Featured in the top game to target tonight, Danilo Gallinari is amidst an admirable streak of consistency heading into the matchup against the Wizards. With the Wizards ranking 19th in defensive efficiency versus opposing small forwards, Gallinari is a viable play in all formats. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s NBA contests.
Jimmy Butler, Bulls, $17,000 – With Dwyane Wade listed as doubtful, Jimmy Butler obviously emerges as a fantastic option once again. Most know by now to fire up Butler without but this tidbit will review the reasons just in case a reader has forgotten. For one, Butler’s usage rate (USG%) sky rockets to 33.7-percent with Wade, Doug McDermott and Taj Gibson off the court (McDermott and Gibson were recently traded to the Thunder). Secondly, he averages 1.33 fantasy points per minute (FPPM) without the aforementioned trio off the court. Last but not least, Butler will actually often act as the team’s ball-handler with Wade off the court; he averages a 27.4-percent assist rate with Wade on the bench compared to 20.3-percent with Wade on the court. For the season, the Magic rank 22nd in defensive efficiency to opposing SGs and 29th to opposing SFs so it will not matter which position he is technically playing at the time. Regardless of who decides to cover him, Butler is in an excellent spot to go nuts. UPDATE: Jimmy Butler missed shootaround and is listed as questionable but Coach Fred Hoiberg is hopeful he will suit up tonight.
Dion Waiters, Heat, $12,600 – Both Tyler Johnson and James Johnson are listed as questionable on Wednesday but sounding like they are trending more towards doubtful. Assuming one or both sit, the minutes for Dion Waiters would only be further solidified in an excellent matchup against a porous defense against three-pointer shooters. In fact, no defense has allowed more three-pointers per game (3PPG) than the Hornets and none have allowed more three-pointers to opposing SGs either. Only eight teams have allowed a higher three-point percentage than the Hornets so it is clear shooters dominate them. On Monday evening, Waiters torched the team that rates dead last in SG efficiency defense to the tune of 29 points (PTS) on 12-24 shooting and 5-9 from beyond the arc, two rebounds (REB) and five assists (AST) en route to 43.50 fantasy points. Waiters is a streaky player so one night of hot shooting could easily lead to an impressive encore (especially in another solid matchup).
Draymond Green, Warriors, $15,100 – Wednesday is a night loaded with frontcourt options so there will be four F/Cs discussed in this articles as compared to the normal three. Draymond Green will lead off this section against a Celtics team that has defending the PF position quite well as of late (second in defensive efficiency versus the position last 10 games)…but Green is no average PF and he plays a ton of C as well. Over the course of the year, the Celtics have allowed the eighth most REB to opposing Cs and the 10th most to opposing PFs. Furthermore, the Celtics allow the 15th most points per possession (PPP) on cuts (1.25) and that is where Green registers a majority of his AST. If cutting Warriors have a reasonably clear path to the basket, Green typically finds them. In Green’s last three meetings against the Celtics, Green has produced 71.25, 52.25 and 39.50 fantasy points respectively and Green averages 0.05 FPPM more with Kevin Durant off the court. All signs points to a game where Green fills up the box score and makes those who roster him happy.
Paul Millsap, Hawks, $14,200 – Anytime the Nets are on a slate, they are worth targeting against as long as the game does not turn into a total blowout. Despite playing on the road, the Nets are not even listed as double-digit point underdogs (9.5) which suggests this game should remain at least reasonably close. Therefore, many of the Hawks usuals are worth targeting because the Nets play at the fastest pace, allow the most points per game (PPG), give up the most STL and BLK per game and rank 28th in overall team defensive efficiency. Paul Millsap is at his best when he is filling up the box score including defensive statistics so this matchup certainly enhances his potential ceiling. Heading into this game, Millsap has topped 39 fantasy points in five straight games and has managed at least 42 fantasy points in four straight games. Oh by the way, the Nets rank 29th in defensive efficiency versus opposing SGs and allow the second most PPG to the position. Let me be clear here: Millsap is a stone cold, lead pipe lock in cash games plus he has an intriguing amount of upside for GPPs as well.
Rudy Gobert, Jazz, $14,000 – The upper mid-tier in terms of pricing is loading tonight as Rudy Gobert has emerged as a premiere play with Derrick Favors already ruled out. Thus far, the Rockets rank 23rd in defensive efficiency versus opposing Cs and they have allowed the most PPP to the roll man on pick-and-rolls of any team in the league. Gobert does not provide a ton in terms of offense but the pick-and-roll is one of the main areas of contribution for him. Although the team is a bit undersized as a whole, the Rockets have only allowed the 14th fewest REB per game (RPG) to opposing frontcourts. However, with Gobert as the only true rebounder active in the frontcourt for the Jazz, he should fall into double-digit REB by accident in this one. It does not hurt that the Rockets’ frontcourt is blocked 4.2 times per game which rates as the eighth most in the league. All-in-all, Gobert is amongst the elite plays on the slate.
Danilo Gallinari, Nuggets, $11,900 – All season long the Wizards have struggled to cover opposing SFs and PFs so playing on the second end of a back-to-back cannot help that cause. This game opened as the clear game to target as Vegas is projecting a 227 point over/under and the Nuggets are only listed as 1.0 point favorites. By comparison to the other 10 games on the slate, it is both the highest projected total and closest spread. Consequently, this is a prime game to stack and Danilo Gallinari stands out amongst the top value plays. At a sub-$12,000 cost, Gallinari is entering a juicy matchup on quite a roll; he has produced at least 29.50 fantasy points in seven consecutive games and has played at least 31 minutes in five consecutive games. Sure Wilson Chandler went off in the last game but he also played 43 minutes so it is likely Coach Mike Malone eases off the gas with his playing time here. Instead, Gallinari is the safer investment against a Wizards team that has allowed the ninth most PPG to opposing SFs. Gallinari is the ideal cash game play but do not sleep on him in tournaments either. UPDATE: Danilo Gallinari is questionable and Nikola Jokic is doubtful so Wilson Chandler stands out as the best play from the frontcourt and Mason Plumlee is once again a cash game lock. Assuming Gallinari plays, all three can safely be deployed in the same lineup.