Mason Plumlee is expected to once again draw the start at center for the Nuggets so expect 30-plus minutes from a player averaging more than 1.0 fantasy points per minute with the team’s starting center off the court (Nikola Jokic). Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s NBA contests.
Andrew Wiggins, Timberwolves, $14,000 – Instead of writing up James Harden, who quite obviously is in play as per usual, it made more sense to differentiate and write up slightly more sneaky plays on what looks primed to be an interesting eight game slate. A few games stand out as ones to focus on but maybe none more so than the Warriors/Timberwolves tilt in Minnesota. Not only have the Warriors looked incredibly beatable without Kevin Durant but they are only listed in 5.0 point favorites in the game with the second highest projected total (216 over/under) of the entire slate. Over their last three games, the Warriors have allowed 105.0 points per game (PPG) and rank 14th in defensive efficiency during that span. By comparison, they rank sixth in defensive efficiency for the entirety of the season so the absence of Durant has clearly hurt on both sides of the ball. Therefore, you can go ahead and throw up the past results from Andrew Wiggins in this matchup along with the fact Zach LaVine played in those games. Coming off a month where Wiggins averaged a career-high 41.1 fantasy points per game (FPPG), Wiggins has struggled thus far this month because he has shot below 30-percent from the field in back-to-back games against slower paced teams. Wiggins fares better in fast-paced environments where he can create offense at a pace more compatible to his style and this certainly fits the bill. Additionally, Wiggins is averaging 2.1 more FPPG at home compared to on the road and he is shooting significantly better in the friendly confines of the Target Center. It should be noted the Warriors have sunk to ninth in defensive efficiency against SFs over the past three games whereas it was their strong point in the defense over the season sample size. With Wiggins having played 37 minutes per game (MPG) in every month since December, he will have plenty of time to do some damage over the course of this fast-paced affair.
Ricky Rubio, Timberwolves, $12,900 – Pairing Wiggins with Ricky Rubio and even Karl-Anthony Towns makes a ton of sense because Coach Tom Thibodeau is one of the most of the reliable in the league when it comes to where he is allotting his minutes. On a game-to-game basis, it is pretty much assumed his main assets will be playing upwards of 35 minutes and Rubio is no exception. Over the course of his last six games, Rubio has managed at least 35 fantasy points in each and he has played at least 32 minutes in all but one game during that span. On paper, the Warriors rank very strongly in every defensive stat but the quick pace of this game should only help pad Rubio’s stats as he should have plenty of assist (AST) and rebound (REB) opportunities. As long as the Timberwolves remain in the game, Rubio should easily extend his 35-plus fantasy point streak to seven games.
Seth Curry, Mavericks, $12,600 – Of course, an ongoing theme in this article is the fact that targeting the Nets is an excellent strategy for a multitude of reasons. Not only do they allow the most PPG (114.3) but they play at the fastest pace, allow the most steals (STL) and blocks (BLK) and even rank dead last in overall defensive efficiency. In other words, outlier performances are regularly accumulated against them and Seth Curry certainly has a chance for one as well. March marks the third consecutive month in which Curry is shooting over 50-percent from the field and so far he is averaging 21.2 PPG and 32.9 FPPG through four games. With more and more playing time, Curry is developing into a pure scorer and arguably the team’s top offensive option. Even with the Mavericks listed as 11.5 point favorites, Curry has played deep into the fourth quarter each of the last two games and the team has been ahead by substantial amounts in each. Simply put: he is one of the safest mid-tier options on the slate.
Wilson Chandler, Nuggets, $13,300 – Nikola Jokic is listed as doubtful for Friday so go ahead and fire up multiple Nuggets once again, starting with Wilson Chandler. Since both Kenneth Faried and Jokic are slated to miss this game, there are 30-plus minutes available for Chandler between SF and PF even in the worst case scenarios (barring foul trouble). Although the Celtics have improved defensively against opposing frontcourts, they still have allowed 11th most rebounds to opposing PFs this season and Chandler has produced three double-doubles in his last 15 games (each game he played at least 29 minutes). With minutes come fantasy production and with teammates missing comes additional production and Chandler has both of those working in his favor. For what it is worth, Chandler is averaging 1.02 fantasy points per minute (FPPM) with both Faried and Jokic off the court and 1.13 FPPM with both those guys and Danilo Gallinari (listed as questionable) on the sidelines.
Mason Plumlee, Nuggets, $11,600 – As I have done in each of the last few games Jokic has missed, I will be pairing Mason Plumlee with Chandler in just about all lineups because they are the biggest beneficiaries of his absence. Heading into Friday, Plumlee has played 31 minutes in back-to-back games and produced 35-plus fantasy points in each. Without the team’s starting C, those 30-plus minutes should be available to him once again and Plumlee is also one of the better passing big men in the game. Similarly to Chandler, Plumlee has averaged more than 1.00 FPPM without Jokic and Faried so his minutes should lead to plenty of fantasy production as well. Nearly all Nuggets games are track meets so great ready for plenty of points scored in this one.
Kosta Koufos, Kings, $7,700 – At this point, it is time to start believing in Kosta Koufos as he has now double-doubled in four of his last five games. During that span, Koufos has double-doubled against both the Spurs and the Jazz so it is not exactly like he has faced cupcake opponents. Now, he will face a feisty Wizards frontcourt led by Marcin Gortat but is he really that scary when Koufos has succeeded against the like of Dewayne Dedmon and Rudy Gobert? Obviously the best part of rostering Koufos is the price tag as he is still priced below $8,000 and is producing numbers more resembling of a $10,000 talent. The matchup basically does not matter especially because the Wizards possess big bodies in both the first and second unit (Gortat, Ian Mahinmi) so a C will always be necessary on the court. Do not overthink this one and just continue to deploy Koufos especially in cash games.