Devin Booker’s usage rate has been back up as of late after an extended slump and he now draws one of the best possible matchups for a shooting guard. Even though he is so heavily reliant on scoring, there is plenty of reason to believe he should light up the scoreboard tonight. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s NBA contests.
John Wall, Wizards, $17,900 – Instead of writing up James Harden, who is clearly a viable play in any and all formats, it seemed more beneficial to write up a player who was not such an automatic play. The problem with Harden’s matchup is the fact the team is listed as 17.0 point favorites so they very likely will blow the Lakers out of the building. On the other hand, John Wall and the Wizards are only listed as 7.5 point home favorites against one of the slowest-paced teams in the league (Mavericks). For that reason, many are likely to overlook him but only two teams allow a worse defended FG percentage at the rim than the Mavericks. Meanwhile, Wall ranks fourth in the league in drives per game (11.6) and he also quite often dishes the ball off to Marcin Gortat in the pick-and-roll who quite often finishes at the rim. Nerlens Noel is listed as questionable for Wednesday, and if he were to miss the game, the team would literally be without any substantial rim protectors. Literally Wall and anyone at the rim would be able to finish at will and that would result in a big game for Wall and a bunch of the supporting cast. Go ahead and start Wall with confidence as per usual.
Devin Booker, Suns, $12,600 – Recently, Devin Booker has proven to be a viable daily fantasy basketball commodity once again since he has taken 18, 21, 20 and 26 FG attempts respectively in his last four games. Basically, he has gotten used to starting next to T.J. Warren and has found a way for both to get their offense going while playing alongside one another. Now, Booker will draw a matchup against a Kings team that ranks 29th in defensive efficiency versus opposing SGs. The game will very likely start out with Buddy Hield, one of the worst defenders in the league, attempting to try and slow down Booker…and that will very likely not go so well for the Kings. Booker has faced the Kings six times throughout the course of his young career and has played 30-plus minutes four times. In the games in which he has topped 30 minutes, Booker has managed at least 35 fantasy points each time including 46 fantasy points earlier this year in the pre-Hield era for Sacramento. Oh by the way, the Kings are one of only five teams allowing a 40-plus three-pointer FG percentage to opposing two-guards so Booker will face little resistance from beyond the arc. Booker needs to score in order to come through for his fantasy owners and 30-plus real points is certainly possible in this spot.
Karl-Anthony Towns, Timberwolves, $19,500 – On paper, the Celtics are excellent defensively against the pick-and-roll, spot up shooters and even post up plays and yet Karl-Anthony Towns dropped 60 fantasy points on the Celtics in his one previous meeting earlier this season. How come? Well, Towns is a mismatch for either Amir Johnson or Al Horford or really anyone the Celtics choose to throw at him considering his combination of size and athleticism. Heading into Wednesday evening, Towns has produced 35-plus point (PTS), 13-plus rebound (REB) double-doubles in consecutive games and he has now shot at least 50-percent from the field in nine straight games. Last but not least, the Celtics allow the eighth most REB per game (RPG) to opposing frontcourts so double-digit rebounds should be a virtual lock yet again. Good luck to whomever is tasked at trying to slow him down because that is virtually impossible with how locked in Towns is at this point in the season.
Rudy Gobert, Jazz, $12,900 – Sans Derrick Favors on the court, Rudy Gobert ranks first on the team (min. 40 minutes played) in fantasy points per minute (FPPM) with 1.08, rebound rate (REB%) and second in points per possession (1.23). In a matchup against Andre Drummond and the Pistons, Gobert will no doubt be needed to play extensive minutes in order to match size with size. Although Gobert has had some mixed results against Drummond, he has topped 41 fantasy points in two of his last four meetings against him and has played at least 31 minutes in each of those meetings. Minutes equal production in daily fantasy basketball and Gobert is often ultra-productive without the team’s starting PF active. At the cheapest price Gobert has been in a while, there is very little risk to using him.
Al Horford, Celtics, $11,300 – Size is going to be necessary to compete against the duo of the aforementioned Towns and Gorgui Dieng…and athletic size. Therefore, an underpriced Horford should be expected to play 31-plus minutes as per usual. In fact, in this matchup, it would not be surprising to see Horford’s minutes stretch into the mid-30s especially because it is difficult to imagine this game not remaining close. Since the All-Star Break, the Timberwolves are amongst the hottest teams in the league; they have gone 6-3 and have only lost on the road to the trio of the Rockets, Spurs (in overtime) and Bucks and none were blowouts or even really close. Vegas lists the Celtics as 6.0 point favorites but it would shocking if this game was not competitive throughout. If Horford were to simply produce his average fantasy point output, he would but a fantasy team on pace for 299 fantasy points. For the season, the Timberwolves rank below the league average in defensive efficiency versus opposing Cs so there is reason to believe Horford could even top that mark. In cash games, Horford is one of the safest possible investments.
Kosta Koufos, Kings, $7,400 – After surprisingly getting scratched prior to Monday’s tilt against the Magic, Kosta Koufos should be good to go in a matchup against the league’s third fastest-paced team in the league (Suns). With Alex Len expected to return for the Suns, size will be needed to match up against him, Marquese Chriss and even Alan Williams off the bench so a normal minute allotment form Koufos is to be expected. While his ceiling is probably 25-28 minutes, Koufos has managed at least 2.83x value at this price tag in five consecutive games and six of his last seven. During that span, Koufos has even eclipsed 3.10x value in four of his last five games and five of his last seven. In other words, he has been incredibly consistent and the pricing algorithm just does not want to adjust his price accordingly. As long as he suits up, Koufos should not disappoint as there should be plenty of rebounding possibilities in a game with a projected 221.5 point over/under.