Wednesday features an eight-game slate starting at 7 p.m. ET.
Let’s dive into some of the top plays using the FantasyLabs Tools and metrics.
Note: Projections and Leverages Scores/Ratings may change throughout the day after this article is posted. The NBA DFS landscape changes quickly. Consult the Player Models directly for any updates as we get closer to lock.
The Thunder are a tough team to figure out on Wednesday. On one hand, they have a brutal matchup vs. the Nuggets. The Nuggets are listed as 13-point favorites, and the Thunder are implied for just 106 points. That’s tied for the lowest mark on the slate.
However, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander’s upside is undeniable if this game stays competitive. The Thunder are playing without Luguentz Dort and Josh Giddey, leaving the team without their best secondary playmakers. Gilgeous-Alexander has unsurprisingly crushed with both players off the court this season. He has increased his usage rate by 6.7 percentage points and his assist rate by 8.3 in that situation, resulting in an average of 1.56 DraftKings points per minute. He was outstanding with both players out of the lineup on Monday, racking up 60.5 DraftKings points for the second straight game.
Cameron Payne has been out of the lineup since Jan. 22, but he is probable to make his return vs. the Trail Blazers. He will likely be on a minute restriction, but Payne doesn’t usually play big minutes to begin with. He makes up for it with excellent efficiency, averaging 1.01 DraftKings points per minute this season. Payne has the potential to be even more productive than usual with Chris Paul out of the lineup, and Devin Booker has also been ruled out due to health and safety protocols. Payne has increased his output to 1.12 DraftKings points per minute with both players off the court.
Gabe Vincent is another nice potential source of value at the position. Kyle Lowry remains out for personal reasons, and Vincent has started in his absence for most of the year. He’s coming off 29.0 DraftKings points sans Lowry in his last outing, and he’s currently projected for 32 minutes in our NBA Models. Historically, players with comparable salaries and minute projections have averaged a Plus/Minus of +3.51 (per the Trends tool).
The game between the Magic and Pacers stands out as another strong target on Wednesday, and Cole Anthony is one of the best values in that contest on FanDuel. He’s been priced down to just $5,700, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 96%. He’s coming off a poor performance in his last outing, but he scored at least 31.0 FanDuel points in the two games prior.
The Jazz get to square off with the Rockets on Wednesday, and it doesn’t get any better from a DFS perspective. The Rockets rank first in pace and dead last in defensive efficiency, and the Jazz’s implied team total of 121.75 ranks first on the slate.
With that in mind, targeting Donovan Mitchell at shooting guard is reasonable. Mitchell has played in eight games since returning to the lineup following a concussion, and he’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in six of them. That includes 49.5 DraftKings points in his last meeting vs. the Rockets despite playing just 31.9 minutes in a blowout win. He has massive upside if this game is more competitive than expected.
The Knicks are going to be extremely thin in the backcourt on Wednesday. Derrick Rose and Quentin Grimes are hurt, Kemba Walker is not with the team, and Miles McBride is in the G League. That leaves Alec Burks to handle most of the point guard minutes. He’s logged at least 33.9 minutes in back-to-back games, and he’s averaged 0.85 DraftKings points per minute this season.
Keon Johnson is expected to see a significant role for the Blazers on Wednesday. He’s projected for 28 minutes in our NBA Models, but he’s priced at just $3,100 on DraftKings. Johnson isn’t the most productive player on a per-minute basis, but it’s hard to ignore someone with that much playing time upside at such a minimal price tag.
Things have gone extremely well for James Harden through his first two games with the 76ers. He racked up 52.6 FanDuel points in his debut and followed that up with 77.0 FanDuel points in his second contest. Overall, he’s averaged 1.82 FanDuel points per minute. Harden is expensive on DraftKings, but his $10,400 salary on FanDuel comes with a Bargain Rating of 94%.
The Pelicans are another team with a strong matchup on Wednesday. They’re taking on the Kings, who rank 29th in defensive efficiency this season, and they’re currently implied for 119.5 points. Brandon Ingram has taken a bit of a backseat to C.J. McCollum since the latter arrived in New Orleans, but Ingram is still capable of doing massive damage as a scorer. His price tag has also decreased significantly over the past two weeks, and he’s scored at least 39.75 DraftKings points in each of his past two games. He’s a nice buy-low candidate.
