With no NBA games scheduled on Thanksgiving, we’ve got a monster 14-game slate taking place on Wednesday. We’ve also got 10 teams on the second-night of a back-to-back which likely means some insanity is on the horizon. You’ll have to stay aware of the news as we get closer to tip.
Let’s break down what we know and find some value.
C Precious Achiuwa, Toronto Raptors at Indiana Pacers, $4,000
Editor’s Note: Raptors C Precious Achiuwa (knee) has been ruled out for tonight’s game vs. the Pacers.
Achiuwa can be annoyingly inconsistent as both a player and a DFS asset, yet this seems to be the perfect scenario to utilize the former first-round pick. I mean, matchups don’t get a lot better than this current incarnation of the Pacers. Indiana comes into Wednesday’s action sitting first in the league in pace (104.3) and 29th in defensive rating (120.2). On Tuesday, the Pacers won their tilt in Atlanta, but did so while surrendering an eye-popping 152 points to the Hawks. That result shouldn’t be overly surprising, either. Across its past 10 games, Indiana is conceding 129.2 opponent points per contest — by far the most of any team within that same span. As for Achiuwa specifically, the Pacers are giving up the second-most DKFP per game to opposing centers, while Achiuwa is averaging a respectable 1.01 DKFP per minute for the season as a whole. All the numbers add up.
PG/SG Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Philadelphia 76ers, $3,700
The big news to watch in this matchup is the status of Joel Embiid ($11,500). The reigning MVP is on the heels of logging 41.0 minutes on Tuesday and Embiid’s already been playing through a sore hip in recent contests. Heck, even the algorithm is keenly aware of these factors, as the usually inexpensive Paul Reed ($5,000) has seen his salary shoot up to $5K on Wednesday. On the other side, we already know the fate of Jaden McDaniels (ankle), which makes things a whole lot easier to manage. McDaniels suffered a Grade 1 ankle sprain in Monday’s win over the Knicks and he’ll now be sidelined for at least a couple weeks. It was Alexander-Walker who started the second-half of that game in place of McDaniels, and I’d expect to see that trend continue this evening. He might be known more for being SGA’s cousin than his actual on-court production, but Alexander-Walker looked good against New York, setting new season-highs in both minutes (33.1) and points (11). That kind of role is always worth exploiting when it’s attached to a price tag below $4K.
C Daniel Gafford, Washington Wizards at Charlotte Hornets, $4,200
What am I missing here? Why is Gafford this cheap? The big man has been priced at well-over $5K for each of Washington’s past six games, yet now he finds his salary at a season-low $4.2K. I just don’t get it. It’s not like Gafford hasn’t been producing in recent games. In fact, Gafford is coming off setting season-bests in both points (14) and field goal attempts (13) in the Wizards’ loss to the Bucks on Monday. Gafford went up against this same Hornets team back on November 10 and registered 33.75 DKFP. Since that night, he’s been averaging 1.04 DKFP per minute. So why slash his price? Particularly in a matchup with this slate’s highest implied total? I guess I’ll stop asking questions and just put Gafford in some lineups.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) 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.