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) Ja Morant, MEM ($6700, vs GS)
What can I tell Ja? Nothing Ja don’t already know, I guess. Ja just have to play Ja. I told Ja to put him in your roster the other day, and he did a little bit of nothing. Well, actually, he did a little bit of a lot considering he played 21 minutes in a blowout against Denver. Morant still scored 13 and dished out six dimes while grabbing a couple of boards and shooting 44% from the floor. Not a lot, not a little, though. But that’s a shiny outlier in Morant’s season. He’s averaging 27.2 MPG and producing a staggering 1.19 DKFP per minute on the floor, so the day Memphis decides to really run with him for 30+ minutes you can expect noisy fireworks. I mean, he’s done it already. In the three games Mo has played more than 30 laps of the clock he’s averaged 26 points, three rebounds, 9.3 assists, and a steal. That’s tasty. Don’t be scared by the fact that he faces a radically bad Warriors team tonight and the potential of another blowout limiting his upside. By the time he leaves the court the Grizzlies might be 120 points up already so he will have ample opportunity to rack up points at a very low salary.
Hate: (PG) Chris Paul, OKC ($7000, at LAL)
I don’t like Old Paul in back-to-backs. Not a single bit of it. CP3 best games this season have all come on at least two days of rest, and adding wood to the fire he comes from a couple of 38- and 33-minute games in the past four nights. He didn’t perform bad, averaging 43.25 DKFP to the tune of 24.5 PPG, 6 RPG, 4.5 APG, and 2 SPG, but the load might start to be a little over the board. Oklahoma takes on the Lakers tonight and I don’t rule out a little bit of minute-management if Bron and Davis want to party and the game gets out of hand early. Dismiss Chris.
Love: (SG) Buddy Hield, SAC ($7500, vs PHO)
Love: (SG) Devin Booker, PHO ($8400, at SAC)
Get ready because you’re about to watch some buckets drop here, my man. You are no wrong going with either Buddy Love or D-Book, though in a potential shootout I’d go with Buddy just because his price is almost $1K lower and he has all of the tools to put on a scoring show. What Booker gets you in points (25.0) and dimes (5.8), Buddy gets you in points (19.9) and boards (4.8). Dev doesn’t give a damn about turning the ball over (4.1 TO per game), though, while Hield doesn’t know what even is a dime (1.7 APG). No matter what, the scoring is what makes those two. Hield shooting splits: 43/41/89 on 17 FGA, 9.7 3PA, and 1.5 FTA. Booker shooting splits: 54/50/95 on 16.8 FGA, 5 3PA, and 4.8 FTA. Seriously, get ready to watch some high-quality bomb-throwing.
Hate: (SG) CJ McCollum, POR ($7800, at NO)
Carmelo Anthony will probably debut tonight and if he does he will eat all of Portland’s offensive plays. 47 shots and two assists to Hassan. 71-point game. Highest-scoring performance in the history of the Blazers. Living legend.
Love: (SF) Kyle Kuzma, LAL ($5300 vs OKC)
Obviously, Kuzzy is a reserve in these new Lakers. Coming off the bench, though, Double-K is averaging a sweet 14 points on just 23.6 minutes with a good usage rate of 24.7%. Sure, he’s not the most efficient player per minute, but he’s been heating up since he made his debut this season and he’s starting to make things work. In four of his last six games he’s scored more than 15 points, and he’s grabbing an average of 4.8 boards in that span. The assists aren’t otherworldly, but you can’t ask a lot from a second unit that kinda stinks. LeBron will eat big-time at the SF position for the Hollywoodians tonight, but once he sits his ass—which could be soon if Los Angeles decides to party like it usually does—then the sky will open for Kuz to explode. I’m betting on this happening today.
Hate: (SF) Draymond Green, GSW ($6200 at MEM)
This man had the chance to do whatever they want, and he trashed it. Just imagine how barren of talent is Golden State that they had to invent a new version of Green: Point Dray. So Dray could have played Mad Green or Daddy Green, and he opted for the latter. Shaking my head. Instead of going berserk, he went and put on a dud taking care of his children and playing the good dad role. Shaking my head. Seven points, six rebounds, four assists, two steals, and a block. A little of everything and a lot of nothing. Shaking my head. I’m sorry but I don’t consider myself old enough to appreciate this kind of bland performance. Come back to me with that in another ten years, son.
Love: (PF) Eric Paschall, GSW ($5900, at MEM)
Paschall is the best thing to happen to Golden State since they received Chris Webber from Orlando all those years back. Other things have happened also, but who cares. I like that idea of Paschall being a new Chris Webber and all that, even if only makes sense in my head. No matter what, Eric P. has been putting up some numbers out of nowhere. Yeah, the Warriors are a second division team so the minutes were always going to be available (he’s at 31.1, just imagine...) but he’s scoring nicely for a rook (16.7 PPG) and providing some boards (4.8) and dimes (1.3) while limiting his turnovers to just 1.3 per night. He can’t hit a three (27.3 3P%) but he’s killing it from the floor scoring his 11.8 attempts at a 51.9% clip. Not a bad matchup against Memphis, which ranks fourth-worst in DKFP per game allowed to the opposition.
Love: (C) Hassan Whiteside, POR ($6300, at NO)
Don’t stop the feeling and keep believing. Uh, oh. Don’t be fooled by yesterday’s outing. Hassan was limited to under-27 minutes and Clint Capela was the man, but today is rebound time! HW means homework (done), and that’s what is about to happen today in New Orleans. Seven dub-dubs will turn into eight, just watch it happen. Hassan has been scoring in double-digits for the past nine games, so that’s not a problem. The boards will come, too, as he’s averaging 11.8 on the season and he’s fallen from snatching 10 just three times in the past nine games. That sweet season-long dub-dub is there at 15-11.8 and will only improve as the games keep pilling, trust me. The shooting percentage is massive at 58.1 from the floor and HW is the best player available today in DKFP per minute (1.27) among those with at least 20 minutes of playing time at the position. Play, play, play.
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!