This Sacramento-Denver matchup has the makings for an all-you-can eat fantasy buffet. It has everything you could every dream of: appetizing matchups across the board, injury situations to take advantage of, and two fast-paced team with a 216 over/under. The only small concern comes in the form of a blowout, as the Nuggets check in as 10 point favorites against this shorthanded Kings squad without DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay.
However, that isn’t enough to steer me away from this game completely, as the value options will likely see action regardless of a lopsided scoreboard. Further elaboration and specificity can be found below:
TOP FIVE MATCHUP PLAYS
1. Kenneth Faried – PF – DEN (vs Sacramento)
Faried’s price point on FanDuel ($6,500) is fantastic, and he’s a comfortable option in all formats against a Sacramento team that ranks 21st in defensive efficiency against opposing Power Forwards. Obviously, that number will most likely drop with DeMarcus Cousins out of the picture. Per his career, Faried has always noticed better splits at home, and this is a perfect opportunity to advance that notion.
2. George Hill – PG – IND (vs Oklahoma City)
Over the second half of the season, Oklahoma City has been playing at a faster pace (now ranked 5th in possessions/game) with noticeably less effective defense (dropped to 23rd against opposing Point Guards). That is a fantasy recipe to actively target, and Hill steps in as the most likely candidate to seize this opportunity. He’s playable in all formats tonight.
3. Ty Lawson – PG – DEN (vs Sacramento)
There are several things working in Lawson’s favor tonight: 1) High-scoring, fast paced home matchup. 2) Sacramento ranks 26th in defensive efficiency against point guards. 3) Jameer Nelson is questionable, and his absence has vaulted Lawson into heavy minutes over the past two games … The bottom line: If Nelson is in, Lawson is a still a good play, but he becomes a great one if Nelson is ruled out.
4. Jason Thompson – PF – SAC (at Denver)
DeMarcus Cousins has missed the past three games (done for the season), and Thompson has soaked up some extra minutes (33 per game) and production (28 fppg) in his absence. He’ll enjoy a fast-paced matchup (as if I haven’t mentioned that enough) against the notoriously inefficient frontcourt defense of Denver (29th in that category).
5. Monta Ellis – SG – DAL (at LA Lakers)
Monta has been somewhat middling as of late, but the shot attempts and minutes are all there. Now he just needs to make good on the opportunity. A breakout performance could be on deck against a Lakers backcourt defense that ranks dead last. Consider Ellis even more if Chandler Parsons misses another game, ultimately leading to more offensive opportunities.
Ben McLemore – SG – SAC (at Denver)
Okay, okay…I promise this is the last player from Sacramento or Denver (only because this column is almost over). McLemore’s usage rate climbs tremendously with Gay and Cousins out of the lineup, and I’m expecting him to take plenty of shots this evening. He’ll do so in a generous matchup against Denver’s 28th ranked defensive efficiency against shooting guards.
Giannis Antetokounmpo – SG – MIL (vs Brooklyn)
Per usual, Antetokoumpo is more of a tournament play for his respective price point, but he has a great matchup to realize that coveted upside. Brooklyn ranks 29th in defensive efficiency against shooting guards, and he averages a whopping 43 fppg in three games vs the Nets this season.