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Is Scott Kazmir a 2014 Cy Young Contender?

Remember the Tampa Bay Devil Rays? Yeah…the team with the ugly dark green uniforms, Lou Pinella, and a promising-but-ultimately-disappointing Rocco Baldelli? I sure do.

The star young pitcher from this group was a young fireballer, Scott Kazmir. 2006 was his best year — Despite posting a mediocre 10-8 record, he posted a 3.24 ERA and 1.27 WHIP.

But here’s the thing about Kazmir — in the earliest part of his career, he was a strikeout machine. In 4/5 of the years between 2004 and 2008, he posted a 9.8 K/9 ratio or higher. Also in 4/5 of those years, he posted a 2.0+ K/BB ratio…so his control wasn’t unbearable.

2009-2012 were forgotten years for Kazmir, and many people thought his career may be over due to a pesky shoulder injury.

In the later part of 2013, though, Scott finally started showing signs of life again. In August and September, he was one of the most dominant pitchers in the league — posting a 3.3 and 10.8 K/BB ratio in August and September, respectively.

Flash forward to 2014, and Kazmir finds himself in the first year of a 2 year, $24 million contract with the Oakland A’s. As primarily a flyball pitcher, the Coliseum should treat him just fine.

He’s posted three quality starts in his first three starts of the season, posting a 1.40 ERA and .78 WHIP. his 19/4 K/BB show that he has all of the pieces in place for a glowing 2014 campaign.

If Scott can manage to stay healthy all year, he may very well contend to win the Cy Young Award.


Logan Morrison, 2014 Fantasy Baseball Sleeper

It seems like just yesterday when we were talking Logan Morrison as the 1st baseman of the future in Florida. After Nick Johnson departed Florida back in late 2009, it became quite clear that either Morrison or Gaby Sanchez would assume the role.

The biggest issue in Morrison’s potential breakout seasons, though, is his inability to stay healthy. First, it was his foot…then, it was his knee. His right knee ended up costing him quite a few games back in 2012, finally making his return to the baseball diamond in June 2013. The once-elite prospect struggled, though, batting only .242 with 6 home runs. So why in the world am I calling for Logan Morrison, the seemingly-more-brittle-than-peanut-brittle Logan Morrison, as a fantasy baseball sleeper in 2014?

Seattle offered up one of their best arms, Carter Capps, to get ahold of this guy, so they must see something they really like in his skillset. Funny, because there is another first baseman already on Seattle’s roster that is kind of similar — Justin Smoak. Yes, Justin Smoak was very similar to Morrison — he was a former top prospect in the Texas Rangers system, and after getting his real shot with Seattle, he just hasn’t done a whole lot, sans the occasional HR binge.

Let’s start with his age — at the prime age of 26, this is pretty much Morrison’s year to hit it big as a big post-hype sleeper. In 2010, he showed us a glimpse of the potential batting average upside, batting .283 in just under 300 plate appearances. And we know he’s capable of smashing the ball, too — despite a serious power dropoff last season (6 HR), Morrison managed to hit 23 HR in 2011 — essentially his only season with a reasonable amount of plate appearances (525).

Perhaps more encouraging is that when Morrison returned last season, he managed to stay healthy throughout the duration of the year. Sure, the 2H line wasn’t all that great (.226 BA, 5 HR), but staying healthy is the first key for Morrison to be successful. And get this — if you consider that Morrison’s best skill is his power, then the move from Marlins Park to Safeco Field will be a welcome change. In fact, Miami’s ballpark is the worst for power hitters — Seattle’s isn’t much better, but it is an upgrade (21st in HR ease for opposing hitters).

Let’s face it — Seattle realizes that Justin Smoak isn’t the end-all-be-all at first base for the Mariners, so Morrison has an excellent shot to grab some playing time — especially against RHP, who he thrives against. This guy isn’t going to make or break your season, but he can certainly help. One to tuck away for the later rounds in your 12-teamer.


Darren Collison, 2014 Fantasy Basketball Sleeper

With Chris Paul sidelined for the next 3-5 weeks or so (shoulder separation), the Los Angeles Clippers will turn to Darren Collison, the 26-year-old backup PG and former UCLA star. It’s great news for all fantasy owners everywhere, as Collison brings proven ability to the table. But is he a prime fantasy basketball sleeper?

To date, Collison has averaged 19.1 minutes/game…and this stat should see a particularly big bump while Paul is out. Expect his MPG to jump up to at least 32 minutes per game, and don’t be surprised if he plays up to 40 minutes in some particularly close contests.

