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, DEN ($6800, vs BKN)
The only thing that works in Brooklyn won’t be active tonight (and if he does he’ll be banged up a bit), and that only thing that works in Brooklyn goes by the name of Kyrie and plays the point. What a coincidence I’ve picked Jamal here, isn’t it? It is not that the Flat Man is a stud on defense, but everything counts. Murray will have a clear path to greatness tonight and he’s indeed worked for it so far this season. You can’t focus just on points and dimes when talking Jamal, because he’s not your average lead-man. He does it all and stuffs the full stat-sheet every night. He’s scored 14 or more points in all of his 10 games this year while topping at 27, but he’s only reached 10 assists (11) in one game. Even with that, he’s putting up a solid 18.7-4.8-4.6 line along with 1.4 stocks. The turnovers are high, but so is the FT% (86.5) and his 15.7 shots per game scored at a 44.6% clip.
Hate: (PG) Coby White, CHI ($5400, vs WAS)
Don’t believe the hype, even if you love Mr. White! And I’m saying that standing here as the no. 1 Coby White stan forever and ever since the day he put a foot on Wilson (NC) Greenfield School to start his high school days. But yeah, he just scored seven triples and those were for the record books and he beat the Knicks (?) all by himself, etc etc. Look, his price is still low but the growing pains are stinging. Coby is no Kobe. Mr. White is shooting 37/29/74 on 12.4 attempts from the field, 5.7 treys, and 2.5 free throws. That’s horrid—not torrid—as hell. Sure, he’s playing 24 minutes and will give you buckets here and there (12.5 PPG), but it’s waaaaay to early to bank on him regularly, even more with his subpar numbers in the other cats too.
Love: (SG) Lou Williams, LAC ($7700, at NO)
Why Lou do this to me, Lou? Less than 24 hours after picking against Sour Lou I find myself advising you to play Sweet Lou. Such is life. But hey, don’t get too high and bash my decision from yesterday’s column. Lou played nice but he finished with 34 DKFP. That’s good-not-great, and he almost played a goddam 41 minutes. Today is the day I believe Lou will display and play for good pay. That is. Paul George is back (is he!?) and the Kawhi Berry will probably sit his ass as back-to-back games demand to keep his massively worn-out 28-year-old body fresh. Make no hard math. Lou will welcome his new pal to the tune of 20-plus points, five boards, seven assists, a steal, and a block just to brag and show him who’s the true sheriff in town. No, seriously, those numbers are almost Lou-Will averages. He’s mental and NOLA sucks.
Love: (SF) Kelly Oubre Jr., PHO ($5500, vs ATL)
Lord have mercy because the SF group of players is a little bit stinky to say the least. I’m assuming Brandon Ingram will be out—even if he was in I don’t think he’ll be any sort of great play, though—so other than him the next-best thing available unless you want to go with the 100% flier is Oubre Jr. and this fool is averaging 15.6 points per game. Just imagine. But that’s not bad, not bad. Let’s keep things positive, please. Order in the room, everything will be alright. Machine Gun Kelly is indeed gunning, not gonna lie. Sure he’s just putting up 15.6 PPG, but he’s hitting them at a 47% clip from the floor. His treys are falling 35.1% of the time, which is three percentage-points over his career average, and his 78.6% is also an improvement. He’s snatching boards like a mad man and contributing some good 1.7 stocks so yeah, things aren’t as bad as they looked on the surface.
Love: (PF) Derrick Favors, NO ($5500, vs LAC)
Go ahead. Go ahead and ask your mates if they knew Derrick Favors remained in the NBA. I’m saying nine out of ten didn’t even know. Shaking my head. Do yourself a Favors and play him tonight, because Fave SZN has arrived. First five games: 21-minute limit. Last two games: 29 minutes each. Power up, power up! The usage is hellish and buried underground (15.9% this season), but the lines are tasty. Favors is already on back-to-back dub-dub performances and has two other games in which he has scored 16 or rebounded 10 rocks. In his last game on Monday Derrick Favors Didn’t Fuck around: 13-12-3-2-2 shooting 75% from the floor and hitting his lone free throw. And he’s just getting started. Congrats to those of you who got him for peanuts in season-long and re-draft leagues. Congrats to those of you taking advantage of fools skipping him in DFS nightly slates.
Hate: (PF) Frank Kaminsky, PHO ($4500, at CHA)
Ugh, turned out Frank was a kid instead of a man. Where are those fancy treys? Where is that sky-high rebounding? Were are those pinpoint dimes? Where is even that sunny dub-dub? What a letdown, Kam. At least he’s cheap as hell, I guess. But other than that, he’s wasting 24.2 MPG scoring under 10 PPG, rebounding six rocks and dishing out 2.4 assists per. He’s not great at stealing balls nor blocking shots, so there is that. And you better not look in the direction of his shooting percentages if you don’t want to enter suicide-watch. Whatever, here they are: 39/20/71. If you plan on throwing yourself through the window, at least put on a helmet, comrade!
Love: (C) Montrezl Harrell, LAC ($7600, at NO)
If you play Lou, you play Trez. If you play Trez, you play Lou. This is how things work in this crib. And believe me, you will eventually thank me. The Trezl is playing a massive 30.2 MPG and oh boy is he delivering like a Mailman of yesteryear. Barring last night—which actually makes me think he will come back roaring today—this monster has scored at least 10 points in every game he’s played (that is, every Clippers game) and he’s averaging 19.8 PPG. He’s started one game, by the way, so let me slide that in here. He’s also rebounded seven-plus balls in seven games, and he’s dishing 2.2 assists per game. He’s also had a couple of three-block outings to go with three games in which he stole two balls. Honestly, no matter where you look at in his stats Trez going to make you feel soft on the inside. Did I mention his 60.7% shooting from the floor on 12.3 attempts? Yikes.
Hate: (C) Brook Lopez, MIL ($5200, vs CHI)
The same as Brook Lopez turned into Brookest Lopez last season he’s turned into Broom Lopez this year. This twin is hitting 90.5% of his free throws but where did he leave his treys? Did they get lost on the beach during the summer? Or what? What’s the deal? Broom is shooting 38.6% from the field and 29.6% from three, yet the fool is launching 5.4 treys per game toward the rim, and Milwaukee is letting him doing so! At least he is... no, sorry, I read another player’s line. Not-so-Super Lopez (shouts to my Spanish brothers getting that joke) is barely scoring 10 PPG (10.3) and he’s only catching 4.3 rebounds a night. His 2.2 BPG save him a little, but that’s all.
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!