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
David Lee - It seems a bit odd that of all the top-priced options, the best value is a big man, facing off against Tim Duncan, and taking on one of the overall best defenses in the NBA. But that's until you realize that San Antonio's main weakness - dead-last offensive rebounding - plays right into one of Lee's strengths. His 16.1 percent true rebound rate is second on the team, and picking up his third double-double in four games seems like a solid bet.
Dwight Howard - It's not too often that you'll see Dwight Howard on this list; the big names are usually too overpriced. Going against Portland, however, sees Howard's value shoot up to the Staples Center ceiling. The Blazers allow opposing centers to shoot .518 effective field goal percentage (eFG%) on the season, they are dead average in rebounding (16th offensively and 14th defensively), and perhaps most importantly, centers are picking up 2.2 blocks per game against them.
David West - Another power forward named David, but this time, it's the blue and yellow of Indiana where we focus our attention. West may not have Lee's rebounding ability, but the scoring is surely there: he's averaging 19 points per game over his last six contests. Playing Detroit and their average (16th) defensive rating should keep his numbers right in line, even with the slow pace that both teams run.
Joakim Noah - If there was a corollary to "Always go against Sacramento big men," it would be "Oh yeah, and the same applies to Charlotte, too." The Bobcats are 29th in defensive rating, 28th in defensive rebound percentage, and first in our hearts for squeaking out even 13 wins despite having nobody in their rotation below a 108 individual defensive rating. Noah will do just fine picking up the rebounds...
Carlos Boozer - ... and Boozer will do just fine picking up the extra points. Or, you know, maybe they'll each do both. Boozer has three straight double-doubles coming into tonight's game, and Noah has three of his own in his past four contests. I'd have high hopes for both of these guys tonight as they attempt to demoralize MJ's spirit even further.
Nicolas Batum - Yes, Batum is struggling mightily recently. And that has gotten his cost just low enough that when a return to the mean happens, it will mean great dividends for all of those who took a chance on him. His 14 shots on Tuesday give me optimism that his wrist is feeling better following laser surgery, and facing the Lakers and their .506 eFG% allowed to opposing small forwards gives me optimism that this could be the game where he gets back on track.
Raymond Felton - I could spew something about how Ronnie Brewer leaving helps Felton's playing time, but I won't, because his playing time doesn't need any help. All he needs he needs is a weak defense to continue his five game double-digit scoring streak. Let the trumpets begin blaring for the Raptors and their 24th-ranked defensive rating.
Luke Ridnour - Yes, OKC is a strong-ish defense (eighth in defensive rating). However, how many guys that you can pick up for $8,000 have A. at least 13 shots in four of his past five games, B. an average of 16.8 points per game over that same span, and C. an average of 3.4 assists over those five games as well? I'll take Ridnour and his guaranteed minutes for the cheap price, thank you.
Nate Robinson - I mentioned it in my sleepers section yesterday, and it indeed came to pass: Kirk Hinrich was out for the game against the Heat, and Nate Robinson put up excellent stats in 29 minutes played. I would be remiss of the optimized roster algorithm didn't put him in here, and lo and behold, he's the single best value on the board today. He's a starting point guard who likes to score going against the Bobcats. Don't overthink this, please.
Your medium-sized sleeper of the day is Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards. The Denver defense is average. Average 14th defensive rating, average 106 defensive rating for Andre Iguodala, average .488 eFG% allowed to opposing SGs. Bradley Beal is becoming above average; his 25 points in two of his last three games proves that. With a chipped tooth in yesterday's practice keeping his cost down, you can snatch him for $8,400 before it shoots up.
Your deep sleeper of the day is Stephen Jackson of the San Antonio Spurs. Again? Yes, again. With 5 points, 3 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 assists against the Clippers yesterday, Jackson didn't wow anybody with production, but at least he put up something for the baseline price of $4,000. The quick tempo and weak defense of Golden State should provide even more opportunities; I'd expect more than five points tonight.
Stay away from Danilo Gallinari of the Denver Nuggets today. Gallinari can score - his .501 eFG% and 116 offensive rating prove that. But if the scoring option is taken away, Gallinari doesn't have much else to fall back on: his true rebound percentage is only 9.1 percent, and his assist percentage isn't much better at 11.0 percent of teammates' buckets. Facing off against Washington's surprisingly strong defense, do you trust him to get the points to justify his $13,900 price tag? I don't.
The game to watch today is Hawks/Kings. Normally I recommend as many big men as possible against Sacramento, but other than Al Horford, I'm wary of who Atlanta will be throwing out there. In addition, how will the playing time shake out for the Kings without Robinson and Garcia? If you guess the increased playing time correctly, you could be rewarded with solid value for little price. For my money, I'd expect halfway decent playing time for the $6,000 Chuck Hayes.