Collison’s biggest categorical boosts will help you in the traditional PG categories…expect plus numbers in steals and assists. He’s a decent shooter who should post his share of points as well (Jamal Crawford is still the shooter on this team, but don’t expect Collison to back down).

His free-throw shooting is excellent, and also worth noting. Last season, Collison posted a 88 FT% (84.1 FT% to date). If you need a boost in that percentage category, he will also help your roster out.

In a backup role, Collison doesn’t play enough minutes to justify a roster spot. But as a starter, his skills provide a solid jump up to Top 60 value, and maybe higher.

Collison is available in more than 55% of all Yahoo leagues, so run, don’t walk, to your waiver wire. Since most fantasy basketball benches are fairly shallow, it’s unlikely that the Paul owner in your league has handcuffed Collison, meaning there’s an excellent buying opportunity here. Invest!


I got hosed today, and it’s a horrible feeling.

About 30 minutes before gametime, Jarrett Jack — the supposed-fill-in for the injured Kyrie Irving, was scratched with back spasms. I was among the unlucky few still stuck with the decent-but-not-that-great backup when the lineups locked.

If you’ve played daily fantasy for any length of time, you realize it as part of the game — players get scratched all the time, and yes, some players get scratched right before the lineups lock.

First off, realize that last-minute scratches happen to everyone. Yes, everyone. The last-minute scratch has affected us all at one time or another. And while it screws up a lot of lineups (especially if the player has a low ownership), it doesn’t necessarily spell death or a complete forfeiture of a chance to win.

Remember earlier this year when the Minnesota-San Antonio game got cancelled due to an arena fire? What about the time John Henson was out, then in the starting lineup, then scratched again? These are just two of the more memorable recent examples.

So what can you do to minimize the impact of the last-minute scratch on your lineup? Let’s dive further into the fantasy basketball strategy with a few ideas.

Run Twitter searches for your key players before gametime.

Twitter is the fastest way to get the latest news and notes on pretty much any player you want. Before the lineups lock, run a quick query for your players. If a player is hurt or sitting out a game, you’ll get the heads-up before your competitors — and likely save yourself some points in the process.

Monitor websites like FantasyAlarm and Rotoworld for their aggregated reports.

There are solid breaking news resources available to the daily gamer — Fantasy Alarm and Rotoworld are two of my personal favorites.

Double-check each roster spot to ensure you’re playing a balanced lineup.

This is especially important if you are playing a player with a Questionable (or worse) injury tag. By playing a balanced lineup (i.e. several mid-priced values vs. stars-and-scrubs) around the player in question, you’ll position yourself for a better chance at driving value with the remainder of your roster spots.

Should you decide to take star players with a potentially-injured player in the lineup, you should be extremely confident they will greatly exceed their salary cost. Otherwise, playing a bunch of mid-priced players with guaranteed minutes will allow you to spread your eggs out across baskets and position you for more breakout games — leading to greater opportunities to win with an undermanned roster.

Before and when injury strikes, how do you prepare your roster for the greatest chance at success?


A Brief Holiday Break!

Anyone who ever said they could go 24:7:365 is either lying or dreaming.

I’m heading out on a brief vacation over the next week or so to celebrate the New Year, so updates here will be sporadic. Expect regular blog updates to continue on or around January 4th.

I just wanted to pass along a brief note to thank all of our loyal readers! Without you, none of this would be possible. I have big things in store for 2014, and hope you are as excited as I am for all of the amazing fantasy goodness to come!

In the meantime, you may see the occasional post, comment or two. Just not the regular everyday updates you’ve been accustomed to seeing.

And of course, if you’re a longtime reader or newcomer, feel free to reach out to me: forrest@sportevaluator.com. Always love hearing from my fans, and I’m happy to answer any fantasy questions you may have in the meantime. :)

Be good, everyone. And have a happy New Year.


Chris Archer, 2014 Fantasy Baseball Sleeper

With all of the hype about Robinson Cano departing NYY and the Boston Red Sox winning the World Series, there’s little talk or chatter revolving around the Tampa Bay Rays. And traditionally, the Rays have been a great source of fantasy baseball value, given their low payroll and willingness to provide young players with big opportunities to succeed.

So it only makes sense that we kick off our 2014 Fantasy Baseball Sleeper series with Chris Archer, an emerging young arm out of Tampa Bay. Tampa has had its share of great young pitchers over the years, and their current staff is headlined by David Price and Matt Moore. If everything breaks right, though, Archer could be on to a career year…and dare I say it, break out as the ace of this rotation. Yes, he’s that good.

