It’s Big Wednesday! And if you thought Stephen Curry was going to go the same route Tuesday night as Monday’s Rajon Rondo and go from out to questionable to probable to playing, then wake up from that dream, clear your spreadsheets and get ready for a whopper of an 11-game slate tonight. Let’s get to it!
As always, if you have any questions, find me on Twitter @JasonWalker_72.
Stats from StatMuse, NBAWowy, NBA Stats, Nylon Calculus
Chicago Bulls @ Orlando Magic
Line: Magic by 4
Gotta attack the Bulls inside, and the Magic, despite last night’s Scott Skiles Classic Meltdown Play The Entire Roster That’ll Teach ‘Em Moment, have two guys that can pile up the points inside in Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vucevic. Before last night, Gordon has scored more than 30 DK points in nine straight games. Vucevic still scored 32 DK points last night in half a game and has four games over 45 in his last eight.
The Bulls still have one of the best offensive centers in the league in Pau Gasol, who put up 37.25 points in a tough matchup against Hassan Whiteside last night. Gasol also only played 30 minutes, so I’m assuming no rest will be needed for the veteran. Neither Mike Dunleavy nor Doug McDermott came through last night against Joe Johnson and the Heat, but Dunleavy got nearly 30 minutes and has a much better matchup against Evan Fournier (assuming he’s good to go).
- Mike Dunleavy ($4,300)
- Pau Gasol ($8,700)
- Aaron Gordon ($6,900)
- Nikola Vucevic ($8,000)
Charlotte Hornets @ Philadelphia 76ers
Line: Hornets by 8.5
Hornets are coming off an easy win over the Suns and get a slightly tougher but still manageable defensive opponent in the Sixers, with a slightly pace-up game for the Hornets to boot. Kemba Walker had been overlooked but was fairly highly owned last night and delivered another stellar effort, a 50-burger in less than 30 minutes against the Suns defense. Ish Smith defense is also pretty tasty, so Walker is on the menu again, even at $8.1K. With Al Jefferson back, the offense is more spread out, so while Nic Batum scored over 30, he still only took 10 shots and that was a high mark since Jefferson has been back. Marvin Williams has a good matchup here against either Jerami Grant or Jahlil Okafor, whoever plays the PF spot tomorrow. Marvin had been playing well, but had fewer minutes in the blowout last night.
Should Okafor miss another game with his shin bruise, then Grant would be an excellent fill-in again. It’s not a great matchup against Marvin, but he’s scored 30 and 39 DK points filling in and is still at $4.7K, so even in the tougher matchup, he’s looking at solid value. And even though Isaiah Canaan started the last game at SG, Nik Stauskas still managed nearly 23 DK points and has an good matchup against Jeremy Lamb or Lin off the bench. At $3.6K, he’s got tourney upside if he gets to 26-28 minutes played in this matchup.
Editor’s Note (5:25 PM ET): Jahlil Okafor has been ruled out for tonight. Okafor’s missed the 76ers game on Monday night and the primary beneficiary was Jerami Grant who played 35 minutes with 30.5 DraftKings points. Okafor’s absence should also open up some rebounding and scoring opportunities for Nerlens Noel who is really the only post option left on this Sixers roster. Both get nice production bumps with the Okafor news.
- Kemba Walker ($8,100)
- Marvin Williams ($6,000)
- Jerami Grant ($4,700)
- Nik Stauskas ($3,600)
Portland Trail Blazers @ Boston Celtics
Line: Celtics by 5.5
Damian Lillard keeps on trucking, pounding out mid 40s DK point games with rabid consistency. The matchup here isn’t great, but he is, and in tournaments he’s bound to go more overlooked than he should in this pace up game for the Blazers. The C’s are weak inside, so Mason Plumlee, despite not getting the 30 minutes or so that would make him a no-doubter at his $4.8K price tag, is a solid play against the generosity of the Celtics’ big men.
Plumlee himself is also generous, and with Kelly Olynyk still out with his partially separated shoulder, Jared Sullinger has been getting upper 20s and sometimes 30 minutes, much to our delight. Sullinger has elite peripherals, scoring 26.5 DK points per 36 minutes on those alone. Toss in his solid 23% usage since the beginning of February and he’s a solid play, even at $6K. Evan Turner and Avery Bradley have the next best matchup, and I’m giving the edge to Turner thanks to his peripherals, almost nine more points per 36 minutes over Bradley.
