The NBA is offering up a huge slate of basketball on Wednesday, with 10 different games to choose from. The DraftKings slate starts at 7:00 p.m. ET, so let’s break down some of the top studs and values at each position to help you build your DraftKings lineups.
Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks @ Atlanta Hawks ($10,800) – Doncic has disappointed in four straight games, but those have come against tough competition. Two were against the Jazz and two were against the Suns, and both of those teams rank in the top six in defensive efficiency and bottom six in pace this season. That makes them two of the worst teams in the league to face from a daily fantasy perspective.
His matchup vs. the Hawks isn’t ideal, but it’s a clear step up compared to what he’s faced recently. Doncic has still averaged a robust 1.68 DKFP per minute over the past month, so he’s poised for a bounce-back performance.
Other Options – D’Angelo Russell ($6,800), Dejounte Murray ($6,400)
Ish Smith, Washington Wizards @ Miami Heat ($4,800) – Smith returned to the Wizards’ lineup two games ago, and he’s stepped right back into a solid workload. He’s coming off 27.4 minutes in his last outing, and he should continue to see a solid handful of minutes off the bench with Raul Neto out of the lineup. Smith has averaged 1.04 DKFP per minute over the past month, so he has the potential to pay off his current salary in less than 30 minutes of playing time. There’s also a good chance that Russell Westbrook sits on the second leg of a back-to-back, which would further increase Smith’s value.
Other Options – Derrick White ($4,400), Elfrid Payton ($3,900)
Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards @ Miami Heat ($9,700) – Beal has been on an absolute mission recently. He’s leading the league with an average of 35.0 points per game this season, and his 37.5% usage rate is also tops in the league. Overall, his average of 1.51 DKFP per minute over the past month ranks fifth on Wednesday’s slate.
Of course, Beal would have the potential to improve upon those numbers if Westbrook is out. He’s increased his usage rate to 41.1% with Westbrook off the court this season, resulting in an average of 1.58 DKFP per minute. The Heat are also a solid matchup, ranking just 21st in defensive efficiency.
Other Options – Victor Oladipo ($7,800), Collin Sexton ($6,900)
Eric Gordon, Houston Rockets @ Oklahoma City Thunder ($5,400) – The Wizards aren’t the only team with the potential to be shorthanded on Wednesday. John Wall has already been ruled out of the Rockets, which opens up a bunch of usage for the rest of the roster.
Gordon stands out as one of the biggest beneficiaries. He’s increased his usage rate by a team-high 3.8 percentage points with both Wall and James Harden off the court this season, resulting in an average of 1.06 DKFP per minute. That makes him too cheap at $5,400.
Other Options – Lonnie Walker ($3,800), Garrison Mathews ($3,300)
Jaylen Brown, Boston Celtics @ Sacramento Kings ($7,900) – I’m not sure what Brown has done to anger the good people at DraftKings, but this salary is disrespectful. Brown has been one of the most consistent producers in fantasy this season, and he managed 39.0 DKFP in just 32 minutes yesterday vs. the Warriors. He was dealing with foul trouble during that contest, so expect him to play more minutes tonight.
The Kings also represent one of the best matchups in fantasy. They rank dead-last in defensive efficiency, and the Celtics’ implied team total of 114.5 is tied for the fourth-highest mark on the slate.
Other Options – Gordon Hayward ($7,200), DeMar DeRozan ($6,900)
Sterling Brown, Houston Rockets @ Oklahoma City Thunder ($3,100) – Brown is priced essentially at the minimum on Wednesday’s slate, and he has the potential to provide massive value at that salary. He should play around 20 minutes with Wall out of the lineup, and he’s averaged 0.90 DKFP with Wall and Harden off the court this season. He’s also seen a team-high usage rate bump of 2.9 percentage points in three full games without both players, resulting in an average of 26.58 DKFP per game.
Other Options – Josh Richardson ($4,500), Dorian Finney-Smith ($3,900)
Domantas Sabonis, Indiana Pacers @ Milwaukee Bucks ($8,300) – There are a bunch of different directions you can go in if you’re paying up at power forward, but Sabonis stands out as one of the best pure values on the slate. He’s coming off a massive 60.75 DKFP performance yesterday vs. the Pistons, yet his salary for today’s matchup vs. the Bucks is actually $400 lower. Overall, his salary has decreased by nearly $2,000 from its peak of $10,100, and Sabonis has averaged 51.05 DKFP in five games with a comparable salary this season.
There are always blowout concerns when you’re facing the Bucks – the Pacers are listed as eight-point underdogs on DraftKings Sportsbook – but Sabonis has massive upside if this game stays competitive. Milwaukee has played at the seventh-fastest pace this season, and they haven’t been nearly as dominant defensively as they were last year.
Other Options – Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,000), Jayson Tatum ($8,900)
Editor’s note: Spurs PF Rudy Gay (hip) has been ruled out for tonight’s game vs. the Timberwolves.
Rudy Gay, San Antonio Spurs vs. Minnesota Timberwolves ($4,000) – Power forward looks like a good position to pay up at today, but if you can’t, Gay stands out as a decent value. LaMarcus Aldridge has been ruled out for the Spurs, and Gay has increased his production to 1.04 DKFP per minute with Aldridge off the court this season. He could also see a few additional minutes vs. the Timberwolves, who have been a disaster defensively without Karl-Anthony Towns. The Spurs are currently implied for 116.25 points, which is the third-highest mark on the slate.
Other Options – P.J. Tucker ($3,600), Deni Avdija ($3,500)
Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers vs. Charlotte Hornets ($10,000) – Sabonis and Antetokounmpo are probably the top two options at the position, but Embiid deserves some attention as well. He’s been an absolute wrecking ball recently, posting an average of 1.71 DKFP per minute over the past month. That’s the top mark on the slate regardless of position. Embiid sat out the 76ers’ last game, but he went through practice on Tuesday. That’s a good sign for his availability tonight vs. the Hornets.
Other Options – Bam Adebayo ($9,300), Christian Wood ($8,900)
Jakob Poeltl, San Antonio Spurs vs. Minnesota Timberwolves ($4,600) – Poeltl is expected to draw the start in place of Aldridge, which makes him an appealing value at his current salary. He’s averaged 0.96 DKFP per minute over the past month, and he has the potential to see plenty of playing time vs. the Timberwolves.
Other Options – Tristan Thompson ($3,700), Drew Eubanks ($3,000)
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