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

This article is part of our FanDuel NBA series.

We have a strong 10-game slate on tap Wednesday night, and although the injury report remains fairly extensive, there are some possible returns to action on tap as well. With 20 teams in action, we also have plenty of depth at each position, and as of midday Wednesday, half of the 10 contests have projected totals that exceed the 220-point threshold.  

As usual, we'll proceed to break down the positional outlook below, along with 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 three games with the highest projected totals on Wednesday's slate:

Portland Trail Blazers at Houston Rockets (Projected total: 235.5 points)

Russell Westbrook will be back in the lineup for the Rockets on Wednesday after resting on the front end of the back-to-back set Tuesday. These two teams combined for 240 total points the first time they met this season, and the Rockets check in scoring a Western Conference-high 120.5 points per home game. Meanwhile, Portland allows 114.0 points per road contest, so the offensive expectation should be raised all the way around in this matchup.

Washington Wizards at Chicago Bulls (Projected total: 230.5 points)

The DFS community's favorite target, the Wizards, head into the Windy City on Wednesday night, and as customary, are part of a game with one of the highest projected scoring totals of the slate. The two teams combined for 219 points in their first meeting, but the Wizards check in allowing an NBA-high 121.7 points per road game and are averaging 107.2 possessions per road contest, which raises the possibility of a higher-scoring affair.

Dallas Mavericks at Sacramento Kings (Projected total: 227.5 points)

These two squads combined for 216 points the first time they met this season, but Dallas is now tied with the Bucks with the most points per road game scored (118.1). Sacramento has actually been one of the lowest-scoring home teams (106.2 PPG, third fewest in NBA), so it remains to be seen if the Kings will be able to do their part in boosting up the combined score of this game.

Positional Breakdown

Point guard is in fine shape overall Wednesday, even with a couple of injury concerns (Jamal Murray, D.J. Augustin) in the mid-tier and below. Luka Doncic and Russell Westbrook are as good a duo as you can get up top, while there's value to be had all the way into the low $3K range.

At shooting guard, the outlook is similar at shooting guard, where Fred VanVleet (hamstring) remains out and Gary Harris and Bogdan Bogdanovic could also miss with groin and ankle injuries, respectively. However, the remainder of the position is free of health concerns and has James Harden sitting up top.

Small forward is in even stronger shape, with LeBron James heading up the pool and the long-term injuries to Luke Kennard (knee) and Justise Winslow (back) constituting the only confirmed absences. Moreover, after James ($10.8K), there's a big drop-off in salary to Pascal Siakam ($7.9K), who heads up a fine mid-tier that also includes the likes of Will Barton, Tobias Harris and Carmelo Anthony.

Meanwhile, power forward is the most short-handed spot of the night. Jayson Tatum is already out with a knee injury, while Anthony Davis and Domantas Sabonis remain questionable to play because of their respective back and knee injuries. We could see the return of Kristaps Porzingis from his knee injury, but Richaun Holmes, Paul Millsap and Nerlens Noel will all remain out as well.

Finally, at center, Joel Embiid (finger) remains out of action, but Karl-Anthony Towns reportedly has a good chance of returning from his knee injury. The position is otherwise in solid health, with even Marc Gasol expected to return from his hamstring injury and some viable value plays available all the way down into the low $3K range.

Notable Injury Situations to Monitor

NOTE: Injury reporting is especially fluid in the NBA, where the status of multiple players can change during the course of a day. Therefore, although the following serves as a foundation for the latest injury report as of the time the article is written (usually late morning Eastern time), check back throughout the course of the day with RotoWire for the latest news regarding the status of all players on that night's slate.

Anthony Davis, LAL

Davis is questionable with a back injury that's cost him the last three contests. Kyle Kuzma would be in line for another start should Davis miss again.

Jayson Tatum, BOS

Tatum will not play due to a knee injury. The usage of the remainder of the Celtics' starting five should rise, while Semi Ojeleye and Grant Williams could see some extra opportunities at power forward.

Daniel Theis, BOS

Theis is questionable due to a knee injury that cost him Monday's game. Enes Kanter will be in line for another start should Theis miss.

