FanDuel NBA: Wednesday Value Plays
FanDuel NBA: Wednesday Value Plays

This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.

We have a seven-game slate on tap Wednesday, one that could see the long-awaited Clippers debut of Paul George. We have a solid selection of games with high projected totals as well, with no less than five exceeding the 220-point threshold. As usual, we'll break down the positional outlook below, along with the games with the highest projected totals, possible chalk plays and some likely under-owned bargains that could help you round out your lineups with a couple of superstars.

Before delving into the slate, a reminder that FanDuel has reverted to its previous format of NOT dropping the lowest scoring in lineups after a one-year experiment with that feature. Therefore, it will be important to be prudent with each selection, as each player's total will count toward your final score.

Without further ado, let's take a more comprehensive look at Wednesday's slate!

Slate Overview

Here's a closer look at the games with the three most elevated projected totals on Wednesday's slate:

Los Angeles Clippers at Houston Rockets (Projected total: 233.5 points)

The number here is already unsurprisingly high, and it could bump up further if George is confirmed as playing even limited minutes. The Rockets have mostly been a defensive sieve in the early going, but they're also scoring an NBA-high 120.3 points per game. The Clippers score 119.7 per road game themselves, and superstars Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Kawhi Leonard are all healthy and ready to roll for this contest.

Washington Wizards at Boston Celtics (Projected total: 228.0 points)

The Wizards already gave up 159 points in a game this season to the Rockets and allow 117.5 per game overall. The Celtics are in the top 10 with 113.4 points scored per contest, a figure the Wizards match. Washington also brings a bump in pace for Boston, and even without Gordon Hayward (hand) in the fold at the moment, the Celts have plenty of firepower in the form of Kemba Walker, the red-hot Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, among others.

San Antonio Spurs at Minnesota Timberwolves (Projected total: 227.5 points)

Neither team has put up much defensive resistance in the early part of the season, with the Spurs surrendering 112.7 points per contest and the Timberwolves allowing 116.4 per game. No team currently plays at a faster pace than Minnesota, either, with their 113.1 possessions per game checking in tops in the league. The T-Wolves play even faster at home (114.4 per contest), which represents a significant bump for a Spurs squad that's been averaging just 103.4 possessions per road contest. Pieces from both teams will be highly appealing, with the red-hot Andrew Wiggins, Karl-Anthony Towns, DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge all standing out.

Positional Breakdown

Any time we have seven games on the slate, chances are we're in pretty good shape across the board in terms of supply. That mostly holds true Wednesday, even with some notable injuries in play.

Point guard remains well stocked top to bottom, as there are even some sub-$5K value value plays and the likes of Russell Westbrook and Damian Lillard up top. Shooting guard is even deeper, helmed by James Harden and D'Angelo Russell at the elite level, followed by outstanding mid-tier options such as Andrew Wiggins, DeMar DeRozan, Bradley Beal and C.J. McCollum, and bargain selections Evan Fournier, Dillon Brooks, Avery Bradley and Bryn Forbes also worthy of consideration.

The forward spots are in very good shape as well even if both Anthony Davis (ribs) and Paul George (shoulder) miss, as we still have LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Pascal Siakam, Jayson Tatum and LaMarcus Aldridge among our choices, not to mention plenty of mid-tier and value options. And finally, center shapes up as a position where one could go in any direction. There are certainly chances to pay up – Karl-Anthony Towns, Joel Embiid, Nikola Vucevic and Clint Capela come to mind – and ways to save a little while still capturing plenty of upside (Hassan Whiteside, Montrezl Harrell, Thomas Bryant, Jonas Valanciunas).

Notable Injury Situations to Monitor

Returning from load management day: Al Horford, PHI

Anthony Davis, LAL

Davis is considered doubtful for Wednesday's game against the Warrior with a rib injury. Kyle Kuzma will likely be in for the start at power forward in his stead.

Paul George, LAC

As of Wednesday morning, George is considered questionable for Wednesday's game against the Rockets. The All-Star has already stated he expects to make his season/team debut this week, although Thursday's game against the Pelicans had been thought to be the more likely date for his return. More information should be available after the Clippers' morning shootaround.

Landry Shamet, LAC

Shamet will not play in Wednesday's game versus the Rockets due to an ankle injury. Lou Williams and Rodney McGruder could both see extra opportunities.

Danuel House, HOU

House is doubtful for Wednesday's game against the Clippers with the bruised back he suffered versus the Pelicans on Monday. With fellow wing Eric Gordon (knee) also ruled out, Ben McLemore could draw the start at small forward Wednesday.

Eric Gordon, HOU

Gordon is expected to miss multiple weeks with the knee injury he suffered Monday against the Pelicans.

Daniel Theis, BOS

Theis is considered doubtful for Wednesday's game versus the Wizards due to a finger sprain. Robert Williams and Enes Kanter should be the primary beneficiaries of his absence.

Jeff Teague, MIN

Teague projects as a game-time call for Wednesday's game against the Spurs due to the illness that's already cost him four games. With backup Shabazz Napier (hamstring) considered doubtful as well, Jarrett Culver could see another start at point guard.

Serge Ibaka, TOR

Ibaka will remain out for Wednesday's game versus the Trail Blazers. Chris Boucher and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson should both continue to benefit from Ibaka's absence.

OG Anunoby, TOR

Anunoby will miss Wednesday's contest against the Trail Blazers with an eye injury. Norman Powell is expected to draw the start at small forward in his place.

Rajon Rondo, LAL

Rondo will sit out the second game of the Lakers' back-to-back set against the Warriors on Wednesday after having just returned from a calf injury. The veteran point guard's absence should move LeBron James back to point guard and also open up some extra minutes for Quinn Cook and/or Alex Caruso.

