FanDuel DFS NBA Strategy Advice: Wednesday (5/12)
Well, it’s here. The NBA regular season has reached its final Wednesday, and with it, we’ve reached our final installation of this column. I hoped that I’ve helped you make money this season, and I’m looking forward to some fun playoff action in a few days!
Each week, I’ll be here to profile some strong value plays, studs, and duds for Wednesday’s FanDuel slate. I’ll do my best to point you in the right direction, and if you have any questions, you can hit me up on Twitter at @is_sirois. All matchup data is pulled from our defense versus position tool.
Most Value Per Dollar
Tonight’s six-game slate features three games that should be quite high-scoring, per BettingPros: WAS/ATL (239), SAS/BKN (231.5), and POR/UTH (234). Expect several of my featured options below to come from those matchups. That said, NOR/DAL (223.5) and HOU/LAL (224) don’t exactly have low totals, so picking players from those matchups should be safe — it’s just a question of who to target. Only one matchup has a total below 220, BOS/CLE (219), but I’m still targeting a couple of Celtics.
Injury-wise, the Nets are the team to follow closest — Kyrie Irving left last night’s matchup with a facial contusion, and James Harden will be a game-time call this evening. Their absences could open up significant value elsewhere on Brooklyn’s roster.
Elsewhere, the Jazz will remain without their two best guards, and the Pelicans won’t have their two best forwards. Bradley Beal has already been ruled out for the Wizards, and LeBron James is in the same spot for the Lakers. Also, both the Cavaliers and Rockets have lengthy injury reports, and you might find some value buried deep on their depth charts. For instant DFS injury insight, give @betonthegame a follow.
Below is a list of the top-10 players of the day expected to generate the most value relative to their salary, ranked in order of how much they’ll cost you.
Clint Capela (ATL) $7,600
I love Capela on this slate. He may be the second-priciest center (tied with Rudy Gobert and behind Kelly Olynyk), but he should have an easy time hitting value against a Wizards squad that surrenders the most FanDuel points per game (FDPPG) to centers. Capela recorded a whopping 48.9 FanDuel (FD) points against the Wizards on May 10th on the back of 10 points and 22 rebounds! Although the Hawks have functionally secured a guaranteed playoff bid, they are still jostling for seeding with the Heat and Knicks, so they won’t have much incentive to rest Capela.
Bojan Bogdanovic (UTH) $6,400
Bogdanovic has come in clutch for the Jazz since Mike Conley and Donovan Mitchell went down. He has hit 5x value against this salary in two of his last three games, including a 61.6-FD point (9.7x value) showing against the Rockets. That kind of upside warrants consideration despite Portland’s reasonable defensive performance against his position.
Marcus Smart (BOS) $5,800
The Celtics still have a chance to avoid the play-in tournament, though their pair of losses to the Miami Heat will probably doom them to that fate. Boston still has a lot to play for at this point, and they should use their game against the Cavaliers as a chance to get right. And with Jaylen Brown done for the year, I expect Smart to be enough of a factor in the game plan to at least approach value relative to this salary. That said, Smart is best used as a floor option for cash games.
Ish Smith (WAS) $4,200
You know that I think a slate is truly interesting when I’m four plays in and am already up to sub-$4.5K options. I absolutely love Ish Smith tonight, as the Wizards will remain without Beal, and Smith just roasted the Hawks for 29.1 FD points (6.9x value). Smith should get another heavy load as the Wizards look to improve their play-in tournament seeding. Oh, and did I mention that this game has the slate’s highest projected point total?
Steven Adams (NOR) $4,200
I’ve assigned Adams medium risk because, if he plays tonight, it’ll be his first in-game action since May 4th and his third appearance since April 24th. The Pelicans have him listed as questionable, and while I understand that they probably don’t want to rush the veteran back, they still have a chance to make the playoffs. If Adams suits up, he should nab quite a few boards with both Ingram and Williamson out.
D.J. Augustin (HOU) $3,900
Let’s take a look at Houston’s depth chart, shall well? The Rockets won’t have guards Kevin Porter Jr. or Avery Bradley; we shouldn’t see John Wall or Eric Gordon again; and D.J. Wilson, Christian Wood, Sterling Brown, and Danuel House are all either out or questionable. Someone will have to score points for the tanking Rockets, and Augustin has been doing just that in his last three games — the veteran went for 5x value against this price in two of his last three outings.
Joe Harris (BKN) $3,700
Am I missing something? Why is Harris this cheap when Harden and Irving could both miss tonight’s action? Harris has cooled off recently, but his season-long 23 FDPPG average (6.2x value) points to value, and he hit 5x value in his last two outings. I would avoid Harris if Harden and Irving both play, but he seems like a safe, cheap option should they sit.
Davis Bertans (WAS) $3,700
Bertans went for 22.8 FD points (6.2x value) against the Hawks on Monday. He has played 30-plus minutes in each of Washington’s last three contests, and he should continue to see that amount of playing time with Beal out of the rotation. It certainly helps that the Hawks give up the sixth-most FDPPG to power forwards, where Bertans spends 94% of his minutes.
Talen Horton-Tucker (LAL) $3,600
The Lakers are 13-point favorites over the tanking Rockets tonight, and the fact that this game should be a blowout could lead to extra minutes for Horton-Tucker. He is coming off a 33-FD point showing against the Knicks last night, and he’ll look to keep that momentum alive against the NBA’s worst defense against shooting guards and its seventh-worst defense against small forwards.
Mike James (BKN) $3,500
Don’t start James if the Nets have either James Harden or Kyrie Irving in the lineup tonight. Do start him if they both sit — Brooklyn would have only Tyler Johnson and Landry Shamet as pure-guard alternatives, and James played more minutes than both of them in Brooklyn’s last game.
Studs Worth Their Salary
- Luka Doncic (DAL) $10,400: The Mavericks can still avoid the play-in tournament, so look for Doncic to lead Dallas to a win over the Pelicans tonight — especially since New Orleans surrenders the second-most FDPPG to point guards.
- Jayson Tatum (BOS) $9,500: The Celtics will have to lean on Tatum for the rest of the season now that Brown is out, and we’ve seen him go for 50-plus in three of Boston’s last four games. He’ll cost you a pretty penny, but it’s worth it for his ceiling.
- Trae Young (ATL) $8,500: Young posted 50.7 FD points (6x value) against the Wizards on Monday, and he’ll look to do so again as the Hawks fight for a better seed.
- DeMar DeRozan (SAS) $7,900: DeRozan is remarkably cheap tonight. His matchup has one of the slate’s highest totals, and San Antonio could still get knocked out of the play-in by New Orleans.
Notable Players to Fade
- Kyrie Irving (BKN) $10,300: If Irving does play, don’t be surprised if the Nets hold him back somewhat due to the injury he suffered last night. That’s not something that you can risk for a player who will cost you this much.
- Kelly Olynyk (HOU) $8,300: Don’t drop for the slate’s priciest center against Los Angeles’ defense.
- Collin Sexton (CLE) $7,600: I’m avoiding pricy players on teams that have nothing left to play for, and Sexton is a prime example. He may have stuffed the stat sheets in his last few games, but you can find better value and higher upside elsewhere.
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