Malcolm in the Middle

Malcolm Brogdon is crazy cheap and yet the team is missing Giannis Antetokounmpo and the matchup is elite. Roll with Brogdon in both cash games and tournaments. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s NBA contests.

Guards (G):

Eric Bledsoe, Bucks, $14,600 – If there ever were a spot for Eric Bledsoe to be extra motivated, it would be in a matchup against his ex-team. Hell, Bledsoe already dominated his former team in the previous meeting this season, racking up 30 points (PTS), six rebounds (REB), seven assists (AST), two steals (STL) and 49.50 fantasy points in a whopping 45 minutes…although the game went to overtime (so 40 minutes in regulation). Bledsoe literally tweeted that he did not want to be in Phoenix anymore before he was sent packing so it is clear he has some true disdain for that organization. While the hatred may have worn off at this point, the matchup is not too shabby either; the Suns rank dead last in defensive efficiency versus opposing point guards (PGs) this season and they have allowed the second most fantasy points per game (FPPG) to the position as well. Oh, by the way, Giannis Antetokounmpo has been ruled out for this contest and Bledsoe has garnered a 30.1-percent usage rate (USG%) with the team’s star forward off the court. Combine all these factors and it is easy to see why Bledsoe is a building block on Monday evening.

 

Jrue Holiday, Pelicans, $13,400 – Do not look now but Jrue Holiday is quietly averaging over 40 FPPG this month and yet his price continues to remain insanely affordable. Thus far in the month of January, Holiday is averaging 21.2 points per game (PPG), 5.0 rebounds per game (RPG), 5.1 assists per game (APG), 2.1 steals per game (SPG), 1.0 blocks per game (BPG) and 38.7 minutes per game (MPG). Of course, DeMarcus Cousins and Anthony Davis are always worth targeting in favorable matchups, but Holiday quite often goes overlooked being that he is the third man on the totem pole. To this point, Kris Dunn leads the Bulls in both defensive rating and defensive box plus/minus, so his loss from the rotation will only weaken the team’s defense against the PG position. In fact, Jerian Grant’s -1.8 box plus/minus rates as the worst of anyone currently in the rotation, so Holiday should blow past him with ease. Right now, Holiday is worth every penny of his $13,400 cost.

 

Malcom Brogdon, Bucks, $9,800 – Speaking of players being worth every penny, Malcolm Brogdon is absurdly cheap especially considering Antetokounmpo will miss tonight’s contest. Sans both Antetokounmpo and Greg Monroe (currently on the Suns) on the floor, Brogdon ranks fourth on the team in USG%, behind only Khris Middleton, Bledsoe and Sean Kilpatrick (only a 47-minute sample size and mostly with the backups). Assuming Brogdon returns from a personal issue that kept him out on Saturday, he will be called upon for an expanded role in his return against a team that that has allowed the most FPPG to his position. For what it is worth, Antetokounmpo did not suit up the last two these teams squared off, and Brogdon managed 41 minutes (in an overtime game) as a starter. In that game, he only shot 6-14 (42.9-percent) from the field, and yet he still finished with 26.25 fantasy points. Since November, Brogdon has improved his FPPG output every single month, leading up to a 31.5 average in the month of January. At this price point, an average game would equate to over 3.0x value, and this is no ordinary matchup. If he suits up, he needs to be locked into all lineups.

 

Jerian Grant, Bulls, $9,700 – As noted in a previous tidbit, Dunn will miss tonight’s contest, leaving Grant and Ryan Arcidiacono as the Bulls’ only active ball-handlers. In just his second NBA game, Arcidiacono played 22-minutes on Saturday, but the Bulls won that contest easily. On Monday, the team is being listed as 6.5-point underdogs, so the contest should theoretically remain close throughout. With that being the case, Grant should be destined to play closer to 30 minutes, and he has averaged 0.87 fantasy points per minute (FPPM) with Dunn off the floor this year. By doing some simple math, 0.87 multiplied by 30 minutes equates to slightly over 26 fantasy points, or about 2.69x value at Grant’s current price. If he simply produced an average number of fantasy points, he would put a fantasy team on pace for 269 fantasy points. If he happens to play more minutes, or produces at a slightly higher efficiency, he has the potential to crush value.

 

Forward/Centers (F/C):

Anthony Davis, Pelicans, $19,900 – Who on the Bulls is going to cover Anthony Davis? Actually, here is a better question: who on the Bulls can cover Davis? If his past three games against the Bulls are any indicator, the answer is “no one.” In those contests eluded to in the previous sentence, Davis has produced 54, 55.25 and 64.50 fantasy points respectively, and now the Bulls are going to attempt to slow him down with…Lauri Markkanen and/or Nikola Mirotic? There is no way in hell either will be able to slow him down which means Davis should dominate yet again. Last game, he double-doubled in the first half against the Grizzlies, and he is only two games removed from a four-game stretch in which he topped 30 real PTS in each contest. What more needs to be said here? Start Davis with confidence.

 

Jarell Martin, Grizzlies, $8,600 – Half of the Grizzlies team is questionable this evening, including Jarell Martin, but his issue is a sore non-shooting hand. In all likelihood, Martin is playing, especially with multiple other members of the team dealing with some sort of illness. The good news is JaMychal Green has already been ruled out so Martin is the odds-on favorite to start at power forward (PF) in his absence (or at least play the most minutes at the position). Those not paying attention closely may have not noticed the fact Martin has improved his three-point percentage substantially lately. After shooting 28.6-percent from beyond the arc in October and 15.4-percent from long range in November, he has improved to the tune of 55.6-percent in December and 44.4-percent so far in January. Really, his overall shooting has improved, and that has led to more minutes and more efficient production. Over the course of his last three games, Martin has scored 30.50, 19.25 and 22 fantasy points respectively and he has played 30-plus minutes in two of those three games. Without Green in the rotation, he should be destined for a similar minute allotment, making him an excellent investment at just $8,600.

 

*Statistics are accurate as of Sunday, January 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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