A Golden Opportunity

With Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala and Draymond Green on the sideline, Ian Clark leads the team in minutes played, usage rate, assist rate and even fantasy points per minute. Since he is listed at literally minimum price, it is difficult to imagine a scenario where he does not crush tonight. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s NBA contests.

Guards:

John Wall, Wizards, $18,000 – Tonight’s slate features a plethora of value with literally the entire Warriors team sitting so rostering superstars is an easy proposition. Having said that, John Wall stands out as the guard to spend up for in a matchup against a notoriously terrible individual defender: Damian Lillard. Not only does Lillard rank second worst amongst the team’s regulars in terms of defensive rating (DRtg) but he also ranks dead last in defensive box plus/minus (DBPM). In tune, there is no reason to wonder why the Trail Blazers rank 22nd in defensive efficiency against opposing PGs over their last five games. Wall has squared off against Lillard eight times in his young career and he has only failed to reach 42.50 fantasy points twice including three 54-plus fantasy point explosions. The addition of Jusuf Nurkic has helped the team with rim protection but Russell Westbrook (twice) and Jeremy Lin have still produced incredibly productive performances against the Trail Blazers so far this month. As icing on the cake, Wall will head into this game having topped 51 fantasy points in three of his last four games (not including Friday). Both the ceiling and floor are substantial so he rates as the perfect player to pair with all of the near-minimum priced value options.

Seth Curry, Mavericks, $12,700 – After topping 30 fantasy points once again last night, Seth Curry’s price has only risen $100 and the team will now do battle with a Suns team that ranks 26th in backcourt efficiency defense so far this season. Additionally, the Suns allow the worst defended FG percentage in the league so Curry will never find himself in a better spot to shoot the lights out. Curry, coincidentally, is one of the highest percentage shooters in the league as his 50-plus percent shooting this month would mark the third consecutive if he were to maintain this pace. Incredibly, Seth is actually shooting a superior percentage from beyond the arc (43.8) than his brother Stephen Curry (39.3) who is the NBA’s reigning three-point champ (meaning he hit the most three-pointers last season). All-in-all, this is setting up to be another productive outing for the younger Curry brother against a team he lit up for 27.5 fantasy points in just 24 minutes as a backup earlier this season. Start him.

Ian Clark, Warriors, $6,000 – First of all, just about every single active Warriors players is worthy of consideration in tournaments because they are all are going to be playing way more minutes than usual (other than maybe Zaza Pachulia). There is a limited sample size but with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala and Draymond Green off the court, Ian Clark leads the Warriors in all of the following: minutes played, usage rate (USG%), assist rate (AST%) and fantasy points per minute (FPPM). If that is not enough to prove he is the play with the team’s current roster construction, Clark has produced at least 18.75 fantasy points (more than 3.0x value) in every game in which he has played more than 20 minutes so far this season. Considering the team will only have 10 dressed players and two of them are Damian Jones and James Michael McAdoo, there should be plenty of playing time available to Clark (certainly over 20 minutes worth). If looking for the safest bet on the team to eclipse value, Clark is the one who fits the bill for me.

Forwards/Centers:

Nikola Jokic, Nuggets, $18,300 – Like Wall, Nikola Jokic is another player to spend up for in order to maximize the fantasy potential for a roster. With all these values likely exceeding value, pairing them with the highest scorers of the slate should equate to a profitable night. In just his first game back from illness, Nikola Jokic damn near triple-doubled last night as he produced 21 points (PTS), 10 rebounds (REB), seven assists (AST), four steals (STL) and a block (BLK) in just 27 minutes against the Celtics. DeMarcus Cousins was traded six games ago for the Kings and over the course of the last five games the Kings have ranked 26th in frontcourt efficiency defense. After his monster performance on Friday evening, Jokic has now topped 52 fantasy points in each of his last four games so it is doubtful the collection of Kosta Koufos, Willie Cauley-Stein and company will be the ones to slow him down. This game is expected to be both high-scoring and close so the game atmosphere should be conducive to Jokic’s style as well. Simply put: Jokic has both a high floor and the potential to lead the slate in fantasy points so do not overlook him under any circumstance.

Paul Millsap, Hawks, $13,000 – Maybe the least exciting play of this entire article is none other than Paul Millsap but this price tag is way too cheap for him. At this cost, Millsap averages 2.93x value which means he would put a fantasy team on pace for 293 fantasy points by simply producing an average outing. Prior to Saturday’s game, Millsap has produced 37 or more fantasy points in seven consecutive games and he has played at least 36 minutes in six straight games. Over the last two seasons, Dwight Howard has been completely hit-or-miss against Marc Gasol, which is not surprising considering how great of a defender Memphis’ starting C continues to be. If Howard and Dennis Schroder struggle to create offense, it will have to funnel elsewhere and Millsap is the likeliest of suspects in individual matchups against the likes of JaMychal Green and Zach Randolph. For what it is worth, Millsap has only faced the Grizzlies once in his Hawks career and he dropped 46.50 fantasy points on them. Although this is mostly a price play, it should be noted the Grizzlies have allowed the 16th most fantasy points to PFs over the course of the last 10 games which makes it one of their weak spots. Take the value, play Millsap and move on.

David West, Warriors, $6,000 – Another Warriors player certainly worth using is David West in a bit of a revenge game against his former team (Spurs). One thing the Spurs have is size so multiple bigs will be needed in the lineup to match up against them at virtually all times. In an extremely limited sample size (20 minutes), West has averaged 1.58 FPPM with the five Warriors off the court who are expected to miss Saturday’s game. Amazingly, West has not yet played more than 16 minutes in a game this season and yet he has managed at least 17 fantasy points six times this year. Assuming Coach Steve Kerr actually wants to win this game, West should see 20-plus minutes for the first time in the 2016-17 campaign. If so, he is quite effective on a per-minute basis and he should easily exceed value at literally minimum price.

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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