As a walking double-double threat, Rudy Gobert’s price is too cheap considering his upcoming matchup against Al Horford and the Hawks’ weak defensive efficiency numbers against opposing centers. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s NBA contests.
John Wall, Wizards, $16,700 – According to masseyratings, the tilt between the Wizards and Trail Blazers projects as above and beyond the highest scoring game on Tuesday’s slate. This season, Portland is out-producing expectations yet they still only sit at 33-31 coming off three straight losses. By comparison, Washington currently sports a record of 30-32 so the upcoming tilt between these two teams projects to be competitive. People hate on Damian Lillard for his defense, or lack thereof, yet Portland ranks 12th in defensive efficiency versus opposing point guards (PGs) and ranks in the middle of fantasy points allowed to the position. Still, digging deeper into his production, he ranks well below the league average in terms of defensive box plus-minus and is arguably having his worst individual defensive season since his rookie year. Therefore, if anyone is going to be able to take advantage of this matchup, John Wall amidst a career season is as likely a candidate as any. Wall is averaging 2.75x value at his current price but the pace and individual matchup should increase his projected output at least slightly. Considering many of the best plays on tap are either mid-tier prices or below, spending up for Wall makes a ton of sense in cash games at the very least.
Kyle Lowry, Raptors, $15,700 – Conceivably one could fit both Raptors guards into a lineup on Tuesday and both are actually worthy of consideration. However, if you could only select one, Kyle Lowry is the superior play of the two despite the $1,800 price difference. In two previous meetings against the Nets this season, Lowry has eclipsed 45 fantasy points in each including a 54.5 fantasy point eruption on Jan. 18. Unsurprisingly, the numbers confirm the favorability of the matchup as Brooklyn allows the third most fantasy points to opposing PGs and rank 27th in efficiency to the position over the past five games. The Nets are officially in rebuilding mode so the biggest risk in starting Lowry is whether or not the game remains close. To ease concerns, both of the previous games ended in 12-plus point victories and Lowry still produced. He is an excellent play in all formats and will be one of my building blocks.
Markel Brown, Nets, $7,400 – I kind of wish Markel Brown dropped a dud last game because his ownership percentage is probably going to be high (50-plus percent in double ups) on this night. Brown has now played 28-plus minutes in back-to-back games en route to 42.50 and 29.25 fantasy points. Although he comes off the bench, he is a big part of the offense moving forward as evident by his 21 and 23 points (PTS) in the last two games. In games Joe Johnson has suited up this season, Brown’s usage rate (usg%) sits at 17.4-percent versus 20.0-percent in six games without him. 3x value would equate to around 22 fantasy points for Brown and his upside clearly stretches far beyond. Rostering Brown allows the ability to comfortably roster superstars and more expensive options alongside him but he also is a high upside play. Unless unbelievable value rears its head right before lock, Brown is a no-brainer for cash.
Brook Lopez, Nets, $12,900 – Over the past two seasons, Brook Lopez has simply dominated the Raptors. In five meetings since Jan. 30, 2015, Lopez has scored under 49.75 fantasy points just once! Okay so that game proved to be an absolute dud (17.5 fantasy points) but that letdown occurred on Feb. 4, 2015. The last three matchups have all been masterpieces from the Nets center (C) and the Raptors are still struggling against the position this season. They rank in the bottom half of fantasy points allowed to opposing Cs so Lopez must be licking his chops yet again. Lopez continues to be one of the best values on FantasyDraft because he was already hovering around the top fantasy points per dollar player over the past week and his price dipped again. He is now averaging almost exactly 3x value (or enough upside to be viable for tournaments) at his current $12,900 price if judging by his average fantasy output per game. If there is an argument to be made against rostering him on Tuesday, I haven’t found it yet.
Aaron Gordon, Magic, $12,000 – Judging by the tone of Magic Beat Writer Josh Robbins’ tweet yesterday, Nikola Vucevic’s injury does not sound good and it appears likely he will miss more than just one game. All Aaron Gordon did against the Warriors on Monday was drop a solid double-double and he will need to continue that sort of production to make up for the absence of their star C. According to nbawowy, Gordon sports a usg% of 15.5-percent with Vucevic on the court but that tally rises to 18.5-percent without him. Factor the uptick in minutes he is likely to receive as the team will rely on him as their most productive big man and he should be started with confidence against a Lakers team that allows the sixth most fantasy points to opposing power forwards (PFs).
Rudy Gobert, Jazz, $11,700 – The Atlanta Hawks have one glaring hole in their defense according to both fantasy points allowed and defensive efficiency: opposing Cs. Rudy Gobert has been the model of consistency recently as he has only dipped below 31.50 fantasy points once in his past five games. The one outlier performance came against a Raptors team that only possesses one true big man and Coach Quin Snyder chose Derrick Favors to match up with the others. Gobert only played 23 minutes to Favors’ 35 but has played at least 34 minutes in every other game since Feb. 25. Paul Millsap and Al Horford are a solid big man duo in their own right so clearly Coach Snyder will rely on his twin towers to match up against them. This means extended minutes for both of his bigs and Gobert’s price has declined in spite of the recent consistency. All signs point in one direction: Gobert being a rock solid investment.
*Stats are accurate as of Monday, Mar. 7