We have one of the biggest NBA slates of the season, as nearly every team is in action on this fun-filled Wednesday night. There are plenty of good DFS targets to go along with these games, so there is a plethora of options at every position. Let’s take a peek at some high-upside players that might be worth a look in your tournament lineups. Remember to check the NBA Starting Lineups Page to ensure your selections are starting.
Top Play: Kyrie Irving, Cleveland Cavaliers
Of course, Mr. Curry is a fine play if you want to go there, but the write-ups on him get pretty boring. “Yeah, he’s good at basketball. He has 70-point upside.” If you’ve been playing daily fantasy hoops for more than a week, you understand the type of score that Curry can put up. I wanted to take a moment to highlight Kyrie Irving here. Whether it’s simply him feeling close to 100% again, whether it’s the coaching change, or whether it’s a combination of those factors, Irving is playing great basketball right now. He is averaging 26 points and seven assists a game over five February contests, and Tyronn Lue has also shown a willingness to ride his starters. Irving is averaging 37.4 minutes per game in February, and that’s a great sign for his fantasy value. The Cavs draw a great matchup against the woeful Lakers defense tonight, making Irving an extremely high-upside tournament option.
Value Play: Norris Cole, New Orleans Pelicans
The up-and-down production from Cole makes him a better tournament play than a cash game option. The last game was a bit of an anomaly as the Pelicans blew out Minnesota, so don’t worry about his minutes in that one. Outside of that game, he had played 34+ minutes in three of the previous four (with the exception being a very weird outlier against the Lakers), and Cole should be counted on to get that type of playing time tonight. This isn’t the fastest paced game or the best matchup, but his price is cheap and the game is expected to be a close one. If you need a value play at the point guard spot, Cole is definitely worth a look.
Top Play: James Harden, Houston Rockets
The upside that he brings to the table is simply unparalleled at the shooting guard position, especially with Jimmy Butler out for the next month or so. There are some value plays out there tonight that will allow you to fit Harden in as an expensive cog at the position, too. This might be a good idea, since the true value options at shooting guard are often very unpredictable. The Houston/Portland game is likely going to be one of the highest-scoring games of the night, so this will be a fun matchup with Harden and C.J. McCollum squaring off. In fact, both players are in play as tournament options tonight.
Value Play: Rodney Hood, Utah Jazz
If you haven’t seen his three-pointer that sent last night’s game into overtime, make sure you check out the video. Hood is definitely feeling more comfortable in his role as an offensive playmaker for the Jazz, and he is seeing around 36-40 minutes on a regular basis right now. His ownership still tends to be low most nights, and it likely won’t be extraordinarily high tonight with a full slate of games. He has a world of talent and isn’t afraid to shoot the ball. This is a fine matchup against a weak defensive team that is without Tyreke Evans, so Hood is my favorite Utah player to target this evening.
Top Play: Paul George, Indiana Pacers
Yes, LeBron James is certainly in play against the Lakers, though he has some blowout risk attached. Call me crazy, but this could be a Paul George night. He has started to play a little better of late, averaging 27 points and nine rebounds per game over the last three Indiana contests. He’s also getting to the free throw line a lot more, which is a good sign of aggressiveness. His tough individual matchup with Nicolas Batum will keep him low-owned, but his upside is definitely worth a look in a GPP. It’s a classic risk/reward debate that could handsomely pay off for those who take the chance.
Value Play: Stanley Johnson, Detroit Pistons
On sites where his price remains depressed, Johnson is one of my favorite targets of the day in all formats. He is going to see 35-40 minutes per game as long as Kentavious Caldwell-Pope remains on the sidelines, and Caldwell-Pope has already been ruled out for tonight’s game. That should mean all systems go for the dynamic rookie, and Johnson has impressed in two of his three starts. Don’t let one poor game scare you off. There is plenty of upside here, especially in a more favorable matchup against the Nuggets.
Top Play: Paul Millsap, Atlanta Hawks
There hasn’t been a lot of buzz around Millsap lately, as his season was briefly derailed by a few nagging injuries. It looks like he is finally healthy again, as he is coming off his biggest game in quite some time. He racked up 22 points, 13 rebounds, six assists, and four steals on Monday against the Magic, and the most encouraging thing is that he logged 42 minutes of court time. That’s a green light for me, especially in a matchup against a Bulls team that has struggled mightily against opposing big men this season.
Value Play: Zach Randolph, Memphis Grizzlies
The landscape has definitely changed in Memphis with the news that Marc Gasol is out indefinitely with a broken right foot. It is certainly no coincidence that Zach Randolph thrived after Gasol left Monday’s game, as Randolph piled up a line of 26 points, nine rebounds, and four assists over a whopping 40 minutes of action against the Blazers. That game did go to overtime, but Randolph is a safe bet to get around 35-38 minutes on a nightly basis with Gasol out. He should also see a nice rise in his usage rate. Hop aboard the train before his price rises, especially in a tasty matchup against the Nets tonight.
Top Play: DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings
DeMarcus Cousins has the potential to turn in a 70 fantasy point performance anytime he takes the court. He also draws a fine matchup against the Sixers tonight, though the Sixers have been playing better of late. This is a very fantasy-friendly game, with two bad teams that don’t care to play much defense. The projected total is 216 points, with the Kings favored by four. As long as Cousins doesn’t find his way into foul trouble, he should be the highest-scoring center on the board tonight.
Value Play: Gorgui Dieng, Minnesota Timberwolves
The good thing about rostering Gorgui Dieng is that not only does he have the GPP upside that we crave, but he is also a safe play for cash games. As long as Kevin Garnett and Nikola Pekovic remain sidelined, both Dieng and Karl-Anthony Towns will log heavy minutes up front for the Timberwolves. Dieng is averaging 17 points and 10 rebounds over 35 minutes in four February contests, and that is a nice baseline to expect as long as he remains in the starting five. He is definitely in play tonight even though his matchup isn’t the best one on the board against Toronto.