This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
Wednesday's nine-game slate kicks off at 7:30 p,m. ET and late swap will be your friend due to all of the various injury situations on the docket. Your best hope of optimal play will involve a close look at your builds throughout the evening.
(odds provided by FanDuel Sportsbook and are subject to change)
Games/Teams to Target in BOLD
Games Teams to Fade in ITALIC
GSW @ IND (-1.5) O/U: 228.5
ATL @ IND (+3.5) O/U: 227.5
HOU @ CLE (+2.5) O/U: 216.5
DET @ NOR (-9.5) O/U: 222.5
MIN @ CHI (-4.5) O/U: 227.5
TOR @ MIA (-2.5) O/U: 215.5
SAS @ OKC (-2) O/U: 217.5
CHA @ PHO (-9.5) O/U: 225.5
LAL @ UTA (-8) O/U: 219.5
BACK-TO-BACK TEAMS: CELTICS, HAWKS, WARRIORS, CAVALIERS, PISTONS, RAPTORS, TIMBERWOLVES
The leverage spot we have to pinpoint involves the Spurs, who haven't played in several days due to COVID-19 protocols and weather concerns. Incredibly, they will take the floor tonight, as they will be playing with an extremely short-handed rotation. Additionally, salary movement for some of the active players tonight has been non-existent. We'll try to predict what's happening for the Spurs tonight in the injury section below, but it's going to be very hard not to get at least two of these targets into your optimal lineup. While some of the players will be very chalky, their salaries will allow for spend-up opportunities that you wouldn't usually have on a typical slate.
BOS Marcus Smart (calf) - OUT
Not a lot changes for the Celtics, who continue to run with a Daniel Theis-Tristan Thompson frontcourt while utilizing Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Kemba Walker. This could be a close, speedy game, and you'll definitely want a piece of Jaylen Brown ($8,400), who pinned down an All-Star reserve spot. Kemba Walker ($6,600) is also getting a little easier to stomach, but with the Celtics on a back-to-back, he may sit this one out. If he sits, Javonte Green ($3,500) would likely find his way into the starting five.
ATL John Collins (concussion) - QUESTIONABLE
Kevin Huerter ($5,300) saw the most significant boost after Collins exited the game Monday night, as did Danilo Gallinari ($4,600). Both of them are reasonable value plays, and since the Hawks will need to lean on Clint Capela ($8,200), he works as a somewhat unique spend-up option at center.
HOU Christian Wood (ankle) - OUT
HOU Victor Oladipo (foot) - QUESTIONABLE
HOU Eric Gordon (ankle) - QUESTIONABLE
HOU DeMarcus Cousins - RELEASED
HOU P.J. Tucker (quad) - PROBABLE
The big news here is Cousins' release, which comes as a bit of surprise. The Rockets were hoping to find a trade partner and get something in return, but that obviously did not come to pass. Justin Patton ($3,500) will probably get an extended look at center but expect Tucker to start if he plays. I don't have a lot of confidence in Tucker, but Jae'Sean Tate's ($6,600) size, speed and opportunity could be someone to get behind at power forward. What happens in the backcourt is anyone's guess, but a lot of usage will flow to John Wall ($8,300), who is a little too expensive this evening. You'll have to wait and see for Gordon and Oladipo, but David Nwaba ($5,100) is the guy to get behind if either player is out.
CLE Andre Drummond (inactive) - OUT
CLE Kevin Love (calf) - OUT
CLE Larry Nance (finger) - OUT
CLE Taurean Prince (ankle) - QUESTIONABLE
The door is wide open for Jarrett Allen ($7,700) tonight, and he faces a Houston team without a center. While he'll be one of the more widely owned centers on the slate, the matchup is too good to pass up. Set your exposure high for Allen.
TOR Kyle Lowry (ankle) - QUESTIONABLE
TOR OG Anunoby (possible rest) - NO TAG
It appears that Lowry could be upgraded to probable but may be on a minute restriction if he plays. Anunoby has been sitting on back-to-backs, so that is something to monitor. Norman Powell ($6,500) is a reasonable call regardless of the outcome, but DeAndre' Bembry ($3,500) could find his way back into the starting lineup if Anunoby and/or Lowry miss the game.
MIA Tyler Herro (hip) - QUESTIONABLE
MIA Goran Dragic (ankle) - QUESTIONABLE
If both guards miss, Kendrick Nunn ($5,600) is safe and cheap and could destroy value at this salary. Draw your exposure down if this scenario changes.
DET Delon Wright (groin) - OUT
DET Blake Griffin (inactive) - OUT
The Pistons seem to love Saben Lee ($5,000). He's averaged about 30 minutes over the past two games and actually led the team in scoring last night. Svi Mykhailiuk ($3,500) and Dennis Smith ($4,600) drew starts, but I like Lee the best despite the salary increase.