Last season, it all started with a season-ending surgery for Rays starter Jeff Niemann, opening up an opportunity for the former top prospect. And he shined from a strikeout perspective right out of the gate, averaging 7.3 strikeouts per 9 in the 1H. The walk rate held him back — until the 2H, that is. Archer was able to put it all together and cut down his walks by 3.5/game to finish the 2H with an ERA of 2.85. And he did this all while battling a minor case of forearm tightness in August.

It may be a bit of a stretch to expect Archer’s control to be that dominant again for the full length of the season — but even if he walks 2.5-3 batters/9, we’re still looking at solid upside here.

Also worth noting is Archer’s splits between RH and LH batters. Against lefties, Archer had a higher strikeout rate — but a higher walk rate, to boot (3.05 BB/9). The most bothersome number, though, was the HRs he surrendered to LHB. That number was a staggering 1.59 HR/9…a number that will have to come down if Archer is to experience extended success.

If he takes a step up in his strikeouts, look out, we could have a legitimate staff ace on our hands. STEAMER and OLIVER don’t seem to like this guy nearly as much as I do, both projecting a 4.07+ ERA at the moment. Archer has a realistic shot to finish the season with 12 wins, a 3.75 ERA and 1.25 WHIP. He’s worth the investment in all formats.


After seeing James Harden’s one-legged free throw, you probably thought you’ve seen it all. But you haven’t. Pero Antic…yes, I had no idea who this guy was either until last night…made a ridiculous one-legged three point shot last night.

Take a peek at the off-balance shot in the video below:

When Kyle Korver got the ball, everyone thought that he was going to create a three point opportunity for himself — after all, this is a guy with the all time record for consecutive threes made in a game. But no — it was the 31-year-old Antic, who joined the Hawks from Olympiacos (Greece) over the offseason. While I’d love to say that this shot elevates his fantasy relevance to near-stardom, it looks like he’ll stay on most waiver wires except only the deepest of deepest of deepest of leagues. In other words, Antic is a safe pass, but you have to appreciate him keeping the journalists’ media kit scanning abilities fresh.

After two major days of games, we have a much smaller slate today, so let’s hop right back into the daily values.


Jeremy Lin: Lin couldn’t get anything going through the first few quarters of his last game against the Pelicans, but the matchup against the OKC Thunder tonight should provide plenty of scoring and assist opportunities. I love the game situation — HOU is a slight underdog and this one will be chuck full of points (OU 207). Lin is a good shooter — he won’t shoot 25% again — and he should be able to handle Russell Westbrook and co. as he pursues a solid fantasy night.

Nick Young: Young is a pure scorer, no more, no less. His salary has been hovering around the high $9K-low $10K’s in DraftStreet, which seems about right for someone with his ability and opportunity. Tonight, he takes on a 76ers team that is weakest in the league against opposing SGs. The blowout factor could be a possibility here, so tread carefully, but Young looks like a solid player to include in your daily fantasy backcourt.

Others: Lou Williams, Reggie Jackson, Stephen Curry


Serge Ibaka: Can you believe? Ibaka’s salary was almost $16K just earlier this month. Now Ibaka’s salary is much cheaper — and that spells potentially great value for fantasy owners everywhere. Expect Ibaka to be involved early and often against Terrence Jones and the Houston Rockets, and considering he’s scored 28+ DSFP in 4 out of his last 6, he represents an excellent source of value as a top 15 player tonight.

Wesley Johnson: This PHI-LAL game will be an offensive shootout, as neither of these teams have proven to be able to defend much of anything this year. I project Johnson to play at least 28 minutes (he’s played 31+ 4 out of his last 6 games) and post a great stat line to boot. Johnson will have no problems creating scoring opportunities against Evan Turner, and may even block a few shots in the process. At just over $7K DSS, I love the value upside here.

Others: Andre Iguodala, Thaddeus Young, Tobias Harris


Anderson Varejao: The newly-minted starting center for the Cavs still represents excellent value after one day with Andrew Bynum indefinitely suspended. He’ll face Andrew Bogut and the GSW head-on tonight, and it should be an exciting matchup on the boards for both of these strong rebounders. Cleveland has a minor chance at getting blown out here, but I believe Varejao posts at least 30 minutes and 10 rebounds before he’s pulled for…who knows these days?

