Zach Randolph is a more efficient fantasy producer without Marc Gasol and he should also see extended minutes without him. This is a recipe for DFS success on Wednesday. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s NBA contests.
Rajon Rondo, Kings, $14,500 – Undoubtedly Kings/76ers is the game of the night to target. While the Warriors/Suns are projected at a higher total (over/under opened at 220), the spread of that game is 16.0 in favor of Golden State. The Kings are only 4.5 point favorites in Philadelphia, which more than makes up for the four-point difference in over/unders (they are projected at 216). Philadelphia allows the fifth-most point per game (PPG) at 105.3 while the Kings allow 108.5 per game. Rajon Rondo is perfect for a battle of two bad teams expected to score a lot of points (PTS) because there are so many ways he can reach value, even at this hefty price. He leads the NBA in assists (AST) and is tied for ninth with 26 double-doubles this season. In a game where plenty of points will be scored, it’s safe to assume Rondo will reach double digits in AST and he should approach double digit PTS against a team that ranks 21st in defensive efficiency versus opposing point guards (PGs). Furthermore, he ranks third in the NBA with five triple-doubles and there will be plenty of rebounding opportunities against Philadelphia’s field goal percentage that ranks third-worst. The icing on the cake is the fact the 76ers turn the ball over more than any other team and Rondo’s 1.90 steals per game (SPG) rank eighth among all players. If nothing goes right for Rondo he still may end on 35 fantasy points and if everything goes his way he carries 65 fantasy-point upside.
Ish Smith, 76ers, $13,000 – Not only do I recommend using both of these dueling PGs in the same lineup as a tournament play, I think it’s a viable strategy in cash games as well. Ish Smith was reported to be on a minutes limit last game after injuring his ankle, leading him to miss Saturday’s tilt against Brooklyn. Well, his supposed “restriction” turned into 33 minutes with 16 PTS, nine rebounds (REB), five AST and two steals (STL), so the talk of him not being at full-strength was certainly overblown. No one should be making the same mistake of fading him because of a perceived limited role squaring off against the fastest-paced team in the NBA. Smith is one of the best players in the league at slashing and getting to the hoop and the Kings are one of the worst teams at preventing players from easy baskets. Sacramento is an excellent matchup for just about anyone but they really fit Smith’s skill set. Smith’s floor may be the 38.25 fantasy points he put up last time out but the potential is real in this matchup for an explosion. Get your popcorn ready because this game should be fun.
C.J. McCollum, Trail Blazers, $12,700 – In a 10 game slate, we’re not just going to stack one game. Other games have plenty of fantasy appeal and Rockets/Trail Blazers certainly applies. With the Rockets on a second end of a back-to-back, masseyratings.com projects the Trail Blazers to score 108 points on Wednesday which is the third highest projected total of any team. Patrick Beverley has focused on Damian Lillard in the two prior matchups which has allowed C.J. McCollum to do his thing against James Harden and the other less-inclined Rockets defenders. McCollum has scored at least 36.25 fantasy points in each of the two matchups and I expect more of the same from a scoring specialist against a Rockets team allowing the third most PPG (106.3).
DeMarcus Cousins, Kings, $19,800 – One of the best three players in DFS facing a defense that allows the most fantasy points per game (FPPG) to his position? Yes please. DeMarcus Cousins is primed for one of his patented explosions despite this game being held on the road where he is slightly less comfortable. Jahlil Okafor is not a good defender and should be toast. Even if Nerlens Noel attempts to guard him, Noel is nowhere near as big as Cousins and also has a tendency for foul trouble. Neither are encouraging when facing an absolute beast down low and Cousins should be a lock for 30-10 with sporadic other statistics. Even at almost $20,000, there is plenty of possible profit to be had because 70 fantasy points is well within reason.
Rudy Gobert, Jazz, $12,000 – On Tuesday Rudy Gobert double-doubled in overtime against the Dallas Mavericks and it actually still ended as the worst game in his last three. Prior to Tuesday, Gobert had dropped 42.5 and 43.75 fantasy points in his previous two games against Milwaukee and Phoenix. The matchup will get easier on Wednesday against Omer Asik and the Pelicans defense allowing the second most fantasy points to opposing centers (Cs). Gobert is averaging 10.2 rebounds per game (RPG) and the Pelicans allow the fourth most rebounds to opposing Cs. The double-double bonus on FantasyDraft helps top off productive nights and only foul trouble could keep Gobert back from enjoying the scoring format’s benefit. For a guy threatening 40 fantasy points on a nightly basis, a $12,000 price is not enough especially in an elite matchup. Pay this price tag for him especially in cash games and reap the benefits.
Zach Randolph, Grizzlies, $11,700 – Marc Gasol is out indefinitely with a fractured foot so Zach Randolph should see an uptick in production in his absence. When healthy, the Grizzlies possess two post presences they can rely on to dump the ball down to but Gasol’s injury limits them to just one. Also, Randolph’s rebounding will be needed more than ever. For fantasy purposes, his role increases and he has proved he is comfortable taking on more responsibility because he averages 0.88 fantasy points per-minute this season with Gasol on the court versus 1.07 sans Gasol. His rebounding percentage improves slightly without Gasol but mostly the reliance on him to take more shots suits his style. Randolph’s usage rate improves from 22.9 to a whopping 28.6 percent without the team’s star C and he is not yet priced as a double-double threat with that type of elite usage. Not only is he a target on Wednesday but he will continue to be a target in the upcoming days if his price does not adjust accordingly after likely enjoying a monster game against the Nets.