The Wolf of Wall Street

John Wall’s price tag is unreasonably cheap for a matchup against a poor transition defense so go ahead and lock him in tonight. Check out daily fantasy expert Ricky Sanders’ recommended plays to help you fill out your roster for today’s NBA contests.

Guards (G):

John Wall, Wizards, $16,200 – Why in the hell is John Wall so cheap? Wall is a player who easily could command an $18,000 price tag on a game-to-game basis and yet the algorithm is listing him at just $16,200 on Thursday. Basically, FantasyDraft is begging you to play Wall and you definitely should oblige in a matchup against a Thunder defense that ranks as a 28th percentile defense in transition. Only Giannis Antetokounmpo, LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, Victor Oladipo, Devin Booker, Kevin Durant, T.J. Warren and Klay Thompson are averaging more points per game (PPG) in transition per game than Wall thus far and he gets out in transition at a ridiculous 23.4-percent frequency. The Thunder have fared incredibly well against ball-handlers in the pick-and-roll, and they are a solid defense against opposing point guards (PGs), but sometimes a price is too enticing to pass on…and this is one of those occasions.

 

Andre Roberson, Thunder, $7,000 – Andre Roberson is worth starting when he has a star player to match up against defensively because that means his minutes will get extended and he will have plenty of opportunities for both steals and blocks. Tonight, Bradley Beal fits the bill, and his presence should keep Roberson on the floor for 30-plus minutes, meaning Roberson will have plenty of time to reach value at this basement price point. The last time these two teams played a competitive game (the last one was a blowout), Roberson played 35 minutes, scored 10 points (PTS), grabbed five rebounds (REB), two steals (STL), two blocks (BLK) and produced 24.75 fantasy points in 35 minutes. What more needs to be said here? Bargains will need to be rostered if looking to fit the studs and Roberson is one of the few sub-$10,000 players destined to play over 30 minutes.

 

Forward/Centers (F/C):

Paul George, Thunder, $13,700 – Do not look now but Paul George is starting to shoot well over the course of his last two games. During that span, George has averaged 32.0 points per game (PPG) on 53.8-percent shooting, 8.0 rebounds per game (RPG), 1.5 assists per game (APG) and 45.5 fantasy points per game (FPPG). Now, George will square off against a Wizards team that ranks 21st in defensive efficiency versus opposing small forwards (SFs) and 26th in defensive efficiency versus power forwards (PFs) over the course of their last 10 games. In other words, this could be perfect timing for red-hot George to face this defense struggling to guard forwards. Vegas is implying the Thunder for a healthy 109.5-points in this game, and while the line is not out on either of the late games, this point projection should prove to be one of the highest on the slate. Heading into tonight, George has managed at least 40 fantasy points in three of his last four games, and 40 fantasy points equates to 2.92x value at this price point (aka enough to put a fantasy team on pace for 292 fantasy points). On a short slate, this is fantastic value, especially considering the lack of value elsewhere. Feel free to lock in George and move on.

 

Draymond Green, Warriors, $13,600 – The Timberwolves possess three very large men in their frontcourt whom they rotate in and out so size will be needed to counter them. Taj Gibson has a decent mid-range game, and Karl-Anthony Towns is one of the better offensive players in the league, so Draymond Green’s defense will be important in deciding the outcome of Thursday’s tilt between the Timberwolves and Warriors. Sure, the Warriors feature a healthy array of frontcourt players on their bench, but Green is the one who plays a majority of the minutes (32.4 minutes per game this season). Additionally, Green is averaging 37.5 FPPG this year, which equates to about 2.76x value in an average matchup. Since the team will likely look to extend Green’s minutes against a team equipped with twin towers in their frontcourt, Green’s upside stretches far beyond just his season average in fantasy points. His previous data against the Timberwolves is not overly impressive but he has played 35-plus minutes in two of his last three meetings against them. Over a larger sample size, Green should have more success, and the Timberwolves defense is a mess without Jimmy Butler. Consequently, the Warriors should roll, and Green should fill up the box score as per usual.

 

Steven Adams, Thunder, $11,900 – Normally, Steven Adams is only a premier target when facing a defense that struggles against the pick-and-roll, but the Wizards have been roasted by the center position in the month of January. Over the course of their last 10 games, the Wizards rank 26th in defensive efficiency to the position, and they have been burned for the second most offensive rebounds per game (ORPG) by centers during that span. If looking at the entire sample size, the Wizards have allowed the 11th most points on putbacks this year, and Adams is a better offensive rebounder than defensive rebounder. Seriously, Adams is averaging just 3.8 defensive rebounds per game this year versus 5.1 offensive rebounds per game. The great thing about offensive rebounds is they often lead to points (or even other stats) which would explain why Adams has morphed into a fantasy beast this year. Compared to recent price points for him, the $11,900 cost is cheap, and six of the last eight centers to face the Wizards have topped 36 fantasy points (five of them have topped 42 fantasy points including Epke Udoh).

 

Zaza Pachulia, Warriors, $6,500 – One member of the Warriors frontcourt is not enough on this slate as Zaza Pachulia is one of the few values on the slate worth targeting. Look, Pachulia is never going to play 20-plus minutes unless teammates are missing, but he is almost the bare minimum in terms of pricing and he is normally ultra-efficient. Prior to this game, Pachulia has topped 19 fantasy points in two of his last three games despite only playing 18 minutes or less in each of those contests. With JaVale McGee out of the rotation, he is the only real true center who plays consistent minutes, and a big body is needed to match up against Towns. Therefore, he will probably see close to 20 minutes tonight, and in a fast-paced game, that should be all he needs to flirt with 3.0x value. On a slate totally devoid of value, Pachulia is a shot in the dark.

 

*Statistics are accurate as of Tuesday, January 23

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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