This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.
28 of 30 teams are taking the court on Wednesday in one of the largest slates we've encountered this season. Large slates are going to present more variance than usual, especially in your GPP contests. So in general, you are better off aiming for lighter prize pools in Single Entry events. With more games come more players at all price levels, but most importantly we have a wider array of value spots to target. Let's first take a look at how Vegas is viewing Wednesday's 14-game offering.
BOS (-7) vs. BKN, O/U: 214.5
PHI (-9.5) vs. SAC, O/U: 210
UTA (-1) @ IND, O/U: 209.5
ORL (-1.5) @ CLE, O/U:206
DET (-3.5) @ CHA, O/U: 216.5
TOR (-10.5) vs. NY, O/U:209.5
MIL (-14.5) vs. ATL, O/U: 239.5
HOU (-5.5) vs. MIA, O/U: 227
SA (-2.5) vs. MIN, O/U: 229.5
PHO (-8) vs. WAS, O/U: 241.5
NO (-6.5) vs. LA, O/U: 230.5
GS (-2) vs. CHI, O/U: 216.5
LAC (-8) at MEM, O/U: 226.5
I'm going to ride the PHO/WAS game and as you'll see, I like a lot of what's happening in the LA/NO matchup.
INJURY SITUATIONS TO MONITOR
Kyrie Irving (shoulder) OUT
Irving will miss at least a few more games, so Spencer Dinwiddie ($7,800) will continue to man the point guard spot in Brooklyn's offense.
Rudy Gobert (ankle) QUESTIONABLE
Tony Bradley ($5,000) is approaching a price point that makes him a less appealing value play. The Pacers are one of the better rebounding teams in the league, so it's not the best matchup for Bradley or Gobert.
D'Angelo Russell (thumb) OUT
Draymond Green (heel) QUESTIONABLE
Russell could be back as soon as Saturday, but in the meantime, you can still find some value with the Warriors despite their awful results so far this season. Glenn Robinson ($6,000) is absorbing some of Russell's output, and coach Steve Kerr seems ready to give Ky Bowman ($6,400) more time, although his price has increased recently. As for Green, you'll likely have to wait until closer to game time. If he suits up, the whole pivot situation could blow up, as Green started at point guard (?) prior to going down. If that happens, Alec Burks ($6,100) could outperform Bowman as he slides into the off-guard spot.
Clint Capela (illness) QUESTIONABLE
Capela has come down with something since putting up an excellent stat line against the Mavericks two days ago. We will probably learn more later in the day, but if he can't go I'd expect the frontcourt to be bolstered up by P.J. Tucker ($4,800) and Danuel House ($4,500).
Kevin Love (back) QUESTIONABLE
Marcus Smart (knuckle) QUESTIONABLE
With Kemba Walker out, Smart's carried some of the load in his absence. If he's out, Brad Wanamaker ($5,000) will be thrust into a bigger role again, and G-League call-up Tremont Waters ($3,200) could also emerge as a critical factor in the offense.
Aaron Gordon (ankle) OUT
Gordon remains out and while no one has made a splash in his absence, you can give a slight bump to the usual suspects in Orlando, but you have to like what Markelle Fultz ($5,600) has been up to, and Mo Bamba ($4,900) is putting up respectable lines in Nikola Vucevic's long-term absence.
Derrick Favors (back) QUESTIONABLE
Favors received an upgrade overnight, but I think we can still ride with our usual Pelicans starters and just fade the center position. I don't like what's happened to Jaxson Hayes' ($4,400) salary over the past few games, and against the Lakers, I don't think it's worthwhile to spend too much time fretting over this particular position.
I'm just not finding a ton of value up-top. Giannis Antetokounmpo ($12,500) put up 55 DKFP against the Hawks already and that's a below-average(!!) number for the All-Star and MVP candidate. To spend roughly $250 PFP is just too high for me, and despite the ability to put up a huge number tonight, the data tells me it's a solid fade. I feel the same way about James Harden ($11,800) who suffered a subpar game against the Heat in their last matchup. I know both of these guys could pop off something in the 70s but that's what you need for the price.
I am a bigger fan of guys just a tad lower tonight, so I will be making them my elite picks.
Joel Embiid, PHI ($9,100) vs. SAC
Embiid had one of his worst performances ever against Toronto the other night, and that's exactly why I'm going his way against the Kings. Embiid's frustration with his last performance is a huge intangible that I'm comfortable with playing. The Kings are also not the best rebounding team (18th) and I have a hard time seeing Richaun Holmes stand up to Embiid tonight.
Kawhi Leonard, LAC @ MEM ($9,000)
The Grizzlies are in the midst of a four-game skid with no sign of stopping, and this game checks all the boxes for Kawhi in my opinion. In fact, I'm going to go on ahead and promote the duo here, and give Paul George ($8,600) a nod in this matchup too. No one can contest their excellent floors from a DFS perspective, and assuming they both play, their prices aren't going to keep you fishing in the 3k range for fliers.
Pascal Siakam, TOR ($8,900) vs. NY
Sure, you can't afford everyone in this range, but against the lowly Knicks, you have to consider Siakam. Pascal is probably solely responsible for that abysmal zero-point game Embiid had last week, so there's no questioning his defensive prowess. If he gets enough opportunity, he can absolutely pop well past his 45.7 DKFP average, which he's done in five of his last 10 games.
