Wednesday features a 10-game slate starting at 7 p.m. ET.
Let’s dive into some of the top plays on the slate 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.
NBA DFS Point Guard Picks
James Harden continues to make his subpar campaign in 2021-22 feel like a fluke. He’s been phenomenal for the 76ers to start the year, averaging 26.8 points, 9.8 assists, and 8.5 rebounds through his first four games. Those numbers are what we’ve come to expect from the former MVP, who struggled in 21 regular season games with the 76ers last season.
Add it all up, and Harden has averaged 1.61 DraftKings points per minute to start the season. That’s the top mark among all of Wednesday’s point guards, and it ranks second on the slate overall. Harden is also carrying one of the largest workloads in basketball to start the year, racking up at least 40 minutes in two of his past three games.
The 76ers draw a tough matchup Wednesday vs. the Raptors, but Harden is simply too cheap if he’s going to continue to produce at this level. Harden historically averaged a Plus/Minus of +4.46 with a comparable salary as a member of the Rockets (per the Trends tool).
Tre Jones has gotten off to an excellent start for the Spurs. He’s averaged 1.05 DraftKings points per minute, and there’s no reason to expect any drop-off moving forward. He averaged 1.03 DraftKings points per minute in eight games without Dejounte Murray and Derrick White last year, and he’s still just 22 years old. If anything, I would expect him to get better in his third professional season.
The Spurs will also likely be without Devin Vassell on Wednesday. He’s currently listed as doubtful, and he ranks second on the squad with a 24.0% usage rate this season. Jones has played just 24 minutes with Vassell off the floor in 2022-23, but he’s increased his production to 1.32 DraftKings points per minute in that sample.
The Hornets have listed Terry Rozier and Cody Martin as doubtful, so Dennis Smith Jr. should serve as the team’s starting point guard. He played 34 minutes in that role on Sunday. Smith has always been an elite producer on a per-minute basis, and he’s averaged 1.26 FanDuel points per minute this season.
Jrue Holiday stands out as one of the best values at the position on FanDuel, where his $7,800 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 92%. He struggled in his first game of the year, but he bounced back with 47.0 FanDuel points in his last outing. Holiday increased his usage rate by +6.9% in games without Khris Middleton last year, and he’s in a fantastic spot vs. the Nets.
NBA DFS Shooting Guard Picks
I’m buying the Tyler Herro breakout in Miami. He moved into the starting lineup this season after winning Sixth Man of the Year, and it’s done wonders for his fantasy stock. He’s on pace for a career-high in points per game, but the biggest difference has been his work on the glass. Herro has averaged 8.8 rebounds through his first four games, and his previous career-high is just 5.0.
With that in mind, it’s not surprising that Herro has increased his production to 1.21 DraftKings points per minute this season. The combination of an increased role and increased fantasy production has yet to be fully reflected in his price tag, so he remains an excellent value. He leads the position with 10 Pro Trends on DraftKings.
Josh Richardson is another excellent value option for the Spurs. Richardson has struggled to find his footing the past few years, bouncing between the 76ers, Mavericks, and Celtics. However, he’s been unlocked in San Antonio. He’s been red-hot to start the year, shooting 50.0% from the field and 47.4% from 3-point range. He might be due for a bit of regression moving forward, but it’s also possible that the Spurs have simply brought out the best in him. Regardless, he’s averaged 0.87 DraftKings points per minute so far this season, and he’s projected for around 30 minutes in our NBA Models.
He’s a massive value on DraftKings, where his $3,900 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 88%.
Jalen Green continues to stand out as underpriced across the fantasy industry. He’s posted a positive Plus/Minus in all four games, and he’s increased his production to 0.99 FanDuel points per minute. That said, his salary has barely budged on FanDuel, so expect him to carry significant ownership once again.
Harden is the clear top stud at guard on DraftKings, but it’s not so clear on FanDuel. Kyrie Irving also has a claim, where his $8,800 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 89%. Irving is capable of erupting in any matchup, just like he did Monday vs. the Grizzlies. He racked up 63.1 FanDuel points in 38.7 minutes, and he’s played at least that much in back-to-back games. He’s currently projected for more than 37 minutes on Wednesday, which is the third-highest mark at the position on FanDuel.
NBA DFS Small Forward Picks
LeBron James just will not stop. The man has already played more minutes than any other player in NBA history, and he’s in his 20th professional season. That hasn’t stopped him from putting up monster numbers through his first three games, averaging 27.3 points, 11.0 rebounds, and 7.3 assists per game.
Russell Westbrook is also doubtful on Wednesday, which could result in James shouldering an even larger workload than usual. Westbrook is obviously not the same player that he was in his prime, but he still owns a 22.3% usage rate, 22.8% assist rate, and 11.8% rebound rate this year. LeBron could see bumps in all three areas, and he’s already averaged 1.55 DraftKings points per minute this season. He leads the position with 10 Pro Trends on DraftKings, where his $9,900 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 91%.
