Top Tier: Kemba Walker- Kemba continues to do it all for the Hornets sporting a 34% usage rate and a 29% assist rate through four games, playing minute totals of 38, 26, 40 and 33. The Bulls are a bottom-five defensive team and it’s not going to get any better with Kris Dunn out for 4-6 weeks. I will get to why I prefer going cheap on FanDuel, but a more balanced approach has been my go-to for DraftKings thus far and Walker would fit perfectly into that sort of build.
Mid Tier: Lonzo Ball- Zo had a pretty solid game in his first run without Brandon Ingram and Rajon Rondo, he posted a 14-6-6 line across 32 minutes and now gets a dream matchup with the Phoenix Suns defense. You could easily slot Josh Hart into this spot as well, as both make for strong plays once again and both of their playing styles benefit from a fast-paced environment.
Low Tier: Cam Payne/TJ McConnel/Michael Carter-Williams- There’s an abundance of cheap Point Guard plays tonight, which makes it look like another double-punt night on FanDuel which plays heavily into their new scoring system of dropping your lowest score. All of these guys are under $4,000 and I think all are pretty much playable given that scoring formats. If I was ranking them, it would be Payne, McConnell one and two with MCW a distant third. I think he is fine at min-price, but they have been cautious with his minutes and if you are going double-punt you are hoping one can hit a decent ceiling type game, that’s unlikely IF his minutes are still dialed back.
Top Tier: James Harden- We obviously know that James Harden is a top play pretty much nightly, especially when Chris Paul is out. Harden sees a solid bump in usage without CP3 on the floor, but he also sees his assist rate jump to over 50%…that’s a massive number and shows that he literally does everything on offense without Paul. The only issues I’m having with playing Beard tonight is that the opportunity cost at SG is so hight, there are 5-6 amazing SG plays, while SF is extremely top-heavy once again for me (talking FanDuel).
Mid Tier: Devin Booker- Weirdly enough, Shooting Guard is absolutely loaded on Wednesday night and that drop from Harden starts with Devin Booker. Booker has seen 5+% increases in both usage and assist rate this season, mainly given that the Suns are playing without an NBA caliber Point Guard, and now we get Booker in a matchup with the Lakers in a game with a 237.5 O/U. Sign me all the way up!
Low Tier: Zach LaVine- LaVine checks in tonight as a fantastic play for me with Kris Dunn out and a matchup with the Charlotte Hornets who were near the bottom in defensive efficiency to guards a season ago. He’s dominated usage and the offense with Kris Dunn out, and Dunn will now be sidelined for 4-6 weeks due to a knee injury. Hoiberg has said that LaVine can take over some PG duties with Dunn out and he already is averaging double-digit drives per game.
Top Tier: LeBron James- LeBron gets the nod over Giannis for me tonight mainly given the pace and environment (237.5 O/U) of this game with the Phoenix Suns. The Lakers are 0-3 and it’s LeBron’s first 0-3 start to a season since I was in elementary school, literally, and it has to be getting to the point where LeBron will be looking to take over the game and make sure he comes out of this one with a W, even if he has to be the Cleveland version of himself.
Mid Tier: Taurean Prince- On FanDuel, I probably would either spend up for two guys here or use one of the top guys with Anderson, but in the case that you land on a mid tier SF I prefer it to be Taurean Prince. He owns a sneaky-high 31% usage rate this season, mainly due to John Collins being absent from the lineup thus far this year, but he is dominating the ball and the Mavericks are a bottom-five defensive team who are still without Harrison Barnes.
Low Tier: Kyle Anderson- Anderson fits the mold as a SF punt to jam in LeBron, and he actually has upside when given the minutes, The Grizzlies are dealing with a slew of injuries right now (what else is new) and Anderson should be able to finally eclipse 20 minutes tonight…it’s not like they just signed him to a big deal or anything.
Top Tier: Kevin Love- Love is locked into big minutes for an underwhelming Cavs team, and he gets the cake matchup of a big vs them that I’ve literally been writing about all season in this exact article. This should be a close game with good pace and Love’s usage rate is climbing closer and closer to 30% with each game, he’s once of my favorite overall plays of the day.
Mid Tier: Kyle Kuzma- Kuzma posted a fantastic 27-8-3 line in 45 minutes against the Spurs on Monday, and while that was an overtime game the minutes are 100% secure. He was lined up for 40 minutes pre-OT and he posted a solid 25% usage rate in the first game sans Rondo/Ingram. As I’ve already touched on in this article, this is one of the premier games of the season thus far with a truly monstrous Vegas total, setting up Kuz as playable in all formats once again.
Low Tier: Wendell Carter- Carter struggled in his last game, which rookies will do at times, but the most encouraging thing to me was that he played 31 minutes. After topping out at 19 minutes in his first two games, jumping up to over 30 was very encouraging especially as he remains under-priced. He has a strong matchup with the Charlotte Hornets, and makes for a very strong value play especially on DraftKings where he finally gained PF eligibility.
Top Tier: Joel Embiid- JoJo easily takes the top spot if Ben Simmons (questionable) is ruled out once again tonight. His usage rate is over 30% without Simmons on the floor and the Bucks will not be able to keep him off the glass whatsoever.
Mid Tier: DeAndre Ayton- I feel like I write him up every time he plays, but he did me well in his last game rebounding from a poor performance the game before and putting up 20-14-5 against the Golden State Warriors. Ayton is extremely athletic and he benefits from increased pace games, which should be exactly this game against the Lakers. He contributes to all facets of the game for fantasy and he is still priced cheap enough to be a cash game play.
Low Tier: Robin Lopez (FanDuel Punt ONLY!!!)- Lopez is not a good player at this point in his career, and he played in only nine minutes in their last game. However, given the FanDuel scoring where your lowest score is dropped you can use him at min-price to jam in two expensive Shooting Guards and two expensive Small Forward. If you need a mid tier Center play, I’d be looking at Javale McGee and Jarrett Allen.
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)
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