Batman and Robin

In three games without Lauri Markkanen this season, Robin Lopez is averaging 25.7 fantasy points per game, and he has topped 29 fantasy points in two of those contests. Facing a Trail Blazers team he has crushed, Lopez should be a lock to reach/exceed value. Here are my picks for Wednesday, January 31:

cash-plays

Guards (G) Forwards/Centers (F/C) Utility (UTIL)
Ben Simmons,
$16,700
LeBron James,
$20,800
Joel Embiid,
$18,800
Kyrie Irving,
$16,400
Dwight Howard,
$16,100
Hassan Whiteside,
$15,800
Damian Lillard,
$15,600
Kristaps Porzingis,
$14,900
Devin Booker (questionable),
$15,500
C.J. McCollum,
$13,400
Al Horford,
$14,000
Dennis Schroder,
$13,500
Dennis Smith Jr.,
$13,200
Harrison Barnes,
$12,600
T.J. Warren,
$12,500
Terry Rozier,
$11,700
Nikola Mirotic,
$10,800
Bobby Portis,
$11,400
Dwayne Wade,
$9,200
Tyson Chandler,
$8,600
Robin Lopez,
$8,500
 Joe Harris (if Hollis-Jefferson out),
$8,700
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist,
$8,000
Evan Turner,
$7,200
J.R. Smith,
$7,400
Tristan Thompson,
$7,500
Channing Frye,
$6,200

tournament-plays

Guards (G) Forwards/Centers (F/C) Utility (UTIL)
Ben Simmons,
$16,700
LeBron James,
$20,800
Joel Embiid,
$18,800
Kyrie Irving,
$16,400
Dwight Howard,
$16,100
Hassan Whiteside,
$15,800
Damian Lillard,
$15,600
Kristaps Porzingis,
$14,900
Devin Booker (questionable),
$15,500
C.J. McCollum,
$13,400
Al Horford,
$14,000
Dennis Schroder,
$13,500
Dennis Smith Jr.,
$13,200
Harrison Barnes,
$12,600
T.J. Warren,
$12,500
Jerian Grant,
$11,500
Nikola Mirotic,
$10,800
Bobby Portis,
$11,400
Isaiah Thomas,
$11,500
Dewayne Dedmon,
$8,500
Dwyane Wade,
$9,200
Courtney Lee,
$9,800
Tristan Thompson,
$7,500
Robin Lopez,
$8,500
Troy Daniels (if no Booker),
$7,000
Jahlil Okafor,
$7,500
Channing Frye,
$6,200

preferred-play

Analysis:

LeBron James, Cavaliers, $20,800 – On Tuesday evening, Kevin Love left the ballgame with a broken hand, so he will miss the next 6-8 weeks. Without Love on the floor this season, James owns a 32.7-percent usage and he is averaging a ridiculous 1.62 fantasy points per minute (FPPM). Last night, James was the only player on the Cavaliers to attempt more than 10 shots, and he finished with 20 shot attempts (although it was a poor shooting night for him). The Heat have allowed the second most points off screens this season and James ranks as an 87th percentile scorer in the play type. Other members of the Cavaliers who excel off screens include Jeff Green (89th percentile), Kyle Korver (86th percentile) and Channing Frye (about 85th percentile). What more needs to be said? James is a building block tonight.

Robin Lopez, Bulls, $8,500 – Lauri Markkanen will miss Wednesday’s contest due to personal reasons which will send most seeking out the services of both Nikola Mirotic and Bobby Portis. While both are solid plays, Robin Lopez may go overlooked in this spot, which could be a mistake. Over the course of the last two seasons, Lopez has started against Jusuf Nurkic twice, and he has topped 35 fantasy points in each of those contests (including a game on Jan. 1 of this season). Furthermore, Lopez has averaged 25.7 fantasy points per game (FPPG) without Markkanen this year, and he has topped 29 fantasy points in two of the three games which the starting power forward (PF) has sat. Equally as important, Lopez has played 29-plus minutes in each of the last two games Markkanen has sat, so he quietly possesses one of the highest per-dollar floors of any play on the slate.

Channing Frye, Cavaliers, $6,200 – Speaking of solid floors, Channing Frye will likely draw the start in the absence of Kevin Love, but even if he does not, he will eat up a lot of the minutes. On Tuesday, Frye stepped in and played 21 minutes en route to 20 points (on 6-9 shooting), six rebounds (REB), two blocks (BLK) and 33 fantasy points. Guess what? Frye is still only priced $200 above the minimum and his size will be needed to combat the likes of Hassan Whiteside, Bam Adebayo and James JohnsonEven if Frye falls short of 20 minutes, he could easily exceed value at this price point with the additional usage. If the team calls upon him for additional minutes to match the size of the Heat, 30-plus fantasy points is a legitimate possibility again.

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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