The force is strong with this one: Chris Paul. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s NBA contests.
Stephen Curry, Warriors, $19,200 – There’s no denying Chris Paul is an excellent perimeter defender and has a tendency to drive opposing point guards (PGs) crazy. However, Stephen Curry is not your average, everyday PG and he has enjoyed an abnormal amount of success in his past two meetings with Paul (like he has against virtually everyone). In their only meeting prior this season, Curry dropped 66.75 fantasy points largely due to his 40 real points (PTS) on 11/22 shooting (50-percent). The man is averaging nearly 30 points per game (PPG) and slightly over 52 fantasy points per game (FPPG) this season. On a four game slate with only one game with an over/under greater than 205 points, using the best player from the matchup feels like an absolute must in cash games. The Heat are going to be without Chris Bosh again at the very least and possibly even Dwyane Wade once again so their team will provide plenty of value making it easy to fit multiple studs into a single lineup. With that being the case, it’s a stars and scrubs kind of slate and Curry is the cream of the crop amongst the top-priced options.
Chris Paul, Clippers, $16,700 – In a game with a total so high on a slate that it’s an outlier, you virtually have to use multiple players from the game by default…especially in cash games. Sure one of the other three games could go to triple overtime (OT) and prove to be the game of the night but the probability of such an outcome is low. Just in case a situation like that were to occur, taking advantage of the outside chance is worthy of exploiting in tournaments but no such risks are necessary in cash game formats. With all that being said, the Clippers offense flows through Chris Paul kind of like how the Trail Blazers’ flows through Damian Lillard. Now they are different types of players but I just thought it was noteworthy because Lillard dropped 78 fantasy points against the Warriors last night. Paul has squared off against the Warriors six times over the past two seasons and has scored at least 39.75 fantasy points in each meetings. If that isn’t consistency then I don’t know what is. Throw “CP3” into your lineup and sleep like a damn baby.
Goran Dragic, Heat, $10,400 – Of the Heat that sat out on Friday, at least Hassan Whiteside will return on Saturday as he was only serving a one game suspension. Dwyane Wade can comfortably be listed as questionable although it’s entirely possible he just sat Friday because Whiteside was out and Coach Erik Spoelstra was just waving the white flag. Regardless, Goran Dragic grinded his way to 46.25 fantasy points against the Hawks on Friday on the heels of 17 PTS and 10 assists (AST). Even if Wade were to suit up, Dragic would still enjoy an uptick in usage rate (usg%) from his norm due to the absence of Chris Bosh. Typically after a player goes nuts his price increases but his priced dropped $100 despite the double-double. Assuming Wade sits, Dragic is the top priority among all players on the slate to roster. Even if Wade suits up, Dragic is certainly still in play and worthy of consideration in all formats (especially because of the price).
Paul Millsap, Hawks, $13,800 – As to not totally disregard the Bucks/Hawks game, paying for Paul Millsap essentially comes with a 30 fantasy point floor. He is one of the most consistent producers in the game and this price is unusually low for him. If he were to simply produce his season total, he would reach 2.86x value which would put your team on pace for 286 fantasy points. In Millsap’s lone matchup against the Bucks this season, he dropped 57.5 fantasy points due to a 23 and 10 double-double with six AST, two steals (STL) and four blocks (BLK). Millsap can fill a box score as well as any big man besides maybe Anthony Davis or DeMarcus Cousins which shows what kind of elite company he is in. Milwaukee allows the seventh most fantasy points to the power forward (PF) position so there is absolutely no reason why he cannot out-produce his season average. He’s priced reasonably enough where he can be used as the third highest priced player in your lineup and there’s still no need for a full-on punt.
Marcin Gortat, $11,700 – Even though Hassan Whiteside will return for the Heat on Saturday, he’s sort of an overrated defender. Sure he leads the league in blocks per game (BPG) by far but he’s awful at covering the pick and roll and/or stepping out on shooters. Marcin Gortat is a threat to do both which should be a kryptonite of sorts for Whiteside’s weaknesses. Therefore, it’s no surprise Gortat has surpassed 31.5 fantasy points in each of his previous three meetings against Whiteside including two games of 38.5 or more. The presence of Markieff Morris is likely to cut into Gortat’s production over time but it’s not something to worry about just yet. Only Draymond Green and Whiteside may be safer bets for double-doubles but both cost significantly more and they all will probably accomplish the feat. Take the discount with Gortat and enjoy your 30-plus fantasy points.
Luol Deng, Heat, $9,300 – Wow did Luol Deng absolutely explode on Friday evening. If you thought Dragic’s fantasy point output was impressive, Deng scored 53.25 fantasy points which equated to the eighth highest score on the entire slate. Deng was certainly aided by the absence of the Heat’s best players but it’s clear he enjoys a giant boost in both production and minutes (played 38) when the team is not at full strength. Last season the absence of Bosh alone caused Deng’s minutes to rise by exactly three per game and the same should be expected moving forward this year. The minutes boost led to an increase from 24.8 FPPG to 26.5. While Deng almost certainly does not have another 50-plus fantasy point explosion in him, he possesses the necessary upside for all formats. I like him better as a cash play having exerted so much energy on Friday night but it’s possible he rides the hot streak for a second straight game as well.
*Stats are accurate as of Friday, Feb. 19