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.)
There are **a lot** of games on the schedule today, so it’s time to give the column a twist and try to dig into the slate to find the best value plays around it. No players over $6,000 today, folks. That’s how this works.
Love: (PG) Goran Dragic, MIA ($5600, at CHI)
Okay, so you know how it goes. We’re playing dirt-cheap today. Still a week to go to get paid the monthly check, so this is the life I need to endure. At least I have something to eat, I guess. Whatever. Introducing first, the 33-year-old Slovenian Gore. This man flipped Eastern Europe for America and now he’s riding the pine. Not so fast, though, because when it comes to sixth-men GD is exquisite. Dragic has yet to start a game—and he probably won’t unless Nunn melts or injuries arrive big-time—but he’s still hooping an average of 28.2 minutes. In that time he’s posting up a line of 16-3-5 while contributing 0.9 stocks. His usage (22.9%) might be a little higher coming off the bench, but I can’t complain. I can’t complain because even if he’s finishing the usual number of possessions he’s hitting the net without any Drag. Goran’s shooting splits go by the 46/41/72 on 11.4 attempts from the floor and 5.8 from beyond the arc. Only other five players are putting up those numbers. I’ll let you decide who’s the worst of them: Brandon Ingram, Devin Booker, KAT, Kyle Lowry, and Paul George. Killer bunch.
Love: (SG) Langston Galloway, DET ($45000, vs ATL)
Meet Crabston Galloway. But watch out, you don’t want to be too close to his claws just in case he clamps you down. Sure, defense won’t give you fantasy points, but it will keep Gallo in the court for as many minutes as he can handle and hey, Tony Snell isn’t playing today so that means Crabston is going to start again. Galloway was playing more than 26 MPG already, but his minutes have gone all the way up to reach 37 and 39 in his last two games. No wonder he had a monster game last Friday against Charlotte by hanging 32 pops on the Hornets by hitting seven three-pointers. He was a mess shooting a couple of days ago (25% from the floor), but that’s an outlier as he’s averaging a good 43.7% on the season to go with a neat-o 33% from three on no less than 5.4 attempts per game. His charity stripe line is indeed a dead-sentence for his enemies as he’s visiting it 3.1 times per and scoring singles at a 93.2% clip. God save the Crab.
Love: (SF) Harrison Barnes, SAC ($5900, at BKN)
The Senator is averaging more than 34 minutes per game. More than 34 minutes per game. 34 minutes per game. You read it right. And he has only the 18th-highest salary among eligible SF in tonight’s main slate. Sure, that’s probably related to his production more than anything, but bear with me. Barnsie is stuck in the mid-20s when it comes to fantasy points. Fun fact: he’s averaging the same DKFP as years old he is, 27. What a silly note there. The thing is, Barnes is scoring 14.8 a game (same as Bogdan and Bojan), grabbing 4.9 boards (more than Kuzma and Osman), dishing out 2.2 assists (more than Hield and Gallinari), and stealing 1.2 balls per (more than DeRozan and Tobias Harris). Those are all individual stats compared to individual players, but the overall result is nicely rounded. Senator Barnes is also shooting better than ever in his career (47.2% from the floor in 13 games) and his eFG% (54.2%) has risen almost four percentage points from last season’s 50.4%.
Love: (PF) Nemanja Bjelica, SAC ($5700, at BKN)
Belly Bjeli has averaged 24.5 minutes in his first 11 games. Belly Bjeli has averaged 30.6 in his last two! That sweet caloric bump is highly tasty. Not a surprise that Nemanja has put up big numbers in his last two outings. Every time he has logged more than 30 minutes he has scored 12 or more points and paired those with up to 14 boards. His best games were indeed a couple of 19-12 and 12-14 performances against no other than the Blazers and Celtics, so there is that. Don’t get fooled by The Pride Of Serbia’s low salary. Belly Jelly has finished three of his last four games inside the top-30 performers of the night on DraftKings with 43, 39.50, and 31.50 DKFP. For someone averaging 25.4 minutes on the season, scoring 10.9 PPG, grabbing 6.1 RPG, and dishing out 2.2 APG are not bad numbers at all. Only Larry Nance Jr. (10-7-1) and Rudy Gay (12-6-2) could be considered to have slightly better lines in fewer than 26 MPG, although Nemanja’s shooting kills the other two players averages with splits of 54/51/75 on 7.9 and 4.1 attempts from the floor and beyond the arc.
Love: (C) Tristan Thompson, CLE ($5700, at DAL)
If Double-T doesn’t burn Dallas tonight, then I don’t even know when he’ll do anything. Tristan rested Wednesday (rested, because there were no back-to-back games nor anything like it) and has not played a game since Monday—he played just 25 minutes, so his ass better be cool to go today. TT is having his best overall season ever in 2019. He’s started the year with a bunch of great performances as is currently averaging 35.19 DKFP. Double-T is on those dub-dub vibes to the tune of a melodic 14-10 line and has failed to score 10 points or grab 10 rebounds in only three games this season. Everybody knew that TT wasn’t a daily 43-DKFP guy, as his first four games averaged, but Thompson can provide fantasy points on the mid-thirties with ease and he’s shooting lights-out with a 53.0 FG% through 13 games.
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!