Daily Fantasy Basketball Preseason Advice For Wednesday Night
The return of the 2016-17 NBA season has already been tons of fun, as three days of daily fantasy basketball preseason slates are already in the books. Things quiet down considerably on Wednesday night, where just three NBA games grace the schedule.
While tonight’s three-game slate isn’t very big, logic could be pointing us in the right direction already when it comes to stellar NBA DFS picks. Let’s see which guys could make for the best plays as we run through all three of Wednesday night’s NBA preseason games:
Orlando Magic @ Cleveland Cavaliers
The Orlando Magic prepare for their second preseason game on Wednesday night, when they’ll head to Quicken Loans Arena to battle the defending champion Cavaliers. Here are some quick takeaways leading into tonight’s NBA preseason showdown:
- LeBron James 2016-17 debut
- No J.R. Smith
- Kyrie Irving OUT
- Ibaka, Gordon, Payton all OUT
Cleveland will start the preseason without Uncle Drew, who will sit due to rest. That means we’re likely to see a Cavs starting five consisting of DeAndre Liggins, Iman Shumpert, LeBron James, Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson.
#Cavs will start DeAndre Liggins at point guard tonight in place of resting Kyrie Irving. Ty Lue shouted it across the practice facility.
— Chris Fedor (@ChrisFedor) October 5, 2016
Head coach Tyronn Lue announced Liggins would draw the start at the point, but the 28-year old journeyman is traditionally a shooting guard and may not be a reliable play. Shumpert isn’t set in stone in the starting lineup at the time of this article, but he should at least be in for some solid run.
It’s going to be tough to trust LeBron James or Kevin Love in this one, but if Lue can give them 15-20 minutes, they should be worth targeting on such a short slate.
Beyond those two studs, the Cavs should also get solid run out of rookie point guard Kay Felder and young scoring threat, Jordan McRae. Some will remember Felder from his days as a darting scorer at Oakland (24.4 points per game last season). Felder is a pretty talented player and should be in play for some minutes at both guard spots this year, as he can hit the outside shot and is a fantastic overall scorer:
Many will recall that McRae isn’t too shabby, either. In the final game of the regular season last year McRae drew a spot start with the Cavs resting their key players and erupted for 36 points:
Unless James and the main starters are for some reason playing a ton tonight, both of these scorers should be well on your NBA DFS preseason radar.
Cavs top plays: James, Love, Felder and McRae
As we noted above, Orlando will be stripped of three key players tonight, with Elfrid Payton, Serge Ibaka and Aaron Gordon all out for the second straight NBA preseason game.
That’s fine, as we’ll see a decent amount of D.J. Augustin and Mario Hezonja. Ibaka being out could give way to solid minutes for Jeff Green and Nikola Vucevic, as well.
Orlando starters all saw 22+ minutes in their first game, so it’s possible they’ll be out there for as long again. The ones to really trust might be Evan Fournier (18 points in opener) and Vucevic (11 pts, 9 rebounds).
Should the Magic deviate from their first preseason game, we could get a closer look at Jeff Green (14 minutes) and big man Stephen Zimmerman (8 pts in 17 minutes). Scorers C.J. Wilcox and C.J. Wilson both saw 15+ minutes in the first game and could be worth a look if they get more run this time around, too.
For the most part, we don’t trust the young Orlando guys and would either bank on the main starters performing well or just fade this side of the game, altogether. If there is one guy that could pop up tonight, it could be Hezonja. He disappointed in the first game with Gordon out, but with another shot at proving himself, he could shine tonight.
Magic top plays: Vucevic, Fournier, Augustin and Hezonja
Utah Jazz @ Phoenix Suns
The Utah Jazz and Phoenix Suns will wage war tonight in the desert, but the usual starters won’t all be taking the floor. Let’s go over some quick notes for this game before diving into the top plays for the night in daily fantasy basketball preseason leagues:
- Derrick Favors OUT
- Rodney Hood OUT
- Brandon Knight named Suns 6th Man
Starting with the visiting Jazz, they’ll be down two key starters, which could call for a few extra minutes from guys like Gordon Hayward, Rudy Gobert and George Hill.
Hayward and Hill were both held under 20 minutes in the opener, but Hayward still excelled with 17 points. Hill was a disappointment and between the two, if there is any minutes restriction, Hayward is obviously the safer play. Gobert saw 22 minutes and notched a 10 and 13 double-double. If he can get even 20 minutes again in game two, he should be a fine play again at center.
The starters aren’ the only guys to consider when it comes to the Jazz. Dante Exum logged 21 minutes in his first game back from a torn ACL and with Hood out, it’s possible he plays a little more in game two. He can do a little bit of everything, so he’s a fine cheap play tonight.
