The Will to Win

The absence of both Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler should lead to extended minutes for Will Barton in by far the best game to target for fantasy purposes on the entire slate. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s NBA contests.


Chris Paul, Clippers, $16,300 – Heading into Wednesday night, Chris Paul had only registered double-digit assists (AST) once in his last seven games. Even so, Paul came into Wednesday having topped 48 fantasy points in consecutive games and now he draws the absolutely ideal matchup against the lowly Nuggets. Not only do the Nuggets rank dead last in defensive efficiency versus opposing PGs this season but they also have surrendered the third most points per game (PPG) and third most assists per game (APG) to the position. Oh by the way, the Nuggets play at the eighth fastest pace in the league and Vegas is expecting this game to be both high-scoring (222.0 over/under) and close (Clippers 2.5 point favorites). If Paul does not go crazy in this matchup then he never will.

Will Barton, Nuggets, $10,500 – Both Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler have already been ruled out tonight so Will Barton is destined to earn additional playing time for the second straight game. With Chandler out against the Lakers, Barton played a healthy 30 minutes en route to 22 points (PTS), six AST, one steal (STL) and one block (BLK) which all equates to 37.50 fantasy points. Thus far, the Clippers rank 21st in defensive efficiency against opposing SGs so the matchup is certainly beatable. With Gallinari out, Barton will very likely start at forward and he has put up some monster numbers are a starting forward this season: 39.0 minutes per game (MPG), 27.5 PPG, 9.0 rebounds per game (RPG) and 6.0 APG. With this game expected to remain competitive throughout, the sky is the limit for Barton at an extremely reasonable price tag.


Carmelo Anthony, Knicks, $15,000 – Sure $15,000 feels pricey for a player like Carmelo Anthony but this could not be a more perfect spot to deploy him. For one, the team is facing a Nets squad that ranks dead last in defensive efficiency, plays at the fastest pace, allows the most PPG and even gives up the more STL and BLK to opponents. Additionally, Kristaps Porzingis is all but out so extra usage will be available to Anthony. Playing alongside Porzingis, Anthony has produced a 26.6-percent usage rate (USG%) and 1.01 fantasy points per minute (FPPM) compared to 33.9 USG% and 1.17 FPPM with Porzingis off the court. Basically, Anthony has an ideal matchup and should be running a majority of the offense so now his price tag does not seem so farfetched. In this situation, 50 fantasy points is not out of the question for one of the top scorers in the league.

Rudy Gobert, Jazz, $12,700 – Surprisingly, Rudy Gobert has fared quite well on the second end of back-to-backs this year as evident by the fact that he is averaging 12.9 PPG on 61.5-percent shooting, 11.9 RPG, 1.1 steals per game (SPG) and 2.5 blocks per game (BPG) in the split. Now, Gobert will square off against a Cavaliers team that has struggled against larger Cs this season probably without Derrick Favors in the rotation. As noted in the Today’s Plays article yesterday, Gobert leads the team in FPPM, rebound percentage (REB%) and ranks second in points per possession (PPP) with Favors off the court. In two of his last three meetings against the Cavaliers, Gobert has topped 32 fantasy points and he has played 32-plus minutes in all three of those games. With Favors out, his minutes should only be further solidified and the Cavaliers are only listed as 7.0 point favorites. In order for the Jazz to stay in this game, they are going to need a big game from Gobert on both sides of the floor and that should lead to a solid fantasy performance.

DeAndre Jordan, Clippers, $12,300 – For some reason, the price on DeAndre Jordan is incredibly cheap for the second consecutive game and now he will be playing in the game with the highest projected total on the slate. In other words, the pace should be incredibly favorable for fantasy purposes as more rebounding opportunities should be available to him as compared to usual. Nuggets’ Cs are blocked at the 11th highest frequency in the league and the team as a whole allows the second most PPP on putbacks. Therefore, it would not be surprising for Jordan to dominate the offensive glass. Also, the Nuggets are likely going to roll out a starting lineup that includes both Nikola Jokic and Mason Plumlee so size will be needed to match up with their frontcourt throughout the course of the evening. After double-doubling last night, Jordan is a prime candidate to do so once again on Wednesday evening. UPDATE: Immediately after writing this, DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin were ruled out for Thursday. Now, Chris Paul emerges as a core play in all lineups and Marreese Speights is the best punt on the entire slate. For the season, Speights is averaging 1.16 FPPM and now he should be a lock for 25-plus minutes. Replace him with Jordan and enjoy the additional available salary.

Mason Plumlee, Nuggets, $10,800 – As noted in the last tidbit, Mason Plumlee is likely to start in the absence of Chandler/Gallinari which will likely lead to him playing 30-plus minutes for the second consecutive game. With the Clippers deploying a frontcourt of Jordan and Blake Griffin, Plumlee’s size will be needed if the team is going to compete with their opponent on the boards. Plumlee is red hot heading into this game as he has managed at least 35 fantasy points in three of his last four games and 73.25 fantasy points combined between his last two games. During the span of his last five games, Plumlee has averaged 4.8 APG as well so he is not just getting it done in the PTS and REB categories. If it was not abundantly clear by this point, the Nuggets/Clippers game is clearly the one to stack especially with all the injuries on the Nuggets. Do not be afraid to play four players minimum from this game in cash and even more in tournaments.

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, 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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