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) Jamal Murray, DAL ($5400, vs DAL)
The Nuggets don’t know how to lose a game and Murray has been an important part of not letting them get close to it. Murray is playing 35.1 minutes per game and scoring a “low” but palatable 19.7 per contest so far. His best stuff though is coming via rebounding (5.3), assisting (4.0) and stealing the rock (1.0) while keeping turnovers at bay (2.3). Believe it or not, there will be folks out there playing unproved Kendrick Nunn at a way higher salary when this kid is just mashing.
Hate: (PG) Ja Morant, MEM ($7100 at LAL)
You have to ride the hot streak, I know I know. But I don’t trust Morant against the Purple and Gold. The Lakers are allowing just the second-fewest DKFP per game and while I love my Ja, I can’t play him today. His six dimes per game could suffer today against a great D and he’s averaging the second-most turnovers per game (5.3) among PGs in the slate. You’ll be better off him tonight.
Love: (SG) Danny Green, LAL ($4400 vs MEM)
The position is barred of talented options tonight, so was it on me I’d put my money on Green facing the Grizzlies and a shooting guard combo of Dillon Brooks and Grayson Allen. Green is at 28.8 minutes per night through three games and is completely out-performing the other Lakers SG in the slate, Avery Bradley, with 27.92 DKFP per game to Bradley’s 14.75. Green is also hitting 52.6% of his threes and 46.9% overall. Yes, you read it right. He is shooting better from distance than closer to the basket.
Hate: (SG) Tim Hardaway Jr., DAL ($3500, at DEN)
Denver is tough as nails in defense. They rank fifth in DKFP per game allowed to the opposing team in their three games, and poor Timmy is averaging a measly 10.92 DKFP per game himself. On 21.7 minutes per game his usage of 17.6% doesn’t make much sense considering he’s scoring just 7.7 points a night on horrid percentages (.273/.118/.900) from the field, three and the charity stripe.
Love: (SF) Solomon Hill, MEM ($3000, at LAL)
Lord have mercy of Solomon Hill and those playing him tonight, because they might suffer a cardiac attack. Hill debuted in Memphis’ last game, logged more than 24 minutes, scored 13 points, got five boards and dished three assists. His shooting percentages: 100% from the field, 100% from three, and 50% from the free throw line. Do I believe he will put on such a game tonight? Not very much. Am I rooting for him to break basketball once more? You bet I am.
Hate: (SF) Jae Crowder, MEM ($5200, at LAL)
Sure, Crowder just murdered an NBA time with the buzzer going full-volume after quarterback-to-running back from the outside part of the arc. But opposite to my thoughts on Mighty Solomon, I’m not trusting Crowder to put on another highlight-reel performance against LeBron James & Co. in the Staples. Crowder isn’t bad, don’t get me wrong. The guy is putting up more than 10 points and 7 rebounds per game, but he’s shooting 33% from the field and 29% on threes attempting eight a night. Not very solid numbers indeed.
Love: (PF) Jabari Parker, ATL ($4200, at MIA)
If I’m gonna die on a hill, let that hill be guarded by Jabari Parker. There is no way in hell I’m ever giving up on Parker—as there is no way I give up on Andrew Wiggins, sorry haters—and this new Atlanta gig is suiting him well so far. At a ridiculous salary, Parker is averaging 11.3 points and 3.0 boards per while staying 20.8 minutes on the court. He’s got shooting percentages over 50% both from the field (56% on 8.3 attempts) and three (57.1% on 2.3 tries) while amassing all of a good 19.7% usage when on the court. Miami is not a cupcake but they aren’t otherworldly on defense, so I expect Parker to make the most of his playing time.
Hate: (PF) Paul Millsap, DEN ($5400, vs DAL)
Veteran Millsap re-upped with Denver for another season and so far, not so good. He’s at 26.1 minutes right now, but he’s only bested 10 points in the season opener against Portland. In fact, his season-best marks for rebounds, assists, steals and blocks all came that night (also tops in minutes played at 32). He will probably dodge Kristaps Porzingis on D and face Maxi Kleber, but he’s just not doing enough for me to like him entering this contest.
Love: (C) John Collins, ATL ($7300 at MIA)
The young gun is starting to get some folks attention and his salary is starting to show. Collins has been the next big thing along Trae Young in Atlanta and his numbers speak for themselves. He’s topping 30 minutes per game, scoring 14.3 points a night and averaging 10 rebounds to go with them and carry a serious double-double threat with him. Sprinkle in two blocks per game and a good 18.6% usage rate and his 34.5 DKFP per game don’t look out of reach against the 14th-best matchup against the Heat.
Hate: (C) Jonas Valanciunas, MEM ($6300 at LAL)
While Anthony Davis has said he isn’t nor will play the center position, I’m expecting JoVa to face him more than once tonight. That is not good for the European. On a limited amount of minutes (18.1) Valanciunas is scoring at a pace of 11 points per game and adding 8.3 boards nightly to his box score lines. When he’s on the court he’s eating as much as he can (25%) and is a lock at the free throw line (85.7%), but his 42.9% from the field is one of the lowest marks of every center in the slate.