If you want to take home the big bucks, you have to sacrifice salary somewhere, though you’ll also need to make sure you don’t roster a complete dud. That’s where this column comes in; we suggest players that keep you under budget while also providing the potential for a big performance.
Here are the top NBA DFS value plays for Wednesday, March 16.
Marcus Smart, Celtics ($7,900)
Brad Stevens will be shuffling his lineup around a bit as he tries to make up for the loss of Jae Crowder (ankle), and it didn’t take long for his decisions to turn some heads.
On Tuesday, Stevens started Marcus Smart at small forward — yep, SMALL FORWARD — against the Indiana Pacers. I doubt the 6-foot-4 Smart finds himself in the same spot when they face the Oklahoma City Thunder tonight, because, well, having him defend Kevin Durant would be leading a lamb to slaughter. However, I do think Smart gets some good run, and could find himself playing close to the 32 minutes he saw vs. the Pacers. He didn’t perform well in that game (12 PTS, 4 REB, 2 AST, 1 STL, 1 BLK), but if shoots better than 1-for-8 from the 3-point line and adds a few more assists and steals, he will easily reach value.
This game has an over/under of 220 points and the Thunder have been a bottom 10 team against opposing point guards all season, making Marcus Smart an appealing matchup play on Wednesday.
Jarell Martin, Grizzlies ($7,000)
Even some of the biggest NBA-philes don’t really know much about Jarell Martin, so here’s a little brush up: the 21-year-old became the 25th pick in the 2015 NBA Draft after a solid sophomore season at LSU that saw him average 16.9 points and 9.2 boards. He’s not much of a shot blocker (just three all season), but he has the ability to rack up the rebounds.
Zach Randolph (knee) has already been ruled out of Wednesday’s game, which makes Martin and JaMychal Green the only real power forwards on the Grizzlies’ roster. Green is the better player, but he’ll also cost you $4,100 more.
For a true punt play, Martin could be gold. He played 29 minutes on Monday — albeit in a blowout — and had 28.5 fantasy points. Memphis’ opponents, the Minnesota Timberwolves, are ranked dead last vs. power forwards over the last two weeks.
Michael Beasley, Rockets ($7,400)
I was never sold on Michael Beasley making a return to the NBA, and I definitely didn’t expect to ever recommend him as a fantasy option, but we live in a weird world.
It pains me to say it, but Beasley has been pretty solid over his last three games, and even more impressive on a per minute basis. In the last three contests, the former No. 2 overall pick has totaled 80.8 fantasy points in just 57 minutes played. That’s 1.42 FPs per minute, which is Russell Westbrook territory (1.43 FPs/minute). Obviously Beasley isn’t on the same planet as Russ, and he may very well find himself playing overseas again next year, but he’s hot right now and the Rockets seem to have faith in him. That’s enough to warrant punt status with legit upside for tonight’s nine-game slate.