Fantasy Basketball 2014: Daily Dose; February 7th
Play them all.
Sixers, Lakers. 110 points per game, 106.2 points per game. Highest pace, second-highest pace. League’s worst defense, league’s second-worst defense.
Fantasy points, y’all.
Note: FPPG totals are based off FanDuel scoring.
John Wall, PG (vs CLE)
FPPG allowed to PG: 43.22 (29th)
I must admit it.
I love me some Kyrie Irving, but it is John Wall who deserves to be the starting point guard for the Eastern Conference All-Star team. It’s okay, though. He’ll be the starting point guard for my fantasy team tonight. If you weren’t aware of how bad Cleveland is one defense, just look at two nights ago where a short-handed Lakers team torched them for 120 points, 70 of which came at halftime. Point guards are scoring the second-most fantasy points, posting the most rebounds (6.11) and second-most assists (9.80) per game against the Cavs this season. And over their last three games, no team is coughing up more points per game than Cleveland’s atrocious 116.3. As magical as Irving is offensively, he is a liability on the defensive end, lacking the lateral quickness to keep up with one of the league’s most explosive point guards in Wall. Combined all of this with the fact that only Kemba Walker is touching the ball more times per game than Wall’s 98.6, as well as the fact that no player in the league is averaging a higher time of possession per game (8.1), and I love his chances of continuing his strong play.
Steve Blake, SG (@ PHI)
FPPG allowed to SG: 38.29 (29th)
If you aren’t stacking this game, you’re doing it wrong. The Sixers are the league’s worst defense, but the Lakers aren’t far behind by any means. Blake is coming off an awesome triple-double the other night, but, of course, he had to play a ton of minutes because the Lakers had five (!) active players at a certain point. Still, it was an impressive outing, and even with Steve Nash in the lineup, he will still be on a minutes limit, while Blake will more than likely just slide over to shooting guard and log 30-plus minutes. That bodes well for his fantasy prospects against a Sixers team that is coughing up the most points per game from beyond the arc (28.6) and the second-most fastbreak points per game (16.2). Seeing as the Sixers and Lakers both play at the league’s-highest paces, plenty of possessions should be heading his way in a high-scoring affair.
Carmelo Anthony, SF (vs DEN)
FPPG allowed to SF: 37.39 (21st)
He’s no Sixer and he’s no Laker, but Melo should be in line for a fine evening against the Nuggets. You have to love him as a small forward, as the Nuggets are coughing up the 10th-most fantasy points per game to the position, but assuming he plays some power forward, I love him even more. Power forwards have been killing Denver all year, scoring the third-most fantasy points per game and hauling in the fourth-most rebounds per game this season. Anthony, meanwhile, has been killing it on the glass, posting a career-high 8.7 boards per game. The Nuggets pace will help Melo’s fantasy upside in this one, as well as the fact that I don’t see anyone on the Denver roster that can stick him. Their bigs are vastly undersized, so look for a big night from one of the game’s most dangerous scorers.
Thaddeus Young, PF (vs LAL)
FPPG allowed to PF: 48.37 (30th)
No two words better describe Thad tonight against a weak, depleted Lakers unit. Like I’ve been saying, you can’t get away from this game tonight, and especially Young, the 76ers best and most important player, who is averaging a healthy 19.2 points, 4.8 rebounds, two assists and 2.4 steals over his last five games. The Lakers frontcourt, meanwhile, is the worst in basketball, coughing up the most offensive and defensive rebounds per game (13.4 and 35.4, respectively). The last time Young faced LA, he exploded for 25 points, nine rebounds, one block and three steals. He has that very same upside this evening, especially when you consider that the likes of Ryan Kelly, Chris Kaman and Robert Sacre will be manning the paint. Excuse me while I vomit. The over/under in this game might be 400 (sarcasm), so plenty of points should be headed Thad’s direction this evening.
Anthony Davis, C (vs MIN)
FPPG allowed to C: 40.29 (6th)
I’m putting Davis here so I don’t put another player from the PHI/LA game, but honestly, there is nothing wrong with playing Spencer Hawes either. He’ll be great. But back to Davis, the guy finally had his incredible streak of blocking at least four shots in a game snapped the other night, but still produced 27 points and 10 rebounds. He is dialed in right now, and a banged up Minnesota frontcourt doesn’t scare me one bit. The Timberwolves are allowing opponents to block 5.4 shots per game, which is the 8th-most in all of basketball. That is The Brow’s forte, folks. Minnesota also plays some sloppy defense, and I don’t think Ronny Turiaf can handle the likes of Anthony Davis. And over their last three games, the Wolves are allowing the 4th-most offensive rebounds per game (13.7).
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.