Wednesday’s fantasy basketball Showdown contests feature two NBA games: San Antonio Spurs at Minnesota Timberwolves (8:00 p.m. ET) and Toronto Raptors at Portland Trail Blazers (10:00 p.m. ET). This article will focus on the late game.
The Raptors are playing their third road game in four nights, while Portland also is playing its third game in four nights while also playing on the second night of a back-to-back, so fatigue could be an issue for both teams.
Kyle Lowry (thumb), Serge Ibaka (ankle) and OG Anunoby (eye) are out for the Raptors. Rodney Hood (back) did not play Tuesday and his status is uncertain heading into Wednesday’s game.
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Note: All salaries will be Flex prices unless noted as Captain’s Pick prices.
— The Trail Blazers have won 10 of their past 11 home games on the second leg of a back-to-back.
— The Trail Blazers have covered the spread in 11 of their past 13 Wednesday games.
— Twenty-one of the Trail Blazers’ past 28 games at Moda Center have gone OVER the total points line.
— Marc Gasol has scored 14+ points in 10 of his past 12 appearances against the Trail Blazers at Moda Center.
— Damian Lillard has scored 30+ points in each of his past five regular season appearances at Moda Center.
Stats provided by DraftKings Sportsbook
Toronto is heavily banged up, with three key rotation players all out for Wednesday’s game. With both Lowry and Ibaka sidelined for the past two games, several Raptors players have seen expanded roles. Norman Powell ($6,400) moved into the starting five in place of Lowry and played a season-high 37 minutes in Toronto’s most recent game, the first time he has surpassed the 30-minute mark in any game this season. Powell moving into the starting lineup pushed Fred VanVleet ($9,400) over to point guard in Lowry’s place, and VanVleet has seen a gigantic uptake in facilitating since. VanVleet has made 73.5 passes per game and created a heavy 19 potential assists per game over Toronto’s past two games, boosts from 62.5 passes per game and 12 potential assists created per game with Lowry in the lineup. VanVleet also played a ridiculously heavy 45 minutes in Toronto’s most recent game.
In addition to Powell and VanVleet, Marc Gasol ($7,600) and Chris Boucher ($5,000) also have seen expanded roles due to Ibaka’s injury. Gasol has played 33 minutes in each game since Ibaka was injured, a boost from 26 minutes per game previously, while Boucher has played 22 and 24 minutes, a boost from just six minutes per game prior to Ibaka’s injury. Boucher has been highly productive in a small sample in his career, posting a 21.5 player efficiency rating in 247 career minutes and has scored more than 1 DKFP per minute since Ibaka’s injury.
While the players above have seen expanded roles recently due to injury, Pascal Siakam ($11,000) has seen a massively expanded role since Kawhi Leonard’s departure to Los Angeles. Siakam’s usage rate has skyrocketed to 30% this season, a boost from 20% last season with Leonard on the team. Siakam’s 21.5 player efficiency rating is the best of his career, and he has taken far more shot attempts, averaging 20 field goals per game, including six 3-point attempts per game, boosts from 12 field goal attempts and three 3-point attempts per game last season. Siakam also has played expanded minutes, averaging a tick over 36 minutes per game this season, a boost from 32 minutes per game last season. The boost in volume has made Siakam a much higher fantasy performer this year, as he is averaging 47 DKFP per game, second highest among players in this game and eighth highest on Wednesday’s DraftKings NBA slate.
Raptors players have a good matchup against a Trail Blazers team that has been below average defensively on a possession-adjusted basis, and their top-10 pace has them allowing the eighth most points to opponents. Portland also has been below average on the glass by the percentage of missed shots it rebounds, creating a favorable matchup for points and rebounds for Toronto.
On the Trail Blazers’ side, Damian Lillard ($11,800) is easily the top fantasy performer. Lillard’s 54 DKFP per game leads all players in this contest and ranks fourth among all players on Wednesday’s main slate on DraftKings. Lillard is playing heavy minutes in the early part of the season, averaging just under 39 minutes per game, which leads the league. Lillard’s 424 total minutes played also leads the league. Combined with a team-high 29% usage rate, Lillard’s volume has been high, ranking fourth in shots per game (21) and second in 3-point attempts per game (10). Lillard’s 12 potential assists created per game leads the Blazers by six more than CJ McCollum’s ($8,400) six potential assists per game. While McCollum is not close to Lillard in facilitating, he is close to Lillard in shot volume, as his 20 shots per game ranks eighth most among all players. McCollum’s 26% usage rate is also solid. Lillard and McCollum are the top scoring options for Portland.
Hassan Whiteside ($8,800) has been dealing with a foot sprain but played in Tuesday’s game. Whiteside is having a productive fantasy season as Portland’s starting center, averaging 37 DKFP per game and posting a strong player efficiency rating of 24.0. Whiteside has remained one of the league’s best rebounders, grabbing 24% of missed shots, tied for third best among all players. Whiteside could take advantage of a Raptors team that ranks poorly on the glass, ranking as the sixth worst rebounding team by the percentage of missed shots they rebound. Lillard, Whiteside and McCollum are the top fantasy options for Portland, but Anfernee Simons ($5,800), Kent Bazemore ($5,200) and Mario Hezonja ($4,800) also have played key rotation roles, especially in the absence of Rodney Hood ($3,600; back).
While Toronto has been below average on the glass, it has been one of the strongest defensive teams on a possession-adjusted basis, ranking sixth best. Toronto’s faster-than-average pace has them ranking 10th best in points allowed to opponents rather than sixth best at points allowed per possession. With the Raptors showcasing a better defense than the Trail Blazers, Raptors players are in a more appealing fantasy spot.
Siakam ($16,500 CP) is a strong Captain’s Pick choice given his heavy volume in the Raptors’ offense combined with facing a below-average Blazers defense. VanVleet ($14,100 CP) is also an appealing Captain’s Pick play for Toronto given his boost in facilitating since Lowry’s injury. For the Trail Blazers, Lillard ($17,700 CP) is a Captain’s Pick option with his team-high volume, along with Whiteside ($13,200), who faces a team that has ranked poorly on the glass.
The Raptors are down several key rotation players and are playing their third road game in four nights, but the good news for them is they are coming off an off day while Portland is playing on the second night of a back-to-back. Portland being at home gives them an advantage, but the Raptors have been the better team by point differential have a chance to take advantage of a Blazers team that has been below average defensively.
Final score: Raptors 110, Trail Blazers 105
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