Daily Fantasy Basketball: Lakers’ PF Pau Gasol is Sunday’s top play

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Pau Gasol

Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

HIGH FIVE/low five

Daily Fantasy can be quite the grind!  Let us do the grinding for you with “High Five/Low Five”.  Each day, we help put you in the money by presenting you with FIVE of the “top-tier” plays, as well as a quick list of FIVE “value plays”.  Los Angeles Lakers’ PF Pau Gasol flies high as Sunday’s top Daily Fantasy Basketball play.

Let’s rip it up.

HIGH FIVE:

Point Guard: John Wall, WAS ($8,800): Wall has had back-to-back games over 48 FPs, averaging 26.0 points and 14.0 assists.

He’ll be playing in what is expected to be both a high scoring (216 over/under) and closely contested (two-point spread) game vs. the Denver Nuggets.

Over the past 15 days, the Nuggets have given up the seventh-most FPs to PGs.  With four 40+ FP games in his last five, Wall should be a safe bet to continue his recent success and topple the 40-FP mark once again.

Shooting Guard: Arron Afflalo, ORL ($5,900): With a dearth of high-end plays, this evening’s slate forces us to look to the mid-range guys for our top plays — and that’s just fine.

Just below our highest-priced option, Monta Ellis, whom I’m not too keen on, sit three players worth a look: Victor Oladipo, ORL ($6,500), Bradley Beal, WAS ($6,200), and the aforementioned Afflalo.  All three have nice matchups and can be counted on for 25-30 FPs, with similar upside.

That said, I’ll take the cheapest of the three and see if I can’t make that little bit of extra salary work for me somewhere else.  If salary isn’t an issue for you at this position, feel free to go with your gut or personal preference when choosing between the three.  One thing worth mentioning here is that, if Jameer Nelson plays tonight, Oladipo becomes my least favorite among the three.

Small Forward: Trevor Ariza, WAS ($6,600): Though Rudy Gay looks to be in a nice spot against a Milwaukee Bucks’ defense that is just 21st against SFs over the last 15 days, I just can’t seem to pull the trigger.  Reason being that Ariza is cheaper, has been offering up similar production lately, and has a relatively equal matchup in facing a Denver Nuggets defense that is 18th vs. SFs.  To be sure, Gay definitely offers a higher upside, but I’m just not sure that upside is worth an extra $1,100 when their expected output is so similar.  Gay may get a few more FPs, but Ariza should be the better value.  As such, he’ll be the one on my roster.

Power Forward: Carmelo Anthony, NY ($10,300)/Pau Gasol, LAL ($9,000): Melo hasn’t quite been consistently producing at the level we’d expect for a player of his price lately.  However, as the one player at his price point this evening, he’s the only one we can really expect 45+ FP production from.

On paper, it’s certainly not the most enticing matchup, as the Cleveland Cavaliers have defended the PF position fairly well this year.  But in reality, Melo is one of the more “matchup proof” players in the league, as evidenced by the 47.4 FPs he put up vs. Cleveland just a few weeks ago.  Count on a similar performance in the 40-45 FP range.

Not to be outdone, Pau Gasol could, and should, provide better value than Melo, even if he doesn’t quite have the same upside.  Gasol will square off against the Orlando Magic who are in the bottom third of the league vs. PFs, ranking just 23rd on the season.  This should be a high scoring game and Gasol should take advantage to the tune of 40 FPs or so.

Center: Nikola Vucevic, ORL ($7,400): Vucevic should have a field day against the Los Angeles Lakers, who have been beaten up all year-long by opposing centers, which is evidenced by their No. 30 ranking vs. the position.  Value for Vucevic is 37 FPs and that seems well within range for the young Swiss center in this high scoring contest.


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