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Daily Fantasy Basketball 2015: NBA DFS DraftKings Optimal Rankings for Nov. 18

Brian Mazique@@UniqueMaziqueCorrespondent IIINovember 18, 2015

HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 22:  Dwight Howard #12 of the Houston Rockets defends against DeMarcus Cousins #15 of the Sacramento Kings during the game at the Toyota Center on January 22, 2014 in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Spend on bigs for Wednesday's games if you're an NBA DraftKings player.

While there are some dynamic performers at the guard and small forward positions, the frontcourt players figure to offer you more bang for your virtual buck. Let's take a look at the positional rankings for each position in the DK lineup.

These picks should get you over 300 points and possibly as much as 350.

Point Guard

Wednesday, Nov. 18 DK Point Guard Rankings
RankPlayerSalary
1Russell Westbrook$12,200
2Rajon Rondo$8,700
3Damian Lillard$8,800
4Kyle Lowry$8,300
5Brandon Knight$7,500
Salaries per DraftKings.com

The Pick: Ty Lawson ($5,300)

HOUSTON, TX - NOVEMBER 16:  Ty Lawson #3 of the Houston Rockets handles the ball against the Boston Celtics on November 16, 2015 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using
Bill Baptist/Getty Images

Ty Lawson is ranked outside of the top five, which is led by the explosive—but expensive—Russell Westbrook ($12,200) of the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Houston Rockets point guard has a favorable matchup against the Portland Trail Blazers. The Blazers backcourt isn't exactly filled with defensive stalwarts. 

Neither Damian Lillard nor C.J. McCollum are known for locking down opponents. Lawson figures to have an advantage in quickness, which could lead to some paint penetration and trips to the free-throw line.

He's also a likely assist collector as he feeds James Harden on some portion of the 20-plus shots he'll undoubtedly be taking. Lawson is averaging just 23.9 fantasy points per game (FPPG), but expect him to eclipse 30 on Wednesday night.

Shooting Guard

Wednesday, Nov. 18 DK Shooting Guard Rankings
RankPlayerSalary
1James Harden$10,100
2Jimmy Butler$7,800
3Eric Bledsoe$8,600
4Victor Oladipo$7,400
5Monta Ellis$6,000
Salaries per DraftKings.com

The Pick: Monta Ellis ($6,000)

Nov 16, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Indiana Pacers guard Monta Ellis (11) shoots against Chicago Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic (44) during the first half at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

There are some attractive options at shooting guard on Wednesday. Harden is the top dog from a pure fantasy points standpoint.

However, like Westbrook, at $10,100, he may not provide the requisite value you need to win your contest. Monta Ellis is the man to tab to get the most out of this slot.

The speedy Indiana Pacers guard had one of his best games of the season on Monday night at the Chicago Bulls. Indy lost 96-95, but Eliis poured in 20 points, grabbed four rebounds and had six assists.

That line was good for 36.5 fantasy points. It was Ellis' third-straight game with at least 32 fantasy points. 

That consistency makes him a solid pick on Wednesday, as does matching up with the Philadelphia 76ers. Not only do the 76ers allow the second-most points of any team in the Eastern Conference at 103.5 per game, but they also turn the ball over frequently.

Per ESPN.com, the 76ers average 16.9 turnovers per game. That's 29th in the NBA.

Ellis has long been a prolific pilferer of the rock. He's 20th in the NBA this season in steals, averaging 1.73 per game.

Against the 76ers' shaky ball security, expect Ellis to give you upwards of six to eight points in that category alone on Wednesday.

Small Forward

Wednesday, Nov. 18 DK Small Forward Rankings
RankPlayerSalary
1Paul George$9,500
2Kawhi Leonard$8,200
3Gordon Hayward$6,400
4Rudy Gay$6,900
5Tobias Harris$6,100
Salaries per DraftKings.com

The Pick: Trevor Ariza ($5,600)

Nov 1, 2015; Miami, FL, USA; Houston Rockets forward Trevor Ariza (1) takes a breather during the second half against the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena. The Heat won 109-89. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

With OKC's Kevin Durant still nursing an injured hamstring, per Royce Young of ESPN.com, and no LeBron James in action, ranking the small forwards was a little more difficult. 

The Pacers' Paul George ($9,500) is the top dog. He's proven that he is all the way back from his gruesome leg injury, but his high DK salary goes against the Operation: Save it for the Bigs initiative. 

The Rockets' Trevor Ariza is a better option. He should get some open opportunities on the wing as Lawson plays against a team he's able to penetrate and kick against.

That same scenario goes for Harden. In either case, Ariza should get some open looks from three.

He's struggled a bit from deep this season, shooting just over 31 percent, but he did knock down four in the team's loss to the Boston Celtics on Monday.

Power Forward

Wednesday, Nov. 18 DK Power Forward Rankings
RankPlayerSalary
1DeMarcus Cousins$10,300
2LaMarcus Aldridge$7,100
3Paul Millsap$8,000
4Derrick Favors$7,600
5Nerlens Noel$6,900
Salaries per DraftKings.com

The Pick: DeMarcus Cousins ($10,300)

Nov 15, 2015; Sacramento, CA, USA; Sacramento Kings forward DeMarcus Cousins (15) reacts against the Toronto Raptors during the second quarter at Sleep Train Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Even if the New Orleans Pelicans' Anthony Davis weren't dealing with an injured shoulder he suffered on Tuesday night, per the team's Twitter account, the Sacramento Kings' DeMarcus Cousins would still be the top-ranked power forward.

Playing Boogie at the four has allowed the Sacramento Kings to play big, and Cousins is having a dynamic year. He's averaging 49.1 FPPG.

He and the Kings take on the Atlanta Hawks on the road in what will likely be a tough game. However, Cousins is as automatic as it gets when it comes to fantasy performers.

Cousins has had less than 45 fantasy points in just one game in his last 10. That contest occurred on October 31 against the Los Angeles Clippers when Cousins played just 15 minutes because of an injury.

Draft him, he's money.

Center

Wednesday, Nov. 18 DK Center Rankings
RankPlayerSalary
1Dwight Howard$7,500
2Rudy Gobert$6,700
3Al Horford$7,200
4Jahlil Okafor$7,200
5Brook Lopez$7,200
Salaries per DraftKings.com

The Pick: Dwight Howard ($7,500)

November 7, 2015; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard (12) passes the ball against Los Angeles Clippers during the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

It may seem like this lineup is powered with Rocket fuel, and that's because it is. Houston is playing at home against the Blazers—a team that is on a six-game skid.

The Rockets have lost four in a row themselves, but playing at home against a shoddy defense should be the cure for what ails them—at least temporarily. Dwight Howard has been a great fantasy producer—when he's gotten the ball.

D12 was a bit ignored in the last two games as he took a total of 10 shots but still managed 25.5 and 28.5 fantasy points, respectively, in the games. Prior to that, Howard reeled off three straight games with at least 43 fantasy points. The latter two were over 50.

Look for the Rockets to attack the middle a lot more against the Blazers, and Howard will be another beneficiary of the strategy.


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