Wednesday's eight-game slate kicks off at 7:00 p.m. ET, with the bulk of the games beginning at 8:00 p.m. Most of the game-time calls occur early in the evening, so you'll have a wider array of late-swaps available if one of your selections are scratched.
CLE (-3) vs. CHA O/U: 218.5
ORL (-1.5) vs. IND O/U: 232.5
PHI (-10.5) vs. NYK O/U: 222.5
UTA (-12.5) @ HOU O/U: 232.5
MIL (-4.5) vs. MIA O/U: 226.5
NOP (-4.5) vs. SAC O/U: 234.5
DEN (-13) vs. OKC O/U: 225.5
PHO (-13) vs. POR O/U: 227.5
While there's blowout risk in the late games, it didn't stop me from making some plays there, especially with Phoenix. I also like the Pelicans and the Jazz this evening.
CLE Darius Garland (back) - QUESTIONABLE
CLE Caris LeVert (foot) - OUT
HOU Kevin Porter (ankle) - QUESTIONABLE
HOU Eric Gordon - POSSIBLE REST
If Porter can't make it, Dennis Schroder ($5,700) would start again. There was some talk about Gordon getting a break, but there really isn't a clear pivot for him if he misses.
MIA Kyle Lowry (personal) - OUT
Gabe Vincent played 32 minutes in Lowry's absence and is a smash value at $4,000.
OKC Josh Giddey (hip) - OUT
OKC Luguentz Dort (shoulder) - OUT
It's hard to fade Shai Gilgeous-Alexander ($10,000), but this is a tough defensive matchup, and there are better spend-up options. Aleksej Pokusevski's ($5,200) numbers have risen quite a bit in the injury scenario and warrant serious consideration.
There's a popular DFS saying: "Fade to get paid." Sometimes our stud elites just have to go by the wayside so we can get balance, which is why I am not as high on Nikola Jokic ($11,000), Giannis Antetokounmpo ($11,300) and Joel Embiid ($10,800) as I usually would be. I do not doubt that all three players will put up excellent totals, but there are ways to get nice totals in their place, despite higher boom-bust variance.
The first player up top that I am looking at is James Harden ($10,400), who is definitely enjoying his new surroundings. I have no problem spending up for him against the Knicks. There's also a potential smash spot in the making for Devin Booker ($9,600), who is now carrying the backcourt on his shoulders against a weak opponent. The SG position is especially deep among the elites, as both Donovan Mitchell ($8,800) and CJ McCollum ($8,800) are excellent targets for Wednesday.
Also consider: LaMelo Ball, CHA ($8,000) @ CLE
EXPECTED CHALK AND CORE TARGETS
Rudy Gobert, UTA ($7,800) @ HOU
I don't mind Christian Wood ($7,000) on the other end of this matchup either, but I would take the defensive superiority of Gobert and spend the extra $800. Gobert had one excellent game (50 FP) against eh Rockets this season, but a minute limitation hindered his output in two other matchups. Gobert should be able to play 30 minutes with a two-day break, although there's always some blowout risk when playing Houston.
Brandon Ingram, NOP ($7,600) vs. SAC
The addition of CJ McCollum has also aided Ingram, and together, the Pelicans have a legit shot at sneaking past the Lakers in the Western Conference standings over the next couple of weeks. They need to start by making statements against weaker teams, so this game against the Kings is a high priority. Although Ingram has upside that can climb into the mid 50's, he came just short of 40 FP when he last faced the Kings. That game was way back in October, and with McCollum in the fold, the Pels have played better than .500 ball. I would roster Ingram with confidence.
Deandre Ayton, PHO ($6,800) vs. POR
There is blowout risk here as well, although we can no longer brand the Suns as the powerhouse they once were without Chris Paul to guide them. As we said with Booker, other notables will need to step in, and Ayton is in a great spot to be the workhouse as the Trail Blazers take the court without Jusuf Nurkic. The potential absence of Justise Winslow further pads Phoenix's chances in the paint, which is why I also like Mikal Bridges ($5,400) in this scenario.
Malcolm Brogdon, IND ($6,300) @ ORL
As many suspected, Brogdon sat in the back-to-back, and he should be ready to go against Orlando. If we hear anything about a minute restriction, I'd think better of the move, but it's hard to fade Brogdon at this salary, even if he only plays 25 minutes. Although it's sometimes wise to avoid Orlando, they've won two straight and are actually favored in this game. Brogdon may need to shake off the injury and rise to the occasion. Unless they get their act together quickly, the Pacers will be even further out of playoff contention.
As always, refer back to the injury section for some top injury pivots.
Mike Conley, UTA ($5,400) @ HOU
Conley has a 40-FP upside and can go off on any given day. While it's been some time since he shit that number, he's turned in some evenings well into the 30-FP range, which is more than enough for him to meet value at this salary. He's posted 30-plus FP in his last two meetings against the Rockets.
Evan Fournier, NYK ($5,400) @ PHI
Fournier's SF/SG eligibility definitely boosts his worth, and as the Knicks some back to face the Sixers for the second tie in a week, eyes will be on Fournier to see if he can match this six drilled threes in the recent loss. Fournier's numbers are very shot-dependent, but the Sixers have often allowed him to get open. Alec Burks ($4,600) is logging a lot of minutes but not doing enough with them, but I would also give him a bit of exposure in tournaments.
Bojan Bogdanovic, UTA ($4,600) @ HOU
I can understand why Bogdanovic is buried this deep. Many expected him to take a step forward in Joe Ingles' absence, but he is so shot-dependent, his numbers can't be trusted. I am encouraged by his season history against Houston, however. Bogdanovic ran hot in all three contests and hovered around 30 FP in every game.
Keon Johnson, POR ($3,500) @ PHO
The promising 2021 first-round pick garnered his first start Sunday and played quite well. The Tennessee product could be the best move Portland made in the exchange with the Clippers, as his raw abilities were showcased often in the SEC. Although he's only 6-4, he has excellent vertical ability and can slide out of the backcourt if needed, effectively mimicking Norman Powell's former role in the offense. I especially like Johnson if the game gets out of hand as Portland continues to explore what they have on their bench.