Clint Capela has seen a drastic uptick in playing time recently which can only mean good news in a matchup against a Magic team that ranks 20th in defensive efficiency against opposing centers. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s NBA contests.
James Harden, Rockets, $23,900 – With only three games on Tuesday’s slate, there is really no reason not to spend up on James Harden because he is literally the only expensive option. Nearly all the other plays can be easily used alongside him especially if another value play or two opens up prior to tip. Heading into this game, Harden has topped 70 fantasy points and 40 real points (PTS) in back-to-back games so he is clearly on a roll. For the season, the Magic rank 21st in defensive efficiency against opposing PGs and this game possesses the highest over/under on the slate. In cash games, there is simply no reason to fade him. In tournaments, there is some merit to it because he is probably going to 80-percent owned and has not topped 47 fantasy points against the Magic in any of his three meetings against them over the last two seasons. Having said that, it is likely Harden keeps it rolling and produces by far the highest raw fantasy point output of any player on the slate so it is probably best to just use him.
Damian Lillard, Trail Blazers, $16,000 – According to sources close to the team, the Trail Blazers players are all looking forward to a rematch against the Mavericks after losing to them 108-104 on Friday. Most notably, Damian Lillard was torched by Yogi Ferrell to the tune of 33 PTS on the heels of 9-11 from beyond the arc. Essentially, Lillard has something to prove in this contest and Ferrell should not be able to shut him down twice in a week. Not only is Ferrell undersized but he is inexperienced and Lillard just suffered through a poor shooting game in the last meeting (4-20). With a little bit of variance in his favor, Lillard should be able to enjoy a bounceback. It should be noted this is the only game on the slate that opened with a spread under double-digits and clearly the odds-makers expect this to remain close (Mavericks listed as 1.0 favorites). While the starters in the other games are at risk to not see a full allotment of minutes due to potential blowouts, Lillard and all the starters in this game should be set for their usual amount of run.
Nicolas Batum, Hornets, $14,000 – With the Nets playing on the slate, it was only a matter of time before I recommended someone against them because they are such a fantastic team to target players against. Not only have they allowed the most fantasy points to opponents but they play at the fastest pace, rank 27th in defensive efficiency, have allowed the most steals (STL) to opponents as well as the second most blocks (BLK). Nicolas Batum is a scorer but he also has the ability to fill a box score so this is the prime spot for him to rack up the defensive stats. Additionally, Batum has averaged 36.1 fantasy points per game (FPPG) at home this season compared to 34.4 on the road; a trend dating back to last season. Even though there is a risk for a blowout, Batum has topped 44 fantasy points in each of his last two meetings against the Nets (both this season) so he should get his even if his minutes end up limited. If the game were to somehow remain close, the sky would be the limit for Batum.
Sean Kilpatrick, Nets, $8,400 – Caris LeVert has already been ruled out for Tuesday which basically solidifies the minute allotment for Sean Kilpatrick. In his last two games, Kilpatrick has played 26 and 32 minutes respectively and scored at least 18 PTS in each game. The minute jump last game was due to LeVert ailing and that trend is likely to continue with LeVert out yet again. The Nets are a poor offensive squad but they have to score somehow and Kilpatrick is not afraid to let it fly. Quietly, the Hornets struggle against the SG position as well as they rank 24th in efficiency. Since the Nets are always blown out, it would take an outrageous margin for Kilpatrick not to play at least 25 minutes and attempt double-digit shots. For those reasons, he is worth the shot at this bargain price.
Harrison Barnes, Mavericks, $12,700 – Last time against the Trail Blazers, Yogi Ferrell went absolutely nuts so the offense did not need to run through Harrison Barnes as per usual. Considering the Trail Blazers will be ready for Ferrell this go-around, now is the time to deploy Barnes at a depreciated ownership. Why? The Trail Blazers literally rank dead last in defensive efficiency against opposing PFs and that has been the main position Barnes has played recently. Even though the over/under on this game is the lowest on the slate, the fact that it is should remain close is extremely enticing. So far this month, Barnes has struggled because he has only attempted 12.7 shots per game but eventually the team is going to need his scoring. Furthermore, Wesley Matthews “walked off hobbled” at the end of the game last night so his absence would lead to an uptick in usage for Barnes as well. Regardless of who suits up for their team, the individual matchup projects well for Barnes, so lock him into GPP lineups at the very least.
Clint Capela, Rockets, $10,500 – Facing a team with a true C, Clint Capela will be needed for a few additional minutes and his minutes have cranked up substantially over the last two games. Heading into Feb. 2, Capela had played 13 straight games without topping 22 minutes and yet he has now played exactly 31 minutes in consecutive games coming into Tuesday. Unsurprisingly, the increase in minutes has led to an increase in production as he has averaged 32.5 FPPG over the last two. Overall, the Magic rank 20th in defensive efficiency against opposing Cs so the matchup is quite favorable as well. With Capela needed to match size with size and the matchup being ripe, he should be deployed in any and all formats on this small slate.