This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.
We have a jumbo 11-game slate on tap Wednesday night, with three games having projected totals north of 220 points as of Wednesday morning. We have no shortage of options across the pricing spectrum due to the size of the slate, and although we're dealing with some key injuries as usual, there's still plenty of supply when it comes to elite players. The mid-tier and value shelves are also stocked full, making it a night where it should be relatively easy to differentiate from the field in tournaments.
As usual, we'll break down the positional outlook below, along with the games with the highest projected totals, possible chalk plays and some likely under-owned bargains that could help you round out your lineups with a couple of superstars.
Before delving into the slate, a reminder that FanDuel has reverted to its previous format of NOT dropping the lowest scoring in lineups after a one-year experiment with that feature. Therefore, it will be important to be prudent with each selection, as each player's total will count toward your final score.
Without further ado, let's take a more comprehensive look at Wednesday's slate!
Here's a closer look at the games with the three most elevated projected totals on Wednesday's slate:
San Antonio Spurs at Washington Wizards (Projected total: 237.5 points)
This could be another barn-burner along the lines of the Rockets-Wizards tilt earlier in the season. Both squads seem to abandon any semblance of defense on many nights, and the Wizards check in allowing the most points per game (120.1) in the league. The Wizards are also playing at a top-10 pace (107.9 possessions per game), and Washington has played markedly more generous defense at home (125.5 points per game) than on the road (117.0 per game). All of the usual suspects for each squad – Bradley Beal, Isaiah Thomas, LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan among them – could be primed for big nights.
Milwaukee Bucks at Atlanta Hawks (Projected total: 230.5 points)
The Bucks are checking in scoring the second-most points per game (118.5) while playing at the third-highest pace (110.2 possessions per game). The Hawks had shown defensive improvement earlier this season, but they're progressively slipping back into being one of the more generous teams in the NBA. Atlanta is now allowing 115.5 points per contest and have allowed an NBA-high 133.3 over their last three games. All the of the game's big names should be in for performances in the higher percentiles of their range.
Charlotte Hornets at Brooklyn Nets (Projected total: 220.5 points)
If the Nets are on the slate, it's usually a safe bet they'll be part of a game with one of the higher projected totals of the night. Brooklyn is allowing the third-most points per game (118.5) and they're also scoring an elevated 115.2 per home contest. The Nets pair that with the second-fastest pace (110.6 possessions per game). The Hornets also give up their fair share of points (113.6 PPG), so the total is understandable. And, even though Kyrie Irving will sit out another game due to his shoulder injury, Spencer Dinwiddie has proven he's highly capable of making up for the offensive shortfall that absence brings.
Needless to say, with 22 teams in action Wednesday, we're in good shape across the board in terms of supply at each position. There are some big names on the injury report that eat into our overall number of options, but that's certainly nothing new, especially in a season where an inordinate number of big names seem to be spending plenty of time off the floor.
The guard spots are missing Kyrie Irving (shoulder), D'Angelo Russell (thumb) and Kyle Lowry (thumb) as far as big names with shorter-term injuries, while Andrew Wiggins (illness) is carrying a questionable tag. However, there are still plenty of elite names and viable options all the way down to the high $3K range. It's the same story at small forward, but power forward is a bit thin up top, especially if Kawhi Leonard (knee) sits. There are some solid options beginning in the low $8K range with Kristaps Porzingis ($8,200) and Bam Adebayo ($8,100), but you may not find a 50-fantasy-point ceiling tonight at the position without a healthy Leonard.
Finally, center offers something for every budget and a near complete clean bill of health. Tristan Thompson is the only name of note set to sit, as he'll be getting a load management day. And, there's reasonable value, albeit not completely without risk, into the high $3K range here as well.
Notable Injury Situations to Monitor
Kawhi Leonard, LAC
Leonard is once again questionable with the knee issue that has sidelined him the last three games. He could come down to a game-time decision. The likes of Paul George, Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell would be among those primed for increased opportunity if Leonard misses again.
Kyrie Irving, BKN
Irving is out for Wednesday's game with his shoulder injury. Spencer Dinwiddie, who contributed 28 points in Irving's stead Monday, will draw the start again at point guard.
Kevin Love, CLE
Love is considered probable for Wednesday's game due to a back injury. The veteran could have some extra responsibility with Tristan Thompson sitting out for rest and Larry Nance (thumb) potentially set to miss the game.
Andrew Wiggins, MIN
Wiggins is considered questionable for Wednesday's game due to an illness. Josh Okogie (knee) would potentially draw the start at shooting guard if he's healthy enough to suit up, but Jarrett Culver or Treveon Graham could also get that call even if Okogie is available.
Justise Winslow, MIA
Winslow will miss another game Wednesday due to his concussion. Kendrick Nunn should draw another start at point guard for Miami.
Derrick Jones Jr., MIA
Jones will miss Wednesday's game due to a hip injury. Duncan Robinson should continue see extra run as a backup at small forward in his stead.
Tristan Thompson, CLE
RJ Barrett, NYK
Barrett is considered probable for Wednesday's game due to a thumb sprain.
Derrick White, SA
Marcus Smart, BOS
Smart is considered probable for Wednesday's game due to an ankle injury.
Seth Curry, DAL
Curry is considered questionable for Wednesday's game due to an illness. Jalen Brunson would likely be in for a start at shooting guard should Curry miss.
Tony Snell, DET
Snell will miss Wednesday's game due to a hip injury, opening up the possibility of a spot start for Bruce Brown at small forward.
