We have a huge 12-game slate in the NBA Wednesday night, and that means that we will have to deal with a lot of injury news before the slate finally locks at 7 pm EST. Be ready to change your lineups at any point in time before lock, and keep up with the news as the day rolls along.
The Debut Of Zion
The New Orleans Pelicans are expected to unleash Zion Williamson upon the NBA Wednesday night, and to my surprise, he is actually reasonably priced for his minutes limit depending on what we hear. I do expect to hear about his minutes limit before the slate locks and anything above 20 minutes would make me interested.
In the preseason, Williamson was incredibly efficient, but I cannot expect him to continue that. He was also incredibly efficient in college, and there is definitely the potential for him to just sustain incredible field-goal percentages throughout his career.
Williamson averaged over 1.3 FPPM in the preseason, and that would be a projection around 27 in 20 minutes. I don’t love that because of the limited upside, but the lack of rim protection on San Antonio and the price does make him in play.
Injuries Piling Up In Denver
The Nuggets are missing four key players for their game against the Rockets Wednesday night, and that means that the production should be very concentrated. Mason Plumlee is the last player to fall for the Nuggets, and I think this raises the floor and ceiling of Jerami Grant, Nikola Jokic, and Michael Porter Jr.
In the Nuggets’ last game, Plumlee only played 10 minutes, and there was a point in the second quarter where they ran out no Jokic and Plumlee with Grant and Porter playing the 4 and 5 together. I think that we will see a situation where two of these players are almost always on the court in this game, and that means that we should see increased or equal minutes for all of these guys.
Porter is too expensive to play comfortably on DraftKings, but his price on FanDuel is still too cheap. Jokic is my favorite play here on DraftKings, where he has huge minutes and usage upside with Jamal Murray and Plumlee out.
Spend Up Options
On a slate this big, we are bound to see some crazy scores on the main slate, and I think that you need to build every single lineup with players that have a clear path to elite upside. This means that I really want to avoid these $4,000 players that just play 35 minutes and get 24 fantasy points if they don’t ever flash upside.
Right now, there is not a ton of clear value on the slate for such a big slate, and I do expect this to change to some degree, but I really want to focus on players that can smash their price at a relatively high rate in their matchup.
James Harden has been in a slump, but I expect him to be under-owned, and he is still putting up 50 points while missing 16 of 17 threes. If he made just 6 of 17, which is about his career average, he’d be dropping almost 70 on DraftKings.
My favorite guard on the slate for the price right now is D’Angelo Russell. Russell has played a crazy number of minutes recently, and he is taking a ton of shots. Last game, Russell posted 50 fantasy points in 40 minutes while missing 18 shots and getting no steals or blocks. The usage and opportunity for Russell are just undeniable.