I Would Walk 500 Myles

All aboard the Myles Turner train, even against DeMarcus Cousins, because the Pacers/Kings game is projected to be the highest-scoring of the night and Turner is a monster. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s NBA contests.

Guards:

Damian Lillard, Trail Blazers, $16,400 – Usually when a player is diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, they are virtually doomed for the remainder of the season. Dealing with the injury is all based on pain tolerance and it tends to occasionally flare up from time to time until it is rested and fully healed. A few weeks back, Damian Lillard sat out seven consecutive games and apparently that reasonably short period of rest time was enough to put the injury behind him. Lillard is back to averaging 23.3 points per game (PPG), 3.7 three-pointers made per game (3PM), 4.3 rebounds per game (RPG), 7.7 assists per game (APG) and 1.1 steals per game (SPG) in January. On Saturday, he will square off against a Lakers defense allowing the most fantasy points to the point guard (PG) position. The Trail Blazers have squared off against the Lakers twice this season and Lillard scored 30 and 29 real points respectively. Expect more of the same in this one and he should approach the 55.8 fantasy points he has averaged in the two previous meetings yet again. He should put up one of, if not the, top fantasy-point total of the night at a nearly $3,000 discount from the likes of DeMarcus Cousins.

Rajon Rondo, Kings, $15,000 – One game’s over/under on the slate stands above all others as the Indiana/Sacramento projected total sits at four points above the next highest projection (Atlanta/Phoenix). The Kings are the fastest-paced team in the NBA and the Pacers do not rank far behind (eighth fastest-paced team). Similar to Pacers/Warriors last night, I expect plenty of offense in this game. The Pacers are tough on opposing PGs as they rank eighth in defensive efficiency to the position but you can almost throw that number out when facing Rajon Rondo. The guy barely averages double-digit points (11.7 PPG) and most of his fantasy point output is via assists, rebounds and steals. In a game where neither team will look to slow down the pace offensively, the potential for Rondo is immense. In their one previous meeting, Rondo managed a 13-8-17 line with one steal (STL) en route to 47.5 fantasy points. Although I think he comes close to the same line, a little bit of variance could transform this outing into his second consecutive triple-double and I love that type of upside for $15,000.

Devin Booker, Suns, $9,300 – Assuming you follow me on Twitter, you already know I absolutely love Devin Booker as a player. Recently he has been proving my ongoing faith in him to be correct as he has scored at least 24 real points in back-to-back games, including 32 points against Indiana on Tuesday. Pure scorers, especially those mostly reliant on their shooting, are difficult to trust on a nightly basis. Sometimes the shot is falling and other nights, well, it is not. At this price, I can make the exception for Booker who should remain a top-two scoring option in the Suns offense moving forward. If Brandon Knight sits out yet again, Booker would act as the top scoring option for the second straight game. With much of the roster banged up (Mirza Teletovic, Jon Leuer, Markieff Morris, P.J. Tucker and Knight to name a few), Booker should reach the 16-shot plateau for the third consecutive game, which gives him room for error. He will not give you much in terms of rebounds (REB), STL or blocks (BLK), but he should continue to sink shots in a game during which Vegas projects the Suns to score 102 points.

Forwards/Centers:

Anthony Davis, Pelicans, $17,900 – Starting Anthony Davis is always a scary proposition since he has the tendency to leave ballgames due to injury. Okay, so I’m probably underselling the propensity a little bit because Davis is legitimately always banged up. However, now is a great time to take advantage of that bias and roster him because it’s not like he is never going to make it through a NBA game ever again. If the Bucks were Superman, Davis would be their kryptonite because he has gone off on the Bucks in each of their previous three meetings. Spanning back to last season, Davis’ fantasy point totals against the Bucks are as follows: 61.0, 70.0 and 49.5. Guess what: the Milwaukee Bucks rank second-to-last in defensive efficiency versus opposing power forwards (PFs) yet again, meaning “Brow” continues to be a major mismatch. While many choose to roster DeMarcus Cousins for $1,100 more, my preference is to save the money and spend elsewhere for a player who could easily outscore the Kings’ center (C).

Kenneth Faried, Nuggets, $10,800 – Similar to the Davis pick, this one is not for the faint of heart. Kenneth Faried is the king of volatility. His minutes and productivity have flustered on a nightly basis essentially since he came into the league. Recently, Faried has gotten on a little bit of a roll as he has registered two straight double-doubles. In fact, his game before the streak fell just one rebound short. It was about this time last season when the lightbulb just seemed to turn on for Faried and he turned into a monster down the stretch. After the All-Star Break last season, Faried averaged 14.3 PPG, 9.2 RPG, 1.1 SPG and 1.0 BPG with a 51.1 percent FG percentage. Two straight 17-point, 12-plus rebound double-doubles have me excited for his prospects once again, because once he picks up a head of steam he can transform into a fantasy beast. He’ll face Ersan Ilyasova on Saturday night who is a very poor post defender, especially against physical opponents. Rebounds are not easy to come by against the Pistons, so I’m crossing my fingers he’ll be able to grab 10-plus. Additionally, I’m confident he will be able to score against a weak defender. The one asterisk I’ll put on Faried is the fact that Ilyasova is one of the best in the game at drawing charges, so the risk of early foul trouble is present. For that reason, I prefer Faried in tournaments only but he possesses plenty of upside for a player whose skill set warrants closer to a $12,000 price tag.

Myles Turner, Pacers, $8,100 – Ian Mahinmi has already been ruled out on Saturday so Myles Turner simply belongs in all lineups regardless of format. Turner can flat out ball and, unlike someone like Devin Booker, Turner is much more than just a pure scorer. When his game fully develops, he is going to emerge as one of the game’s best shot blockers and he is already showcasing that ability early in his career. His post game already looks polished as he has now scored at least 15 points in three straight and at least 25 points in two out of the last three. With extended minutes he should add a healthy supply of rebounds as well, so basically we’re looking at a $12,000-13,000 player for $8,100. Foul trouble is always a risk against DeMarcus Cousins, but I doubt Turner even draws the start. In other words, he will not play as many minutes against Cousins as he will often be on the court during Cousins’ rest. He is extremely fun to watch so do not overthink this and just use him in what is projected to be the highest-scoring game of the night.

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders is a fantasy sports expert with over 15 years of playing experience. After starting several freelance fantasy sports blogs, Ricky moved up in the fantasy industry when he joined Going9 Baseball. He wrote fantasy baseball content and had a weekly radio spot on the site’s SiriusXM Satellite Radio show. Shortly thereafter, in early 2013, Ricky joined RotoExperts as a three-sport fantasy contributor, eventually becoming one of the site’s lead basketball writers. While writing for RotoExperts, Ricky was introduced to daily fantasy sports and immediately fell in love. With help from some of his mentors, some of the best DFS players in the world, he honed his skills and became the daily fantasy expert he is today. When RotoExperts created a daily-focused website called DailyRoto.com, Ricky was brought on as one of the main contributors. He still makes frequent appearances on the RotoExperts SiriusXM Radio show and on the FNTSY Sports Television Network, talking daily fantasy sports. He also continues to write for a few DFS content sites: RotoCurve and The Fantasy Fix. Ricky is a proud and active member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He has agreed to be a writer and representative for the FantasyDraft brand and serves as an ambassador to the site. He has no more access to the site than the typical user. Don’t hesitate to contact Ricky with questions on Twitter @RSandersDFS.

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