The Monroe Doctrine

Portland struggles against opposing centers so lock Greg Monroe into your fantasy lineups on Tuesday evening. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s NBA contests.

Guards:

Khris Middleton, Bucks, $12,600 – Though Khris Middleton played in a fast-paced game last night, he’s not the type to get tired. Middleton leads all Bucks in minutes per game (MPG) and when it comes to back-to-backs he even stays on the court longer than usual. On the second end of back-to-backs, Middleton plays 37.0 MPG compared to 35.9 overall. Only Giannis Antetokounmpo’s 36.0 MPG on back-to-backs ranks anywhere close as they are the only two averaging over 31.0. The matchup yesterday against the Kings was admittedly more favorable but Middleton is still underpriced considering his production in the month of January. Portland ranks 18th in defensive efficiency to opposing shooting guards (SGs), and considering the huge chunk of minutes Middleton should see, he will have plenty of opportunity to take advantage of an above average matchup. Oh by the way he has four inches on 6’4” C.J. McCollum who should be the one covering him for a majority of the time.

Cory Joseph, Raptors, $7,700 – After looking over Tuesday’s slate, most of the players I see worthy of spending up on are forwards or centers. Therefore in order to fit them I am going to look to save money at the guard spots. Similarly to the Bucks, Toronto will be playing their second game in two nights on Tuesday as well. In back-to-back situations, Cory Joseph averages 26.4 MPG and 18.0 fantasy points per game (FPPG). Although they are on the road, the Raptors are favored because they will square off against a bad Phoenix Suns team. The nice part of the Phoenix matchup is they typically have no issue playing short lineups that include three guards or two guards and 6’6” P.J. Tucker. This means there will be plenty of opportunities for Joseph to play by himself as well as opportunities for three guard lineups with Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan. Also if this game turns into a blowout, Joseph should see plenty of run. The matchup could lead to a few more minutes than usual and if Joseph sees 28 or so minutes he should hit value in cash games pretty easily.

Gerald Henderson, Trail Blazers, $6,000 – Like Cory Joseph, Gerald Henderson is purely a punt option to fit some of the best plays of the night into your lineup. Over the past four games, Henderson has produced 19.25, 25.50, 13.50 and 17.50 fantasy points respectively. He is still minimum priced so 17.60 fantasy points equates to 2.92x value which is plenty for cash games. Certainly there is a level of volatility here as Henderson is basically a pure scorer coming off the bench. If a player in the rotation ahead of him gets hot or he comes in and struggles with his shot, he will get the hook faster than usual. At this price, it’s difficult to have too much opposition to using him because he has scored double digit real points in three of the last four games. Milwaukee ranks 27th in defensive efficiency versus SGs so the matchup is excellent as well and I think he’s worth the risk.

Forwards/Centers:

Chris Bosh, Heat, $13,900 – Here is why saving on guards makes sense for roster construction: Chris Bosh leads a group of extremely enticing bigs worth playing. The Heat will be heading to Houston to play in a game with an uptick in tempo from what they are used to. This game opened with an over/under of 204 with Houston favored by five. Houston has allowed the most fantasy points to opposing power forwards (PFs) this season but Bosh has really been starting at center with Amare Stoudemire at PF. According to NBAwowy, Bosh has played a fair amount of PF as well in Hassan Whiteside’s absence so he should be able to take advantage of the defense’s weakness at certain points in the game. Dwight Howard is a tough defender but Bosh averages 1.20 fantasy points per-minute without Whiteside as opposed to 0.86 with him. Assuming Bosh can make it to his season average of 33.5 minutes, he projects to around 40 fantasy points. The pace should help negate any value lost due to the individual matchup with Howard at times so I think you reasonably can expect a big game from Bosh at this very reasonable price.

Karl-Anthony Towns, Timberwolves, $13,800 – No team is worse defensively against centers (Cs) in terms of efficiency than the Los Angeles Lakers. On Tuesday night, Karl-Anthony Towns will be presented with the fantastic opportunity to head to the Staples Center and face little resistance down low. The other night I said you’re not committed to winning if you do not roster Towns and I yet again believe that to be the truth against the Lakers. With a spread of only four points, the game should remain close and Towns should play his normal allotment of minutes. In just about the best matchup possible, Towns should be a safe bet for 35 fantasy points with the upside for 60-plus.

Greg Monroe, Bucks, $12,600 – Man, I love the FantasyDraft format. On competing sites, it is impossible to roster three centers in a night due to the close-minded rules. In the modern NBA, why should you be restrained to only being able to roster someone like Draymond Green at PF when he plays C for half the game as well. Hell, the Phoenix Suns have been starting two Cs. In my opinion, you should be able to roster the players you want just like a real NBA general manager. FantasyDraft allows me to do so and most nights I find Cs and PGs to be the most attractive positions to load up on. With Towns already locked into my lineup, I’ll be looking to complement him with Greg Monroe despite the whole back-to-back constraint. Monroe only averages 30 MPG on typical back-to-backs but John Henson continues to sit out. When Henson sits, Monroe averages an additional 3.2 MPG and 0.6 FPPG. Portland allows the fifth most fantasy points to the C position and ranks third worst in efficiency. The Trail Blazers do not possess anyone on the roster to battle with Monroe on the boards nor hang with him in the post. Lock it in: Monroe will double-double in this one making him well worth the mid-tier price tag.

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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