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NBA DFS Picks: FanDuel Plays and Strategy for Wednesday, October 19


WAS - Corey Kispert (ankle): OUT

There should only be some minor shuffling of the second unit in Kispert's absence. Will Barton($4,900) will be the preferred target at the position in the short term.

IND - Jalen Smith (knee): QUESTIONABLE

If Smith is unable to go, Oshae Brissett ($3,900) should see an uptick in usage.

ORL - Gary Harris (knee): OUT

ORL - Jonathan Isaac (hamstring): OUT

The biggest curiosity in this game will involve Paolo Banchero ($6,000) and how he fares in his rookie debut, and Isaac's absence will give him plenty of opportunity until he returns.

DET - Marvin Bagley (knee): OUT

DET - Alec Burks (foot): OUT

It always stings to lose a starter in an inconsequential preseason game, but it opens up an opportunity for rookie Jalen Duren ($4,000) to show his stuff. Isaiah Stewart ($5,000) will draw the start, but Duren should also see plenty of time. Cory Joseph ($3,900) should see some added run with Burks out.

MIA - Victor Oladipo (knee): OUT

With no clear timetable for Oladipo's return to action, Gabe Vincent ($3,900) sets up as an excellent pivot.

TOR - Chris Boucher (hamstring): DOUBTFUL

Precious Achiuwa ($4,100) should retain his usual role as a reliable pivot for the frontcourt Wednesday night if Boucher misses the game.

MEM - Dillon Brooks (thigh): DOUBTFUL

MEM - Jaren Jackson (foot): OUT

Jackson is ahead of schedule in his recovery, and Xavier Tillman ($3,700) will hold the court inside in the meantime. Brooks' potential absence is a bit more complicated, but giving more credit to the remaining starters is the wisest method when considering the impact of his absence.

HOU - Jae'Sean Tate (ankle): OUT

Tate's early absence could be pivotal, because if rookie Tari Eason ($3,900) stays as hot as he's been in the preseason, it could shake up the pecking order at the wing.

ATL - Bogdan Bogdanovic (kneecap): OUT

De'Andre Hunter ($4,400) should see an uptick while Bogdanovic is out, but don't be surprised if the Hawks kick rookie AJ Griffin's ($3,600) tires.

BKN - Joe Harris (ankle): OUT

BKN - Seth Curry (ankle): OUT

Patty Mills ($3,800) and Cameron Thomas ($3,900) should see increased rin amid these absences.

CHA - LaMelo Ball (ankle): OUT

I like Cody Martin ($4,000) as a great pivot for Ball here, although Jalen McDaniels ($3,800) will also have an impact.

SAC - Keegan Murray (COVID-19 Protocols): OUT

Murray's season debut will have to wait for a week or two. We saw a glimpse of his potential in the preseason, but we won't know his impact until he plays, so no pivots are worthwhile here.

Elite Players

Astonishingly, there are only three players over the 10k threshold for Wednesday's slate. Nikola Jokic ($11,600) is no surprise as the top salary on the slate, and he's up against a Utah team that no longer has Rudy Gobert to frustrate opposing centers. The mismatch makes Jokic tantalizing as your center pick. I don't like Luka Doncic ($10,900) as much against a tough Phoenix defense, but you almost have to call Kevin Durant ($10,000) a discount against the Pelicans, who should have a much stouter defense with Zion Williamson at full health.

Further down, Ja Morant ($9,600) appears to be a solid play considering the load he will have to carry in Dillon Brooks' absence, and Karl-Anthony Towns ($9,300) is in a great smash spot against the Thunder. He's also much more valuable with his eligibility at PF.

Also consider: Trae Young, ATL ($9,100) vs. HOU

Expected Chalk and Other Targets

Domantas Sabonis, SAC ($8,600) vs. POR

The Kings are a slight favorite in this game at home, and we only started to see Sabonis' impact on the team last season. While they had ample talent inside, Sabonis was a massive upgrade, and the Kings were surprisingly 4-0 during the preseason. It should be fun to watch how Sabonis fares in the opener.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, OKC ($8,100) @ MIN

SGA has returned fully healthy, and it should be interesting to watch Gilgeous-Alexander and Josh Giddey ($6,000) alongside each other again. The Timberwolves return as strong as ever, so it will be an uphill battle for the Thunder as usual, but the roster is injury-free and can run pretty deep into their depth chart to stay fresh. Despite Oklahoma City's deep roster, Gilgeous-Alexander should log somewhere between 35-40 minutes in the season opener.

Anthony Edwards, MIN ($7,700) vs. OKC

Edwards has four-position eligibility in a potential smash spot against the Thunder. We should expect Edwards' video game-like numbers to continue this season, and the Timberwolves have made him the primary playmaker on a squad that now incorporates Rudy Gobert ($7,800) on defense.

Terry Rozier, CHA ($7,200) @ SAS

Rozier also has four-position eligibility and he should be a focal point of the offense without LaMelo Ball in the fold. Rozier showed incredible upside when key players were absent, and he sets up to be a very productive player relative to his near-median salary.

Keldon Johnson, SAS ($6,800) vs. CHA

Johnson has a favorable salary when considering his expanded role. Life without Dejounte Murraywill be tough for San Antonio, and it'll be up to Johnson to absorb most of the missing output.

Also consider: Pascal Siakam, TOR ($8,500) vs. CLE

Value Plays

There are numerous deep values in the injury section, and my three favorites there are Banchero, Eason and Tillman.

Jamal Murray, DEN ($6,200) @ UTA

At last, we can once again start Murray with confidence, and this salary is way too low relative to his potential output. Hamstring and thigh injuries have kept him out of much of preseason play, but he has no injury designation heading into Wednesday's game. Barring late-breaking news, Murray should be considered a great tournament play.

Collin Sexton, UTA ($5,900) vs. DEN

Sexton will be given free rein as the Jazz try to figure out what looks a lot like a rebuild. With no Gobert or Donovan Mitchell, few reliable pieces remain, but Utah got a stellar backcourt player in the Cleveland trade, and they plan on using him to the maximum.

Here are some additional deep values to balance out your quest to get under the salary cap.

Devin Vassell, SAS ($5,800) vs. CHA

Clint Capela, ATL ($5,800) vs. HOU

Tre Jones, SAS ($5,100) vs. CHA

Brandon Clarke, MEM ($4,400) vs. NYK

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