Wednesday’s fantasy basketball slate has 10 games. The biggest point totals on DraftKings Sportsbook are in Philadelphia for Spurs-76ers (226.5) and New York for Rockets-Knicks (226).
Notable players whose statuses will need to be monitored during the day include: Andre Drummond (concussion), Ben Simmons (illness), Marc Gasol (back), Jimmy Butler (wrist), Aaron Gordon (back) and Kevin Huerter (neck).
Kawhi Leonard (rest) is out for the fourth straight game and had a scheduled maintenance visit to the doctor earlier this week, although he is expected to return to the Raptors’ lineup Friday. Anthony Davis (finger), Kyrie Irving (illness) and Al Horford (rest) are also out.
For up-to-the-minute news, analysis and lineups, download the DK Live app, as NBA news, injury reports and betting lines can change throughout the day. Value also unexpectedly can open up due to late lineup changes and late injury news, making it important to stay up to the minute with the DK Live app until lineups lock.
Let’s take a look at some plays fantasy owners can consider using on DraftKings:
StudJrue Holiday, NO vs. DET ($8,600) — With Irving out, fantasy owners can pivot to Holiday when looking to pay up for a stud at PG. Jrue is a candidate to see boosted volume in the Pelicans’ offense in the absence of Anthony Davis (finger). Holiday’s usage rate is about 2.0 percent higher in minutes with Davis off the court this season, and he scored 47 DKFP in Davis’ first game out of the lineup on Monday despite a tough matchup against the Grizzlies.
ValueTerry Rozier, BOS vs. CLE ($4,000) — The absence of Irving opens up substantial value for Rozier, who is priced for today’s slate under the assumption that he’d be a backup. Rozier is averaging 31 minutes per game in starts this season, nine more than what he averages in a bench role. Scarry Terry has also shot the ball significantly better as a starter, shooting 43 percent in starts, up from 36 percent off the bench.
The Cavs have a miserable team defense on a possession basis and have allowed the eighth most points and assists to opponents. While the point spread on DK Sportsbook has dropped since news of Irving’s absence, the Celtics are still huge 15-point favorites at home, making the matchup have big blowout risk.
Other Options — Trae Young ($6,800), Kris Dunn ($6,300)
StudJames Harden, HOU at NY, $13,400 — Harden finally had a cold fantasy performance in a blowout loss to the Sixers on Monday, scoring “only” 55 DKFP in 31 minutes — his first game under 65 DKFP in seven games. Harden is in a strong bounce-back spot against a terrible Knicks defense. The Knicks have the league’s second-worst pace-adjusted team defense and have allowed the third-most points to opponents and second-most assists to opponents.
The Knicks also have poor shot-quality metrics, allowing the most field goals per game within five feet of the basket while allowing the eighth-most wide-open 3-pointers per game based on the league’s player tracking system. Harden’s titanic volume in the Rockets’ offense combined with the Knicks allowing tons of points and assists to opponents is a recipe for a huge fantasy night, and the Rockets are reasonable 6.5-point favorites on DK Sportsbook.
Other Options — D’Angelo Russell ($8,000)
ValueFred VanVleet, TOR at IND, $4,600 — The Raptors have a difficult matchup on the second night of a back-to-back vs. the Pacers, who have the league’s best point prevention, but VanVleet’s price tag is down to $4,600, the cheapest it’s been in more than a month. Leonard (rest) is still out, and VanVleet has started all three games in Leonard’s absence since then. VanVleet is averaging a strong 32 minutes per game in starts this year, about a 10-minute boost from what he averages in a bench role.
Other Options — Austin Rivers ($4,600)
StudDeMar DeRozan, SA at PHI, $7,600 — DeRozan’s price has fallen to $7,600 in part due to a recent slump, the first time it’s been under $8K since Jan. 3, and his cheapest price since October. The Spurs face the 76ers, who have a better-than-average team defense on a possession basis but play the seventh-fastest pace in the league, which has them allowing points to opponents at a higher-than-average clip. Jimmy Butler (wrist) also is questionable to play, and his absence would hurt the Sixers’ perimeter defense. Download the DK Live app for up-to-the-minute news regarding Butler’s playing status.
