THREE IN THE KEY – RUDY GOBERT
With a nice 11-game slate of NBA games on Wednesday, there should be plenty of high-scoring games, so here are a few players you can consider at each position, across every price range.
John Wall @ DEN ($10,700) – The Wizards are the only team tonight coming off a back-to-back, and Wall had 25 points and 14 assists in a win against Phoenix last night. That kind of production is almost expected from Wall at this point, as good a double-double machine as any big man, especially in an up-tempo game like we should see tonight in Denver. It’s when he adds the two blocks and three steals like he did last night that he can give you 60+ point upside.
Isaiah Thomas @ GS ($8,800) – This is a nod to the fact that this is very likely going to be one of the fastest-paced, highest-scoring games on the board tonight, and that could mean great things for everyone involved. Thomas should be able to find plenty of open looks in transition, and he will need to be hitting those shots for the Celtics to earn a victory in Golden State for the second straight year.
Other Options – Stephen Curry ($10,100), Chris Paul ($8,500)
Jeremy Lin @ ATL ($4,500) – He has played 20+ minutes each of the last couple of games, and this Nets team will take their production wherever they can get it. If Lin is doing something – anything – he’ll keep getting the chance to perform. He doesn’t do a lot other than score, but he has put up 18 points in each of these last two, and he will be looking for a repeat performance here, making him the kind of play who can get you 25-30 fantasy points.
Other Options – Reggie Jackson ($5,100), Cameron Payne ($3,000)
James Harden vs. UTA ($10,900) – This isn’t a great matchup on paper, but to me, that perception is something you can take advantage of tonight. First, the matchup seems to have been priced into his cost for the night, making him very enticing for just a few hundred dollars more than the other top guard options. Second, the Jazz excel at team defense, which might mean Eric Gordon isn’t up to his usual standards tonight, but Harden is more immune to that sort of thing because of his ability to beat the man in front of him almost every time.
Jimmy Butler @ ORL ($9,200) – With Wade listed as doubtful, Butler becomes one of the most obvious plays on the board. However, Jimmy Butler missed shoot around this morning with an illness, and he is now questionable for tonight’s game. If he does play, his usage takes a big step up when Wade is not active, and Butler is talented and athletic enough to take that usage and turn it into production, even if the other team knows exactly what is coming. This Orlando team doesn’t have the perimeter players to keep him quiet, and their frontcourt is depleted enough that he should have freer-than-usual runs to the rim, as well as an even better chance than he usually does at a nice rebounding total. Be sure to check his status closer to game time.
Other Options – DeMar DeRozan ($8,700)
Jordan Crawford vs. TOR ($3,500) – He played his first NBA game since 2014 on Monday, and he took 15 shots in 20 minutes. The Pelicans need as much scoring from the outside as possible on short opportunities to keep defenses honest against their stud big men, and Crawford could fit the bill off the bench. He has never been shy about shooting, and the 3-for-7 performance from behind the arc in his first game back is an example of exactly what this team could use most.
Other Options – Marcus Smart ($5,200)
Gordon Hayward @ HOU ($7,900) – This is one of those games where you are hoping every single player on the Jazz gets a little pace boost, because not only does Houston play fast, they play well enough to set the tone and force their opponent to match their style, instead of the other way around. Hayward could be a big beneficiary if that plays out, with the best ability on the Jazz to create his own looks and score efficiently from the perimeter.
Other Options – Jimmy Butler ($9,200)
Khris Middleton vs. NY ($6,600) – Giannis has seen his price drop enough that he is back to having huge upside in a matchup with the Knicks. Middleton has seen his minutes and usage steadily increase since his return, to the point where he has played 30+ minutes now in four straight. He has turned that chance into just about 34 fantasy points a night.
Sam Dekker vs. UTA ($3,500) – This pick is 100% based on the idea that Ryan Anderson could miss tonight’s action. Anderson has been a key cog in this offense and while some of that usage will be spread out to options at other positions, the opportunity is definitely there for Dekker to provide a lot of upside as his replacement tonight. He is someone who manages to shoot 2-3 threes a night in fewer than 20 minutes anyway, so any increase in playing time should mean increased fantasy upside quickly.
Other Options – Jaylen Brown ($4,200), Norman Powell ($3,700)
DeMarcus Cousins vs. TOR ($9,900) – I think the Pelicans’ “Big Three” are good GPP options until further notice. The usage will be split between those three, so on a night to night basis, it is tough to predict which one is going to go off. Tonight, I like the idea of Cousins in this matchup, because of his ability to step back a bit more than AD, but either one of them (or both) could pay huge returns in a tournament.
Carmelo Anthony @ MIL ($7,600) – He has said that he will be ready for tonight’s game after missing Monday, and this could be a game where the Knicks need to rely on his scoring to keep pace with the Bucks. He still has the ability to get a shot when no one else can, and I expect that to result in at least 20 attempts from the floor tonight. And if he isn’t ready to go, then give Porzingis ($7,100) another look.
Other Options – Anthony Davis ($10,200), Draymond Green ($8,200)
Willie Cauley-Stein @ SA ($4,900) – Against the Spurs, the Kings as a whole might be a stay-away for a lot of owners, but Cauley-Stein could benefit if Pop decides to give his frontcourt some rest on the first night of a back-to-back (LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard have both been ruled out). In a best-case scenario, he could easily find himself a couple of rebounds away from a double-double, a good return at his price.
Other Options – Aaron Gordon ($6,000)
Hassan Whiteside vs. CHA ($7,700) – The Hornets’ frontcourt really just doesn’t have anyone to body up with Whiteside and get him off his spots. He should be able to control the paint on both ends of the floor almost by himself tonight, which will give him the opportunity for a double-double, with upside in both the scoring and rebounding categories.
Rudy Gobert @ HOU ($7,600) – Gobert is another player you’re hoping sees a bit more usage in an up-and-down game, considering the deliberate way the Jazz usually operate. He is coming off two monster games this week, in which he has averaged 15.5 points, 19.5 rebounds, 2.5 blocks and 1.5 steals, all combining to show the kind of all-around potential he has and therefore the clear upside he brings to the table as a fantasy option.
Other Options – Anthony Davis ($10,200), Dwight Howard ($7,400)
Bismack Biyombo vs. CHI ($5,500) – With Vucevic out, Biyombo is an obvious play, as one of the more talented backup big men in the league. He has totaled 76 minutes and just about 70 fantasy points over their last two games and should find similar room to operate here against a depleted Bulls roster.
Other Options – Kelly Olynyk ($3,800)
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.