Defense To Avoid
Atlanta Hawks, vs. Dallas Mavericks: The Hawks are vulnerable to point guards and small forwards in particular, but still manage to play solid defense overall. They check in as the ninth-stingiest unit (104.2 points per game) in the league, while the Mavs are scoring the least points per game (97.8). Atlanta is also causing a healthy 14.8 turnovers per contest, and Dallas has scored under 100 points in five straight games and in the last three road contests overall.
Offense To Use
Milwaukee Bucks, vs. Denver Nuggets: The Cavs also make for a great offense to hone in on Wednesday, but the Bucks face a Nuggets team on the back end of a road back-to-back . Denver has given up the third-most points (111.7) and highest field-goal percentage (48.0) this season, while the Bucks own the second-highest success rate (47.7) from the field.
Teams on a Back-to-Back Set
First game of a back-to-back: None
Second game of a back-to-back: Wizards, Nuggets, Pistons, Jazz
DraftKings.com DAILY PLAYER RECOMMENDATIONS
Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL vs. DEN ($10,500): The Greek Freak disappointed many two nights ago against the Cavs, when a 4-for-13 shooting night led to a tally of 30.25 fantasy points, a solid return that was nevertheless underwhelming considering Antetokounmpo’s five-figure salary. However, there’s no reason to shun him Wednesday, considering his massive upside and the matchup against a Nuggets defense that will be on the second night of a back-to-back. Denver also surrenders the second-most fantasy points (58.9), fourth-most points (24.3), fifth-most rebounds (6.0), second-most assists (9.6), second-most steals (2.2) and seventh-highest field-goal percentage (44.5) to point guards. Antetokounmpo tallied 46.5 fantasy points in his one game against this season and is averaging 50.6 fantasy points over 29 home games this season.
Lou Williams, HOU at LAC ($6,100): The mid-tier at guard is absolutely loaded Wednesday, so although we’ll highlight Williams, Dion Waiters ($6,800), Jeff Teague ($6,600), Derrick Rose ($6,300), George Hill ($6,300) and Seth Curry ($5,900) are also very viable. Meanwhile, Williams has been providing returns worthy of a much higher-priced player, having scored between 29.0 and 39.25 fantasy points in his three games in a Rockets uniform while seeing between 25 and 28 minutes per contest. He’s knocked down an impressive 14 three-pointers over that span as well, and although any shot-reliant player like Williams can always have an off night, it’s difficult to bypass him at his current price and level of play. The Clippers are tough on two-guards overall, but Williams should see a fair share of second-unit mainstays like Austin Rivers and Jamal Crawford when out on the floor, which should offer a path of lesser resistance.
Patty Mills, SA vs. IND ($3,600): As with the mid-tier level, there are some appealing plays on the lower end of the price scale, beginning with Yogi Ferrell ($5,000) and going down to Ish Smith ($4,500), Buddy Hield ($4,300), Ty Lawson ($4,200), Jaylen Brown ($4,000), Gerald Henderson ($3,900) and Ben McLemore ($3,900). However, Mills checks in cheaper than all of them and with comparable upside when he gets hot. He’s scored 26 and 29 fantasy points, respectively, in two of his last three contests, and has drained multiple threes in four of his last five games. He’ll also draw a Pacers defense that’s surrendered the fifth-most fantasy points (58.5) to point guards over the last 10 games.
LeBron James, CLE at BOS ($10,900): Sometimes the most expensive and obvious play is the right one, and such is the case in the top tier at forward Wednesday. James should be back at full healthy Wednesday after a recent battle with strep throat and ready to roll against a team he’s historically done very well against. James tallied 46.5 fantasy points against the Bucks on Monday despite being under the weather, and he’s already averaging 57.9 fantasy points over two previous games versus Boston this season. LeBron is also sporting a 30.7 percent usage rate and averaging an excellent 1.43 fantasy points per minute when Kevin Love is off the floor this season, boosting his already formidable case.
Harrison Barnes, DAL at ATL ($6,000): Wilson Chandler ($6,700), Danilo Gallinari ($6,200), Tyreke Evans ($5,700) and Jae Crowder ($5,300) are also worthy of consideration at this level, while Rondae Hollis-Jefferson ($5,00) could make for a sneaky tournament play given recent performances. However, Barnes has been about as steady as they come, making him viable for cash games or GPPs. He’s scored over 30 fantasy points in three straight and four of his last five overall, and already touched up this same Hawks squad for 31 fantasy points in his one previous game against them this season. Atlanta also surrenders the fourth-most fantasy points (45.0), fourth-most points (21.5), sixth-most rebounds (8.1), second-most steals (1.9) and second-most three-pointers (2.6) to small forwards, along with a healthy 46.1 percent success rate from the floor. Barnes is also sporting a 26.3 percent usage rate over the three games since Deron Williams’ release, solidifying his case as a solid value.
Lance Thomas, NY at ORL ($3,600): Bojan Bogdanovic ($3,900) has played well so far in Washington and always carries tempting upside, but Thomas is $300 cheaper and playing heavy minutes in the wake of Kristaps Porzingis’ ankle injury. He’s scored between 20 and 22.75 fantasy points in his three starts in Porzingis’ stead, excellent returns on his current price. Meanwhile, the Magic have been less formidable down low since Serge Ibaka’s departure, having given up the seventh-most fantasy points (50.1) to power forwards in the last five contests. They also could be down to Jeff Green as their starter at the four Wednesday with Aaron Gordon questionable with a right quad contusion.
Anthony Davis, NO vs. DET ($10,400): Nikola Jokic ($8,800) is at his lowest price point since Feb. 8, so for those needing to save some cash, he is the clear-cut top option Wednesday. However, Davis is an outstanding option in his own right with DeMarcus Cousins suspended for Wednesday’s contest due to his technical foul in the Pelicans’ last game. Davis has been on fire even with Cousins in the lineup, having scored between 48.25 and 63.5 fantasy points in the three contests Boogie has been by his side. Davis’ usage should naturally see a slight uptick back to pre-trade deadline levels without him, which was a healthy 27.8 percent.
DeAndre Jordan, LAC vs. HOU ($7,000): The Rockets have surrendered the most fantasy points (61.5) to centers over the last five games, as they simply don’t have the physicality down low to handle the majority of big men. They’ve also yielded the most assists (3.5) and blocks (2.7) to the position on the season, and are in the bottom 10 in rebounds (15.5), steals (1.5) and field-goal percentage (56.0). Jordan just exploded for 55.25 fantasy points on the strength of a 20-point, 19-rebound double-double and already scored 40.8 fantasy points against this same squad in his one previous game against them this season.
Kosta Koufos, SAC vs. BKN ($3,900): Koufos posted 30.25 fantasy points Monday night against the Timberwolves, and a matchup against the worst team in the league in the Nets could well set the stage for more of the same. With DeMarcus Cousins no longer around to vulture rebound and overall usage in the frontcourt, Koufos carries some solid upside for a sub-$4K player. The Nets are the NBA’s most generous defense overall and also yield the fourth-most fantasy points (49.7) on the season and second-most (59.5) over the last five games to centers. Koufos is also averaging nearly a fantasy point per minute (0.98) since Cousins’ departure, a clip that would put him in a position to return strong value Wednesday.
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