Terry Rozier has been ruled out. Devonte’ Graham becomes viable on FD where he remains underpriced. Malik Monk remains affordable too and could be considered if that is where you ended up at with roster construction, though I am not prioritizing him.
What’s up #elitemafia. Happy Wednesday!
We have a 10-game slate this evening and it is shaping up to be a good one. We already have some impactful news with Russell Westbrook, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Larry Nance, and Kemba Walker listed as out for this evening. Raul Neto will also not play, leaving the Wizards backcourt thin against the Heat. Rudy Gay has also been ruled out for the Spurs tonight, as he battles a hip injury.
We have plenty of news still pending, with a long list of questionable players for tonight. Here are some of those notable players listed as questionable for tonight: Andre Drummond, Myles Turner, Terry Rozier, D’Angelo Russell, and Steven Adams.
Remember NBA differs from all other sports because one piece of news can change the entire look of a slate. Monitoring news throughout the day and keeping an eye on starting lineups is a key part of the daily process for those playing NBA DFS.
For the purpose of this article, I’ll be using FanDuel positions as they are less flexible than they are on DraftKings, but you should have plenty of options at each position to build on DK as well given the roster flexibility and multi-position eligibility of many players on their site.
Let’s jump right into it!
Top Projected Total
- Bucks 121.5
- Heat 118.25
- Spurs 115.75
- 76ers 115
- Rockets 114.25
- Heat -9.5
- Clippers -9
- Bucks -9
- Spurs -8
- Rockets -7
Position By Position
Luka Doncic (DK $10800/ FD $11500) – Doncic has turned in some meh, for lack of better words, results as of late, by his standards. That said, he has faced off against the Suns and Jazz twice in his last four games, two defenses ranked inside the top seven in defense efficiency and two teams that play at a bottom six pace. Tonight, he faces off against a Hawks defense that is eighth in defense efficiency, but a team that plays faster than Dallas, making this somewhat of a paced-up spot for him. In addition, the Hawks defense might be solid, but they struggle immensely against opposing point guards. They are giving up the eighth most real points, 13th most rebounds, most steals, second most blocks, and third most fantasy points per game to the position. The Hawks also allow the fifth most points in the paint, which is where Doncic generates 45.5 percent of his scoring from. He remains one of the most versatile players in basketball and is a stat sheet stuffing machine. His floor has not been as high as we are used to seeing, but in this matchup, Doncic is in a great position for strong performance.
Malcolm Brogdon (DK $8100/ FD $8400) – The Pacers take on the Bucks tonight in what will be a paced-up spot for Indiana. The Bucks play at a top seven pace, while the Pacers play at the 13th fastest pace. This bodes well for Brogdon, as he will receive additional touch opportunities. He has been fairly consistent as of late, scoring 40+ DK points in four of his last five games, while also displaying his upside in that stretch with a 60+ DK performance. The Bucks are giving up the third highest three-point field goal percentage and the third most three-pointers per game to opposing teams. This is good news for Brogdon who generates 38 percent of his scoring from beyond the arc. He plays big minutes on a nightly basis, averaging 36.5 minutes per game, the fifth highest in basketball. Brogdon is not only a scorer, but he is also a peripherals guy, so there are multiple ways for him to generate fantasy points. He is also reasonably priced considering what he brings to the table.
Dejounte Murray (DK $6400/ FD $6900) – I know, I know. Murray shit the bed last game and let us down. However, that is no reason not to go back to the well here at his price and in this matchup. Murray remains too cheap for the caliber of player he is and tonight he faces off against a Timberwolves team that ranks 23rd in defense efficiency. Minnesota allows the fifth most real points, 12th most rebounds, most three-pointers, 11th most steals, and eighth most fantasy points per game to opposing point guards. This will also be a paced-up spot for the Spurs being that the Timberwolves play at a top eight pace. Murray shot poorly last game, just 22 percent, and played only 24 minutes but that was due to the score. Tonight, he should be back to his regular allotment of minutes and will be in a great position to provide us with a great return on investment. He has the ability to stuff the stat sheet any time he is on the court and this is a great spot to do just that.
