The NBA schedule is pretty full on Wednesday night, which means there's a lot to choose from for DraftKings players. Everyone loves a value, right? Let's start off with two guys who could deliver in a major way despite their minor impact on your daily salary.
Top Value Plays for Wednesday
Aaron Brooks ($3,400) vs. Charlotte Hornets
Derrick Rose's latest injury is a tough pill to swallow for Chicago Bulls fans, but the development instantly makes Aaron Brooks an invaluable DraftKings contributor.
The 30-year-old veteran is set to take over the team's starting point guard role.
Brooks has already been one of the NBA's most dependable reserves this season. In 57 games, with only one start, he is averaging 10.6 points and 2.7 assists per game. He's also making a career-best 43 percent of his three-point attempts.
How will Brooks fare as a starter? The last time he started on a regular basis was back in 2009-10 when he played for the Houston Rockets. Brooks poured in 19.6 points per night in 35.6 minutes per contest while starting all 82 games in the campaign.
This season, Brooks is scoring 19.2 points per 36 minutes. The diminutive guard is a playmaker who is a more dependable outside shooter than Rose and is as good, if not better, at finishing near the basket this season. Using an impressive array of floaters and running half hooks, Brooks is converting 71 percent of his shots from five-to-nine feet, compared to just 54.3 for Rose, per NBA.com.
In his first game as the new starter, Brooks will tangle with a Charlotte Hornets defense that is fifth in the NBA in points allowed per game. The Hornets are still without their star point guard Kemba Walker, per Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer, and that should provide Brooks with a bit of a breather on the defensive end against Brian Roberts.
With the extended minutes, Brooks is a good bet to have a strong game. The fact that he can be drafted to your DK squad for a measly $3,400 makes him one of Wednesday night's studs.
Luke Babbitt ($3,700) vs. Brooklyn Nets
Don't look now, but Luke Babbitt has become a contributor for the New Orleans Pelicans, and any DK fantasy owners who have had the courage to use him over the last two weeks.
In his last 10 games, Babbitt is averaging 10.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, and he's shooting 62 percent from three-point range. He's coming off an 18-point, eight-rebound performance against the Toronto Raptors in which he also made four of five from beyond the arc. Babbitt is getting an opportunity to play, and he's making the most of it.
His DK salary is $3,700 for Wednesday's game against the Brooklyn Nets. If you're looking for another low-cost player who can offer value, it's Babbitt.
Top Two Fantasy Players at Each Position
Enough with the budget guys. Here's a look at the players who figure to have the biggest fantasy impact regardless of salary. Just below the table is a brief look at three players who will be well worth their draft price.
|Top Two Players at Each Position for Wednesday, Feb. 25|
|PG||Chris Paul||$10,200||Houston Rockets|
|PG||John Wall||$8,700||Minnesota Timberwolves|
|SG||James Harden||$11,000||L.A. Clippers|
|SG||Jimmy Butler||$7,700||Charlotte Hornets|
|SF||Gordon Hayward||$7,700||L.A. Lakers|
|SF||Andrew Wiggins||$6,500||Washington Wizards|
|PF||LaMarcus Aldridge||$9,000||San Antonio Spurs|
|PF||Tim Duncan||$6,800||Portland Trail Blazers|
|C||DeAndre Jordan||$8,800||Houston Rockets|
|C||Joakim Noah||$6,800||Charlotte Hornets|
|Salaries per DraftKings, picks per Mazique|
Chris Paul ($10,200) at Houston Rockets
The Oklahoma City Thunder's Russell Westbrook is the only point guard putting up better numbers than the Los Angeles Clippers' Chris Paul in recent days.
Coming off a 30-point, 10-assist performance against the Memphis Grizzlies, Paul is showing no signs of slowing down. Over the last 10 days, per DraftKings, Paul is scoring 20.7 points and 11.7 assists per game.
Per Odds Shark, the over/under for Wednesday night's matchup with the Rockets is 215.5. Look for CP3 to put his share of points on the board and the usual healthy helping of dimes.
John Wall ($8,700) at Minnesota Timberwolves
Despite the fact that John Wall has been struggling of late, averaging 4.75 turnovers per game in his last four outings, his woes aren't anything a trip to Minnesota can't fix. Ricky Rubio and the Minnesota Timberwolves' defense is ranked 29th in the NBA in points allowed per game.
Rubio struggles mightily to contain speedy point guards, and Wall is among the most explosive. Wall will prove to be well worth his price tag on Wednesday.
James Harden ($11,000) vs. Los Angeles Clippers
It doesn't matter if James Harden shoots well or not, he still puts up ridiculous fantasy numbers every night. In a game where he made just seven of 20 shots from the field, he still managed 31 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists, four blocks and a steal against the Timberwolves on Monday night.
In what looks like a game destined to become a shootout against the Clippers, expect Harden to come up big. There isn't a more dependable fantasy stud in the league right now.
Jimmy Butler ($7,700) vs. Charlotte Hornets
Throughout the season, Jimmy Butler has been the Chicago Bulls' most dependable scoring option. With Rose potentially out for the season, the Bulls will look to Butler to carry even more of the scoring load. After a brief slump, Butler seems to be up to the challenge.
With Rose on the floor against the Hornets back on Dec. 3, Butler racked up 29 fantasy points, per DraftKings. Without his usual backcourt running mate, Butler figures to be looked at even more as a scorer.
Gordon Hayward ($7,700) vs. Los Angeles Lakers
The Los Angeles Lakers are the worst defensive team in the NBA. Taking the top scoring option from the opposite team is always a relatively decent choice. When you consider Hayward is averaging 22.6 points in his last nine games, taking the Utah Jazz forward on Wednesday makes even more sense.
DeAndre Jordan ($8,800) at Houston Rockets
Without Dwight Howard, the Rockets won't have the requisite bulk on the inside to keep DeAndre Jordan from having another enormous game on the glass. In his last five games, Jordan is averaging 18.4 points, 19.4 rebounds and two blocks per game. His torrid run in the paint will continue against Houston.
Big names don't always equate to significant numbers. Here are the guys I'm tabbing as duds for Wednesday night.
DeMarcus Cousins ($10,300) vs. Memphis Grizzlies
Facing perhaps the most physical frontcourt in the NBA, DeMarcus Cousins' numbers will be beneath the standard he's set for himself all season. More importantly, his production will be below the level DK owners will want from a player commanding a salary above $10,000.
It seems too risky to take Cousins with players like Jordan or even the Bulls' Joakim Noah available for less, and with more favorable matchups on Wednesday.
Rajon Rondo ($6,200) at Atlanta Hawks
Rajon Rondo's DK salary isn't exorbitant, but his play has been erratic and statistically subpar of late. He's not averaging double figures in points or assists on the season, and he hasn't had a double-double since Dec. 22.
The case for drafting Rondo on Wednesday gets worse. He was benched on Tuesday night after an altercation with head coach Rick Carlisle, per ESPN.com. The Dallas Mavericks are also facing a defense that is ranked third in opponent's points per game and an offense that is fourth in team assist-to-turnover ratio. This is not a formula for a big game from Rondo.
Fantasy stats per DraftKings.
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