Brandon Ingram, NO ($8,300) vs. LAL
I put Ingram among the elites because this is an elite revenge game for Ingram, who was the featured casualty of the Anthony Davis trade. It's a plum opportunity to show LeBron what he gave up in the offseason, and while the roster is littered with AD carnage, Ingram has the best opportunity to stick it to the Lakers. I'd love it if they gave Lonzo Ball ($4,900) more time in this game as well, but a sudden stomach virus might limit him tonight. This could be the return of Josh Hart ($5,000), and if he plays, he'll want to show the Lakers what he can do as well.
EXPECTED CHALK AND MID-LEVEL TARGETS
Jimmy Butler, MIA ($8,000) at HOU
Butler put up 50 DKFP against the Rockets in their last game, and that's an ideal value-beating number for his price. His regular numbers tell us it's highly unlikely that he'll reach that number again, but his full stat line against Houston shows he was free to do just about whatever he wanted in the matchup. The Rockets need to prop up their defense more if they hope to make a run this year, and with Capela potentially out tonight, they're going to be even softer defensively.
Ben Simmons, PHI vs. SAC ($7,600)
Maybe it's that the Kings were stuck in the Northeast for a couple of days in crappy weather, but I'm propping up the 76ers for a big game here. A word of advice for all of you intermediate players out there. This is something that all the pros know. Shake off the biases. Be circumspect of your favorite teams, and learn to love the guys you hate. I'll freely admit I have some Simmons bias. Here's a talented scorer who simply won't shoot the three, eliminating what could be a huge asset for his team. Still, he finds a way to come up with huge numbers despite that deficiency, and if I'm rolling with Embiid, it only makes sense to profit off the assist combo.
Kelly Oubre, PHO ($6,900) vs. WAS
Another revenge game! I love 'em. Oubre returns to where his pro career began, and although he's cooled off a bit recently, this matchup is a perfect opportunity for him to warm back up as he faces his former team.
Devonte' Graham, CHA ($6,800) vs. DET
I got Graham for exactly $1 in my auction draft, and obviously, I'm thrilled about it. It's rare when a player's current average relative to his salary calculates out to something reasonable, but Graham's numbers do exactly that. If you consider his potential ceiling, things look even better, and thankfully we have some history already for Graham against the Pistons. He netted 41 DKFP in what was one of his worst shooting nights of the year, so imagine what he might be able to do if he starts throwing bulls-eyes.
Bojan Bogdanovic, UTA ($6,600) @ IND
Oh, how I love the DraftKings OPDK numbers. They can throw ownership all out of whack, and sometimes the '1st' sits next to a guy like Bojan, who's one of the only Utah players that's survived the doldrums that they're currently facing. He's been pretty reliable and is a nightly threat to blow up from beyond the arc, and the Pacers rank 18th in 3-point defense.
Danilo Gallinari, OKC ($6,200) @ POR
I've been riding Gallinari to a good amount of cash-game success this season, and I just love him at this price. His numbers continue to climb and become more consistent with each game, and I especially like him against Portland, a team that is always one player short of greatness, and it's usually been at the wing, where Gallinari makes his bed. He's a big reason why you can't sleep on the Thunder., despite the departure of Westbrook.
Also consider: Tobias Harris, PHI ($6,500)
J.J. Redick, NO ($5,300) vs. LAL
I'm shocked to find Redick this low, even after his string of hot shooting games. I'll confess it isn't the best matchup and he has cooled off a bit, but if you're looking for GPP upside, he checks all the boxes. I predict he'll get a full complement of minutes, and if he can get his long-range shot humming, look out.
De'Andre Hunter, ATL ($5,200) @ MIL
Hunter jumped into the injury report with a knee injury but all signs point toward him playing, and the Hawks could certainly use his talents against the Bucks. He had a masterful game, one of his best of the year, versus Milwaukee in their last matchup, where he put up a value-crushing 46 DKFP.
Rajon Rondo, LAL ($5,000) @ NO
Rondo's put together a two-game run with an average of 13.5 points, five rebounds and four assists, which isn't a typical stat line for the dime-dropper, but it's a good sign that he's finally working his way into the LA offense. He's at a great price if he can scrape out 25 minutes.
Jahlil Okafor, NO ($4,100) vs. LAL
Okafor is finally 100 percent, so he's an obvious add if Favors sits out another game. He may be a better matchup against LA than Jaxson Hayes, so even if Favors returns, he should be the first center off the bench.
Cheick Diallo, PHO ($4,100) vs. WAS
With the suns hurting at center, they finally gave Diallo his turn to shine with 35 minutes of court time against Denver, and he took full advantage with a 32 DKFP score. They almost took that game from the Nuggets, and with only Frank Kaminsky to contend with, I think we'll see more of Diallo on Wednesday.
Also consider: Shaquille Harrison, CHI ($4,000), and Carmelo Anthony ($5,900) in a mini-revenge game against the Thunder.
One elite that I didn't mention was Karl-Anthony Towns ($10,300), who could end up doing better than his 53 DKFP split against the Spurs in their last matchup, but he's still at a price where we need more than 53. Of all the elites, I think he has a shot at popping off. Otherwise, I wasn't too kind to the elites, and I do it at my own peril. There's a difference between an excellent night and an excellent night where you've blown ¼ of your salary, and with such a huge slate, it made sense to take more chances.