Read on for the top four picks at each position and a sample lineup for Wednesday’s FanDuel NBA games; but first, a look at the night’s building blocks.
DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings ($10,600) vs. New Orleans Pelicans: With 32 (actual) points scored in five of his last six contests, it appears that Cousins has channeled his omnipresent rage into hating the game, at least for now.
While his Kings have enjoyed a scheduling break since Saturday, the Pelicans will be on the back end of a two-game set as the third-worst team overall on FanDuel NBA against opposing centers.
In addition to the scheduling advantage, the Pelicans could be without leading scorer Anthony Davis once again, as he continues to recover from a hip injury. While it’s conceivable that the Brow’s absence could turn the game into a mismatch, the Kings rarely hold a “safe” lead, as they are dead last in the league in points allowed (108.6 per game).
What makes this game ideal for fantasy purposes is that the Kings offense is nearly as potent (third at 106.5 PPG) as their defense is inept, so Cousins should continue to reap the benefits of that paradox Wednesday night.
In four meetings last season, Boogie averaged 27.3 points and 17.3 rebounds per game (vs. 24.1 PPG and 12.7 RPG overall) against what was probably a better Pelicans team, so he should have a high floor in this likely score-fest.
Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors ($10,700) vs. Denver Nuggets: Curry appears safe to deploy again after playing 38 minutes in each of his last two contests without any apparent after-effects from his recent shin issue. Still, it can’t hurt that he’s getting a day of rest after Monday night’s victory over a short-handed Miami Heat squad.
Although they were spared with a mere 14 minutes of Curry in the previous meeting, the Nuggets are in the bottom third vs. opposing point guards on FanDuel NBA overall so his 34-point eruption back in November against them is probably a better indicator of what could happen without injury-related restrictions.
Now that forward Draymond Green has been listed as iffy for Wednesday night’s contest, the onus is more likely to fall upon the Chef to carry the team for longer stretches than usual. The fact that Green is likely to get one or two games off reinforces the notion that Curry is past his ailment for now.
James Harden, Houston Rockets ($10,000) vs. Minnesota Timberwolves: While the more “complete” offensive packages of the Kings and Warriors have been captivating the fantasy world lately, the Rockets are no slouch either, as their 103.9 points per game ranks fourth overall (just behind Sacramento).
While the other two franchises feature a reasonably balanced attack, the Rockets’ ability to compete on the offensive end rests largely on the performance of Harden, especially with Dwight Howard’s availability in question on a regular basis.
Despite generally having to do more with less, Harden has overcome his auspicious start to the season and he’s looking more like the reigning MVP runner-up. To that effect, the Beard averaged 31.3 points and 8.5 assists per game in four meetings with the T-Wolves last season, which were both above his 27.4 points and 7.0 assists per game for that campaign.
While Minnesota is generally tough against opposing 2-guards, the recent precedent would suggest that Harden can overcome what would normally be a difficult matchup against essentially the same cast of characters (Zach LaVine, Andrew Wiggins, Kevin Martin) that he dominated last season.