Fantasy BasketballFront OfficeJosh Kay

2014 Fantasy Basketball Daily Fix, November 21st 2014

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Game Breakdowns:

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This article was a collaborative effort between myself (Joshua Kay) and Joshua Lewis (known as crackmonkey83 in DFS circles)

Orlando Magic @ Charlotte Hornets – Start Time – 7:00 PM

Notable stats:

  • Charlotte ranks 3rd lowest in offensive efficiency ( points per 100 possessions )  at 97.5
  • Charlotte ranks 23rd in pace ( number of possessions per 48 minutes ) at 93.53
  • Orlando ranks 12th in pace at 95.93

SPIN ( CHA ):  The Hornets are a team you can reliably fade on most nights.  They play slow, and they further diminish their fantasy value with their inefficiencies on offense.  There is nothing about this matchup with Orlando that makes any one Hornet jump out as an amazing play.  Al Jefferson ( $7,900 ) is seeing a usage rate of 31.9, which is incredibly high, but his rebounding rate has taken such a dive this season ( he has reached double digit rebounds only once ) that he isn’t worth rostering except in premium matchups.  Kemba Walker ( $6,800 ) has dropped to a price point where he makes for an acceptable GPP target, but isn’t worth targeting heavily.  The best play here is Gary Neal ( $3,000 ).  Neal has dropped to minimum salary, and makes for an excellent target in both cash games and GPPs.  He’s the primary option on the second unit, and should see plenty of run with PJ Hairston and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist already ruled out.

SPIN ( ORL ):  With Michael Kidd-Gilchrist injured, opposing small forwards have been abusing the Hornets.  This sets up an excellent scenario for Tobias Harris ( $7,400 ).  Harris is thriving with Victor Oladipo ( $6,500 ) on the court, and he has incredible upside in this matchup.  He’s a great cash and GPP play.  Nikola Vucevic ( $8,600 ) has taken great strides offensively this season, and should thrive against a Hornets team that is ranked 22nd in offensive rebounding percentage.  Al Jefferson is not a good defender, as evidenced by Charlotte’s poor ranking against opposing centers.  Vucevic’s high floor, high ceiling, and consistency make him a very attractive target, even at his elevated price.  Starting shooting guard Evan Fournier ( $5,000 ) missed last game with a sore heel.  Maurice Harkless ( $3,000 ) saw extra minutes and predictably did nothing with them. 

Summary:

All Games:  Gary Neal – SG, Tobias Harris – SF, Nikola Vucevic – C

GPP Only:  Kemba Walker – PG

Phoenix Suns @ Philadelphia 76ers – Start Time – 7:00 PM

Notable stats:

  • Philadelphia ranks 2nd in pace at 100.8
  • Phoenix ranks 4th in pace at 98.9
  • Philadephia ranks 30th in offensive efficiency at 88.3
  • Phoenix and Philadelphia are ranked 17th and 18th, respectively, in defensive efficiency at 103.4 and 103.7
  • Philadelphia turns the ball over an average of 19 times per game, which is 2nd worst in the league.
  • Philadelphia ranks 30th in rebounding with a rate of 46.2

SPIN ( PHX ): The 76ers are a popular team to target with opposing players, but they aren’t quite as terrible defensively as most people think.  Opposing players get a boost from their fast pace and propensity to turn the ball over, but they are not giving up points at quite the rate they did last season.  That said, targeting them is still a good play, but don’t expect every member of the Suns to go bananas.  Goran Dragic ( $7,100 ) is a nice play here as he has excelled in up tempo matchups this season.  If you take a look at his game log, his good performances occur against the faster paced teams, and his poor performances occur against slower teams.  Of the three guards, Dragic’s minutes are the safest.  Eric Bledsoe ( $7,500 ) will be the more popular target, but Dragic is just as strong of a play, and is safer of the two options.  Markieff Morris ( $6,900 ) is in play as well.  but his inconsistencies make him a GPP only target.  Gerald Green ( $5,000 ) has seen a price jump, but given his 40 point upside, he’s in play in GPPs as well.  Isaiah Thomas ( $5,600 ) has been producing in limited minutes, and makes for an interesting GPP play that could pay off big if Bledsoe struggles and finds himself the odd man out for the evening.  Overall, Phoenix is a very tough team to predict, especially given Jeff Hornacek’s propensity to ride the hot hand on any given night.  There will be very good plays, but it’s difficult to know who they will be.