Other Options — Ben Simmons ($8,700)
ValueJustise Winslow, MIA vs. LAC, $6,400 — The Clippers have a bottom-third team defense and play the eighth-fastest pace in the league, which has them allowing the seventh-most points to opponents. Winslow took advantage in a start against the Clippers on Dec. 8, scoring 46 DKFP after dishing out nine assists and scoring 21 points.
Other Options — P.J. Tucker ($5,200)
StudBlake Griffin, DET at NO, $9,700 — Griffin has a matchup with a Pelicans team that started Jahlil Okafor and Julius Randle in the frontcourt in its most recent game with Anthony Davis (finger) sidelined. The lengthy Davis is a strong defender, and replacing him with a poor defender in Okafor likely will make for a softer matchup for Griffin on Wednesday. A two-man lineup of Randle and Okafor has allowed a poor 113 points per 100 possessions this season, about two points worse than the Pelicans’ season average, and the Pelicans’ fast pace will help that number play up in terms of points allowed per game.
Andre Drummond’s status also looks iffy as he continues to be in the league’s concussion protocol. If Drummond remains out, Griffin would be a candidate for expanded volume in the Pistons’ offense. Griffin’s usage rate is a strong 33.5 percent in minutes with Drummond off the court this year, up from 27 percent with Drummond on the court. Griffin also rebounds a higher percentage of missed shots when Drummond is off the court, especially defensive rebounds. The DK Live app will have fantasy owners covered with up-to-the-minute news regarding Drummond’s playing status.
Other Options — Julius Randle ($8,400), Nikola Mirotic ($7,000)
ValueLauri Markkanen, CHI vs. ATL, $6,600 — Markkanen has an appealing matchup vs. the Hawks for similar reasons mentioned above: The Hawks allow the most points and most assists per game to opponents. The Hawks also rank as a bottom-third rebounding team by the percentage of missed shots they grab.
Also of note is how the Hawks allow the fourth-most wide-open 3-pointers based on the league’s player tracking system, which could especially be helpful for Markkannen. Markkanen is shooting an outstanding 49 percent on wide-open 3s this year compared to his season average of 39 percent on all 3s.
Other Options — Jaren Jackson Jr. ($5,300)
StudNikola Vucevic, ORL at BKN, $9,300 — Vucevic faces a Nets team that has struggled against centers this year. In Vucevic’s previous game against the Nets last Friday, he scored 50 DKFP after grabbing 17 rebounds with 16 points and six assists. As a team, the Nets have allowed more points to opponents than average and have mediocre rebounding numbers.
Other Options — Joel Embiid ($10,500)
ValueJahlil Okafor, NO vs. DET, $4,600 — With Davis (finger) sidelined Monday, Okafor started and played a heavy 35 minutes, the most minutes he’s played in more than two full years. Okafor scored 40 DKFP in the start after shooting 9-of-11 from the field for 20 points with 10 rebounds and two blocked shots. Davis is expected to miss at least 1-2 weeks with the finger injury, which he suffered Jan. 18, putting Okafor in line for another expanded role Wednesday. Okafor has a better-than-average 16.1 player efficiency rating in his career and is in position to continue to have fantasy value for as long as he’s given an expanded minute load in Davis’ absence.
Enes Kanter, NY vs. HOU, $5,000 — Kanter’s price has tanked due to falling out of the starting lineup, but he is expected to start Wednesday after Luke Kornet suffered an ankle injury. Kanter will face a Rockets team that is without center Clint Capela and has struggled both on the glass and at defending the interior. The Rockets rank as the sixth-worst rebounding team this season by the percentage of missed shots they grab, a number that likely will get worse while Capela is sidelined. Houston also has allowed the fifth-most field goals within five feet of the basket, the zone that Kanter takes most of his shots.
Aron Baynes, BOS vs. CLE, $3,500 — Horford (rest) has been ruled out Wednesday, putting Baynes in line for an expanded role against a terrible Cleveland defense that is thin at center. The biggest issue in the matchup is the Celtics are huge 16.5-point favorites on DK Sportsbook, so the game has substantial blowout risk. Despite the blowout risk, Baynes is a cheap option for salary relief.
Other Options — Robin Lopez ($3,800)
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is timfinn521) 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.
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