Domantas Sabonis, IND

Sabonis is questionable with a knee injury. Doug McDermott could be in line for a start at power forward should Sabonis miss.

Karl-Anthony Towns, MIN

Towns is questionable with the knee sprain that's already cost him every game since Dec. 13. Gorgui Dieng should continue to start in his stead if Towns misses again.

Fred VanVleet, TOR

VanVleet is will be out with a hamstring strain that's already cost him three games. Norman Powell and Terence Davis should both benefit from his absence.

Marc Gasol, TOR

Gasol is probable with the hamstring issue that's cost him the last 12 games. However, he may be on a minutes restriction.

Abdel Nader, OKC

Nader will not play with the ankle injury that caused his early exit from Monday's game.

Kristaps Porzingis, DAL

Porzingis is expected to play Wednesday after overcoming a knee injury and an illness that have caused him to miss the last eight games.

Garrett Temple, BKN

Temple is likely to be listed as questionable at best with a knee contusion that already caused him to miss Tuesday's game. Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot is set to be the likely beneficiary should Temple miss.

Wilson Chandler, BKN

Chandler is likely to be listed as questionable at best with a hamstring injury that caused him to miss Tuesday's game.

Christian Wood, DET

Wood is questionable for Wednesday's game due to right knee soreness.

D.J. Augustin, ORL

Augustin is put with a knee injury. With fellow guard Michael Carter-Williams (shoulder) also out, Josh Magette should see the majority of backup point guard minutes behind Markelle Fultz.

Lauri Markkanen, CHI

Markkanen is probable with an ankle injury.

Tomas Satoransky, CHI

Satoransky is probable with ankle soreness.

Daniel Gafford, CHI

Gafford is probable with an ankle injury.

Chandler Hutchison, CHI

Hutchison is probable with a shoulder injury.

Ryan Arcidiacono, CHI

Arcidiacono is probable with an elbow injury.

Luke Kornet, CHI

Kornet is probable with a thumb sprain.

Gary Harris, DEN

Harris is questionable with a groin injury. If he were to miss, Torrey Craig would be the likely beneficiary of a spot start at shooting guard.

Jamal Murray, DEN

Murray is questionable due to back soreness. If he were to miss, Monte Morris is likely to draw a spot start at point guard, while the usage of other members of the Nuggets' starting five should bump up a certain degree.

Paul Millsap, DEN

Millsap will miss a fourth straight game due to a knee bruise. Jerami Grant is slated for another start in his place.

Michael Carter-Williams, ORL

Carter-Williams is out with the shoulder strain that's cost him the last 12 games. With fellow guard D.J. Augustin (knee) also ruled out, Josh Magette should see the majority of backup point guard minutes.

Bogdan Bogdanovic, SAC

Bogdanovic is doubtful with an ankle injury. Trevor Ariza should continue to be the primary beneficiary of Bogdanovic's absence.

Nemanja Bjelica, SAC

Bjelica is probable with an ankle injury.

Rajon Rondo, LAL

Rondo will not play due to a finger injury. Alex Caruso is set for some extra minutes as a backup point guard as a result.

Mario Hezonja, POR

Hezonja is questionable with a lower-back contusion. Nassir Little could enjoy some extra minutes in the forward rotation if Hezonja misses.

Nerlens Noel, OKC

Noel will not play due to an ankle injury. Mike Muscala should continue seeing the majority of backup center minutes behind Steven Adams.

Notable Longer-Term Injuries/Absences: Joel Embiid, PHI; Victor Oladipo, IND; Richaun Holmes, SAC; Otto Porter Jr., CHI; Wendell Carter Jr., CHI; Jonathan Isaac, ORL; Al-Farouq Aminu, ORL; Justise Winslow, MIA; Luke Kennard, DET; Blake Griffin, DET; Reggie Jackson, DET; Jusuf Nurkic, POR; Zach Collins, POR; Skal Labissiere, POR; Robert Williams III, BOS; Andre Roberson, OKC; Jake Layman, MIN; Ryan Broekhoff, DAL; Garrison Mathews, WAS; Moritz Wagner, WAS; Rui Hachimura, WAS

Elite Players

It's an expensive slate overall Wednesday, as we have an elevated number of plays with five-figure players. There's a total of six players overall that will set you back $10.2K or more – James Harden ($11.7K), Luka Doncic ($11K), Anthony Davis ($10.9K), LeBron James ($10.8K), Karl-Anthony Towns ($10.5K) and Andre Drummond ($10.2K). Davis and Towns both remain questionable to play, however.

