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 CHA)
You hate the price but you love the return. Spicy D has been raving with Kyrie out and he doesn’t know how to stop burning fools around the Association. Seriously, Pence has been a top-30 player in eight of his 10 games starting since he took the reins on Nov. 16 and he’s never looked back. He’s basically a lock to give you some delicious 40 DKFP any day and Charlotte isn’t anything out of this world so you can easily pencil The Din in for another explosion. He’s scored 24 or more crickets in his last three, dished out 20 assists, and grabbed at least five rebounds in each to go with five combined thefts in that span. The most incredible thing though, his usage rate: from 29.5 against Boston to 34.7 (Miami) and now 35.5 (!) at Atlanta this past Wednesday. Whether shooting or dishing out dimes you know Sir Spencer will get to those high point-marks every day. He’s on 20.8 PPG and 5.8 APG while shooting 16 FGA on 42.3% success with a massive 86.3% on his 6.2 FTA per. I don’t see the downside.
Hate: (PG) Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, OKC ($6300, vs MIN)
Not the priciest but definitely not the spiciest either. Shai has been on the low-low lately. Check this out: 27, 21, 18, 33, and 26 have been his DKFP since Nov. 25 and it doesn’t look like it’s changing... even with his usage bumped up more than five percentage points in the last two. He keeps scoring in the low-to-mid teens and other than that he ain’t doing a lot of anything—but at least a little bit of everything, I guess. Told you a few days ago: Gilgeous ain’t Gorgeous, not now at least. He’s not been bad on the season with 18.1 PPG, 5 RPG, and 3.1 APG (them boards I love) but to do that averaging 34.4 MPG is to fall a tad bit short... His 0.91 DKFP per minute are telling. He better step up a bit or SGA will become an automatic fade. OKC sucks. SGA should be doing more himself going crazy out there.
Love: (SG) Evan Fournier, ORL ($6600, at CLE)
All day / every day / gotta love / Evan Fournier! Preach the word, my friends. Fournier is for real this season and I don’t know how people are not Googling him more these days... Anyway. Not enough talk about le French Evs who is having the hottest of hot starts to the season. Evs is playing north of 30 MPG and scoring 19.8 pops a game on 49/45/85 shooting splits that no one is holding at this point. I’m not making that up. Fournier shooting is unique and only Cheick Diallo is close to it on 15 games played although on a way lower volume, so you can count him out. Think what you wish about Evs, but he’s averaging a nice 20-3-3-1 line on the season, has a great 24.8% usage rate and is the engine that moves the Magic. Cleveland isn’t good at all but Fournier has played 27-plus minutes in every game but one this year so he’s blowout-proof. Trust le Fournier.
Hate: (SG) CJ McCollum, POR ($7400, vs LAL)
Half a $1K raise in price for CJ Mac after going unconscious versus Sacto a couple of nights ago. I get it, but I don’t trust it at all. CJ was channeling his inner NBA Jam “on fire” version the other night and hitting it from everywhere without sweating it just one bit. The Lakers, sadly, are not the Kangz. Plus CJ has suffered the Melo-effect in his own flesh since he got to Portland, and now he’s got his money guaranteed—no more fearing shooting from mid-range without regrets for Melo, that is. This is a three-headed monster offense who should have a clear leader (Dame), second-fiddle (CJ), and opportunity chaser (Anthony), but no one has a clue how things are shared in the Blazers system or who will eat each night. Staying off.
Love: (SF) Jimmy Butler, MIA ($8100, vs WAS)
I watched Washington a couple of days ago. They are a bunch of fools. That’s why you pay for guys going against the Wizards. But no matter if it’s Washington or the Presidential Team in front of him, you always pay for Jimmy OG Butler no matter what. It isn’t even that crazy a price, though. Jimmy has been on a mental back-to-back couple of performances this week: 62 DKFP against Toronto with a 22-13-12-1 line and 55 DKFP against Boston with a 37-6-4-2 outcome (including six treys). No wonder he finished as the 3rd- and 7th-best performer on those nights. I’m all in for the triple-dub Butler experience, and he could serve us one with gusto against Washington tonight. The Wiz are giving up 122 points on defense and 246 DKFP per night to their rivals. So yes, Jimmy could easily take 66 of those home and leave the other 180 for his mates, and no one would complain.
