NBA Daily Fantasy Helper: Thursday 1/31/13

With Rudy Gay gone, it looks to be all post play, all the time from the Grizzlies.

Honestly, there's no reason that an optimized roster should exist today. There are only four teams playing. The Grizzlies are a hollow shell of a team before Prince, Davis, and Daye arrive, and Mike Conley's questionable for the game as well. The Warriors are in flux as well, with Curry, Barnes, and Landry all questionable and Bogut capped at 25 minutes. And who knows how Dallas and Oklahoma City are going to respond to the changes in the teams they're facing tonight?

But we're going to give it a go anyway because we're numberFire and that's what we do. 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

PlayerPositionProjected FPCostValue
David LeeF/C38.48$15,9002.42
Marc GasolC33.25$12,5002.66
Zach RandolphF/C31.55$12,1002.61
Serge IbakaF/C29.93$12,1002.47
O.J. MayoSG28.13$10,6002.65
Darren CollisonPG25.10$10,3002.44
Mike ConleyPG24.20$9,1002.66
Vince CarterG/F24.45$8,9002.75
Tony AllenG/F18.58$7,7002.41

David Lee - Injuries, injuries, and more injuries for the Warriors means that somebody's going to have to carry the load. And likely, that someone is going to be David Lee. He has 20 points in four of his last five games, 12 rebounds in each of his last three, and faces an OKC team that allows opposing power forwards to shoot an average .487 effective field goal percentage (eFG%). You can do worse.

Marc Gasol - Well, you're not going to attack the Thunder at small forward, not that Memphis would try and do that anyway with the ghost of Rudy Gay still lingering. Point guard's probably a bad way to attack too with Russell Westbrook and his 104 defensive rating there, and that's assuming Mike Conley is fully healthy. So down low's likely the best option, as the Thunder are allowing opposing centers to shoot a .494 eFG% from the field (highest of any position).

Zach Randolph - I'm not a big fan of repeating everything that I just said about Marc Gasol. But, you know, it applies here too. And another big key is the rebounding advantage Memphis looks to have. OKC is dead-average, 15th at both offensive and defensive rebounding, leaving the Grizzlies (first and 12th, respectively) with plenty of board and put-back opportunities.

Serge Ibaka - For all of the talk about Marc Gasol as one of the best centers in the league (including our own), opponent eFG% is not one of his strengths. Other teams are shooting .505 eFG% on Memphis's centers this season, the highest mark of any position taking on the Grizzlies. That just means more potential for Ibaka points to go along with a projected 8.5 rebounds and projections-leading 2.4 blocks tonight.

O.J. Mayo - Klay Thompson's one of the few Warriors not injured, and that's actually a good thing for Mayo: Thompson's 107 defensive rating leads all Warriors who have played 10 minutes per game so far this season. Considering the Warriors allow opposing shooting guards to shoot .487 eFG% from the field, expect Mayo to get his score on with ease tonight.

Darren Collison - Lost in the struggles of the Mavericks' season has been Darren Collison's surprisingly strong play. His 111 offensive rating is a career-high and also leads all Mavericks starters. And while he might not have the highest usage rate, facing a Warriors opponent that allows opposing point guards to shoot .488 eFG% (second-highest of the floor positions) shows exactly where Dallas should attack.

Mike Conley - I'm breaking one of my own rules here by including Conley. He's currently questionable, and I actually knocked his potential output tonight down by 15 percent to account for his injury concerns. But the fact that he's still on this list - and really it's not close - shows just how good of a matchup this is if he's healthy. He's our leading potential steals man with OKC's turnover concerns, and he'll be just about it for non-down low scoring as well. Early indications are that he'll play, so I'll leave him in here.

Vince Carter - Vince Carter? Really? Yes really, Vince Carter. Carter may play small forward, one of the Warriors' best defensive positions, but with his scoring ability it shouldn't matter. Carter's 109 offensive rating (points per 100 possessions) ranks third on the Mavs behind Collison and Brandan Wright, and his 22.2 percent usage rate is third among Mavs tonight behind Mayo and Dirk. If he's out there, he'll get the ball, and he'll get his points on a night where there aren't many better options.

Tony Allen - Here is the current shooting guard depth chart for the Grizzlies with Gay gone and Quincy Pondexter injured: Tony Allen. That's it. Sure, he'll be swapped out for Jerryd Bayless at times, but with Conley's lingering injury, Bayless will have to play some at PG as well. So Allen's here because of pure attrition. With such a low cost and a high projected minutes count, he's bound to luck into a few stats as the game wears on, especially considering Kevin Martin's 107 defensive rating and six percent rebound rate.

Quick Hits

Your medium-sized sleeper of the day is Chris Johnson of the Memphis Grizzlies. I'm not even sure why I linked to Chris Johnson's player page, because know what you'll find? Nothing. Johnson has played in four games since being signed to the Grizzlies roughly two weeks ago, but now, he could very well be drawing a start tonight with Rudy Gay being shipped off. Yes, he'll be facing off against Kevin Durant, and yes, you should never trust somebody without a statistical basis to go off of. But a $7,500 value for a potential starter for a team hurting for weapons? You could do worse.

Your deep sleeper of the day is Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors. As of this writing, I have no idea whether Harrison Barnes is going to play, sit, do a hula, get optioned on transfer day, what have you. And it's that type of uncertainty that makes Green appealing. With Barnes out on Tuesday, Green finished with 7 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 assists against Cleveland. And considering Dallas' weakness at small forward defensively (opposing SFs shooting .484 eFG%), a double-digit scoring day for Green isn't out of the question... IF Barnes doesn't play.

Stay away from Russell Westbrook of the Thunder today. The Thunder have Durant going up against a small forward that was sitting at home two weeks ago. The Grizzlies allow centers to shoot .505 eFG% from the field, as covered above. And Kevin Martin will be going against Tony Allen, who may have to play 48 minutes. Why exactly would you keep the ball in the hands of your PG, facing one of the league's best perimeter defenders (Conley) and a team that is allowing opposing point guards to shoot .447 eFG% on the season? I don't know either.

The game to watch today is Thunder/Grizzlies. Not for any statistical reason, mind you. I'm just going to find whatever combination of lineups that Memphis tries to trot out endlessly amusing.