SPIN ( PHI ):  Philadelphia’s offensive efficiency rating says it all.  They are scoring a full 7 points less per 100 possessions than the 2nd worst team in the league, Oklahoma City.  They take horrible shots and they turn the ball over way too much.  Due to his absurd usage rate, Tony Wroten ( $5,600 ) is the only usable player from the Sixers.  Wroten’s usage rate last game was 38.9.  To put that in context, in the 05-06 season, Kobe Bryant set the record for highest usage rate over the course of a season.  His usage rate was 38.74.  Despite coming off the bench and not playing starter minutes, Wroten is a terrific play because he piles up fantasy points at a rate fast enough to more than pay off his modest price tag.  Michael Carter-Williams ( $7,300 ) is in play in GPPs because he can post a very high score if he can manage to shoot the ball well.  His inefficiencies and turnover problems make him a complete avoid in cash games.

Summary:

All Games: Goran Dragic – PG, Tony Wroten – PG

GPP Only: Eric Bledsoe – SG, Markieff Morris – PF, Gerald Green – SG, Isaiah Thomas – PG, Michael Carter-Williams – PG

Detroit Pistons @ Atlanta Hawks – Start Time – 7:30 PM

Notable stats

  • Atlanta ranks 27th in rebounding with a rate of 47.6
  • Detroit ranks 11th in rebounding with a rate of 50.6
  • Detroit ranks 25th in pace at 93.5
  • Atlanta ranks 16th in pace at 95.6

SPIN ( DET ): Detroit’s major advantage in this matchup will be on the glass.  If Andre Drummond ( $6,700 ) could manage to stay out of foul trouble, the Pistons would rank even higher in terms of rebounding rate.  That said, Drummond led the league in offensive rebounds last season, and it wasn’t even close.  Drummond had 440, and runner-up DeAndre Jordan had 331.  Drummond is an elite rebounder matched up with a team that is terrible at rebounding the basketball.  Given the Hawks don’t attack the rim much, preferring to settle for mid-range jumpers, Drummond is in a great spot to not only soak up a bunch of rebounds, but also stay out of foul trouble.   If he can keep his hands to himself, we may finally see one of those monster games we routinely saw last season.  His fouling issues keep him out of cash game lineups, but he’s a very nice GPP target with expected low ownership tomorrow.  Greg Monroe ( $7,200 ) is a great option for both cash and GPP lineups.  Millsap is a bad defender, and he won’t be able to stop Monroe from attacking the rim.  Monroe will also benefit from Atlanta’s poor rebounding.  Other Pistons can safely be faded, including Josh Smith ( $6,500 ) who, despite having a revenge game, loses significant value playing the 3 instead of the 4, and doesn’t have a good matchup against a returning DeMarre Carroll.

SPIN ( ATL ): With the aforementioned DeMarre Carroll ( $5,100 ) returning, the rest of the Hawks become very poor values. Paul Millsap ( $9,300 ) is priced out, but both he and Al Horford ( $7,000 ) take a hit in rebounding rate with Carroll on the court.  Horford isn’t rebounding anyway, so despite Detroit’s dead last ranking against centers, Horford isn’t very intriguing.  Jeff Teague ( $6,900 ) has come down in a price a bit, and even though Detroit’s #3 ranking against point guards is extremely suspect, he’s nothing more than a low exposure GPP target.