Spencer Hawes: Hawes will set you back a solid $15K in DraftStreet, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore him. As far as centers go, there are few others on the board tonight with a better matchup and more projected minutes. There’s a chance Pau Gasol misses tonight’s game — he’s still recovering from his upper respiratory infection, and Hawes would have even more of an opportunity if this is the case. But as far as your budget goes, Hawes is a safe, if not unspectacular investment, as the points and buckets should be out of control tonight.

Others: Nikola Vucevic, Pau Gasol (if he plays), Tiago Splitter


We’re kicking off our rankings series here at Sport Evaluator, where we’ll run through the fantasy basketball ranks, starting on a by-position basis. We’ll be updating our rankings consistently throughout the season.

Fantasy owners have plenty of top-tier point guards to pick from this season. Having a great one on your roster could make a big difference in points, assists and steals.

Without further ado, let’s kick off! Note: These rankings assume a standard 9-category format, and reflect projections from the update date to the end of the season.

Our 2013 fantasy basketball rankings were last updated on: December 28, 2013

1. Chris Paul, Los Angeles Clippers

Key Category Projections (Per Game): 20 points / 11.5 assists / 2.4 steals

The Analysis: Paul continues his run into 2013 as the best point guard in the game. If the Clippers manage to make a deep playoff run, or even make the playoffs, Paul will not only be the reason, he could be the potential MVP. He’s a bona-fide Top 5 player, and if you have him, you should enjoy the plus production in the assists and steals categories…perhaps all the way to your fantasy championship.

2. Stephen Curry, Golden State Warriors

Key Category Projections (Per Game): 24 points / 3.4 threes / 9 assists / 1.8 steals / 4 turnovers

The Analysis: Curry is almost everything Paul is…and more. So even though he doesn’t force as many steals, he’s a deadly shooter from three and a solid foundational player within the category. One note for 9-cat players: Curry still has a major problem with turnovers unlike his top counterpart. Still, Stephen is as solid as they come, and sans a freak injury, your fantasy team is a great place if he’s leading the roster.

3. Damian Lillard, Portland Trail Blazers

Key Category Projections (Per Game): 21 points / 3 threes / 5.8 assists / 41% FG% / 89% FT%

The Analysis: Lillard is emerging quickly as the third best point guard in the game, and has been a major contributor for the surging Portland Trail Blazers, who currently lead the West. You can count on Lillard for heavy run (36 mins./game), and at the ripe age of 23, there’s no reason to expect any of his stats to drop off. He’s as solid as they come, but the window has closed to get him for any less than top-of-round-2 value.

4. John Wall, Washington Wizards

Key Category Projections (Per Game): 20 points / 9 assists / 2 steals / 42.5% FG% / 3.5 turnovers

The Analysis: The former Kentucky star has stepped his game up another level this season, leading the Washington Wizards at the point and demonstrating mastery in ball distribution and scoring. His shooting has been off a tad this year, and he still turns the ball over too much for my liking, but yes, this is solid second round production, and Wall is only going to improve.

5. Mike Conley, Memphis Grizzlies

Key Category Projections (Per Game): 17.5 points / 1.4 threes / 6.3 assists / 2 steals / 1.5 steals

The Analysis: Conley was always second fiddle to Greg Oden…dating all the way back to his Ohio State days. But don’t let the small market Grizzlies fool you — Conley is a solid all-around point guard. He limits turnovers, provides plus production in assists and points, and gets the minutes. Sure, he’s not a league household name, nor will you likely write home about him, but Conley is a solid third-round grade.


Quick — name the best point guards in the NBA. Chris Paul? Russell Westbrook? John Wall?

Many times, Stephen Curry‘s name gets dropped by the wayside, but he’s doing the best he can to increase his profile leading the GSW. Last night, despite a rocky shooting effort from the field, Curry managed to triple-double, posting 14 points, 13 rebounds and 16 assists. Curry’s third career triple-double means he’s only the 7th player in Warriors history to accomplish the feat.

Curry has clearly positioned himself as one of the best point guards in the league, and his only real weakness is the high level of turnovers (averaging 4/game this season, up from 3.1 from last season). Maybe Curry doesn’t really have to shoot well to position the Warriors to win — he’s shot 36% or less from the field 4 out of the last 5, but has managed to contribute in other areas to make up for it (30 rebounds, 59 assists in that same timespan).

All things considered, we shouldn’t expect Curry’s shooting struggles to continue — in fact, once he’s able to hop out of the shooting slump, we could see him make a serious run at Paul to become the league’s best PG…if he isn’t already, that is!

