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) Terry Rozier, CHA ($6900, at GS)
The only time Scary Terry messed with his fouls he ended playing 17 minutes. Other than that, Rozier is logging 29.8 minutes of playing time per night in his new gig in Charlotte and making the most of his new life. While he’s not putting nets on fire (15.2 PPG), he has been able to reach 3.8 boards, 5.6 dimes and 1.2+0.6 steals and blocks per game. He’s not the highest volume shooter but his six treys attempted per game, hit at a 40% clip makes him one of the most productive players in that category. Plus, he goes against a Warriors team that just allowed San Antonio to hang 127 points on them.
Hate: (PG) Eric Bledsoe, MIL ($5900, vs TOR)
Muscle Man Bledsoe is starting every game for Milwaukee, has played more than 26 minutes in his last four, and in that time he hasn’t reached 20 points once. It is what happens when you play next to someone named Giannis, a second-fiddle named Khris and a bunch of other timeshare role-players: your usage doesn’t grow because there is just one cookie. Bledsoe hasn’t been bad at all this season with two 54-plus DKFP performances so far, but he’s almost nil from three and his rebounds and assists are what make him or break him as his shooting is nothing to be proud of and his numbers at both steals and blocks are almost nonexistent.
Love: (SG) Devin Booker, PHO ($8300, at MEM)
It’s about time Book explodes. These Suns are for real and Booker leads the chore. Kiddo has surpassed the 35-DKFP mark every time he’s played more than 30 minutes this season, is hogging the ball like a champion (28.9 USG%), but he’s still to have that sweet scoring explosion he became famous for having inside him. Booker is racking 24.4 points a night, yes, and has toyed with 30 or more points a couple times already, but I’m betting on a 40-point burger sooner rather than later. I mean, he is scoring with a 47.4 FG% on 19 attempts from the field and has a great 41.9 3P% on 6.2 launched treys. Only Bradley Beal has better numbers than him at the position and that’s just because of that 2073 back-to-the-future game against the Rockets the other day in which both teams reached 423 points.
Hate: (SG) C.J. McCollum, POR ($6700, vs PHI)
The lesser of the Blazer Brothers is having quite the season, isn’t he? McCollum is averaging 23 points playing a massive 36.8 per, but it is all about them treys for him so far. Other than his 42.9 3P% on 5.6 attempts, the rest of the numbers tell me he’d be suffering a bit to keep pace with his current 35.20 DKFP average. He’s rebounding (3.6) is kinda average-ish, and while he’s dishing 3.6 assists out he’s also turning the ball over 3.4 times per game. His shooting from the floor currently sits at 40.5% on an incredible 21.2 shots a night, but with all of the time he stays on the court and his elite-level usage he should be doing way more. His 0.96 DKFP per minute played rank him behind Evan Fournier (1.01) or Will Barton (1.0) just to name a few, and Philly’s D has been stout.
Love: (SF) Andrew Wiggins, MIN ($7100, at WAS)
Say what you want about Maple Jordan, but he’s primed to eat for the next two games. KAT is out of commission after tapping out a few nights ago, and the next man in line to carry the eight of this offense is Wiggins, whether you like it or not. We can only hope he makes what he takes because he’ll be getting a bunch of chances and then some. Wiggins is already shooting 18.5 shots per game (5.8 threes). Bad for him, he should raise his percentages as he’s only hitting them at 41.9% and 21.7% (smh...) respectively. His rebounds aren’t otherworldly at 5.8 but he still provides something there, and he’s basically a bombing guy when it comes to fantasy points. Either he scores, or he flops. Good for him though, tonight’s matchup against the Wizards should help him bulk his points column like no day before.
Hate: (SF) Taurean Prince, BKN ($5100, at DET)
Word in the street says aliens have arrived in Brooklyn. Those lucky to see them did so in the game against Houston and Prince looked like one. Come on, Taurean! Prince put on a show going for 27 points and 12 rebounds with six makes beyond the three-point line. Just once in his career has Prince had a 25-10 game, all the way back in 2017. His six threes are second-best in his pro-tenure and he logged his most minutes this year other than in the season opener. Am I trusting aliens showing out again on planet Earth? Nope. Prince averages are way worse at 14.6 PPG, 7.4 RPG, and 3.0 3PM per game. And Detroit basically excels at rebounding and blocking shots. Aliens, get back to Moron Mountain.
Love: (PF) Rui Hachimura, WAS ($6200, vs MIN)
Always liked Hachimura, never expected this Hachimura—not so soon at least. Rui has played and started in the four games Washington has played so far this season. He’s also averaging a pretty palatable 33.2 minutes per game and a very sweet 18 points per game on a 50 percent shooting clip from the floor. He’s not hitting it from distance, but hey, you can’t have anything, right? The good thing, though, is that he’s getting fantasy points from everywhere: he’s only one of 19 players averaging 18 PPG, 7 RPG and 1 APG (he’s actually at 1.3), and the only one with that line and turning the ball over just once per game. It is early in the season and the Wizards aren’t yet exploiting the kid, but once his usage rises a little bit expect big things from Rui. Minnesota’s defense is the ninth-worst in DKFP per game allowed and Towns won’t be around, so big time is coming.
Hate: (PF) Aaron Gordon, ORL ($6000, vs DEN)
Is Gordon playing with us? Like, for real. Wasn’t this supposed to be the year he finally made the leap and turned into a supernova? I guess it is just another year in which we have to bury our hopes, like in the past... I lost the count. Through five games, Gordon has scored 10-plus points in just three of them, never topped 15, and logged more than seven rebounds just once. He’s spreading numbers all around the box score, sure, but those are so low that hey go for nothing. His best game this year translated to 37.25 DKFP and he finished it with a 15/11 and helped a lot by his three makes from beyond the 3-point line. Denver has started slow, sure, but they still have the 10th-best defense in the league and are packed in the paint. Not that they need a lot, though, with Aaron shooting 34% from the field...
Love: (C) Cody Zeller, CHA ($6400, at GS)
Believe it or not, Zeller just turned 27 years old. Don’t get fooled by his hair, cause The Big Handsome is here to stay. We’re talking about a 4th overall pick folks, so no jokes here. So far so good for Zeller, who has started the season with some of his best career averages on a much heavier role than he’s been used to play. Cody is averaging more minutes than ever (31.5), shooting more than he ever has (12.0 FGA), and raised his trey-attempts from 0.4 last season to 2.5 this one, which he’s also hitting at a 40% clip. Only Andre Drummond is averaging more points and rebounds than him at the position (and the other only players averaging a 15/13 are Giannis and Kevin Love). Golden State is a bunch of shredded papers and Draymond Green might not be around (finger injury) to try to stop the Z.
Hate: (C) Marc Gasol, TOR ($4900, at MIL)
Playing 24 a night isn’t new for Marc as he did so last season. But it looks like age is catching up because his production has become completely avoidable. Check this out: of players logging at least 24 minutes per game, Gasol is scoring the third-fewest points per game (5.6) and averaging only six rebounds and two assists. Only Brook Lopez has been worse at the boards/dime categories among big-minute centers, and Gasol is also a zero in steals and blocks (0.2). The game against Milwaukee isn’t the hardest on schedule, sure, but you can do much better than playing the youngest of the Gasols 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 and I’ll get back to it as soon as I grab a keyboard!