Summary:

All Games: Greg Monroe – PF

GPP Only: Andre Drummond – C, Jeff Teague – PG

Milwaukee Bucks @ Toronto Raptors – Start Time – 7:30 PM

Notable stats:

  • Toronto is third worst in defensive rebounding per 100 possessions
  • Toronto sports the leagues best turnover rate with just 11.6 turnovers per 100 possessions.
  • The Milwaukee Bucks are 4th in the NBA in steals per 100 poss.

SPIN (MIL): The Raptors are giving up the 10th highest opp FG% in the paint, and are in the top half of the league in terms of highest opp FG% at the rim. While it’s still somewhat of a fluid situation due to Head Coach Jason Kidd’s rotations, Zaza Pachulia ( $4,000 ) has seen the lion’s share of the minutes lately, with Larry Sanders quickly falling out of favor. If Zaza starts, he is a good play against the poor defense of Toronto center Jonas Valenciunas. Other than him, it’s very hard to trust any Milwaukee Buck in cash games, and if they won’t be getting many steals due to Toronto’s strong possession abilities, they really are just not that interesting.

SPIN (TOR): With Brandon Knight hounding Kyle Lowry ( $7,800 ) all night, it’s reasonable to suggest that Shooting Guard Demar Derozan ( $7,200 ) might find himself holding the ball more often than normal. Derozan is a strong play in any format due to his consistency. Demar has only recorded fewer than 29 Draft Kings points twice in his last ten games, one of which was a matchup against Chicago Bull elite defender Jimmy Butler. The only thing that ever prevents me from using Derozan on a given night is the way that salary shakes out at other positions — sometimes there is very good value at shooting guard.

Summary:

All Games: Demar Derozan – SG

GPP Only: Zaza Pachulia – C (only if deemed to be starting)

Brooklyn Nets @ Oklahoma City Thunder – Start Time – 8:00 PM

Notable stats:

  • Brooklyn ranks 22nd in pace at 94.76
  • Oklahoma City ranks 27th in pace at 92.68
  • Oklahoma City ranks 29th in offensive efficiency at 95.2
  • Brooklyn and Oklahoma City rank 25th and 26th in assists per game, respectively, at 19.6 and 19.1.

SPIN ( BKN ):  The Nets are a team that rarely offer any good daily fantasy plays, and tonight is no exception.  Tonight’s matchup with Oklahoma City is expected to be low-scoring, which is no surprise given the pace of both teams.  Considering how low Brooklyn ranks in terms of assists, it’s very difficult to target Nets when those valuable assist points are hard to come by.  Fading Brooklyn is a smart move tonight.

SPIN: ( OKC ):  Oklahoma City is easy to figure out on any given night.  With Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant injured, Reggie Jackson ( $7,700 ) has become their do-everything player.  He’s been extremely consistent, and his usage and ability to grab rebounds and dish out assists has turned him into a high floor, high ceiling player that should be targeted aggressively in both cash games and GPPs.  Jeremy Lamb ( $4,900 ) makes for an interesting GPP target.  He has high upside relative to his price if he is knocking down shots.  The rest of Oklahoma City can safely be ignored.

Summary:

All Games:  Reggie Jackson – PG

GPP Only:  Jeremy Lamb – SG

Boston Celtics @ Memphis Grizzlies: Start Time – 8:00 PM

Notable stats:

  • Boston attempts the second fewest free throws per 100 possessions
  • Boston is 1st in FG% in the paint, and 5th in FG% at the rim.
  • Memphis is holding teams to the 5th lowest opp FG% in the paint, and 5th lowest opp FG% at the rim.
  • Memphis attempts the 2nd most field goals in the paint

SPIN (BOS): It’s quite difficult to recommended any Celtics in this game other than Jeff Green ( $6,600 ). With Quincy Pondexter doubtful for Memphis, and Tony Allen having left shootaround early (questionable) to play tonight, that would theoretically leave just Tayshaun Prince, Vince Carter and Courtney Lee as their healthy wings. It’s easy to see Green having a good game if Allen were to miss.

