Go CJ, That’s My CJ

C.J. McCollum draws a dream matchup against a tired Kings team that went to double overtime last night. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s NBA contests.

Guards:

DeMar DeRozan, Raptors, $14,800 – This season, DeMar DeRozan’s game has been taken to the next level due to an increase in scoring. Not only has he taken more than one shot more per game but he’s also shooting exactly three percentage points higher than last season. The sign of a true superstar is the ability to kick up the volume and still remain as effective (or in this case more effective). DeRozan has also upped his assist total by about 0.6 assists per game (APG). The 2015-16 version of DeRozan is a complete player and his opponent, the Washington Wizards, have struggled guarding wing players this season. They rank in the bottom five of fantasy points allowed to both the shooting guard (SG) and small forward (SF) positions and DeRozan will find himself playing both at different points in the game. So is it really surprising to hear he has eclipsed 50 fantasy points in each of the last two meetings against the Wizards this season? I expect him to push the 50 fantasy point plateau yet again in this one against the extremely fast-paced (fifth fastest) Wizards at home.

C.J. McCollum, Trail Blazers, $12,900 – Only the Los Angeles Lakers and Phoenix Suns have allowed more points to opposing SG than the Sacramento Kings. While C.J. McCollum starts at the SG position, he only plays about a six minute chunk before subbing out. He then subs in later in the first quarter for Damian Lillard and plays an extended stretch at point guard (PG) well into the second quarter. The Kings also allow the seventh most fantasy points to opposing PGs so it will not matter where McCollum plays because he should eat regardless. The last time he squared off against the Kings Lillard was inactive but still he put up a whopping 74.25 fantasy points against them. Clearly he is not worried about the matchup and his price has dropped recently to the point where there is still serious profit potential.

Archie Goodwin, Suns, $8,400 – Brandon Knight will miss at least the next four games meaning Archie Goodwin will continue to draw the start at the PG position. The only other healthy guards on the roster are Devin Booker, Sonny Weems and Lorenzo Brown…none of which possess true ball-handling ability. Therefore by default, Goodwin will yet again be forced to play big minutes as the team’s only facilitator. Knight went down two games ago and Goodwin has played 39 and 41 minutes respectively in the games since the injury.  Since Goodwin averages 29.97 fantasy points per-36 minutes, it’s not a surprise Goodwin has turned his minutes into 29.75 and 38.25 fantasy points over the last two contests. The Suns have no choice but to run him into the ground and play him huge minutes again on Tuesday against a bad defensive team in the Philadelphia 76ers. It’s difficult to envision a scenario where he does not reach value.

Forwards/Centers:

DeMarcus Cousins, Kings, $19,600 – Stop fading DeMarcus Cousins. Just do not do it at this point until the matchup dictates or the price exceeds $23,000. Every time Cousins steps on the court he is a threat for a 30-10 double-double as he did so yet again last night at home against the Hornets. Monday marked his ninth 30-10 double-double this month in 13 games…not to mention he scored 50-plus points for the first time in his career. Portland, his upcoming opponent, ranks 29th in defensive efficiency to the center (C) position and has allowed the 10th most fantasy points to the position. With Willie Cauley-Stein in the lineup, Cousins has shifted over to power forward (PF) some and the Trail Blazers struggle to guard the four as well. Regardless of who is covering Cousins, he should be en route to another 30-10 monster evening. The best part about Cousins is even when the defense decides to close on him and double team him, he possesses the passing ability to be able to make the defense pay. They are not able to converge on him for an extended period unless they want to keep allowing him to create easy baskets for his teammates. One way or another Cousins is going to get his in the projected fastest-paced game of the night (213.5 over/under) so do not miss out on rostering him. The only downside is he played in a multiple overtime game last night so his minutes may be down slightly.

Otto Porter, Wizards, $11,700 – As noted in the DeRozan tidbit, the Wizards are one of the fastest-paced teams in the league. They also will be without one of their top scorers in Bradley Beal for their date with the Raptors. One guy who has relished in the absence of Beal is Otto Porter. In games with Beal active Porter has averaged 23.6 fantasy points versus 30.2 when Beal is inactive. Toronto is not a great matchup for opposing SFs but Porter has dropped at least 32.75 fantasy points in the two previous meetings sans Beal. He should hover around 30 fantasy points at a reasonable price which is why I like him as a cash game asset. However, he also possesses the upside to reach 35 fantasy points which would be three times value and deem him a tournament play as well.

Salah Mejri, Mavericks, $7,000 – World, Salah Mejri, Salah Mejri, world. When Zaza Pachulia sat last game, previous statistics showed Dwight Powell would step up in his absence. In the previous sample size, however, Mejri was not announced as a starter. Once Coach Rick Carlisle inserted him into the lineup, I knew something was up. Mejri, a guy who seemed like a player incapable of playing big minutes, played 29 minutes and scored 29.75 fantasy points. For the season in a limited sample size, he averages 36.85 fantasy points per-36 minutes so he’s a guy that should produce with extended playing time. The team already announced Pachulia will sit on Tuesday so Mejri will likely draw the start again but this time he’ll face one of the worst C defenses in the game. Only the Philadelphia 76ers have allowed more fantasy points to opposing Cs. To review, an efficient per-minute producer will be facing a porous defense against him position and oh by the way he only costs $7,000. I’m always intrigued by a guy who can reach three times value but Mejri legitimately could reach five times value if all goes right. Count me in.

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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