WATCH: DK MINUTES REPORT – BRANDON JENNINGS
With a 12-game slate of NBA games on Wednesday night, there are plenty of paths available to build your fantasy rosters, so here are a few players you should consider for all types of contests, from every position and price range.
Isaiah Thomas vs. TOR ($9,500) – In a big game for Eastern Conference sub-supremacy (is that a thing?), the Celtics are definitely going to want to compete to show there is a case to be made for them as the second-best team in the East, especially with Demar DeRozan out. If that’s going to happen, Thomas is going to have to have a big night, and he went for 27 points and 7 assists last time they met, so you know he is capable.
Eric Bledsoe vs. LAC ($9,000) – Going against his former team, totally devastated by injuries and vulnerable to a big night, Bledsoe is going to look to take advantage. He is averaging over 27 points per game over the past couple of weeks, and he has flashed 50+ fantasy point potential four times over that same span, showing an ability to contribute in multiple categories.
Kyle Lowry @ BOS ($8,600) – Speaking of DeRozan being out, someone is going to need to pick up the scoring slack for the Raptors. Lowry has 29 or more points in five straight, and I do not expect it to stop tonight. I am including an extra PG option here because I feel like there are enough great options to justify rostering more than one of these elite guys.
Other Options – Russell Westbrook ($12,000), Kemba Walker ($8,000)
Brandon Jennings @ BKN ($5,200) – With Derrick Rose out, Jennings has played some big minutes over the past few games, and it is looking like Rose could miss again tonight. Jennings has averaged 40 fantasy points per game during Rose’s two-game absence, making him an obvious value at this price.
Other Options – Reggie Jackson ($6,500)
Jimmy Butler @ OKC ($8,800) – Butler bounced back from a brutal performance against Miami with 28 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists against Philly a couple of nights ago. He should be a touch matchup for anyone on the Thunder roster, as long as this Bulls team comes out playing well. It looks like they were back to playing in sync in that win over the Sixers, so my guess is that we see the normal highly productive Butler back in action again tonight against Westbrook and the Thunder.
UPDATE: Stephen Curry WILL PLAY tonight against the Hornets, per Anthony Slater.
Klay Thompson vs. CHA ($6,800) – With Curry out on Sunday Thompson had 21 shot attempts, his most in a while. Charlotte usually presents a manageable matchup for perimeter scorers, so if Curry were to miss again tonight (he is listed as questionable, but why would GS rush it?), Thompson would find his way into a few of my lineups, in any format.
Other Options – Nicolas Batum ($7,400)
Norman Powell @ BOS ($5,500) – He was out there 40 minutes in the OT win against New Orleans last night. He doesn’t have a lot of upside, but with such a clear bump in his usage with DeRozan out, he does present a value at this price for cash games. He managed 15 shot attempts last night, showing just how easily he will be involved in this offense as long as he is standing in for one of their best scorers.
Other Options – Marcus Smart ($5,600), J.J. Redick ($5,200)
Kevin Durant vs. CHA ($10,000) – Like Klay, he could benefit if Curry were to miss again tonight, but Durant needs that bump less, because he has evolved into the primary option for this team in a way that should have the rest of the league on notice. They are not forcing him the ball – he is getting it organically in the offense, which is only going to make all their guys more efficient.
Carmelo Anthony @ BKN ($7,500) – He is just getting minutes, whether it’s because he’s helping the Knicks win or just helping his own trade value, and when he is out on the floor, he is getting up shots. That makes him a great cash game option, almost certain to get you into mid-30’s fantasy production.
Other Options – LeBron James ($10,200), Gordon Hayward ($6,600)
Jaylen Brown vs. TOR ($4,000) – Strictly a GPP option for me, he has pretty wild fluctuations in both his usage and his production while he is out there. With Avery Bradley looking closer to a return (out tonight), this might be your last chance to take advantage of Brad Stevens’ decision to insert him into the starting lineup at SG. That doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll stay on the court, but he will if he’s being productive: in two of their last three, he played 28 or more minutes and scored 26.5 and then 33.5 fantasy points, very useful at this price.
Other Options – Jae Crowder ($6,200), Tobias Harris ($5,400)
Paul George @ ORL ($8,100) – Orlando is getting beat pretty regularly by just about everyone, losing seven of their last nine. If the Pacers want to keep that streak up, George will play a large role, because his athleticism might be able to offset the one advantage the Magic sometimes find themselves with up front. If he finds himself with time spent paired up against someone like Aaron Gordon, he will be able to get his shot at will and could end up well out-pacing his averages.
Blake Griffin @ PHO ($7,500) – He’s back. You should probably notice. He is going up against a Phoenix team that allows for plenty of volume, both of shots and rebounds, giving Griffin’s upside a boost. In his first game back, he had 11 boards, and in his second, he scored 20 points, at least showing everyone that he is healthy enough and still has the ability to get position and get his own shot, meaning this price is probably going up from here in the near future.
Other Options – Draymond Green ($8,100), Jabari Parker ($7,200)
Ersan Ilyasova @ DAL ($5,800) – With Embiid slated to miss again tonight, all of the other players in the Sixers’ frontcourt see an uptick in value. Noel is the one whose role changes the least, but Okafor should see minutes he never sees and Ilyasova can see some shots he normally never sees. He could easily get 15 looks from the floor tonight against a Mavericks’ defense that can lock down the paint, so while the pace probably won’t be enough to get him to a double-double, it wouldn’t be surprising to see him in the mid-30’s for fantasy points.
Anthony Davis @ DET ($10,500) – The matchup of Davis and Drummond seems better for Drummond on paper, but the truth is that these are very different players who might not even face off directly against each other too much. Davis can face up to the basket in a way that neutralizes the success the Pistons can have against bigs, and Drummond will be able to dominate the post against someone else while Davis flies around on help defense.
Andre Drummond vs. NO ($7,900) – Drummond should have plenty of room to operate on the glass. He is one of the single best candidates for double digit points and rebounds on the board, coming off two straight 20+ rebound games and averaging almost 20 points a night for the past couple of weeks.
Other Options – Marc Gasol ($7,800), Nerlens Noel ($6,200)
Tristan Thompson vs. MIN ($4,800) – With Love out Wednesday, Thompson could be called on to do more in the middle, making him a legit shot at a double-double. The Cavs are somewhat hard to predict in terms of the lineups they’ll throw out there, so he is more of a GPP than a cash-game option for me, but his skills seem to make sense in this matchup, giving him plenty of upside at the price.
Other Options – Jahlil Okafor ($4,600)
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.