Wednesday’s eight-game NBA slate features Harden, Westbrook and the Cavs – leaving you with plenty of top-end options to build your team around. Here are a few names to consider from each position and every price range.
Russell Westbrook @ NO ($12,600) – Westbrook is routinely outscoring the other top fantasy options by 20+ points. Finding that 20+ points down your roster isn’t a sure thing, even with an extra couple thousand dollars to spend – that makes him both a safe and an upside pick, and someone I am considering for every lineup, every night.
Giannis Antetokounmpo @ CLE ($9,700) – After the Bucks beat Cleveland by 17 two weeks ago, last night’s game went to OT before Cleveland won, and tonight should make for an entertaining round three. Giannis, in the last two, has averaged 29-12 with a total of seven steals and five blocks. I think he gets up for this matchup. You have to love having that kind of 50+ point upside on your roster in any kind of contest.
Other Options – James Harden ($12,000), Kyrie Irving ($7,500), Dennis Schroder ($7,000)
Shelvin Mack vs. SAC ($4,800) – With George Hill still sidelined, Mack should continue to see an uptick in his value. He is still coming off the bench, but he has seen his minutes per night increase by more than five per game on average, and his production has gone up proportionately. He is someone I like in a cash game lineup, since his likely output is around 20-25 fantasy points.
Other Options – Mike Conley ($6,000)
James Harden @ PHO ($12,000) – He is coming off a 31-point night against San Antonio last night, in which he went 1-for-11 from three. That’s not normally going to be his percentage, especially against a backcourt like the Suns, against whom he should be able to get his shot at will. Harden has three straight games with 28 or more points, and I do not expect to see him slowed down tonight.
Bradley Beal @ CHI ($6,900) – He has developed into a very nice GPP consideration over the past couple of weeks because he has had enough games in the mid-to-high twenties to keep his price down, but enough 35+ point games to make him someone with decent upside. Against this Chicago team, which normally has a lot of success defending guards, Wall is capable of wreaking havoc with his penetration, which could leave Beal with more open looks than you might expect.
Other Options – Dwyane Wade ($6,900), Zach LaVine ($6,800)
Andre Roberson @ NO ($4,100) – Roberson has benefited slightly from the continued absence of Oladipo, getting a few more minutes and shots a night since the injury occurred. He still has a relatively low floor, because he is not often a focus on offense with Westbrook and the big men dominating chances, but he is coming off a game against Atlanta Monday in which he put up 14 shots from the floor.
Other Options – Eric Gordon ($5,700), Tony Allen ($4,800)
LeBron James vs. CLE ($9,000) – He went for 34-12-7 last night, and he is going to show up again to try to ensure the Cavs take this game against a conference opponent that has played them as tight as anyone recently. As consistent as they come, I always try to get him in my lineup when I think he is going to be engaged and bringing his playoff-level intensity, no matter who the opponent is.
Jabari Parker @ CLE ($6,600) – There was some room for Parker to operate last night with Kevin Love (knee) missing the game, and with him not likely to suit up again tonight, this could be another opportunity for success. He had 30 points and nine boards in 46 minutes last night, and while those numbers aren’t likely to be repeated tonight, another 35+ fantasy point outing is definitely possible.
Other Options – Jimmy Butler ($8,500), Gordon Hayward ($7,600)
Trevor Ariza @ PHO ($5,600) – A great cash game option, he has been consistently getting just around 33 minutes a night all season long, and that has translated into a 28 fantasy point per game season so far. Ariza doesn’t have a lot of peaks and valleys, as he now has six games with 30+ fantasy points in his last ten, and none with fewer than 22.
Other Options – Devin Booker ($5,900)
Anthony Davis vs. OKC ($10,900) – The Thunder don’t have anyone on their roster even remotely capable of guarding Davis in a one-on-one type situation, either facing up to the basket or on the post. The last time these two teams met he went for 37 and 15 with four blocks. After he rebounded from a short down spell last night with 36 and 16 against Philly, I think it’s safe to think he reaches those levels again in this one.
Paul Millsap vs. MIN ($7,900) – He just had his first 30 point game of the season and has 35 shot attempts in his last two games, as he is becoming a more integral part of the Atlanta offense. He is a threat for a double-double every night, and with five 40+ fantasy point games in his last seven, he is definitely capable of providing useful value in this matchup tonight, especially with Dwight Howard expected to miss another game.
Other Options – DeMarcus Cousins ($9,900), Karl-Anthony Towns ($8,700)
Dwight Powell @ POR ($4,000) – He has played very well over the past couple of weeks and he has seen his minutes slowly ticking upwards as a result. He still doesn’t have much in the way of upside, but in a good matchup, he is someone you could look to for 20-25 fantasy points on the cheap.
Other Options – JaMychal Green ($5,100), Terrence Jones ($4,400)
DeMarcus Cousins @ UTA ($9,900) – It’s hard not to mention a guy who had 55 points last night. 82.25 fantasy points counts as upside for anyone, and while he’s not likely to make it two 50 point games in a row, this is just an opportunity to point out that he is one of only about five or six guys in the league with that kind of fantasy potential on any given night.
Rudy Gobert vs. SAC ($7,000) – He has given us 30+ fantasy points in eight straight games, which is more than enough at this price to be useful, and five of those seven were actually well over 40 fantasy points. All eight of those games have been double-doubles, and I don’t believe there is a reason to think this Sacramento team is going to stop him from making it nine.
Other Options – Marc Gasol ($7,200), Andre Drummond ($7,100)
Tristan Thompson vs. MIL ($4,900) – With Love out, Thompson is an obvious option, but that doesn’t make it wrong. He is the primary interior presence for this team on both ends of the court without the starting PF, and last night he responded with a double-double and 29.5 fantasy points against the Bucks. He got in foul trouble early, which actually limited his minutes despite the OT game, making it a possibility that he improves on those numbers at home tonight.
Other Options – Steven Adams ($5,200)
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.