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) Chris Paul, OKC ($6900, at GS)
It doesn’t get much better than seeing someone being re-born. Look, Chris Paul aka CP3 aka The Point God aka The Skate Instructor aka Banana Guy is 34 years old. There are such 19 players in the NBA this season, and only Lebron James and LaMarcus Aldridge are scoring more points per game, with Bronny Sr. the only one dishing out more assists than Paul. Flipping Houston for a rebuilding effort ain’t looking that bad, is it? Paul is playing north of 30 MPG while dropping 15.9 pops a game, getting 4.1 boards and dishing out 5.7 assists per. Perhaps the most incredible thing is his 1.9 steals, which are only bested by five other players league-wide. That’s crazy. Chris Paul is 34. And Golden State is a dessert. Sweet matchup for an enjoyable oldie.
Hate: (PG) Mike Conley, UTA ($6900, at MIL)
Mike Conley has been so bad that Salt Lake City is about to start a petition to send him back to Memphis. You can hate him too much at his salary, but coincidentally it is the same as that of CP3 and the latter is murdering Conley’s numbers in each and every cat. Also, Conley has forgotten how to shoot the ball (38/36/78 splits) yet he keeps on doing it like a madman with 13.1 attempts from the floor and 5.6 treys per game. Putrid start of the season, so let him marinate a bit before putting him in your lineup.
Love: (SG) Jimmy Butler, MIA ($7700, vs CHA)
I can’t think of someone that wanted to have a bigger revenge-game performance than Butler. For real. This guy is nuts crazy. Had he put in such performance the other day against Philly, I’m pretty sure he would have partied nonstop for five straight days. And he calls Miami his home these days, so just imagine how he would have ended. But sadly, he could “only” finish the game with an 11-5-3 line and two thefts. Not too bad, but sub-par for someone like him. Jimmy is about to get some buckets tonight, though. The Hornets are giving up some pops and Butler has scored 21-plus in the other two of his last three games. He was on a back-to-back-to-back streak of 45-plus DKFP prior to Philly’s debacle. That’s the Jimmy G we know and the Jimmy G I expect. Contributions all across the board and an act of sour delayed revenge on the poor Hornets.
Hate: (SG) Buddy Hield, SAC ($7100, at BOS)
Hey, Buddy. Your price is dropping by the day, Buddy. Reasonable, Buddy. Hield is on a fine three-game slump. He’s shooting and shooting (14 FGA on his last three games) but he just can’t find the net (30 FG%) and although he’s scored at least one trey in each of those matches he had not been able to crack the 20-point mark in any of them. Not since dropping 35 more than a week ago has he topped 18 pops. His assists have remained, but his boards and steals have disappeared while his usage has gone down a bit too. Boston is a little banged up, but I don’t see the rebound happening today.
Love: (SF) Andrew Wiggins, MIN ($7600, at ATL)
Wiggins missed a bunch of games due to personal reasons and illness, and that scared me to death. What if that was it? What if getting out of the court for more than average stopped Wiggins ascension to the level of the living legends? What if all of this improvement turned rancid and Wiggins came back to being Maple Bennett instead of his early-season true Maple Jordan? Worry no more, though, as Drew came back and he hung 22 pops on the Jazz just to get things started. He’s a dropped a bit from his late 52.55 DKFP per game average—obviously—but he was still able to score 34 and 35 DKFP on his last two so that’s good. He has scored 21 or more points in his last nine games. He is averaging a massive 25.2 points on the season (34.8 MPG) along with 5.2 RPG, 3.5 APG and a very very tough-looking 1.2 BPG. Wiggins has been able to keep his turnovers down (1.8) and his shooting up with a 46.9 FG%. The free throws are worrying (69.5%), but hey, you can’t have everything I guess.
Love: (PF) Domantas Sabonis, IND ($8100, vs MEM)
Fake-American Domas had posted up a dub-dub in each of his last eight games after Orlando broke the streak last Saturday—he had nine rebounds, though. Sab Jr. is averaging his double-double easily (19.1 PPG and 13.4 RPG), and he’s made Myles Turner (13.4 PPG and 7 RPG) look average at best. We’re entering serious trade-Turner-before-Domas territory here, folks. The younger of the Sabonis is also dishing out 3.6 assists per game and adding 1.2 stocks to his nightly line while shooting 49.7% from the floor and 85.5% from the charity stripe (4.2 sweet FT per). Anyone has sure to average 10-10 every night is a must-play and Domas brings assists and high percentages to the table, so that and a shitty Grizzlies team should help him come back to his dub-dub ways today.
Hate: (PF) Pascal Siakam, TOR ($9200, vs PHI)
Oh boy isn’t that too rich for your blood? We’re talking third-highest price at the PF position on tonight’s slate. Spicy is sure worth paying for, but Philly is nasty and this doesn’t look like the best matchup to put your money on The Ever Improver. Seriously. Don’t get fooled by the numbers—they’re great. Siakam is posting a 25-8-4 line, which is massive. But the 76ers are giving up the fewest DKFP per game in the whole NBA. Siakam is not matchup proof. He’s had a few under-40 DKFP games this season (still good) and if you’re really looking for value at the position there are much better options out there. If you’re willing to spend then just throw everything through the window and pick Anthony Davis. You won’t be worse.
Love: (C) Jarrett Allen, BKN ($6100, at CLE)
It looks like Brooklyn has finally come to their senses and has not played DeAndre Jordan more than 20 minutes in his last four games. Jarrett Allen has gone for 24, 27, 25, and 31 in that span, which is goddam great to see. In those four games he’s been this close to get a dub-dub every night, but he fell one board short of it against Sacto a couple of games ago. Shaking my head. No problem, though, as he’s still averaging 10.9 PPG and 9.4 RPG on the season even with his minutes way low due to the really smart people running the table in Brooklyn... Once he gets to what should be a normal 30 minutes of playing time he will be a lock for that 10-10 and more, though other than in those two cats he ain’t providing much more in fantasy. His 1.3 blocks are sublime, I must say, and he’s hitting his 6.4 FGA at a great 65.7% clip.
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!