Wednesday is upon us, so that means we have a nice nine-game NBA slate on tap. As the season winds down, we are getting accustomed to late-breaking injury/rest news, so make sure you are able to edit your lineups as we get closer to lock time. There will undoubtedly be some value that crops up as the day wears on, so check the news and the NBA Starting Lineups Page for further clarification on who’s starting. Now, let’s get to some high-upside tournament plays for the day!
Top Play – John Wall, Washington Wizards
Despite their loss to the Warriors last night, the Wizards are still clinging to faint hopes in the Eastern Conference playoff race. They sit three games behind the #8 seed with eight games to go and will need every win they can get to have a chance. What this means for us is that you will likely see a heavy workload for the starting unit. This is a fantastic game to target from a fantasy perspective, as both the Wizards and the Kings love to run and gun. The game has a two-point spread and a projected total of 221 points per Vegas totals. It’s hard to see Wall struggling against a Kings defense that ranks 24th in the league against point guards this season.
Value Play – Raymond Felton, Dallas Mavericks
Deron Williams does not have a timetable for a return, and Chandler Parsons is out for the year. Those two injuries open up plenty of minutes for Felton, and he actually started at the point in their last game. Dallas currently sits one-half game back of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, so they have everything to play for as we hit the home stretch. Felton is a fine value option, as he will likely draw another start and play 30+ minutes tonight. He will also likely draw the defense of Jose Calderon to start the game, and that’s never a bad thing.
Top Play – Khris Middleton, Milwaukee Bucks
The sizzling play from the young guns of the Bucks has cooled off as their schedule has gotten more difficult. There was a stretch in early to mid-March where daily players were rostering Middleton and Antetokounmpo on a daily basis despite rapidly rising price tags. That interest has waned as the production has dropped off, and that is a common example of the recency bias that we see in DFS. A matchup against the defensively-challenged Suns should be the recipe for a breakout. Phoenix ranks dead last in the league against the shooting guard position, making Middleton a fine target for upside this evening.
Value Play – Josh Richardson, Miami Heat
Richardson saw an increased opportunity last night as Goran Dragic sat out with an illness. While Dragic is expected to play this evening, we can still expect Richardson to play a major role. He is averaging 29.1 minutes per game in the month of March, and that figure is a full 10 minutes higher than his season average. He has taken to the sixth man role quite nicely, and he will likely be on the court even if this matchup against the Lakers turns into a blowout. This might become a nice opportunity for the Heat to rest Dwyane Wade (I am admittedly speculating there), but Richardson is in play regardless. There’s plenty of intrigue in a matchup against a porous Lakers defense.
Top Play – Giannis Antetokounmpo, Milwaukee Bucks
See the discussion on Khris Middleton and rinse, lather, repeat. There was a time where 40% of people were just fine paying $10,000 for Giannis Antetokounmpo. Now? Not so much. He has struggled over the past two weeks in some tough matchups, but that should rectify itself against the Suns. They rank 27th in the league against the small forward position, and it’s a position that lacks a ton of options tonight. I am happy locking in the upside of Antetokounmpo against the Suns here.
Value Play – Rudy Gay, Sacramento Kings
The DFS world despises Rudy Gay. He can never seem to produce when DeMarcus Cousins is out, which are the nights he always becomes 50% owned. He’s having one of his worst seasons in the NBA, and his price tag now reflects that. Perhaps things will change coming off a rest game the other night. This is a favorable matchup against the Wizards, who have struggled against wing players for much of the year. It’s a tough sell, but the upside and projected low ownership make Gay an interesting tournament target on this Wednesday night slate.
Top Play – LaMarcus Aldridge, San Antonio Spurs
The power forward spot is surprisingly unappealing tonight for a nine-game slate. The Spurs draw a great matchup against the Pelicans tonight, but the fact that they are a whopping 20-point favorite in this game makes all of their premier players tournament-only options. I wouldn’t expect anyone to rest, as the Spurs just rested several players over the weekend. However, that’s always something to monitor with Gregg Popovich. Assuming Aldridge plays, there is nobody on the Pelicans capable of slowing him down. Without Anthony Davis around, the Pelicans lack a glaring rim protector. Expect plenty of easy baskets for Aldridge in this one.
Value Play – Dante Cunningham, New Orleans Pelicans
In the same vein that New Orleans is a huge underdog here, we have to realize that they are at least going to score some points. The latest hits to the roster have come with the news that Jrue Holiday and Alonzo Gee are both out for the year, with Ryan Anderson likely joining them. There are literally no bodies left to spare, and Dante Cunningham has already been playing around 40 minutes per game. He’s not a high usage guy, but someone has to pick up some fantasy stats here, and the minutes will be there. It’s not a ringing endorsement, but he is thankfully super cheap in DFS.
Top Play – Hassan Whiteside, Miami Heat
Even though he continues to come off the bench, Whiteside has been putting up big lines on a fairly regular basis. His minutes have not seen a drastic change even with the bench role, meaning there hasn’t been a dip in his fantasy value. The upside is obviously huge in a matchup against the defensively challenged Lakers, with the only concern being how close this game will be in the second half. Assuming he gets 30-35 minutes of court time, this could be a massive outing for Mr. Whiteside. He is obviously a great tournament target here.
Value Play – Alexis Ajinca, New Orleans Pelicans
I cringe at the thought of listing two Pelicans in this matchup against the Spurs, but their depth is so thin that I don’t think you can fade them entirely. Ajinca has gone from out of the rotation to playing 26-28 minutes on a regular basis, and he has shown some intriguing upside in recent games. I am not sure that I would play both Cunningham and Ajinca, but one of them should be a nice source of salary cap relief for your GPP rosters this evening.