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The Daily Fantasy Basketball Du-Rant
Just six more days left to the regular season and other than Wednesday, tonight has the most teams in action at 26. I alluded to this recently, but these last few games provide a great opportunity to find value as many teams are resting their players either to help get them healthy for the playoffs or to protect their big time investments for next season. So, unlike many previous weeks it will be easier to afford some of the top tiered dogs hopefully allowing you to dog the competition tonight. (Note: Salaries are from DraftStreet).
A-All Star priced players that should put up All Star stats today (target 35+ FP, $16,000-on up).
Carmelo Anthony (18.5%) production has been down of late (less than 30 FP in each of his last two games) as he has been dealing with a sore shoulder, but he has had five days to rest up as he and the Knicks have not played since Sunday. The shoulder issue makes Melo a risky play, but that should help keep his ownership down and this is a game the Knicks need to win as they are two games behind Atlanta for the final playoff spot in the East. (Update: Melo is playing tonight). If Melo is to pricey/risky for your liking consider Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook (16.8%) who has posted back-to-back 40-plus FP totals and should have a field day with Brian Roberts and the band of Pelican misfits that they will be rolling out there tonight.
LeBron James (21.3%) will be out to prove a point to the Pacers, whom the Heat are a half-game behind for the number one seed and home court advantage for the Eastern Conference playoffs. James exceeded 44 FP in each of his last four games and torched the Pacers for 45 FP in their last matchup. Tonight’s game is in Miami and with Dwyane Wade already ruled out for tonight’s game the Heat will again lean on The King to carry them offensively.
B-rated Ballers: Big name players with big games, but not as high of a price tag as the top five or so priced players at each position (around 30 FP, $13,000-$16,000).
Marcin Gortat (15.1%) the Polish Gordita, or more commonly known as the Polish Hammer, hammered the Magic for 42 FP in their last matchup and is the fourth highest scoring center in fantasy over the last seven days. Gortat dropped a 50 FP taco on the Bobcats in his last game and has an even better matchup tonight against a Magic team that has the fifth worst defensive efficiency rating against centers over the last three games in the NBA and are allowing the second most points per game among Eastern Conference teams to centers over that span.
Kyrie Irving (16%) is the second highest scoring guard over the last seven days (three games)at 42 FP and that includes just 24.25 FP in his last game against the Pistons where he played only 23 minutes as the Cavs had a 32 point lead at halftime. Uncle Drew is averaging 26.4 points per game in nine career games versus the Bucks (best average against any team) and should be well rested and ready to add to his 35-plus FP average in three games this season against the worst team in the NBA in the Bucks (14-64 W/L record).
Chandler Parsons (13%) could be in line for more touches tonight against Minnesota as James Harden (bruised shin) will not likely play his normal amount of minutes. The TWolves are allowing the fifth most fantasy points to opposing small forwards on the season and Pretty Boy Parsons finished with 36.25 FP in the team’s last matchup on March 20th.
C-as in players that COULD be in line to provide you with good to great value in the mid-tier price range (target 25+ FP, $10,000-$13,000).
Jeff Adrien (12.9%) Yo Adrien is what you should be yelling again tonight as he has exceeded 33 fantasy points in each of his last three games while playing 35-plus minutes. He and the Bucks will be facing a Cavs team that has the third worst defensive efficiency rating against power forwards on the season, which should allow Adrien to extend his streak of double-doubles to three games. (He came up a rebound shy of a double-double three games or else he would be going for his fourth consecutive Double-D).
J.R. Smith (13.2%) if you are too concerned about Carmelo Anthony as his sore shoulder then you should be buying into the fake gangster who put up an NBA record 22 three pointers (made 10) in the Knicks last game and is averaging 35.5 FP over his last three contests on the heels of 24-for-50 shooting from beyond the arc (48 3FG%).
D-Discounted Dandies: Players on the cheap whose production may exceed what their discounted price tag suggests. (Double Digit Fantasy Production, $3,500-$10,000).
James Johnson (6.2%) James Johnson should get the start again tonight with Tayshaun Prince ruled out with an ankle injury. Do not let JJ’s lackluster previous game log stat line fool you as he was matched up against LeBron James and one of the top defensive teams in the league in the Miami Heat. JJ should be Dy-no-mite tonight, at least for his salary, as he and the Grizz are facing the worst defensive team in the league in the 76ers. Should Suns point guard Goran Dragic not play (he is questionable with an ankle injury) then Gerald Green (11.3%) becomes a more appealing start at this price range than Johnson or Withey.
Jeff Withey (9.7%) or as Shaq referred to him, “Jeff Whitey” should see around 25 or more minutes with so many Pelicans players sidelined with injury and he led the birds in scoring with 17 points in their last game on Wednesday. Withey has posted near or above 25 FP in the last three games where he played 24 or more minutes. (I do not like the Withey play on DS at this price, but he is worth mentioning if you play across multiple sites where his salary is closer to 5% of your cap).
Luke Ridnour (4.6%) is not a sexy play, but Kemba Walker does not look like he is going to play, which means a bunch of minutes for him and at this price he is surely to reach value and would allow you to stack up on another Tier A or B priced player.
Patty Mills (8.6%) played 36 minutes in the Spurs last game recording 33.5 FP. Tony Parker (and Tim Duncan) are not expected to play tonight against the Suns, so that means Mills should see 30-plus minutes again tonight. Mills is averaging 19.3 points and four assists in the three games he has seen 30-plus minutes this season. Update: Tony Parker is playing so downgrade Mills. Rajon Rondo is out so upgrade Phil Pressey instead.
Kyle O’Quinn (10.7%) in case you missed it on Wednesday, O’Quinn has been in Beast Mode, which is fitting because he is a beastly looking dude in the ilk of Reggie Evans. You know, those type of dudes that you would not want to meet in a dark alley. While Evans is the type of player who would scare you just as much with his shot as he does his mug, O’Quinn is more skilled and aggressive on the offensive end as is evident by his PER 36 minutes stat line of 12.5 points, 11.2 rebounds (3.1 offensive), 2.4 assists, and is even getting it done on the defensive end with an impressive 2.7 blocks and 1.2 steals. The former “Face of March Madness,” O’Quinn, should see close to 30 minutes again tonight if Magic starting center Nikola Vucevic is out again with a sore Achilles’ tendon.
Best of Luck tonight and don’t be afraid to go rouge and post your questions in the comments section and/or send me a tweet @FantasyNomad.