Raul Neto will earn an additional few minutes at the very least with Trey Burke inactive so he should be considered the top value play of the night. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s NBA contests.
Stephen Curry, Warriors, $19,600 – Another day, another occasion where the Golden State Warriors will be playing in the projected highest scoring game of the night. Houston/Golden State opened with a 226.5 over/under while the second highest game of the night opened at a measly 207.5. Yet again one game stands out above all others and you’ll need serious exposure to it in order to cash. Houston plays at the seventh quickest pace and allows 106.3 points per game (PPG) so Golden State’s usuals should be in for a field day. The Rockets rank in the bottom half of defensive efficiency to every single position on the court so I’m just going to plug in the Warrior that’s going to have the most involvement: Stephen Curry. While Klay Thompson could absolutely go off, he’s going to need 25-30 real points to compete with the value of Curry who typically adds rebounds (REB), assists (AST) and steals (STL) to his near 30 PPPG (29.8). The teams have met twice previously this season but Curry only played in one of those games and dropped 46.25 fantasy points. I would be shocked if he didn’t eclipse that total in the second meeting because he’s a lot more locked in right now than he was on Oct. 30, 2015 (the date of the first game between these two teams).
Bradley Beal, Wizards, $11,100 – Tournaments are probably the best spot to deploy Bradley Beal at this point. After missing an extended stretch that spanned from Dec. 9 to Jan. 13, Beal’s minutes had just begun stabilizing before he broke his nose and suffered a concussion on Jan. 25 against the Celtics. He was only forced to miss one additional game after the injury and has been playing with a mask on since that time. In the first five games after returning from the nose injury, Beal played a minimum of 26 minutes and even cracked 30 minutes twice. Coach Randy Wittman inserted Beal back into the starting lineup on Friday (32 minutes) only to bring him off the bench in the second end of a back-to-back on Saturday (20 minutes). For the most part, it seems they are just being cautious on back-to-backs and he should be safe to deploy in a matchup against the New York Knicks mostly because he is underpriced. A healthy Beal is closer to a $13,000 player than he is an $11,100 one. The Knicks rank 12th in defensive efficiency against the shooting guard (SG) position and allow the 11th fewest fantasy points but Beal would be hard to pass on if he were announced as a starter. Despite the 20 minutes on Saturday, Beal scored exactly 22 PTS for a second consecutive game. As the team’s number two scorer, he could surpass 20 PTS on any given night and could do so again on Tuesday in the second fastest-paced game of the slate. Most will look to roster John Wall but Beal could prove to be the better value of the two. UPDATE: Bradley Beal has been announced as a starter Tuesday so he is now cash viable as well.
Raul Neto, Jazz, $7,000 – Using superstars typically requires using punt plays to cancel them out and I’m going back to the well with Raul Neto as my value play of the night. Trey Burke has already been ruled out for the second consecutive game and Burke’s absence on Saturday led to 37 minutes for Neto. Thirty seven. At this price, I would play almost anyone playing 30 minutes but especially a guy who has registered at least 19.25 fantasy points in five consecutive games. During that stretch, Neto only averaged 30.9 MPG so factor in five or so extra minutes and he should crush value. Oh by the way Dallas ranks 21st in efficiency against opposing point guards (PGs) so the matchup ain’t too shabby either.
Draymond Green, Warriors, $16,600 – One of urbandictionary’s 5,000 definitions defines the word “bae” as “baby, boo or sweetie.” If you have rostered Draymond Green enough this season, you understand how he has earned the nickname “Baemond” in the daily fantasy community. Green posted his league leading 10th triple-double last Wednesday and basically flirts with one every single time he steps on the floor. In two games this season, Green has averaged 47.0 fantasy points per game (FPPG) versus the Houston Rockets which actually edges out Curry for the team lead. He has averaged 9.5 PPG, 9.0 rebounds per game (RPG) and 11.5 assists per game (APG) against a Rockets team that allows the most fantasy points to opposing power forwards (PFs). Regardless of who Houston starts, none of them will be able to stick with Green. My guess would be Trevor Ariza draws the start at the four to chase Green around but he won’t be able to bang on the boards with the bigger body. Even if Clint Capela were to start, he simply doesn’t possess the speed to stay in front of Green. Houston is just toast in individual matchups no matter who they throw at him and there’s an excellent chance Green either approaches a triple-double yet again or accomplishes one. Throw in Green’s defensive stats and, voila, you see why he’s referred to as a “bae.”
Dwight Howard, Rockets, $13,200 – After a streak of three consecutive games played failing to reach 30 minutes, Dwight Howard has played 32 and 40 minutes in the last two games respectively. Opposing teams usually get pumped up to play the world champs and Howard presents maybe the Rockets only chance of competing with the Warriors. James Harden is going to get his as he does every time he steps on the floor but the Warriors possess excellent on-ball defenders. The way to ease the defense off of Harden is to establish a post presence and get Howard going early. In their last meeting on Dec. 31, the Rockets relied on this mindset and Howard produced a 21 PT, 13 REB, five AST, two STL and three block (BLK) monster en route to 54.75 fantasy points. Assuming this game does not get too out of hand early, Howard should top 30 minutes for the third consecutive game. For a guy who averages 1.14 fantasy points per-minute in a typical matchup, his efficiency should only improve in a fast-paced matchup where he is the offensive focus.
Greg Monroe, Bucks, $12,000 – Some players’ splits are truly interesting and Greg Monroe fits the bill. At home, Monroe is averaging 2.1 more PPG than on the road due to 1.0 additional free throws per game and almost an additional shot per game, 1.0 more RPG and even less turnovers. Referees in the NBA are affected by the home crowd more than one may think so players just get more calls at home and no Monroe is no different. Boston is a middle of the road defense in both efficiency and fantasy points allowed to opposing centers but Monroe is just too cheap. On opposing sites he is priced at 14-percent of total budget while he sits at 12-percent on FantasyDraft (or a two percent discount). At his current price, his season average of 35.49 would equate to 3x value or enough to make him a viable GPP play. With any level of variance to his production, he could end the night as one of the most valuable plays on per-dollar basis.