- Damian Lillard ($9.500)
- Mason Plumlee ($4,800)
- Jared Sullinger ($6,000)
- Evan Turner ($5,300)
Check Out Tonight’s Top Center Targets
Utah Jazz @ Toronto Raptors
Line: Raptors by 6
This is not an attractive game, and one where only a couple of players should find your rosters in tournament action. For the Jazz, Shelvin Mack is nothing special, but he is getting almost 30 minutes per game starting at PG and is more of a volume shooter than you would think. Mack is $4.6K and has has averaged 11 shots per game since joining the Jazz. The Raptors have been weak at center, so Gobert might be able to take advantage as he did in a similar individual matchup against the Nets.
Toronto has a tough climb against the Jazz, who have been the toughest defense in the last 15 games when combining Pace and defensive rating. However, since Mack has been starting, he’s been a weak link in the Utah defensive chain, and Kyle Lowry, now at $8.4K, can be useful here. DeMar DeRozan is still an elite free throw rate player and Rodney Hood has not been as tough recently defensively, giving DeRozan and his mid 20s usage some play tonight.
- Shelvin Mack ($4,600)
- Rudy Gobert ($6,800)
- Kyle Lowry ($8,400)
- DeMar DeRozan ($7,400)
New Orleans Pelicans @ Houston Rockets
Line: Rockets by 5.5
If Anthony Davis starts this game, he has a great matchup as all you need to do is look at the who is playing the Rockets this season and play the power forward against them. Four of the last five games have returned the following scores: 50.5, 50.5, 47 and 38. The other game was a 25.5 by the Blazers, who fail to offer a solid PF1 on any night. If Davis sits, and thus join Omer Asik, this is heaven for Ryan Anderson, evidenced by his 57+ DK point game in that very scenario against Minnesota.
As for the Rockets, with no Asik, the center position has been very weak this season for the Pelicans, bordering on Lakers bad. Howard should eat well inside against them with Harden working whoever plays SG for New Orleans assuming Eric Gordon is playing small forward.
- Anthony Davis ($10,100)
- Ryan Anderson ($6,100)
- James Harden ($10,400)
- Dwight Howard ($7,600)
Sacramento Kings @ Memphis Grizzlies
Line: Grizzlies by 5
The Kings are still among the worst at defending the SG position and PJ Hairston has been getting the start since his arrival in Memphis. 31 minutes his last time out at though he only delivered 22 DK points, in a pace up game against the plus matchup Kings, and Hairston is sneaky value here. Mike Conley let us down against Denver, but he’s still the usage master here and has a plus matchup himself. The Kings are a bit messy beyond DeMarcus Cousins and Rajon Rondo in terms of roles and production, so I’m apt to leave my targets on those two in this one, though playing the third hardest defensive team over the past 15 games tends to steer me clear of them at their prices.
- DeMarcus Cousins ($10,600)
- Rajon Rondo ($8,300)
- Mike Conley ($7,200)
- P.J. Hairston ($3,700)
Indiana Pacers @ Milwaukee Bucks
Line: Pacers by 2
The positions to go after the Pacers lately have been in the frontcourt, so the Bucks can use Jabari Parker and bring Greg Monroe off the bench, for some ridiculous reason, to make hay there. Parker’s salary has risen to $6.7K thanks to a series of 40+ DK point games that coincided with (gasp!) extended playing time. Monroe continues to produce at an elite level, but he’s coming off the bench behind Miles Plumlee but should get a good matchup here to bounce back from a foul-plagued outing last time out against the Rockets. On the Pacers side, Paul George continues to lead the team in usage (31.7% over last 10 games) and production (43.1 DKPPG). Monta Ellis is up and down but has the good matchup against the Bucks here as both Khris Middleton and OJ Mayo rate out as plus matchups.
Editor’s Note (6:25 PM ET): Michael Carter-Williams has been ruled out on Wednesday. Jerryd Bayless ($4700) played 35 minutes on Monday with MCW out and had 31.75 DraftKings points. He’s the biggest beneficiary here and there should be some usage bumps to both Khris Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo (both will be on the ball more).
