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) Damian Lillard, POR ($8600, vs OKC)
After starting the season scorching hot, Dame has been a little cold lately mostly on the scoring side of things. He’s not stopped dropping diss tracks in the shape of dub-dubs on points and assists (two in his last three games) and he even toyed with the idea of posting a trip-dub just two games age (23-8-8) against the horrid Cavs. But yeah, Lillard has been more DJ Bustard than DJ Mustard and he should bounce back soon enough. As soon as tonight, let me tell you. Melo’s is getting a whole lot of ball, but there must be a point when CJ and Lillard tell him to, you know, like leave some balls to the true top-dogs. Enter Big Game Dame. Business is his deal. He’s dropping 27.3 on 37.5 (!) minutes per game to go with 7.5 dimes and 4.9 boards. Not a lot of point guards averaging those numbers in the main cats, and his 1.1+0.6 stocks are very delicious. Also: he’s shooting 92.6% from the charity stripe on 7.6 attempts per game. All the fame to the Dame!
Hate: (PG) Malcolm Brogdon, IND ($6800, vs UTA)
Not the worst of prices indeed, but Brogdon is in his second game coming back from injury and going against the second-best defense in the league. The President already took charge of the (Blue? Yellow?) House in his first game back by playing 30 minutes and dropping a not-so-bad 14-6-8 line but those were the Grizzlies if you know what I mean... Malcolm is a stud and should be always in the middle of your lineups, but I’d give him some run time for a couple more games before I give him a starting role in my killer squad.
Love: (SG) DeMar DeRozan, SAS ($7400, vs MIN)
DeMar I think of him, DeMar I love DeRozan. This guy hasn’t ranked outside of the top-37 performers of the slate since Nov. 1st! DeRozan has finished a couple of times in the top-10 in that same span and he dropped 36 on the Wizards a little over a week ago. His last five games? 36, 31, 29, 21, and 24 points along with 8, 4, 7, 9, and 4 rebounds. Those are 40-plus points out of the gate already. You can’t hate DeMar NoMar. DeRozan is DeLeader of these new losing Spurs but DeRozan is still DeWinner. He’s shot a mental 61.3% from the floor in his last five and put in 33 of his 37 free throw attempts (!). He’s become automatic from everywhere but the three-point line, sadly, as no one ever taught him what that was and what it meant for the game of basketball. He’s the only viable option for San Antonio other than LMA on offense so you know who’s going to eat nightly.
Hate: (SG) CJ McCollum, POR ($7600, vs OKC)
One step at a time, kids, let’s not rush this thing. I told you that I expect Dame and CJ to step up their games (and words) and keep Melo at least a little at bay starting now. They’ve had enough all-shots-look-good Melo already. But it will be Dame, and then will come CJ. So let’s wait at least a bit. Actually, I think CJ pooped his pants a little with Melo getting to town and just deferred a lot to him perhaps due to paying too much respect to the elders. I dunno. That could be the case. Or not. CJ has attempted only 35 shots in his last two games combined but he was averaging more than 22.5 in the last five prior to that. He’s a lock to get his 20 pops a game, but his numbers at the rest of the cats and most of all his treys have not been awesome.
Love: (SF) Danilo Gallinari, OKC ($6200, at POR)
Back in October Gallo had the chance to showcase his tools to Portland just in case they wanted to add him via trade. He scored 15 with 6 boards. Good-not-great game. He has another chance tonight after Portland decided to go with Living Legend Melo for now. Consider this a Prove-Em-Wrong game for The Rooster. His three-pointers are greased (he’s making 2.7 per while shooting 6.7) and his shooting line is very palatable (44/40/93) with a great 5.4 trips to the line every day. The Thunder suck, and that is keeping his assists low (1.9) but he’s grabbing some boards (5.2 RPG) and snatching some balls here and there (0.7 SPG). If he draws Anthony on defense he might have some booming performance tonight, so keep an eye on him.
Hate: (SF) Kawhi Leonard, LAC ($9000, at MEM)
Kawhi. On back-to-back games. On the road. Against Memphis. B#@ch pls.
Love: (PF) Anthony Davis, LAL ($10000, at NO)
A revenge game is a revenge game. It’s not that I think this is a goddam great matchup, don’t get me wrong. They keep hyping this game as if Zion was playing but you know what? Zion is not playing. Shocker! Anyways. AD is coming back to the town he left by mocking fools with a “That’s All Folks” tee. Top-5 off-the-court #LagueFits moment right there, no discussion. Mad props to The Brow for pulling off the $5 t-shirt plus $Some-K gold Cuban chain combo also. Whatever. Davis will go and get his season-high in points (that’d be 41), rebounds (21), assists (8), steals (8), and blocks (6). If LeBron makes an effort and collaborates a bit (there must be something there pushing him to slam some bombs on Lonzo’s forehead), we can be looking at our next quadruple-double (or quintuple-, who knows!) man here. What a time to be alive.
Hate: (PF) Eric Paschall, GSW ($6300, vs CHI)
There is CWebb-Eric Paschall, and there is Udoh-Eric Paschall. We’re in the middle of those two roads right now. The rookie has had his highs (very high highs indeed, reaching up to 57 DKFP with a 36-13 against Portland) but he’s also put on some duds (13 DKFP on 34 minutes against Minnesota). It’s not that Paschall isn’t doing anything good, in fact, he’s at it every day. Considering these new Dubs, hitting a couple of shots and grabbing a bunch of boards can give you MVP-of-the-San-Fran-Night honors. But nah, I’m not too much into treating Eric P as much more than your average rookie. He’s playing a ton and he’s finished more than 26% of possessions on average in his last five games. He posted his first career dub-dub against OKC on Monday, but he hadn’t even reached nine boards in any other game and his scoring is on the low. Chicago sucks as much or more than Golden State, that’s the only thing that could save him, though I’m not a believer.
Love: (C) Bam Adebayo, MIA ($7500, at HOU)
For some explainable reason Adebayo is being a BAM on the court but a BUM for DraftKings pricing algorithms. That can only make you happy though, so let it be that way. Bam Bam is averaging the sweet dub-dub on the season with 14.3 PPG and 10.3 RPG, and those numbers are not higher basically because he’s contributing all across the board and you know, the guy is a man, not a machine. With that I mean Bayo is adding 4.3 APG, 1.6 SPG (!), and 1.3 BPG to his nightly line. That’s insane, as his 60% shooting success fro the floor. Sure, the attempts are low at 8.8 per, but that is reasonable considering his low usage of 19.1% and how he’s distributing the ball by dishing out assists and open the game for others. Top-tier talent and production at a good discount.
Hate: (C) Myles Turner, IND ($6000, at UTA)
Turner has struggled a bunch since coming back. He’s walking Myles and Myles but he’s not reaching any good end. Only once since Nov. 16th has he posted more than 44 DKFP (16-11-2-1-4 line against Milwaukee on 33 minutes), with his other three games finishing around the 25-DKFP mark. Those are ugly performances, for real. Turner hasn’t scored more than 10 games in any of those three games, nor grabbed more than seven boards at most. He’s playing 30 minutes though, so no excuses there. Domantas Sabonis is eating big time and making people forget about him, and I’m seriously—more than any time in the past, and that’s a lot to say—considering a trade sooner rather than later. He’s being totally faded and doing crappy crap on the court. Sad to watch.
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!