Landry Shamet, LAC
Shamet will likely be considered questionable at best to play Wednesday due to the ankle injury that's already cost him four games. Terrance Mann would potentially draw another start if Shamet misses, while Lou Williams would continue seeing plenty of run off the bench.
Josh Okogie, MIN
Okogie is considered questionable for Wednesday's game due to a knee injury. He'd be in line for a potential start at two-guard should Andrew Wiggins (illness) miss.
Jake Layman, MIN
Notable Long-Term Injuries/Absences: D'Angelo Russell, GSW; Stephen Curry, GSW; Klay Thompson, GSW; Damion Lee, GSW; Kyle Lowry, TOR; Serge Ibaka, TOR; Caris LeVert, BKN; Wilson Chandler, BKN; Elfrid Payton, NYK; Reggie Bullock, NYK; Gordon Hayward, BOS; John Collins, ATL; Kevin Huerter, ATL; Khris Middleton, MIL; Otto Porter, Jr., CHI; Gerald Green, HOU; Eric Gordon, HOU; Dion Waiters, MIA; Reggie Jackson, DET; Ed Davis, UTA
We check in with six players with five-figure salaries on the big slate, and another nine that are in the $9K range. James Harden, Luka Doncic and Giannis Antetokoumpo carry the highest upside of what is a fine group of top-shelf options, but there are several others that can match the ceiling of that trio, albeit not as consistently. Therefore, no one shapes up as a must-have, offering you no shortage of options in terms of mixing and matching your lineups with different construction.
If we had to pick one five-figure player whose value might be enhanced even further by positional scarcity, it would likely be Kawhi Leonard ($10,000) at power forward. Leonard is legitimately questionable, however, as his knee continues to give him some trouble. If he were to be announced as available, he becomes the only true elite option at PF, Kristaps Porzingis checking in second behind Leonard in terms of price at $8,200.
It's going to be difficult to find much true chalk Wednesday night with so many games on the slate, but there are going to be a handful of elite and mid-tier plays that are more popular than the rest based on name value or recent performances with expanded opportunity.
As far as top-shelf players go, Paul George would surely see high ownership if Kawhi Leonard were to sit again, and both players might still carry plenty of popularity if they take the court together for the first time. Given his participation in the game with the highest projected total of the night, Bradley Beal should also see plenty of clicks on his name, while Giannis Antetokounmpo, Luka Doncic and James Harden will see plenty flock to them based on their eye-popping stat lines.
Then, on the mid-tier end of things, the likes of Spencer Dinwiddie, Alec Burks, Fred VanVleet, Eric Paschall and Jabari Parker (if he overcomes his shoulder issues) should continue to be in plenty of lineups due to their currently expanded roles and production as injury replacements.
Key and Likely Underowned Values
Kelly Olynyk, MIA vs. CLE ($5,000):
Olynyk is averaging 19.8 FanDuel points per game for the season, a figure that's a bit less than ideal for his current salary. However, the floor-spacing big has a well-established track record of offering a ceiling north of 30 fantasy points on occasion, and he's contributed 27.6 and 26 FanDuel points in two of his last three games, respectively. He's eclipsed 25 FanDuel points on five occasions overall thus far, and he's regularly seeing minutes in the mid-20s and up. The Cavs also check in allowing the eighth-most fantasy points per game (47.7) to power forwards, furthering Olynyk's case as a solid tournament play.
Joe Harris, BKN vs. CHA ($4,800):
Harris has likely frustrated those who've rostered him recently, as teased with 44.8 FanDuel points two games ago versus the Bulls but has also fallen short of 20 FanDuel points in four other games over the last five. Harris is undoubtedly a bit of a streaky producer, but with Kyrie Irving (shoulder) set to miss another game and the Hornets allowing plenty of production to shooting guards, he could be in for one of his better nights Wednesday. Charlotte has surrendered the sixth-highest three-point percentage overall (36.9 percent), including a 41.8 percent figure over the last three. They're also yielding 54.8 FanDuel points per game to shooting guards, and they're tied with the Pacers for fourth-most made threes per game (4.6) allowed to the position as well.
Davis Bertans, WAS vs. SA ($4,400):
Bertans gets a crack at his old Spurs teammates at a nice price Wednesday, and he's arguably underpriced relative to his overall production and upside. Bertans is coming off a 31.1 fantasy-point showing against the Magic on Sunday, and he's scored over 25 FanDuel points in four games overall this season. He's had slates with fairly high ownership, but given the amount of games on Wednesday's ledger, he should be a bit less under the radar than usual. Additionally, he represents very cost-effective exposure to the game with the highest projected total of the night, and the Spurs come in allowing the fourth-most FanDuel points per game (50.4) to power forwards, along with 52.0 percent shooting.
Other likely much higher-owned value plays to consider:
Eric Paschall ($5,900); Cody Zeller ($5,900); Isaiah Thomas ($5,800); Coby White ($5,800); Goran Dragic ($5,800); Kendrick Nunn ($5,800): Rui Hachimura ($5,600): Danuel House ($5,500); Ky Bowman ($5,300); Derrick Rose ($5,300); Rondae Hollis-Jefferson ($5,100); Langston Galloway ($5,000); Chris Boucher ($4,900); Ivica Zubac ($4,500); Terence Davis ($4,000); Daniel Gafford ($4,000); George Hill ($4,000); Ante Zizic ($3,500)