It’s Big Wednesday! And if you are sad to see the end of the Ray McCallum usefulness era last night then get up out of your chairs, get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell: ‘I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not gonna take this anymore!’, then come back inside, sip some chocolate milk and let’s get ready for this loosen-your-belt 12-game slate tonight. Let’s get to it!

As always, if you have any questions, find me on Twitter @Jason_Walker_72.

Stats from StatMuse, NBAWowy, NBA Stats, Nylon Calculus. Quote from the movie, “Network”.

Injury Box

Note: Be sure to follow injury news throughout the day for the latest updates and changes to the statuses listed below.

StatusPlayers
ProbableKevin Love (CLE), Jusuf Nurkic (DEN), Jeff Green (LAC), Carmelo Anthony (NYK), Allen Crabbe (POR)
QuestionableDennis Schroder (ATL), Jonas Jerebko (BOS), Kenneth Faried (DEN), Jakarr Sampson (DEN), Kevin Seraphin (NYK), James Johnson (TOR), Jonas Valanciunas (TOR), Patrick Patterson (TOR), Alan Anderson (WAS), Robert Covington (PHI), Richaun Holmes (PHI), Goran Dragic (MIA), Kobe Bryant (LAL), D'Angelo Russell (LAL)
DoubtfulAndrew Bogut (GSW)
OutJae Crowder (BOS), E'Twaun Moore (CHI), Chandler Parsons (DAL), Andre Iguodala (GSW), Jahlil Okafor (PHI), Ben McLemore (SAC), DeMarcus Cousins (SAC), Tyson Chandler (PHX), Ryan Kelly (LAL), Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (DET)

Editor’s Note (1:50 PM ET): DeMarcus Cousins has been ruled OUT tonight. This has a huge impact on the Kings who will need to pick up the slack for one of the best big men the NBA has to offer. Rajon Rondo ($7,600) sees a usage rate bump from 19 percent to 20.7 percent with Cousins out this season. Rudy Gay ($6,100) has a usage rate bump from 22.1 percent to 28.7 percent with Cousins sidelined this year. If you are searching for value, Kosta Koufos ($3,000) sees a usage rate bump from 14.7 percent to 17 percent with Cousins out and has played 27.3 minutes per game (compared to 18 minutes on the season).

Editor’s Note (5:00 PM ET): Tyson Chandler is unlikely to play tonight for the Suns. Jon Leuer ($3,600) is averaging over 1 DK fantasy points per minute, according to our own Levitan’s Leverage article. Leuer is averaging over 26 DK FPPG with Chandler out this season. Alex Len has also averaged just under 30 DK points per game with Chandler sidelined in 2015-16.


Atlanta Hawks @ Washington Wizards

Over/Under: 209
Line: Hawks by 1

These teams just played and though Bradley Beal and Otto Porter went off in that game, I’m not prepared to go against the second best defense over the last 20 games, including Thabo Sefolosha. The Hawks give up a lot of rebounds to opponents, so I’m going to stay with Marcin Gortat as a fantasy producer here and the Hawks always struggle to keep John Wall at bay.

The Wizards get beat on the wings, so I like the way that the Hawks have used Tim Hardaway, Jr. more in the rotation, especially when they need some extra offense. THJ has been play (gasp!) good defense and gotten a solid role in the rotation as late, especially with Kent Bazemore being banged up a little. Al Horford has produced nearly 40 DKPPG over his last four games and has turned up the activity since the All-Star break as the Hawks are getting into playoff gear.

Mar23 - Al Horford

Targets

  • John Wall ($9,600)
  • Marcin Gortat ($6,500)
  • Tim Hardaway Jr. ($4,000)
  • Al Horford ($6,800)


Milwaukee Bucks @ Cleveland Cavaliers

Over/Under: 206.5
Line: Cavs by 11

Who knows what’s going on in Cleveland? Kyrie Irving is slumping and Kevin Love is has been missing time with illness, so the load falls squarely on the capable shoulders of LeBron James. James is still underpriced for his stature and crushed for 66.75 his last time out. The Bucks have been vulnerable from the SG position, so JR Smith and his streakiness will try to make it two games in a row after his 36.50 performance against Denver.

