Will Joel Embiid’s injury lead to another big fantasy basketball performance from Ben Simmons? Embiid has been out the past seven games after dislocating his finger. Simmons has stepped up as a result, coming off a massive 34-point triple-double against the Nets on MLK Day. The Raptors are finally healthy with basically a full rotation of players for the first time in a while. We’ve got 12 games in the NBA on Wednesday night and three featured Showdown contests on DraftKings to pick. The first is between the Philadelphia 76ers and Toronto Raptors at 7:00 p.m. ET. Let’s take a look at how to craft a winning lineup for tonight’s contest.
Ben Simmons ($16,800)
I think as long as Embiid is out, it’s going to be hard to fade Simmons in the Captain’s spot. He’s just been too good over the past seven games for the Sixers. Like I mentioned above, he’s coming off a triple-double and Simmons should be a matchup problem for Toronto. Simmons has played 40+ minutes in three of the past seven games without Embiid in the lineup. He’s reached 20+ points in five straight and has the highest ceiling of any player in this game.
Who should I stack with Simmons?
Kyle Lowry ($8,000)
So this is more of a narrative play than a straight stack. I think Simmons will be chasing around Lowry most of the night. While the game is in Toronto, Lowry’s a Philly native, so this game means a little bit more to him. It’s also an important game in the East standings. The Raps are 29-14 and the Sixers are 29-16, so playoff implications in this one. Lowry’s been a bit cold, but his price is down and I think Toronto will need its best player to step up.
Where can I find value in this contest?
Marc Gasol ($5,800)
It’s tough to find value on the Philly side with no Embiid. The Sixers have just shortened up their rotation. But the Raptors have a few spots to take advantage of. With no Embiid, the Sixers lack size down low outside of Al Horford. I think this opens up Gasol to have a decent game. He’s played between 20-30 minutes in each of the past four contests since returning from a hamstring injury. During that stretch, he’s averaging 13.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.3 assists while shooting 59.4% from the field and 52.4% from distance. Gasol is stretching the court and knocking down shots, which is huge for his value.
Who should I fade?
Josh Richardson ($7,400)
Richardson hasn’t provided much outside of scoring for the Sixers, so his ceiling is limited. This isn’t a great matchup for him either, since both Lowry and Fred VanVleet are decent defenders. The Raptors have a lot of size, which should disrupt Richardson’s shots all night. If his scoring is capped, I just don’t see how you can pay up for him in this contest.