minnesota Timberwolves @ Houston Rockets
Line: Rockets -8.5
Pace: Minnesota (18th), Houston (8th)
Offensive Rating: Minnesota (26th), Houston (9th)
Defensive Rating: Minnesota (20th), Houston (22nd)
Net Rating Differential: 2.5 in favor of the Rockets
Oh, James Harden, you vex me. Harden has been pretty average for a man who has been so usage heavy. Part of the issue is a slowing of his free throw rate. Once the top dog, easily, in this category, over the last ten games, he’s slipped to eighth, which isn’t bad, but it explains some of why he hasn’t been exceeding the 45-50 DK point range. His shots at the rim have slipped off, too, by about 10 percent. In this matchup, it’s a slightly negative one, so he may not be one of the top plays on the night. Dwight Howard, on the other hand, continues to produce at his 7Kish salary mark. Howard is averaging nearly as many DK points as Harden over the last four games, 43.75 compared to Harden’s 46.1, and has a solid matchup against Minnesota tonight. Terrence Jones has been playing against bigger frontcourts, of which the Timberwolves qualify. In the last two games against big teams (Utah, Memphis), Jones has averaged 31 minutes and has produced 32.5 DK points. For 4.3K, he’s a nice tourney option if you believe in that trend.
Houston has been struggling defending wings this season, so Andrew Wiggins is on the radar in this game. Wiggins is still priced a little high at 6.5K, but the additional boost Houston has provided, along with the faster pace, helps Wiggins get into the mid 30s in the game. Of the remaining Wolves, only Karl-Anthony Towns stands out as solid at a reasonable 6.6K with a slightly positive matchup against Howard.
– Dwight Howard ($7,300)
– Terrence Jones ($4,300)
– James Harden ($9,700)
– Andrew Wiggins ($6,500)
Dallas Mavericks @ Oklahoma City Thunder
Line: Thunder -10
Pace: Dallas (20th), Oklahoma City (10th)
Offensive Rating: Dallas (8th), Oklahoma City (2nd)
Defensive Rating: Dallas (15th), Oklahoma City (11th)
Net Rating Differential: 6.7 in favor of the Thunder
One thing we’ll need to wait on today is watching the Mavericks, coming off of an overtime game, resting players as they did after their 2-OT game earlier in the month. In that one, Zaza, Dirk, Deron and Wes Matthews all sat, leaving the production to Devin Harris, Dwight Powell, Ray Felton and Chandler Parsons. Stay watching that development. If they do play it straight with their starters, then it’s hard to ignore the consistency of Pachulia, who again scored 36 DK points in a tough matchup against the Cleveland bigs. Deron Williams at 5.7K is also in a good spot, attacking Russell Westbrook’s version of defense in a higher pace game and coming off a solid 36.5 DK point game himself and scoring 39 DK points against OKC earlier in the year.
Once again, it was Westbrook leading the Thunder in DK points as he consistently has the ball in this Billy Donovan offense. He and Kevin Durant continue to produce together, but it’s Westbrook that has the production edge, and why he’s priced almost a thousand more than Durant. Westbrook has the better matchup tonight, assuming all Dallas starters play. If the reserves are called on, Westbrook takes an even larger step forward. Enes Kanter is the Thunder big you want to play in tourneys due to his higher upside and minutes gained when the game is out of hand.
– Zaza Pachulia ($6,300)
– Deron Williams ($5,700)
– Russell Westbrook ($10,700)
– Enes Kanter ($4,800)
Golden State Warriors @ Denver Nuggets
Line: Warriors -9.5
Pace: Golden State (2nd), Denver (21st)
Offensive Rating: Golden State (1st), Denver (25th)
Defensive Rating: Golden State (4th), Denver (25th)
Net Rating Differential: 18.6 in favor of the Warriors
Draymond Green is doubtful for the Warriors tonight due to rest.
If Draymond Green is indeed out and the rest of the starters are in, this is a big bump to Stephen Curry, who assumes all playmaking responsibilities for the Warriors. In the smallest of sample sizes this season with Dray off the court and Steph and Klay Thompson on the court, a total of 27 minutes according to nbawowy, Curry’s usage is 32% and his DK points per minute is over 1.80. So, I know, breaking news, Steph Curry is in play. This would probably mean more minutes for Harrison Barnes, who has been coming off the bench behind Brandon Rush since returning from injury and some additional time for usage king Marreese Speights.
The Nuggets are hard to figure out, minute-wise, which is why Michael Malone is on my personal No-Trust list. Danilo Gallinari is always a safe play because his role is the most solid of any on the team. At 7.1K, he also provides 40-45 DK point upside and this will be a pace-up game for the Nuggets. Otherwise, you have to go low and hope to hit on one of the values down there between Nikola Jokic, Darrell Arthur, et al.