The Bucks are oddly priced right now, a little inflated, but Giannis Antetokounmpo has been the consistent one, averaging 24% raw usage and 44 DKPPG over his last four games. Irving is a good player to target on the Cavs defensively, so take your pick of the high minute, low ceiling Jerryd Bayless at 4K or even less expensive but potentially higher return of Tyler Ennis (3K).

Targets

  • Giannis Antetokounmpo ($9,500)
  • Jerryd Bayless ($4,000)
  • J.R. Smith ($4,600)
  • LeBron James ($9,400)


Toronto Raptors @ Boston Celtics

Over/Under: 209.5
Line: Celtics by 2.5

We just saw this game last week and the Celtics, who are among the league leaders in allowing free throw attempts, sent Kyle Lowry to line over and over again en route to a 51.50 performance. Either Lowry or DeMar DeRozan, who both are in the top five in free throw attempts per game, is a solid play here against the Celtics. The Celtics, with Jae Crowder out, have opened up some value with additional time and usage for Avery Bradley and more rebounds for Amir Johnson. Both are solid plays as raw usage leader Isaiah Thomas struggled against Lowry his last time out.

Mar23 - Kyle Lowry

Targets

  • Kyle Lowry ($8,300)
  • DeMar DeRozan ($7,600)
  • Avery Bradley ($5,200)
  • Amir Johnson ($4,200)


Orlando Magic @ Detroit Pistons

Over/Under: 208.5
Line: Pistons by 7

“Nicholson has seen his time increase over the past two games and has averaged 27 DKPPG off the bench…

Save for Victor Oladipo, who gets a break not having to go against Kentavious Caldwell-Pope tonight, the Magic have been a mess without Nikola Vucevic. The minutes have been a little random in the frontcourt, but that’s provided value for 20 minutes per game guys Jason Smith and Andrew Nicholson, both of who have been around 6x in value in recent games. Smith, facing off against Andre Drummond, could be called on more to draw Drummond away from the hoop or make the Pistons pay when Andre sags in the lane to protect against Oladipo drives, which is what I think happens and gives Smith chances to score. Nicholson has seen his time increase over the past two games and has averaged 27 DKPPG off the bench in those games. He’s a tourney punt play at best, but is especially good if the Magic get down early, which could happen there in Detroit, and angry Skiles clears the starters.

The Pistons have a settled rotation at the wings and it makes Marcus Morris and Tobias Harris solid plays nightly. Harris has the revenge game narrative here, if you care for that, against the Magic and he and Morris have the positive matchups here. If Stanley Johnson gets the start for a sitting KCP, then he’s certainly in play at 3.8K.

Targets

  • Tobias Harris ($6,100)
  • Marcus Morris ($5,200)
  • Jason Smith ($4,000)
  • Andrew Nicholson ($3,300)


New York Knicks @ Chicago Bulls

Over/Under: 204
Line: Bulls by 8.5

Carmelo Anthony is back and should play a heavy scoring usage role in this one for the Knicks. His matchup against Doug McDermott/Mike Dunleavy grades out as a plus matchup, so with his 28-30% raw usage rate, Anthony has a solid mid 40s range here. Robin Lopez has seen his role and offensive participation increase, and so even though he’s up to 5.7K now, he’s a good play in a solid plus matchup against a minutes restricted Pau Gasol and the rest of the Bulls frontcourt. Chicago will come at the Knicks backcourt with their usage leader, Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler, who has been getting his legs underneath him in recent games and had his highest minutes since returning from injury in his last game out (35 minutes).

Targets

  • Carmelo Anthony ($8,300)
  • Robin Lopez ($5,700)
  • Derrick Rose ($6,000)
  • Jimmy Butler ($7,500)


Utah Jazz @ Houston Rockets

Over/Under: 200
Line: Rockets by 3.5

The Jazz are tough, but James Harden hit 56.75 against them the last time he faced them a dozen or so games ago. Harden is coming off another 60 burger last night and Dwight Howard is down to about 14% raw usage over the last five games. Harden is dialing it up to make the playoffs, so no minor injury or former All-Star center is going to get in his way. Helping that cause is the improved offense of Patrick Beverley, who is knocking down the open looks that Harden is creating, getting 28 DKPPG over his last five games. While Harden is turning up the offense, the defense still lacks for Houston, and the get beat at the SF/PF positions, where Gordon Hayward and Derrick Favors happen to be the ball dominant players in Utah.

