A bug going around in Minneapolis and some game-time calls in Miami highlight our action in Wednesday's nine-game slate.
WAS (-3) vs. MIN O/U: 215.5
IND (-1.5) vs. ATL O/U: 217.5
DEN (-8.5) @ ORL O/U: 207.5
BOS (-2) vs. PHI O/U: 211.5
MIA (-7.5) vs. CLE O/U: 204.5
MIL (-8) vs. CHA O/U: 229.5
OKC (-3) vs. HOU O/U: 214
DAL (-3.5) vs. NOR O/U: 212.5
LAC (-7) vs. SAC O/U: 215.5
The CHA/MIL matchup stands out as an appealing game total that carries potential blowout risk. The Rockets will try to win another one against the Thunder on the road, and there are some excellent value options on both rosters. Question marks abound for the T-Wolves and the Heat, but we should know more about Minnesota soon as it is the first game on the slate. Some late-swap opportunities could exist for the Heat as the games continue.
MIN Anthony Edwards (illness) - QUESTIONABLE
MIN Jarred Vanderbilt (illness) - QUESTIONABLE
MIN Jalen McDaniels (illness) - QUESTIONABLE
MIN Patrick Beverley (groin) - OUT
The entire Timberwolves roster is in flux because a flu-like bug seems to be traveling around the locker room. The three players carry a questionable tag coming into the morning, and other players could be added if it has spread beyond the trio. Assuming that none of these players suit up, look to Malik Beasley ($4,3000, Naz Reid ($4,400) and Taurean Prince ($3,800) to take on enhanced roles.
IND Myles Turner (illness) - QUESTIONABLE
IND Justin Holiday COVID-19 Protocols) - OUT
Typically, the Pacers will slide their roster one spot and put Sabonis at center when Turner is out, and the point guard spot is usually left open. T.J. McConnell ($5,500) will draw a start if Turner is still under the weather. Chris Duarte ($4,800) is still the guy to target in Holiday's absence.
DEN JaMychal Green (elbow) - QUESTIONABLE
Jeff Green ($5,400) will probably serve as Nikola Jokic's backup if Green can't go. This could be an enhanced spot for either player as Jokic may see a slight minute decrease due to his return from a minor injury.
ORL Jalen Suggs (thumb) - OUT
Suggs will not require surgery, so the pivots here will be on a short-term basis. R.J. Hampton($4,500), Gary Harris ($4,300) and Terrence Ross ($3,800) will see more usage, and I prefer that order for the pivots. Cole Anthony ($7,800) will also have a full load upon his return to action.
BOS Jaylen Brown (hamstring) - QUESTIONABLE
The team may elect to play it safe with Brown on Wednesday. His status moving forward will be a frequent game-time call until he's fully recovered. Dennis Schroder ($5,900) will continue to see solid minutes, with Josh Richardson ($4,600) and Romeo Langford ($3,700) acting as bargain-bin pivots.
CLE Cedi Osman (back) - OUT
CLE Dean Wade (calf) - OUT
MIA Jimmy Butler (tailbone) - QUESTIONABLE
MIA Bam Adebayo (thumb) - QUESTIONABLE
MIA Dewayne Dedmon (knee) - QUESTIONABLE
The statuses of Butler and Adebayo are up in the air, but Tyler Herro ($7,000) will return from rest and handle a full load, especially if Butler sits. If both big men are out, additional pressure will be put on P.J. Tucker( $4,300).
CHA Mason Plumlee (calf) - OUT
CHA Cody Martin (illness) - OUT
HOU Jalen Green (hamstring) - OUT
Over the past few contests, Eric Gordon ($5,000) and Garrison Mathews ($4,600) have stepped up with decent games, and while they are great values, the better of the two players is a DFS dart throw. We'll highlight a starter or two later in the article.
DAL Kristaps Porzingis (ankle) - QUESTIONABLE
Injury tags for Porzingis are often deceiving, and there's a good chance that he'll return to action. Running with the starting lineup is the best bet here, as no particular player sees a relevant usage boost when Porzingis sits.