- Paul George ($8,600)
- Monta Ellis ($6,100)
- Jabari Parker ($6,700)
- Greg Monroe ($6,800)
Washington Wizards @ Minnesota Timberwolves
Line: Wizards by 3.5
John Wall has scored 47.9 DK PPG and enjoyed 28 percent usage over the last 10 games and has a so-so matchup here against Ricky Rubio and the Timberwolves. Still, at his skill level, he’s a tourney play that might be less than 5 percent owned with tremendous consistency, a high game total and close spread on the road. Marcin Gortat has been relatively as good as wall, getting 35.4 DKPPG for his 20% usage over the last 10 games. Gortat also has an ok matchup against Minnesota and should enjoy the virtues of the high total, close game as well.
On the Minnesota side, Karl-Anthony Towns has leveled up and is now using 26.3% of possessions and averaging 43.7 DKPPG. Last season Gortat was tough to roster against but this year has been easier, as top centers like Pau Gasol (44.25 DK FP against) and Hassan Whiteside (58.75 DK FP against) have scored big on Washington. Everyone else is pretty priced up relative to their production but you can still squeeze some value out of Zach LaVine, who has taken back over the starting SG role and has averaged almost 14 shots per game over the last three games.
- John Wall ($9,700)
- Marcin Gortat ($7,100)
- Karl-Anthony Towns ($8,500)
- Zach LaVine ($5,500)
Detroit Pistons @ San Antonio Spurs
Line: Spurs by 10.5
Pound the Pistons in the frontcourt is a solid path to fantasy goodness. San Antonio has two of the best in Tim Duncan and LaMarcus Aldridge. LMA is coming off an nice 50.50 DK point performance against the Rockets and should find some solid footing at home against the Pistons as well. Duncan doesn’t play long minutes, but at $4.8K, in a matchup against Drummond where they might need him longer than normal, he’s prime for value there. Drummond isn’t a bad play either, at $7.8K. He’s put up 43 DKPPG over his last three games and the Spurs have given up five games of 35 DK points or more to opposing centers five times in seven games. The other soft spot has been PG, and Reggie Jackson is leading the Pistons in usage at 27% over the last three games.
- Reggie Jackson ($6,600)
- Andre Drummond ($7,800)
- LaMarcus Aldridge ($6,900)
- Tim Duncan ($4,800)
Los Angeles Lakers @ Denver Nuggets
Line: Nuggets by 6.5
Many players had D’Angelo Russell last night. Many people reaped great rewards. Many people will be back on Russell tonight. Russell had 55.50 DK points against the Nets last night and the Nuggets are almost as lenient. It’s a terrible time to go in on Russell in tournaments, as recency bias will have the people all over him at $5.8K. Julius Randle has a plus matchup, too, and Larry Nance should sit on the back end of the back to back. Another reason not to roster Russell is that Kobe Bryant is probably to play and when he plays, he owns the ball. Over the last 10 games, Kobe has a 34.8% usage rate and 32.1 DKPPG. Russell isn’t going to have as many opportunities with Kobe there, playing his last game in Denver.
The Nuggets have a top matchup at center and Nikola Jokic, though subject to the rotational whim of Michael Malone, is a top talent. Coming off back to back games of less than 20 minutes, he’s a tournament dream in this matchup against LAL. Kenneth Faried has a tremendous matchup as well, but if he can’t go with a bad back, then Darrell Arthur becomes a great value at $3.9K. Arthur has put up 28.5 and 20.5 DK point games his last two times out as Malone went small, but with Faried possibly out, Arthur could start and see mid 30s minutes instead of 25-28.
- Kobe Bryant ($5,700)
- Julius Randle ($6,200)
- Nikola Jokic ($5,600)
- Darrell Arthur ($3,900)
Oklahoma City Thunder @ Los Angeles Clippers
Line: Clippers by 1
The Main Event.
No need to overthink this. This is Ricky Vaughn throwing the fastball. Luke Skywalker firing at the Death Star. Jimmy Chitwood taking the last shot. Both Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul should have big games. Paul has the better matchup in Westbrook, but both will own the ball. Kevin Durant should have little resistance from the Clippers and DeAndre Jordan should be able to do what he does, collect rebounds and finish, especially if Billy Donovan decides he need Enes Kanter for more offense and take the tougher defensive matchup in Steven Adams off the floor. In short, have some exposure here. The last game of the night is a delicious hammer, and having Westbrook, Paul or Durant in it makes it a lot of fun. Good luck tonight.
- Russell Westbrook ($11,200)
- Kevin Durant ($10,200)
- Chris Paul ($9,800)
- DeAndre Jordan ($7,600)