Phoenix Suns at Philadelphia 76ers
The matchup between the Phoenix Suns and the Philadelphia 76ers will offer daily fantasy players some of the best value plays tonight. Not only is Phoenix a 5.5-point favorite and the over/under is 214, but the 76ers easily run the most possessions per game and have the worst defense in the league at 109.5 points allowed. The Suns are on the second of a back-to-back to start their Eastern Conference road trip. This is the second meeting between the two franchises, with the first one going to the Suns 115-101. Several players had great games then and several will tonight.
Let’s take a look.
(All salaries via DraftKings)
PG – A lot of people are going to go for Lou Williams ($3,900), Darren Collison ($5,500) and D.J. Augustin ($5,900) for point guards tonight (and they are right to do so). If you’re looking for a higher-salary player to exceed his production, Goran Dragic is your guy. He’s averaging 40.6 FPTS in his last seven games, and that includes two games where he only put up 29.5 and 32.75 FPTS with 22 and 24 minutes played respectively. Phili is near the bottom at every position in FPTS allowed, but they are dead last to PGs. Dragic should easily be in the 40s and has a decent chance at exceeding 50 FPTS.
SG – Even at $5,300, Gerald Green is too inconsistent for a play here. Only three times has he had more than 23.75 FPTS in his last 10 games and the Suns have played a fair amount of teams with average or weak defenses at SG. Even though he is a scorer, he’s also in there for defense, despite not putting up huge steals or blocks. His rebounding and assists numbers are limited too. Simply look elsewhere.
SF – P.J. Tucker is a legit value play here. He’s been an animal on the glass as of late, pulling down 8.2 boards in his last 10 games. That’s a huge spark for someone at $4,300 playing over 30 minutes per game as a starter who is also scoring 10 points per game. Add a few assists to that and going against the worst fantasy defense at SFs, Tucker is easily capable of 30 FPTS. Tucker is also highly correlated to fantasy defenses.
PF – Channing Frye has significantly become more involved in January. In 32.6 minutes, he’s averaging 16 points and 5.2 rebounds. He’s also taking seven three-pointers per game and making 45.1 percent. You could say Frye is pretty much playing a SF role as of now, although he’s clearly a PF. He’s only $5,100. Play him.
C – Miles Plumlee’s minutes have been reduced as of late. Therefore, his production has been declining. We’re starting to see Markieff Morris play like he was in the beginning of the season. In fact, Plumlee’s salary is $4,800 compared to Morris’ $5,600. With Hawes usually playing out on the perimeter on offense, I’m normally not big on centers against the 76ers, especially when you’re seeing inconsistent minutes between a starter and a backup.
PG – Michael Carter-Williams should have a solid game tonight, but the problem is MCW is $8,200 and that’s too much risk for someone who has had FPTS outings of 24.75, 34.75, 23.25, 10.75 and 33.25 in his last 10 games. MCW has also turned these performances in against weak PG defenses like the Cavaliers and the Bulls (much weaker with Augustin). With the Suns ranking 26th in FPTS allowed to PGs, MCW could easily go for 40 FPTS tonight, but for $8,200 and for someone who doesn’t have monstrous games often, I’d save your higher-salary play elsewhere. There’s just too much variance with the rookie.
SG – If you look at the Suns’ FPTS allowed by position, SG is the one position they do well at. But James Anderson and the 76ers normally don’t put up a lot of production at that position anyways. Yes, Anderson is only $4,400 and put up over 30 FPTS in two of his last three games, but OKC and New York are in the bottom-third of the league in FPTS allowed to SGs. Let’s stay away from him.
SF – Since Dec. 20, when Evan Turner has played 36-plus minutes, the 76ers are 7-2. They’ve have lost every other game. Essentially, if Phili is in this game for four quarters, there’s a good chance Turner is going to have a good game. If Phoenix is in control, Turner will somewhat be a dud. Tonight, I believe the 76ers will cover and be in this game. But Turner doesn’t have the greatest big-game potential and he surely hasn’t been that consistent. I think he’s poised for a 30-plus FPTS outing, but for $7,100, what’s the point in risking that with Gordon Hayward at $6,600 who is better in both areas and he’s facing the beat up Sacramento Kings.
PF – I’m still staying away from 76ers players for now. Thaddeus Young is $7,300 and it’s pretty ridiculous that four of the five starters on Philadelphia are $7,000 or more. Young does have some big game potential and the Suns have been giving up the 10th-most FPTS to PFs in the last 15 games, but Young is mostly relying on defensive stats for that. Young had eight steals in his 46.5 FPTS outing vs the Thunder and four steals to help his 43.25 FPTS vs. the Knicks. Since Young is averaging 16.5 points but only 5.6 rebounds in January, I’m not too excited about playing him. He’s more of a GPP play than a 50/50 or heads up.
C – OK, Spencer Hawes is worth a play at $7,000. Despite a couple bad outings in his last 10 games, that’s because he’s highly correlated with his fantasy matchup or has been in foul trouble. The Suns are a little below average against centers. While Hawes points are slightly down to 11.4 this month, his rebounds and assists are up to 8.2 and 4.1 respectively. He’s had three FPTS outings in the 40s and one at 38. This will be one of those nights for him.
It’s crazy that four of the five 76ers starters can have salaries of $7,000 or more, while four of the five Suns starters are $5,300 or less. Yes, the 76ers play at a very fast pace and don’t play defense, but the Philadelphia offense isn’t good enough to warrant that. Hawes is your one play there, but I’d look more at the recommended Phoenix players.
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