SPIN (MEM): The Memphis side of things is much more attractive since they will be playing up in pace a bit. Zach Randolph ( $7,800 ) leads the NBA in rebound chances per game with 19.8 and playing up in pace should really benefit his game. Shooting Guard Courtney Le( $4,200 ) has a revenge game, and is nicely priced. The only concern with him is health, since he is just a couple days removed from missing an entire game due to illness. He’s not a guy I’m looking to plug into a ton of lineups, but if he is symptom free, he could put on a show.

*IMPORTANT NOTE*

The Grizzlies enjoy being nonsensical with their rotations, allowing their big three to get more rest than other teams do. With Jon Leuer – PF, Kosta Koufus – C, and Beno Udrih – PG questionable for tonight, Mike Conley ( $7,600 ), Marc Gasol ( 8,200 ), and Randolph all see an enormous boosts in stock, and become extremely strong plays

**********

Summary:

All Games: Zach Randolph PF.      Mike Conley – PG, and Marc Gasol – C, if the above Grizzlies are out.

GPP Only: Jeff Green – SF

Cleveland Cavaliers @ Washington Wizards – Start Time – 8:00 PM

Notable stats:

  • Cleveland is allowing the highest mid-range shooting percentage in the NBA
  • Cleveland is allowing the 7th highest opp FG% in the paint
  • Cleveland is allowing the 4th highest opp FG% from mid range
  • Cleveland is bad at defense
  • Washington is allowing the 4th highest opp FG% on above the break 3-pt shots
  • Cleveland has the highest above the break 3-pt shot FG%.

SPIN (CLE): For some reason, Lebron James ( $11,000 ) is much more aggressive on the road, than at home. Perhaps due to a higher burden —  knowing that he has to lead his team in more adverse situations — James is averaging 39.5 minutes per game on the road (37.3 at home) and has taken 105 shots in five road games (compared to 87 in five home games). Expect him to carry a huge burden tonight.

SPIN (WAS): Washington is a lot more interesting to dissect because they are all mostly reasonably priced. John Wall ( $9,400 ) could go absolutely nuts thanks to being guarded by poor defender Kyrie Irving, and Nene ( $5,000 ) is reasonably priced, and being guarded by Kevin Love. Lastly, Marcin Gortat ( $6,100 ) is a very good play.

Summary: 

All games: Nene – PF, John Wall – PG, Marcin Gortat – C, Lebron James – SF

GPP Only: Kyrie Irving – PG, Bradley Beal – SG

San Antonio Spurs @ Minnesota Timberwolves – Start Time – 8:00 PM

Notable stats:

  • Kevin Martin will be out indefinitely. Also, Minnesota has a bad defense.

SPIN (SA): This one is pretty easy: Stay away from the Spurs in cash games cause this one can get ugly in quite a hurry. With Matt Bonner expected to miss tonight’s contest for the Spurs, Aron Baynes ( $3,000 ) becomes a very intriguing “eh, what the heck” GPP play that could return some pretty significant extra value since he should see a ton of minutes in a blowout. Plus, and we don’t know just yet, but it’s possible he could start.

SPIN (MIN): The Timberwolves can be described in this game as a collection of semi-interesting slightly overpriced value plays. With Kevin Martin out indefinitely with a wrist injury, run for Corey Brewer ( $5,200 ) and Andrew Wiggins ( $4,500 ) will significantly increase (especially Brewer since reports are that he is being showcased for possible trades). Shabazz Muhammad ( $4,100 ) and Anthony Bennett ( $4,000 ) are interesting options at the forward flex spot, but their run tonight will be a bit unpredictable since we saw Bennett lose minutes to Robbie Hummel of all people last time out against the Knicks. To answer your questions, no… Hummel is not in play. Gorgui Dieng ( $6,500 ) is interesting, but again, somewhat overpriced, as is Mo Williams ( $4,600 ). 