It's also worth noting the $9K range has a trio of players within it that could outpace their salaries. Nikola Jokic ($9.7K), Hassan Whiteside ($9.5K) and Russell Westbrook ($9.2K) could all be in particularly advantageous positions Wednesday, with Jokic potentially playing without Jamal Murray (back) and Gary Harris (groin) and already confirmed to be without Paul Millsap (knee), while Whiteside and Westbrook are opposing each other in the game with the highest projected total of the night.

Expected Chalk

The size of the slate should keep ownership pretty spread out Wednesday, but as customary, there could be some boosts in the already elevated ownership of some stars if certain teammates miss. That includes LeBron James if Anthony Davis sits out again, as well as Andrew Wiggins if he takes the floor again without Karl-Anthony Towns. Likewise, the ownership on 76ers front-line pieces like Ben Simmons, Tobias Harris and Al Horford should also be robust in Joel Embiid's ongoing absence due to a finger injury.

As customary, I've also compiled a list of multiple sub-$6K value plays that should be particularly popular, many of them due to injuries on their team, and have listed them underneath the next section.

Key and Likely Underowned Values

Goran Dragic, MIA vs. SA ($4,600)

Dragic's production has been a bit hard to trust of late, as while he's eclipsed 20 FanDuel points in three of his last four games, he also has tallies of 9.4, 16.7 and 18.9 FanDuel points within his last six contests overall. That should keep his ownership fairly modest on such a large slate, yet the veteran could be in a good position to generate one of his better returns. The Spurs have allowed 47.3 FanDuel points per game to point guards, along with the sixth-highest offensive efficiency rating (27.6). Moreover, the Spurs have surrendered the fifth-highest offensive efficiency rating (49.6) to opposing benches, and the fifth-highest three-point percentage (37.6) of any team on the road.

Thomas Bryant, WAS at CHI ($4,400)

Bryant just returned Monday from an extended absence due to a foot injury, playing 15 minutes against the Jazz and accruing 13.1 FanDuel points. The fact he's been off the radar for quite a while should keep ownership modest Wednesday, but Bryant should be primed for a boost up to at least 20 minutes in this highly favorable matchup. The Bulls have allowed the third-most FanDuel points per game to centers (41.8), along with the highest offensive efficiency rating to the position (34.6). Then, Chicago is surrendering the most points in the paint (48.4) per contest, while Bryant is logging nearly 60.0 percent (58.7 percent) of his points in that part of the floor.

Coby White, CHI vs. WAS ($3,900)

White racked up an impressive 31.5 FanDuel points three games ago against the Pacers, but he hasn't eclipsed 19.8 FanDuel points in six other games since the calendar flipped to 2020. His inconsistency in this regard is likely to keep his ownership low on the large slate, yet White could be poised for one of his better performances. The Wizards have been a sieve defensively all season, and they'll check into Wednesday's contest having allowing the second-most FanDuel points per game (51.4) to point guards, along with the second-highest shooting percentage (47.5) to the position. That latter figure includes the highest three-point percentage (40.4) allowed, while White is taking 5.3 three-point attempts per contest across an average of just 24.2 minutes.

Other likely higher-owned value plays to consider: Buddy Hield, SAC($5,800); Jarrett Allen, BKN ($5,800); Dwight Howard, LAL ($5,700); Troy Brown Jr., WAS ($5,600); T.J. Warren, IND ($5,500); Enes Kanter, BOS ($5,500); Marvin Bagley III, SAC ($5,200); Davis Bertans, WAS ($5,000); Gorgui Dieng, MIN ($5,000); Norman Powell, TOR ($4,800); Jeff Teague, MIN ($4,700); Jeremy Lamb, IND ($4,600); Eric Gordon, HOU ($4,100)

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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