Raptor’s Delight

The Nets are a fantastic team to target opposing players against and Kyle Lowry ranks second in the NBA with 37.2 minutes played per game. If he sees anywhere near that amount of time on the court, he should dominate the subpar Nets defense for the second time in five days. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s NBA contests.


Kyle Lowry, Raptors, $15,900 – Once again, targeting the Nets defense is a fantastic strategy on Tuesday as a Raptors team that just stomped them 132-113 on Jan. 13 will get another shot. The Nets have allowed above and beyond the most fantasy points to opponents including both the most steals and blocks so stacking against them is always a solid strategy. In the last meeting, virtually everyone not named DeMar DeRozan had themselves a monster game including Kyle Lowry; he scored 20 points (PTS), grabbed six rebounds (REB) and dished out six assists (AST) en route to 44.5 fantasy points in 36 minutes. This game will be played in Brooklyn which alleviates the blowout concerns just slightly but think of Lowry sort of like Stephen Curry from last night. Even if his team were to run away with the game, he would be one of the main culprits. Furthermore, Lowry ranks second in the league in minutes per game (MPG) so he should have plenty of time to do work against literally the league’s worst defense. For cash game purposes, there is no safer investment than Lowry (although his ceiling would capped if this game were to blow out).

D’Angelo Russell, Lakers, $13,200 – Although the price has risen, the matchup could legit not get any better for D’Angelo Russell who will square off against a Nuggets defense that ranks dead last in efficiency against opposing PGs. Additionally, D’Angelo Russell was playing the best basketball of his career before he jammed his finger in practice on Jan. 11 and followed up the injury with two straight duds. Finally, he snapped out of the slump last game and hopefully is primed to carry over the momentum into a game against the Nuggets. He only played 12 minutes in his last meeting against them but the game before that (Mar. 2), he torched this very team for 39.25 fantasy points in 36.0 minutes. While it is unlikely he plays that sort of minute allotment again, there is no reason he should not prove to be ultra-efficient during his time on the court.

Eric Gordon, Rockets, $11,600 – Looking at raw defensive numbers, the matchup against the Heats looks absolutely grueling as they rank first in defensive efficiency against opposing SGs. The good news for Eric Gordon is he will rarely face the first unit defense because he comes off the bench for the Rockets and leads the second unit. Vegas implies the Rockets will score over 113 points against the lowly Heat and they are listed as 7.5 point favorites. If the game were to get out of hand, Gordon is virtually blowout proof because he plays mostly with the second unit so he would play most (if not all) of his normal rotation. The weird part of the matchup is none of the guards on the second unit other than Tyler Johnson have produced a positive defensive box plus/minus rating so there really does not appear to be much to worry about. Gordon is on quite roll as well as he has topped 30 fantasy points in five of his last six games and he has attempted at least eight threes in seven consecutive games. The mid-tier is not exactly ripe with talent on this slate but Gordon is one of the few exceptions.


Hassan Whiteside, Heat, $15,500 – The return of Clint Capela only enhances the Rockets defense against opposing Cs but it also increases the need for the Heat to play Hassan Whiteside big minutes in order to match up against him. Also, the Rockets play at the fourth fastest pace in the league so theoretically there should be more opportunities for rebounds than usual for Whiteside (although the Rockets have only allowed 42.5 rebounds to opponents per game aka the eighth fewest). As a whole, the Rockets rank 18th in C efficiency defense and they have allowed a 53.3-percent field goal rate to the position. In one game against Capela over the last two seasons, Whiteside posted 25 PTS, 15 REB, three steals (STL) and two blocks (BLK) en route to 55.25 fantasy points. The one value who stands out on the slate is Cory Joseph who has exceeded value in both his games against the Nets this year but that is not really enough to start multiple superstars. Consequently, it is difficult to spend up for the likes of James Harden at this point. With Whiteside playing in an uptempo game with a projected over/under of 220, he rates as a solid alternative to the superstar guard in any and all formats.

Wilson Chandler/Danilo Gallinari, Nuggets – On the second end of back-to-backs, Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler lead the Nuggets in terms of minutes per game (MPG) and this is noteworthy especially in a game against the porous Lakers defense. Just how bad is their defense? The Lakers actually rank dead last in team defensive efficiency, only slightly edging out the Nuggets. Basically, this is a tilt between the game’s two worst defenses so a high-scoring affair should be the expected result. Judging by the opening line, Vegas agrees as they have the Lakers listed as 1.0 point favorites in a game with the second highest over/under of the night: 227.0 (only Raptors/Nets edged this game out). For fantasy purposes, this game is by far the most intriguing so using multiple players is not only viable but recommended. The problem is a bunch of the Nuggets’ players price tags jumped including Nikola Jokic all the way up to $15,000. The two best values are clearly the SFs who have averaged 29.4 (Gallinari) and 31.0 (Chandler) fantasy points per game (FPPG) respectively in the month of January. Even though the play the same position on the same team, they can be started together because Coach Mike Malone has found a way for them to play 598 minutes this season so far side-by-side.

DeMarre Carroll, Raptors, $10,200 – Another player who has seen a jump in price lately is DeMarre Carroll but this is another situation where fantasy owners simply need to bite the bullet. As of late, Carroll has consistently flirted with 30 minutes as evident by the fact he is averaging 29.9 MPG this month alone. In fact, he has topped 30 minutes in four of his last six games and both the outliers resulted in at least 27 minutes on the court. During that very span, Carroll has played 39 and 41 minutes in separate games as well. When he squared off against the Nets just four days ago, Carroll posted 34.75 fantasy points in 29 minutes which would equate to 3.40x value at his current price tag. In essence, that same performance would put a fantasy team on pace for a whopping 340 fantasy points. The Nets are still the same crappy defense they were last week so there is no reason to believe he cannot succeed against them yet again.


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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