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) Spencer Dinwiddie, BKN ($8200, at ATL)
Dinwild price for Dinwiddie tonight, but well worth it. Spicy D has been hot lately and for a long time now. Never since he was named the starting point more than two weeks ago has The Din dropped below the 35 DKFP mark and as a matter of serious fact he’s averaging 44.22 DKFP in the nine games he’s started. His usage (32.5% in his last four) is even greater than his name and Brooklynites are happy with it. Dinwiddie is scoring 20.7 PPG on the season and 25 PPG as a starter. His free throw rate is mental at 94.7% on 7.2 attempts since taking over the position and he’s dishing out dimes as if it required no effort with an average of 7.3 APG in his last nine. He also provides good boards (3.3) and the casual steal and block here and there. You can not play a guy who dropped a 32-5-11 line in Boston to close November. Just can’t.
Hate: (PG) Malcolm Brogdon, IND ($7700, at OKC)
The President has been so involved in Christmas preparations that he has forgotten about basketball! Shaking my head. Brogdon ain’t bad and he will still provide points and dimes (and boards if needed, too), but he’s been on the thirties lately and I don’t know if you’re up to get that ROI or consider it enough. His shooting from the floor (48%) and the line (95.5%) are mental, but again he’s needed massive minutes to produce fantasy points in the last few games. He had a torrid start to the year dub-dubbin in his first four games but he has done so only once since the end of October and OKC isn’t the best of matchups.
Love: (SG) Donovan Mitchell, UTA ($7100, vs LAL)
We were fooled by the Jazz. Big time. So fooled indeed that we believed Utah was a city and not a state, say what Mike Conley!? Anyways. Spida is the only thing firing in Utah other than BoBo and someone has to put the ball through the rim nightly, right? Mitchell is the best bet. DoMi is playing a very delicious 34.7 MPG and carrying these Jazz as hell with a pretty heavy 30.3 usage rate—those are D’Lo levels in barred Golden State, just imagine! His virtual 24-5-4 averages on the season are only at reach of 14 other players in the L (Dame, Kyrie, and Harden are the only pure guards in the list, though). Mitchell has lost a bit of his rhythm lately but a back-to-back in his last run might have something to do with it. Prior to that couple of games he had scored at least 20 pops all the way back to Nov. 18 while averaging four dimes and more than five boards on the month. This guy is shooting 20.5 FGA per game and making them fall at a 43.5% clip so you know production is coming whether you like it or not and the price is somewhat ridiculous.
Hate: (SG) Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, OKC ($6700, vs IND)
SGA had a great start but where’s that? Gilgeous ain’t gorgeous no more, I guess. He hasn’t even reached 28 DKFP in three of his last four games yet he keeps starting every single match, logging usage rates of around 23%, and in his last outing he even finished it a 30.4 USG! He does a little bit of all, but not a lot of anything. Shai is playing over 34 minutes but contributing only 18 points, three assists, and five boards. The numbers are great, but in those massive minutes he should be doing way more. His 0.92 DKFP per minute are very telling, and he’s getting fantasy value just because of his otherworldly volume.
Love: (SF) Andrew Wiggins, MIN ($7800, at DAL)
Maple Jordan is getting hotter than the stove these days. He’s on back-to-back 44 and 41 DKFP performances and the one prior to that finished with him reaching 38.5 points. That’s bueno. This is a 35 MPG Wiggins scoring 24.8 per game and adding 5.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists per. Unheard of. As incredible are his 1.2 (!) blocks and relatively low his 1.9 turnovers for someone with a 28.2% usage. The shooting stays high at 46.2% from the floor and a not-so-bad 70.2% from the charity stripe. The good thing is he’s visiting it 5.3 times a day already, so those are some chances he’s getting there for free. The production is very palatable for someone with his super high playing time, so I’m getting Wiggy with it.
Hate: (SF) Carmelo Anthony, POR ($6200, vs SAC)
Second day in a row Melo makes the column with a Hate label attached to him. Shaking my head. Do you know what that means? Back-to-back games on consecutive nights for the Blazers. Do you know what that means, too? Melo’s finished yesterday game with a 9-6-1-1 line in 28 minutes, didn’t score a three, shot 22% from the floor on nine shots and his usage dropped to 18.7% (finally). Times are a changin’, folks. It is what happens when you give it all to be named POTW, that you need some time to recover after that.
Love: (PF) PJ Washington, CHA ($4700, vs GSW)
Ultimate value play here, so keep that in mind if you play Mr. Capital. PJ is playing 27.6 minutes and starting, but he’s a bit of a wild proposition. Golden State sucks as hell but he’s a rookie and he would probably stay in even in a blowout. When he’s given minutes, he mashes, but not much out of those games. At the end of the day he’s super cheap and has some upside if all goes good, but this is not the best play of the slate, only perhaps the most valuable one. PJ is rocking a nonsensical 50.5 FG% and an impossible to sustain 43.9 3P%. His usage is low on the season (16.9%) but that can change in such a shitty and weird game like this one could turn out to be.
Hate: (PF) Kristaps Porzingis, DAL ($6900, vs MIN)
Soft hate here because The Zingis might rest tonight and you shouldn’t hate on ailing people. Even with that, Kristaps sucks. Just 17 minutes yesterday and three games in a row under 30 DKFP. When will this guy get it right? Playing along with Luka! Shaking my head...
Love: (C) Andre Drummond, DET ($8900, vs MIL)
Perhaps you missed what The Doctor did yesterday but Dr. Dre was this close to putting up a massive 5x5 against Cleveland missing it only by one dime and one block. Nuts. Even with that he “only” had 58.5 DKFP while he has three games over that already since the start of the year (yes, he even had a 78.25 one to kick the season off!). Drummond is basically a walking dub-dub and has only failed to break the 10-point or 10-board barrier four times through 21 games. Seriously, he’s been insane even with Blake back in the lineup. His last week numbers: 13.8 PPG, 17.5 RPG, 4 APG, 2 SPG, and 2.3 BPG for an average of 49.4 DKFP. Dre is averaging almost the same fantasy points per game (1.45) )as no less than the very own Anthony Davis (1.47) and his season line is at 17-17-3-2-2. Crazy production, crazy minutes, crazy usage. All good around Doc.
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!