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) Ricky Rubio, PHO ($6700, at CHA)
It took Rubio one game to heat up, which is logical it was such a short time considering he’s a sun (literally and figuratively). Ricky Business played 25 minutes against Washington on Wednesday and still scored 18 and dished four, but he truly was his great self Friday against Dallas. Actually, he was a little unconscious. All-time Euro-GOAT Rubio hit four treys (he’s attempting 3.8 on the season, mind you) while besting both his 13.5 PPG and 7.8 APG season averages to the tune of 21 pops and nine assists. He finished with a lone rebound (5.1 RPG) but hey, you can’t give everything the kids ask for or else they will grow spoiled. Charlotte is a cupcake on defense (fourth-most DKFP per game allowed) and Rubio is already at a hundred, so he should rack up goodies tonight.
Love: (SG) Devin Booker, PHO ($8200, at CHA)
Full-stack alert! Sorry, Morty, but it’s all about Ricky and Dev tonight, pal. Perhaps another day it’s your turn. Have I already told you about how sucky-sucky these Hornets are? Well, pour some best young-shooting-guard on them too and you’ll get the perfect cocktail. Booker-D has let me down lately though, even if you don’t believe me. He has scored fewer than 20 points in two of his last three games, but that one in which he did (against Washington) was a very delicious one: 27 points, two boards, eight dimes (!), a block, and a steal. Oh, and all of that on 10-of-20 from the field including a couple of treys and a perfect 5-of-5 from the charity stripe. It’s been three games without reaching 30 for Book already, and that is just unsustainable. He has a 40-burger to his name on the season already and he’s dropped 30-plus four other times so the earth-shattering outing must be right around the corner.
Hate: (SG) Donovan Mitchell, UTA ($7800, at PHI)
The Spida man scaring many folks lately. Sure, he’s putting up some points (20.5 PPG this last week in four games) but other than that he’s doing so little in so many cats. In his last four games combined Don Ovan has logged at least a rebound, an assist, a steal, or a block, but he’s topped at five boards, four assists, and three steals. His best game came against Memphis after Thanksgiving (20-5-3-3) but even that one saw him finish with just 37.75 DKFP, almost a season-low given his standards. Mitchell and the Jazz are playing back-to-back against Toronto and Philly and they’ll need some sweet rest after facing a stout opponent tonight (the 76ers are giving up the least DKFP per game to their rivals). He’ll probably get to 35 DKFP but for his price, there are more valuable options available.
Love: (SF) Tobias Harris, PHI ($6600, vs UTA)
I love Tobi for all of the wrong reasons. Utah is tough as nails (25th-fewest DKFP per game surrendered) but Tobi should be shadowing Bojan Bogdanovic tonight. BoBo is hooting 15.5 FGA per game and Tobi is a defensive machine so he should stay on the court for tons of minutes today and his 1.1 SPG and 0.8 BPG could help him get some sweet extra fantasy points at the expense of BoBo. That’d be just the cherry on top, though, cause The Tobinator is scoring 18.1 on the season to go with 7.1 boards and 3.2 dimes. Those are great numbers but what is cool as hell is his massive 49.3 FG%, which will probably drop with time but you gotta ride it while it’s hot.
Hate: (SF) Bojan Bogdanovic ($6900, at PHI)
Read Harris blurb, in reverse. Seriously, BoBo was on a scorching-hot run last week until he faced Toronto yesterday and put on a very serious dud of 11 points and seven rebounds. He added a couple of assists and a steal, but those numbers are far from his averages and he couldn’t find the rhythm at all. His shooting isn’t as bad as 35%, but it is not as good as his previous four-game average of 60% (!). He will eventually rebound but nah, not happening today against these Sixers.
Love: (PF) Domantas Sabonis, IND ($8000, at MEM)
Fake-American Domas is shooting a horrid 25 percent from beyond the arc and that is probably keeping him from trying more long-distance shots (1.2 3PA) though I think he should go for it. If he does and things go even half as good as with the rest of his numbers some folks’ ankles will start shaking. Sab Jr. is averaging a veeeeery easy dub-dub on the year with 18.5 pops and 13 boards on 34.4 MPG and he’s dishing out a massive 3.6 dimes for a big man. Those numbers are basically at reach for him, Giannis and KAT, if you push it a bit. Sabonis has been crazy this season without Turner on the court due to injury, but then Turner walked the needed Myles, made it back, and even now Domas is still out-performing Samurai Myles as much as to make the Pacers seriously consider moving from the latter. The shooting is hellish hot at 51.3 percent from the floor and the 4.8 trips to the charity stripe aren’t hurting either, even less with a saucy 80.2% conversion rate from there.
Hate: (PF) Julius Randle, NYK ($7300, at MIL)
I want to believe but I just can’t take the final step. Every time it looks like The Randlewus will provide, he falls short. Shaking my head. If you’re cool paying his price for 30 DKFP a night, that’s alright. I guess there must be rich people in this world after all. But I’m not paying that amount, dawg. Julius is no Joule and thus no unit of energy. He has reached 40 DKFP only once in his last six games spanning all the way back to Nov. 20th. Other than that, yeah, some points and boards here and there but just one dub-dub (the dumb man was able to streak four games with eight rebounds each...). He’s so close, yet so far from exploding, that he’s a bit of a walking frustration and a pain to my brain. I’m better off him. You’re probably too.
Love: (C) Aaron Baynes, PHO ($5400, at CHA)
Total value play here purely based on matchup. The Bayne has played just one game since Nov. 18th and he didn’t do much against Dallas this past Friday but hey, he should be good now. It looked like he got injured or at least a little bit banged up again but nothing serious. He comes as cheap as a cookie, and he’s been incredible this season. AB is scoring 14.7 PPG and grabbing 5.7 RPG to go with 2.9 APG. But man, what really jumps of the page is the incredible 56/44/70 shooting line. No big is hitting more from three than this fool on 4.4 3PA and although he’s not shooting a lot overall (9.7 FGA) that 56.3% clip is ridiculous. The production per-minute is as high as it can get (1.20 DKFP per) but you know he’ll probably fall under 30 mins. If he sees more court he can explode though, and even if he doesn’t, well, Charlotte is easy to feast on.
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!