It's the start of a brand new week. And you know what that means (or at least you should): a brand new week of Daily Fantasy projections, catered just for you. Last week saw some of our best-performing days to date, and we're looking to build off the momentum today.
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
James Harden - Here's the thing with Harden: he's not a great value. It's just that the other top-priced options of Al Jefferson, Stephen Curry, and David Lee are even worse, and you can find better value at the forward slot at lower prices than DeMarcus Cousins. So Harden against the Jazz it is, which isn't the worst matchup considering Utah's 23rd defensive rating ranking and their 21st-best defensive effective field goal percentage (eFG%).
Marc Gasol - Here's one way to get over an All-Star snub: face a 76ers team that allows opposing centers to shoot .525 eFG% from the field, score 20.0 points per game (only 0.2 PPG off being the highest-scoring opposing position), and collect 13.6 rebounds per game. Since Gasol has played 70 percent of Memphis' total center minutes this season, expect most of those stats to go right to him.
David West - It's Pacers central on our optimized roster today, and the Nuggets' pace has a lot to do with it. Denver's 94.5 possessions per 48 minutes (second in the NBA) should help balance out Indiana's 27th-ranked pace, helping the (slow)Pacers to have more opportunities than they'd normally get. David West and his team-leading 24.8 percent usage rate should be beneficiary No. 1....
George Hill - ... and George Hill and his team-leading 111 offensive rating (points per 100 possessions) should be beneficiary No. 2. Opposing point guard Ty Lawson is tied for the Denver team lead with a 109 defensive rating, and Hill has scored in double-digits in each of his past eight games.
Roy Hibbert - Oh, by the way, who is tied with Ty Lawson for the worst defensive rating in Denver? That would be JaVale McGee, who just happens to line up opposite Roy Hibbert tonight. Making matters even better for Hibbert is Denver's 26th-best defensive rebound percentage. That should match up nicely with Hibbert's 15.1 percent offensive rebound rate, third-best in the NBA.
Nene Hilario - OK boys and girls, let's say it again: Take the opposing big men to the Sacramento Kings whenever you can. This time, it's Nene who receives the grand honor of facing the dead-last defensive rating and dead-last defensive rebounding percentage in the league. And considering that he's put up 28 minutes in six of his last seven games as well, I feel safe trusting him.
Tyreke Evans - On the other side of the court from Nene, Tyreke Evans goes up against a Washington defense that doesn't have too many holes - they're No. 6 in defensive rating. Too bad that they're also dead-last in offensive rating and 29th in offensive eFG%, which should allow this rebound-heavy guard to pick up a few more than usual tonight to go along with his normal points and assists.
J.J. Redick - Quick trivia question: there are two guards that have an eFG% over .560 this season. Can you name them? One is right here: J.J. Redick. He's been shooting lights-out for the Magic this season, shooting a .571 eFG% from the field (eighth in the NBA). And facing off against the 22nd opponent eFG% in Brooklyn tonight, he should be able to maintain his torrid pace.
Jose Calderon - Whoops, did I forget the other answer to that trivia question I just asked? Because that answer is right here: Jose Calderon's .572 eFG% ranks first among all NBA guards with qualified minutes so far this season. And Kyle Lowry's current questionable status for tonight's game should help out his stats even further and makes him the best value on the board.
Your medium-sized sleeper of the day is John Wall of the Washington Wizards. Maybe it's not just the big men that you should always look at against Sacramento - they're letting opposing point guards shoot .534 eFG% from the field against them this season. With Wall scoring his first start of the season just last Friday, his fantasy potential is starting to creep up even higher. If you're looking for an explosion before his value shoots sky-high, this might just be it.
Your deep sleeper of the day is Jimmy Butler of the Chicago Bulls. Maybe he's not the most underground name - he does cost $8000, after all - but you'll want to pick him up if Luol Deng is indeed ruled out again for tonight's game. Butler has played at least 40 minutes in Chicago's past four games (which shouldn't be a concern after a night off), and the Bobcats are allowing opposing small forwards to shoot .534 eFG% from the field (the highest percentage of any position).
Stay away from Ty Lawson of the Nuggets today. If Indiana wins the battle of the paces and this game slows down, it could be devastating for the run-and-gun Lawson. The Pacers are only allowing opposing point guards to shoot .459 eFG% from the field this season, and opposing point guard George Hill has a low 102 defensive rating, limiting Lawson's upside even further.
The game to watch today is Nuggets/Pacers. I've talked about it a bunch already, but whether this will Nuggets-style (fast-paced) or Pacers-style (slow-paced) should determine whether this game will produce viable fantasy candidates today. For our money, we think it will be somewhere in the middle, which should raise the Pacers' stock above normal and lower the Nuggets' stock below normal.