The NBA Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each day’s slate using the FantasyLabs Tools and metrics to highlight notable players.
Wednesday features a nine-game slate starting at 7:30 p.m. ET
This is going to be a very Spurs-heavy slate. They’re going to be extremely shorthanded today, with DeMar DeRozan out for personal reasons and Devin White, Keldon Johnson, Rudy Gay, Devin Vassell, and Quinndary Weatherspoon all out due to health and safety protocols. They will get LaMarcus Aldridge back vs. the Thunder – he’s missed the past six games due to an injury – but that still leaves the Spurs with a ton of available shots and minutes.
Dejounte Murray is one of the most likely candidates to assume additional offensive responsibilities. He’s already tied for the team lead in usage, and he’s averaged a stout 1.19 DraftKings points per minute over the past month. The Thunder also represent a solid matchup since they play at an above-average pace.
Dennis Smith Jr. has started at point guard for the Pistons in each of the past two games, but Saban Lee is clearly the point guard to target in Detroit. Not only is he playing more minutes off the bench, but he’s also been more effective when on the court. He’s posted at least 30.0 DraftKings in back-to-back games, and he has a chance for another big performance tonight vs. the Pelicans. They have been an elite fantasy matchup this season, ranking 28th in defensive efficiency.
Lee is simply too cheap at $3,800 on DraftKings given his Bargain Rating of 99%.
Patty Mills is another potential value option for the Spurs. He’s priced at just $3,800 on FanDuel, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 80%, and he’s currently projected for 30.1 minutes in our NBA Models. Historically, Mills has averaged a Plus/Minus of +6.13 with a comparable salary and minute projection (per the Trends tool).
There aren’t a ton of studs to consider paying up for today, which makes Malcolm Brogdon more appealing than usual. He’s posted a positive Plus/Minus on DraftKings in each of his past four games, and he’s in a nice pace-up spot vs. the Warriors. Golden State has played at the second-fastest pace this season, and the Pacers’ implied team total of 116.25 ranks second on the slate.
The Celtics are reeling at the moment. They’ve lost five of their past seven games, which has dropped them to just sixth place in the Eastern Conference. They’re just one game up on the Heat – who are all the way down in 10th – so they need to turn things around quickly.
That said, don’t blame Jaylen Brown for their struggles. He’s scored at least 46.0 DraftKings points in back-to-back games, and he’s averaged 1.24 DraftKings points per minute this season. The Hawks are not as good of a matchup as they were last season, but Brown still seems underpriced across the industry.
Let’s stick with the Spurs. Lonnie Walker is another player who should see a boost in both volume and efficiency on today’s slate. The Spurs have no choice but to lean on him for big minutes, and he should post a higher usage rate than usual when on the court. He’s projected for 31.1 minutes in our NBA Models, and Walker has historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +3.51 on DraftKings with a comparable minute projection.
Walker is a particularly nice option on FanDuel, where he’s priced at the absolute minimum.
On the other side of that matchup, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander stands out as one of the best pure values on FanDuel. He’s priced at just $7,500, and SGA has averaged a Plus/Minus of +8.78 with a comparable salary this season. That gives him the potential to be one of the best plays on the slate.
Josh Jackson is another player who has thrived for the shorthanded Pistons recently. He’s scored at least 30.4 FanDuel points in back-to-back games, and he’s posted a usage rate of at least 30.5% in both contests. He’s averaged 1.04 FanDuel points per minute over the past month, so he can rack up fantasy points quickly.
The Lakers have really struggled without Anthony Davis, and now they have to take on the Jazz in a potential Western Conference Finals preview. The Jazz have been absolutely dominant this season, ranking first in the league in winning percentage and Net Rating. Overall, Utah has won 21 of their past 23 games, and those losses have come on the road against the Clippers and Nuggets.
With that in mind, expect LeBron to have his hands full tonight in Utah. Still, LeBron James should continue to see a few additional opportunities with Davis off the court. James is coming off 62.25 DraftKings points and was one rebound shy of a triple-double in his last outing. He also played a whopping 43.3 minutes in that contest. LeBron is going to have to work for his points tonight – he owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of -0.82 on DraftKings – but he’s as matchup-proof as it gets.
