There were only two NBA games on Tuesday, giving us nearly nothing to watch in the sports department following Wild Card weekend in the NFL. But to make up for it, the NBA scheduled 13 games on Wednesday, making it a massive slate to break down in DFS. Given the number of games, there will be plenty of tough decisions we’ll need to make, especially with plenty of expensive players to choose from.
The Minnesota Timberwolves and the Detroit Pistons will both be on the second leg of a back-to-back on Tuesday night, so keep that in mind. Kevin Durant is sidelined for the Brooklyn Nets, making multiple players from the Nets popular choices, even on a 13-game slate. While things could change throughout the day, here are my favorite pay-up and value options at each position for DraftKings’ main slate on Wednesday night.
*Note: News is constantly changing throughout the day in the NBA and COVID-19 is still a concern this season. It is extremely important to pay close attention to the news in the NBA as things could change minutes before tip-off occurs.
Pay-up option: Trae Young ($9,800)
With Durant out for the Nets, I expect James Harden to be one of the highest-owned players on the slate. And while I like Harden, with it being such a massive slate, I’ll elect to save some salary by using Trae Young. The Atlanta Hawks are attempting to turn their season around and they just overcame a double-digit deficit to defeat the reigning champs in the Milwaukee Bucks in an impressive win. Young posted 54.5 DraftKings points himself against the Bucks and the dynamic point guard is going to need to be special for the Hawks to right the ship. Following Monday’s win, Young will face a Timberwolves team that is on a back-to-back and a team that he scored 59.3 DraftKings points against earlier this season. If you need to save some salary from Harden, you can get Young for $1,800 cheaper for a similar usage percentage. Dejounte Murray at $9,500 is another point guard I love at his salary and he could be under-owned compared to the other high-priced options.
Value option: De’Anthony Melton ($3,700)
The Memphis Grizzlies announced on Tuesday night that Desmond Bane and Kyle Anderson were placed in the league’s health and safety protocols. Amid Bane’s absence, there will likely be more minutes for De’Anthony Melton on Wednesday night. Melton is a talented two-way guard that can contribute in a variety of areas on a stat sheet, making him a valuable DFS option. Besides being only $3,700 on the green site, Melton plays a Bucks squad that surrenders the fourth-most points per game (45) to shooting guards in their past 15 games. Other guys are going to have to step up alongside Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. and I’m expecting Melton to be one of them.
Pay-up option: Kyrie Irving ($9,300)
Along with Harden, Kyrie Irving should be a popular option on DraftKings with Durant out for the Nets. I would not blame anyone that elects to use both in their lineup, but I’ll go with Irving at a cheaper salary and he could be used in fewer lineups than his running mate in Harden. In Monday’s showdown with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Harden supplied 50.25 DraftKings points while Irving accrued 51.75 points. Even though Brooklyn’s offense is best when Harden is the primary facilitator, Irving is at his best with the ball in his hands. If Harden ends up scoring 55 points and Irving scores 50, then we can gain an edge over part of the field. I would recommend getting exposure to either Harden or Irving — or both — as it is extremely likely that at least one of them goes off on Wednesday night versus the Washington Wizards.
Value option: John Konchar ($3,600)
I mentioned above that the Grizzlies are going to be without Bane and Anderson on Wednesday due to both of them being in the league’s health and safety protocols. Melton should see more playing time at both guard spots and John Konchar could also see an increased role for Memphis. Konchar is also under $4,000 on DraftKings, making him a great option to help fit some of the more expensive players into your lineup. Whenever Bane, Anderson, and Dillon Brooks are absent from Memphis’ lineup, Konchar averages a solid 1.04 points per minute on DraftKings. I expect Konchar to get 20-25 minutes on Wednesday night, which is more than enough time to pay off his $3,600 salary.
