We’re at the point of the sports season where there is no football until February 13th as the Super Bowl will take place between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Los Angeles Rams. As sports fans what are we supposed to do besides unhealthily looking up how long the National Anthem could take to sing and whether the coin toss will be heads or tails in the Super Bowl? With only the Pro Bowl happening this upcoming weekend, this week is a perfect time to partake in some NBA DFS.
Injuries and issues with COVID-19 are still happening across the NBA, so it’s crucial to keep tabs on news throughout the day. While things could be subject to change in the snap of a finger, here are my favorite pay-up and value options at each position for Wednesday’s NBA main slate on DraftKings.
Pay-up option: Russell Westbrook ($9,400)
LeBron James is considered doubtful to play for the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday, meaning that he could miss his fourth consecutive game. While the Lakers have lost their previous three games without James, Russell Westbrook has handled a larger workload in his absence. With James sidelined, Westbrook is one of the only capable facilitators on the Lakers, and we all know he’s always capable of producing a triple-double. The veteran point guard has hit 5x value in each of his past two games and he’s made multiple threes in three straight. Westbrook also gets to face a Portland Trail Blazers squad on Wednesday night that owns the second-worst defensive efficiency in the league,
Value option: Davion Mitchell ($4,900)
Davion Mitchell is one of my favorite value options at either guard spot, but his appearance on this list is dependent on De’Aaron Fox’s status for the Sacramento Kings. If Fox is forced to miss his sixth straight game, then Mitchell would be a fantastic value option at point guard. The rookie guard has started in three consecutive games for the Kings, posting 29+ DraftKings points in all three. Mitchell gets an opportunity to go up against the Brooklyn Nets, who are on a back-to-back and have allowed the second-most DraftKings points per game (52.21) to the point guard position in their last 30 games. If you need to save even more salary, Austin Reaves has played 23+ minutes in four straight games for the Lakers and is only $3,500.
Pay-up option: Kyrie Irving ($10,100)
Speaking of the Nets being on a back-to-back, after facing the Phoenix Suns on Tuesday night, they’ll square off with the Kings on Wednesday night. James Harden was able to play on Tuesday night despite dealing with a hand injury and Kyrie Irving was active since it was an away game outside of New York. It wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if Harden is rested on Wednesday as he’s dealt with multiple injuries recently. Regardless of whether or not Harden plays, Kyrie Irving is a viable option at shooting guard. Seeing that Kevin Durant remains sidelined for Brooklyn, Irving and Harden are relied on even more on both sides of the court, making them both even more valuable in DFS. It also helps that Irving gets a massive pace-up game versus the Kings.
Value option: Reggie Bullock ($3,900)
The Dallas Mavericks were hot in January, recording a 12-4 record. One of the main reasons for their success in recent weeks is due to the increased minutes that Reggie Bullock has seen. Bullock is a capable three-and-D wing player that has excelled alongside Luka Doncic. The veteran wing has received 20+ minutes in six straight games and he’s scored 24+ DraftKings points in each of his last three appearances. Bullock should continue to see more playing time with Tim Hardaway Jr. out and the Oklahoma City Thunder surrender the seventh-most threes per game (3.52) to the shooting guard position this season. If you have the available salary, you can go up to Malik Monk at $5,300 as long as James misses another game for the Lakers.
Pay-up option: Jaylen Brown ($8,700)
The small forward position could be an ugly one to select from with James and Durant expected to both be sidelined for their respective teams. While some people may force Jayston Tatum into their lineups, I’d rather go with his running mate in Jaylen Brown. Brown comes in at $1,900 cheaper than Tatum and he has a similar floor. In his last five games, Brown has recorded three double-doubles and he’s notched 41+ DraftKings points in four straight contests. On top of his recent success, Brown and the Boston Celtics face the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday, who play at the fastest pace in the NBA.
Value option: Cedi Osman ($4,600)
The Cleveland Cavaliers have already ruled out Darius Garland for Wednesday’s matchup with the Houston Rockets. While some people assumed that Rajon Rondo could replace Garland in the starting lineup in Cleveland’s last contest, the Cavaliers elected to use Cedi Osman in a facilitator role. Osman would proceed to finish with 27 DraftKings points as he finished with seven points and 12 assists. After having success against the New Orleans Pelicans in his last outing, Osman should easily return 5x value against the Rockets if he’s in the starting lineup again. Houston plays at the fourth-fastest pace in the NBA and they boast the worst defense in defensive efficiency, so there should be plenty of opportunities for Osman to produce on Wednesday night.
Pay-up option: Kevin Love ($7,000)
Even with Garland ruled out, the Cavaliers have a few players that are enticing options on Wednesday night. Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley could draw more interest in a favorable matchup against a dismal defense in the Rockets. While I’m fine with Allen and Mobley, I’ll save some salary and go with Kevin Love. Love has been remarkable for the Cavaliers this season in a sixth-man role and he’s been getting more minutes in the absence of Lauri Markkanen. The experienced power forward has been extremely efficient this season and he’s posted 40+ DraftKings points in three of his last four games. Love should benefit from playing in a faster-paced game as he can grab more rebounds and hoist more threes versus the Rockets. Jaren Jackson Jr. and Wendell Carter Jr. are other power forward options I like in the same range as Love.
Value option: Isaiah Jackson ($5,400)
I tend to list a player under $5,000 in salary in the value section, but it’s hard to ignore the value that Isaiah Jackson brings. With Domantas Sabonis, Myles Turner, and Goga Bitadze out for the Indiana Pacers, that leaves Jackson with plenty of minutes in the frontcourt. In his last game, Jackson supplied 46.5 DraftKings points while playing only 29 minutes. Jackson has eclipsed 27+ DraftKings points in three straight outings and he has a favorable matchup with the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night. The Magic have given up the most DraftKings points per game (50.23) to the power forward position and the 10th most DraftKings points per game (55.85) to the center position this season. No matter how you chalk it up, it’s hard to ignore Jackson on Wednesday night.
Pay-up option: Joel Embiid ($12,000)
The Philadelphia 76ers elected to rest Joel Embiid on Monday night versus the Memphis Grizzlies and the 76ers still found a way to come away with an overtime win. Embiid is expected to return on Wednesday and it comes against a shorthanded Washington Wizards team that is without Bradley Beal. We all know how special Embiid has been this season, so I’ll highlight how bad the Wizards have been against centers this season. Up to this point, Washington has allowed the fourth-most DraftKings points per game (57.40) to centers this season and in just their last 30 games, they’ve surrendered the second-most DraftKings points per game (60.34) to the position. You can go also go with Nikola Jokic against a Rudy Gobert-less Utah Jazz team, though, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s rested on Wednesday.
Value option: Nicholas Claxton ($4,600)
The Nets are going to be without LaMarcus Aldridge for multiple games, which means that Nicholas Claxton should see more playing time. Claxton has averaged 24 DraftKings points per game when Aldridge is sidelined and he draws a nice matchup on Wednesday versus the Kings. Sacramento permits the second-most DraftKings points per game (59.10) to the center position and they play at the second-fastest pace in the NBA, which tends to lead to more rebounds for both teams. As long as Claxton can stay out of foul trouble, he should have a decent chance to be a fantastic value option on Wednesday. You could also go with Nerlens Noel or Terry Taylor if you need to save even more salary at the center spot.