Wednesday brings a limited six-game slate in the NBA. There will still be some big names in action with the Pelicans, Nuggets and Hawks among the teams set to take the floor.Read More
The All-Star break is rapidly approaching, so let’s try to take advantage of Monday’s busy nine-game slate.Read More
Monday brings a fairly quiet six-game slate. We have several significant mismatches, which could lead to a few blowouts.Read More
*Mike Barner — @rotomikebarner*
The NBA takes a step back from the 11-game slate Wednesday with only three games on the schedule Thursday. Even with so few options, there are still some great value plays to consider. Don’t forget to sign up for our Newsletter and try our Playerlab tool, where you can filter the stats that matter the most and help build a winning entry on FanDuel and DraftKings.
Goran Dragic, MIA at WAS
FanDuel = $6,200
DraftKings = $6,000
The Heat were extremely shorthanded Wednesday with James Johnson, Justise Winslow, Dion Waiters, and Wayne Ellington all sidelined. Dragic was one of the players who stepped up in their absence, scoring 26 points to go along with four rebounds, four assists and one block in 32 minutes versus the Magic. There is a chance that all four players will sit again Thursday, which would again leave Dragic with an added role in the offense. He might lose a few assists without as many quality players around him, but he should make up for that with added scoring.
Cameron Payne, CHI at PHI
FanDuel = $4,000
DraftKings = $3,600
Payne enters this season as the backup at point guard to Kris Dunn. Payne had a few decent games last year when given extended playing time, but a lot of those performances came when Dunn was injured. Even though his playing time will be somewhat limited, the Bulls are extremely thin at point guard outside of him and Dunn. In 23 minutes per game last year, Payne averaged 8.8 points, 4.5 assists, one steal and 1.4 three-pointers per contest. His upside isn’t great, but if the Bulls get down big on the road against the far superior Sixers, Payne could be productive in garbage time.
J.J. Redick, PHI vs. CHI
FanDuel = $5,400
DraftKings = $5,100
The Sixers are going with an odd strategy of using Markelle Fultz as the starting shooting guard to begin games, but then starting Redick there for the third quarter. Fultz ended up playing 24 minutes under that arrangement in their season opener, but he didn’t play well. Redick, on the other hand, scored 16 points and hit two three-pointers in 29 minutes. Fultz is going to have his growing pains, so expect Redick to edge him out in playing time, at least for now. The Bulls are not a good defensive team, so Redick might be able to light them up from behind the arc.
Justin Holiday, CHI at PHI
FanDuel = $4,500
DraftKings = $4,300
The Bulls entered the preseason with the intention of starting Jabari Parker at small forward and Lauri Markkanen at power forward. Once Markkanen went down with an elbow injury, it opened the door for Parker to slide to power forward and for Holiday to enter the starting five. Parker has since been moved to a sixth man role off the bench, but Holiday remains a member of the starting unit. He won’t get a ton of shots playing alongside Zach LaVine and Bobby Portis, but he should get enough playing time to be worth considering at this cheap price.
Josh Richardson, MIA at WAS
FanDuel = $6,900
DraftKings = $6,200
Not only did Dragic benefit from the Heat’s lack of depth Wednesday, but Richardson finished the game with 21 shot attempts. He wasn’t very efficient and was only 2-for-10 from behind the arc, but he still scored 21 points to go along with five rebounds, three assists, one steal, and one block. Should the Heat have the same injury concerns Thursday, look for Richardson to play a vital role in their offense.
Otto Porter Jr., WAS vs. MIA
FanDuel = $6,400
DraftKings = $5,600
Porter doesn’t get a lot of headlines playing with John Wall and Bradley Beal, but he’s a fine player in his own right. He doesn’t always get a lot of shot attempts, but he’s been efficient with a field goal percentage of at least 50.3% in both of the last two seasons. Not only does he provide added value on the glass, but he also averaged 1.5 steals last year and has recorded at least 1.4 steals per contest in each of the last three seasons. Don’t count on him to provide as much scoring as Richardson, but Porter is still a viable option for your entry.
Bobby Portis, CHI at PHI
FanDuel = $5,700
DraftKings = $5,700
The Bulls made a somewhat surprising decision late in the preseason to start Portis ahead of Parker. Portis was ticketed to provide a ton of energy off their bench, but the Bulls decided to move Parker to a bench role after they struggled mightily on the defensive end at the start of the preseason. Portis is instant offense, posting the second-highest usage rate (26%) on the team last year. LaVine is going to take a ton of shots, but Portis might be the second best offensive weapon among their starters.
Markieff Morris, WAS vs. MIA
FanDuel = $5,000
DraftKings = $5,000
The Wizards added Dwight Howard over the summer, but he’s battling a back injury and is listed as questionable for this contest. Even if he does take the floor, he may not be completely healthy. The Wizards don’t have a ton of quality size up front behind Howard and Morris with their backups including Jeff Green, Ian Manhimi and Jason Smith. Morris might be forced to spend some additional time at center in this game, giving him added opportunities to provide value. He’s going to take a back seat offensively to Wall, Beal, and Porter, but he still chipped in 11.5 points and 5.6 rebounds across 27 minutes per game last year.
JaVale McGee, LAL at POR
FanDuel = $4,500
DraftKings = $4,500
The Lakers made several additions during the offseason, one of which was adding McGee to their very shallow group of centers. McGee is expected to start, but he likely won’t see traditional starter’s minutes. Expect the Lakers to deploy a lot of small lineups. With that being said, McGee is still going to play more than the 10 minutes a game he averaged last year with the Warriors. He also has the opportunity for a lot of easy buckets catching passes from LeBron James, Rajon Rondo and Lonzo Ball. McGee is also a great source for blocks, making him someone to target in tournament play at this cheap price.
Bam Adebayo, MIA at WAS
FanDuel = $4,300
DraftKings = $4,900
The Heat were a bit of a mess at center last season. Hassan Whiteside was expected to be their anchor in the middle, but he averaged only 25 minutes a game. That opened up the door for Adebayo to get extra minutes. Whiteside did play 33 minutes in their opener Wednesday, but Abebayo still logged 22 minutes due to all of their injuries. He chipped in nine points, eight rebounds, and a steal, helping him stay in the discussion as a value play option Thursday. However, I do prefer McGee to Adebayo if you want to save money at center.