Summary: 

All games: Corey Brewer – SF

GPP Only: Andrew Wiggins – SF, Mo Williams – PG, Aron Baynes – C, Gorgui Dieng – C, Anthony Bennett – F, Shabazz Muhammad – F

Los Angeles Lakers @ Dallas Mavericks – Start Time – 8:30 PM

Notable stats:

  • Los Angeles is league worst in defensive efficiency at 113.4
  • Dallas is league best in offensive efficiency at 114.9.
  • Los Angeles is 7th in pace at 97.57
  • Dallas is 17th in pace at 95.54

SPIN ( LAL ): Kobe Bryant ( $8.900 ) is simply underpriced relative to what we can reasonably expect from him on a game-to-game basis.  He’s going to shoot, and he’s going to shoot a lot.  He will likely draw the “defense” of Monta Ellis, which puts him in a fantastic spot to put up a huge scoring total as he attempts to keep the Lakers in the game.  He’s an excellent play in both cash games and GPPs.  The return of Nick Young ( $3,600 ) should continue to give the Lakers a boost.  He provides scoring off the bench that they desperately need.  He’s a bit risky in cash games as he mainly just scores, but he’s certainly in play in GPPs as he can give you an excellent return on a minor investment.  Other Lakers aren’t particularly intriguing and can be avoided.

SPIN ( DAL ): Dallas is going to score a lot of points tonight, but it’s going to be difficult to predict where they come from.  They are very balanced in terms of scoring, and at first glance, everyone feels overpriced.  Some of these guys are going to turn into good plays, so Chandler Parsons ( $7,100 ), Monta Ellis ( $8,000 ), and Dirk Nowitzki ( $7,300 ) are all in play.  I wouldn’t stack them, as it seems unlikely they all turn into great plays, but mixing up exposure to all of them seems very prudent.  Tyson Chandler ( $6,300 ) is the favored target.  Despite turning in a consistent string of terrific performance, his price hasn’t moved.  He will be very active on the glass, and is a near lock for a double-double tonight.  He should be targeted aggressively in cash games and GPPs.

Summary:

All Games:  Kobe Bryant – SG, Chandler Parsons – SF, Monta Ellis, SG, Dirk Nowitzki – PF, Tyson Chander – C

GPP Only:  Nick Young – SG

Cash Game Rankings:

*Note* these rankings are price adjusted

UPDATE: Kirk Hinrich, Derrick Rose and Pau Gasol ARE OUT.

Point Guard:

  1. Aaron Brooks – $3,800
  2. Reggie Jackson – $7,700
  3. Tony Wroten – $5,600
  4. John Wall – $9,400
  5. Mike Conley – $7,600 (if Beno Udrih is out)

Shooting Guard:

  1. Kobe Bryant – $8,900
  2. Jimmy Butler – $7,200
  3. Gary Neal – $3,000
  4. Demar Derozan – $7,200

Small Forward:

  1. Tobias Harris – $7,400
  2. Lebron James – $11,000
  3. Corey Brewer – $5,200
  4. Tyreke Evans – $7,400

Power Forward:

  1. Anthony Davis – $11,300
  2. Greg Monroe – $7,200
  3. Zach Randolph – $7,800
  4. Taj Gibson – $5,900
  5. Nene – $5,000

Center:

  1. Tyson Chandler – $6,300
  2. Andrew Bogut – $6,200
  3. Nikola Vucevic – $8,600
  4. Marcin Gortat – $6,100

Viable GPP Salary Super Savers:

These players are only recommended to fill out lineups you make that you find leave you with virtually nothing left. You are at the point where you really don’t want to rework your lineup, so you plug in one of the following guys to make it work.

  1. J.J. Barea – $3,300 – DAL – PG
  2. Gary Neal – $3,000 – CHA – SG — Would be willing to use him in all games
  3. J.J. Hickson – $3,000 – DEN – C
  4. Aron Baynes – $3,000 – SA – C

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