Targets

  • Gordon Hayward ($6,900)
  • Derrick Favors ($7,200)
  • James Harden ($10,000)
  • Patrick Beverley ($4,300)


Sacramento Kings @ Minnesota Timberwolves

Over/Under: 223.5
Line: Timberwolves by 2.5

Could be the most fantasy friendly game of the night, even more so than the Clippers/Warriors game (more down the page on that). Love the top guys in this game, with DeMarcus Cousins, with his 52 DKPPG average over his last five games, leading the way. Karl-Anthony Towns has continued to create a high level of consistency himself, with 41.5 DKPPG over his last five games, while Ricky Rubio has been even better, with a 42.5 average over the same span. You can make the solid case that Zach LaVine should be considered against the weak Sacramento SG defense and also priced well at an even $6K. Both of these teams are in the bottom eight in team defense over the past 15 games are in the top ten in pace over that same span.

Editor’s Note (1:50 PM ET): DeMarcus Cousins has been ruled OUT tonight. This has a huge impact on the Kings who will need to pick up the slack for one of the best big men the NBA has to offer. Rajon Rondo ($7,600) sees a usage rate bump from 19 percent to 20.7 percent with Cousins out this season. Rudy Gay ($6,100) has a usage rate bump from 22.1 percent to 28.7 percent with Cousins sidelined this year. If you are searching for value, Kosta Koufos ($3,000) sees a usage rate bump from 14.7 percent to 17 percent with Cousins out and has played 27.3 minutes per game (compared to 18 minutes on the season).

Mar23 - Kosta Koufos2

Targets

  • Kosta Koufos ($3,000)
  • Rudy Gay ($6,100)
  • Darren Collison ($5,100)
  • Ricky Rubio ($7,100)
  • Karl-Anthony Towns ($8,500)


Miami Heat @ San Antonio Spurs

Over/Under: 195
Line: Spurs by 11

This might be an underrated fantasy game here because both teams are up in pace from the start of the season and both are top ten in offensive efficiency as well. The Spurs have been driven by LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard, and both lead the Spurs in raw usage and DKPPG over the past ten games. They both also have the best individual matchups for the Spurs against Miami tonight. The Heat counter with solid individual plays at the Spurs weak spots, PG and Center. Goran Dragic has benefitted the most from the uptempo play, more suited to his style of play. He’s averaged 37 DKPPG over the last 10 games and goes against Tony Parker, who is the weakest starting link for the Spurs. Hassan Whiteside is getting his against any and everyone, with league leading blocks per game and solid rebounding, even off the bench.

Targets

  • Goran Dragic ($6,100)
  • Hassan Whiteside ($7,800)
  • LaMarcus Aldridge ($7,400)
  • Kawhi Leonard ($8,000)


Player TargetsLevitan's LeverageCheat Sheet
Game BreakdownsTournament PlaysTop 5's by Position


Philadelphia 76ers @ Denver Nuggets

Over/Under: 212.5
Line: Nuggets by 10.5

The Sixers come into Denver with Robert Covington coming back, which diffuses some of the additional wing value that has been in play since he went out with a concussion a few games ago. The Nuggets are going to struggle up front and get their shots blocked quite a bit, helping an athletic help defender in Nerlens Noel boost his peripherals a bit in this game. They also are weak at the point, so Ish Smith, whose price is below $6K for the first time since December 30th, is a solid target here. Ish may have slipped off his rainbow peak after joining the Sixers, but his raw usage and true usage rates are still very high and his aggressive drives to the hoop can be helped by the Nuggets top ten free throws attempted rate for their opponents.

“…Michael Malone is determined not to have anyone but Gary Harris play more than 30 minutes per game.

The Nuggets will counter with a lot of part time players, as Michael Malone is determined not to have anyone but Gary Harris play more than 30 minutes per game. The best in those small minutes are Nikola Jokic, who has 40 DK point upside even on short minutes and D.J. Augustin, who has been playing in a go-small backcourt a lot for Denver in past games and has been averaging 26 DKPPG over his last ten games.

