The NBA Breakdown offers data-driven analysis for each day’s slate using the FantasyLabs Tools and metrics to highlight notable players.
Wednesday features an 11-game card, starting at 7 p.m. ET.
One thing to keep in mind is the trade deadline is set for Thursday at 3 p.m. ET. That said, don’t be surprised if teams that aren’t in contention rest some of the players they’re hopeful to trade. Make sure to utilize the Labs Insiders tool to stay on top of all the information for what is sure to be a hectic slate.
Luka Doncic has played some of his best basketball as of late. He’s racked up at least 64.75 DraftKings points in three of his past four games, with the lone exception coming in a blowout win where he was limited to just 29.6 minutes. Doncic still finished with 53.25 DraftKings points in that contest, resulting in an average of approximately 1.80 DraftKings points per minute.
Doncic has the potential for another huge performance against the Minnesota Timberwolves. They’ve struggled defensively this season, ranking just 26th in defensive efficiency, and the Mavericks’ implied team total of 120.0 is tied for the top mark on the slate.
Darius Garland stands out as a nice buy-low option on FanDuel. He’s priced at just $5,500, resulting in a Bargain Rating of 87 percent, and he’s in an excellent spot against the Bulls. They’ve played at the seventh-fastest pace this season, and been merely average in terms of defensive efficiency. Garland was limited to just 27.9 minutes in his last game, but he’s expected to return to his normal workload. He’s currently projected for 34.9 minutes in our NBA Models.
Malcolm Brogdon and Myles Turner are currently listed as questionable, and those are two important injuries to monitor on Wednesday. If Brogdon is ruled out, T.J. McConnell would become an elite value at just $5,000 on FanDuel. He started with Brogdon out of the lineup Monday and ultimately finished with 27.9 FanDuel points over 31.6 minutes. Overall, McConnell has averaged 1.08 FanDuel points per minute with Brogdon off the court this season.
Michael Carter-Williams disappointed Tuesday against the Denver Nuggets, but did play nearly 32.6 minutes. That’s one of his highest outputs of the season, which should lead to good things moving forward. Carter-Williams has averaged 0.84 FanDuel points per minute this season, and he’s historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +1.89 with a comparable salary and minute projection (per the Trends tool).
Terry Rozier isn’t exactly priced like a stud at $7,100 on DraftKings, but he has the potential to provide stud-like production. The Charlotte Hornets lost LaMelo ball to a fractured wrist, which means the front runner for rookie of the year will likely miss the remainder of the season. That’s a big blow for fans, but it does open up some additional opportunities for the rest of the Hornets’ roster.
Rozier is coming off 44.25 DraftKings over 38.6 minutes in his last outing, and he’s increased his usage rate by +1.2% with Ball off the court this season. There’s a chance that he racks up the most minutes out of all players on the schedule in a solid matchup against the Houston Rockets.
The Atlanta Hawks are in one of the best spots of the day. They’re taking on the Kings, who have been the worst defensive team in basketball this season, and they also have the potential to be a bit thinner than usual. Danilo Gallinari is currently listed as questionable, while De’Andre Hunter will be limited again in just his second game back from a long-term injury.
That means Bogdan Bogdanovic could be looking at a slightly larger workload than usual. He’s averaged 0.86 DraftKings points per minute this season, so he doesn’t need a ton of playing time to pay off his current salary. This is also a revenge game if that’s something that you’re into when looking or angles in building your lineups.
The Hornets also have some cheaper shooting guard options if you can’t afford Rozier. Devonte’ Graham stands out on FanDuel, where his $5,000 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 75 percent. He re-entered the starting lineup in place of Ball in the Hornets’ last game, and he’s averaged 0.94 FanDuel points per minute over the past month.
Malik Monk makes sense at just $4,300 on DraftKings. He’s increased his usage rate by a team-high +3.0% with Ball off the court this season, and he’s coming off 26.8 minutes in his last game. Monk has averaged 0.98 DraftKings points per minute over the past month, so he can do some damage with that much playing time.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander leads the position with a Bargain Rating of 88% on FanDuel, and he’s simply too cheap at $7,000. He’s owned a comparable price tag in just four previous games this season, and he’s posted an average Plus/Minus of +16.15 in those contests. He also owns a nice matchup vs. the Grizzlies, who have played at the eighth-fastest pace.
