NBA Daily Fantasy Helper: Friday 1/18/13
The focus is all on LeBron's glory today, and rightfully so - he obliterated the Lakers and most opposing fantasy lineups. But he didn't do it singlehandedly, as Dwayne Wade chipped in 27 points, 5 assists, and 4 rebounds. As our projections forecasted, he indeed outplayed Kobe Bryant, as well as most of the other NBA guards that you could have picked for your fantasy team.
And we're back to do it again. 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
Tim Duncan - Now not only a re-energized bruiser down low, but blocker extraordinare as well? He had seven swats against Minnesota on Sunday and five against Memphis on Wednesday. But the capability has been there all season: Duncan's 6.7 percent block rate of opposing field goals ranks fifth in the NBA.
Paul George - George has put up at least 15 points in each of his past five games; with Danny Granger out of the lineup, he's solidified himself as Indiana's No. 1 option. That's not going to change against a Rockets team with the quickest pace in the league (96.9 possessions per 48 minutes) and that has allowed opponents to shoot a 27th-ranked .507 effective field goal percentage (eFG%).
Marc Gasol - Scared off by Gasol's three rebound game against San Antonio on Wednesday? Don't be. Gasol has only posted less than five rebounds in 11 percent of his games this season. Couple that with a team-leading 116 offensive rating going against a Sacramento squad that is dead-last in defensive rating, and you've got the makings of a breakout game.
David West - Houston's fast pace and poor shooting defense should benefit more than just Paul George tonight. The Houston Rockets are registering only a 13.6 Player Efficiency Rating (PER) from the power forward slot this year, below the average of 15. Opposing power forwards, meanwhile, have a 17.9 PER, the highest of any position. David West is in prime position to attack Houston's weak spot.
Kyle Lowry - Maybe the Calderon/Lowry position battle will work out in the former Villanova guard's favor. It sure looks that way after a 26 point, 7 rebound, 5 assist performance against Chicago on Wednesday while dealing with an injury. Still, be cautious and look out for signs of how many minutes he'll get throughout the day; we have him at a fairly high 31.9 minutes played.
Danilo Gallinari - Washington's actually better than you'd expect defensively - their defensive rating sits eighth in the NBA and their opponents' eFG% sits 11th. But for fantasy purposes, not much of that will matter as long as Gallinari gets the ball in his hands, and his 22.0 percent usage rating only trails JaVale McGee on the Nuggets.
Tiago Splitter - True facts: 1. Tiago Splitter has scored double-digit points in each of his past four games. 2. He has averaged eight rebounds per game during that time span. 3. He's playing a Warriors squad whose worst position by Net PER (at -3.3) is center. 4. I really like the name "Tiago Splitter". Three of these things are relevant for why he should be played tonight; I'll let you pick which three.
Tony Allen - At a 2.45 FP to cost ratio, he's not the most valuable member of this optimized roster. In fact, he's the least and easily replaceable. But for $8,200, he provides solid minutes against a Sacramento team that, again, is dead-last in defensive rating (111.6 points per 100 possessions). Last time Memphis played Sacramento, Allen finished with 10 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists.
Carl Landry - Wednesday saw Landry achieve his third double-double of the season against the Miami Heat in Golden State's blowout loss. This game against San Antonio should be much closer, and a big reason why should be Landry himself. The only position where the Spurs have a lower PER than their opponents this season is at power forward.
Your medium-sized sleeper of the day is Kemba Walker of the Charlotte Bobcats. It's all about the minutes for Walker - how much is he going to play after tweaking his ankle in practice on Thursday? But that small injury and slight price drop could work in your benefit - his 24.8 percent usage rating shows how much he puts stats on the board, and there's plenty to be had for a point guard going against a Magic defense that is dead-last in the league in forcing turnovers.
Your deep sleeper of the day is Gerald Green of the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers aren't afraid to use him - Green's 39 games played this season are his most since the '06-'07 season he spent with Boston. And with the fast-paced game, are the Pacers going to want to use a recently-returned-from-injury Lance Stephenson for too long? It's a worthwhile gamble if you're hard up for cheap minutes.
Stay away from Luol Deng of the Bulls today. Not only is he a game-time decision against the Celtics, but he likely won't be effective, even if he does play. There are specific ways to attack Boston: 1 if by land, 2 if by sea, and if by the small forward position, just laugh at them for even trying. Boston's small forwards hold a +5.2 PER advantage over their opponents, the greatest positional advantage that Boston holds on the court.
The game to watch today is Rockets/Pacers. With the likely fast pace of this game, there are breakout potential candidates all over the court for Indiana. And with the relative strength of these two teams, expect the starters to be on the court for the majority of the game.