Welcome to a huge Wednesday night of NBA DFS! With 12 games to choose from, there are a lot of ways to go with your lineups tonight. When I scroll through the positions on FanDuel, the amount of red notations I see is depressing. So many injuries right now....that gives us opportunities for value, sure, but it also just sucks for the game. At any rate, value is what we're after today, and there is plenty to choose from. Players from Clippers-Rockets and Suns-Nuggets will be popular as the totals from those games are 215 and 214 respectively. We also get to pick on the suspect defenses of the Lakers, 76ers, and Timberwolves at will. As always, I try to keep these bargain picks under $5500 on FanDuel, and to include some context as far as alternatives and when/where to target cheap players.
Jared Bayless ($4500): Jared Bayless is the starting PG for the Bucks at this price, and the Bucks play the 76ers at home tonight. Though Vegas has this as the lowest game total of the night, Bayless is far too cheap to ignore. He's playing over 30 mpg and contributing across the board to the tune of 27 fpts/game over the last three. I'm finding it hard to find a better play at any position tonight given Bayless' production, minutes, matchup, and price.
Just before hitting submit, I see that Michael Carter-Williams will play tonight. It's not clear who's starting for the Bucks, so monitor this situation before lineups lock. Obviously Bayless is less interesting if it looks like MCW will start, but he is coming off an injury and hasn't played with his new team at all yet, so all the value doesn't disappear if it appears he'll ease into a limited bench role for tonight. In any case, I'm personally not buying in to the revenge/former team narrative and MCW won't be touching my lineups.
Trey Burke ($5500): It's not easy to recommend Trey Burke here, given his history of inconsistency and general poor production, and this is likely the first time I've done it this year. The pick is fueled almost purely by Utah taking on the Lakers at home, as the Lakers allow opposing PG to produce more fantasy points than any other team in the league. However, Burke may be turning a corner playing ~28 minutes off the bench for the Jazz. Though he's not doing too much besides scoring, he's had around 25 fpts in his last three games. Whether the improvement is due to seeing a lot more of opponents' second units or maybe feeling reduced pressure out of the starting lineup, Burke is on a bit of a roll here. That trend should continue tonight in the cake matchup.
Advice: Neither Bayless nor Burke provide a ton of upside. I see them both as good cash game plays to pair with the stud PG of your choice (John Wall, Chris Paul, Damien Lilliard). With Derrick Rose sadly out again for knee surgery and Kirk Hinrich returning from the flu, Aaron Brooks could be the value GPP play of the night. The matchup isn't a super enticing one, but at $3500, Brooks been productive when he gets significant minutes. Be sure to watch for Bulls lineup news.
JJ Redick ($4500): As usual, both JJ Redick and Jamal Crawford ($5600) find themselves in a nice spot. The highest point total of the night, against the Rockets porous SG defense, in a game where Patrick Beverley (assuming he even plays) will have to be on Chris Paul all night makes for fantasy goodness. Which to use? Redick's floor is the same as Crawford's--around 20 fpts. While Crawford has the higher average production, the difference isn't as big as the salary discrepancy between these two on a lot of nights. My approach is to use Redick unless I happen to have the extra $1100 to spend for Crawford.
Courtney Lee ($3600): The Kings give up the most fantasy points to opposing SG, so this is mostly a DvP play, but Vegas has the over/under at 200 with the Grizzlies decent favorites. Courtney Lee is near minimum salary, starting, and playing close to 30 mpg. Now, his efficiency is atrocious and he is wildly inconsistent--capable of anywhere between zero and 30 fpts. For that reason, you can't justify using him in cash games, but I think 20 fpts is a reasonable expectation tonight and that salary makes it easy to fit in another stud somewhere else.
Advice: There are actually decent SG options tonight if you're inclined to spend here. I like Eric Bledsoe and Tyreke Evans tonight, but I'm probably using at least one value play at the position. I think the Clippers guy(s) and perhaps Kyle Korver ($4700) are suitable for your cash games, while Lee should be used in tournaments only. James Harden will be the big debate of the night. His general dominance vs high salary and struggles against the Clippers this year. Ask me at 6:55 ET...I've gone back and forth all day.
