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) Trae Young, ATL ($9800, vs UTA)
I have not written a lot about Young Trae here. Shame on me. Trae is a walking bomb waiting to explode. Like, nightly. He can get frustrated and frustrate his fantasy truthers even more at times (he’s had a couple of under-15 points games...) but he can go supernova as easily and drop 42 as he hung on the Knicks this past Tuesday. That was ridiculous. Ice Trae finished that game with a 42-4-6 line, shot 55.2% from the floor and hit 7 (!) threes. TY’s usage is floating around 33.5 in December and the Hawks can look nowhere other than him to keep them alive in games, so you know he’s going to shoot a lot and then some. Believe it or not, Young Gun is the 12th-best player in December (eight games played) and has an average of 47.8 DKFP per contest. He usually falls this short of dub-dubbing but his unconscious scoring makes up for it and he’s posting a 28-4-8-1 line on the season, which is way more than enough if you ask me. The turnovers are horrid (4.8 per) but his shooting splits (45/38/86) rave and he’s launching 20.9 shots per game. Utah is missing Conley tonight, so Trae will probably eat big time.
Love: (SG) Donovan Mitchell, UTA ($8000, at ATL)
If you read Trae’s blurb you know Utah is missing Mike Conley tonight and for the foreseeable future. Well, enter DoMi to fill the gap. Not that Spida needed any injury to rack up numbers, cause he’s already scaring the bejesus out of his foes. Through 27 games he’s playing 34.7 mpg and in that extended run he’s keeping up his averages at 25.2 ppg, 4.7 rpg, and 3.7 apg. You might think those assists are low, and they probably are, but watch Mitch bump those dimes going forward with Mike C out. He’ll probably handle the ball even more than he does already. His usage will get even higher even been at 30.9% already, and his contributions will probably level up all across the board. It’d be reasonable to think Mitch has already reached his ceiling and is playing at a maxed-out performance level but this new open field will give him even more chances to rack up numbers. He’s also on a three-game streak of scoring 28-plus points and 40-plus DKFP good for ranking as the 15th-best fantasy option in that span.
Love: (SF) Bojan Bogdanovic, UTA ($6700, at ATL)
Look, December is a cold month. I don’t blame BoBo for stepping into it with his left food. It happens. After averaging 40 DKFP from Nov. 20 to the start of December, Bogdi could only average 23.4 DKFP in his first six games of this month. The stove has heated up as hell for him lately, though. In his last two, he’s posted lines of 32-4-1 and 30-5-5 while hitting 8 and 6 treys respectively. Eight and six, you read that right. End-of-the-day tallies: a very delicious 40.5 and 48.25 DKFP. BoBo is precisely no bobo and he’s probably going to shoot more with Conley out while keeping up his staggering 33.4 mpg. His shooting is unbelievable and well, you expected it drop, but so far there is no sign pointing to that. Bogdi is shooting 46.1% from three (7.3 attempts per) and “only” 45.2% from the floor. Yes, that’s correct. Bog is hitting more threes than overall shots. He’s the only one along with Marcus Morris (5.9 attempts, though) doing so. Lol. If you don’t love BoBo I don’t know what to make of you.
Hate: (SF) Taurean Prince, BKN ($5600, at SA)
Cheapity cheap so no real hate here, but still. The Prince is still no King, sadly. For some reason, though, the Court keeps him on the court north of 30 minutes per. His usage being around 20% is just bad for the Nets because what is he giving them? Nothing. There was only one Royal TP, and it was Tayshaun, not Taurean. Because Taurean will grab some boards here and there—probably his lone calling card—with an average of 6.4 on the year, but the rest of the stuff is super ugly. He’s at 12.6 points, 2.3 assists, and shooting 38.6% from the floor while shooting a more-than-I’d-like-to-see 11.8 shots per. No wonder his production per minute is just at 0.89 DKFP... That, my friends, is as bad as it can get. For this Christmas, all I’m asking Santa to give me is a very good, healthy and recovered KD as soon as possible.
Love: (PF) Giannis Antetokounmpo, MIL ($11300, vs LAL)
Eros has definitely hit the NBA world, folks. Just accept it. Eros is the Greek God of love. Eros must also be Giannis’ father, because Giannis has us all enamored of him and his game. How can we not be, though? Have you seen Giannis play basketball? This thing about bouncing the ball, jumping, and putting it through the hoop? He’s good at it, I’ve been told. I cannot tell you for sure, because every time I’ve tried to watch Giannis the glow he gives is so bright it blinds my eyes. But I can at least look at the box scores and game logs. Here is a quick summary: no. 5 player in fantasy; 61.2 DKFP per game; 12-game streak of 25-plus points; 24 dub-dubs on the season; six games of 8-plus dimes; nine games with a base-line of 26-13-6 and up; 42.3% usage rate in December (39% season-average); etc, etc. Anthony Davis might not play for the Lakers. If that is the case, Giannis might score 100 points. If AD plays, Giannis might drop all the way down to 93 or so. Seriously. Pay for the man and enjoy the game. Consider this your Christmas present.
Hate: (PF) Jabari Parker, ATL ($5500, vs UTA)
I will never forget the whole season I spent under the banner “Tank Safari For Jabari” before his draft night. I’m still a believer, and JP has been good this year, but he’s been dropping the ball a bit lately. Is he felling John Collins approaching his return? Who knows, but the truth is Jabba the Park has reached 30 DKFP in just two of his last 10 games... That’s no bueno. Parker is finding it hard to grab boards and most of all to score (only one 20-point outing going all the way back to Nov. 27). He’s gone from playing 30 minutes in November to 26 this month through eight games, and it’s understandable Trae is a little full of this Hawks team given what some of those fools are doing, Jab included. Other than the interior shooting Parker isn’t doing a lot and with a 50.4% success from the floor on 12.8 attempts he’s getting to 15.8 points, but that’s mostly it. His 6.3 rpg on the year keep getting lower and lower as he’s totally lost the touch with the board lately, and his dimes are also on the low in December.
Love: (C) Rudy Gobert, UTA ($7800, at ATL)
It’s Euro-Night in the NBA with all of BoBo, Giannis, and Gobert about to feast. The BGGs have it all to give their bettors a pleasant reward by the end of their contests. The Croissant himself will go against Atlanta and we all know Atlanta gets cooked facil and often. Monsieur Gobert is putting up an easy dub-dub this season with 14.6 ppg and 13.9 rpg only matched by Dre Drummond. Another case of continuous “he’s meh” talk around most places until dumb people look at the stat sheet and realizes how little they know about who’s who in the Association. Shaking my head... Gobert isn’t blocking as many shots these days (1.7 bpg on the season, though) but he’s a daily walking 15-15 menace with upside to dish out some dimes and reach the high-40s DKFP any given day effortlessly.
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!