The ten-game NBA slate on Wednesday is missing a few of the top fantasy options in the game, but there are still plenty of big decisions to be made. Here are a few players to consider at each position, from every price range.
Giannis Antetokounmpo @ DET ($10,000) – There aren’t many guards in the NBA that can match his upside. He has been over 50 fantasy points in seven of eight (with 47.5 in that eighth game). He has 60 point upside against any team, regardless of what the matchup looks like on paper.
Kyle Lowry @ GS ($8,200) – He has showed no signs of slowing the pace he’s been maintaining for the past month now. As DeRozan’s scorching start fades, Lowry has been there to pick up the slack, averaging close to 25-26 points a night. His early poor play has led to him still being undervalued (and underpriced) now, with seven out of his last ten games going for 40+ fantasy points (with none lower than 33).
Other Options – John Wall ($9,500), C.J. McCollum ($7,600)
Emmanuel Mudiay vs. MIN ($4,800) – He’s a talented player, but his production – and his minutes are really tough to predict at this point in his career. But when he is out there for 25+ minutes, he usually finds a way to contribute. Facing a defensively vulnerable Minnesota team, he has the upside to consider in a GPP, with 27 or more fantasy points in three of his last five games.
Other Options – Derrick Rose ($6,300), Brandon Knight ($4,200)
Jimmy Butler vs. BKN ($8,400) – Butler should be able to have his way with the Brooklyn backcourt – they simply don’t have anyone with the size and athleticism to slow him down. He’s been going through something of a down spell lately, because while six of seven games were over 30 fantasy points, only once did he crack 40 (40.75 vs. Washington). I think he can turn that around tonight with a well-rounded stat sheet against these Brooklyn wing defenders and flash some of the upside that saw him averaging almost 50 fantasy points per game for a stretch near the tail end of last month.
C.J. McCollum vs. SAC ($7,600) – With Lillard officially listed as doubtful it’s highly unlikely he is active for this game on Wednesday, so that will leave McCollum with the ball in his hands much more often. With the entire offense flowing through him, his usage rate and overall upside is higher, especially in a nice matchup with the Kings.
Other Options – Nicolas Batum ($7,900)
Allen Crabbe vs. SAC ($3,700) – Another potential beneficiary of Lillard’s injury, Crabbe was inserted into the starting lineup at SG to fill the hole left by McCollum’s shift to PG. He was already getting plenty of run, but anytime you have to replace someone with Lillard’s usage rate, new opportunities are going to arise for the guys out on the court. This would give Crabbe a more realistic shot at reaching 20-25 fantasy points this evening.
Other Options – Devin Booker ($6,200), Kent Bazemore ($4,700)
Kevin Durant vs. TOR ($9,800) – With all the options on Golden State, it hasn’t stopped Durant from producing. He has had at least 23 shot attempts in two of his last three games, so the same upside he’s always had is still there.
Paul George @ WAS ($7,700) – George is still a unique player at his position that can fill the box score in every conceivable way, but overall, his scoring numbers are just down, which is dramatically lowering both his floor and his ceiling. But, his price has dropped as a result, making him something of a value play, and one who now has some outsized upside. Most guys with 50+ fantasy point potential don’t come this cheap, making him one of the higher-upside plays you can turn to for a GPP lineup.
Other Options – Kawhi Leonard ($8,300)
Tobias Harris vs. MIL ($5,500) – His recent move to the bench has not seemed to impact his fantasy value. In his time out there with the second unit, he is the primary scoring option, making scoring opportunities more plentiful, even in slightly fewer minutes.
Other Options – Markieff Morris ($5,100)
Anthony Davis vs. LAC ($11,100) – The second most expensive player on the board tonight, it’s hard to imagine someone having more upside than Davis, and with four straight games with 56 or more fantasy points, he’s as consistent as you can find at those high levels as well. For a $300 savings over Cousins, I think Davis is the best stud play at any position tonight.
Other Options – DeMarcus Cousins ($11,400), Draymond Green ($7,700), Kristaps Porzingis ($7,500)
Markieff Morris vs. IND ($5,100) – He has a relatively low floor, with two games in his last four with fewer than 20 fantasy points. However, he most regularly gives you something in the 20-28 fantasy point range, with the occasional 40-point outburst, which seem to come, predictably, when he is getting the most opportunities on the offensive end. This variability makes him more of a GPP play than someone you would consider in a cash game.
Nikola Mirotic vs. BKN ($4,600) – The absence of Doug McDermott has created a few extra minutes for Mirotic, and we’re not 100% sure when McDermott is returning to the lineup. You should definitely monitor his progress if you’re picking anyone in the Chicago front court right now, but Mirotic has definitely been a beneficiary, averaging 31 minutes and scoring a total of 31 points over the last two nights, compared to his season averages of 21 minutes and nine points – and if that kind of increased value keeps up, it is not yet being reflected in the price.
Other Options – Kenneth Faried ($4,800)
DeMarcus Cousins @ POR ($11,400) – He’s the most expensive option on the board tonight for a very good reason – in this matchup with Portland, there is absolutely no one on the other side of the ball with the size or skill-set to stop him from doing whatever he wants. He has scored 30 or more points in five of their last seven games, and there is no reason to expect that run to stop tonight. The last time out against this Portland team, Cousins put up 83.5 fantasy points, and I don’t think a repeat performance is completely out of the question.
Dwight Howard vs. NY ($7,300) – It’s hard not to mention what Howard is doing right now with 40+ fantasy points in four straight games, a double-double in each, and an average of 14 rebounds per game over that span. When you have a guy hitting the boards like that who also is still showing 20+ point scoring potential routinely (he’s scored at least 20 in four of his last six), you are dealing with a legit upside play unlike what we’ve been expecting out of Howard as a fantasy option for quite some time now.
Other Options – Anthony Davis ($11,100), Karl-Anthony Towns ($8,700)
Mason Plumlee vs. SAC ($5,700)- Plumlee has the upside of a double-double every night because while he is only averaging 11 points and eight boards, he has had double-digit rebounds twice in his last four games. The big issue, though, is the wild swings in his scoring output – he had 27 points on 13 shots and 10 points on four shots in back-to-back games last week. Against this Kings team, I could see him getting more looks rather than fewer as they attempt to give Cousins something to think about on both ends of the floor.
Other Options – Myles Turner ($6,300), Robin Lopez ($4,800)
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.