Pay-up option: LeBron James ($11,300)
Until Anthony Davis returns for the Los Angeles Lakers, LeBron James has to shoulder a massive workload for the Lakers. James has been simply spectacular in his age-37 season, producing 54 points per game on DraftKings. The Lakers have deployed smaller lineups to try and find a spark, with James playing the center position in certain moments. Seeing that the Indiana Pacers are without Myles Turner, James could record more rebounds and more baskets in the paint on Wednesday. James scored 61.8 points against the Pacers earlier this season and has posted 55+ points on DraftKings in five of his last 10 games, including three games where he eclipsed 70 points.
Value option: Kessler Edwards ($4,300)
Harden and Irving are going to be the most popular players on the Nets on Wednesday night — and deservedly so. But Harden and Irving, as talented as they are, aren’t going to score 100+ points themselves. When a player like Durant is out, that presents plenty of opportunities for other players and I believe Kessler Edwards should see more usage in Durant’s absence. Edwards, a rookie out of Pepperdine, has shown flashes of being a versatile wing for the Nets moving forward. The first-year forward has averaged 8.3 points per game and has shot 42.9 percent from beyond the arc. While Harden and Irving will be the top performers for Brooklyn in their matchup with Washington, Edwards is one of my favorite value options on the Nets.
Pay-up option: Kristaps Porzingis ($7,800)
Some people are going to flock to Domantas Sabonis with Turner out for the Pacers or to Jayson Tatum versus the Charlotte Hornets in a pace-up game for the Boston Celtics. Despite both of those guys being strong options, I like Kristaps Porzingis at his current salary a bit more. Porzingis has been limited to 28 minutes in the past two games since he returned from the league’s health and safety protocols. He still managed to score 32+ DraftKings points in both games and I expect Dallas to give him closer to his usual allotment of minutes on Wednesday. Porzingis also gets to play against a smaller Toronto Raptors lineup that allows 46.63 points per game to power forwards this season (ninth-most in the NBA).
Value option: De’Andre Hunter ($4,200)
DraftKings still hasn’t caught on to the fact that De’Andre Hunter is seeing an increased role for the Hawks with Cam Reddish being traded to the New York Knicks. Hunter has been priced at $3,400 or lower in his first four games back from a lengthy absence and he’s returned 5x value in each of them. Hunter has garnered 30+ minutes in three straight contests and has two games in that span where he’s scored 30+ points on DraftKings. Given his role for Atlanta, Hunter should probably be priced around $5,000, so until he gets his salary increased, I’ll continue to insert Hunter into my lineups with no hesitation. It also helps that Hunter faces a Timberwolves team that gives up the fifth-most points per game (43.56) to small forwards on DraftKings.
Pay-up option: Nikola Jokic ($12,400)
Any night that Nikola Jokic is an option in NBA DFS, it’s always wise to consider using him as he possesses the highest ceiling of nearly any player in the league. It’s crazy when a player is priced at $12,400 and it is a justifiable action to pay up for him. Jokic has recorded a whopping 58.9 points per game on DraftKings and gets to go up against a Los Angeles Clippers team that he’s dominated twice this season. In his first two meetings with the Clippers this season, Jokic has averaged 62.1 points per game on DraftKings, including a 72.65 point performance in the first meeting. The do-it-all big man has scored 70+ points twice in his last 10 games and has a favorable matchup to potentially do it again on Wednesday night.
Value option: Goga Bitadze ($3,600)
As previously mentioned, Turner is out for the Pacers, opening up more minutes in the frontcourt for Indiana. The Pacers could elect to use Sabonis as their starting center until Turner returns, but Goga Bitadze should see more minutes moving forward. Bitadze made the most of his minutes on Monday versus the Clippers, scoring 34 DraftKings points in 25 minutes. Following his productive outing against the Clippers, I expect Bitadze to get 20-25 minutes versus the Lakers, a team that has given up the fourth-most points per game (59.47) to centers in their past 15 games. We don’t need Bitadze to do much to return 5x value at his salary of $3,600. You could also go with Richaun Holmes ($4,400) or Thomas Bryant ($3,700) as value options at the center position.