Ish Smith (DK $4800/ FD $4600) – Westbrook will not play in tonight’s game against the Heat, which means Smith is likely getting the start and playing big minutes for Washington tonight. Smith has played solid off the bench in the last two games, following a four-game absence. In his last two games, Smith is averaging 25.5 minutes, eight points, eight assists, 3.5 rebounds, two steals, and 0.5 blocks per game. Smith has scored over 20 DK points in all but two games this season where he has played at least 21 minutes. He averages just about a fantasy point per minute and should play 29-32 minutes in tonight’s contest. With Westbrook off the floor, Smith sees a one percent usage bump and an increase of 4.3 percent in assist percentage. He is cheap on both sites and is one of the top values on the slate.
Theo Maledon (DK $4300/ FD $4800) – SGA will not play this evening, which means that Maledon could see some additional opportunities as a ball handler and facilitator. Maledon has started in each of the last four games and has played no less than 28 minutes in each of the last three games. Over that three-game stretch, he has averaged 0.86 fantasy points per minute and will likely play 29-32 minutes in tonight’s contest. The matchup at hand is not great, as Houston’s defense has played better as of late. That said, Maledon remains reasonably priced and should be able to return value in this contest. He is PG/SG eligible on DK, giving you some flexibility with roster construction.
Bradley Beal (DK $9700/ FD $10800) – Westbrook has been ruled out for tonight, which means that Beal will have to carry the Wizards on his back. When Westbrook is off the court, Beal, who already has a league high 36.5 percent usage rate on the season, sees an increase of 3.2 percent in usage. In addition, Beal also sees an increase of 8.4 percent in assist percentage in this instance. He has scored no less than 26 real points in every single game this season, averaging a career high 35 points per game. He is in a position to beat the single season record of 16 games with consecutive 25-point games tonight since Jordan last did it, so we should expect him to come out with a purpose this evening. He faces a Heat team that gives up the eighth highest three-point field goal percentage, along with the most three-pointers per game to opposing teams. This is great news for Beal, who generates 22 percent of his scoring from beyond the arc and has attempted 39 three-pointers in the last four games. Beal is on a second night of a back-to-back, which is not ideal, but that has yet to slow him down this season.
Victor Oladipo (DK $7800/ FD $8200) – Oladipo is in line for higher usage tonight and more ball handling responsibilities with Wall out. Although it’s a small sample size, Oladipo has seen a 3.3 percent usage bump and a 6.6 assists percentage increase when Wall is off the court. He faces a Thunder team that he scored 15 points with seven dimes, three boards, and a block against in 25 minutes just a few nights ago. The Rockets blew the Thunder out, hence the 25 minutes. That is certainly a concern tonight, especially with OKC missing SGA, but if that ends up being the case, Oladipo will have a lot to do with that. The Thunder are giving up the fourth most points in the paint, which bodes well for Oladipo who generates 39.1 percent of his scoring from the paint. In addition, they yield the eighth most three-pointers per game and Oladipo generates 39.4 percent of his scoring from beyond the arc. He is in a good spot here tonight and his price is not taking into account that Wall is not playing this evening, making Oladipo a strong point per dollar play.
DeMar DeRozan (DK $6900/ FD $7200) – The production has been all over the place for DeRozan in recent games, making him a little more volatile than we are used to. That said, this has also caused his price to come down to a point where it is tough to pass up on him. That is even more true in tonight’s matchup against a bad Timberwolves defense, a defense that DeRozan had a huge performance against the last time he faced them. In that game, he scored 38 points with five boards and five assists. He did attempt 23 shots, which was the second most in a game this season, and he has not been shooting as much in recent games. The good news for DeRozan is that Aldridge is out tonight, so there will be additional shot opportunities for him and when Aldridge is off the court, DeRozan does see a team high 4.3 percent usage bump. He is SF/PF eligible on DK and makes for a strong play on both sites.
D’Angelo Russell (DK $6800/ FD $7400) – Russell is normally someone I prefer in tournaments being that he can be volatile. However, at this price tag, he is cash game viable because he is just too cheap. Russell faces off against the Spurs, a team he has played well against this season. In two meetings against San Antonio, Russell has averaged 21.5 points with 5.5 assists, four rebounds, one steal, and 0.5 blocks per game, while scoring over a fantasy point per minute. The Spurs are ranked 18th in defense efficiency and are giving up the 10th most fantasy points per game to the position, making this a solid matchup for Russell. In addition, San Antonio surrenders the highest three-point field goal percentage to opposing teams, which bodes well for Russell who generates 45.3 percent of his scoring from beyond the arc. Despite listed as questionable with a quad injury, Russell is expected to play this evening, as he has played through the injury in each of his last three games. Towns is not playing tonight, which means that Russell gets a usage bump as well. The floor might not be as stable as some of the other guards on this list, but the ceiling is massive. Keep an eye on his status, but Russell does make for a strong point per dollar play tonight.
