As usual, we have a sizable NBA slate on tap for Wednesday. There’s a 10-game main slate on DraftKings starting at 7 p.m. ET.
Let’s dive into some of my favorite plays at each position.
LaMelo Ball, Charlotte Hornets vs. Indiana Pacers ($8,900) – Ball has suited up in each of the past two games for the Hornets, and the early returns have been promising. He hasn’t exactly thrived from a fantasy perspective, averaging just 1.13 DKFP per minute, but he’s averaged a 30.1% usage rate in those contests. That represents a slight increase from his mark of 28.2% last year, which makes sense with Miles Bridges out of the picture. He’s shot just 12-for-36 from the field in his first two games, so he’s a prime candidate for some positive regression.
That could start in an elite matchup vs. the Pacers. They’ve been a fantasy gold mine this season, ranking second in pace and 27th in defensive efficiency. The Hornets 118 implied team total ranks second on the slate, so they have far more scoring upside than usual.
Jamal Murray, Denver Nuggets vs. New York Knicks ($6,500) – There is plenty of news to monitor heading into lineup lock, but one thing we know for sure is that Nikola Jokic won’t play. He’s been placed in health and safety protocols, which obviously opens up a ton of offensive opportunities for the rest of the roster.
Murray should be one of the biggest beneficiaries. He leads the team with a 35.6% usage rate with Jokic off the floor this season, resulting in an average of 1.14 DKFP per minute. That’s a sizable increase from his average of 1.01 DKFP per minute in general.
The Knicks have also been a sneaky-good matchup this season. They rank eighth in pace and 21st in defensive efficiency, so they’re not playing like a typical Tom Thibodeau-coached squad.
Other Options – Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($9,400), Spencer Dinwiddie ($7,100)
Immanuel Quickley, New York Knicks at Denver Nuggets ($4,200) – The Knicks should also benefit from the absence of Jokic. The Nuggets aren’t a good defensive team to begin with, allowing an average of 110.6 points per 100 possessions, but they’ve been even worse with Jokic sidelined. That figure drops all the way to 118.1, which would easily be the worst mark in the league.
Quickley’s playing time has also been on the rise, racking up at least 23.4 minutes in back-to-back games. He’s averaged 0.99 DKFP per minute this season, so he’s capable of taking advantage of a few extra minutes. If he sees a similar workload vs. the Nuggets, he should be able to pay off his current salary.
Other Options – Cam Reddish ($3,600), Theo Maledon ($3,300)
Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat at Toronto Raptors ($9,000) – The Heat are going to be without Tyler Herro for another game, and they could be even thinner vs. the Raptors. Bam Adebayo is out, and he’s led the team in usage with Herro sidelined.
With Adebayo out, Butler is going to have to carry a monster workload on Wednesday. He’s increased his production to 1.51 DKFP per minute with Herro and Adebayo off the floor this season, thanks mostly to a 44% assist rate. This game doesn’t have a ton of fantasy appeal — the 216 total is the lowest mark on the slate — but it’s hard to ignore Butler with the team short-handed.
Michael Porter Jr., Denver Nuggets vs. New York Knicks ($5,900) – Porter is another player who should take on a larger workload sans Jokic. He hasn’t seen nearly the same bump as Murray, but he should see some improvement to his usage rate vs. the Knicks. Porter has already averaged 1.07 DKFP per minute this season, so he doesn’t need to be much better than that to provide elite value at $5,900.
Other Options – Giannis Antetokounmpo ($12,600), Karl-Anthony Towns ($9,100)
Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers at Milwaukee Bucks ($5,600) – With the Nuggets getting so much attention on this slate, Love could fly a bit under the radar. The Cavaliers have the potential to be incredibly thin on Wednesday with Jarrett Allen out, Dean Wade doubtful and Donovan Mitchell being a game-time decision.
Love started in the Cavaliers' last game, but he didn’t see much of a boost in value. His usage and rebound rate were both down, which impacted his per-minute effectiveness. That said, he did play more than 29 minutes, and he responded with 27.25 DKFP. Love also shot just 3-for-11 from the field, so he has a bit of room for improvement vs. the Bucks.
Other Options – Bruce Brown ($5,100), Isaiah Jackson ($3,600)
Myles Turner, Indiana Pacers at Charlotte Hornets ($6,900) – Turner’s price tag continues to tick up, but he continues to provide value. He’s exceeded salary-based expectations in four straight games, including a massive 62.5 DKFP performance vs. the Pelicans. He hasn’t been able to duplicate those results in his last two contests, but he’s been limited to less than 27 minutes in both due to foul trouble.
Turner has averaged a stout 1.36 DKFP per minute this season, so he has massive upside if he can stay on the court vs. the Hornets. He should play more than 30 minutes if he can avoid foul trouble, and I like his chances of clearing 40 DKFP in that scenario.
Other Options – Evan Mobley ($6,200), Deandre Ayton ($6,100)
DeAndre Jordan, Denver Nuggets vs. New York Knicks ($3,300) – Jordan is not nearly the same player he was in his prime, but he’s still capable of providing fantasy value when he sees the floor. He’s averaged 1.02 DKFP per minute this season, and he’s a candidate to replace Jokic in the starting lineup. He should see a few extra minutes whether he starts or comes off the bench, making him an appealing option at a near-minimum salary.
Other Options – Mason Plumlee ($5,900), Jeff Green ($3,500)
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mlamarca) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.