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) Dejounte Murray, SAS ($5200, vs WAS)
You’re scared of Jounte because of the minutes, right? Fear nothing, my friend. Washington is the worst defensive team in the league by a mile and is virtually ranked in the bottom-10 in every statistical category. They play less defense than Murray minutes. No, no, that was a joke. Bear with me. Murray is cheap as hell for what he’s producing. Sure, most of his value you’ll find when looking at the per-minute numbers (his 1.26 DKFP per minute are just dumb), but in the 22.8 MPG that he’s logging he’s still putting up 10.6 points and 6.9 boards, which are even more than his 4.7 dimes. And not a lot of players can say they’re also contributing hard on D as Murray is with his 1.7 stocks through 12 games. He’s obviously shooting in the single digits (8.6 FGA) but his efficiency is sublime (47.6 FG%) and he was on the court for 25 minutes against Dallas on Monday. It is happening.
Hate: (PG) Kemba Walker, BOS ($8200, at LAC)
The hell is that salary!? Love me some Kemba, even more with Smarf Smart a little banged up, but oh boy that’s too rich for my blood. At the other end no less than Dog Pat Bev and Lou-Will. I’m passing, this makes no sense, and the Clippers are giving up the eight-fewest DKFP per game. But just the matchup is not enough reasoning to pull a fade. Kemba has been on his personal low self the past few games. And more than than the past few games. All the way back on Nov. 9th he was Pinnacle Kemba but nowadays that player is someone I just don’t rememba. He finished with 50.25 DKFP then against San Antonio and he’s gone down weekly until reaching his second-worst tally of the season on Monday (28 DKFP). Sure, he keeps up the 15-5-5 line but he’s flopping harder by the day.
Love: (SG) Tyler Herro, MIA ($4400, vs CLE)
As muse Kali Uchis says: “Hey Tyler Herro, if you need a hero, just look in the mirror”. Isn’t that accurate? Hero’s are cool and all, but those flying capes are expensive. Not Herro’s, though. It is normal, mind you, as Herro is doing not a lot for the Heat lately basically because he’s blocked. Consider this the most contrarian play ever made, but let me tell you something. The Cavs suck. So bad. I am doubting Jimmy Butler—or any other heavy-hitter—is going to put in a ton of minutes tonight, and that should open the door for Herro. If you want to go chalky and pay Butler’s price, that’s okay, as he’s not expensive at all at just $7700 today and he’ll probably put up some numbers. But Herro might be primed to eat big-time tonight, though. He’s surprised to start his career with 13.3 points and 4.5 boards and his high FT% (86.7) talks wonders of his shooting prowess.
Hate: (SG) R.J. Barrett, NYK ($5800, at PHI)
Hard to assess the rookie with the hot garbage he has around. His last three games have been kinda mediocre as he has—barely—reached 30 DKFP just once. This is more R.J. Barred than R.J. Barrett. No wonder, considering his dimes have dropped like a bomb and his boards have also experienced a little bump down. At the end of the day, RJ gets you points (15.8) and that kinda-shoulda keep him alive to an extent, but not fantasize over his upside. He’s going to the line a ton but defenses now that’s one of his flaws with a FT% (50.6) that would even scare Shaq. The Knicks are going to feed him, surely, because what else can they do, but he’s not even averaging over a DKFP per game even playing more than 33 minutes per night with a 24% usage rate.
Love: (SF) Paul George, LAC ($7800 vs BOS)
Playoff P turned into Prophet P to announce to us what is coming to LA. Buckets and then some, that is. It would have been funny if he had kept up the demigod efficiency (70 points in 44 minutes) and usage (46%) from his first two games, but hey, we can’t complain. That was a fun mini-run and his last outing was a revenge-game against OKC where he dropped 18 pops, grabbed seven rebounds, and dished out four dimes, so all systems check. The minutes were already up to 29 two nights ago and that was good to see. Kawhi is a mess in my head, so I’m staying as far from him as I can afford. Boston is a tough out, yeah, but Young Trece has given them buckets all life long. You might not believe me but PG had his career-best scoring mark against the Cs last season by hanging 37 on them. Leprechauns be trembling.
Hate: (SF) Andrew Wiggins, MIN ($7600, vs UTA)
I’m assuming Wiggins is back today after missing three games. And if he’s back, well, good luck. Not a worse team to make a comeback that the stingy Jazz. Wiggins is finally making haters eat crow and as his no. 1 stan I can’t be happier about it. The problem with Wiggins, though, is that it took him a bit of time at the start of the season until he hit light speed. He had six games under 34 DKFP before hitting 40 for the first time and never drop from there, even reaching 63 DKFP against Golden State (...) in early November. So don’t get too Wiggy wit it this soon and give Maple Jordan some time before you bet on him reaching his ceiling.
Love: (PF) Kristaps Porzingis, DAL ($7300, vs GS)
Such is Luka’s traction that Porzingis has become a no-name. It’s fascinating, honestly. He’s made the rounds more for announcing the silly new Mavs threads than his numbers. Shaking my head. The Beast From The East is averaging 18.6 and 8.9 already and is this close to the enter the dub-dub land. Only five players are blocking fools more than twice a game, and he’s one of them. And obviously he and Anthony Davis are the only ones doing so while averaging 18-plus pops and (virtually for KP, but still) nine boards. But we keep talking about how the MSG booed him... His shooting has been a little on the wrong side (40/35/72), truth be told, but playing with The Don and versus these Warriors can do him no harm.
Hate: (PF) P.J. Tucker ($4600, at DEN)
I’m not going to hate on Tucker because that salary doesn’t allow me to. But Mr. Sneaker, pls. Pops Junior is paying more attention to his shoe-free agency than to actually do something productive on the court. He’s averaging a horrid 0.70 DKFP per minute on the court, basically, because he’s doing nothing yet he’s still logging 34.9 MPG (!). He’s not hitting even 10 points per night. At least he’s grabbing some boards (6.6) but other than that he’s sitting on the beach nightly. I guess his shooting splits are good (53/48/83) but with just 6.7 attempts from the floor and fewer than a free throw per contest they go for nothing. That 9.4% usage makes me laugh hard.
Love: (C) Rudy Gobert, UTA ($8100, at MIN)
I thought we had lost the patient, but the patient was alive and good. The French Patient was patient indeed, but he’s been breaking bones lately. After a shaky start to the year, Le Gobert has averaged 20.5 PPG and 15 RPG in his last four games and he even blocked five rocks the other day against Memphis. He’s playing a massive 34.8 minutes on the season and although he’s got a horrid usage in Utah’s attack (paltry 15%) he’s making up for it with his 13-13 symmetric dub-dub line. He’s also contributing the nice 1-1-1 extra with steady dimes, steals, and blocks, and his 68.8 FG% is out of the reach of any other player not named Gobert and born in La France.
Hate: (C) Joel Embiid, PHI ($10000, vs NYK)
Hate: (C) Al Horford, PHI ($6100, vs NYK)
Look, this is not about the players but the matchup. The Knicks are the 12th-worst team in DKFP allowed to the opposition. Only five times a center has reached 40 DKFP this season against them, and just 10 of the 20 starters they’ve faced (that includes PF/C in DraftKings position assignments) have had usages over 20%. Because of what? Because the Knicks stink and no team plays or uses its best players against them because they’re basically not needed to get the W. Don’t hate the men. Hate New York. They make things hard even when they should go smooth. Shaking my head.
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!