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NBA DFS: Best plays for Wednesday, February 16th

Nikola Vucevic should continue to see an increased workload with Zach LaVine still out for the Bulls.

San Antonio Spurs v Chicago Bulls Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

We’ve reached the point of the NBA season where the All-Star festivities are set to take place this weekend. It’s a shortened week across the league as there are games only until Thursday and the schedule won’t resume until next Thursday. Weird things tend to happen in the week leading up to the All-Star game as players are itching to get some time off from the regular season.

With that in mind, I tend to play light in NBA DFS this week. Even though I’ll be playing lighter, that doesn’t mean I won’t be playing lineups and providing you guys with my favorite plays for the upcoming slate. While some players’ statuses could change throughout the day, here are my favorite pay-up and value options at each position on DraftKings’ main slate on Wednesday.

Point Guard

Pay-up option: Dejounte Murray ($11,000)

Simply put, Dejounte Murray has been one of the best players in any form of fantasy basketball this season. Murray is enjoying a career year with the San Antonio Spurs thus far as he earned his first All-Star selection. The versatile point guard has produced 55+ DraftKings points in four of his last seven games, so the $11,000 salary is certainly warranted. Murray has 16+ points in 20 straight games, 6+ rebounds in 15 of his last 16 games, and 9+ assists in 12 consecutive games, so the floor is extremely high. There’s always a chance for Murray to record a triple-double and those chances are heightened in a favorable matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night.

Value option: Ish Smith ($4,100)

With Bradley Beal out for the season and Spencer Dinwiddie being traded at the trade deadline, there is a ton of usage to go around in the backcourt of the Washington Wizards. Raul Neto has been drawing the starts at point guard for the Wizards recently, but Ish Smith has been productive in his first two games back for Washington. Smith has played 20 minutes in each of his first two games with the Wizards and has reached 21+ DraftKings points in each game. The Wizards will face a shorthanded Indiana Pacers team on Wednesday, so there should be minutes available for Smith.

Shooting Guard

Pay-up option: Devin Booker ($8,700)

Can Devin Booker get some more love? Usually, the best player on the best team garners a ton of attention from the media, but it seems as if Booker’s season is going overlooked. The Phoenix Suns are flying through the regular season with ease and despite the Suns being on a back-to-back on Wednesday, Booker is a remarkable option versus the Houston Rockets. The Suns and the Rockets play at the sixth and fifth-fastest pace respectively, so it could be a high-scoring affair. Booker could easily record 30+ points in this game if Houston can keep it somewhat close. Donovan Mitchell is also a fantastic pay-up option against the disappointing Los Angeles Lakers.

Value option: Quentin Grimes ($4,100)

The New York Knicks are a complete mess right now, but Quentin Grimes has been a bright spot since being added to the starting lineup recently. Grimes has spent the last two games in the starting lineup, contributing 35+ DraftKings points in each of those games. With RJ Barrett sidelined with an injury, Grimes is being asked to be one of the team’s go-to scorers alongside Julius Randle. Grimes gets an opportunity to face a Brooklyn Nets team on Wednesday night that is also in shambles right now. Over their past 15 games, the Nets have surrendered the third-most DraftKings points per game (45.80) to shooting guards.

Small Forward

Pay-up option: LeBron James ($10,500)

The Los Angeles Lakers have had a decent layoff as they haven’t played since Saturday when they lost to the Golden State Warriors. There’s no doubt that the Lakers have been one of the most disappointing teams in the NBA this season. That being said, LeBron James has put together a remarkable season thus far and I expect him to continue his dominant efforts on Wednesday versus the Utah Jazz. James is questionable with a knee injury, but I’d be shocked if he isn’t active due to the Lakers needing every win they can get right now. If James is surprisingly ruled out, you can go down to Kyle Kuzma against the Indiana Pacers.

Value option: Bruce Brown ($4,000)

In the battle of New York teams on Wednesday night, the Nets are going to be extremely shorthanded again. Kevin Durant remains sidelined with an injury, Kyrie Irving is unable to play due to New York’s vaccine mandate restrictions, and James Harden was recently traded to the Philadelphia 76ers. While Seth Curry, Patty Mills, and Cameron Thomas are the team’s go-to scorers right now, there is still plenty of usage to go around. Bruce Brown benefited from increased playing time in Brooklyn’s last game as he supplied 52 DraftKings points in 38 minutes. Even though we shouldn’t expect Brown to eclipse 50+ DraftKings points or 35+ minutes every game, he’s only $4,000 on the green site.

Power Forward

Pay-up option: Domantas Sabonis ($8,900)

Domantas Sabonis was lights out in his first two outings for the Sacramento Kings, scoring 40+ DraftKings points while recording a double-double in each contest. In his third game, though, Sabonis only produced 25.75 DraftKings points versus the Nets. While some people may stay away from Sabonis following his lackadaisical performance, he has a perfect chance to bounce back on Wednesday. Sabonis plays a Chicago Bulls team that has struggled against versatile centers all season. Throughout the three games that Sabonis faced the Bulls as a member of the Pacers this season, he notched an average of 48.8 DraftKings points. If you can afford him, DeMar DeRozan is also worth rostering in a pace-up game versus the Kings.

Value option: Jalen Smith ($3,900)

Jalen Smith was unable to carve out a role with the Suns as a former first-round pick, but he may find a place to call home with the Pacers. Ever since being traded to Indiana, Smith has easily returned 5x value on DraftKings at under $4,000 salary. Even with his surge in playing time with his new team, DraftKings refuses to raise his salary, so we should continue inserting him into our lineups with no hesitation. Smith gets a nice matchup against a new-look Wizards team on Wednesday. Given Smith’s role with the Pacers, he should get minutes regardless of whether there’s a blowout or not.

Center

Pay-up option: Nikola Vucevic ($9,900)

Zach LaVine has been ruled out for the Bulls on Wednesday, putting more pressure on DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic on the offensive end. DeRozan and Vucevic have responded well amid LaVine’s recent absence as both of them have become phenomenal options in DFS. Vucevic has achieved 54+ DraftKings points in three of his last four games and gets to face the weak frontcourt of the Kings on Wednesday. A double-double is almost guaranteed for Vucevic right now and there’s legitimate 50+ point upside in a pace-up game against Sacramento. Rudy Gobert is also worthy of consideration at only $8,500.

Value option: JaVale McGee ($4,400)

The Suns will be playing the second leg of a back-to-back on Wednesday as they faced the Los Angeles Clippers on Tuesday and the Rockets on Wednesday. Most people are likely going to expect a blowout from Phoenix as they take on a rebuilding Houston team. One player that should get minutes regardless of the status of the game is JaVale McGee. McGee has been productive as of late, posting 22+ DraftKings points in five consecutive games. The Rockets allow the most DraftKings points per game (60.21) to centers this season, so Deandre Ayton and McGee could be in for notable performances on Wednesday.