In our NBA Fantasy Basketball Daily Shopper series, RotoBaller Brad Leibfried brings you his expert picks for NBA Daily League contests on DraftStreet.
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The Daily NBA Fantasy Shopper: NBA Expert Picks for DraftStreet - 12/17/2013
PG: Isaiah Thomas ($16,535): When a coach comes out and says a player is going to lead the league in minutes played going forward, that can only mean good things for his fantasy value. That is the case for Thomas, whose coach Michael Malone recently proclaimed just that about his point guard. Thomas has certainly earned that this year, as he has scored 19 or more points in seven of his last eight games. Charlotte is solid defensively, but Thomas’s opportunity is too great to avoid at this point.
SG: Tony Allen ($9,690): Allen recently missed four games with a hip issue, but now has two games under his belt and appears healthy. Although neither of those games was great, he should have knocked off the rust in time to face a Lakers team that struggles to stop opposing guards. With steals counting big points, Allen can quickly rack up the fantasy points without scoring all that much from the floor. As Mike Conley is also a question mark to play with an injury, more will likely be put on the play of Allen, who did have five straight games of over 10 points prior to his injury.
SF: Kevin Durant ($22,764): Just because it’s obvious doesn’t mean it isn’t right, and that is the case for Kevin Durant. While players like LaMarcus Aldridge and Paul George have been getting more attention, Durant has quietly been having a career year. He is currently averaging 28.5 points, 8.3 rebounds. 4.9 assists, 1.5 blocks and 1 steal per game. With three games over 30 points in the past five, he is only getting better. He carries a huge price tag, but he should be well worth the investment tonight.
PF: Zach Randolph ($14,625): Overlooked because of his team’s struggles, Randolph has been an absolute monster with Marc Gasol out. He has a string of four double-doubles in his past six games, while also posting a solid 17 assists over that span. With Gasol out and Memphis struggling to find another consistent big man, Randolph has taken over the post for a team that struggles to score. Like Allen, he has a plum matchup tonight against a struggling Lakers front line which only increases his value.
C: Andrew Bogut ($12,922): In the past five games, Andrew Bogut has put up 12, 12, 18, 11 and 14 rebounds respectively. Along with that, he has averaged 2 blocks a game to complement his outstanding rebounding. Even though he only has one double-digit scoring game in that mix, he has supplied enough value in the other categories to more than make up for that. Tonight should be a solid scoring night, as he faces a Pelicans team that gives up 102.1 points per game on nearly 47% opponent field goal shooting.
U: Josh McRoberts ($11,503): McRoberts is a player that will not blow you away in any one stat category, but his solid all-around game is perfect for this type of scoring system. His past two games have seen him put up 15 points, 10 rebounds, 8 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks. Those numbers don’t sound spectacular, but considering his 53% field goal percentage on the year, they are numbers that end up bringing in a solid fantasy scoring night. A matchup with a Kings team that allows 102 points a game will not hurt his value either. Even with a price tag that is sneaking higher and higher, McRoberts remains a solid value play tonight.
U: Jodie Meeks ($7,086): If you want to gamble on a relatively low-priced player who could explode, Meeks is your guy. With three straight games under 10 points, Meeks has not taken advantage of the increased playing time he has seen with a bevy of Laker guards hurt. That said, Meeks had posted eight straight games over 10 points prior to his recent slide, and he has continued to see over 30 minutes a game. His matchup with the Grizzlies doesn’t look great on first blush, but Memphis allows their opponents to shoot nearly 38% from deep, which is Meeks specialty.