The Daily Fifteen

We have a jam-packed slate of over twelve games today, so let’s hop right into the action. There’s one early game — Cleveland and Boston, so if you’re in an early league, you should get your lineup in before the start time (1pm EST).


DeMar DeRozan: The Raptors are rematching the Knicks tonight, this time at their home in Toronto. DeRozan posted 26.5 DSFP in last night’s game — I expect that to be his floor tonight. With a salary just about $13K on DraftStreet, he’s a solid foundational piece to build around for your roster tonight.

Eric Bledsoe and Goran Dragic: The Sixers still haven’t figured out how to guard any backcourt (1st in ease to opposing PGs and SGs), and Bledsoe/Dragic are entrenched as the core scorers on this Phoenix squad. The Suns are heavily favored to win (10.5 Vegas favorites), so beware of blowout potential here. But Bledsoe and Dragic are both in line for excellent games, and will deliver value on their current DraftStreet salaries.

Giannis Antetokounmpo: Enough joking about how to spell this guy’s name — he’s put up some monster lines over the past few games. Milwaukee’s GF has posted 23.75 DSFP or more in 4 out of his last 5 games. He’s hot. At a price of only $8.5K DSS, buy now…because he won’t be this cheap for long. Anteokounmpo has a good matchup against the Timberwolves tonight.

Jimmy Butler: This guy has been incredibly inconsistent since returning to the lineup in mid-December, but I’d have to admit that fading him on Christmas Day wasn’t the best decision. He has a neutral matchup against the Mavs tonight at home and the Bulls are injury-ravaged, meaning Butler should be in line for some major run. But he’s still a boom-or-bust option until he shows more shooting consistency.


Anthony Davis: Sure, you were expecting Davis to literally go off and score a fantasy point a minute last night. That wasn’t the case, as he finished with 31 DSFP in about 40 minutes of game time, but he didn’t fully abuse his salary. If NOR has any chance to take down the Rockets tonight, Davis will need to have a major game. Davis’ $18K DSS still screams value to me, and I believe he’s a strong play to deliver value as a top player tonight. Toss out last night’s minor dud and roll with Davis with confidence.

Jordan Hamilton: Randy Foye is struggling, and Hamilton is in line to start at SG, meaning there’s some short term value to consider here. Sure, Denver isn’t exactly an offensive powerhouse, but Hamilton is a decent source of points, rebounds and steals. Couple that with his low, low short-term salary and he’s a value play that you can’t write off.

Josh McRoberts: Condia took this guy last night, and he went off for 34 DSFP in 31 minutes. Put all of the Duke hate aside — McRoberts is a productive player and has a big opportunity to post some quality minutes as a starter for the Bobcats. McRoberts has a soft matchup against Paul Millsap and a Al-Horford-less Atlanta Hawks squad tonight. He’s a buy, and you may end up fading most of your GPP tonight with the purchase.

PJ Tucker: What does this guy need to do to get some fantasy love? He posted a 31 DSFP night against the GSW in a blowout last night (double-double), and has posted 26+ DSFP in 2 out of his last 3 games. Tucker is CHEAP, and he’s getting at least 25+ minutes these days. It’s time to fade hype players and take the ones that deliver value…Tucker is a great buy as he remains under the radar.

Wilson Chandler: Yes, I’m digging Chandler’s matchup tonight against the Memphis Grizzlies, as I expect him to take on an odd combination of Tayshaun Prince and James Johnson. Chandler is one of the most under-the-radar players in the league — chalk it up to playing for an average Nuggets squad, or Denver’s market. But there’s no denying that there’s potentially great value here — he’s in line for major run and has scored 24+ DSFP in 4 out of his last 6. Chandler is a buy, and a potentially great source of value, tonight.


Anderson Varejao: Andrew Bynum has been excused from his team indefinitely, leaving Varejao to take the lion’s share of the minutes at Center for the Cavs. If you’re playing in a morning league, make sure that Varejao is part of your plan. For $11K DSS, you’ll get a monster share of points and boards, hell, even some steals and blocks. Lions! Monsters! Buy him now.

Andrea Bargnani: As soon as we wrote this guy firmly off the fantasy radar (thanks Tyson Chandler), he goes off for a 30 point DSFP night. Sure, maybe his amazing game was more of a statement than anything against his former employers, but you can’t write him off yet. Bargs should continue to see 30+ minutes at the 4, and until his minutes drop, is worth looking at. At under $10K DSS, invest!

