KAT Scratch Fever

Karl-Anthony Towns has topped 60 fantasy points in two of his last three meetings against the Nuggets and he is a threat to do the same once again in a game that should prove to be above and beyond the most fantasy-friendly of the night. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s NBA contests.


Andrew Wiggins, Timberwolves, $14,600 – Today, it is difficult to sort the plays by guards and forward/centers because a majority of the best plays are of the frontcourt variety. However, Andrew Wiggins still stands out as a top option and he is listed as a guard on FantasyDraft. Coach Tom Thibodeau is one of the best coaches to rely upon for fantasy owners because he always runs his starters out for huge minutes and Wiggins has certainly not been an exception to that rule lately. Since Zach LaVine tore his ACL, Wiggins has played 37-plus minutes in all but one game (a blowout of the Bulls) including 41 points (PTS) and 51.75 fantasy points in 41 minutes last night. Now, the Timberwolves will square off against a Nuggets team that has allowed the second most PTS per game (PPG) over the course of their last 10 games (115.1) and one that ranks exactly 26th in defensive efficiency against both opposing SGs and SFs (Wiggins plays both throughout the course of a game). Since Coach Thibodeau will undoubtedly rely on him for huge minutes in this matchup, he could absolutely go bananas once again. Despite the rising price tag, Wiggins is averaging 39.6 fantasy points per game (FPPG) since the Wiggins injury and that is including the dud. He is simply a fantasy monster moving forward and this is a perfect matchup once again for him to shine.

Nikola Jokic, Nuggets, $18,300 – The aforementioned Wiggins is not the only player worth rostering from this game as this game is clearly my favorite game stack of the slateeven over Lakers/Suns. As of the time of writing this article on Tuesday night, the Nuggets/Timberwolves was one of the few games without a line released but I would expect a projected close game around a 230 total (Lakers/Suns currently sits at 226.5). Are you aware of just how good Nikola Jokic is at this point? He currently ranks eighth in player efficiency rating (PER) so far this year, only slightly behind the likes of Chris Paul and James Harden. Against the Warriors, Jokic flashed his ridiculous, unique ability: 17 PTS, 21 rebounds (REB), 12 assists (AST) and two steals (STL) en route to 67.25 fantasy points. In fact, that outing was the third consecutive game Jokic had topped 52 fantasy points. In three meetings against the Timberwolves this season, Jokic is averaging 1.38 FPPM in only 25.3 minutes per game (MPG). As of late, Jokic has consistently seen minutes in the high 30s, although Mason Plumlee’s presence could change that slightly, but 30-plus minutes is still within reach. Even at this outrageous price tag, Jokic is a threat for a triple-double every time he steps on the court…and this is an ideal game atmosphere for him to excel.

Karl-Anthony Towns, Timberwolves, $18,300 – Especially in tournaments, pairing all three of the superstars from this game in the same lineup is a fantastic idea. Assuming this game ends up as high-scoring as expected between to horrendous defenses (especially as of late), plenty of players should exceed value…similarly to the Nuggets’ last game where literally their entire team crushed. Karl-Anthony Towns has absolutely dominated the Nuggets this season as he has topped 51 fantasy points in all three meetings including two 60-plus fantasy point outbursts. The Nuggets defend the C better than any other position and yet they only rank 15th in defensive efficiency against them. Amazingly, they have allowed the highest FG percentage to the position of any team (57.7-percent) but other positions are typically the busy ones scoring against them. Essentially, there is nothing to worry about in terms of this matchup and Towns, like Wiggins, is one of the biggest locks on the slate to play in the mid-30s in terms of minutes. This game just has all the makings of a fantasy bonanza and the consequences to overlooking this contest could be dire.

Mid-Tier Nuggets – I am still not done covering this one game on a 14 game slate because it is that darn favorable. The values will depend on the status on the likes of Wilson Chandler and even Emmanuel Mudiay. Okay, so the status of Mudiay only affects Jameer Nelson and Jamal Murray but both would be worth using if he sat (Nelson is all formats and Murray in tournaments). We already know Mason Plumlee will be active so all the C minutes are accounted for but there is plenty to go around between SG, SF and PF. Basically, if Chandler were to sit, Will Barton would see extended run once again and additional minutes would be available for Juancho Hernangomez again (although not as many as last game presumably). If Chandler plays, the team likes to run him for heavy minutes sans Danilo Gallinari so 35 minutes would be well within reach. One thing is for sure: at least one of these guys will be viable but it will depend on the statuses of some key contributors. If Chandler sits, pounce on Barton and possible Hernangomez. If Chandler plays, pounce on him.

Dario Saric, 76ers, $11,500 – The price has risen on Dario Saric but he is clearly in the opposite of the doghouse at this point as he played the final 16 minutes-plus of the team’s last game and finished with his third consecutive 38-plus fantasy point performance. With Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor out (the team is shopping Okafor and does not want to see him get injured), Saric has emerged as a consistent source of offense for the 76ers. Since the beginning of the month, Saric has averaged 1.04 FPPM without the duo of Cs on the court and his minutes are consistently in the upper 20s now (and they rose all the way up to 31 last game). Vegas is projecting an unusually fast-paced game for the Celtics (217 over/under), who rank 18th in pace, because the 76ers play at the league’s eighth fastest pace. Furthermore, only eight teams have allowed more rebounds to opponents so Saric should have a solid chance to reach double-digit rebounds once again. Instead of avoiding due to the rising price, fantasy owners should embrace an excellent talent beginning to bud.

Michael Beasley, Bucks, $10,900 – Assuming Michael Beasley starts, the team should continue to rely on his offense with Jabari Parker out of the year…and the matchup could literally not get any juicier. The Nets allow the most fantasy points to opponents and also the most PPG. If there is one player who should flourish in an environment where scoring should come easily, Beasley is clearly the guy. The Nets basically rank near the bottom of defensive efficiency to every position but they rank dead last against opposing PFs. As if that were not enough, the Nets play the fastest pace in the league as well so there should be additional possessions available for Beasley to potentially score during his tenure on the court. After scoring 23 PTS last game, Beasley could easily manage similar in a meeting against arguably the worst defense in the league.

Aaron Gordon, Magic, $9,100 – Serge Ibaka has been shipped out of town which means Aaron Gordon can finally play his most comfortable position: PF. When he started at PF and played more than 30 minutes last season, he averaged 12.5 PPG, 1.0 RPG and 0.8 blocks per game (BPG). In a matchup against the Spurs, Dewayne Dedmon’s defense should slow down Nikola Vucevic and Kawhi Leonard should almost assuredly quiet down whomever he is guarding. In tune, the offense will have to funnel to other spots (PF included). As an across the board contributor, this price tag is simply too cheap, especially considering he blew up twice against the Spurs last year (34.5 and 31.5 fantasy points) for the reasons mentioned before. He is a logical play even against a respectable opponent.

Bonus Play: Jusuf Nurkic, Trail Blazers, $7,700 – If starting, this price tag is simply too cheap for him even in the worst possible individual matchup (against Rudy Gobert). He would emerge as a pure price point play and allow for multiple studs in a single lineup.

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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