With COVID-19 cases ravaging the league, the NBA has been more unpredictable than ever. That said, I’m thankful that we get to watch any basketball at all, especially after last year’s sports shutdown.
Each week, I’ll be here to profile some strong value plays, studs, and duds for Wednesday’s FanDuel slate. By “value play,” I mean a player under $8,000 — or one whose salary is too low not to roster. I’ll do my best to point you in the right direction, and if you have any questions, you can hit me up on Twitter at @is_sirois. All matchup data is pulled from our defense versus position tool.
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I. Value Plays
- I’m targeting Kings and Blazers tonight. Since De’Aaron Fox will face the league’s seventh-worst defense against point guards, his price is a bit low here, and he hit value with ease.
- Dennis Schroder could be in line for more work if the Lakers rest LeBron James or Anthony Davis in the second part of their back-to-back, but neither star player saw more than 30 minutes of run yesterday, so the Lakers may not choose to rest them.
- The Pelicans are a tough matchup for just about every position, but Patrick Beverley may have more luck than usual tonight if New Orleans locks in on defending Kawhi Leonard or Paul George. His average of 19.8 FDPPG is right in the value range, too.
- With most of the Mavericks’ lineup sidelined, Tim Hardaway Jr. should be in line for more usage, and he could be a strong pivot away from likely chalk in Luka Doncic.
- I’ve been Donte DiVincenzo’s hype man this year, and he’s in line for another solid performance against the Pistons, as they give up the 10th-most FDPPG to point guards. He’s averaging 23.5 FDPPG, too, which is above the five-times value threshold.
- Expect to see a Blazer or a King in every list today. I like Gary Trent’s recent usage (he’s played 30 minutes in back-to-back games), and he’s a risky upside play against Sacramento’s fourth-worst defense against shooting guards.
- Malik Beasley and the T’Wolves face the league’s second-worst defense (and the slate’s worst) against small forwards tonight.
- Kyle Anderson has been thrust into a larger role due to the injuries to players around him, and his average FDPPG (29.6) points to value at this affordable price point. The T’Wolves give up the 11th-most FDPPG to the position, too.
- Here’s our obligatory Blazer: Carmelo Anthony. Portland is still tinkering with how to best allocate minutes, but Melo got a whopping 35 his last time out, and that kind of run would be dangerous in what should be a high-scoring game.
- Robert Covington has had a slow start to the season, but that’s baked into his low-end price point, and he could be a decent contrarian option here. He played 34 minutes in Portland’s last game, too, so they’re willing to use him despite his underperformance.
- Jae Crowder faces the league’s second-worst defense against power forwards tonight. He and Dario Saric ($4,100) should both be decent cap-saving options against the Hawks.
- Here’s a thought — the Mavericks are pressed for depth, and some players might be expecting a lot out of Kristaps Porzingis in his first game back. Perhaps too much. Since the Hornets give up the most points to opposing power forwards, you should at least think about using James Johnson in a lineup or two, especially since Maxi Kleber won’t play.
- I like Jonas Valanciunas tonight, but the T’Wolves are only giving up so many points to opposing centers because of how many games they had to play without Karl-Anthony Towns. Still, KAT is a bit banged up, and Valanciunas could be able to exploit that.
- I’ll end with two last Blazers and Kings. First, Enes Kanter — he’s seen his minutes tick down in recent games, but with the Blazers unwilling to give Jusuf Nurkic more than 30 minutes per game, Kanter could be a decent option off the bench. Especially because Nurkic is questionable — and because the Kings give up the third-most points to centers.
- Lastly, Hassan Whiteside is in a revenge spot against the Blazers. He’s yet to get much run for the Kings thus far, but he dropped 29.6 FD points against the Kings on Saturday.
II. Five Notable Players to Feature
- Luka Doncic (DAL) $11,300 at CHA: With the Mavs pressed for depth, expect Doncic to do most of the heavy lifting. He should top his average of 50.7 FDPPG.
- Anthony Davis (LAL) $9,800 at OKC: The Thunder give up the third-most points per game to opposing power forwards, and since the Lakers didn’t need Davis to do much to win last night, he should still be in line for plenty of work.
- C.J. McCollum (POR) $9,200 at SAC: The Blazers dismantled the Kings 125-99 on Saturday, and McCollum was responsible for 37 of Portland’s points — even though he played in just 29 minutes.
- Damian Lillard (POR) $9,200 at SAC: I also like Lillard in what should be a high-scoring game, but he’s more of a contrarian pivot away from McCollum than a raw upside play tonight. That said, the Kings to give up the most points per game to opposing point guards.
- Caris LeVert (BKN) $8,000 at NYK: LeVert could be in line for more work if KD sits, and we already know that Kyrie Irving is out.
III. Five Notable Players to Fade
- Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN) $10,500 vs. MEM: It’s hard for me to justify rostering a player that’s working his way back from injury at this high of a price point.
- Kevin Durant (BKN) $10,100 at NYK: Durant played 36 minutes against the Nuggets last night, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Steve Nash give the 32-year-old a night off.
- Kristaps Porzingis (DAL) $8,000 at CHA: If I can’t justify rostering KAT, then I can’t justify rostering Porzingis, either.
- Trae Young (ATL) $8,800 at PHO: The Suns give up the second-fewest FDPPG to opposing point guards. Don’t expect Young to hit value tonight.
- John Collins (ATL) $7,200 at PHO: With all the drama in Atlanta’s locker room, it’s hard to get excited about using Collins here — especially against the Suns, who play at the second-slowest pace.
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Isaiah Sirois is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Isaiah, check out his archive and follow him @is_sirois.