WATCH: 3 IN THE KEY – KYRIE IRVING
Wednesday’s 10-game NBA slate features most of the ten best fantasy options in the game right now, meaning your most difficult decisions are around deciding which superstar(s) to build around. Here are some players to consider from every price range, at every position.
Russell Westbrook @ NO ($12,800) – His latest run is two triple-doubles in a row, and five in his last six games. He had one last time these two teams met, with 28-17-12, which isn’t really all that surprising when you look at the perimeter defenders the Pelicans are trying to use to contain him. With this many studs available tonight, if you’re spending up for Westbrook you want 70 fantasy points, and this is a matchup in which he could deliver.
Isaiah Thomas vs. HOU ($9,300) – At this price, he’s not a cash game option in my opinion, but amazingly, he’s got plenty of upside – even costing over $9K – to consider in your GPP lineups. Last night in a loss to the Wizards, Thomas went for 25 points and 13 assists. He’s had eight straight nights with 25 or more points, translating to 45 or more fantasy points in all but a few times in the past two weeks. He has 60-point upside in what should be a high-scoring affair.
Other Options – Kyle Lowry ($8,800), Damian Lillard ($8,600), Kyrie Irving ($8,200)
Jordan Clarkson @ POR ($4,900) – He has a low enough floor that even on the cheap, he’s a GPP play only for me, but in this matchup with Portland, he could pay off. The Lakers will be looking to bounce back from a brutal 49-point loss to the Mavericks, and they will get a chance to do it against a much more vulnerable defensive team. In his last five games, he has been at 20 points or fewer twice, and 28 or more in the other three, representative of the highs and lows you’ll see from him all season long.
Other Options – Michael Carter-Williams ($4,200)
James Harden @ BOS ($12,300) – We’ve seen John Wall and C.J. McCollum tear up the Celtics over the last two games by penetrating and getting to the line, which makes Harden the player they want to see the least right now. He should be able to put up big scoring numbers, like the 37 he dropped last time these two teams met, which, when combined with his usual assist and rebound totals, gives him as much upside as any of the elite players on the board tonight.
C.J. McCollum vs. LAL ($7,800) – McCollum got to the line 13 times against Boston earlier in the week, a career high, showing a side of his game you don’t often see. It’s usually Lillard breaking down a defense with the dribble, getting into the lane and creating opportunities for himself and teammates. McCollum showed that he can produce on his own when those freebie open looks from the outside aren’t there, meaning you are getting to a point where you can trust him in any matchup, and this price just seems low for that kind of consistency.
Other Options – Jimmy Butler ($9,100), Nicolas Batum ($7,400)
Eric Gordon @ BOS ($5,300) – With Harden’s ability to penetrate and create, Boston’s perimeter defense – so good against a lot of opponents – actually can be broken down pretty quickly. And last time they met, that meant 19 points for Gordon, coming off the bench, with multiple open threes – a scenario I fully expect to see again tonight.
Other Options – Malcolm Brogdon ($5,100)
Giannis Antetokounmpo vs. PHI ($10,600) – Philly has been able to limit point guards relatively well this season, but I see Giannis excelling in more of a forward-type role here. He can score in the half court and should be able to take advantage of some injuries to the Philly front court to get the ball in close and crash the glass consistently all night.
Kevin Durant @ CHA ($9,400) – Durant had only 15 points in a big win against Orlando, which is scary – they didn’t need him. It has never been an exaggeration to call him the best scorer in the league, and that makes him the number one option on any offense, even one with Steph and Klay.
Other Options – LeBron James ($10,000), Jimmy Butler ($9,100)
Robert Covington @ MIL ($5,600) – He’s been averaging a couple fantasy points more per game since the beginning of the month than he has for the season, and he’s been doing it because of a couple of extra points scored per game. That production is coming from nothing but playing on a more efficient offense – and with another win last night over the Clippers, this team’s improvement doesn’t seem to be a mirage.
Other Options – Brandon Ingram ($4,600)
DeMarcus Cousins @ CLE ($10,800) – The Kings couldn’t beat the Cavs in their first meeting, but it wasn’t due to a lack of production from their big man, who dominated the Cavs’ frontcourt to the tune of 28 points and eight rebounds, and tried to get his team’s offense in gear with a season-high eleven assists.
Paul Millsap @ CHI ($7,800) – He has been averaging over 40 fantasy points per game for this entire month so far, and he actually hasn’t been any lower than 33.5 points even once, making him a fantastic cash game option at this price. In this matchup, I wouldn’t be expecting the bottom of his upside, either, and I like him for the 40+ fantasy points you need to make him a great value at this price.
Other Options – Kevin Love ($7,800)
Kelly Olynyk vs. HOU ($4,600) – Olynyk has seen a recent bump in his minutes, and has actually been on the floor more than Amir Johnson, the ostensible starter, for each of the Celtics’ last five games. His really low floor typically comes just from a complete lack of opportunity, but when he has a chance out there on the floor, he usually produces. There is no reason to expect this trend of increased playing time is going to stop tonight, and so in a good matchup, a $4,600 price tag makes him a worthwhile consideration in any contest.
Other Options – Marvin Williams ($4,800), JaMychal Green ($4,400)
Anthony Davis vs. OKC ($10,400) – He is expected to play Wednesday, and he should be able to dominate this Thunder front court. They don’t have anyone to keep him out of position on defense or keep him from getting his looks on offense. That showed last time these two teams met, as he finished with 37 points, 15 rebounds, a pair of steals and 4 blocks. That’s the kind of all-around production that makes him someone to consider building around if you think Harden and Westbrook are going to struggle.
Marc Gasol vs. TOR ($7,500) – With 28 or more points in each of their last three games, Gasol is looking like he is as comfortable as ever in his role as a primary offensive option for his team. He is still not close to averaging a double-double, but he has games with 9 and 11 rebounds each over the course of just the past week. He could end up with a very similar 25+ points and eight boards in this matchup, making him a good cash game option with the double-double out there for some potential upside.
Other Options – Hassan Whiteside ($7,900)
Nerlens Noel @ MIL ($4,300) – With both Okafor and Embiid out last night, Noel scored 19 points, and added eight rebounds and five assists against the Clippers. Neither one of them will return tonight, which should give Noel another opportunity. Even though the matchup isn’t as good on paper, he is still a candidate for a double-double with some supplemental stats, at a relatively cheap price tag.
Other Options – Brook Lopez ($6,300), Greg Monroe ($4,700)
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.