(Hoo)ray Donovan

The price tag on Donovan Mitchell is still too cheap following three straight 17-plus point performances so fantasy owners should feel free to go back to the well tonight. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s NBA contests.


Donovan Mitchell, Jazz, $8,800 – Donovan Mitchell is an up-and-coming star in this league and his price tag does not yet match his impressive skill set. The Jazz roster is not exactly loaded with offensive talent so Mitchell has been forced to step up and score on a nightly basis. Through 10 games, Mitchell ranks fourth in scoring (13.5) on the team and he barely ranks behind both Rodney Hood (14.4 points per game (PPG)) and Rudy Gobert (13.9 PPG). Here are his scoring outputs in the last three games alone: 28, 25 and 17 points (PTS) respectively. Those monster scoring games have led to 41.0, 38.25 and 29.0 fantasy points respectively. Each one of those outings would lead to him exceeding 3.29x value on FantasyDraft or enough to put a fantasy team on pace for 329 points. If he were to approach 40 fantasy points again, that would put a team on pace for over 400 fantasy points. He is simply too cheap and needs to be started in all formats.

Emmanuel Mudiay, Nuggets, $8,700 – Over the course of the Nuggets last four games, Emmanuel Mudiay has averaged more minutes per game (MPG) than the starter Jamal Murray, and yet Murray is priced as $1,300 more expensive. The matchup could legitimately not be any better with the team taking on a Nets squad that plays at the fastest pace in the league and ranks 27th in overall defensive efficiency. The Brooklyn bench ranks 19th in defensive efficiency and has allowed the 10th most assists per game (APG) which makes sense when taking into consideration the team’s fast-paced style of play. When these two teams previously met on Oct. 29, Mudiay played just 19 minutes, and yet he managed 15 points (PTS), three rebounds (REB) and five assists (AST) en route to 26.25 fantasy points. Since that game, Mudiay’s minutes have been on the rise, and he has played 25-plus minutes in three straight heading into tonight. If he manages a similar minute allotment against the Nets, he should eclipse value by accident against this porous Nets defense playing on the second end of a back-to-back.


Ben Simmons, 76ers, $16,900 – With Joel Embiid already ruled out for Tuesday (rest), the 76ers are going to be the Ben Simmons show even more than usual. Whereas Simmons has only garnered a 22.3-percent usage rate (USG%) with Embiid on the floor, that number jumps up to 27.2-percent with Embiid on the bench (although his fantasy points per minute (FPPM) remain similar). Some will be scared off by the matchup against Rudy Gobert and the slow-paced Jazz but the way to beat this team is with jump-shooting. Both Damian Lillard and James Harden torched this defense and the 76ers are loaded with perimeter shooters (J.J. Redick, Robert Covington, etc.) to help Simmons rack up the assists when he drives the lane. The Jazz only rank 10th in defensive efficiency so it is not exactly like they are a defense who needs to be avoided at all costs. Due to the slow-paced matchup, the 76ers have been priced down, so there is some value to rostering multiple members from this squad (especially the shooters because of how strongly they correlate to Simmons who will be assisting them the ball).

Nikola Jokic, Nuggets, $14,900 – What in the world is this price tag? Nikola Jokic dropped 50 fantasy points on the Nets in the last meeting and he is priced below 15-percent of the total salary cap. There is no need to spend up on multiple top tier players with Jokic priced in this range. The Nets possess exactly zero players with the combination of size and athleticism necessary to guard Jokic. It would not be surprising to see players like Quincy Acy or Rondae Hollis-Jefferson (if healthy) attempt to match up with them because Coach Kenny Atkinson likes going small at times. With this pace, Jokic should be in a prime spot to rack up the PTS, REB and AST, and he should be a lock to flirt with a triple-double. If the game does not get out of hand through three quarters, Jokic is going to absolutely crush.

DeMarre Carroll, Nets, $11,500 – The likely absence of Hollis-Jefferson will lead to some additional minutes for guys like Joe Harris and Allen Crabbe but DeMarre Carroll is the guy who stands out to me. Other than Hollis-Jefferson, Carroll has played more minutes than anyone on the team in the second end of back-to-backs and he will only be needed to play more with one less member of the rotation healthy. At this price point, Carroll has only failed to reach 2.65x value twice in his last eight games, and one came last night in a game where he still double-doubled. Sans Hollis-Jefferson in a fast-paced game, Carroll could play minutes in the mid-30s, and he has produced a career-best 1.03 FPPM this year. If he is knocking down his shot, Carroll’s upside could stretch into the 40s in terms of fantasy points.

Richaun Holmes, 76ers, $8,200 – Sans Embiid, Richaun Holmes is the guy to turn to in his absence. While Amir Johnson has played significantly more minutes this year, Holmes just returned from injury last game and looked excellent in just 10 minutes. Tonight, his role will assuredly expand and beat reporters are speculated he already passed Johnson on the depth chart. The individual matchup against Rudy Gobert is brutal but three separate centers (Cs) have already topped 40 fantasy points against him this year. At Holmes’ cheap price point, fantasy owners will just need enough hustle statistics and sporadic points for the undersized C to reach the mid-20s in terms of fantasy points. With extensive minutes, and Simmons finding him in open space, he should still be able to accomplish this feat with relative ease. Due to the brutal matchup, Holmes is better-suited for cash games.

*Note: stats are accurate as of Monday, October 7


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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