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Daily Buckets - Friday

Editor's Note: Daniel Dobish, an award-winning writer and veteran in the Fantasy industry, has joined the team. Be sure to check out his Daily Fantasy Analysis throughout the entire NBA season!


Friday, March 7, 2014

7:00 p.m. - Memphis Grizzlies at Chicago Bulls (ESPN)
7:00 p.m. - Sacramento Kings at Toronto Raptors
7:00 p.m. - Cleveland Cavaliers at Charlotte Bobcats
7:30 p.m. - Brooklyn Nets at Boston Celtics
7:30 p.m. - Utah Jazz at New York Knicks
8:00 p.m. - Milwaukee Bucks at New Orleans Pelicans
8:00 p.m. - Detroit Pistons at Minnesota Timberwolves
8:30 p.m. - Portland Trail Blazers at Dallas Mavericks
9:00 p.m. - Los Angeles Lakers at Denver Nuggets
9:30 p.m. - Indiana Pacers at Houston Rockets (ESPN)
10:30 p.m. - Atlanta Hawks at Golden State Warriors

BIG-TICKET ITEM (Salaries $8,000 and Above)

Rudy Gay, Sacramento (at TOR): One day children will tell their children and grandchildren about the day they say Gay's first game back in the Great White North. Well, OK, not really, but Gay makes his first return to Toronto since being traded to Sacramento in early December. He entered the game having posted 22 or more points in six of his past seven outings, and you know he will be letting the shots fly early and often in this one.

Ty Lawson, PG, Denver (vs LAL): In his two games since returning from injury, Lawson has not shown any ill-effects of the rib injury which held him out. However, he was nagged by heel pain Wednesday. That isn't expected to hold him out of Friday's game, although double-check about 60 minutes prior to tip just to be on the safe side. When he does play, he gets a Lakers defense which is abysmal, allowing 107.4 points per game, including 142 points allowing Thursday against the Clippers. In his two games back from injury, Lawson is averaging 25.5 PPG with 9.0 APG, 5.0 RPG and 3.0 SPG. Those are elite-type Fantasy numbers, and he should have similar or better results against the defensively-challenged Lakers.

MID-LEVEL VALUES (Salaries between $5,100 and $7,999)

If you spend big up top, you’re going to need some fillers to bring down your average per player salary. Check out these steals from the bargain bin:

Kent Bazemore, SG, L.A. Lakers (at DEN): Bazemore continues to see steady playing time, and he turns in consistent results even when the rest of his team is rather uneven, such as Thursday's blowout loss against the Clips. He has scored at least a dozen points in each of his eight games since joining the Lakers, and he will grab a handful of rebounds, assists and an occasional steal to help his stat line. Even with a slightly higher daily Fantasy salary than the past couple of weeks, he is still a value.

J.J. Hickson, Denver (vs LAL): Some nights from Hickson, you'll get a top-caliber Fantasy contributor, and other nights you'll simply get a placeholder at the center position. Still, he has 11 or more points in four of his past five, so he has been disappearing a lot less lately. And he is just four games removed from his 16-point, 25-rebound performance against Portland Feb. 25. He can be elite-caliber with the right matchup, and it is hard to see anyone on the Lakers slowly him down.

Dirk Nowitzki, PF, Dallas (vs POR): Disco Dirk will get a crack at the Trail Blazers, a team which is considered elite in the Western Conference, but one which also yields 102.6 points per game. Nowitzki is averaging 24.5 PPG with 7.0 RPG over the past two games, and he has 15 or more points in each of his eight games since the All-Star break, posting at least four rebounds in seven of those outings. He won't go for top-tier Fantasy numbers, but he also won't have many disappointing stat lines. You'll get what you pay for, and maybe a little more.

Lance Stephenson, SG, Indiana (at HOU): Stephenson has been carving up opposing offenses, not only with his point production, but his pinpoint passing and rebounding ability. OVer the past eight games, he has snared six or more rebounds, which is great production from a guard. He also has three or more assists in nine straight games, and double-digit point totals in 19 straight outings. It's been a while since his first meeting Dec. 20 against Houston, but he posted 16 points, six rebounds and six assists in that one. Expect a similar outing.

THE BARGAIN BIN (Salaries less than $5,000)

Jeff Adrien, SF, Milwaukee (at NO): Adrien has been surprisingly efficientin his six games since being acquired from Charlotte. He posted 15 points and five rebounds in his last outing against Sacramento, giving him five or more boards in each of his six games with the Bucks. He has hit double-digits in rebounds in four of those outings, and he will also chip in with an occasional steal.

Tony Allen, SG, Memphis (at CHI): Allen has been a little erratic lately, alternating good stat lines with poor ones. However, he has 15 or more points in three of his past five outings, and six or more rebounds in four of his past seven games. He can be useful to daily Fantasy owners, not only because he can chip in a little bit in four different categories, but also because his low salary allows for salary cap flexibility. If you want to squeeze in an elite-level option at the top of your lineup, you need the Jeff Adriens and Tony Allens of the world on your roster to make it possible.

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