Serge Ibaka will miss his fifth consecutive game, which means Kawhi Leonard should be looking at another expanded workload. Leonard has played as many as 40.4 minutes in Ibaka out of the lineup recently, although that number has been a bit lower over his past two games. Overall, his $9,000 price tag on DraftKings comes with a Bargain Rating of 88%, and he’s posted an average Plus/Minus of +1.31 with a comparable salary this season.
Justin Holiday is another member of the Pacers who could see a few additional minutes if Brogdon and Turner are ruled out. He’s played plenty of minutes to begin with this season, and he’s currently projected for 33.9 minutes in our NBA Models. That’s a ton of playing time for someone who costs just $3,900.
Al-Farouq Aminu has had a quiet season, but he exploded for 44.5 DraftKings points on Tuesday against the Denver Nuggets. I wouldn’t expect a repeat performance, but he should still be able to pay off his very reasonable salary. His playing time has been on the rise, and he’s set a new season-high in minutes in each of his past two games. He’s currently projected for 28.2 minutes in our NBA Models, and he’s averaged 0.82 DraftKings points per minute.
Gordon Hayward is another player who figures to benefit from the absence of Ball. He’s coming off 44.4 FanDuel points and 36.9 minutes in his last outing, and his 86% Bargain Rating on FanDuel makes him one of the best pure values at the position.
Giannis Antetokounmpo is currently listed as questionable, and his status is going to have a massive impact on the slate. If he’s unable to suit up, guys like Khris Middleton, Jrue Holiday, Bobby Portis, Donte DiVincenzo and Pat Connaughton will become some of the top values on the docket.
If Antetokounmpo can go, he obviously deserves some consideration. He’s been one of the best players in fantasy this season, and he’s played particularly well of late. He’s scored at least 57.25 DraftKings points in 15 of his past 17 games. That means he owns one of the safest floors in fantasy, and he also possesses one of the highest ceilings. He’s averaged 1.72 DraftKings points per minute this season, which is the top mark on the schedule.
Kyle Anderson is an inspiration to slow people everywhere. He is not the typical NBA-level athlete, but that doesn’t stop him from being extremely productive when on the court. He’s averaged 1.06 DraftKings points per minute this season, which is an excellent mark considering his price tag. Anderson’s playing time has also been on the rise recently, playing at least 29.7 minutes in three of his past four games.
Domantas Sabonis leads the position with 11 Pro Trends on FanDuel, where his $8,800 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 82%. Sabonis’ production has been down a bit recently, but that is a very appealing price tag for him. He’s averaged a Plus/Minus of +4.11 with a comparable salary this season, and he also figures to benefit if Brogdon and Turner are ultimately ruled out.
Marcus Morris should continue to start with Ibaka out of the lineup, and he’s posted a positive Plus/Minus on FanDuel in each of his past four games. His salary has come up a bit across the industry, but his $4,500 price tag on FanDuel comes with a Bargain Rating of 80%.
Nikola Vučević is coming off a poor performance Tuesday, finishing with just 32.25 DraftKings points against the Nuggets. That said, that was his worst outing in nearly two months, so I think we can give him a pass. He’s been one of the most reliable producers in fantasy this season, averaging 1.44 DraftKings points per minute. Vučević leads the position with 15 Pro Trends on FanDuel and 14 Pro Trends on DraftKings.
The Magic are also a prime candidate to have a few players out of the lineup before the trade deadline. They’re rumored to be shopping Aaron Gordon and Evan Fournier, and Vučević would carry a massive workload if either or both players don’t suit up.
Nicolas Claxton has taken on a larger role recently for the Brooklyn Nets, and he’s responded with at least 26.5 DraftKings points in three of his past four games. The Nets will need his size against the Utah Jazz, so expect him to see another healthy number of minutes.
Jarrett Allen is one of the strongest plays on FanDuel, where his $6,700 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 86 percent. Not only is he underpriced, but he’s also in a potential smash spot against the Chicago Bulls. They’ve been one of the worst teams in the league this season against opposing centers, giving Allen an Opponent Plus/Minus of +4.87 in the category.
Ivica Zubac should also continue to thrive with Ibaka out of the lineup. He’s scored at least 30.7 FanDuel points in three of his past four games, which makes him underpriced at just $5,000. The Spurs are also a solid matchup, resulting in an Opponent Plus/Minus of +2.27 in the stats.