Facing a Pacers team that struggles to keep centers off the boards, Richaun Holmes should be primed to top 30 fantasy points for the sixth time in his last eight games. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s NBA contests.
Jrue Holiday, Pelicans, $13,600 – Sunday’s slate is a strange one because the tilt between the Thunder and Rockets starts prior to the main slate on FantasyDraft. Additionally, it will take inactives in order for true values to emerge because there is almost nothing at this point. Therefore, focusing on mid-tier players is looking like the key to victory tonight and Jrue Holiday leads the charge. First of all, DeMarcus Cousins is listed as questionable for Sunday’s slate so his absence would obviously lead to some extra usage for Holiday as more offensive plays would run through him. Even if Cousins suits up, Holiday will still draw the matchup against a team that ranks dead last in defensive efficiency versus opposing PGs and they allow the second most points per game (PPG) to the position as well. This game’s projected total is the highest on the slate (228 points), edging out the Trail Blazers/Lakers game by a healthy 5.0 points. Therefore, in a track meet, Holiday should have plenty of possessions to rack up stats so go ahead and build around him in all formats.
Jeff Teague, Pacers, $13,200 – After attempting just 9.7 shots per game in January and 10.6 in February, Teague has rebounded to the tune of 11.2 FG attempts per game so far in March. A more aggressive Teague has not necessarily meant a superior fantasy producer because his minutes have been down this month. Having said that, Teague’s stretch of depreciated minutes appears to be over as he has played 37, 35 and 33 minutes respectively in his last three games. Now, Teague will square off against a 76ers team that ranks 22nd in defensive efficiency versus the PG position and one that rates in the middle of the pack against ball-handlers in the pick-and-roll. In two previous meetings against the 76ers this season, Teague has averaged 38.4 fantasy points per game (FPPG) so clearly he can get it done in this matchup. At a reasonable price point, there is still some potential for profit.
Jordan Clarkson, Lakers, $12,600 – To this point in March, Jordan Clarkson has started six games which has doubled his total games started in all other months combined (three). As of late, Clarkson has been starting alongside D’Angelo Russell and Clarkson is heading into this game having managed at least 26 fantasy points in five consecutive games including 31-plus fantasy points thrice during that span. In yesterday’s article, I covered why the individual matchup against Damian Lillard is so favorable but let us review: Lillard ranks dead last amongst all the Trail Blazers regulars in terms of both defensive rating (DRtg) and defensive box plus/minus (DBPM). If it were not for the Trail Blazers blowing out the Timberwolves last night, Rubio seemed destined for a solid night and now Clarkson will be catching Lillard on the second end of a back-to-back. Since the Trail Blazers are both on a back-to-back and playing on the road, there is reason to believe this game remains close and so Clarkson should be able to reach his full potential. The price is no longer a bargain but it is fair in this game. Do not forget Clarkson has blown up for 48-plus fantasy points twice in his last seven games and a close game tonight could lead to another explosion for him.
Anthony Davis, Pelicans, $18,000 – As mentioned in the Holiday tidbit, Cousins is listed as questionable for Sunday’s tilt and his absence would lead to a healthy amount of the offense funneling through Anthony Davis. With Cousins on the floor, Davis has produced a 28.2-percent usage rate (USG%) and 1.06 fantasy points per minute (FPPM) compared to a whopping 33.1 USG% and 1.62 FPPM with Cousins off the court since he was traded to the Pelicans. The matchup against the Nuggets is subtly elite as the Nuggets allow the third most PPG (111.1), play at the eighth fastest pace and rate 29th in overall defensive efficiency. If Cousins does suit up, an undersized Wilson Chandler will be forced to guard him. If not, Nikola Jokic is not going to be forced to guard Davis and the last time these two squared off Davis erupted for 94.25 fantasy points! The pace of this game is going to be ideal for fantasy purposes which means a healthy amount of touches on offense for Davis regardless so he is the superstar to build around (especially if the team’s other star frontcourt member sits).
Myles Turner, Pacers, $12,700 – At times, Myles Turner can be frustrating to roster because he is a mediocre rebounder for his position but the matchup against the 76ers so at least enhance his chances to reach double-digit rebounds. Interestingly enough, Turner has averaged 7.8 rebounds per game (RPG) over the course of his last six games including two double-digit rebounding games during that span. Most importantly though, Turner has developed some consistency from a fantasy perspective as he has now topped 32 fantasy points in four of his last five games. During that stretch, Turner has blocked two-plus shots four times and stolen two-plus passes twice. Tonight, he will square off against a 76ers team that has been blocked by opposing frontcourt members above and beyond the most times over the course of the last 10 games. Oh by the way, they have allowed the second most steals to opposing frontcourts during that time frame as well. While this price feels a bit inflated for Turner, the recent performance suggests he could live up to the cost. Although he is a risky investment for cash games, this certainly could be a spot where he reaches his ceiling.
Richaun Holmes, 76ers, $11,600 – On the other side of the Turner matchup, Richaun Holmes could excel as well. Sure Holmes is a bit undersized but he plays physical and that should play well in a matchup against a Pacers team that has allowed the second most RPG to opposing Cs and the third most offensive RPG. Prior to Holmes’ flop in last game (where the Thunder blew them out), he had topped 30 fantasy points in five of his last six games including a 54.50 fantasy point outburst on Mar. 20. The recency bias could lead to the masses fading him but there is no reason to considering he has averaged 29.8 FPPG his last eight. At this cost, 29.8 fantasy points equates to 2.57x value, but again, he is routinely topping the 30 fantasy point plateau. If there were ever a situation for him to register a double-double, this would be it, and a double-double could put him over 3.0x value and on pace to lead a lineup to the PayoutZone (regardless of format).