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) Donovan Mitchell, UTA ($7600, vs MEM)
Spida Mitch had a torrid start to the season with 16 games in which he averaged more than 42 DKFP. After those, though, he’s dropped his mean to 32 DKFP in his last six. I wouldn’t worry a lot, though, as Don Mitchell keeps putting up tasty numbers nightly. He has yet to finish a game under 10 points or without a single dime. Mitch had one of his best games in the last two weeks against Memphis (20-5-3-3 with three treys, and he only shot 31.8% from the floor!) already, and now the Grizz are severely hurt by injuries all across the roster, so go figure. The Jazz are giving him more ball by the day and his usage has topped 35% in three of his past seven games, so he will get all the opportunities he can handle and on a 36.8 usage rate against the Lakers this past Wednesday he came back to his good ways by dropping 29 on them to go with four boards and five dimes on 45.8% shooting (24 attempts!). Not a dub-dub threat, but definitely a great contributor in every cat.
Hate: (PG) Collin Sexton, CLE ($5700, at PHI)
Fun doesn’t mean good. Ask them Cavs... One has to love the Sex Land backcourt of Cleveland but man, the results are as bad as they get. I can’t hate on Garland because he’s dirt cheap, but The Sex is going to get bashed. Sorry, pal. Second season in the league, but Sexton is stalling a bit. More than 30 MPG and 18 PPG are good, but the rest of the line makes you want to get to the bed and not exactly to pay homage to his name... Three rebounds, two dimes, and not even a steal on the season averages are ugly, and thank God he’s keeping the turnovers reasonably at bay. Oh, and he’s using 26% of Cleveland’s possession, so you get an idea of how much of a waste he’s been. His shooting is good on a 44/81 split, and he’s flame-throwing the rock (15.7 FGA), but other than buckets he won’t give you anything.
Love: (SG) Devin Booker, PHO ($8600, at HOU)
Yes, I know. Book needed the overtime to get to his 44-burger against the Pels, but a 44-burger is a 44-burger and the calories finally arrived no matter what. No wonder Boo Boo finished the day as the no. 1 player with a massive 71.5 (!) DKFP—that is the 28th-highest mark on the season among the total 6991 recorded to date, by the way. I’m not saying Book will cook like that every day, but I believe he could if he wanted to, only he’s deferring a bit more than I’d like him to. His usage is sky-high still (27.4% in the last two weeks) and that is helping Phoenix share chances and win games, but Dev has been north of 31% in the past two seasons so yeah, he’s just at arm’s length of switching the flip any day and eat big-time. Houston will put up numbers and Houston doesn’t know how to stop rivals, so you can basically see what is coming. D-Bo has toyed with the dub-dub a few times but only got two so far. Don’t rule out the third being logged tonight.
Hate: (SG) RJ Barrett, NYK ($5300, vs IND)
Let’s recap: the Knicks sucked, then the Knicks fired their head coach, now the Knicks will keep sucking, and also the Knicks have no head coach. As if RJ wasn’t going through enough already, now he doesn’t even a voice to let him know he’s playing ugly. What does that mean, folks? Get ready for the full Maple Experience. He was limited in minutes in the past two, but who the hell is going to shut him down now? Expect RJ to play like 40 minutes, shoot 35 times from the floor, get barely a couple of free-throw chances, and finish with five points and two rebounds—of course, the assists are totally out of the equation for this wild stallion tonight. Barrett is averaging 13.6 FGA and hitting just 39.6% of them, which means he will go for the stars and face plant so bad against a wall of Pacers bricks that it will be sublime to watch it unfold.
Love: (SF) Bojan Bogdanovic, UTA ($6300, vs MEM)
BoBo had his best game of the season against Memphis a week ago and that’s something considering how good Old Looking Bog has been this year. He finished with a sweet 33-8-2 while hitting four treys to the tune of 49 DKFP. That seemed to dry him of energy, though, as he followed that outing up with a couple of stinkers. No problem as he bounced back on Wednesday against no less than the Hollywood Lakers by hitting six threes for a 23-3-3 on the night. BoBo is the source of Utah’s offense other than Mitchell, and if you read the latter’s blurb above you know that Memphis has been shredded by injuries lately. Even with JoVa on the lineup the last time they met (and JV was supreme) BoBo still put on a show. Don’t trust the late drop in production, take advantage of the price discount and play Bog tonight.
Love: (PF) Al Horford, PHI ($6700, vs CLE)
No-Embiid Alert! JoJo is out tonight against Cleveland. Cleveland can’t be any worse. Philly usually rests and cuts player minutes on blowouts. But who the hell is going to be inside the paint tonight if not Horford with Embiid out and O’Quinn? Norvell Pelle? being the other options at the position. Horford is playing 31.3 MPG on the season and not providing a lot of anything but something of everything. He’s on 14.4 PPG, 7 RPG, 4 APG, 1 SPG, and 1 BPG. His shooting is sublime at 48/39/69 (well maybe not those free throws, but still) and he’s throwing 12 FGA and 4 3PA per game, which is more than good. His usage is under 20% but it should be higher tonight without Joel around eating. Not going to lie here. Horford is a 32-ish DKFP daily player, so it’s not that he’s a slate winner, but tonight’s game has all of the ingredients—both Love and TT are banged up and Kevin could even miss the game—to make him reach a considerably higher amount of fantasy points.
Love: (C) Clint Capela, HOU ($7800, vs PHO)
Capela is a monster. Plain and simple. Clint has no Cap and even in his worst night he put up a 6-13-2-2-1 line against Toronto on Thursday. Such is Clint. Only Dre Drummond (five)has more 20-20 games in the season than him (three) but Clint has done it on a paltry 15.9% usage rate. Not every superhero wears a Cape, I guess. Obviously you didn’t know about how Capela has been mashing because he happens to play in a team that already has two monsters in Harden and Russ, but the man has been incredible. He’s posting an eaaaaasy dub-dub of 14.5 and 14.9 on the year, and his 1.9 blocks are only bested by seven players through at least 17 games, yet only Rudy Gobert (65.4 FG%) is shooting better than Clint (64%) from the floor while blocking that amount of shots. The free throws are a nightmare (46.9%) but the rest of his production is so good he’s on a 1.25 DKFP per minute average.
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!