Beal-ieve it or Not

Bradley Beal will square off against one of the league’s worst three-point defenses playing on the second end of a back-back so he and his team’s starting point guard are in prime spots to erupt. 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, $19,200 – Just look at what D’Angelo Russell did to the Suns on Tuesday evening. When all said and done, Russell scored 33 points on 11-21 shooting and now it is John Wall’s turn to dominate this team.  Not only do the Suns rank second in pace but they also rank 25th in point guard (PG) efficiency defense. To be fair, the Suns defense has improved since the team turned to Jay Triano as their coach.  Here are the Suns’ team defensive ratings by game under Earl Watson: 125.6, 111.3 and 128.1. On the other hand, here are the Suns’ defensive ratings in the Triano era: 111.7, 87.2 and 110.8. One might think their improved overall defense could lead to a worse matchup but it just means the Suns should be more competitive. The team is still relying on undrafted rookie Mike James as their starter 5’9”, 150 lbs. Tyler Ulis as their backup…neither of which have a shot of staying in front of Wall. The Suns have allowed a 43.0-percent defended field goal percentage from behind the arc which is the worst in the league. Basically, they are the worst three-point defense in the league, so Wall should penetrate with ease and kick to open shooters. With the fast pace, Wall should approach 50 fantasy points by accident.

Bradley Beal, Wizards, $12,900 – Feel free to pair Wall with teammate Bradley Beal to maximize a lineup’s potential ceiling. What does that mean? Wall and Beal are heavily positively correlated which means when one has a solid game then the other typically does as well. The correlation comes in the fact many of Wall’s assists end up as Beal mid-to-long range jumpers and the Suns rank as the worst defense from behind the arc in 2017. As icing on the cake, Beal is about $1,000-$1,500 underpriced so there is plenty of value to be had at this price point. Beal is averaging 33.5 fantasy points per game (FPPG) this year which would put a fantasy team on pace for 260 fantasy points if he posted an average outing. The Suns are no average matchup so he has the potential to crush value and put a team on pace for well over 300 fantasy points if all goes as planned.

Mike James, Suns, $8,700 – Last night, Mike James posted the vastly superior performance to backup Tyler Ulis after Ulis had edged him out in terms of fantasy points in two straight. Normally, recency bias would lead to me going back to the Ulis well but there is simply no chance Ulis can stay in front of the aforementioned Wall. Consequently, Coach Triano will have to rely on the bigger guard of the two to attempt to slow down one of the best PGs in the league. Additionally, James is only $600 more expensive than the backup so the price difference is not enough to deter fantasy owners from just rostering the starter. Sure, it is the second end of a back-to-back, but James is a rookie in just his eighth game as a professional so that should not be an issue. On a per-dollar basis, James is as good as it gets.

Forward/Center:

Anthony Davis, Pelicans, $22,100 – Do not look now but both DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis rank in the top five of fantasy points per game so far this season. Of course, Cousins leads the league but his output is aided by an 83.75 fantasy point gem while Davis sat out with a knee injury. When Davis has managed to finish games, he has produced at least 57 fantasy points in every game. On Wednesday, the Pelicans will match up against a big Timberwolves team which should only mean extensive minutes for both of members of the team’s starting frontcourt. Last year, Davis got the best of Karl-Anthony Towns in their head-to-heads. In three games against the Timberwolves in 2016, Davis averaged 58.7 fantasy points per game (FPPG) while the “Brow” helped limit Towns to 41.4 FPPG in the matchup. Expect close to 40 minutes of Davis, and whenever that happens, an impressive fantasy score is sure to follow (if he remains healthy throughout).

Domantas Sabonis, Pacers, $11,000 – Myles Turner is hoping to return for Friday’s game which means at least one more game of Domantas Sabonis starting. In six games as a starter this year, Sabonis has averaged 26.9 minutes per game (MPG), 12.3 points per game (PPG), 11.7 rebounds per game (RPG), 2.8 assists per game (APG) and 0.5 blocks per game (BPG) en route to 31.8 FPPG. On Tuesday, the Pacers blew out the Kings so Sabonis only played 25 minutes, presumably to rest enough so he could be full-go on Wednesday. The matchup gets more difficult tonight with the team traveling to Cleveland to face the defending Eastern Conference champions. Tristan Thompson is tough on the board but Sabonis is not priced properly for his role just yet as he should continue to grab rebounds at a high rate regardless of opponent (especially considering the lack of rebounding in the starting lineup otherwise). Roster Sabonis as a pure price play and reap the benefits.

Jonas Valanciunas, Raptors, $9,900 – Speaking of price plays, Jonas Valanciunas will make his triumphant return to the line against the Nuggets and he is priced at a sub-$10,000 cost. Prior to his injury, Valanciunas had picked up where he left off from the playoffs last season (which is a good thing). Although only averaging 23.0 MPG, Valanciunas was averaging 14 PPG and 9.5 RPG and 2.0 points per possession (PPP) in the post. To put it differently, he has scored on every post possession this year. While Nikola Jokic is an above-average defender against the play type, the pace should be solid and Valanciunas dropped 29.75 fantasy points in his last meeting versus the talented big man. Valanciunas’ usage rate is up exactly four percentage points this season so his upside stretches beyond 30 fantasy points and he is rather affordable.

*Note: stats are accurate as of Tuesday, October 31

 

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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