It’s Wednesday again, and that means a huge slate of games and a lot of money to be won. NBA is getting very challenging, as regular starters are resting or seeing limited minutes, and injuries are catching up with many players. Some backups come in and do very well, while others either disappear or don’t play nearly as many minutes as we would expect. I’ve shifted my focus more toward GPPs, and I would suggest that most players do the same. It’s become very hard to rely on players on teams that have locked up a playoff berth or are out of the hunt.
Be careful, don’t overexpose yourself to any one player, and good luck tonight. Here are my top FanDuel plays for Wednesday.
Ish Smith, Philadelphia 76ers, $6400 – Isaiah Canaan has been ruled out for the rest of the season, so the starting point guard job is Smith’s to run with. Canaan consistently posts around 30 fantasy points per game, and I expect the same against the Wizards tonight. Smith’s going to get his playing time regardless of the score, though I do think the Sixers will keep the game respectable, especially with John Wall sitting out to rest.
Deron Williams, Brooklyn Nets, $6900 – The Nets are 5.5-point favorites against the best team in the East, which makes me think Vegas is expecting some Hawks to sit on the tail end of a back-to-back. Teams seem more likely to rest players on the road, so don’t be surprised if that happens tonight. Aside from a blowout loss in Atlanta, Williams and the Nets have been playing very inspired basketball. They’re making a strong push into the postseason, and Williams and Brook Lopez are the reason why. Williams is simply too cheap relative to his recent production, and I would roll him out confidently tonight as his floor and upside are too good to pass up.
Ramon Sessions, Washington Wizards, $3600 – Easy value play alert. Sessions is near minimum salary and will draw the start for John Wall tonight. He’s actually been quite productive in Washington, and he’s taking over for a high usage player, so expect more of the same per-minute productive, and a lot more minutes. I think he should be targeted heavily as his situation with the Wizards is much different than when he was with the Kings. He’ll be facilitating the offense, rather than simply deferring to Rudy Gay and DeMarcus Cousins the whole game.
Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards, $5900 – This is a great night to target Beal. With John Wall off the court, Beal’s usage goes up, which is great news when you’re facing a team that really struggles to defend opposing wings. The offense is going to run through Beal a lot more with Wall out tonight, and he should easily exceed 30 or more fantasy points tonight. He’s my top option at the shooting guard position.
DeMar DeRozan, Toronto Raptors, $8000 – I can’t recommend paying a hefty price tag for James Harden when he’s going to have to deal with Kawhi Leonard the whole game. DeRozan has the most upside of any shooting guard today, and with Kyle Lowry out, he’s playing a ton of minutes and driving the offense. It speaks volumes that Toronto’s starting point guard, Greivis Vasquez, can play well over 30 minutes and basically do nothing. It’s because DeRozan is doing everything. Tonight’s matchup with Charlotte should be close, and that means DeRozan will be on the court for 40 or more minutes, and should post another very solid stat line.
Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio Spurs, $8100 – He’s going to be my top small forward option every single night he plays for the rest of the season, and in the playoffs. He’s played 24 minutes in each of his past two games, posting scores of 49.5 and 36.4. When your $8100 player pays his price tag off despite playing 24 minutes, that’s just ridiculous. Tonight’s matchup with Houston should hopefully stay close, and if Leonard plays a normal 36 minutes, he’ll score 50 or more fantasy points easily if he keeps up with this pace. He should be the first player in your lineup every night he plays, as sites aren’t pricing him like an elite player, even though that’s exactly what he is.
Rodney Hood, Utah Jazz, $4200 – Small forward is pretty easy today. You have an $8100 stud that can post nearly 50 fantasy points in 24 minutes, and a $4200 starter that’s recently taken on a much larger role in the offense that also happens to be facing a terrible Kings defense. Hood’s scored 28 and 39.6 fantasy points over his past two games, and with that kind of upside relative to a dirt cheap price, he’s a very easy play tonight. His absolute floor is probably around 18-20. There’s no need to dig deeper than these two small forward plays.
Marvin Williams, Charlotte Hornets, $5000 – Williams has consistently been giving us around 25-30 fantasy points thanks to being forced into heavy minutes due to injuries to Al Jefferson and Cody Zeller. The Raptors will be without Amir Johnson, which should makes things easier on Williams. Toronto has been stout against opposing power forwards, but I’m not terribly concerned with the likes of Tyler Hansbrough and Patrick Patterson. Williams should continue to produce, and he makes for a fine value play tonight.
Tyler Hansbrough, Toronto Raptors, $3500 – When I saw Hansbrough was getting the start last game, I tweeted out that I couldn’t fathom the rationale behind starting him. He had a great game against a pitiful Boston frontcourt, but that doesn’t really change my opinion of him as a player. He’s not very good. However, if he draws the start again, he’ll face a Hornets team that hasn’t defended opposing big men well this season. Hansbrough played 36 minutes last game, so if he starts again, I’m expecting the same, which would make him a near must play at minimum salary.
Bismack Biyombo, Charlotte Hornets, $4100 – Biyombo is yet another easy value play today. He’s playing heavy minutes with Al Jefferson and Cody Zeller out, and he should have no trouble paying his dirt cheap price tag off. We witnessed his upside against Miami last night, and with a solid floor of 20, it’s all upside with Biyombo tonight. He’s one of the safest plays on the board.
Brook Lopez, Brooklyn Nets, $8800 – With DeMarcus Cousins likely sitting out and Greg Monroe returning to eat into Andre Drummond’s production, Lopez gets the nod as my highest upside play of the day at the center position. With so much value everywhere, it’s going to be important to get the studs right. Aside from a blowout loss in Atlanta that likely had a lot to do with the Nets playing their fourth game in five nights, Lopez has been on fire. He, along with Deron Williams, are carrying the Nets into the playoffs, and I expect more of the same tonight. The Nets are currently favored, which leads me to believe some Hawks are going to sit out tonight, and if that’s the case, Lopez should be in for a big night.