This article is part of our DraftKings NBA series.
Wednesday's featured slate on DraftKings consists of six games with the less-than-desirable deadline of 7:00pm Eastern. While the Spurs-Lakers game is the only late matchup, the early start does force us into some tough situations with that game on both sides. I don't need to elaborate on Gregg Popovich's penchant for last-minute game-time surprises, and I doubt we'll have a reliable report on Lonzo Ball (knee)or Brandon Ingram (concussion) until later in the day, although Ingram's return is unlikely.
With that said, Wednesday's slate offers a little bit of everything, from a potentially lop-sided blowout to a perennial rivalry, and a possible playoff preview to boot. Before I get too alliterative, let's go to the games!
The Pelicans still have a lot to play for as they teeter on the precipice of elimination, which is one reason why I think the -13.5 line against the Grizzlies will hold. Memphis is playing with second and third-unit options in the backcourt with Kobi Simmons and Ben McLemore as the likely starters. While both of them will come cheap, this sets up as a great night to play Jrue Holiday ($8,100) and Rajon Rondo ($6,400), especially when you consider the lack of viable options at guard on Wednesday.
There's still some uncertainty for the Celtics in what will likely be the most entertaining game on the slate in Toronto. Terry Rozier's (ankle) status is up on the air as of this writing. Jaylen Brown ($5,500) turned out to be primary beneficiary in his absence last night, and he's an immediate pivot if Rozier remains out.
The Sixers and the Pistons will clash in Detroit and it will be a hotly-contested game despite Detroit's elimination from the playoffs. Without Joel Embiid (eye), Blake Griffin (ankle) and Dario Saric (elbow) in this game, some value targets open up for DFS players. Both Ersan Ilyasova ($5,500) and Robert Covington ($6,200) emerge as excellent lower-priced options, and I like their prospects a lot better than Stanley Johnson and Anthony Tolliver, who will also step into larger roles for Detroit.
Our elite 10k–plus options are slim with only Anthony Davis ($11,800) Andre Drummond ($10,300) and Ben Simmons ($10,200) breaking that threshold on Wednesday/ I favor Drummond over Davis due to Philly's frontcourt deficiencies, and with the slim guard inventory I like Simmons as well, although I think you can find similar production for less cost.
I'll now highlight three players at each position along with a small list of additional players in each spot that holds equal weight in my predictions. If I have given a salary designation to any player above, they also warrant serious consideration for Wednesday's contests. This is especially true on this slate, so keep guys like Rondo, Holiday, Ilyasova and Covington on your radar.
DeMar DeRozan TOR vs. BOS ($7,800): Choosing between Kyle Lowry and DeRozan can always be a bit of a dart throw on most evenings, but Lowy's minutes and overall production have dipped a bit in the past week and the Raptors have favored DeRozan as the driving offensive force as they head into playoff mode. Lowry only saw 28 minutes against Cleveland in their last game and hasn't eclipsed 37 DKFP in the last four contests. I like DeRozan as the more consistent play.
Goran Dragic, MIA at ATL ($7,100): I neglected to give any additional content for this game but that doesn't mean there isn't value to be had. Dragic has been consistently putting up numbers in the 30 DKFP range and in two games versus the Hawks he's averaged 38.9 DKFP. This game will offer a slightly different game script without Dennis Schroder and Kent Bazemore, and that certainly favors Dragic.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, LAL vs. SA ($5,400): In a game with a good deal of uncertainty, I think Caldwell-Pope is one of the best all-purpose options you'll find at this price on Wednesday. He's coming off a 42 DKFP performance against the Jazz after a trio of average outings, and while his output fluctuates a bit when Ball is on the court, Lonzo's probable absence makes Caldwell-Pope a decent bet for the cost.
Kyle Kuzma, LAL vs. SA ($7,200): Like Pope, Kuzma is a dependable start and I slid past Aaron Gordon due to little more than an instinct about how he sets up against the Mavs tonight. Kuzma has been a much stronger shooting option s well, as Gordon's 30.6 field goal percentage over the past four games pales in comparison to Kuzma's 46 percent conversion rate over the same span.
Josh Richardson, MIA at ATL ($6,100): Richardson's price is right against the Hawks, especially when you consider his 35.8 DKFP history over three games against Atlanta this season. Although his three-point shot has suffered of late, the Hawks aren't particularly strong in defending the long ball so if Josh gets hot, he could have a very high ceiling.
Serge Ibaka, TOR vs. BOS ($5,400): Ibaka is coming off two consecutive double-doubles and is coming on strong as the Raptors attempt to once again silence the critics come playoff time. Their frontcourt is a big reason why they consistently fail to reach their potential, but it appears that giving Ibaka 30 minutes has helped their cause. As long as he can keep pace with the 50 percent field-goal percentage he's sported over the past four games, he should beat value at this price.
Nikola Vucevic, ORL vs. DAL ($8,300): I don't mind spending a bit more on Vucevic because the explosiveness factor is always there for the big man. He has one of the highest ceilings in the league given the right game script, and I think he'll get the ball early and often as the Mavs struggle to keep pace under the basket without Nerlens Noel available to spell Dwight Powell and Dirk Nowitzki.
Hassan Whiteside, MIA at ATL ($6,600): Whiteside's price is a bit perplexing, but I'm not going to complain. With Dewayne Dedmon a likely scratch for Atlanta, Whiteside should own the paint against Miles Plumlee and also help the stat line of Goran Dragic by converting his share of assists.
Maxi Kleber, DAL at ORL ($3,800): Kleber emerges as the ultimate punt play. I'll give Kleber a try in a couple of tournament lineups at power forward and center, as Powell and Nowitzki will both sit out Wednesday. With Nerlens Noel (suspension) also out and Salah Mejri (knee) questionable, there's literally no other option to play.
Other centers to consider:Jonas Valanciunas, TOR vs. BOS ($6,200)
With a lot to keep track of as lineups lock, be sure to check back in at RotoWire.com for the latest updates!