Aleksej Pokusevski has spent time alternating between the G League and the Thunder this season, but he’s gotten the opportunity to play more for the big club recently. Poku is coming off one of his best games of the season in his last outing, finishing with 34.0 DraftKings over nearly 26 minutes, and he has the ability to contribute in every category across the board. He’s averaged 1.05 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, and he could approach 30 minutes Wednesday vs. the Nuggets. He’s one of the best values on the entire slate.
Garrison Matthews is another player who is underpriced given his projected workload. He’s currently projected for 32 minutes in our NBA Models and is priced at just $3,400 on DraftKings. Matthews has averaged 0.73 DraftKings points per minute this season, so that should be more than enough playing time to return value.
Josh Hart stands out as one of the best pure values of the day on FanDuel, where his $6,000 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 98%. Hart’s playing time has been cut short in two straight blowouts, but he played around 36 minutes in each of his three previous games. Hart has averaged 0.97 FanDuel points per minute over the past month, giving him excellent upside for his price tag.
Wendell Carter Jr. has been playing some of his best basketball of the season recently. He’s been dominant over the past month, increasing his production to 1.27 DraftKings points per minute, and he’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in five of his past seven games. He should be able to keep things rolling against an inexperienced Pacers’ frontcourt.
Trey Lyles was acquired by the Kings in the trade that sent Marvin Bagley to Detroit, and he’s quietly had an excellent year. He’s averaged 1.01 DraftKings per minute, albeit in limited playing time. However, Lyles’ minutes were increased to 30.7 in his last outing, and he has massive upside if he’s going to see that much playing time again on Wednesday. He finished with 34.5 DraftKings points in his last contest, and he could easily duplicate that production vs. the Pelicans.
I will never blame you for firing up Giannis Antetokounmpo. He’s increased his production to a ridiculous 1.91 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, giving him arguably the highest ceiling on Wednesday’s slate even in a tough matchup vs. the Heat. Giannis has gotten a bit pricy on DraftKings, but his $11,300 salary on FanDuel comes with a Bargain Rating of 95%.
Christian Wood has PF eligibility on FanDuel, which is where he’s most valuable on Wednesday. He owns a Bargain Rating of 95%, and he leads the position with 12 Pro Trends. There are obviously some blowout concerns vs. the Jazz, but he’s simply too cheap if he sees his usual complement of minutes.
Center is absolutely loaded on Wednesday, but Rudy Gobert stands out as my favorite play at the position. He’s going to save you a decent chunk of salary compared to the top centers, the Rockets are an ideal matchup for him. In addition to their fast pace and defensive struggles, the Rockets also rank just 20th in rebound rate. Gobert has also been priced down to just $7,800 on DraftKings, which is cheaper than usual. He’s owned a comparable salary in just 15 previous contests this season, and he’s averaged a Plus/Minus of +2.86.
Mo Bamba is not playing as much as Carter at the moment, but that doesn’t mean he can’t pay off his current price tag. He’s still averaged 1.04 DraftKings points per minute this season, and he’s played at least 25 minutes in three straight games. He’s scored at least 25.75 DraftKings points in two of those contests, including 33.5 DraftKings points vs. the Pacers on Monday.
Nikola Jokic and Joel Embiid are obviously viable targets on Wednesday, and both players have been closely linked all season. However, our Models prefer Embiid on this slate. Not only is he cheaper than Jokic, but he’s been the better fantasy producer of late. Embiid has averaged 1.89 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, while Jokic’s production has slipped to 1.79. Embiid also hasn’t been negatively impacted by the addition of Harden, scoring at least 55.0 DraftKings points in both contests.
Drew Eubanks played 28.6 minutes in the Blazers’ last game, and he’s projected for a similar workload on Wednesday. He can do some damage with that much playing time. He’s averaged 1.02 FanDuel points per minute this season, and he’s coming off a double-double in his last outing.