NBA Daily Fantasy Helper: Friday 2/1/13

Maybe he's not efficient, but you know Monta Ellis is going to have the ball in his hands and provide quantity (if not quality).

Nothing makes Friday any better than a little extra weekend spending money. And even if you lose that money because the Super Bowl National Anthem goes longer than two minutes, it's the pride that counts, right? We're in the pride-getting business.

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
Dwyane WadeG35.45$14,0002.53
Paul PierceSF34.18$13,0002.63
Brook LopezC33.18$12,0002.77
Monta EllisG32.88$12,0002.74
J.R. SmithG/F31.43$10,5002.99
Eric BledsoeG30.30$10,2002.97
Earl ClarkF28.75$9,8002.93
George HillG29.00$9,7002.99
Mike ConleyPG26.25$8,8002.98

Dwyane Wade - Always underrated, never duplicated; if I remember correctly, this is now the fourth time in five Heat games with Wade on our optimized roster. And although his last two outings have been down a bit in the points column, facing the Pacers shouldn't hurt. They are indeed the No. 1 defensive team in the NBA (99.4 points per 100 possessions), but if there's one Heat player I trust, it's Wade. The Pacers are letting opposing shooting guards shoot a .474 effective field goal percentage (eFG%) from the floor, highest of any position.

Paul Pierce - Another common fixture of the optimized rankings, Pierce is coming off of two straight games with double-digit rebounds. But it's the points that would have me excited for Boston's leading scorer, going against a Magic squad that is 24th in defensive rating and 18th in defensive eFG%.

Brook Lopez - The points are there - five straight games with at least 16 - but the rebounds aren't - five straight games at seven boards or under. It's a good thing that the Chicago Bulls can help cure those rebounding ills. They're 24th in offensive eFG%, meaning there will be plenty of misses for Lopez to collect. Chicago's also 18th in defensive rebounding percentage, meaning the putbacks will be as well.

Monta Ellis - The Knicks may be second in the East, but it's not because of their defense: their 106.2 points allowed per 100 possessions ranks 18th in the NBA. If somebody's going to benefit, Monta Ellis and his team-leading 27.1 percent usage rate is a good place to start.

J.R. Smith - The guy opposite Monta Ellis shouldn't be a bad bet tonight, either. The Bucks have a surprisingly strong defense, so Smith's upside may be limited. But at $10,500 for a projected 18.4 points and 5.5 rebounds, Smith should be able to provide value even without performing exceptionally. And considering his 25.0 percent usage rate, getting the ball in his hands shouldn't be a problem.

Eric Bledsoe - While Chris Paul is away, Eric Bledsoe will continue to play; he's topped our projected 34.3 minutes played in each of his last two games, and there's no reason to think he won't do so again. His projected 4.5 assists may be low for a starting point guard, but he makes up for that with an NBA-leading 4.2 percent steal rate. That will come in handy when facing Kyle Lowry, who turns the ball over on 15.4 percent of his possessions.

Earl Clark - Clark's not going away any time soon; even with foul trouble on Wednesday, he still played 30 minutes against Phoenix. And that was with Howard in the lineup - Dwight's already been ruled out for tonight's game. With Pau starting at center, the frontcourt depth is weak, meaning lots of playing time for Clark. While his 12.1 projected points and 9.7 projected rebounds aren't awe-inspiring, they're solid value for under $10k.

George Hill - If you're going to attack Miami, the point guard slot is the way to do it. The Heat are allowing opposing point guards to shoot .501 eFG% this year, the second-highest of any position on the team. And Hill's projected 35.7 minutes may even be on the conservative side: he's topped that in each of his past five games played.

Mike Conley - We had him on our optimized roster last night, and he rewarded us by going for 17 points, 4 assists, and 3 rebounds against a tough OKC defense. If the game tonight is easier (guard is the weak point of the Washington defense), why go away from what's working? Ride Conley until his price increases.

Quick Hits

Your medium-sized sleeper of the day is Al-Farouq Aminu of the New Orleans Hornets. Not your typical small forward, Aminu has been on a rebounding tear recently. With three double-digit rebound games in his last five contests, it's not tough to see why we project him to have 7.9 boards against Denver tonight. But it's the prospect of points tonight that makes him a sleeper; Denver allows opposing small forwards to shoot .497 eFG% from the field. For $7,800, it may be worth the risk.

Your deep sleeper of the day is Brandan Wright of the Dallas Mavericks. Dirk Nowitzki's already been ruled out for tonight's game, shooting Wright's value sky-high. With Chris Kaman also sent home to Dallas for concussion treatment, the Mavericks don't have much depth in the frontcourt; Wright's projected 18.9 minutes may even be too low. For $5,000, I don't even care if he shoots 30 percent from the field, I want somebody that's going to put up those big minutes.

Stay away from Deron Williams of the Nets today. Williams isn't the most efficient player as it is, but in playing the Bulls' defense, his value plummets even lower. Chicago as a team allows opponents to only shoot .458 eFG% from the field (second in the NBA), and point guard is the second-worst shooting position (behind PF) against them this season.

The game to watch today is Knicks/Bucks. It's strength against strength and weakness against weakness, as the Knicks rely on their offense and the Bucks rely on their defense. Something's got to give, and if this turns into an offensive shootout, then the ceilings for players on both teams shoots sky high.