Beal or No Beal?

Bradley Beal draws an incredibly favorable individual matchup against Buddy Hield tonight so do not be afraid to deploy him in any and all formats at an extremely reasonable price. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s NBA contests.


Bradley Beal, Wizards, $13,000 – Both members of the Pelicans frontcourt duo rate below average in terms of defensive box plus/minus (DBPM) this season but Buddy Hield is clearly the weaker link of the two. Amongst all players on the roster who have played at least 200 minutes, Hield ranks dead last in both DBPM and defensive rating (DRTG). In other words, Bradley Beal should be in a position to dominate Hield and their stints on the court mostly coincide if judging by the way each team’s coach runs their respective rotation. Hield starts and plays about eight minute stints of each half and then he finishes halves (although lately his playing time has been more extensive in the fourth quarter compared to the second). Similar holds true for Beal so he should be able to dominate this individual matchup throughout the course of the game. Heading into Saturday, Beal has managed at least 38 fantasy points in three consecutive games and four of his last five so he is rolling right now. If Hield is the only thing standing in the way of him and another 38 fantasy point performance then Beal should be well on his way to a successful outing once again.

Devin Booker, Suns, $12,300 – Prior to Friday night, Devin Booker has produced at least 33 fantasy points in eight consecutive games and 11 of his last 12 games. During that span, Booker has not scored fewer than 20 real points (PTS) and he has only attempted fewer than four three-point attempts (3PA) thrice. Only 19 players are averaging more minutes per game (MPG) than Booker this season so there is no reason to worry about him not playing enough on the second end of a back-to-back…especially because his opponent, the Bucks, will be as well. So far this year, the Bucks rank 23rd in SG efficiency defense and they have allowed the third most three-pointers per game to the position. This game opened with a spread of just 1.0 point with Suns listed as the favorites in a game with a projected total of 217.5. If the Suns are going to score anywhere near their 109.3 implied points, Booker is going to be a big part of it and he is priced reasonably for the borderline elite scoring threat that he is.

Brandon Jennings, Knicks, $11,900 – Once again, Derrick Rose will miss Saturday’s contest against the Cavaliers so Brandon Jennings will continue to draw the start. Kyrie Irving is a fantastic scorer but he has never been known for having a strong defensive prowess and this season is no different. To this point, the Cavaliers rank 23rd in defensive efficiency against opposing PGs. Additionally, Irving is matching career worsts this year in terms of both DBPM and DRTG so he is as beatable as ever. During his tenure as the starter the last three games, Jennings has produced 43.25, 37.25 and 33.75 fantasy points respectively for an average of 38.25 fantasy points during that span. Assuming this game remains close, Jennings should be a threat to crush value for the fourth consecutive game (even with the rising price). Although he is a better play in cash games, there is enough upside here to justify using him in tournaments also.

BONUS: Ray McCallum (if Kemba Walker out), Hornets, $6,000 – If Walker is forced to sit this one out due to an illness, McCallum becomes the best punt on the slate as he may need to play 40-plus minutes with the team possessing limited alternatives to play the PG position at the moment.


Anthony Davis, Pelicans, $18,600 – If paying up for one superstar on this slate in cash games, it is between John Wall and Anthony Davis and my preference is Davis who dropped a 70 burger on this very team just six days ago. Nothing has changed about the matchup since Davis had already made his transition to full-time C at that point. Davis is simply much more athletic than Gortat. Unsurprisingly, Gortat struggled to defend the step back and Davis was also able to blow right by him because of how much quicker he is. It should be noted Davis registered five combined steals (STL) plus blocks (BLK) in that performance but that is not even much of an outlier for Davis. It should be noted Davis has performed significantly better at home this year (56.6 fantasy points per game (FPPG) at home compared to 48.0 FPPG on the road) but he also has left a bunch of games early on the road which helps skew the sample size. All-in-all, the matchup is favorable so Davis is worthy of consideration in any and all formats.

Andre Drummond, Pistons, $14,000 – Cs, especially of the upper-echelon variety, have been dominating the Pacers all season and Myles Turner showed exactly why last night. At times, it appeared he was not giving a full effort as he did not battle for boards like other dominant Cs do (such as the aforementioned Davis). Sure the Pacers rank 20th in defensive efficiency versus the position so it is not like they are dead last but they have allowed the second most rebounds (REB) and the third most offensive rebounds to Cs. Like Davis, Drummond prefers playing at home but he also dropped 48 fantasy points on the Pacers the last time these two teams squared off. Other than Drummond, Hassan Whiteside, Dwight Howard, Joel Embiid and Davis have all stomped the Pacers so this trend is no anomaly. On the second end of back-to-backs, Drummond is averaging 14.3 PTS per game (PPG) and 14.3 REB per game (RPG) so he should be deployed with confidence.

John Henson/Thon Maker (whomever starts), Bucks, $6,000 – Coach Jason Kidd is one of the most frustrating coaches to trust but both Thon Maker and John Henson are impressive fantasy point per minute (FPPM) producers. While Henson averages 0.90 FPPM, Maker actually edges him by a slight margin (1.00 FPPM).  Either way, the Bucks are going to need a true C in the game at all times in order to match up against Tyson Chandler and/or Alex Len so one of these guys is going to play more extensive minutes than usual…especially considering the recently acquired Spencer Hawes and Roy Hibbert will not suit up until at least Wednesday. The Suns play at the third fastest pace in the league and rank 26th in overall team defensive efficiency so they are a favorable matchup for whomever is facing them. Regardless of which member of this duo starts, that is the one I will be targeting at minimum price. Henson proved last night he can get it done if given the opportunity as he posted a whopping 32.25 fantasy points.

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, 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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