Fantasy Breakdown: Nets at Nuggets Analysis
The TNT West Coast night cap involves two struggling teams in the Brooklyn Nets and the Denver Nuggets. The Nets have at least fought back to nearly the .500 mark, while the Nuggets are playing like the worst team in the Western Conference.
Do not pay attention to the previous matchup at all. Denver won 111-87 when the Nuggets won their seventh-straight game. The Nets were in the middle of losing nine of 11.
The starting lineups for those games? Denver: Ty Lawson (injured), Randy Foye, Wilson Chandler (injured), Kenneth Faried and J.J. Hickson (now on the bench). Plus, Nate Robinson, Andre Miller, Darrell Arthur, and Jordan Hamilton combined for 76 minutes off the bench who are injured or no longer on the team. Brooklyn: Tyshawn Taylor, Joe Johnson, Alan Anderson, Kevin Garnett, Brook Lopez (injured). Also, Tornike Shengelia, Reggie Evans played 33 minutes combined who aren’t on the team anymore, and Deron Williams, Paul Pierce and Andrei Kirilenko were out.
(All salaries via DraftKings)
Everyone on the Nets is healthy, with the obvious exception to Lopez. Since there are no signs of Garnett or anyone else resting, we should see the usual starting five of Williams, Livingston, Johnson, Pierce and Garnett.
Best Play – Deron Williams $7,200 – Williams didn’t do much fantasy wise against the Trail Blazers, but that’s because the game was pretty much over by the third quarter and he was held to 24 minutes. Point guards are dominating the Nuggets with Lawson out and Brooks leading the defensive duties. Williams had been playing very well the few games prior and does particularly well against fast-paced teams.
Sleeper – Paul Pierce $6,000 – I get that Pierce isn’t exactly a sleeper type of guy, but given his high variance, this is a game where he could do really well. Pierce is highly correlated to FPTS allowed by defenses and the Nuggets give up the third-most to PFs. Pierce may not be able to use his size against Faried, but he will have a field day on the perimeter. In all the close games Brooklyn has been in recently, Jason Kidd has given Pierce over 30 minutes. This is one I expect to be close and get you 35 and maybe even 40 FPTS.
Fade – Andray Blatche $5,400 – I’ve been a huge proponent of Blatche for most of the year, but not only are his minutes down, his FPTS per minute are decreasing. There is a chance Blatche gets more minutes to help Garnett in the altitude with the fast-paced Nuggets. Still, in the last five games where Blatche has gotten at least 20 minutes, he’s only eclipsed the 30 FPTS mark once. The Nuggets do give up a lot of points in the paint, but with Mozgov (easily Denver’s best inside defender) now starting and playing more minutes, this won’t be as easy for Blatche. Too risky and probably not enough reward even if it somehow works out.
Brian Shaw continues to alter his lineup and now Chandler is out with a sprained knee. The most probable starting five will be: Brooks, Foye, Miller, Faried and Mozgov. Furthermore, Denver will only dress nine players with the backcourt being the biggest deficiency. Hickson did have a monster game off the bench with 25 rebounds vs. the Blazers, but consider that more to do that Portland went small nearly the entire game and Hickson went back to playing the 4 with Jan Vesely at the 5.
Best Play – Aaron Brooks $4,600 – Brooks’ salary has been upgraded to $4,600, but that’s not enough for tonight. The Nets are 24th in FPTS allowed to PGs in the last 15 games, which is relevant since Deron Williams has been in the startling lineup. Brooks is playing about 30 minutes per game and taking just under 13 attempts. He’s also been an improving passer in getting assists as he becomes more familiar with the Nuggets’ system.
Sleeper – Kenneth Faried $5,900 – With the exception of the Bucks game, Kenneth Faried has not been playing well, nor has he been getting consistent minutes. But this is a matchup Faried could benefit from, going against the smaller Paul Pierce at power forward. The Manimal should have a good day on the glass and if the Nuggets are able to run on the slower Nets, Faried could easily be in double-double form. There’s certainly a risk, but given that the Nuggets should be competitive in this one for 48 minutes and the Nets are only -2 tonight, Faried should get around 30 minutes.
Fade – Quincy Miller $3,000 – With a good chance that Miller replaces Chander in the starting lineup, a lot of people may think about playing him, especially on a Thursday night and that he’s minimum salary. I wouldn’t do it. Miller has played in the starting five a handful of times this season, yet the only good game he’s had all year was his double-double vs. Orlando and Miller played 36 minutes because Denver obliterated them from the beginning. Miller typically only gets around 20-25 minutes at most and it’s very difficult seeing the Nuggets dominate given how poorly they’ve played in the last month.
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