Welcome to one of the smallest Wednesday slates in recent memory, with just seven games taking place on the hardcourt this evening. This is also the last night of NBA prior to the trade deadline, so make sure to keep for head on a swivel for news happening just before lock.
Let’s dive in and find some values.
SG Jaden Springer, Philadelphia 76ers vs. Golden State Warriors, $3,500
It’s been a rough week for the 76ers. Less than 24 hours after reports that Joel Embiid (knee) will be sidelined for at least six weeks, Tyrese Maxey ($9,400; illness) was a late addition to the team’s injury report for tonight’s contest against the Warriors. Maxey is now questionable to suit up. If he’s eventually ruled out, he’d join the aforementioned Embiid, De’Anthony Melton (back) and Nic Batum (hamstring) on the sidelines — that’s a pretty massive chunk of Philadelphia’s rotation in street clothes. Even if Maxey ends up available, the 76ers are going to need contributions from pieces way down on the depth chart. Pieces like Springer. The former first-round pick has a pretty limited offensive profile, yet he’s logged at least 19 minutes in each of Philadelphia’s last four games, registering over 23.0 DKFP three times. That’s 9x value and flirting with 10x value. Again, Springer’s floor is much higher if Maxey doesn’t play through his ailment, but either way, the 21-year-old needs to be considered at his extremely modest price tag.
SF/PF Caleb Martin, Miami Heat vs. San Antonio Spurs, $3,800
My spidey-sense is tingling on this one. Miami is the lone team on this slate playing the second leg of a back-to-back set. Miami tends to utilize its injury report more than any other franchise in the NBA. Miami happens to be opposed by the 10-win Spurs, an opponent that you could maybe see yourself handling with ease in most situations. The point is this: I wouldn’t be shocked if Jimmy Butler ($7,600) or Jaime Jaquez Jr. ($4,600) or even Duncan Robinson ($3,700) were ruled out for this tilt for what essentially amount to rest purposes. Still, regardless of all that, Martin is in an interesting spot on Wednesday. The wing started Tuesday’s win over the Magic, his first opportunity in the starting five in over two weeks. Martin responded with 20.75 DKFP in just 24.7 minutes of action. The presence of Terry Rozier ($6,000) has undoubted altered Martin’s role; however, we’re discussing an asset that was priced above $7K as recently as late December. There’s a clear buying window here, particularly if Martin keeps starting.
PG Ish Smith, Charlotte Hornets vs. Toronto Raptors, $4,300
Smith’s price tag is up $700 after reaching 6x value on Monday against the Lakers. As I wrote that morning in this same space, Smith is an odd DFS asset. On the one hard, he’s starting in place of the injured LaMelo Ball (ankle) and he’s usually logging pretty significant minutes — he played 34.1 versus Los Angeles, for instance. On the other hand, Smith is a low-usage, tertiary option on the Hornets’ depth chart, with Miles Bridges ($8,400) and Brandon Miller ($7,200) currently both operating as 30% usage cornerstones. Side note: Miller has gone off for 50-plus DKFP in three straight and remains far too cheap on Wednesday. Ideally, Smith’s salary would be below $4K, but I’m willing to go back to the well with him one more time in this matchup with Toronto. The Raptors are allowing a league-worst 132.0 opponent points per 100 possessions so far in February. Needless to say, they’re a boost to whoever they happen to be up against.
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