– Stephen Curry ($10,600)
– Harrison Barnes ($5,400)
– Danilo Gallinari ($7,100)
– Nikola Jokic ($4,200)
Utah Jazz @ Portland Trail Blazers
Line: Trail Blazers -2.5
Pace: Utah (30th), Portland (17th)
Offensive Rating: Utah (16th), Portland (10th)
Defensive Rating: Utah (17th), Portland (24th)
Net Rating Differential: 1.4 in favor of the Jazz
Derrick Favors is questionable again for the Jazz.
Favors isn’t going to play until he’s 100 percent, so we’ll watch the shootaround report and if he misses, then that’s a pretty good indicator he is not 100 percent and we’ll move on without him. What’s that’s meant is a lot of Gordon Hayward, whose usage is 29.3% with Favors and Alec Burks (also out) off the court. Rodney Hood has also seen his usage rise (26%), but his salary has leapt to nearly 6K (5.9) despite really only having three games all season that has exceeded value at that salary. Rudy Gobert is back and if he gets starters minutes against Portland, who is one of the worst defending teams against the center position, then he’s a solid play at 6.1K
It’s going to be a pace down game for Portland, so the prices will be inflated somewhat but it’s hard to ignore the excellence of Damian Lillard, especially against a fairly neutral matchup at the PG position in Utah. Lillard has produced games of 48.75, 69.75 and 57.75 over his last three games and is 9.2K for tonight. His usage in January is on par with the other big fantasy point producers at 32%. CJ McCollum’s salary dropped back down to 7.2K is on the radar as well as Lillard’s running mate in the backcourt and the other major user in the Portland offensive universe. Terry Stotts loves him some shooters, so the ball being dominated by Lillard/McCollum is no surprise and not irregular at all.
– Gordon Hayward ($7,300)
– Rudy Gobert ($6,100)
– Damian Lillard ($9,200)
– C.J. McCollum ($7,200)
New Orleans Pelicans @ Sacramento Kings
Line: Kings -8
Pace: New Orleans (12th), Sacramento (1st)
Offensive Rating: New Orleans (18th), Sacramento (12th)
Defensive Rating: New Orleans (28th), Sacramento (27th)
Net Rating Differential: 1.8 in favor of the Kings
Anthony Davis is questionable for the Pelicans.
Even if The Brow plays, it’s still a great matchup and you should be all into Tyreke Evans, Jrue Holiday and Ryan Anderson. Holiday, likely because of back-to-back, was more lightly used that he had been in previous games, and the Pelicans lost to the Lakers. Not saying, just saying. Holiday is 6.4K and is I’m doubling down on him tonight against the Kings who are a very plus matchup in the backcourt. Evans, a former King, comes back to Sacramento and is also in a good spot, even at 8.2K. Evans’ usage is 27.3 in January and Holiday’s is 28.4. These guys are going to shoot and use the basketball often and the Kings are the perfect team to deploy this strategy against.
Boogie Cousins is back over 10K and he’s in a tremendous spot in this game against the woeful Pelicans frontcourt defense. Boogie’s last four games? 64.25, 73.75, 55.0 and 54.50. Yummy. Rajon Rondo has been up and down but this is a terrific game to engage Rondo if you want exposure to the game but not pay up for Cousins.
– Jrue Holiday ($6,400)
– Tyreke Evans ($8,200)
– DeMarcus Cousins ($10,500)
– Rajon Rondo ($8,600)
Miami Heat @ Los Angeles Clippers
Line: Clippers -5
Pace: Miami (28th), Los Angeles (14th)
Offensive Rating: Miami (11th), Los Angeles (5th)
Defensive Rating: Miami (6th), Los Angeles (10th)
Net Rating Differential: 0.8 in favor of the Clippers
Hassan Whiteside is questionable for the Heat and DeAndre Jordan is questionable for the Clippers.
Without Blake Griffin, I love Chris Paul in just about any matchup he gets into, especially at home, even against the Miami Heat, who have been league leaders in defending the point guard position. Paul has averaged over 52 DK points in his last four games and has been getting 33 minutes per game in that time frame. Even if Jordan plays, he doesn’t have the scoring upside to beat value at 8K. The only other tourney option for me on the Clippers is Jamal Crawford at 4.1K, who has huge upside with scoring, especially if they need Crawford to create some instant offense against Miami’s tough defense.
If he plays, I like Whiteside’s place against a typically loose Jordan defense and, at 7K, he’s a decent price entry into this matchup. Dwyane Wade went from almost not playing against the Warriors to popping 48 DK points and it’s a neutral matchup for him tonight.
– Chris Paul ($9,100)
– Jamal Crawford ($4,100)
– Dwyane Wade ($6,800)
– Hassan Whiteside ($7,000)