Dwight Howard: Howard single-handedly killed daily fantasy owners’ chances to win on the 26th — my apologies if you were stuck with his massive salary. But here’s the thing — he hadn’t gone under 32 DSFP in 5 out of his last 6, prior to the clunker. HOU will lay the points easily on the Pelicans, meaning Howard is a buy. Don’t let the recent foul trouble deter you away (5 fouls/game in his past two games)

Marcin Gortat: Andre Drummond continues to be a defensive liability, meaning Gortat has a shot at a big game. The game situation is particularly intriguing — Washington is a slight favorite at home, and the game should feature it’s share of points (202 OU set by Vegas). Gortat is a reasonable shot at his $12K DSS.

Nikola Pekovic: Today’s going-against-the-Bucks-center.



Remember earlier this month, when Kyrie Irving and the Cavs took on the Atlanta Hawks on the road? At just over $13K DSS, many daily fantasy basketball players rolled with Kyrie against Jeff Teague, but all they got was an early present of coal. His line that night (sorry for repeating, those who had him): 20 mins, 0-9 shooting, 0-3 FT, 4 rebounds, 4 assists. An absolute clunker.

So of course, fantasy owners were probably going to be super wary of taking a $16K+ Irving against the Hawks in the home rematch, right? Wrong. With a bit of help from 2 OT (and 51 mins), Irving posted a ridiculous 40 points, with 9 assists and 4 steals to boot. Going into last night’s game, he just wasn’t that great of a value, but the owners who stuck with him nonetheless were rewarded nicely with the 3rd-highest scoring player on last night’s board.

Speaking of point guards, Chris Paul and Jeff Teague posted ridiculous lines too (65.75 and 52.75 DSFP, respectively), forming the top three overall fantasy point scorers in last night’s games.

It’s a big day in the Association with 9 solid games on the slate, so let’s hop right into the values for today.


Jordan Farmar: Farmar is in line to start at PG for the LA Lakers tonight, and should be available at a nice value in most daily fantasy formats. Here’s the incredible thing — Utah is actually slated to win the game, but it should be close. Farmar plays to the end and delivers on his encouraging per-36 numbers tonight.

Nick Young: Farmar’s backcourt counterpart is a sharpshooter, and I fully expect Young to see his share of shooting opportunities tonight against an average Utah defensive squad. Might as well throw Jodie Meeks into the picture, as well, but Young and Farmar are available for under $10K DSS. I’m buying.

Ricky Rubio: The Timberwolves are healthy favorites at home against the Wizards, and Rubio should be a force against John Wall and co. He’s been slacking a bit recently (~19.5 DSFP/game over his last three games), but his salary is low enough to strongly consider buying the upside.

Others: Trey BurkeBradley Beal


Anthony Davis: Can’t remember the last time I profiled a top-five player as a great value in the Daily Fifteen, but Davis is just that in tonight’s matchup against the Nuggets. With Jason Smith questionable with a right knee bone bruise, there will be some slack on the board to be picked up, and Davis will be up to the task. With three games with 31+ DSFP or more in his last three, I’m confidently backing him as a great value pick for tonight.

Derrick Favors: LAL can’t defend PFs (1st in ease against opponents), and Favors has scored 14+ points and posted 7+ boards in 4 out of his last 5 games. He comes through big-time for the home favorite (!!) Jazz tonight. Sorry, I can’t get over the shock.

Wesley Johnson: Might as well go and profile the entire Lakers roster at this point (yes, I’ll even write up 200 words on Robert Sacre, just kidding), but here’s the one stat you need to know: Utah is fourth-easiest in ease against opposing SFs. Make of that what you will.

Others: Tobias Harris, Ryan Anderson


Andray Blatche: Brook Lopez is out. The Milwaukee Bucks are worst in the league defensively against opposing centers. Play.

Chris Kaman: So I was only half joking when I said that I would profile the entire Lakers roster — there is just a ton of value to be had on this squad tonight. Kaman is the play of the night — no, I’m not drunk — as he takes over Pau Gasol‘s minutes (at least for a night or two, with the upper respiratory infection and all). Play for the value and save some salary for other parts of the roster.

Nikola Vucevic: Detroit isn’t exactly a defensive stalwart against opposing centers (Andre Drummond, you have some work to do). I like the Vegas situation for tonight’s game for Vucevic…slight road underdog, slightly high-scoring matchup projected by Vegas. There’s a ton of value to be had at the center position, so you’re probably going to pick two tonight — Vucevic should be one you strongly consider.

Others: Marcin Gortat, DeMarcus Cousins