Joe Johnson, Trey Lyles, Boris Diaw and Shelvin Mack and maybe even Joe Ingles all deserve consideration, as they all saw 12+ minutes and could see more work tonight. Only Johnson and Lyles really feel like top shelf plays on this slate, though, with the tie going to Lyles with Favors sitting out tonight.
Overall, the Jazz defend well but will be forced to play a little faster on the road against the Suns. Even if the starters don’t play much, that could still help them produce solid numbers tonight.
Jazz top plays: Gordon Hayward, Rudy Gobert and Trey Lyles
Phoenix is the fun side of this game as far as preseason NBA DFS is concerned. Their starting five figures to look much the same it did the other day, when they sent Eric Bledsoe, Devin Booker, T.J. Warren, Jared Dudley and Tyson Chandler onto the floor.
Bledsoe played the least of the starters, which makes sense since he missed much of last year following a knee injury. He could be slowly brought along yet, so he may be a riskier play than the other starters. He also wasn’t great in the opener, so we’re probably fading.
One huge reason is because Devin Booker has been so solid.
— NBA.com (@NBAcom) October 4, 2016
He was recently named the team’s starting shooting guard for the season and promptly poured in 19 points in 24 minutes against the Spurs.
With Booker taking on a massive role at just 19 years old, it’d make sense to see him log 20+ minutes throughout the preseason.
The rest of Phoenix’s starting five isn’t great, as Warren is an all or nothing chucker, Dudley isn’t a big offensive weapon and Chandler is mostly a defense guy.
Instead, beyond Booker, we might take it to the Phoenix bench, where Brandon Knight is slated to operate as the team’s sixth man and interesting rookie big men Dragan Bender and Marquese Chriss await.
Knight didn’t play much in game one, but he could log a little more time tonight, making him a worthy try at DFS sites. The rookie big men both saw 20+ minutes of action, but both struggled. With Derrick Favors out and the slate being so small, they could be calculated risks tonight.
Suns top plays: Devin Booker, Brandon Knight, Marquese Chriss and Dragan Bender
Toronto Raptors @ Los Angeles Clippers
Lastly, we come to the Raptors and Clips, as Los Angeles debuts at the Staples Center and Toronto prepares for their third preseason tilt. Let’s run through the key notes ahead of tonight’s preseason clash:
- Clippers stars could rest on B2B
- Raptors could rest after 3 games in 5 days
- DeMarre Carroll sat out last game
Nothing is set in stone yet, but it’s quite likely the Clippers sit most of their stars. That probably mens Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and possibly J.J. Redick sit after playing in Golden State last night.
If any of those guys to play, it will be tempting to use them, but they would likely be very limited. Still, if they play, Griffin, CP3 and DJ are in play. Just be sure to monitor their statuses.
The guess is they all sit, though, which would put the likes of Austin Rivers, Raymond Felton, Wesley Johnson, Brandon Bass and Mo Speights front and center for serious run.
Rivers actually paced the Clips in minutes (26) on Tuesday night, but he went an ugly 0-8 from the field. His pops will probably give him the start and allow him to try to redeem himself.
Speights was the top producer, scoring 14 points against his old team, while also grabbing five rebounds. Felton, Bass and Johnson all saw 12+ minutes but could stand to see increased roles tonight.
Rookie big man Brice Johnson could also be busy if both Blake and DJ sit. He didn’t do much in seven minutes last night, but with fewer bodies on the floor, he could see a huge minute spike.
It’s tough to gauge this game without knowing what the star players are doing, but we’ll work under this assumption: if they’re in, you can try them and if they’re out, consider our favorite plays.
Clippers top plays: Austin Rivers, Raymond Felton, Brandon Bass, Mo Speights and Brice Johnson
Toronto could also opt to rest their starters, but that hasn’t really been the case so far this year. Their top players aren’t being run into the ground either, though, as Lowry and DeRozan have both yet to top 21 minutes in either of their first two games.
Those guys can do a lot in 15-20 minutes, though, so both remain in play if they’re active tonight If you’re picking just one, though, we’d side with Lowry, who is the better pure shooter and racks up more stats with dimes and steals.
Of the other starters, center Jonas Valanciunas is also in play. He was “meh” in game one, but blew up last game.
Bench man Terrence Ross could also be in play, as he’s come in hot with 11 and 23 points in his first two preseason contests.
A few other guys to take a look at in this game are rookie big men Jakob Poeltl and Pascal Siakam. Both have impressed at least once in these first two games and if any of the regular starters sit, they could play a bit more than usual.
Raptors top plays: Kyle Lowry, DMR, Jonas Valanciunas and Terrence Ross
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