Fantasy Basketball 2014: Daily Dose; February 25th
I’m coming off a strong night, so let’s see if we can make it two-for-two.
The likes of Thaddeus Young (who may be a must-play for the rest of the year) and Carmelo Anthony (duh) propelled me to a very nice evening in a rather ugly five-game slate. Tuesday, however, features some more appealing contests with seven games on schedule.
Note: FPPG totals are based off FanDuel scoring.
Goran Dragic, PG (vs MIN)
FPPG allowed to PG: 41.27 (23rd)
Dragic’s price has actually dropped a bit on some sites, so I am 100 percent taking advantage of that tonight. Coming off a monster scoring performance against the Rockets, Dragic faces the Timberwolves and Ricky Rubio’s atrocious defense. This is the perfect defender for him to go off for another 30-point outing, especially when you consider that Minnesota is surrendering the eighth-most fantasy points per game to opposing point guards this season. The first time he faced this unit, Dragic exploded for 26 points, nine assists, six rebounds and a steal. The game should be relatively high-scoring, as both units rank inside the bottom-10 in points allowed per game, while both teams rank inside the top-six in pace as well. He is easily one of my top plays of the evening and should at least meet value in this one.
Lance Stephenson, SG (vs LAL)
FPPG allowed to SG: 41.17 (30th)
Perhaps the play of the night, strictly based off matchup, Stephenson just continues to put up those peripheral stats that we all love. Over his last five games, he’s averaging 14.4 points, 8.0 rebounds, 4.8 assists and one triple per game. He could legitimately post a triple-double in three quarters (which is all he may get if this game gets out of hand), as shooting guards are posting the most rebounds per game (6.47), 6th-most assists per game (4.77) and most steals per game (2.09) against the Lakers this season. No team has been worse at defending the shooting guard position all season long. In one game against the Lakers this year, Stephenson scored 15 points while adding six assists. Not a great game, but wait, he also grabbed a whopping 14 rebounds in this contest, which is unheard of for a 6’5″ shooting guard.
Rudy Gay, SF (vs HOU)
FPPG allowed to SF: 36.94 (18th)
On efficiency sites, I usually never roll Gay out there, as he always draws the risk of going 10-26 from the field. However, I’m loving him tonight against Houston, regardless. He has dominated the Rockets this season, averaging 21 points, 5.3 rebounds, two assists and 2.3 steals in four games against them. He’s playing very well as of late, averaging 20.8 points, 8.4 rebounds, three assists, a block and 1.4 steals over his last five contests. Over the last 15 days, small forwards are shooting a blistering 54.29 percent from the field against the Rockets, which is the second-highest in the league. The position is also sinking a strong 3.13 triples per game against the Rockets during that span, so Gay might not actually kill you from the field in this one. This should serve as one of the highest scoring games of the evening, allowing not only Gay, but Isaiah Thomas and DeMarcus Cousins to have great games.
Thomas Robinson, PF (@ DEN)
FPPG allowed to PF: 45.71 (28th)
This is solely dependent on the injury status of one LaMarcus Aldridge, but head coach Terry Stotts is still unsure if Aldridge will even travel with the team for this game. If LA sits, Robinson is virtually a must-play in this contest. He’s coming off a monster performance where he scored 14 points, hauled in 18 boards, added two helpers and two blocks in 33 minutes of play. Perhaps Portland is going to roll with Robinson, as Dorell Wright played just seven minutes on Sunday night, but it might have had to do with their small lineup not working. Still, Robinson is a lock for 25-30 minutes of Aldridge is out, and there is almost no better matchup than the Nuggets, who are coughing up the third-most fantasy points per game to power forwards this season. Opposing power forwards are also grabbing 12.80 rebounds per game (5th-most) and sinking 8.77 field goals per game (3rd-most). Both of these teams play at a top-10 pace, so we could see some extra possessions for Robinson in this one. His price is dirt cheap for a player with relatively easy double-double upside, and I’ll be all over him.
Joakim Noah, C (@ ATL)
FPPG allowed to C: 44.24 (22nd)
There is no other way to describe Noah tonight, who is playing out of his mind this season. I mean, just look at the numbers. On the year, he’s averaging a nice double-double of 12 points and 11.4 rebounds, while adding 1.5 blocks and 4.5 assists per contest. That is just awesome. Meanwhile, the Hawks are insanely depleted at the center position, meaning Elton Brand will be forced to guard Noah, who should dominate. The last time he faced Atlanta he had perhaps the game of his life, posting a mean 19-point, 16-rebound, 11-assist triple-double. I highly doubt he posts that stat line again, but a monster double-double is certainly in the realm of possibility. The guy is as safe as they come at the center position, staying out of foul trouble, while also grabbing double-digit rebounds in an impressive 25 of his last 28 games. Even with studs like Cousins, Dwight Howard and Kevin Love playing tonight, to me, Noah is the top big man of the evening.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.