Shot Out of a Canaan

Since bursting onto the scene with the Suns, Isaiah Canaan has played 26-plus minutes in back-to-back games and has topped 30 fantasy points in each of those contests as well. Since he is still incredibly cheap, fantasy owners should look to ride his hot streak. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s NBA contests.


Lou Williams, Clippers, $13,700 – No line is currently available for the Suns/Clippers game as of Tuesday evening and yet this game is clearly one of the top stacks of the evening. Not only do the Clippers play the second fastest pace in the league but both these teams also rank in the bottom 11 of defensive efficiency this season as well. Only the Magic have allowed more fantasy points per game (FPPG) to opposing backcourts than the Suns this season and Lou Williams leads the team handily in usage rate (USG%) with both Blake Griffin and Danilo Gallinari off the court. Sans those two members of the frontcourt, Williams is averaging 1.12 fantasy points per minute (FPPM) and he has played 33-plus minutes in each of his last 10 games. Playing big minutes against this porous defense is noteworthy and Williams is nowhere near expensive enough for this elite matchup. Although this price point feels expensive for a player like Williams, the matchup dictates he should be worth every penny tonight.

Will Barton, Nuggets, $12,200 – Gary Harris is being listed as questionable for Wednesday’s tilt against the Timberwolves which would likely lead to big minutes for Will Barton in the Nuggets backcourt. With both Harris and Paul Millsap off the court, only Nikola Jokic is averaging more FPPM on the team (1.42) than Barton (0.98) and Barton has played the second most minutes in that scenario (behind only Emmanuel Mudiday who is also questionable). If Muiday also sits, Barton may be called upon to play point guard (PG) for stints, and Barton would be destined to play minutes up into the high-30s. Of the games with lines already released, the Nuggets’ 109-point implied total is the second highest of any team on the slate behind only the Rockets. If Harris sits, and this team is going to get anywhere near the 110-point plateau, Barton will factor heavily into the box score.

Isaiah Canaan, Suns, $8,800 – Do not look now but Isaiah Canaan is the most fantasy-viable point guard (PG) on the Suns and a lot of their offense is running through him. Since joining the team, Canaan has topped 30 fantasy points in back-to-back contests and he has garnered at least a 20-percent usage (USG%) in in each of those games. More importantly, he has played over 26 minutes in each those games, and he will face a defense that ranks 18th in backcourt efficiency defense. When the line on this game opens, it will inevitably be one of the highest projected games on the slate, and Canaan is an excellent per-dollar investment. If Canaan were simply to reach 30 fantasy points once again (averaging 33.6 fantasy points per game (FPPG) over his last two), that would equate to 3.41x value, or enough to put a fantasy team on pace for 341 fantasy points. Even if Canaan falls a bit short, he still would rate as one of the best value plays of the evening. Start him.


Dwight Howard, Hornets, $13,700 – Over the course of the last seven games, Dwight Howard has only failed to reach double-digit rebounds once, and he has only failed to reach 36 fantasy points once during that span as well (and the outlier performance was in an 11-10 double-double). To put it differently, Howard possesses one of the highest floors of any player on the slate, and he will now square off against a Raptors that ranks 26th in defensive efficiency versus centers over the course of their last five games. In one previous matchup against Jonas Valanciunas and the Raptors this year, Howard posted a 22-10 double-double en route to 42 fantasy points. In fact, he has managed at least 35.50 fantasy points in each of his last four meetings against this very squad. While Kemba Walker and Nicolas Batum have not been quite as reliable this year comparatively to last year, Howard has proven to be the team’s most consistent producer. In what should quietly prove to be a favorable matchup once again this evening, Howard is worth rostering in all formats.

DeAndre Jordan, Clippers, $13,500 – The fast pace of this game should only lead to a monster performance from DeAndre Jordan who is already averaging 13.0 points per game (PPG), 17.0 rebounds per game (RPG), 1.8 assists per game (APG), 0.6 steals per game (SPG), 1.0 blocks per game (BPG) and 39.4 FPPG without Blake Griffin this year. Only the Bulls, Thunder, Hornets, Mavericks, Nets, Grizzlies and Kings have shot a lower percentage from the field this season than the Suns which would explain why Jordan has grabbed at least 11 rebounds versus the Suns in each of his last two meetings against them without Griffin. In those two games, Jordan has posted 40.75 and 41.50 fantasy points respectively, and Jordan is substantially cheaper on FantasyDraft compared to competing sites. What more needs to be said here? It would be shocking if Jordan did not flirt with 40 fantasy points once again in this spot.

Maxi Kleber, Mavericks, $7,700 – Maxi Kleber is not exactly a household name at this point and yet the man has played 28-plus minutes in five straight games and has managed at least 28 fantasy points in two straight games (including one against the Spurs). If Kleber can get it done against the Spurs, then he certainly can get it done versus the Pistons, and his size will be needed to counteract the size of Andre Drummond. Other than Salah Mejri, Kleber is the only other big body in the rotation, and he has become the preferred big body for Coach Rick Carlisle. After averaging 0.60 FPPM in the month of November, Kleber is averaging 0.73 FPPM in the month of December and he is averaging 28 MPG this month. By doing simple math, that means Kleber should average 20.44 fantasy points in an average performance at his average minute output, which equates to 2.65x value at his current price point. If Kleber is closer to the player he has shown over the course of the last two games, he is one of the few players on the slate with a chance to exceed 4.0x value due to his bargain cost. If looking to get ahead of the curve on a young, unknown player, roster Kleber tonight and reap the benefits.

*Note: stats are accurate as of Tuesday, December 19

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, 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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