I woke up anxious.
During last night’s festivities, my internet went out, leaving me in the dark as to how my matchups were going. Finally, later on in the afternoon, it was restored, allowing me to meet my demise at last.
That’s right. James Harden‘s heroics fell just short, as I lost my head-to-head matchup by a point. Oh yeah, did I mention it was against my own brother.
Revenge is certain.
Note: FPPG totals are based off FanDuel scoring.
Deron Williams, PG (@ POR)
FPPG allowed to PG: 43.77 (29th)
Disclaimer: I am not going to recommend both Jameer Nelson and Victor Oladipo because, quite frankly, I am sick of talking about how bad the 76ers defense is. So, instead, I’ll go off the rails a bit and recommend Williams, who is finally healthy, and as a result, is looking like the elite point guard he once was.
Over his last five games, he’s posted minute totals of 39, 39, 36, 42 and 28, erasing doubts of his health, for now. He is coming off a monster 56-fantasy point outing, and while that was against the Lakers, the Blazers aren’t exactly the best defensive unit in basketball either. Only the Sixers (duh) are coughing up more fantasy points per game to point guards this season, while the position is averaging the fourth-most rebounds (5.60), the fourth-highest field goal percentage (43.08%) and the second-most points per game (22.26) against Portland this year. Damian Lillard is a below average defender, and with all of the injuries surrounding the Blazers, I think Brooklyn makes this a competitive game. The added pace from Portland should allow Williams to see some more possessions in this one, and I think he makes for a nice play if you want to fade the heavy priced guys tonight.
Tony Wroten, SG (vs ORL)
FPPG allowed to SG: 36.86 (26th)
Wroten certainly doesn’t scream must-play, but considering he is going to be starting and logging 35-plus minutes for the Sixers, he is always worth a look, especially when you consider he is below 10 percent of the salary cap on most sites. We’ve seen what this guy can do when he gets extended run, and over his last three games, he’s scoring, averaging a solid 17.3 points per game. He is definitely going to turn the ball over, but perhaps there’s some improvement on the horizon, as Orlando opponents are averaging the 6th-fewest turnovers per game this season. With so many top tier plays at point guard and center tonight, there aren’t many higher upside punt plays than Wroten in a plus matchup.
Thaddeus Young, SF (vs ORL)
FPPG allowed to SF: 37.25 (20th)
I hate to mention another Sixers– wait, no I don’t. Thad is awesome.
And has been awesome.
I mean, just look at the numbers since the trade deadline. The guy is averaging 29 points, 6.5 assists, nine rebounds and– wait for it, 6.5 steals per game over his last two contests. He is the only true source of offense on a depleted Philadelphia unit, and while his price has deservedly gone up, he’s still worth that tag because he is going to play 40 minutes and touch the ball religiously. The Magic are on of the ten-worst defenses against small forwards this season, and Young has been good against them this season. In two games against Orlando this year, Thad is averaging 25.5 points, 10 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game. He’s a borderline must-play at this point.
Zach Randolph, PF (vs LAL)
FPPG allowed to PF: 47.46 (30th)
He never gets a ton of attention, but Randolph is an incredible play tonight against the worst frontcourt in basketball. The Lakers are coughing up the most fantasy points per game to power forwards, but are also allowing both the most offensive and defensive rebounds per game this year. Power forwards are averaging 12.95 rebounds per game against the Lakers this season, which is good for the third-most in basketball. Randolph has torched this unit this year, posting averages of 23 points, 13.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and a steal in two games against the, and while Memphis is favored to win by 11, I think the Lakers compete in this game quite a bit. Oh, and to make things better, the Lakers are allowing a league-leading 47.9 points in the paint per game this year. Expect Z-Bo to go to town.
Nikola Vucevic, C (@ PHI)
FPPG allowed to C: 49.38 (29th)
Don’t think, just plug Vucevic into your lineup for tonight.
I’d be content with saving some money and playing Vucevic, rather than spending on a guy like Blake Griffin. There is too much to like here. The 76ers are allowing the second-most fantasy points per game to opposing centers, and after the trade of Spencer Hawes, literally have zero paint presence. Opposing teams are hauling in an average of 56.4 total rebounds per game, which is the second-most in basketball, presenting quite the opportunity for Vucevic, one of the league’s top rebounders. Also, Vucevic is a terrific shot blocker, and no team in the league has more of their shots blocked per game than Philadelphia’s 7.3. It’s also a revenge game for Vucevic, who was originally drafted by the Sixers and was traded to Orlando in 2012.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.