Fantasy Basketball 2014: Daily Dose; February 18th

By Adam Pfeifer
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports



I graduated from high school back in 2011. Bensalem High is a great school, and now, because of one special kid, everyone knows it. If you haven’t heard about the terrific story surrounding Kevin Grow, you are truly missing out. Kevin, a special needs senior at Bensalem, took the court for the first two times of his scholastic career a few weeks ago, going off for a total 17 points in the two games combined. The kid hit four triples, including a buzzer-beater. Grow’s incredible teammates wanted to get his story out there, spreading it across Twitter and social media until finally…

It happened.

Grow was later on multiple news outlets, including SportsCenter, which was the team’s original goal. His story has been so inspiring that now, it has caught the attention of the Philadelphia 76ers. The team will sign Grow to a ceremonial two-day contract, allowing him to practice with the team on Monday and attend tonight’s game against the Cavaliers. It’s truly one of the best stories I’ve seen in a long time, and I truly wanted to make light of it.

It’s amazing what the power of sports can do.

Note: FPPG totals are based off FanDuel scoring.

Kyrie Irving, PG (@ PHI)

FPPG allowed to PG: 44.99 (30th)

After the All-Star hiatus, we finally have returned to the beautiful days of daily fantasy hoops, and why not start with the All-Star game MVP? Irving exploded for 31 points and 14 assists in the game, which basically has zero significance for fantasy, but he’s one of my favorite players, so back off. Anyway, for as touching as what the Sixers are doing, the fact remains that they simply cannot play defense, allowing the most points per game this year, as well as the most fantasy points to opposing point guards. In three games against Philly this year, Kyrie is averaging a strong 21.7 points, 9.7 assists, three rebounds and a block per game. He should have a field day, as no team in basketball is coughing up more assists this year than the Sixers 26.5, while they are allowing a league-leading 39 games where a player scores at least 25 points. Meanwhile, Kyrie is an elite scorer, who has posted 16 such games this year. He will be one of the most heavily owned players of the evening.

Goran Dragic, SG (@ DEN)

FPPG allowed to SG: 36.06 (21st)

It may be a new half of the season, but Dragic is still an elite fantasy contributor.

I love him in his first game out of the break against a Denver team that is allowing the most points per game over the last three games (120.7), and has suddenly climbed to the 3rd-worst defense in basketball, allowing 104.5 points per game on the season. Pace should be a huge fantasy friend in this game, as the Nuggets play at the league’s 2nd-highest pace (99.6), while Phoenix is just behind them at 98.1, the 6th-highest pace. Plenty of possessions will be had for Dragic, who already significantly handles the ball and runs the offense for the Suns. The game should be a pretty high-scoring affair, as well, so there really isn’t anything to dislike about The Dragon this evening.

Evan Turner, SF (vs CLE)

FPPG allowed to SF: 39.70 (29th)

I really don’t like playing Turner anymore, but his price has dropped enough to the point that he is difficult to pass up in a plus matchup like this. At just $9,750 on DraftDay, Turner makes for one of the better value plays this evening against a very poor Cavaliers defense that is allowing the second-most fantasy points per game to opposing small forwards. He’s also coming off a two-game scoring slump, scoring a healthy 21 points to go along with five rebounds, an assist and a steal during his final game before the break. Small forwards against the Cavs are averaging the 5th-most rebounds (8.27), 2nd-most points (21.74) and most field goals made per contest (7.92), so Turner should see plenty of opportunity in this one. Turner is a guy who gets his points by attacking the rim, posting 314 drives this year, which is inside the top-25. Meanwhile, Anderson Varejao hasn’t been a great rim protector, as opponents are shooting an impressive 53.6 percent at the rim against the Cavs this season, which is among the tops in the league.

Markieff Morris, PF (@ DEN)

FPPG allowed to PF: 46.23 (28th)

It’s a bit risky, considering his streaky nature, but Morris could really pay dividends for owners this evening against a team that he’s owned this year. In three games against Denver, Morris is averaging an impressive 23 points, 7.3 rebounds, a block and 2.3 steals per contest. The Nuggets have been the worst team at defending power forwards this year, allowing the most points per game (23.36), fourth-most rebounds (12.88) and the most field goal attempts (18.68) to the position this season. The Denver frontcourt is extremely undersized, so Morris should see some added rebounding potential against a unit that is coughing up the fourth-most total rebounds per game this year (53.3). At just $8,100, Morris should make for one of the better value plays for Tuesday night’s action.

Nikola Vucevic, C (@ MIL)

FPPG allowed to C: 46.68 (28th)

Since returning from injury, Vucevic has wasted no time returning to his original form. During his eight games since returning to the Magic lineup, Vucevic has posted six double-doubles, while scoring double-digit points in each game. His minutes restriction has been lifted, making for a top tier play against a struggling rebounding Bucks unit. This unit is coughing up the 5th-most offensive and defensive rebounds per game this season, while centers in particular are averaging the fourth-most rebounds per game at 14.73. Featuring two of the worst teams in basketball, this should figure to be a close game, and I’d be shocked if Vucevic didn’t post a double-double. During his second game back, Vuc faced these Bucks, and in just 26 minutes, posted 12 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and a steal.

Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.

You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.


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