Rodney Hood, POR

Hood is considered a game-time decision for Wednesday's game against the Raptors with a back injury after missing Tuesday's contest. Kent Bazemore would be in line for another start at small forward should Hood miss.

Omari Spellman, GSW

Spellman is doubtful for Wednesday's game versus the Lakers with an ankle injury. Marquese Chriss could continue to be the beneficiary of some extra minutes in Spellman's stead.

Notable Long-Term Injuries/Absences: Kyle Lowry, TOR; Gordon Hayward, BOS; John Wall, WAS; Klay Thompson, GSW; Stephen Curry, GSW; Kevon Looney, GSW; Damion Lee, GSW; Andre Iguodala, MEM; Gerald Green, HOU; Nicolas Batum, CHA; Jusuf Nurkic, POR; Zach Collins, POR

Elite Players

We have a total of seven players with five-figure salaries Wednesday, while Russell Westbrook just misses the cut at $9,900. As we alluded to earlier, there's plenty on the shelf at each position, so none of those elite options are must-haves based on scarcity at any one spot.

However, a couple do stand out due to circumstances surrounding their particular game. LeBron James ($11,800) becomes even more appealing than usual when considering he'll likely shift back to point guard with Rajon Rondo sitting out for rest, and he'll also be set for even more massive usage with Anthony Davis (ribs) likely to sit. Then, Kawhi Leonard ($10,300) is already enticing given his matchup against the Rockets, and even more so if Paul George continues to sit. Finally, Karl-Anthony Towns ($10,900) continues to be in an extremely favorable position each night in the Timberwolves' very fast-paced attack and his game carries the third-highest total of the night.

Expected Chalk

We should see chalk kept pretty much under control with plenty of stars on the slate, although you can naturally expected the marquee Rockets-Clippers matchup to lead to high ownership for Harden, Westbrook and Leonard, as well as for Clint Capela to an extent. With Landry Shamet also missing that contest, Lou Williams could be even more popular than usual.

Elsewhere, injuries are expected to open up some value, so I've compiled a list of those players below the next section that are likely to be frequently turned to when savings are needed Wednesday. As far as other elite players, expect LeBron James to also see his ownership go even higher than usual if Anthony Davis is ruled out, as expected.

Key and Likely Underowned Values

Derrick White, SA at MIN ($5,300):

As alluded to earlier, the Spurs-Timberwolves tilt should feature an accelerated pace for San Antonio and plenty of scoring. There will naturally be a solid share of ownership centered on White's teammates DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge, and even his fellow second-unit mate Rudy Gay. White may slide a bit under the radar as a result, but it's worth noting he's scored 24.3 and 28.1 FanDuel points over the last two games, respectively. The T-Wolves are likely to be short-handed again at point guard, and they're already yielding the third-highest shooting percentage (47.0) to the position.

Markelle Fultz, ORL vs. PHI ($4,500):

Fultz isn't likely to be very popular, despite his starting role. He's been serviceable but unspectacular while averaging minutes in the mid-20s over his five-game stint with the first unit thus far. However, Fultz's price is more than reasonable considering he's scored more than 22 FanDuel points in three of his last four. He could certainly have some extra motivation Wednesday as well, considering he'll face the team that drafted him first overall and eventually cut ties with him less than two years later.

Kent Bazemore, POR vs. TOR ($4,400):

Bazemore may not be underowned in the purest sense of the word if Rodney Hood is declared out before lock. However, the slate is large enough that he won't be exceedingly popular, and he represents a bargain at his price after scoring 32.6 and 25.5 FanDuel points, respectively, over the last two contests as a part of the first unit. The veteran wing is capable of contributing across the stat sheet, and he'll face a Raptors squad that will already be short-handed at small forward with OG Anunoby (eye) sitting out Wednesday's game. What's more, the Raptors are already allowing the fourth-most FanDuel points per game (56.4) to threes, along with bottom-10 figures in points (26.4) and rebounds (11.5) per contest as well.

Al-Farouq Aminu, ORL vs. PHI ($3,500):

Aminu is our large-field tournament play suggestion of this section, as his production is a bit inconsistent. Of course, his minimum price more than accounts for that, and considering he's already flashed a ceiling north of 30 FanDuel points on one occasion this season, he's worth a roll of the dice if you're punting at power forward. Aminu also has three other tallies of more than 20 FanDuel points, and although his minutes have taken a dip into the teens the last three games, his floor-spacing and rebounding ability always give him a chance to offer an efficient return in modest time.

Other likely much higher-owned value plays to consider: Rui Hachimura ($5,900); Robert Covington ($5,700); Aaron Gordon ($5,700); Evan Fournier ($5,500); Isaiah Thomas ($5,500); Brandon Clarke ($5,400); Dillon Brooks ($5,100); Kyle Kuzma ($5,000); Norman Powell ($4,800); Dwight Howard ($4,700); Enes Kanter ($4,300); JaVale McGee ($4,200); Rondae Hollis-Jefferson ($4,200)  

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Juan Carlos Blanco plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: jcblanco22, FanDuel: jc_blanco22, DraftPot: jc_blanco22, FantasyDraft: jc_blanco22, OwnThePlay: jcblanco22.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Juan Carlos Blanco
Winner of the FSWA 2016 Newcomer of the Year Award, Juan Carlos Blanco has been playing fantasy sports for over 20 years and covers NBA, MLB, NFL, CFL and Arena Football for Rotowire.com, including serving as the beat writer for teams in multiple sports. He has previously written for KFFL.com and remains an avid season-long and daily fantasy player in multiple sports as well.
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