The FanDuel Partner Basketball Championship – Contest No. 8

The end is near for the FanDuel Partners Basketball Championship (FPBC), which features nine sites within the fantasy sports industry competing twice per week over the course of a five-week span. In the seventh installment Wednesday, RotoWire posted 309.8 FanDuel points (FDP) on the backs of Kevin Durant (52.9), Anthony Davis (51.8), and Victor Oladipo (42.5). However, non-existent showings from Marcus Smart (12.9) and Nikola Mirotic (8.7) ultimately hindered our cause. While one can peruse the current standings here, we’ll again delve into the Top 5 FanDuel plays of the day.

Brandon Knight, PG, PHO at LAL ($6,500) – Look no further than the opponent, the Lakers, who have been more stingy toward opposing point guards of late, yet given up the second-most FDP per game (45.0) on the season. Meanwhile, Knight has four contests on the ledger since returning from a 21-game absence, with all but one of them falling shy of 30 FDP. The preceding is key in determining his current price point, which conjured his presence on RotoWire’s Daily Lineup Optimizer.

FD Lineup - 18 Mar 2016

Backing up that label are two previous matchups with the Lakers, against whom he tallied a triple-double on Nov. 16 for 70.5 FDP and another active 40.1 FDP on Jan. 3. Equivalent to 1.30 FDP per minute, he could lay the first brick Friday on the road to reestablishing himself as a regular 30-FDP per game player.

James Harden, SG, HOU vs MIN ($10,300) – Joining Knight on Friday’s optimal lineup is Harden, he of the beard and third-most FDP per game (49.5) since the break. Although Harden hasn’t approached that standard in three of the last four outings, he’s been presented with a Timberwolves team that is bottom of the barrel in a number of arenas in which he thrives – transition defense and defending pick-and-roll ball handers – which aid in the fourth-worst defensive efficiency in the NBA (107.0 points allowed per 100 possessions). When he laced up his shoes in their sole meeting of 2015-16 on Jan. 13, he endured a poor shooting night, including 2-for-10 from deep. However, his offense didn’t suffer due to a 9-for-11 performance from the charity stripe, which combined with 11 assists to push his final FDP tally to 43.1. With a more precise showing from the field, his first 50-FDP night in five games may be near.

Andrew Wiggins, SF, MIN at HOU ($6,500) – On the other side, Wiggins is poised to benefit from facing one of the seven teams that carries a pace factor greater than 100. Indeed, he returned a shade over 5X his sticker price in the January encounter with the Rockets – 32.9 FDP, to be exact. The offerings from his past six outings reveal at least 31 FDP on five occasions, with the other Wednesday’s 22.1-FDP effort in Memphis. A bounce-back is more likely than not against the wing defense that has surrendered the most FDP per game (38.9) to small forwards in this campaign, as reflected in RotoWire’s NBA Defense vs. Position Stats tool.

FD Lineup2 - 18 Mar 2016

Tobias Harris, PF, DET vs SAC ($6,000) – Harris kicked off March with six straight games in which his FDP ranged between 28.1 and 34.9, but the past two outings (11.2 and 38.7 FDP) have wavered from the mean, which throws some variability into the mix. Helping his cause, though, is the Kings’ frontcourt, which has yielded the most FDP per game (50.4) to power forwards over the last 10 contests. After putting up 19 points, 11 boards, and five assists in 34 minutes Wednesday versus the hearty Hawks, he’ll find Friday’s opponent much more pliable, as Sacramento ranks first in pace (102.4 possessions per game) and 24th in defensive efficiency (106.5 points allowed per 100 possessions).

Karl-Anthony Towns, C, MIN at HOU ($8,600) – The absence of Jonas Valanciunas made Bismack Biyombo an appealing option to consider following back-to-back monster double-doubles from the Raptor reserve. In an Eastern Conference showdown featuring the second-lowest over/under (211), the lack of available possessions and a stout foe (the Celtics) were enough to search elsewhere at center. Circling back to the slate’s the second-highest over/under (224.5), the Rockets have been torched by big men like Jared Sullinger (56.4 FDP), DeAndre Jordan (48.7), and Nerlens Noel (38.8) within the past five contests. Those outbursts have fueled the most FDP given up to the position in that span, which brings us to Towns. In addition to his appearance on the optimal lineup above, he accrued 36.7 FDP in 33 minutes earlier this season against the Rockets. Seeking to one-up himself, Towns will aim to follow in the footsteps of the aforementioned centers Friday.

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