Buck the Trend

Without Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Bucks stack is destined to thrive in a fast-paced environment with all the pieces drastically underpriced considering their current roles. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s NBA contests.

Guards:

Tyreke Evans, Grizzlies, $12,800 – The absence of Mike Conley has solidified the already sky-high value of Tyreke Evans. Without Conley on the floor, Evans leads the team in usage rate (USG%), even over Marc Gasol. In fact, Evans is even averaging the identical amount of fantasy points per minute (FPPM) as Gasol with Conley on the bench. Despite the Mavericks’ slow pace, Evans has averaged 1.1 FPPM against the Mavericks this year with both Conley and Gasol active. While he has only averaged 23.7 minutes per game (MPG) in those contests, he is averaging 30.8 MPG in which Conley has been inactive. Hell, Evans is priced at about 14.4-percent of budget on competing sites and he will only cost fantasy owners 12.8-percent on FantasyDraft, so fantasy owners need to be taking this discount all the way to the bank.

Will Barton, Nuggets, $10,600 – Paul Millsap has been ruled out for the next 2-3 months following wrist surgery which means extended playing time is in order for both Wilson Chandler and Will Barton. Last game, both Millsap and Chandler sat out, and Barton ended up starting. The result? A monster game: 25 points (PTS), including five three-pointers (3PM), six rebounds (REB), five assists (AST) and 41.50 fantasy points in 36 minutes. With Millsap off the floor this year, Barton is averaging 1.02 FPPM and he is amongst the team leaders in USG% (just 2.0 percentage points below team-leader Jamal Murray). After allowing the second highest field goal percentage in the league inside six feet of the basket last year, the Rockets are allowing a field goals at a 61.9-percent rate at the rim this year. Barton loves to attack the rim, and the pace of this game should only help his cause, so he could be deadly with minutes in the mid-30s.

Allen Crabbe, Nets, $8,800 – Of course, D’Angelo Russell is out indefinitely due to microscopic knee surgery and his absences reshapes the rotation drastically. Coach Kenny Atkinson has surprisingly decided to play certain players 30-plus minutes in the absence of the team’s point guard (PG) and Allen Crabbe has been lucky enough to be one of those guys. Since the rotation has tightened post-Russell injury, Crabbe has averaged 30.4 MPG to go along with 19.3 points per game (PPG), 4.3 rebounds per game (RPG), 2.8 assists per game (APG) and 31.4 fantasy points per game (FPPG). The Cavaliers literally rank dead last in defensive efficiency and opposing shooting guards (SGs) have averaged 2.9 three-pointers per game (3PPG) against them as well. Amazingly, Crabbe is averaging 4.5 3PM without Russell in the rotation, and Spencer Dinwiddie has looked excellent as a distributor. At just $8,800, the only thing stopping Crabbe from reaching value would be a blowout.

Forward/Center:

Giannis Antetokounmpo, Bucks, $20,900 – Oh my goodness, what an unbelievable matchup for Giannis Antetokounmpo. Not a single player on the Suns can even dream of matching up against Antetokounmpo but that is only where the favorability begins. Teams get out into transition at a 17.4-percent frequency versus the Suns this year (highest rate in the league) and the team has allowed the most points in transition (409) by almost 40. Guess what: Antetokounmpo gets out in transition more than any player in the league (5.9 possessions per game) besides Russell Westbrook and he averages 1.29 points per possession (PPP) in transition. The Bucks are only listening to 5.0-point road favorites in this game so it should be both close and high-scoring. If that is the case, Antetokounmpo’s upside could stretch into the 80s in terms of fantasy points. Lock him in. UPDATE: By default, Eric Bledsoe in a revenge game is a must-play, but the move is to simply stack the Bucks. Middleton, Bledsoe and Maker all belong in cash lineups with guys like Malcolm Brogdon, Tony Snell and D.J. Wilson rating as interesting tournament pivots. Also, if spending up for a superstar, LeBron James now reigns supreme.

DeMarre Carroll, Nets, $10,400 – Like Crabbe, DeMarre Carroll’s role in the rotation has been solidified with Russell out, and Carroll will be needed to match up against LeBron James on Wednesday. Only he and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson have even a prayer of guarding James with any degree of effectiveness and Carroll has averaged 30.6 FPPG without the team’s starting PG. With Dinwiddie running the show, the Nets have been competitive in each of the last three games, including a close loss in Boston and a narrow loss at home versus the Warriors. The Cavaliers defense is so bad that the Nets will probably keep this one closer than the spread suggests as well. Since the masses will likely be scared off by the 11.0-point projected differential in this game, the game stack has the potential to be one of the best on the entire slate if it remains close. Most of the Nets are way too cheap for their current roles and the Cavaliers are facing the fastest-paced team in the league. Do not hesitate to load up from assets from this game, beginning with Crabbe and Carroll.

Thon Maker, Bucks, $6,200 – An eye injury will keep John Henson out of Wednesday night’s tilt against the Suns so Thon Maker is the last man standing at the center position. Okay, so the Suns possess the ability to go small for extended stretches, but D.J. Wilson may be the only active frontcourt player off the bench. By default, Maker’s minutes should stretch into the high-20s and Tyson Chandler is not great at stepping out on shooters (Maker’s specialty). By accident, Maker should exceed value at this price tag even though he is only a 0.72 FPPM producer with Henson and Mirza Teletovic (also inactive) off the court. If he produces an average game in terms of efficiency, he should exceed 20 fantasy points, and that would put a fantasy team on pace for 325 fantasy points.

*Note: stats are accurate as of Tuesday, November 21

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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