Greetings ladies and gentlemen! As long as there’s sports being played, there’s also DFS to add another element to our degeneracy. Approaching a DFS lineup can be challenging, and with only roughly 1/4 of the entries being paid, you need to know who the best plays are.
The difference between cashing for $5 and $5,000 can be as simple as finding a “diamond in the rough” (or your Tarik Cohen as Sean would call it). The beauty of the NBA is that there is always a low-ownership bench player that randomly decides to go off for 25 points which translates into a nice DFS score.
If you’ve been struggling to cash your NBA lineups, or if you’re a DFS veteran and are just looking for a second opinion, either way you’ve come to the right place. I’m going to take a look at some must-play high-priced players, some middle-priced players and some cheaper players that you should have in your lineup for Wednesday.
Expensive Must-Plays ($8,000-$10,700)
Anthony Davis ($10,300)/LeBron James ($10,700)
Let’s go ahead and get the obvious out of the way. I list these two together because it will be virtually impossible to stack them together due to their pricing, but you HAVE to have at least one of these two guys in your lineups. LeBron has not been playing like he’s 35 years old since the return, and he hasn’t scored lower than 42.5 fantasy points (which is why he’s the most expensive player on the board). AD had an off night against Toronto in which he shot 2-7 from the floor in his worst outing since the restart, and he still scored 34.5 fantasy points. These guys may be expensive, but you can trust that they will rack up points.
Joel Embiid ($10,400)
This is another play that really feels like a no-brainer. Joel Embiid is the second-most expensive player on the board for today, and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why. The 76ers facing a banged-up Washington Wizards squad, and the Wizards don’t have anyone that can really counter the inside dominance of Embiid. Since the return, he put up 81.25 fantasy points in his first game back followed by 45.75 last game. Just as sure as the sun sets in the west, you can count on Embiid to play his part in grabbing fantasy points with ease.
Kyle Lowry ($8,400)
This name on my must-plays for the day may come as a surprise to some, but hear me out. Toronto is matched up with Orlando, and the Magic have the trio of Markelle Fultz, D.J. Augustin and Michael Carter-Williams who all spend time at the point guard position. None of these guys can come close to shutting down the explosiveness of Kyle Lowry. A great quality of Lowry’s is the ability to fill the stat sheet even when his shots aren’t falling. Last game, he scored 36 fantasy points despite only shooting 2-8 on the night. I expect Lowry to have a big game against the weak guards of the Magic.
Mid-Level Must-Plays ($5,000-$7,900)
Jaylen Brown ($6,900)
This pricing is downright disrespectful. There is one simply word that can be used to describe the play and output from Jaylen Brown, and that is consistent. Sure, he’s not normally the biggest threat from a potent Boston offense, but he averages 34.8 fantasy points per game and scored 31.5 in his first game back followed by 45.5 the next. Brown is typically on the court for at least 35 minutes of game action, and this translate into more opportunities to score. A good stock broker would say buy while it’s low and sell while it’s high. At a higher price, there may not be value here. However, Jaylen Brown is a steal at this price.
Fred VanVleet ($7,700)
VanVleet barely falls into this category, and he could very well be considered as a lock for starting in your lineup. However, DraftKings has him vastly under-priced for what he brings to the table. Some might believe that his level of fantasy output since the return of the NBA may not be sustainable, but I don’t see him slowing down just yet. Fred VanVleet dropped 41.25 fantasy points in his first game back with a solid stat sheet despite only scoring 13 points. He heated up Monday in his second game though, putting up 51.75 fantasy points and scoring 36 against Miami. Orlando’s backcourt isn’t the strongest on the defensive end, and I like VanVleet to have another productive outing.
Mike Conley ($5,800)
I can’t pass up on this chance. Here we have Mike Conley playing against his former squad Memphis, and the veteran point guard has looked rejuvenated since the reboot. He’s playing at least 30 minutes a game, and you can imagine as a point guard there are endless opportunities. Conley’s averaging 30.4 fantasy points per game in the NBA Bubble and he still managed to put up 21.5 fantasy points on a night where his shots simply weren’t falling. This is a game that I feel like Mike will feel especially motivated to win, almost as a way to give the Memphis management a big middle-finger. This is the perfect plug and play to fill a lineup.
Long-shots and Value Plays ($3,000-4,900)
Brandon Clarke ($4,600)
This is one player that you can throw into your lineup and never doubt. Brandon Clarke has shown that he can produce great numbers when given the playing time, and now’s his time to shine. The Grizzlies will be without starting power forward Jaren Jackson Jr. for the rest of the way, and Clarke will step in and fill his shoes. He played 34 minutes in Memphis’s first game back, and he put up 38.75 fantasy points on a 21 point and seven rebound game. Clarke was obviously mispriced due to the slate being set on DraftKings before the JJJ news came out. I will gladly use this to my advantage though and play Clarke with extreme confidence.
Kyle Kuzma ($4,300)
Speaking of mispriced, we now run into Kyle Kuzma. Granted, he’s been dealing with a lingering ankle issue and he is coming off a less-than-stellar performance, but I’m not abandoning the ship. The playing time has still been there for Kuzma, and he’s shown that he can be a threat. He scored 16 points in both of the first two games back for the Lakers before only scoring nine last game. This may sound cliche, but the only that that can hold Kuzma back is himself. He only took six shot attempts last game, and his fantasy output can only be limited by how many times he will shoot. The Lakers are going against OKC, and I have a feeling Kuzma will see plenty of playing time in this one.
Furkan Korkmaz ($3,600)
Let’s wrap things up by looking at an actual long-shot shall we? The 76ers are taking on Washington, and that game has the makings to be a blowout. I am sneaking Furkan Korkmaz into a few of my lineups because I believe he will almost certainly see at least 20 minutes of playing time. Much of Korkmaz’s scoring and DFS output comes from behind the arc, and the Wizards are horrible when it comes to perimeter defense. Washington was ranking 25th in the league before the COVID break as their opponents were shooting 37.5% from deep. I don’t necessarily think that Korkmaz will put up 40 fantasy points, but he will be in the 20-25 range and he can be a great play for someone who’s running out of bankroll room.