A few things turned last night’s NBA DFS squad upside down. Zach Randolph returned to duty, which nullified our Skal Labissiere pick, while the Sacramento Kings as a whole decided to not show up against the Indiana Pacers.
That was horrifying to see, so nobody should be shocked to see Buddy Hield (7 fantasy points!) sunk us pretty good. Our main strategy going in was pairing Russell Westbrook and Giannis Antetokounmpo on a small slate, and neither topped even 42 fantasy points. Yuck, right?
This is a great example of why it’s always a good idea to toss a hedge squad into a GPP. In this case, a more balanced team without Russ or The Greek Freak would have been in play. In fact, that was one of two teams that placed for me last night.
NBA DFS gonna NBA DFS, I guess.
The good news is Wednesday is here and we get a wide open slate with 12 games on the docket. I wouldn’t go nuts with GPP entries on a day like this, where pretty much everyone’s roster will go off. We should still aim high, of course, but this is a great night for cash games. Still, we want the best team we can find, so let’s dive in:
PG: Jarrett Jack – New York Knicks ($5.2k)
We need minutes, reliability and upside in NBA DFS and I think we can drop down and get that with Jack one more time. He hasn’t really exploded yet, but he’s got a plus matchup against a mediocre Rockets defense. He should specifically see a lot of Eric Gordon and James Harden – neither of which are elite defenders.
Eventually the Knicks will play rookie Frank Ntikilina more, but until they do, we need to jump on Jack’s role. The crazy thing is he’s put up 23+ fantasy points in three straight games and only seen his role grown, yet he hasn’t blown up as a scorer. This could be a nice spot for him to do so.
I also am looking at Jamal Murray and Mike James at one point guard slot, but Murray is as erratic as they come and James’ production feels unsustainable.
PG: Kyle Lowry – Toronto Raptors ($7.5k)
Anytime we don’t have a slate where Russell Westbrook or some other clear stud dominates the cash, I like to locate elite value and target it relentlessly. Lowry remains way too cheap for what he can do and the guy has yet to explode as a scorer. That big game is right around the corner and tonight he faces the Nuggets, who rank 18th in defensive efficiency.
Lowry is due for a huge game and I don’t mind hunting for it while he remains such a nice price.
SG: Austin Rivers – Los Angeles Clippers ($4.9k)
I never feel great about using Rivers, but he is starting and has a nice role for a good team. We’re not paying much for a guy who is going to get shots up and could also get his hands on some assists and steals. An individual matchup against Wesley Matthews isn’t ideal, but Dallas as a whole does not defend well.
SG: Tim Hardaway Jr. – New York Knicks ($5.2k)
It doesn’t feel great to use multiple Knicks against the Rockets, but the game is in Madison Square Garden and it’s not like Houston has an elite defense. The Knicks are actually playing really well right now, too, while THJ has a huge role and can pop off in any situation.
SF: Jaylen Brown – Boston Celtics ($5.3k)
Brown has been inconsistent as a scorer since a strong start to the season, but he’s going to have some big games and a solid role moving forward. Even with Marcus Smart healthy Brown is locked into 30+ minutes. His versatility and scoring ability make him a solid value on this slate at this price, while a matchup at home against the Kings only helps.
SF: LeBron James – Cleveland Cavaliers ($10.4k)
James is my favorite star to use on this slate. His price is more palatable than it was for a while and it’s possible we could get him at low ownership on such a loaded slate. Not only has he not been good, but Giannis Antetokounmpo is listed as a SF again and there are a slew of elite options worth considering.
James could be fairly low owned as he works against a bad Pacers defense – one that specifically struggles at stopping small forwards. James and co. have to be angry after an ugly three-game losing streak, too. If the Cavs come out mad, I like James to be one of the top plays of the day and in turn, provide some of the best value.
PF: Aaron Gordon – Orlando Magic ($7.6k)
We’re technically getting value here with Gordon, who should be low owned due to two duds and a perceived difficult matchup against the Grizzlies. However, both of Gordon’s weak games came due to foul trouble and blowouts, while Memphis may not be so strong defensively tonight with both Mike Conley and Marc Gasol questionable to play.
Obviously if they both suit up, I’d sour a bit on Gordon. However, his ownership will be low with the PF position stacked and when he plays a full game, he’s yet to produce fewer than 34 fantasy points.
PF: Jayson Tatum – Boston Celtics ($5.8k)
I know it feels crazy to fade the likes of Anthony Davis and other studs, but on a slate this huge and with such little value, we need to take stands and make clear choices. Paying down at PF may not be the worst way to go tonight, especially when we can get two similarly versatile forwards who can do a little bit of everything.
Tatum is a lot like Gordon and is locked into a great role with the Celtics. That, and he’ll be at home against a bad Kings defense that just got torched by the likes of Thaddeus Young and Domantas Sabonis.
C: Kevin Love – Cleveland Cavaliers ($7.7k)
I think the Cavs wake up a bit from their slump tonight. They’ve lost three straight and are going to need to come out with some urgency to fend off a pretty confident Indiana team. The Pacers can still keep this close, but they don’t defend well, so I like Cleveland to have one of their better offensive showings of the young season.
Love should be part of the solution, as he’s really been solid all year long and gets a solid matchup in this one. I’m also interested in Dwight Howard ($7.4k), who grabbed 22 rebounds against the Bucks when he faced them earlier this year.