FanDuel DFS NBA Strategy Advice: Wednesday (5/5)
We have reached the second-to-last Wednesday of the NBA regular season! It’s been a fun run this season, and I hope to go out on a high note with some slate-winning picks for you all.
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 nine-game slate features several games with incredibly high betting totals, per BettingPros. Three matchups have lines set above 235: WAS/MIL (241.5), SAC/IND (239.5), and MEM/MIN (238). As a result, I’m targeting a bunch of players from those matchups.
Likewise, three games have totals below 220, and I’m mostly avoiding players in those games. Don’t expect to see many players in BOS/ORL (217.5), NYK/DEN (215), or SAS/UTH (218.5) featured below.
On the injury front, the Celtics won’t have Jaylen Brown, and the Kings remain depleted at guard. The Pacers have quite a few names on their injury report, which could create value as the evening progresses. Also, the Jazz will remain without Mike Conley and Donovan Mitchell for yet another game. 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.
Ja Morant (MEM) $7,000
Morant will look to right the ship after he got ejected against the Knicks on Monday. His disappointing 20-FanDuel (FD) point performance led to a downtick in his salary, and that makes him a fantastic value option in what should be one of the slate’s highest-scoring games — especially since the Timberwolves allow so many points to point guards.
Richaun Holmes (SAC) $6,600
The Pacers give up the most FanDuel points per game (FDPPG) to centers, and they may not have Goga Bitadze to help defend Holmes tonight. Since Sacramento is already without De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton, look for Holmes to pick up the slack against a vulnerable Pacers defense.
Bojan Bogdanovic (UTH) $5,700
Bogdanovic recorded 28.6 FD points (5x value against this price) in his last game against the Spurs. With Mike Conley and Donovan Mitchell still sidelined, Bogdonavic has a rock-solid floor relative to his price, although he doesn’t have the upside you want to target in tournaments.
T.J. McConnell (IND) $5,700
The Pacers are in a weird spot. They’re on the front end of a back-to-back, and four key players are all questionable for tonight’s action, including starting point guard Malcolm Brogdon and reserve guards Jeremy Lamb and Edmond Sumner. If Brogdon (or both of the other guards) are forced to miss time, look for McConnell’s minutes to skyrocket — that could make him a slate-winning option against a defense as bad as Sacramento’s, as the Kings surrender the fifth-most FDPPG to point guards.
Robert Williams (BOS) $5,400
The Time Lord is surprisingly affordable for tonight’s slate. It may not be the most attractive matchup, as the Magic surrender the 10th-fewest FDPPG to centers, but the Celtics could be without Tristan Thompson tonight. If they are, that will lead to even more work for Williams, which makes him a great high-ceiling play at center relative to his price.
Evan Fournier (BOS) $5,300
I’ll mention one other Celtic. We saw Fournier start to gel in Boston’s rotation during Kemba Walker’s absence, and even though Walker has cleared Boston’s injury report for this game, Jaylen Brown is now out with a leg injury. Fournier should benefit from a still-limited C’s rotation, especially since most of his minutes have come at small forward, where Brown also spends most of his.
Delon Wright (SAC) $5,200
With Fox and Haliburton both out, you have to like Wright in this matchup. He went for a whopping 60 FD points in his most recent outing without those two, and he has hit at least 5x value against this price in his last three outings. He should keep that streak alive in what should be a high-scoring matchup against the Pacers.
Aaron Gordon (DEN) $4,300
Gordon is incredibly cheap on this slate, and you should take advantage of the discount in cash leagues. He needs just 21.5 FD points to hit 5x value, a threshold he has reached in three of his last five games. Though he has a tough matchup against the New York Knicks tonight, it’s just hard for me to stay away from Gordon when he costs this little.
Davis Bertans (WAS) $4,300
I’m not sure what’s happening in Milwaukee, but they seem to have forgotten how to play perimeter defense. The Bucks surrender the most made threes per game (14.6), and they’ve allowed an average of 15.7 per game over their last three outings. Bertans leads the Wizards in made (2.9) and attempted (7.4) threes per game, so look for him to have a big night against the Bucks.
De’Anthony Melton (MEM) $4,100
The Grizzlies have gotten healthy and now have a stable rotation, and that’s led to a reduction in Melton’s role. He scored just 1.2 FD points in his last game out. So why am I recommending him? Easy — with his awful showing on Monday, he should be a low-rostered contrarian option, and we have already seen him hit 5x value against this price despite playing relatively few minutes. The matchup with the T’Wolves is quite juicy because of the posted total, and Melton is an affordable option to help you get exposure to the Grizzlies’ offense.
Studs Worth Their Salary
- Karl-Anthony Towns (MIN) $10,000: Towns is a great value play for tonight’s slate. He hit 5x value against this price in his last outing, and the Kings surrender the fourth-most FDPPG to opposing centers.
- Joel Embiid (PHI) $9,600: Embiid, like Towns, is a surprisingly cheap option for the evening’s action. The 76ers have been limiting his minutes of late, but Houston’s defense allows the fifth-most FDPPG to centers, and it’s not every day that you’ll find Embiid as this cheap of an option. Playing him isn’t without risk, but it could pay off.
- Bradley Beal (WAS) $9,100: I like Beal for the same reason I like Bertans. The Bucks have struggled on the perimeter of late, and Beal ranks as their second-best three-point shooter by volume.
- Jrue Holiday (MIL) $7,800: Holiday is reasonably priced for his upside against a vulnerable, fast-paced Wizards squad. We should see a ton of points in this matchup, and Holiday has a real shot at recording his second-straight double-double.
Notable Players to Fade
- Nikola Jokic (DEN) $10,900: It’s hard to like Jokic against the Knicks. They play at the NBA’s slowest pace and allow the 11th-fewest FDPPG to centers, and even though Nerlens Noel is questionable, New York still limited Jonas Valancuinas to 38.7 FD points without him on Monday.
- Christian Wood (HOU) $9,300: Wood is a bit too pricy for his matchup with Joel Embiid and the 76ers, who give up the second-fewest FDPPG to centers. You can find much better options elsewhere.
- Trae Young (ATL) $8,800: I have to fade Young against the Suns, as Phoenix allows the fifth-fewest FDPPG to point guards.
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