• LeBron James and Dwight Howard are the stars worth paying for in Wendesday's DFS contests.
By Mike Barner
January 31, 2018

There are eight games on the NBA schedule Wednesday, leaving you with plenty of options to choose from in DFS. Consider using some of the players below who have favorable matchups, and plugging them into our NBA Lineup Optimizer to hopefully create a winning lineup.

Point Guard

Damian Lillard, vs. Bulls (FD: $9,400, DK: $8,900)
Projected Points: FD: 45.5, DK: 47.38

Lillard continues to carry Portland’s offense, averaging 28.7 points and 4.4 three-pointers in his last seven games. He currently has a 29.7% usage rate and is averaging at least 18.7 shot attempts per game for the third consecutive season. He’s not just a scorer though, posting 4.7 rebounds and 6.5 assists per contest. The Bulls will be without Kris Dunn (concussion) again Wednesday, leaving Lillard with an excellent opportunity thrive in this game.

Dennis Smith Jr., at Suns (FD: $6,800, DK: $6,800)
Projected Points: FD: 32.04, DK: 33.2

Speaking of teams that struggle offensively, the Mavericks score the fifth-fewest points per game (101.7) in the league. Though Smith’s only a rookie, he already has a significant role in the offense, posting a team-high 28.6% usage rate. To put that into perspective, the next highest on the team is J.J. Barea at 25%. The Suns play at the third-fastest pace (102.2 possessions per game) and allow the most points per game (112.3) in the league, leaving Smith with an excellent opportunity to provide value.

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Shooting Guard

Jordan Clarkson, at Magic (FD: $6,600, DK: $7,000)
Projected Points: FD: 35.46, DK: 36.56

The Lakers will be shorthanded at guard again Wednesday, with Lonzo Ball (knee) set to miss his eighth straight game. In the first seven games that Ball missed, Clarkson averaged 19.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 4.9 assists per contest. It’s no surprise he’s been able to put up big numbers with the added playing time, given that his 27.5% usage rate is the highest on the team. At this reasonable price, he is someone worth considering for your entry.

Nicolas Batum, at Hawks (FD: $5,800, DK: $6,200)
Projected Points: FD: 29.32, DK: 29.88

While Batum has never been overly efficient, he is shooting just 41% from the field this season and a career-low 30.1% from behind the arc. He dealt with an elbow injury earlier this season, which appears to have impacted his offensive game. The good news is that he still gets plenty of playing time, logging at least 33 minutes in seven of his last 10 games. He’s also had a few breakout scoring performances, as well, most notably on Monday when he scored 22 points and hit five three-pointers against the Pacers. He can provide valuable numbers in both rebounds and assists, so it might be worth taking a chance on him Wednesday based on his potential upside.

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Small Forward

LeBron James, vs. Heat (FD: $11,900, DK: $11,100)
Projected Points: FD: 51.51, DK: 52.48

James is rolling right now, averaging 25.0 points, 8.3 rebounds, 9.8 assists and 1.3 steals in his last four games. His ability to contribute across the board gives him a tremendously high floor in DFS, especially considering he’s also averaging 37 minutes per game. With Kevin Love (hand) now injured, James will have to shoulder even more of the offensive burden for the Cavaliers. He could be primed for a dominant performance Wednesday.

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Brandon Ingram, at Magic (FD: $6,700, DK: $6,300)
Projected Points: FD: 31.55, DK: 31.71

Ingram has made major strides in his second year in the league, shooting 45% from the field this season after shooting only 40.2% last year. He’s also shown an ability to contribute in multiple categories, averaging 5.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 0.8 steals and 0.7 blocks per game. Both the Lakers and Magic are in the top-seven in the league in pace of play, so the expected pace in this game makes Ingram even more attractive.

Power Forward

Jarell Martin, at Pacers (FD: $5,000, DK: $4,900)
Projected Points: FD: 22.65, DK: 22.36

The Grizzlies could have very little depth Wednesday, with James Ennis III (calf) and Chandler Parsons (knee) already ruled out, JaMychal Green (ankle) doubtful, and Dillon Brooks (knee), Mario Chalmers (hamstring), Deyonta Davis (knee) and Ben McLemore (knee) all listed as questionable. Martin has played at least 30 minutes in a game six times this season, averaging 13.0 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.0 blocks and 1.2 three-pointers in those contests. With the potential for added minutes Wednesday, he could be well worth the risk at this price.

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Bobby Portis, at Trail Blazers (FD: $4,500, DK: $5,900)
Projected Points: FD: 16.67, DK: 17.03

Lauri Markkanen (personal) will miss Wednesday’s game in Portland, while Nikola Mirotic (leg) is listed as questionable. The Bulls almost traded Mirotic to the Pelicans on Wednesday, so it wouldn’t be surprising if they take the cautious approach and sit him to avoid further injury. Portis has the second-highest usage rate (25.9%) on the team, and he’ll get plenty of run if Mirotic joins Markkanen as a DNP.


Dwight Howard, at Hawks (FD: $10,200, DK: $9,400)
Projected Points: FD: 44.91, DK: 45.9

Howard has had a resurgent season overall for the Hornets, but he’s been even better in the recent term, averaging a staggering 18.6 points, 15.1 rebounds and 3.8 blocks over his last eight games. He has also played well against his former team, averaging 19.0 points, 15.0 rebounds and 4.0 blocks in two games against the Hawks. That comes as little surprise considering the Hawks allow the second-most FanDuel points per game and the third-most DraftKings points per game to opposing centers. Howard costs a lot, but he should be worth it Wednesday.

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Julius Randle, at Magic (FD: $6,600, DK: $6,600)
Projected Points: FD: 32.33, DK: 32.79

Randle enters Wednesday having recorded a double-double in three of his last four games. Although the Lakers have depth up front, Randle can still be productive in limited minutes thanks to a 24.7% usage rate that is third-highest on the team. The Magic are thin up front with Nikola Vucevic (hand) out and Aaron Gordon (hip) possibly set to miss his second straight game. If you don’t want to pay up for Howard, Randle is a more budget-friendly option to consider.

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