The NBA took the day off on Election Day, but they’re back in full swing on Wednesday. There’s a massive 13-game slate starting at 7 p.m. ET, so there are plenty of DFS options to consider.
Let’s dive into some of my favorite plays at each position.
Fred VanVleet, Toronto Raptors vs. Houston Rockets ($8,100) – The Raptors are currently dealing with the absence of Pascal Siakam, who has been their clear best player this season. He leads the team in both usage and assist rate, creating plenty of value with the rest of the roster.
VanVleet stands out as one of the biggest beneficiaries. His assist rate sits at just 28.6% for the year, but that figure increases to 38.8% with Siakam off the floor. He’s also increased his usage rate from 18.7% to 24.4% with Siakam sidelined, resulting in an average of 1.27 DKFP per minute.
VanVleet also draws an elite matchup Monday vs. the Rockets. They’ve played at the seventh-fastest pace this season, and they rank 28th in defensive efficiency. That’s an outstanding combination for fantasy purposes, and the Raptors' 117.25-point implied team total is the fourth-highest mark on the slate.
Darius Garland, Cleveland Cavaliers at Sacramento Kings ($6,900) – Garland was asked to do everything offensively for the Cavaliers last season, but the team acquired Donovan Mitchell in the offseason. Most expected Garland to take a step back with Mitchell in the fold, but he’s actually increased his assist rate and usage rate compared to last season. He hasn’t been quite as efficient to start the year — he’s shooting just 41.3% from the field — but he ultimately possesses the same upside that he did in his breakout season.
That makes Garland too cheap for a matchup vs. the Kings. They rank 10th in pace and 25th in defensive efficiency, so this is a fantastic spot for the Cavaliers’ offense. Garland was frequently priced in the $9K range last season, so this is an awesome buy-low opportunity.
Other Options – Terry Rozier ($7,800), Desmond Bane ($7,700)
Malik Monk, Sacramento Kings vs. Cleveland Cavaliers ($4,200) – Monk emerged as one of the Lakers’ most trusted options last season outside of LeBron James and Anthony Davis. That was a pretty low bar to clear — they had one of the worst groups of role players in the league — but he doesn’t face much more competition now that he’s in Sacramento.
Monk has a very fantasy-friendly skill set, and he’s averaged 1.22 DKFP per minute so far this season. He’s currently questionable with a groin injury, but he’s played at least 28.5 minutes in back-to-back games. That gives him significant appeal if he’s able to suit up, even in a tough matchup vs. the Cavaliers.
Other Options – Royce O’Neale ($5,300), Damion Lee ($3,200)
Kevin Durant, Brooklyn Nets vs. New York Knicks ($11,000) – The Nets have had a disastrous start to the year. They fired head coach Steve Nash. They were reportedly going to sign exiled Ime Udoka to be their new coach, but they settled for Jacque Vaughn instead. Kyrie Irving is serving an indefinite suspension, while Ben Simmons has been in and out of the lineup with an injury. The team has ultimately provided more drama than The Real Housewives.
Fortunately, the team still has Durant, and he is still really good at basketball. Durant continues to score the ball at an elite rate, averaging 31 points per game on 51.8% shooting. His peripherals have taken a hit with Simmons in the lineup this season, but Simmons was limited to less than 16 minutes in his last outing. He isn’t expected to see much more than that on Wednesday, so Durant should continue to see a spike in value. He has a similar ceiling to some of the top players in fantasy, but he’s available at a slight discount.
Bobby Portis, Milwaukee Bucks at Oklahoma City Thunder ($6,800) – The Bucks have made a significant change to their rotation this season. Last year, Portis and Brook Lopez played exclusively at center, meaning the two players virtually never shared the court. That made it tough for either player to provide much fantasy value. This year, the team has been much more willing to play both players together, which has allowed both players to flourish.
Portis should get another boost in value on Wednesday. Jrue Holiday is currently listed as doubtful, so he is not expected to suit up. Portis has been one of the biggest beneficiaries with Holiday off the floor this season, increasing his fantasy production to 1.4 DKFP per minute. That’s a ridiculously high number, with only Giannis Antetokounmpo exceeding that mark at PF on Wednesday’s slate.
Other Options – Giannis Antetokounmpo ($12,400), Keldon Johnson ($7,300)
Kevin Love, Cleveland Cavaliers at Sacramento Kings ($4,900) – Love is always tough to trust in fantasy due to his low minute count, but he typically makes up for it with elite volume. He’s averaged 1.38 DKFP per minute this season, which is an absurd figure for someone who costs just $4,900. He’s racked up at least 28 DKFP in four of his past five games, and he’s gone off for at least 44 DKFP in two of them. That gives him an excellent ceiling for his price tag.
Other Options – Brandon Clarke ($4,500), Cam Reddish ($3,200)
Deandre Ayton, Phoenix Suns at Minnesota Timberwolves ($6,400) – Ayton isn’t exactly a stud center, but he still stands out as one of the best per-dollar options at the position. He’s averaged 1.12 DKFP per minute this season, and he typically plays around 30 minutes per night. That doesn’t give him the same upside as some of the best centers in basketball, but he’s a good bet to return value.
There’s also a chance Ayton is asked to play a bit more than usual on Wednesday. The Timberwolves have one of the biggest frontcourts in the league, and the Suns are now without Cameron Johnson. That has the potential to be a huge boost to his fantasy value.
Other Options – Domantas Sabonis ($8,500), Ivica Zubac ($6,600)
Myles Turner, Indiana Pacers vs. Denver Nuggets ($5,700) – Turner is priced pretty similarly to Ayton, and while he might not possess the same floor, his upside is astronomical. He’s coming off 62.5 DKFP in his last outing, and he’s scored at least 54.5 DKFP in two of his past four games. He played more than 36.6 minutes in his last outing, and he’s averaged 1.32 DKFP per minute this season.
While I wouldn’t expect a repeat performance, Turner is definitely a candidate for a monster year. He has always possessed an excellent skill set for fantasy purposes, but he had previously been forced to split time with Domantas Sabonis. With Sabonis now in Sacramento, the coast is clear for Turner to put in work as the team’s full-time center. As long as he can stay healthy, he’s not going to be this cheap for long.
Other Options – Alperen Sengun ($6,500), Dwight Powell ($3,100)
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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.