Josh Hart has seen plenty of playing time for the Pelicans recently, and he’s one of the better per-minute producers that you’ll find in this price range. He’s averaged 0.93 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, thanks in no small part to his ability to rebound the basketball. Hart is one of the best rebounding guards in the league, and he’s grabbed at least nine boards in three of his past four games. That includes his last matchup, when he finished with a double-double en route to 55.5 DKFP.
Garrett Temple has a very reliable source of value recently. He’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in nine of his past 10 games on FanDuel, and he’s posted a perfect 100% Consistency Rating over the past month. He remains reasonably priced for a solid matchup vs. the Timberwolves, resulting in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +1.58.
Justin Holiday is a nearly identical play to Temple. Both players have averaged 0.74 FanDuel points per minute over the past month, and Holiday also owns a Consistency Rating of 100%. That said, Holiday stands out as a slightly better value on FanDuel – his $4,900 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 80% – and he’s also projected for a few additional minutes.
$10,500 is a pretty eye-popping price tag for Domantas Sabonis on DraftKings, who has been priced closer to $9,000 for most of the season. I normally would not advocate for paying up for someone with an elevated price tag, but there are reasons to like Sabonis on today’s slate. For starters, the Warriors are an excellent matchup. He owns an Opponent Plus/Minus of +1.55 on FanDuel, which makes it easier to justify paying such a premium.
I’m also going to take a little stroll down narrative street. Sabonis deserved to be an All-Star – at least in my opinion – after averaging 21.5 points, 11.6 rebounds, and 5.7 assists through his first 29 games this season. That puts him on pace to become the first player in history to average 20/10/5 and not make the All-Star team. It would not surprise me at all if he took out his frustration on the Warriors on Wednesday.
The Cavaliers were on a 10-game losing streak heading into yesterday’s matchup vs. the Hawks, so they decided to shake things up by moving Dean Wade into the starting lineup. The Cavs were able to win that contest, so expect to see another start for Wade vs. the Rockets. He didn’t exactly crush on Tuesday – he scored just 15.0 DraftKings points in 20.8 minutes – but that kind of production won’t kill you at just $3,000.
Aldridge will likely be on some sort of minutes restriction in his first game back, but he wasn’t playing all that much to begin with this season. He’s averaged just 26.7 minutes per game, resulting in just 25.11 FanDuel points per game. That’s his lowest mark since his rookie season. Still, that kind of production would work at his current price tag, and he has the potential to increase his per-minute output given the Spurs’ absences.
Jerami Grant is another player who warranted some All-Star consideration but ultimately fell short in a loaded Eastern Conference. He’s been the Pistons’ best player all season, and he should continue to be useful in fantasy. His 12 Pro Trends are tied for the most at the position on FanDuel, where his $7,400 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 72%.
Karl-Anthony Towns has spent most of the year on the sidelines, but he’s starting to get his groove back. He played 35.8 minutes in his last game – which was his second-highest mark since returning to the lineup recently – and responded with 55.0 DraftKings points. If Towns is going to continue to see that much playing time, he’s almost certainly underpriced. He can do a lot of damage tonight vs. the Bulls, who have played at the fourth-fastest pace this season.
You’re going to be able to go with a value option for the Spurs at virtually every position on today’s slate, and Drew Eubanks is no exception at center. He’s priced at the absolute minimum, and he should see a few additional minutes given the Spurs’ current roster situation. If Aldridge is ruled out, it could be plenty of additional minutes. Eubanks has averaged 1.06 DKFP per minute over the past month, so he’s an appealing punt play at the absolute minimum.
I will continue to advocate for Deandre Ayton as a buy-low option at just $6,400 on FanDuel. He was able to pay off his salary yesterday, and he did it in just 25.8 minutes in a blowout win. He has excellent upside at his current salary if he returns to his usual workload vs. the Hornets.
Jarrett Allen has been fantastic all season, averaging 1.19 FanDuel points per minute, and he finally has the center position to himself. He went from splitting time with DeAndre Jordan to splitting time with Andre Drummond, but Drummond is no longer suiting up for the Cavaliers. Allen has scored at least 43.0 FanDuel points in three straight games, and there should be more big performances headed his way in the future.