And just like the Prodigal Son, I've returned. Anyone stepping to these stats, you'll get burned.
OK, so maybe your Daily Fantasy team isn't named after House of Pain like mine (now) is, but I'm here to do more for you than get Jump Around stuck in your head for the next three hours. I'm here to bring the numbers.
Through the power of Math!, we've optimized the best possible roster for your Daily Fantasy needs, using the cost figures and scoring system from our friends at StarStreet as a guide.
As always, the full tables for today's action are available at our Daily Fantasy Projections page. But I'm here to break down the best of the best and tell you why they're so valuable.
The numberFire Optimized Roster
LeBron James - Always a top option, LeBron may be even better tonight in Utah. The Jazz are 22nd in opposing effective field goal percentage (eFG%), 24th in defensive rebound percentage, and he'll be matched up against Marvin Williams in his return from injury. Williams and his backup Gordon Hayward, by the way, both have defensive ratings above 109, which is higher than all but two NBA teams.
DeMarcus Cousins - His rebounds have decreased slightly over the past three games - he hasn't hit double-digits since Jan. 5 - but the potential is certainly there. His 25.0 percent defensive rebound percentage leads the Kings and is 14th in the NBA.
Zach Randolph - In speaking of rebounds, if you want them tonight, Zach Randolph's your man. His 12.4 projected rebounds are over two more than the next closest projected total (Joakim Noah). That's due in part to the matchup: only DeAndre Jordan bags over eight percent of available offensive rebounds on the Clippers.
Rajon Rondo - The Celtics are 5-1 in the 2013 calendar year, and Rondo's certainly a large reason why. He's registered at least a point or assist on over 20 percent of Celtics' possessions in each of the five games he's played. He also has registered at least 30 minutes in each of those games. He's guaranteed to touch the ball and guaranteed production, especially against a weak Charlotte D.
Paul Pierce - How weak is that Charlotte D, you may ask? Why, they're one of only two teams to allow over 110 points per 100 possessions, and their opponents' .517 eFG% is the second-worst defensive mark in the league. That should make Pierce and his .503 eFG% lick his chops.
Andrei Kirilenko - Efficiency is the name of the game for Kirilenko. His 114 offensive rating leads the Timberwolves, his .545 eFG% is first on the team and 15th in the NBA, his 2.2 steal percentage is first on the team, and his 3.0 block percentage is second. Oh, and did I mention that he's done this while putting up a team-leading 34.9 minutes per game?
Nene Hilario - He returned to the starting lineup on Saturday and logged 27 minutes; I think his foot's just fine. That should be a boon for those who want to pick him up - his 25.1 percent usage rate is first on the team with Jordan Crawford likely out another game. He's Washington's projected leading point scorer by 1.5 points over Bradley Beal.
Ramon Sessions - Our numbers were high on him in this space Friday; he responded with 11 points, three assists, no turnovers, and 29 minutes played. Saturday's game was arguably even better, with six assists as compared to zero turnovers. Boston's defense, specifically with Rondo as a potential opponent, is solid. But I'm not going away from Sessions and his team-leading usage rate yet.
Nate Robinson - Want boom or bust value? Robinson has it. He matched Kirk Hinrich's 23 minutes on Saturday off the bench. But while Hinrich posted only a 19.5 assist rate with an abysmal 38 offensive rating, Robinson put up a 43.9 assist rate and a 111 offensive rating in the same game. The Hawks are an above-average defense, so if he gets limited minutes, the numbers might not be there. But our analytics think he's proved his worth; with have him with an estimated 22.6 minutes played in this game.
Your medium-sized sleeper of the day is Marvin Williams of the Utah Jazz. According to the Utah Jazz official Twitter, he's probable to play tonight against the Heat. While that does mean a potential matchup against LeBron, the Heat are only 14th in Defensive Rating so far this season. Williams may be struggling in many areas of the game, but shooting is not one of them: his .502 eFG% is his highest in four seasons. At $5,900, he's a good value.
Your deep sleeper of the day is DeAndre Liggins of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Watch out throughout the day to see whether Thabo Sefolosha is going to be healthy enough to start. He wasn't on Sunday, and Liggins received his first start of his NBA career, going 3-3 from long range en route to 11 points and an incredible nine boards in nearly 40 minutes. Liggins would be in line to get the start again, and although he isn't in our daily analysis due to a lack of previous game experience, he could potentially yield large results for only $4,000.Stay away from Dirk Nowitzki
today. He's a big name and has a big $12,800 price tag to go along with it, but since returning from his injury, he hasn't been nearly the same player that he once was. His PER and eFG% are his lowest since back when Clinton was President, while his turnover rate is up above double-digits for the first time since 2000 as well. Against an underrated Minnesota defense (11th
in defensive rating), I want no part.
The game to watch today is Kings/Cavaliers. In a battle between two of the four worst teams in defensive efficiency, as well as two teams in the top half of the league in quickest pace, the points should fly. Along with Cousins above, Alonzo Gee, Dion Waiters, and Marcus Thornton should be players to watch.