Hate: (SF) Jayson Tatum, BOS ($7600, vs DEN)
The last time Boston played the Nuggets it was Jaylen (45.5 DKFP) who cooked big-time while Jayson (25 DKFP) was left a little aside. I’m picturing the same scenario developing tonight. Tatum has punched Brooklyn and New York (how fitting) in the teeth in two of his last three games but he didn’t do a lot against Miami a couple of days ago in what felt more as a positive-outlier (three blocks? huh?) giving him extra value than anything. J-Tat is averaging 21 points on the season but he’s been a little up-and-down in the last few games dropping from 16 to 30 pops in his last-five span of games. He’s getting some boards and consistent dimes but his shooting has been atrocious (38.7% from the floor since he faced Denver on Nov. 22) and the turnovers are nothing close to good (15 in his last five).
Love: (PF) Anthony Davis, LAL ($9600, at POR)
The Brow under $10K? Against Portland interior D? Sometimes I wonder if they value the Brow’s production or his appearance. Shaking my head... LeBron has been so ridiculously good that even averaging 1.47 DKFP per minute AD is second to the King in the Lakers pecking order. Crazy. The Unibrow has it all: 26 points per, 9.1 boards, 3.2 dimes, 1.4 thefts, and—drumroll please...—2.7 (!!!) blocks per game!!! He’s stopping fools from throwing it through the rim at an incredible rate. Only Jonathan Isaac (massive kudos to him) is averaging as many blocks as AD per night. This is the good Anthony, the one shooting 49/86 and even getting some threes to fall here and there (34.3% on 3.2 attempts beyond the arc). The dub-dub on the season is this close and Portland stinks all around the lineup. Perhaps not the best night to grab 20 boards with Hassan on the court but definitely a good day to get some fantasy points in the bag by contributing in each and every cat.
Hate: (PF) Kevin Love, CLE ($6800, vs ORL)
The ultimate of contradictions here, hating Love. Such is life. Orlando is allowing the fourth-fewest DKFP to the opposition and hey, if Orlando has something that is Fournier and then some interior presence. Love can stretch—the floor I mean—but we’re talking Aaron Gordon and Jonathan Isaac here on D, and both of them have the legs to get up and down easily. Love is on the dub-dub vibes on the season (16.7-10.7) and adding almost three dimes to that, but almost all of his last four games have been rather mediocre. He has broken the 20-DKFP mar just once in that span to close November and his minutes have dropped to around 25 at most along with his usage (at 18% of his last couple of games). That is not going to cut it even with his high 1.19 DKFP per minute. Is this real Love? If that’s true, maybe he’ll be needing a shot of Cupid’s energy soon.
Love: (C) Bam Adebayo, MIA ($7500, vs WAS)
Hey. Sorry for making you wait. I needed 30 minutes to recover from the shock. Bam for $7.5K!? Against the Wizzy Wizs? Someone hacked the pricing algorithm. Do you know who is playing for the Wizards around the basket? I don’t either because they were bums before the injuries so just image who they could now... Bam though, the stuff of my dreams. Sweet dub-dub on the season (13.9-10.2). Dime-disher (4.0 APG), theft-maker (1.2 SPG), shot-blocker (1.2 BPG). “Bamdebayo have it all”, as the very own Monta Ellis would say. Bam is killing it hitting shots at a 56.6% clip though he should raise his attempts (only 9.0 FGA per), though that won’t be a problem against a rather bad Washington roster tonight. Risk of a blowout and getting short minutes, but it shouldn’t be the case as somehow the Wizards always find a way to score a ton of points even with the bunch of guys they put on the court.
Hate: (C) Tristan Thompson, CLE ($6300, vs ORL)
Don’t hate too hard on TT, because he’s ailing some illness and he might not play or play under 100% tonight. Even with that, though, the matchup isn’t bueno (read Love’s blurb for more) and Thompson is showing his true 30-DKFP on average profile lately, more than the 40-DKFP that he looked to have earlier in the season. In fact, Canadian T has not reached the 40-fantasy point more than once since all the way back to Nov. 8, so just figure. Nothing to like a lot in him right now, as even dropping three consecutive dub-dubs in his last three he hasn’t reached those 40 and his best outing went for 37.75 DKFP. That was against Orlando, by the way, so you get an idea of the kind of ceiling you’re paying for if you do so (he had a 13-15-2-1 line).
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!