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) Malcolm Brogdon, IND ($7600, at HOU)
Oh President, my President. About time we meet again, Mr. Brogdon. Malcolm is in the middle of his best season ever, and that’s something. Now you regret passing on him, don’t you Milwaukee? Shaking my head. Mr. B is putting up some numbers this year, and though regression will come at some point you gotta take advantage of the hot streak while it lasts. The man of the deep voice is playing 33 MPG and averaging a scorching 20.7-5.2-8.5 line. You read it right, although it looks all fake. Only four players are posting a 20-5-8 line this season and Mr. Brogdon is one of them (along with LeBron, Luka, and Harden). His other numbers are no slouch, either: 1.1 SPG and 0.3 BPG for a sweet combined 1.4 stocks to go with just 3.1 turnovers per game on a really high 26.7 usage rate. And in front of him today the All-O, No-D Rockets. Tasty matchup, saucy player, booming play.
Hate: (PG) Chris Paul, OKC ($6300, vs PHI)
You don’t do your elders wrong. But sometimes you have to go with the punkest of your punk sides and mess with stuff. Le Point God can turn into Le Point Scrub tonight I’ve been told. Whispers are on the streets, I’m just trusting them here, so don’t blame me. Now let’s get serious. No matter if Paul goes against Simmons or J-Rich, he will have a tough one tonight. I mean, those two can flatout ball and they made a living off snatching rebounds so you can remove that side of the game from CP3 outcome today. Then, they got some quick hands to get steals, which won’t help old Paul either. And what the heck, Paul has reached 40 DKFP just twice this season while sitting mostly in the low thirties lately, just as in real life. Not worth his salary with SGA going for $5900, just to name someone.
Love: (SG) DeMar DeRozan, SA ($7300, at ORL)
Who is going to cover DeDe today? Evan Fournier? Markelle Fultz? Terrence Ross? Good luck. Melo’s mid-range heir is putting on a show this season. He’s logging 33.2 minutes a night and litting rims up to the tune of 20.1 PPG on a ridiculous 51.2% shooting clip from the floor on 15.5 attempts per game. He forgot to bring his treys with him when he moved from Toronto but he doesn’t even need them to give you sweet points nightly. DeDe is averaging 35.09 DKFP on the year and 1.06 DKFP per minute, which is to say huge numbers. His 4.9 RPG and 4.8 APG are neat and better than his career averages, so no complaints here. Don’t be surprised if DeRozan goes home today with a bounty in his bag. San Antonio might want to showcase him to a potential suitor (there are rumors the Magic want him) so yeah, pencil him in for 46 minutes of playing time today (won’t happen, but wouldn’t it be awesome?)
Hate: (SG) Bogdan Bogdanovic, SAC ($6700, at LAL)
Hey, I have a big heart, but my heart has room just for one BoBo and that BoBo plays in Utah, not Sacramento. “No BoBos Club” they call it. Bogdan has been heating up lately with a couple of 30-plus performances and a 53.25-point explosion in his last game but he hasn’t reached those heights at any other point this season, far from it. Bogdan has scored 20 points in just those three games and dished 10 assists just once, so go figure. His three-pointers are saving him a bit as he’s holding a 39.7 3P% on 6.8 tries (get ready for some regression boy), but other than that what the hell is he doing to merit a place in the Club? 13.3 PPG? 2.6 RPG? Not liking it, not a bit. Looks like a boom-or-bust guy. Can win you the day as much as he can put on an all-time dud, so stay away.
Love: (SF) Jayson Tatum, BOS ($7400, at GS)
You have to appreciate the effort Tatum put on last Monday when he shot 5.6% (not a typo) from the floor (1-for-18) to finish with five points. It takes a man to do that and fool fantasy owners and gamblers all around the nation to pass on him. Not me, though. Tatum is one of 23 players playing 34.5-plus MPG so far this season. That’s cool, but not absurd. Which is ridiculous is that he’s averaging that playing time while scoring 19-plus a game and rebounding 7-plus rocks per night at age 21. On a 25.8 usage rate. With only 1.8 turnovers. I mean. Those numbers are better or about the same as those of Anthony Davis, Andre Drummond, and Paskal Siakam. All of those are 25 years of age or older. Where is Tatum’s ceiling? This kid is more Drederick than Jayson, so watch out.
Hate: (SF) Harrison Barnes, SAC ($5700, at LAL)
Wasn’t Harrison Barnes supposed to help the Kings make the leap? We’re talking about a champ here! A champ on a super extension recently signed who is... playing 33 minutes and scoring 15 points. Not bad, homes! Not bad because I haven’t kept going, that is. Barney’s DKFP per minute a ground-level 0.83 through 10 games, and he’s started each and every one of them. The trust is there, indeed. But the production has been horrid at best. The 5.1 RPG aren’t so bad, but his 1.7 dimes are virtually non-existent in the Kangz context and his 17.6 usage is rather low for what he should represent, am I right? Although with his current game, it’s pretty much understandable I guess.
Love: (PF) Blake Griffin, DET ($7100, at CHA)
I’m not even second-guessing this one, my men. It’s been just one game, sure, but Superman is back in the goddam building I’m all for riding with him. The Blake is very much awake, and if you didn’t watch you missed out big time: 19 points in 24 minutes? Seven boards and six dimes? A very palatable 50% scoring-clip from the floor on 12 attempts to kick the season off? Hmmm... That sounds as good as it can. Music to my ears. I’ll save you the calculations. Griffin’s score of 35.25 DKFP against the Wolves in just 24 minutes amounted to 1.47 DKFP per minute on the floor. Do you know how many PFs have higher averages than him on tonight’s slate? Anthony Davis by 0.01 points. Yes, yes, small sample and whatever you say. But he’s facing a super-duper Hornets team that doesn’t know how to stop their rivals, so even if he’s limited in minutes again Blake is about to hang some fantasy goods on those fools foreheads.
Love: (C) Andre Drummond, DET ($8600, at CHA)
Go and try to find me a scarier partnership than that of Blake & Dre. I won’t apply time restrictions. Not needed, as you won’t ever get one. Sorry, the house always wins. Don’t get fooled by Dre’s last few games because if he has dropped his production a bit it’s been all due to him messing with fouls here and there. And even with that he’s only failed to snatch 10 boards only once in 12 games, so go figure. This monster of a man is averaging a pretty easy 19.9-16.8 dub-dub. Only Giannis is close to his numbers with a 30-14 mark, and those boards are still a couple down from Dre’s. Plus what’s not to love about his ridiculous 3.1 dimes and 1.8 steals? Dre is not a mobile, go-outside big man. That’s some value and high-talent level there to put up those numbers. Oh, and he’s blocking shots 2.2 times a night. Such a delight.
Hate: (C) Cody Zeller, CHA ($5400, vs DET)
You know the drill: don’t hate too much on the cheap-ass man. But boy, this is the day to fade Zeller all the way down to hell. Kudos to Zeller because he’s low-key almost averaging a dub-dub on the season (13.2-9.6) on just 27 minutes of playing time. That is far from his career numbers, so yeah, he’s definitely playing above his head by a mile. But he’s not doing much more than scoring and rebounding, and he’s only reached 38 DKFP once this season. Bang for the buck, sure, but meh. And tonight he’s going against some Pistons about to mash. Griffin is back. Dre is doctoring. Not much to gain by playing poor balding Cody tonight.
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!