Biid-le Juice

Joel Embiid will face a team who allowed the second highest defended field goal percentage at the rim last season while playing in a standalone game. Since the team does not play again until Saturday, the talented big man should play a full allotment of minutes and dominate. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s NBA contests.

Guards:

Ricky Rubio, Jazz, $12,000 – In a game where the team will have to play up in pace, Ricky Rubio and the Jazz have a chance to enjoy more possessions than usual. Each of Rubio’s last two games against the Suns have resulted in 30-plus fantasy points and double-digit assists. Despite playing for a new team this season, Rubio headed into Tuesday night’s tilt averaging 8.3 assists per game (APG) with his new, slower-paced squad. Through about a week and a half, the Suns rank 29th in defensive efficiency and third in pace so they are just about the nuts matchup for opposing players…which includes backcourts. Versus point guards (PGs) specifically, the Suns rank 22nd in defensive efficiency and they have allowed the second most fantasy points. Undrafted rookie Mike James is running the point for the Suns and he owns the third worst defensive rating on squad. In other words, he should have a hard time staying in front of a seasoned ball-handler like Rubio, and the Jazz PG should easily flirt with a double-double.

Forward/Center:

Joel Embiid, 76ers, $16,700 – Click the lock button on Joel Embiid tonight because he is destined for a monster performance. It is not an embellishment to say Embiid may be the best center (C) talent ever as he continues to produce outrageous per-minute numbers this season. After averaging 28.7 points (PTS), 11.1 rebounds (REB) and 56.07 fantasy points per-36 minutes last season, Embiid is averaging 25.6 PTS, 15.6 REB and 52.85 fantasy points per-36 minutes this season. Embiid has not been happy the team has wanted to limit and/or sit him on back-to-backs but the good news is Wednesday is a standalone game (the team does not play again until Saturday). Consequently, Embiid should be given a full allotment of minutes against a Rockets team that played at the third fastest pace last season and struggled to defend in the paint. Only the Lakers allowed a higher defended field goal percentage within six feet of the basket last season. Although Clint Capela defended post-ups reasonably well, he has no chance against Embiid who can beat teams in a variety of ways (including stepping out for his jump shot). Embiid is coming off a 30-point performance against the Pistons and this fast-paced affair could lead to another 30-plus point game from the big fella. All aboard the Embiid train.

Rudy Gobert, Jazz, $13,300 – If starting Rubio, pairing him with Rudy Gobert is a smart correlation play because a healthy amount of Gobert’s baskets are going to come from Rubio assists this year. Only three teams have allowed more points per possession (PPP) to roll men on the pick-and-roll than the Suns (1.32) and the team ranks 29th in frontcourt defensive efficiency. Additionally, the Suns have yielded the seventh most rebounds to opposing frontcourts so this is a legitimate smash spot for Gobert. What more needs to be said? Gobert averaged 43.3 fantasy points per game versus the Suns last year and now he has a PG who can get enhance his offensive game. Feel free to roster Gobert in both cash games and tournaments.

Brook Lopez, Lakers, $12,600 – The price point on Brook Lopez feels too low against Marcin Gortat who allowed 1.03 PPP on spot-up shots last season. Last year, Lopez managed at least 20 PTS against Gortat twice and he only played 22 minutes in one of the outliers. Hell, he played for the worst team in the league so his team habitually was blown out. Vegas is only projecting a 6.0-point spread in this game and the contest will be played in Los Angeles. Therefore, a blowout does not appear to be a legitimate concern. Like Gobert, Lopez now has a PG (Lonzo Ball) who can get him the ball in open space. While Lopez is coming off a dud, and that may scare some people, he had scored 19-plus PTS in consecutive games prior to the flop against the Pelicans. Expect a bounce back in a big way on Wednesday.

Serge Ibaka, Raptors, $9,900 – Both Jonas Valanciunas and Lucas Nogueira have already been ruled out and DeMar DeRozan appears to be a game time decision against the Warriors. Sure, this could lead to the Raptors being blown out, but Serge Ibaka will at least play a huge role on the team in the three quarters he plays (minimum). Without Valanciunas or Nogueira on the court, Ibaka has averaged 1.05 FPPM and a 13.6-percent rebound rate. However, with Valanciunas on the floor, Ibaka has only averaged 0.84 FPPM and a 9.0-percent rebounding rate. Clearly, the lack of true C on the court enhances Ibaka’s chances at grabbing a loose ball and it also increases his importance in the offense. If the team is going to compete with the Warriors, they are going to need his athleticism, so expect him to play big minutes (at least until the game gets out of hand). At this mid-tier price point, he is worth the risk.

P.J. Tucker, Rockets, $9,600 – Okay, so P.J. Tucker is not exactly an offensive juggernaut but he is destined for huge minutes on Wednesday with Trevor Ariza already ruled out. James Harden, Eric Gordon and even Ryan Anderson should provide a majority of the offense (and all are solid plays) but Coach Mike D’Antoni loves to run his usual defensive specialist (Ariza) into the ground. With Ariza inactive, Tucker should draw the honors considering he is a similar sort of player. He is reliant on defense and hustle but he is also a solid shooter from beyond the arc which fits Harden’s style as a PG. Tucker is not exactly the most efficient player on a per-minute basis but he dropped 31 fantasy points in his first game with the team against the Warriors. The Rockets are listed as 3.0-point favorites in a game with a projected 223 over/under so the pace should be similar to the Warriors game. With Tucker potentially pushing 40 minutes, he is worth a shot in cash games at the very least.

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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