PJ Tucker ($4900): Since Phoenix shook things up at the trade deadline, PJ Tucker has been quietly thriving. He's dipped below 20 fpts just once in the last 10 games, and that was against Memphis (forgivable), but is averaging 30 fpts/game since the ASB. Tonight he faces the Nuggets 6th worst SF defense in the evening's second highest scoring game. The Nuggets aren't stopping anyone lately, and Tucker should continue to provide solid return for your minimal investment.
Jae Crowder ($4200): Jae Crowder is another trade deadline beneficiary. Aside from the DeMarcus Cousins posterization, Crowder has looked good for the Celtics since the return from the break. He has over 30 fpts in the last two games, and while New York isn't a good matchup on paper (one of the better teams in defensive efficiency vs SF), their rotations have changed so much it's hard to make much of the season long data. It's not yet clear who will be starting for the Knicks tonight (probably Tim Hardaway Jr., but it is clear that it won't be an elite wing defender, because ya know, the Knicks are a bit lacking in elite these days. Crowder looks like a low owned, high upside GPP play for me tonight.
Advice: Small Forward is unappealing as usual today. Gordon Hayward is in a good spot but I'm not aiming to spend up here. Tucker and someone like Kris Middleton, Luol Deng, or one of the Houston wings is probably how I'm doing it. Paul Pierce at the Timberwolves is tempting on paper, but he banged his knee in a really good game by him last night, and I'm always wary on a b2b.
Ersan Ilyasova ($3900): Those nights when you want too many Bucks in your lineups...yikes! The 76ers do that to a person though. I hate, yes hate, using Ilyasova, and probably won't if I'm being honest, and it's because of nights like this when there should be absolutely no way possible for him not to stumble into 25 fpts. If anyone can find a way, it's him. That personal experience aside, Philadelphia really does bend over backwards to make it easy on opposing PF, allowing the most fantasy points and rating worst in pretty much every measurable stat there. Ilyasova is coming off a big game in which he played 35 minutes vs the big Bulls frontcourt. While it's hard to predict the rotations Kidd will employ, Philadelphia will roll out Thomas Robinson tonight and if JaVale McGee sees any more playing time, I like the odds of Ilyasova seeing more court time to match up.
Marvin Williams ($4200): Marvin Williams is one of my go to cheap PF in the absence of really obvious bargain plays, surprisingly enough. He's not flashy and playing on the Hornets doesn't help, but he is pretty consistent about getting you 20+ fantasy points in his 25-30 minutes. If you need to go cheap, he shouldn't hurt you.
Advice: There aren't a ton of PF to get excited about tonight. I really wish I could play three C honestly. But alas...we do what we have to do. Pau Gasol should have a nice game, I like Markieff Morris against Denver, and Brandon Bass ($5000-definitely bargain territory) should be on your radar every game now that Jared Sullinger is done for the season. I only didn't highlight him because I'm bored of writing about him haha. I'm okay with using Jason Smith ($4900) on the other side of the court against the terrible Boston frontcourt defense too.
Marcin Gortat ($5200): Center looks nice up and down the salary structure today. Gortat draws the nice matchup with Minnesota in a decently high scoring game. While everyone focuses on the return of Kevin Garnett, Gortat has been sneaky good with 33+ fantasy points in both of his last two games. The Timberwolves are not a great rebounding team (their high OffReb rate is more a reflection on their poor FG%) and with the way Gortat has been scoring-16 and 24 real points this week-he has a great shot at a third consecutive double double tonight.
Alex Len ($5000): Alex Len is free, and he gets to face the lowly Nuggets frontcourt tonight. The Nuggets allow the 6th most fantasy points to C, and as I already mentioned, Vegas likes this game to proceed with little defense. With at least 32 mpg since the break, Len is averaging a 10/11 double double and has two six-block games out of three! In a great matchup at this price, it's hard to ignore Len tonight.
Advice: Unfortunately, we can only play one C at FanDuel. I could easily play five... The value at C, and Tyler Zeller ($4800) should be included there too along with moderately priced guys like Rudy Gobert, Hassan Whiteside, and Marc Gasol, is probably the strongest of any position. For that reason, I'm okay with saving here tonight and spending up at the other positions.