Targets

  • Nerlens Noel ($6,600)
  • Ish Smith ($5,900)
  • Nikola Jokic ($6,100)
  • D.J. Augustin ($4,800)


Los Angeles Lakers @ Phoenix Suns

Over/Under: 210.5
Line: Suns by 11.5

Two weak teams who are in the bottom five in defense over the last 15 games, there is plenty to look at on both sides here. The Suns will be able to use their two talented guards, Brandon Knight and Devin Booker, to attack the Lakers, who may be without D’Angelo Russell tonight with an injury. Tyson Chandler will miss the game for the Suns also, which would give Jon Leuer additional value, as he showed when he played 31 minutes against Memphis and scored 36.25 DK points. Alex Len has also seen a boost with Chandler out this season, averaging 6 more DK points per game with Chandler sidelined this year.

Mar23 - Alex Len

The Lakers will lean more heavily on Jordan Clarkson, who is second to Kobe in raw usage without Russell around. Clarkson has averaged 25 DKPPG over his last 10 games and scored 33+ DK points last night against Memphis. Julius Randle continues to excel in defensive rebounding percentage and will be in position to gobble up even more against a Suns team that has is next to last in eFG%, leaving plenty of boards for Randle to gobble up.

Targets

  • Jordan Clarkson ($5,200)
  • Julius Randle ($6,000)
  • Brandon Knight ($7,300)
  • Jon Leuer ($3,600)


Dallas Mavericks @ Portland Trail Blazers

Over/Under: 215
Line: Blazers by 6

An interesting undercard on the late slate to the Clippers/Warriors slugfest, the Mavericks start to finish the season without the services of Chandler Parsons. Previously, this has meant more SF time for Wesley Matthews, who is in a good spot here with some secured minutes and a $4.2K salary. Deron Williams just went bonkers with a 60-burger against the Blazers in Dallas, so he’s not going to sneak up on anyone here in the same plus matchup at 5.2K. Damian Lillard is still the man in Portland, clearly, and his 9.1K salary shouldn’t scare you off of him when he’s averaging 32.5% raw usage over the last 10 games and a 44 DKPPG average over those games. He has the upside, especially at home, to go 60-70 DK points, making him an excellent play in tournaments with eyes on shinier objects. Meanwhile, I hope you’ve been paying attention to DKPlaybook when I, and my other writer cohorts, told you about Mason Plumlee when Meyers Leonard is out. We said his minutes per game go up close to 30 per game with Leonard out and Plumlee’s DKPPM rate follow him there. It was all true and will be again here in this matchup. Time is running out on his value.

Mar23 - Wes Matthews

Targets

  • Deron Williams ($5,200)
  • Wesley Matthews ($4,200)
  • Damian Lillard ($9,100)
  • Mason Plumlee ($4,600)


Los Angeles Clippers @ Golden State Warriors

Over/Under: 225.5
Line: Warriors by 9.5

The game of the night. There will be points, oh yes, there will most definitely be points. Now that I’ve no doubt cursed the total, Chris Paul is in a tremendous spot to continue his dominant ways without Blake Griffin in the mix this season. Paul is averaging 48 DKPPG over his last ten games and leads the team in raw usage. Paul steps his game up in the bigger moments, and none are bigger than trying to take down the Warriors in this emotional rivalry. There’s no Andrew Bogut to hassle DeAndre Jordan so I’m expecting the Clippers center to have a better game than he he’s had in the past, considering James Michael McAdoo and Marreese Speights are his likely foils in the paint tonight. Stephen Curry is always in play and despite his performance in San Antonio, the MVP is a good play in the biggest games, just like Paul. I like the idea of this game being close and Curry having to be very active to win, but if the game isn’t, it’s probably because Curry went supernova. I put Speights down as the secondary target here due to price and likely usage and his own mass usage when he plays, but they’ve been playing around with the tired Anderson Varejao, so Speights is only a target for tourneys, even if I have an unhealthy affection for the guy tonight. Good luck!

Targets

  • Chris Paul ($9,700)
  • DeAndre Jordan ($7,700)
  • Stephen Curry ($10,500)
  • Marreese Speights ($3,900)