Sticking with the Lakers, Troy Brown is a possible value option near the minimum across the industry. He’s coming off 22.2 minutes in the Lakers’ last outing, and he’s projected for nearly 26 minutes on today’s slate. Brown isn’t the best per-minute producer, but that’s a sizable amount of playing time for someone with such a cheap price tag. Historically, players with comparable salaries and minute projections have averaged a Plus/Minus of +2.90.
I’m going to continue to fire up Lauri Markkanen at just $6,500 on DraftKings. His salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 88%, and he’s averaged 1.15 DraftKings points per minute this season. He’s coming off a down performance in his last outing, but he finished with at least 51.75 DraftKings points in his previous two games. His ownership could also be down a bit following that clunker, so this is a nice buy-low spot.
Anthony Edwards has yet to break out in year three, but it could be coming. He has at least 30 points in two of his past three games, and he’s one of the best pure values at the position on FanDuel. The Spurs rank second in pace to start the year, and the Timberwolves’ implied team total of 121.75 is the top mark on the slate.
NBA DFS Power Forward Picks
Paying up for Giannis Antetokounmpo is almost always a good idea. He’s only played in two games this season, but he’s been as dominant as ever, averaging an absurd 1.93 DraftKings points per minute. He completely eviscerated the Rockets in his last outing, making 17-21 shots from the field while scoring 64.0 DraftKings points in 27.6 minutes.
Giannis is in an awesome spot Wednesday vs. the Nets, who have been nothing short of a disaster defensively this season. They rank dead-last in defensive efficiency, and the Bucks are currently implied for 118.0 points. The Nets are also capable of putting points on the board, so the Bucks are going to be pushed for the full 48 minutes. That’s an appealing combination.
You might be bored of reading about the Spurs, and frankly, I’m bored of writing about them. That said, they remain one of the most valuable DFS squads in the league.
Keldon Johnson has been the Spurs’ leader in usage this season, and he’s on the verge of becoming a star. He’s averaged 20.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game this season, and he’s a big reason why the team is currently sitting at 3-1. Overall, he’s averaged 1.20 DraftKings points per minute this season, and he’s scored at least 31.75 DraftKings points in all four games.
He’s played just 42 minutes without Vassell this season, but the early results have been promising. He’s increased his usage rate to 31.0% with Vassell off the floor, and he’s increased his fantasy production to 1.38 DKFP per minute. It’s hard to pass up those kinds of numbers at just $6,800.
The Jazz are another team that has provided plenty of value to start the year, particularly in the frontcourt. That includes Jarred Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt has started all four games, and he’s been incredibly productive with his playing time. He’s averaged 1.21 DraftKings points per minute, and he’s scored at least 32.0 DraftKings points in three straight games.
Ben Simmons is still adapting to playing basketball again instead of dressing like a Skittle on the sidelines. He’s averaged just 0.81 FanDuel points per minute this season, but he’s been far better in that department in the past. He’s worth considering as a buy-low option on FanDuel, where his $6,000 salary comes with a Bargain Rating of 89%.
NBA DFS Center Picks
Pascal Siakam is in a tough spot Wednesday vs. the 76ers, but he’s already proven he can succeed in tough spots this season. He has back-to-back games with at least 49.75 DraftKings points against the Heat, who ranked fifth in defensive efficiency and 29th in pace last year.
Siakam has taken another step forward in 2022-23. He’s increased his production to 1.42 DraftKings points per minute this season, which represents a massive increase from his average of 1.18 last year. He also continues to play around 40 minutes per game for head coach Nick Nurse, who continues to show no regard for his player’s long-term outlook.
Kelly Olynyk is yet another option in the Jazz’s frontcourt. Olynyk hasn’t been quite as good as Vanderbilt this season – he’s averaged 0.98 DraftKings points per minute – but he’s historically been much better in that department. He averaged 1.10 DraftKings points per minute last year, so he could potentially improve moving forward. Olynyk is also getting consistent minutes this season, and he should see around 30 if this game stays competitive.
Joel Embiid owns 13 Pro Trends on FanDuel, which is tied with Siakam for the top mark on the slate. However, Siakam owns an 11% Bargain Rating on FanDuel, while Embiid is at 85%. The two players are separated by just $600, and Embiid has historically been a much better fantasy producer. He hasn’t reached those heights consistently this year, but that should keep his ownership reasonable in GPPs.
Jakob Poeltl has smashed to start the year, posting an average Plus/Minus of +5.51 through his first four games. He’s always been an excellent per-minute producer, and he’s getting consistent minutes to start the year. He’s coming off a season-high 30.5 minutes in his last outing, and the Spurs will likely need his size against the Timberwolves on Wednesday.
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