WATCH: MATCHUPS TO WATCH
With an eleven-game slate on Wednesday night, there is plenty of great NBA action, and several of the top players in the league will be showcasing their skills. Which ones do you want for your fantasy lineups? Here are a few names to consider at every position, from every price range.
Russell Westbrook vs. TOR ($11,900) – Against a team that allows big production from players in the backcourt, and also is averaging over 100 points/game themselves, the opportunity is going to be there for Westbrook is actually exceed his own normal production. At over 50 fantasy points in five of his seven games, he’s returning regular value even as the most expensive player on the board.
Chris Paul vs. POR ($8,700) – With so much talent at the guard positions in the league right now, Chris Paul gets overlooked – he seems almost boring sometimes. But boring and relatively affordable can mean great things for your fantasy lineup, especially in a cash game contest. He scores when the Clips need him to, and has legit finishers like Griffin playing well around him, and when the Clippers offense is doing well, Paul is bound to benefit.
Other Options – Damian Lillard ($9,100), Stephen Curry ($9,000), John Wall ($8,600)
Marcus Smart @ WAS ($4,500) – With Jae Crowder out, there are some minutes to go around, and Smart can pick up a lot of them due to his defensive versatility. You can imagine Boston wanting him to have plenty of time out there to try to slow down the Washington backcourt. He has been just over 20 fantasy points in all three of his games this season, contributing with some points, rebounds, assists and defensive stats.
Other Options – Sergio Rodriguez ($5,500), Patty Mills ($4,300)
James Harden @ SA ($11,500) – Westbrook is awesome, but Harden seems to own the largest share of his team’s production even still. He just ALWAYS has the ball in his hands, now averaging just a shade under 13 assists a game, which, combined with his scoring, has allowed him to give you more than sixty fantasy points in five of his seven games so far this season.
Jimmy Butler @ ATL ($7,200) – This is still Butler’s team, through all the offseason changes, even if that doesn’t necessarily mean he will be relied upon to score quite as much as he was in the past. But with the new options around him, his price has also been depressed, and for just over $7K, he is consistently getting you back 30+ fantasy points. He is coming off a game where he tallied only 20 points, and still was able to rack up 43 fantasy points on the back of five rebounds, seven assists and four steals.
Other Options – DeMar DeRozan ($8,000)
Bradley Beal vs. BOS ($5,800) – Boston’s perimeter defense has not been at all what everyone was expecting heading into the season, and even when they were at their best, they sometimes struggled containing guards who were able to penetrate off the dribble. That describes John Wall pretty well, and if he can have free reign into the paint, it is going to mean open looks for Beal, who has been cashing in on those chances recently (19.5 ppg over his last four).
Other Options – Klay Thompson ($6,200), Monta Ellis ($5,400)
Kawhi Leonard vs. HOU ($9,200) – The big thing this year so far is the scoring: he has 27 or more points in five of their first seven games. For a player who can do so many other things as well, that kind of offensive output gives him elite upside on a more consistent basis than we have ever seen out of him before.
Gordon Hayward @ CHA ($6,800) – Hayward has now been back for two games, and we’ve learned one thing so far: he’s Utah’s best offensive option. He has gotten up 17 shots in each of his two games, including ten three-point attempts, and he is averaging 24 ppg in 33 minutes per game so far through two. In a plus matchup against Charlotte, there is no reason to expect a drop-off tonight.
Other Options – Kevin Durant ($9,500)
Jaylen Brown @ WAS ($4,500) – The rookie lottery pick is getting the start this week with Crowder missing time, and he is erratic – both game to game and even within games. But the upside is obvious when he steps on the floor, and he could put together a stat line that really helps you in a big tournament at this price – I just wouldn’t trust him as someone with a floor you can trust in a cash game. He is consistently providing you with some defensive stats (two blocks and three steals in the last two games), so if he can get out and run in the open court against a Washington team allowing more than 105 ppg, he could be a very solid fantasy performer for short dollars tonight.
Other Options – Robert Covington ($4,400)
Blake Griffin vs. POR ($8,200) – It wasn’t all that long ago that most experts agreed Griffin had ascended into the top handful of players in the game, but after the disaster that was last season, it is taking some time for him to bounce back. But he is already making huge strides towards being able to contribute in a big way towards a successful Clippers team already. For a guy who is currently averaging 19-10-4, this price has nowhere to go but up from here.
Kristaps Porzingis vs. BKN ($7,200) – The Nets don’t have anyone with the combination of athleticism and length to really regularly contest his shot, so the only question is how assertive he will be in finding that shot. If the last two games are any indication, it shouldn’t be a problem – he has 15 and 18 shot attempts in his last two games, pushing Carmelo for the team lead in that category. He likely should lead the team in shots easily, but just moving in that direction is a good start for now.
Other Options – Paul Millsap ($7,700), Myles Turner ($7,100)
Trevor Booker @ NY ($5,200) – With a good matchup against the Knicks, he has the upside to match one of the two double-doubles he has recorded in his last four games. With about 30 minutes of time in four of his last five, he is consistently hitting double-digits on the glass, which is a great baseline at this price.
Other Options – Derrick Favors ($5,800)
Karl-Anthony Towns @ ORL ($8,500) – He is the consensus best young center in the league, and for good reason. It does seem like most of the value is baked into his price because his floor in the low-to-mid thirties is what you’re looking for, and the 60-fantasy point outburst we saw last week against Denver isn’t likely to repeat itself against an Orlando team with plenty of length up front. That makes him more of a cash game option than a GPP play for me, but there is still plenty of value there in the right situation.
Dwight Howard @ CHI ($7,500) – In just about 30 minutes a night, Howard’s been doing it the way everyone always thought he should be – focusing on defense and the glass, and letting the scoring come to him. With two blocks and 13 rebounds per game, the scoring can be looked at as nothing but a nice bonus, because a baseline floor making him valuable in a cash game exists even on nights like their last game against Cleveland (only seven points, but still 35.25 fantasy points).
Other Options – Andre Drummond ($7,800), Rudy Gobert ($6,500)
Jahlil Okafor @ IND ($4,800) – I think Jahlil presents some potential upside tonight. The logic is simple: his talents on the offensive end are obvious, no matter what else is going on with his game, and with Noel still out and Embiid scheduled to miss tonight, the opportunity could be there for him to get more minutes and more looks than usual, which gives him that potential upside I referenced.
Other Options – Steven Adams ($5,500)
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.