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 ($6700, at ATL)
Pop has said Murray isn’t playing on back-to-backs as he’s eased in after coming back from injury, and Pop is never wrong, so we believe him. Good thing for us, San Antonio hasn’t played a game since Sunday, so it’s Dejo’s time. In his last match against the Lakers Murray had barely his best outing of the season, playing a season-high 24 minutes and scoring 18 while rebounding 11 shots and assisting four baskets. He added a couple of steals and a block to that to round a neat 43.75 DKFP day in which he also made a trey on a massive usage rate of 31.5%. Murray comes with the minute restriction, yes, but there is absolutely F no one averaging 1.6 DKFP per minute on the court, which is basically ridiculous. If his playing time starts to ramp up, get ready for some fireworks.
Hate: (PG) Jamal Murray, DEN ($6500, vs MIA)
And on the other side of the ring, Brother Jamal. The Nugget Murray is averaging 0.96 DKFP per minute played, which is ridiculously low and the lowest value for PGs averaging more than 30 minutes per game. Sure, the Blue Arrow is hitting the 18.5 PPG mark so far, and he’s contributing with 4.8 RPG and 3.5 APG, but the Blue Arrow is also looking like pointing down more than up... Nunn and Dragic will be waiting at the other end today and I’m not entirely sure if I want to trust Murray—or the shaky Nuggets for that matter—in this contests as the Heat are hot on D giving up the 8th-fewest DKFP per game.
Love: (SG) Jeremy Lamb, IND ($6100, at CHA)
Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Jeremy is doing something something in Indiana. Four starts at 31.7 minutes per, that is having faith in someone. Lamb is making it rain with a 46.9% from the floor on 12.3 attempts per game and a FT% of 85.0 going to the line five times a day. His stats are all around the place through four games: 16.8 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 2.3 APG, 1.3 SPG, and 1 BPG turning the ball over at a paltry 1.5 pace. Those 33.19 DKFP per game are solid, and the contribution in each and every cat is definitely a godsend.
Hate: (SG) Cam Reddish, ATL ($4900, vs SA)
You don’t have to be a chemist to know Reddish has more than a blemish. I love this kid as much as I love my sons (if I had them, I guess), but man it’s been a tough start to his pro career. Cam is playing 25.2 minutes so he’s not lacking opportunities, that’s for sure. What sure also is the fact that he’s doing a bunch of Nunn on the court. He’s scoring 5.2 per game and rebounding 4.6 rocks, but other than that you better get ready for the collapse. Reddish shooting splits are currently at 20.9/5.6/87.5 on 8.6 attempts from the floor and 3.6 from three.
Love: (SF) PJ Washington, CHA ($6100, vs IND)
From Washington, D.C. to Washington, P.J., the capital is changing places and stinging in Charlotte. Forget about Zions, and Jas, and any other rookie you want when you have to deal with this youngun. Washington has started all the six games he’s played and is racking up numbers as anyone around the L. The first-year kid is averaging 15 PPG and 6.7 RPG a night while dishing out 1.2 assists and averaging 1.7 stocks. He’s killing some rims too, such a shame that doesn’t reflect on box scores. Good for him, what indeed shows are his shooting percentages. He’s launching 10.2 shots from the floor and hitting them at a 55.7 clip, and his 4.7 three-point attempts are adding points to the score on a massive 50%. All of that on a miserable 16.1 usage rate.
Hate: (SF) Jayson Tatum, BOS ($6400, at CLE)
Not in my life would I tell you to play Gordon Hayward over Jayson Tatum out of this column, but I have to do it here today. I’m sorry to myself and my principles for failing them. It sucks. Tatum through five games: 35.7 MPG, 22 PPG, 7.6 RBP, 2.2 APG. Hayward through five games: 34.4 MPG, 16.6 PPG, 7.6 RBP, 3.6 APG. Tatum’s salary: $7700. Hayward’s salary: $6400. I’m playing the cheap-ass-guy role today, folks. Fade Tatum and play Hayward if you want a Celtic in your lineup. Tatum has been great but he’s hogging the ball as hell and producing out of sheer volume. The minute he loses that, he’s cooked.
Love: (PF) Anthony Davis, LAL ($10000, at CHI)
Even if the Bulls are “only” ranked 22nd in DKFP given up per game, I’m betting on the Brow to wow tonight. Not a lot to say. Yes, you’ll be paying the price but this monster of nature is averaging a sweet 28+/11+ with 2.7 assists and 4 stocks. What do they feed them in Los, homes? Davis has posted a dub-dub in four of the six games he’s played. Playing next to a black hole in James, he’s still keeping up a 33.9 usage rate. Just three games ago he hit a goddam 26 free throws while grabbing 20 boards from the stratosphere. No need to keep going.
Hate: (PF) Lauri Markkanen, CHI ($6300, vs LAL)
Wendell Carter Jr. and Otto Porter Jr. are banged up. Markkanen is Jr. no more, so I guess he’s not. Whatever. Markkanen is lucky his last game didn’t log a record on DraftKings’ main slate of matches because it was a big dud of just 18 DKFP. This man fooled us on the season opener by dropping 35 on the Hornets to go with 17 rebounds, but those numbers are far from what he’s done since then. He is averaging 13.7 points in his last three games, has not reached 10 rebounds in his last five, and has blocked two shots season-long. The 38.7% from the floor is terrible, even more considering he’s shooting more than 13 shots per game, on top of wasting 6.3 shots from beyond the arc with a cry-inducing 25% of success. Did I mention the Lakers are on the schedule today? Ugh.
Love: (C) Tristan Thompson, CLE ($7100, vs BOS)
He ain’t no Audi but TT has started the season on the fast track. Not since before the womb had we seen Thompson hit a three, but he did a few days ago and it was awesome! Just imagine how the rest of the season must be going for him. One of the true-to-the-colors, OG Cavs, Thompson is playing a lot and then some (33.1 MPG) while averaging a dub-dub so far to the tune of 16.5 points and 11.3 boards. He’s also dishing out 2.5 assists to go with 2.4 great stocks and he has limited his turnovers to just 0.3 per (!). The free throws are ugly but other than that he’s shooting lights-out at a 54.9 clip on a top-tier 13.7 FGA per night. If we’re going to have this Thompson all season long, I’m moving to Cleveland.
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!