Welcome to your daily NBA DFS digest at FakeTeams, gents. Every day I’m here with a handful of pro-tips to roster a winning team just a few hours from now.
You might be new to fantasy hoops, so let me tell you this: the world doesn’t end in LeBron James. Each night gives us a pretty good batch of surprising performances and leaves us in the dust with more than a few upsetting outings by those we played. First world problems, carry on. That’s the beauty of this game. There are so many matches going on every single day and such a big roster available that you can’t fixate yourself in the very same player on and on but instead you need to keep things fluid.
So read on, take note, play cool, and win the day. (Player salaries pulled from DraftKings.)
Love: (PG) Jalen Brunson, DAL ($4000, vs POR)
Jalen Brunson started his last game Friday, played 29 minutes and scored 14 points to go with eight boards and two assists. He limited turnovers to an egg in his stat line and his prowess getting rebounds give him an extra boost for such a low price. Portland isn’t the perfect matchup (19th in DKFP per game allowed) but playing at home and earning a starting role Brunson should offer a great ROI.
Hate: (PG) Terry Rozier, CHA ($6400 at LAL)
Scary Terry is playing 24 minutes per night and scoring nine points per game while handing eight assists per contest. That makes him one of the best passers of the slate at the position. On the other hand, though, his overall numbers amount for a paltry 1.05 DKFP per minute on the court, which is ground-level for someone valued that high and even more concerning facing the third-best defense in the league on the road.
Love: (SG) Dillon Brooks, MEM ($3600, vs BKN)
These are the other Grizzlies SGs: Grayson Allen, Marko Guduric, De’Anthony Melton. Playing time? Check. Good matchup against the 22nd-worst defense so far? Check. More than 0.7 DKFP per minute played? Check. Good start to the season? Indeed, with an average of 6.5/4.0/1.0 paired with an assists, more than a steal, and a block per. And all of that at the fourth-lowest salary of the slate. Winner here.
Hate: (SG) Tyler Herro, MIA ($5600, at MIN)
It couldn’t have been better for Herro in his first NBA game. The rookie finished with 14 points and eight rebounds while playing a massive 34 minutes for the Heat. You can trust him in his second outing tonight, or you can pass on him at the third-highest salary for a SG in the slate and look for cheaper or more proven options. Not until I see him putting on these numbers on a nightly basis am I going to put much stock on Herro.
Love: (SF) Andrew Wiggins, MIN ($6300, vs MIA)
Call me crazy for wanting any Wiggins’s share, but this is the night. With Derrick Jones Jr. banged up and doubtful and Miami’s average-ish defense shown their season opener, I’m putting my money on Wiggins to have a day. His usage is massive, his minutes can’t get better, he’s hanging up 18.5 points on his opponents and has toyed with reaching 10 rebounds in his debut against Brooklyn finishing with eight.
Hate: (SF) Miles Bridges, CHA ($5600, at LAL)
Of today’s players in action, Bridges is the one with the roughest start to the season among those highly valued and with solid roles in their teams. Bridges is playing almost 30 minutes, yet his 12.5 points and 3.5 rebounds per night pale in comparison to those of others in the slate. Of SFs with at least 29.5 minutes, Bridges ranks dead last in DKFP, points, and rebounds per game. The Lakers (third-best defense in the league) won’t make things easier.
Love: (PF) Anthony Davis, LAL ($10400, vs CHA)
Sometimes you have to pay. This is one of those days. Anthony Davis goes against he third-worst defense in that of Charlotte, and not only that, but does so healthy and playing 34.5 minutes per game with a line of 23/8.5/3.5 and 1.5 steals plus 3.5 rebounds on average. Don’t be surprised if he gives you a 60-plus DKFP night today and take advantage of the matchup and Davis’ scorching hot start.
Hate: (PF) Kristaps Porzingis, DAL ($8200, vs POR)
Total opposite case to that of Anthony Davis. Porzingis comes with a quite high salary (second-highest among PFs, actually), but even projecting a good amount of points it feels to me like his return won’t be as good as that of others at the position. He’s not been bad, mind you—he’s averaging 39 DKFP in his two games playing 29 minutes and scoring 23.5 points—, but just his counterpart at the position in the Blazers (Zach Collins) projects as a much better play today at almost half the price.
Love: (C) Dwight Howard, LAL ($4200 vs CHA)
I expect Los Angeles to wipe Charlotte’s buttocks and Howard to rack up points just purely on playing time alone. He already logged 19 and 19 against both the Clippers and the Jazz a couple of days ago, but I’m betting on him seeing more court tonight to get his gears oiled. Don’t lose yourself on his current 2.5 points per night, as he will see more volume and is at reach of a double-double if all goes as expect for the Lakers.
Hate: (C) Meyers Leonard, MIA ($3400 vs MIN)
There is a point where you just can’t hate on someone because his value is so low. Leonard is close to that bar today, but even with that his debut raises lots of doubts in me. He played 19 minutes and did a whole bunch of nothing. Leonard (not) scored zero points, caught three rebounds and dished a single assists. Just for context, the other Heat Cs in the slate finished with these numbers (MP/PTS/RBD): Bam Adebayo (24/14/11) and Kely Olynyk (22/7/8). Fade Leonard.