Which players should you build around and which players should you fade in DFS as we tip off Wednesday's NBA action? Our experts have the answers.
Today's panel includes ESPN Fantasy's Kyle Soppe, Renee Miller and André Snellings.
Players to build around
I wrote this summary up last night because, frankly, I don't care what it takes to get Russ on my DFS squad tonight. Westbrook, born in Long Beach and a former UCLA star, travels back to his old stomping grounds in Los Angeles for a two-game tour, so all of the narratives are working in his favor ... but so are the stats. The Thunder have won six of their last eight games (with their two losses coming by a total of five points) and that success has been thanks in large part to No. 0: 32.3 points on 55.3 percent shooting, 10.3 assists, 9.9 rebounds and 2.1 steals. Did I mention that the Lakers operate at the fastest pace in the NBA? Or that Westbrook has had the last two nights off? Yeah, I'm not getting cute tonight.
The Spurs are on a back-to-back tonight and expected to be without roughly half their team (Tony Parker, Kawhi Leonard, Manu Ginobili, Rudy Gay and Danny Green all ruled out). There will be a ton of value to be had here as a result. The Spurs are merely one-point favorites in Philadelphia tonight, who will be without Joel Embiid. You probably can't go wrong with LaMarcus Aldridge here, but Anderson is a very affordable player to build around, particularly on FanDuel. He should play at least 30 minutes tonight, and is capable of scoring around a fantasy point per minute, like he was early in the season. One or both of Dejounte Murray and Patty Mills are also strong value plays, but I'd use them in tournaments only tonight. Anderson is a cheap path to what I see as a minimum 25 fantasy points tonight, allowing you to build either a stars and scrubs lineup or a more solid all-around lineup around him.
Paul was playing outstanding basketball before his most recent injury, averaging 23.7 points, 8.7 assists, 6.7 rebounds and 2.7 steals with 3.1 made 3-pointers in the seven games before the injury. He showed that he was fully back with a strong 28 point, 10 assist, 6 rebound effort in his last outing against the Los Angeles Lakers. However, with James Harden now sidelined, Paul has the opportunity to step his production up another notch as he assumes Harden's role. As an added bonus, his Wednesday opponent the Magic have given up the most fantasy points to opposing point guards in the NBA over the past 10 games.
Players to avoid
Seeing as how I am mortgaging the evening on Westbrook, Green isn't much of an option from a roster construction point of view ... and I'm not sad about it. The Mavericks will limit the number of possessions in this game and given that they are allowing the fewest paint points per game this season, Green's scoring floor is low in this spot, even by his standards. The Dubs do-it-all forward is battling an ankle sprain, one that could well limit his involvement in this game with the Rockets on tap tomorrow night, so consider me 100 percent out of the Green business if he is able to play tonight.
Davis is one of many stars taking the floor tonight, and is the one I am least likely to play. There is enough value to be had on this slate to fit in 2-3 stars, but I'd rather pay up for DeMarcus Cousins, Westbrook, Stephen Curry, John Wall, Nikola Jokic, and so on. Davis faces a tough Utah team that is perennially ranked among the top teams in defensive efficiency and slowest in pace. He's played them once this season, and managed just 39 fantasy points. He's undeniably hot right now, in the midst of a three-game stretch with over 30 real points in each, which could also make him more highly owned than he should be. As the most expensive PF option on FanDuel, I want at least 55 fantasy points from Davis tonight, and I think the likelihood of that is low.
André Snellings -- Andre Drummond, Detroit Pistons
It should be acknowledged that Drummond has been playing outstanding ball of late, which has raised his price into the area where the elite live. On Wednesday, though, Drummond has a battle lined up with Hassan Whiteside and the Miami Heat. Whiteside makes lives hard on opposing centers. Even if Drummond outplays him, he is less likely to produce a score worthy of his price tag than many of the other options in a similar price range on a jam-packed Wednesday night.