Ok, hang on to your hats…
SAS DeMar DeRozan (personal) - OUT
SAS LaMarcus Aldridge (hip) - QUESTIONABLE
SAS Keldon Johnson (COVID-19 protocol) - OUT
SAS Derrick White (COVID-19 protocol) - OUT
SAS Rudy Gay (COVID-19 protocol) - OUT
SAS Devin Vassell (COVID-19 protocol) - OUT
Right off the bat, I think Dejounte Murray ($7,500) and Lonnie Walker ($3,500) are smash spots for this team, followed by Patty Mills ($3,800) and Aldridge if he plays. If Aldridge suits up, they will have nine active players, so you can expect high usage from the starters, and guys like Keita Bates-Diop ($3,500), Trey Lyles ($4,000) and Drew Eubanks ($3,600) could see more time. I don't doubt that we will see a lot of Jakob Poeltl ($6,300), but there are other centers I'd prefer to target tonight.
CHA Gordon Hayward (hand) - QUESTIONABLE
CHA Devonte' Graham (knee) - OUT
LAL LeBron James (ankle) - PROBABLE
LAL Anthony Davis (Achilles) - OUT
LAL Kyle Kuzma (back) - PROBABLE
LAL Dennis Schroder (COVID-19 protocol) - OUT
The Lakers are just not very good without Anthony Davis. What seemed like an outlier at first is now firmly cemented as fact, as they've lost to some pretty bad teams over the past couple of weeks and have dropped three games in a row. The Jazz should extend their lead in the West tonight, which leads me to refrain from mentioning a pivot here for fear of steering anyone astray. It's a game to stay away from on the LA side.
We've already mentioned LeBron James ($10,400), and while his floor is easy to measure, I don't see myself going above the field with him against the Jazz, who are now 100 percent healthy. Stephen Curry ($10,000) is the only other five-figure player. He produced one of his lowest scoring totals of the year against the Pacers, and that alone is enough to make me consider other options before spending up here.
You've got to love Domantas Sabonis ($9,900) against Golden State's small-ball lineup, and both Karl-Anthony Towns ($9,700) and Zach LaVine ($9,800) set up exceptionally well in what should be a speedily-paced affair. Historically, Trae Young ($9,600) has been fine but unspectacular in back-to-back scenarios. Hence, he merits less exposure than usual, but I have no issue with Jayson Tatum ($9,400), who should have a field day against the Hawks. Finally, we land on the duo of Jimmy Butler ($9,200) and Bam Adebayo ($8,900). Both are usage beasts and appropriate adds, but I don't think they are must-haves tonight. Somewhere between five and 10 percent in a 150-lineup build is where their exposure should be on this slate.
Zion Williamson, NO ($8,500) vs. DET
Go big or go home. Lock in Zion against a weak Detroit frontcourt. It's also a night where I don't mind stacking him with Brandon Ingram ($8,000). Both guys post excellent rebound totals, and Ingram can give you some assists while Zion excels with blocks and steals. Blowout risk is possible here, but it's a fantastic night for both of these elites if Detroit can stay within striking distance. Activate them with confidence.
Malcolm Brogdon, IND ($8,200) vs. GSW
Brogdon's upside is stellar. He's rattled off three straight games north of 40 FDFP and out up 54 FDFP against the Timberwolves in their last game. The Warriors are certainly a more formidable team, but a number well above 40 FDFP is certainly possible as the Pacers come off from an extra day of rest.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, OKC ($7,500) vs. SAS
Night after night, SGA dominates both sides of the ball for the Thunder, and tonight should be no exception. We've already illustrated the pickle the Spurs find themselves in, and while there's a slim chance that the Spurs could surprise us, the Thunder are almost entirely healthy. SGA's recent numbers are pretty ridiculous at this salary point.
Devin Booker, PHO ($7,700) vs. CHA
Anthony Davis' injury leaves an open spot on the All-Star roster, and you can bet Booker is sore about being left out up to this point. While the slot could very easily go to a big man, don't you think Booker will try to prove his worth before that pick is made? This is an excellent spot with a decent salary for Booker, and I think Monty Williams will allow him to show up the voters against the Hornets. The shot-dependent guard will need to be dialed in, but a number north of 40 FP is a distinct possibility.
Most of the top values lie within the injury section and the Spurs' roster, but here are some other worthy value candidates.
Malik Beasley, MIN ($6,500) @ CHI
Always click on a Minnesota player with a dose of caution, but there's a lot to like about Beasley's salary point in a fast-paced matchup. His only problem is a shaky floor, which can burn you occasionally. I like him more as a GPP play based on his 40 FP upside, but this is a spot where he could excel.
Wendell Carter, CHI ($5,400) vs. MIN
No one should be scared of Karl-Anthony Towns' defensive abilities, which is why Carter shows up with high marks in my FanDuel model this evening. He blew up against the Rockets two days ago, and Minnesota's frontcourt defense is similarly weak. 40 FP upside would be tremendous, but he should easily break 5x value if he can beat Towns off the glass.
Hamidou Diallo, OKC ($5,300) vs. SAS
Diallo might be a bit risky, but work with me here. Given the Spurs' sad state of affairs, this game could get out of hand, and it could result in increased playing time for Diallo, who can sub in at three different positions. I would never stack him with any other Thunder player, except perhaps Al Horford ($6,100).
Doug McDermott, IND ($4,400) vs. IND
McDermott has a few extra days to rest his knee injury, so expect him to return to the starting lineup. He's a boom-bust sort of player who will probably have a low rostership tonight, but he doesn't have to do much to beat value here. It's also been a while since he's been at such a low salary, so this could be the time to capitalize on this opportunity.