Jimmy Butler (DK $8400/ FD $8500) – Butler has been stellar in his two games back after missing 10 games, scoring 50 DK points in each of those two games. Tonight, he is once again in a great position to post big numbers against a Washington team that not only plays at the fastest pace in basketball, but also ranks 29th in defense efficiency. In addition, the Wizards have been generous to the small forwards this season, allowing the second most real points and 11th most fantasy points per game to the position. Butler will not only be able to score at will against this defense, but also rack up the peripherals in this up-tempo contest. Aside from a solidified floor, Butler offers nice upside and remains affordable on both sites. The only concern here is that the Heat are the biggest favorites on the night, so there is the potential for a blowout. That said, we cannot predict blowouts and there is no denying just how good of a spot this is for Butler.
Jaylen Brown (DK $7800/ FD $8700) – Brown draws a fantastic matchup this evening against the worst defense in basketball when it comes to defense efficiency. In addition, the Kings surrender the ninth most fantasy points per game to this position. Brown did not shoot well last night against the Warriors, but still managed to score 18 points with 10 rebounds, four dimes, and a block. Tonight, he is in a good position for better shooting as Sacramento yields the second highest field goal percentage to opposing teams. In addition, Brown generates 42.3 percent of his scoring from the paint and the Kings are giving up the most points in the paint per game, making this an excellent situation. Brown is on a second night of a back-to-back, but I am not overly concerned about that. I prefer him on DK where he is cheaper but is definitely viable on both sites.
Eric Gordon (DK $5400/ FD $4900) – Gordon shot the back well in his last game, shooting 67 percent from the court and scoring 25 points. That is music to my ears considering he faces the same team this evening and tonight the Rockets will be without Wall, which means more opportunities for Gordon. With Wall off the court, Gordon sees a 3.1 percent usage bump and a 2.5 percent increase in assist percentage. The Thunder are giving up the eighth most three-pointers per game, which bodes well for Gordon who generates 45.6 percent of his scoring from beyond the arc. In their last meeting, he made five three-pointers, one shy of his season high. So far this season, anytime that Gordon has started, he has played no less than 30 minutes and has scored no less than 25 DK points in any of those contests. He is too cheap on FD and is very affordable on DK as well.
Garrison Mathews (DK $3300/ FD $4400) – Mathews could see a slight increase in opportunity this evening with Westbrook out. Mathews is far from an elite player, but should play 22-25 minutes this evening and comes in at near min price on DK. He has played no less than 21 minutes in each of the last three games that Westbrook has missed and has topped 21 DK points in all of those contests. Mathews does most of his scoring from beyond the arc (57%), which is an area that Miami struggles with. He is SG/SF eligible on DK, which allows you to get creative with roster construction and gives you more flexibility. I prefer him on there because of that and the fact that he is much cheaper there as well, but Mathews is viable on both sites.
Giannis Antetokounmpo (DK $11000/ FD $11200) – Antetokounmpo is coming off a subpar game and that is only because the Bucks blew out the Trail Blazers, which led to him playing just 26 minutes. That said, prior to last game, he had played 35 or more minutes in six consecutive games and that led to 57+ DK points in all but one game during that stretch. There is no denying that whenever Antetokounmpo plays his full allotment of minutes, he offers one of the most stable floors as well as highest ceilings in basketball. Tonight, he faces off against a Pacers team that gives up the eighth most points in the paint per game and could be without their starting center, making them even more vulnerable if that ends up being the case. This bodes incredibly well for Antetokounmpo who generates 59 percent of his scoring from inside the paint. The Bucks are one of the heaviest favorites on the board tonight, which is somewhat concerning, but if this game is competitive, he could be the highest scorer on the slate.
Jayson Tatum (DK $8900/ FD $9500) – Tatum draws a nice matchup here this evening against a Kings team that does not play great defense and plays up in pace. He has now missed a double-double in each of his last two games by just one rebound, though he has scored no less than 24 real points in every game since returning from a five-game absence. We have not seen a ceiling game since his return, but he remains consistent with 40+ DK points in all but one of those contests. The Kings struggle inside the paint, allowing the most points per game in that area, and they also are generous beyond the arc as they give up the sixth most three-pointers per game, along with the third highest three-point field goal percentage. This is huge for Tatum who generates 38.9 percent of his scoring from the paint and 35.2 percent of his scoring from beyond the arc. This could be the night where Tatum goes off for the shorthanded Celtics who are missing some key players in their backcourt.
