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) Russell Westbrook, HOU ($8800, at NO)
Happy Harden has got a $11500 salary today. Russ is valued at $8800, almost three thousand dollars lower. I’m sorry but the difference in production is just not enough to justify the gap in price, and I’m much more comfortable playing Cardiac Russ than the Bush Man. Look, the Brodie has scored 17-plus points in each of the games he’s played more than 30 minutes (all but one), and has snatched 10 boards in four of his eight games. Believe it or not, this crazy fool is getting 2.3 stocks per game to go with 9.3 rebounds and 7.9 dimes. Not a triple-dub yet, but just give him time. Much differently to Harden, too, Russ is shooting a lot (17.5 FGA) but hitting nets at a 46.6% clip. His three-point traits have been bad (23.5 3P%) but he basically makes up for it on sheer volume. Not that I need to tell you much more about this guy. You know him, I know him, we all know him, and he’s facing the second-worst team in DKFP allowed per game.
Hate: (PG) Mike Conley, UTA ($6200, at GS)
When is Money Mike finally going to start cashing big time? A horrid start of the season has improved as of late but not so much I’d say. Sure, Golden State can help his chances tonight, but even with that, I’m not trusting Mike to strike tonight. See, Conley has virtually put on back-to-back 30-DKFP games to the tune of 15 and 20 points in each of his last two matches, but he’s been a man of streaks this season. He seems to play two good ones and follow them with a dud, which has happened to him twice already and could be on schedule to repeat itself tonight. Those two duds translated to 7.50 and 8.25 DKFP and he scored one and eight points respectively in them, along with just two combined assists, and steal and a block. Ugh. In fact, his 0.81 DKFP per minute played are as bad as they come. Mikey is one of the very few starters playing up to 30 minutes per game and averaging such mark, while others like Ja Morant are lapping him with 1.18 DKFP per minute in similar playing time.
Love: (SG) Luke Kennard, DET ($6100, vs MIN)
Hate: (SG) Bruce Brown Jr., DET ($5600, vs MIN)
The return of the small is on tape. Both Derrick Rose and Tim Frazier came back to practice on Sunday and you know what that means: chances for them to play and a potential cut in both Kennard’s and Brown Jr.’s minutes. I have paired these two here because had I to choose, I’d ride with Cool Hand Luke. You read it right. Not in my life did I ever imagined I’d be writing this. Like, not a chance in the world I envisioned Kennard becoming something, much less making my highly praised column, of course. Luke from Duke is averaging 18 points on 32.6 minutes but perhaps his best stuff is coming from his good averages at rebounding (3.7) and assisting (4.3). He’s not much more than that, as his defense stinks a bit, but his shooting percentages are out of this world at 45.3%, 42.4%, and 87.8% clips. His usage is sweet at 21.1% in comparison to Brown’s 17.2 and Bruce is often abused and thus he’s only putting up 8.1 points on 27.9 minutes of playing time. Sure, he’s got some steals here and there, but his shooting is horrid (39/29/61) compared to Luke’s hot hand.
Love: (SF) Brandon Ingram, NO ($7800, vs HOU)
The Slenderman is here to stay, folks. Tiny Durant is looking great so far. Who would have said getting out of the Hollywood spotlight would be beneficial for anyone!? Brandon is carrying these Zion-less Pels to the tune of 25.9 points on 32.1 minutes. He’s averaging 7.3 boards, 3.9 assists (!), and 1.7 stocks. That is great and quite a leap from his prior seasons, but most of all you gotta love his shooting. He’s nailing 53.7% of his field-goal attempts and scoring 46.9% of his treys, which is pacing more than a good part of the NBA field. Quick ridiculously good-looking fact: only Brandon Ingram and Giannis are shooting 18-plus shots per game while scoring them at a greater than 53% clip. Quicker ridiculously good-looking fact: Ingram has yet to drop from 35 DKFP in any game he’s finished and already has three games with 55-plus DKFP to his name this season. Crazy Ingram is crazy.
Hate: (SF) Jae Crowder, MEM ($6100, at SA)
Jae Crowder is Memphis’ starter at one of the forward positions, he scoring 10.3 points per game in his 30.1 minutes, and then he’s... what? Sleeping for the night? I’m sure Grizzlies’ fans want Crowder to get louder and don’t turn into dusty powder nightly, but alas, that’s not been the case so far this season. Nobody’s prouder than Crowder of his numbers, and it bears to reason, because any man sane in his brain can’t be acknowledging Jae’s game. As I told you, his numbers other than the points (nothing ridiculous, by the way) are ugly. Five rebounds, three assists, one steal... Not a lot of production for someone playing 30 per. In fact, his 0.83 DKFP per minute are the worst for any SF with at least that number of nightly minutes. Good for the Grizzlies that he’s at least shooting the ball just nine times per game because his 37% success from the field is bad at best.
Love: (PF) LaMarcus Aldridge, SA ($6300, vs MEM)
I’m sorry, but I’m LMAO. Okay, time to get serious, because we’re talking about a senior guy here. Aldridge is the last piece of the old Spurs stereotype and he’s playing as good as ever. Believe me, he’s doing so. His 17.2 points per game are only bested by two players at the position (Pascal Siakam and Kristaps Porzingis) in tonight’s slate, and he’s pairing them with a sweet 6.3 boards. Again, the man is 34, so please have some respect for what he’s doing. He’s also dishing out the third-most assists a night with 2.3 and his two blocks per game are plain massive. I mean it with that last note. Only 13 players are blocking two shots a night. Only six are doing so while scoring at least 17 points per game. Only four are also holding a 50-plus shooting percentage from the floor. Only Aldridge is doing all of that while hitting three-pointers here and there. LMAO to the haters.
Love: (C) Clint Capela, HOU ($7300, at NO)
Clint the Flint is hard to beat near the rim! Take a look at Capela’s numbers and try not to faint. This man is on a three-game streak of dub-dubbing. He’s put up 45 points and 49 (!) boards in his last three games combined, and oh boy he’s blocked fools 10 (!!) times in his last two. His usage is near ground-level but even with that, he’s racking up DKFP having scores of 57.00 and 52.00 in his last two. If this is going to be the norm, please let me put all my money on Capela Industries’ shares. The Clint is finally averring a dubby of 13.8 PPG and 10.8 RPG. He’s even dishing out 1.2 assists and is currently at 3.2 stocks while turning the ball over a minimal 1.3 times per game. Ridiculous numbers. He can’t shoot a three for a living, but his 62.2 FG% on 10 shots are sweet. Houston, you better pay a pint to my guy Clint.
If you have any comment or question about the daily column, tonight’s games, players involved in them, or even season-long fantasy NBA topics, just drop it below or reach out to me on Twitter at @chapulana and I’ll get back to you as soon as I grab a keyboard!