Buckets of Fun

Jimmy Butler, aka “Jimmy Buckets,” has excelled in fast-paced matchups this season so he should enjoy the challenge of facing the Warriors on Wednesday evening. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s NBA contests.


Stephen Curry, Warriors, $19,300 – Through 10 games, opposing point guards (PGs) are shooting a healthy 48.9-percent against the Timberwolves. By comparison, the Cavaliers (48.5-percent) are the only other team that has allowed a field goal percentage (FG%) over 46.3 to the position. The Timberwolves rank 25th in defensive efficiency versus PGs and have also allowed the fifth most assists (10.2) to them. Of course, this sets up incredibly well for Stephen Curry who runs the fast-paced Warriors offense and can both score and pass with the best in the game. The Timberwolves are still figuring out how to play together so they should have trouble adjusting to the team that easily ranks first in offensive efficiency this year. For his career, Curry has averaged almost half a fantasy point more per game at home, and this matchup is elite. With the team being implied to score a slate-high 119.75 points, Curry will have made an impact before this game is over.

Klay Thompson, Warriors, $12,200 – Through about a month of the NBA season, Curry and Klay Thompson has posted a negative correlation with one another. In other words, a positive performance from one has habitually led to a negative performance from another. Teams have gotten into transition against the Timberwolves at the fifth highest rate this year and they have allowed the sixth most points per possession (PPP). Literally no team gets out in transition more than the Warriors and they average by far the most PPP on the play type as well. Quite often, Thompson will be following along on the break and the ball will be dished to him for a three-pointer. Amongst the team’s starters, Thompson has produced the most points per possession (PPP) of any of them in transition. The Warriors should make it rain in this game so expect both the “Splash Brothers” to contribute.


Jimmy Butler, Timberwolves, $12,700 – One thing Coach Tom Thibodeau is famous for is his tendency to play his starters into the ground. Hell, all five of the team’s starters are averaging at least 29.5 minutes per game this year with Butler leading the bunch (36 minutes per game (MPG)). Comparatively to last year, Butler’s 2017 season has been a bit disappointing thus far but he has excelled in matchups against faster-paced teams. When the team squared off against the Thunder (two meetings already) and the Pelicans (the fastest-paced team the Timberwolves have seen), Butler posted three of his four best outings of the year. Additionally, he reached the free throw line 10-plus times in two of those three games and those were the only two times this year he has exceeded five free throw attempts. For what it is worth, Butler posted 46.25 fantasy points versus the Warriors in his one meeting last year, and now he will not be the focus of the defense’s attention. Butler quietly finds himself in a smash spot and he is bound to go drastically under-owned due to his two recent stinkers in a row.

Hassan Whiteside, Heat, $13,300 – Do not freak out about Hassan Whiteside after getting benched versus the Warriors. Coach Erik Spoelstra had been slowly ramping up his minutes following a knee injury that held him out for five games and he admitted to being winded at the end of last week. He did not play well in the first half versus the Warriors, and the team was on a second half of a back-to-back, so they just sat him down. If there were ever a prime bounce-back spot, this would be the one…on the road facing the lowly Suns. Tyson Chandler has the reputation for being a solid defender but he only plays 25 MPG and he is 35-years old. Last year, Whiteside only faced the Suns once, and he dropped a whopping 52.5 fantasy points on them in just 31.5 minutes. Only the Nets play at a quicker pace than the Suns and the Suns rank 25th in offensive efficiency. Basically, it is not exactly a mystery why the Suns have yielded the seventh most rebounds per game (RPG) to opposing frontcourts. Do not be worried about his recent poor data because this should be a throwback Whiteside dominant performance.

Nikola Vucevic, Magic, $12,900 – Good luck guarding Nikola Vucevic, Enes Kanter. Admittedly, Kanter has looked better defending in the post this year, as he has only allowed 0.50 PPP on post ups. However, he only ranked in the 22nd percentile against the play type over a full season last year and five separate centers have already topped 35 fantasy points versus the Knicks this season: Steven Adams, Andre Drummond, Al Horford and Clint Capela. Hell, even the aforementioned Chandler racked up a 15-10 double-double versus this team. Since the beginning of the year, Vucevic has averaged 1.54 fantasy points per minute (FPPM) with Elfrid Payton on the court compared to 1.09 without him. According to reports, Payton is still iffy, but Vucevic’s outlook would be even further enhanced if the team’s starting PG were to suit up. At this price point, Vucevic is averaging 2.84x value or enough to put a fantasy team on pace for 284 fantasy points in an average matchup. Facing Kanter should equate to a well above-average matchup so the sky is the limit for Vucevic tonight (especially if Payton plays).

Marcus Morris, Celtics, $7,800 – In two games since returning to the Celtics rotation, Marcus Morris has played 17 and 23 minutes respectively, so his minutes presumably will be on the rise against once again versus the Lakers. Not only do the Lakers like to play small but they play at the third-fastest pace in the league as well. Essentially, Morris and the Celtics should enjoy more possessions than they are used to in this game, raising the floor of all players involved. In his two games back, Morris has produced 17 and 26.25 fantasy points respectively and he has attempted at least eight shot attempts in each. The pricing algorithm has still not fully adjusted his price to this role with his new team so he remains a premiere value. Assuming his minutes start to creep into the mid-20s (or higher), he is going to crush value against a Lakers squad that ranks 19th in defensive efficiency versus power forwards (PFs).

*Note: stats are accurate as of Tuesday, November 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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