SAC Harrison Barnes (foot) - OUT
While Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,200) is in a game with the highest projected point total tonight, his position is one where there's a great deal of value, so he may not make the cut as a top-flite contender for my MME load. The big head-scratcher is the exceedingly low price for Paul George ($8,600), who is extremely hard to fade at this level. He should have a solid night against the Kings with Harrison Barnes absent, and although it looks like a trap, I don't see a way around including him.
There's no problem with spending up at center, and Nikola Jokic ($11,000) is back and ready to go for Denver against Orlando. I'm also going to garget the aforementioned high total and include LaMelo Ball ($9,600), who has averaged 50 FDFP over his last three contests.
EXPECTED CHALK AND CORE TARGETS
D'Angelo Russell, MIN ($7,900) @ WAS
Assuming he doesn't fall ill along with his teammates, Russell is in a position to blow up if he and Towns need to carry the team in an intriguing road matchup. Russell hasn't disappointed over the past couple of weeks, with his only subpar game occurring against the Pelicans two weeks ago, where he faded won the stretch due to the blowout. The Wizards have a solid backcourt defense, but the T-Wolves need a standout night from their premier floor general if they end up short-handed.
Malcolm Brogdon, IND ($7,200) vs. ATL
Brogdon's exceedingly low salary continues to puzzle, but with 5x value coming in at around 37 FP at this level, it's hard to see a scenario where he doesn't pay off. He had a hiccup against the Bucks, but his performances have been excellent otherwise. He's only had three games below the 5x level in his last 10, and two of them were due to fading late in lopsided games. The Atlanta backcourt is worse without Bogdan Bogdanovic's defensive skills, and although this game should be close, Brgdon's price is too good to pass up.
Khris Middleton, MIL ($7,100) vs. CHA
Aside from the attractive price, you can always find Middleton on the court when a game is lopsided and much more often than Giannis. This game could be competitive, and as previously stated, it has one of the higher projected totals that we've seen all week. It's hard to find a more stable floor than Middleton, who consistently provides in the 30-35 FP range on a nightly basis. If he can grab an extra rebound or two against a porous Charlotte frontcourt, he could go a little north of his usual numbers.
Wendell Carter, ORL ($6,500) vs. DEN
Carter has a tough matchup against Denver but will fall on Mo Bamba to stack up against Nikola Jokic, leaving Carter a chance to excel at the four. Denver's got an injury issue with JaMychal Green, and Carter may end up seeing a lot of coverage from Aaron Gordon, who he has some experience against.
Also consider: Kyle Kuzma, WAS ($6,400) vs. MIN
Excellent bargains exist in the injury section, as well as numerous late-swap options. Be sure to prioritize those values as well as the additional targets below.
Spencer Dinwiddie, WAS ($6,100) vs. MIN
It makes sense to keep hammering in the Wizards amidst Minnesota's potential slew of absences. Although Russell looks healthy, Dinwiddie could produce some off-the-ball shotmaking on the occasions when Bradley Beal directs the offense. The duo has used a hybrid approach when it comes to ball distribution, resulting in increased shot volume for Dinwiddie. He's averaged just under 10 shots per game over the last five contests, and he has the potential for 30 FP or more on any given night.
Jae'Sean Tate, HOU ($5,600) @ OKC
Kevin Porter ($6,800) is one of my top candidates to smash, but you can get Tate at a significant discount and enjoy the same upside potential against the Thunder. He's one of the many players to benefit from Jalen Green's absence. He went way cover value with a 15/8/6 line against the Thunder in their last game and based on his success in a rare win, he stands to have a great night as they make the short road journey.
Terance Mann, LAC ($4,600) vs. SAC
The Clippers are happy to have Mann back, as the backcourt has had some struggles in his absence. Unfortunately, things haven't gone so hot for Mann since his return from an ankle injury. His past five games have been a mixed bag, and he's only averaged around 20 FP per game over that span. Thanks to a decreased salary, he doesn't have to do much more than that to reach value, and he's facing a Sacramento team that sits at the bottom of the league in opposing field-goal percentage.
Lou Williams, ATL ($3,600) @ IND
Williams will definitely be a less-popular player, but he's gotten more run in Bogdan Bogdanovic's absence and had one of his better games of the season in his last game against the Knicks. There's no guarantee for success here, but I think he has great value in a stars-and-scrubs lineup where you field three elites.
Also consider: Darius Bazley, OKC ($4,900) vs. HOU