Christian Wood (DK $8600/ FD $8900) – Wood dominated against the Thunder just a few nights ago, scoring 18 points with 11 rebounds, two blocks, one steal, and one assist in just 26 minutes. He will once again be in a great position to dominate against a team that gives up the most rebounds and fourth most points in the paint per game. Wood generates 59 percent of his scoring from inside the paint and averages 10.7 rebounds per game. The Thunder give up over 55 fantasy points per game to the position, making this an incredible spot for Wood. He is listed as PF on FD, but is a center on DK.
Domantas Sabonis (DK $8300/ FD $8800) – On DK, Sabonis is priced at the lowest he has been all season despite coming off a huge performance. He scored 32 points, tying a season high, with 13 rebounds, five assists, and two steals against the Grizzlies yesterday evening. Tonight’s matchup against the Grizzlies is far from elite, but Sabonis’ price is tough to pass up on considering the floor he offers, as well as the upside. Sabonis gets an extra bump if Turner sits, as he has seen a two percent usage increase with Turner off the court. However, even if Turner plays, Sabonis is a very strong play tonight on both sites.
Daniel Theis (DK $4800/ FD $4900) – Theis is very affordable on both sites this evening, making him an interesting point per dollar play at the power forward position. After coming off the bench for four games, Theis has started in each of his last five games. During that stretch, he has averaged 25.6 minutes, 12.6 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 1.4 blocks, and 1.2 steals per game, scoring 27 or more DK points in all but one of those contests. Tonight, he faces a Kings team that ranks dead last in defense efficiency and plays up in pace. Theis generates 54.9 percent of his scoring from inside the paint and Sacramento allows the most points in the paint per game, making this a strong spot for him. There is plenty of value on this slate, so he is not a must, but he is certainly a paydown option I have a lot of interest in this evening. He is PF/C eligible on DK, giving you a ton of flexibility with roster construction.
Joel Embiid (DK $10000/ FD $10200) – Embiid might not be the best pay up option this evening, but that does not mean he is not an incredibly strong play. He faces off against a Hornets team that gives up the eighth most rebounds per game to opposing teams and the third most rebounds per game to opposing centers. Embiid has played the Hornets twice this season and has averaged 16.5 points with 12.5 rebounds, four assists, two blocks, and 1.5 steals, while averaging 30.5 minutes per game against them. Granted, those are not elite numbers being that we are paying a high price tag for Embiid, but that does not mean he is incapable of posting elite number here tonight. Over his last five games, Embiid has topped 57 DK points four times and that is the type of upside he brings to the table, as well as an incredible floor.
Al Horford (DK $6000/ FD $6500) – If you are looking for a center in the mid-range pricing, Horford is your guy. Since returning from a six-game absence, Horford has played some solid basketball in each of his last three games. During that stretch, he has averaged 26.3 minutes, 16.3 points, eight rebounds, three assists, two steals, and 1.3 blocks per game, scoring no less than 31 DK points in any of those contests. The Thunder will be without their primary scorer tonight, which should create some extra scoring opportunities for Horford. In fact, when Hill and SGA are off the court, which is the case this evening, Horford sees a nice 4.6 percent usage bump. Many people will flock to the backcourt and wing players for the Thunder tonight, which is totally fine, but that is something I would rather do in tournaments. In cash however, I prefer the more stable player in Horford, being that some of their wing players tend to be more volatile.
Jakob Poeltl (DK $4600/ FD $4800) – Poeltl is in line for a start tonight with Aldridge being ruled out. He has started three games this season and has averaged 22.7 minutes, 6.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 0.3 steals per game in his starts. Those are not great numbers by any means, but he has had some difficult matchups in his starts, facing the Lakers twice and the Jazz once. Tonight, the matchup is much better against a Timberwolves team that doesn’t play good defense and one that is overly generous to opposing centers. The Timberwolves surrender the most real points, second most rebounds, most assists, third most blocks, and most fantasy points per game to the position. Poeltl should play 20-23 minutes here, with upside for more, and will be in a great position to pay off his salary in this contest.
DraftKings: Domantas Sabonis, Jaylen Brown, DeMar DeRozan, Ish Smith
FanDuel: Giannis Antetokounmpo, Eric Gordon, DeMar DeRozan, Ish Smith
** Always check for updates to the core four closer to lock as it is subject to change with news**