It’s another fine Wednesday for daily fantasy hoops, and we have an 11-game slate to break down. Keep an eye on injury news as there may be several value plays that open up as a result of certain players sitting out. The most notable is, of course, Anthony Davis, who suffered a hip injury last night and missed most of the second half. I’ll discuss which players benefit from his likely absence later on.
There are many attractive matchups to take advantage of tonight, so let’s get to the analysis. Here are my favorite FanDuel targets.
Ish Smith, New Orleans Pelicans, $5,100 – Smith’s price is on the rise, but it’s not high enough for me to consider a fade. Jrue Holiday only played 15 minutes last night, so it’s possible he may play tonight. He has yet to play in a back to back set, and the reduced minutes may simply be a function of the Pelicans having a comfortable lead and both Smith and Toney Douglas playing well off the bench. Regardless of Holiday’s status, Smith is in play. Holiday won’t play many minutes if he’s active, and Smith’s per minute production has been fantastic this season. At $5,100, he’s still a bargain that I plan on targeting in both cash games and tournaments.
Rajon Rondo, Sacramento Kings, $6,400 – It’s value day at point guard, and Rondo checks in as a top play based on his price, matchup, and the absence of Darren Collison. Collison has been listed as probable for Friday, so that can only mean that he’s out tonight. Seth Curry should be available, but it’s hard to imagine him being used for any reason other than to given Rondo a short break. Rondo should be expected to play heavy minutes in a plus matchup against Reggie Jackson. Jackson struggles on the defensive end of the floor, and Rondo is a triple double threat each time he takes the court. This game should be close, and while the battle between Andre Drummond and DeMarcus Cousins will be the reason to watch, Rondo should post another solid stat line. He’s underpriced at $6,400, and he’s a top option for both cash games and tournaments.
Kent Bazemore, Atlanta Hawks, $5,300 – Bazemore has been very consistent for Atlanta, and he’s still underpriced at $5,300. He’s eclipsed 25 fantasy points in six of his last seven games, reaching 30 or more three times. He’s a terrific value each and every night until he’s priced correctly, and tonight’s matchup against the Pelicans presents another opportunity for him to have a big game. The Pelicans have been terrible on the defensive end of the floor, and they’ll only get worse if Anthony Davis sits out tonight’s game.
Eric Gordon, New Orleans Pelicans, $5,500 – Like Bazemore, Gordon is a consistent DFS option at the shooting guard position who almost always meets or exceeds his value threshold. He’s a solid option if Anthony Davis plays, and he’ll get a significant boost if Davis misses tonight’s game. Gordon’s usage rate climbs from 20.6% to 26.1% when Davis is off the court, and he’s already locked into heavy minutes. I rarely pay up for shooting guards unless I’m rostering James Harden, and if value like Bazemore and Gordon are available, I’m much more apt to use them instead.
Paul George, Indiana Pacers, $8,900 – George’s price is on the rise, but it’s not high enough for me to consider fading him just yet. He’s been a borderline elite option each and every night, and he appears to be a near lock for around 40 fantasy points with upside to 50. He draws a terrific matchup with a Celtics teams that is playing at the fifth-fastest pace in the league. This game should be very close, and with Indiana playing way up pace, George should see plenty of opportunities to produce on both the offensive and defensive end of the floor, posting a big fantasy total along the way.
Jae Crowder, Boston Celtics, $4,700 – Crowder has a solid floor of around 20 fantasy points while being capable of having big nights every now and then. He contributes across the board, producing points on both ends of the floor. The Pacers aren’t a great matchup, but at his price, you don’t need much from him. He’s going to play around 30 minutes, and given there aren’t many attractive plays at the small forward position, I like saving cap space and using a player that I know is almost always going to give me a solid return for their price tag.
Ryan Anderson, New Orleans Pelicans, $5,800 – Anderson has been fantastic lately, scoring at least 25 fantasy points in each of his past six contests. He’s been especially active on the glass lately, and given he’s shooting the ball so well, he’s a great target in both cash games and tournaments tonight. If Anthony Davis is out, Anderson becomes a must play, in my opinion. His usage rate jumps from only 19% with Davis on the floor to 31.1% with Davis on the bench. He’ll be high owned if Davis can’t give it a go tonight, but fading him is not recommended.
Marvin Williams, Charlotte Hornets, $5,000 – Williams is a favorite play of mine because of his consistency and his production relative to his price. He’s reached 25 or more fantasy points in five of his last seven contests, and the two down games were a home blowout against Chicago where he only played 25 minutes, and a road matchup with the Spurs. I ignore matchups with the Spurs because they’re an elite defensive team. Williams draws a favorable matchup with a Knicks team that is middle of the pack in terms of pace and team defense. He’s a great cash game play that is usable in tournaments as well.
Jahlil Okafor, Philadelphia 76ers, $6,400 – The battle between DeMarcus Cousins and Andre Drummond will sure be fun to watch, but I’m only interested in either of them as low exposure GPP plays. Okafor is the play at center today, and it’s really not close. Nerlens Noel has already been ruled out, which gives Okafor a significant boost. He was already seeing a high usage rate of 28.2%, but that jumps to 31.3% with Noel off the floor. Where he really gets a boost is rebounding. His 8.6% rate with Noel on the floor isn’t particularly impressive, but his 12.2% rate with Noel on the bench is very good. Combine all of that with a matchup against a soft Raptors frontcourt that is currently allowing the eighth-most fantasy points per game to opposing centers, and you have a player that is going to crush their value threshold tonight.
Dwight Howard, Houston Rockets, $8,100 – If you’re not using Okafor, I like Howard quite a bit at this price. I don’t see Howard having much trouble dominating the glass against an undersized Thaddeus Young and Brook Lopez. Despite being very tall, Lopez is not a very good rebounder. Howard, who is prone to foul trouble, likely will be able to stay on the court against a Nets team that doesn’t attack the rim much. The Nets have no answer for him on the defensive end of the floor, and while I worry this game will get out of hand, Howard’s per minute production has been excellent this season, and he’s a solid play at the center position.