There is a massive 14-game slate on tap for Wednesday, marking the final day of the NBA regular season. You’re going to have to be aware of all the plans teams have to rest or play all their stars, but you should have plenty of viable options, with players vying for their stats and teams still jockeying for position. Here are a few names from every position and price range for you to consider.
Isaiah Thomas vs. MIL ($8,400) – With Boston needing a win to clinch the one seed – something Thomas has said is very important to him this year – the Celtics will approach this game with some intensity. With Milwaukee locked into either the five or six seed, though, they are benching some studs, which could lead to a blowout win for Boston. If that happens Thomas will likely have played a relatively large role, as last time these two teams faced off, he led all scorers with 32.
Other Options – Chris Paul ($8,800)
Jeff Teague vs. ATL ($6,700) – It’s too bad it is not a game between two more offensive-minded teams because this is the one likely to be most like a playoff game. The Hawks could wind up anywhere from fifth to seventh in the East, and the Pacers could be anywhere from sixth to out entirely, which should mean both teams will play their stars normal minutes in a close-fought contest. That makes Teague a value in this mid-priced tier, especially as a reliable option for a cash-game contest.
Norris Cole vs. DEN ($3,000) – He played 23 minutes in Westbrook’s absence last night, and got you 20+ fantasy points just by virtue of being out there. The same thing could easily happen tonight, and there hasn’t been time to adjust his price, which makes him an obvious value on the cheap.
Other Options – Patrick Beverley ($5,300)
Tim Hardaway, Jr. @ IND ($6,300) – He has put up 20 or more points in four of his last six, good for 30+ fantasy points in each of those. Atlanta will still be playing tonight, so you can expect someone like Hardaway to log his normal 30+ minutes of playing time, and in a plus matchup, I would expect to see him exceed his 18-5-3 average over the last 10 days.
Other Options – Jrue Holiday ($8,100)
Victor Oladipo vs. DEN ($5,800) – With Westbrook (finally) resting with the Thunder’s playoff seeding set, Oladipo becomes the primary offensive option. There is no reason not to expect that to continue tonight, especially in what should be a fast-paced game, even if Westbrook’s likely absence means it likely won’t be very high-scoring.
Ian Clark vs. LAL ($3,500) – With Curry and Thompson both very likely to sit tonight, it is guards like Clark and Patrick McCaw ($3,100) who will likely benefit the most. Clark showed more potential recently, with an 8-for-13 shooting night over the weekend against the Pelicans, and with 20+ minutes now in three straight, he’s the choice for me in this price range.
Other Options – Buddy Hield ($6,300), Danny Green ($3,700)
Jimmy Butler vs. BKN ($10,200) – The Bulls control their own destiny – win, and they’re in the playoffs. Lose, and they have the worst pick in the lottery. I expect their starters to be in the same situation as many other teams – regular minutes except in the case of a blowout. And yes, a blowout against the Nets is certainly possible. But Brooklyn has been playing a bit better of late, and if they can manage to keep this one even somewhat competitive, Butler could have the opportunity to turn in a huge night.
Gordon Hayward vs. SA ($7,400) – With the Jazz and the Clippers both looking for a win tonight in order to clinch home-court advantage in their first round matchup, starters from both teams should see their normal allotment of minutes. Hayward missed Monday, but is listed as probable tonight, and likely will go as long as he is feeling fully recovered, but be sure to check his status.
Other Options – Kawhi Leonard ($8,100)
Jonathon Simmons @ UTA ($4,100) – It is not at all clear right now what Pop is going to do with his lineup tonight, which is why Kawhi isn’t recommended here. But if he decides last minute to rest some of his top guys, Simmons is someone to keep in mind as a late fill-in for your roster that could free up cash to upgrade elsewhere. When he was getting minutes filling in for Danny Green and Ginobili, he was consistently giving you around 20 fantasy points, with upside, which makes him a consideration especially in cash game play.
Other Options – Jaylen Brown ($3,800)
Paul George vs. ATL ($9,700) – He has six straight games with 40 or more fantasy points, including three with 50+ (and one 77.25 point gem). He has been a machine when it comes to scoring, getting to the line eight or nine times a night and contributing with some decent rebounding numbers more often then not lately. With the Pacers potentially missing the playoffs if they lose, they will be looking to put away what could be a feisty Hawks team, which could mean leaning on George yet again tonight.
Blake Griffin vs. SAC ($8,400) – As I mentioned with Hayward, the Jazz and the Clippers are just about the only two teams out West with anything to play for tonight. Assuming Sacramento shows up at least enough to force the Clippers to spend time on the court into the fourth quarter, that could mean big things for Blake, who matches up amazingly well against this team now that Boogie is gone. Even if his minutes are limited, he should be able to rack up enough stats quickly to make him a worthwhile consideration for any format contest.
Other Options – Paul Millsap ($6,900)
David Lee @ UTA ($4,700) – Over the weekend, Pop announced that he was not going to rest anyone the last two games of the year, saying basically that they had all already been rested, and with no back-to-backs, they didn’t need it. Well, cue Monday night when LaMarcus Aldridge, for example, started and played just 18 minutes, and Lee ate up most of the time and production with 28 minutes on the floor. At this price, he should be able to get you the handful of rebounds and points you need for him to be a value even in a somewhat limited role.
Other Options – Nikola Mirotic ($6,100)
Rudy Gobert vs. SA ($8,300) – Even if they just play limited minutes, the fact that San Antonio’s starters should get some run here means it should stay a close game until late. Utah is still looking to solidify their playoff standing and grab home court against the Clippers, and Gobert should be able to wreak some havoc on a frontcourt that lacks a true center either to defend him and keep him off the boards.
Other Options – Dwight Howard ($7,100)
UPDATE: John Wall (rest) will NOT play tonight against the Heat.
James Johnson vs. WAS ($6,900) – One of my favorite plays on the board, he is going against a Wizards team with their seed locked up, but
Wall and his teammates have plenty to play for, and there is no one really to take his minutes even in a very lopsided game. Those factors alone are enough to make him a cash-game play and combined with his run of four straight games with 30+ points (including three with 39.5 or more), they are enough to make him a consideration in every lineup, in any format.
Alexis Ajinca vs. POR ($4,600) – With Davis and Cousins both likely out, and Jurkic out on the other side, Ajinca has the best of both worlds – increased playing time and a decreased level of competition. He has played just about 26 minutes a game over their last three, and has returned an average of 28 fantasy points a game with that time frame – decent value for the price in any contest.
Other Options – Al Horford ($6,400)
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theasquad) 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.