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) Chris Paul, OKC ($7100, at POR)
The Point God made good to his name two nights ago. Without even touching the ball but rather bitching about an untucked jersey he won a game for his team. Talk about divine powers, and imagine if he opted to ball for a minute... Not that he didn’t against the Wolves, though. He dropped 30 on them and paired those buckets with seven dimes and four boards, enough for a rounded 50 DKFP on the day and a top-10 finish. CP3 was on a bit of a slump to that night, but he nicely broke it and he will keep building on it against a barred Blazers. Sure, Portland’s backcourt is great, but we’re talking Point God here and Point God knows how to dish, and hey, who the hell is messing in the paint for Portland? In 25 minutes against the Blazers in their last meeting, CP3 finished with a 16-2-5 line but if the playing time goes up (it should) he could easily reach the 40-DKFP mark.
Hate: (PG) Kyle Lowry, TOR ($7200, at PHI)
Not only is Philly’s D stout, but Low-Low might be death by the start of the second quarter. Kyle ain’t fragile but the man came back from injury five days ago and in his two games since he’s played a monster 40 and 41 minutes (!). Not bad lines of 12-6-11 and 19-5-8, but that time is ridiculous and Lowry is an old man, so the production per minute and the stamina were Low-Low. But hey, why not playing him 48 minutes, Toronto? Shaking my head... Benny Simmons will be at the other end, which I don’t like, and even if he doesn’t shadow Kyle I don’t think this is the best matchup for him anyways. At the end of the day the Sixers are giving up the fewest DKFP per game and Toronto has a lot of mouths to feed on offense, so don’t count on more than a 30 from Lowry—assuming he reaches that mark.
Love: (SG) Bradley Beal, WAS ($9200, vs LAC)
Exquisite Beal that served at the buffet today, thus the price. Sometimes you gotta pay, but you know it will be worth it so you don’t care. The Wizards have more than two and three players down and this team has become Brad’s Magic Show lately. Not making this up: Double-B has played more than 34 minutes in his last four, reached 41 in one, and broke the 38-mark in the other two. His usage in two of his last three games has been of 39.3% and 37.6%. Insane. He’s finished among the top-18 performance in this four-game span (including matches against the Clippers, 76ers, and Heat), and he hasn’t dropped fewer than 23 pops in any of the contests reaching 42 in the other game against Orlando. Brad’s been the Real Deal in December: 28.5 PPG, 6.3 RPG, 6.8 APG, and a steal. Hotitty hot.
Love: (SF) Paul George, LAC ($7800, at WAS)
I was about to include both George and Kawhi here, but I finally dropped The Klaw. Not a problem if you play him instead, though, only that he’s $600 more expensive. The Clips faced Washington on Dec. 1 and both mates put on a show. Kawhi finished with 48.5 DKFP on a 34-6-3-1 night while Young Trece put up a 31-8-1 line for 45.5 DKFP. Pretty similar as you see. But, PG played four more minutes and that’s been the story of the year with all this load management BS around Leonard so I’d advise going Trece’s way. We’re far from Playoff-P but tonight we could definitely get a glimpse of Christmas-P with a sound performance for another 45-plus fantasy points. It’s what happens when you play against the Wiz.
Hate: (SF) Carmelo Anthony, POR ($5700, vs OKC)
Gotta love Melo’s attitude after winning the POTW as he just went to sleep for a while. He’s on a back-to-back shitty streak of not crossing the 30-DKFP barrier, which for his price stinks a bit. Not that he’s overly expensive, but this is not tolerable. The Hoodie has scored 9, 20, and 15 in his last three and his usage seems to be stabilizing around 22%. He keeps grabbing boards as a mofo because the other Blazers are TFOH, but Melo is just that, buckets and rebounds. If any of those two things fail, he’ll sink your day big-time. He played 28 against OKC back on Nov. 27 and finished with a 19-4-2 line in 28 minutes for... 25.5 DKFP. Shaking my head. I guess he forgot to warm-up wrapped in his beloved hoodie.
Love: (PF) Montrezl Harrell, LAC ($6300, at WAS)
Get-right game today for Trezz at a delicious price. We’re talking 40-DKFP chances here, folks. Monty H put on a dud against Milwaukee on Friday, though that was a blowout and he only logged 23 minutes so don’t panic. Do you know what he did against Washington to kick December off? Trezz exploded, that’s what. Dub-dub of 23 crickets and 15 boards with a very sweet 1-1-1 of dimes, steals, and blocks and a 60% shooting from the floor on a pretty great 28.7% usage rate. Trezz is a top-40 player in the last two weeks and has broken the 40-DKFP mark in four of his last seven games (in two of those he didn’t he played 25 or fewer minutes, though). He doesn’t start and comes off the bench, so even if today’s match turns into a positive blowout he will probably keep killing Wizards until he runs out of powers.
Hate: (PF) Kristaps Porzingis, DAL ($6800, vs SAC)
What the hell do we make of The Zing? This was supposed to be a duo, not a solo act. Poor Luka... Shaking my head. Kristaps is playing 30 MPG and holding good averages of 16.6 PPG and 8.7 RPG but that is not cutting it for me. Sorry, Porz. The two blocks per night he’s getting bump his value up a bit, but that’s pretty much all he’s adding. The 39.4% shooting from the floor (on 14.9 FGA) is atrocious and he’s not hitting that many threes (34.1% on 6 3PA). It’s been almost two weeks since he got to 30 DKFP for the last time and KP hasn’t scored more than 20 points in six consecutive games. The Zing was almost a walking dub-dub during the early season but he’s not grabbed more than 6 boards in his last four and not put up a dub-dub in his last five. If it wasn’t for Luka’s help I don’t even know what this man would be doing...
Love: (C) Steven Adams, OKC ($6800, at POR)
It felt like eight months until Stevie got it right, but he’s been scorching hot lately. The Caveman finally found his place this season and is on a four-game streak of reaching at least 38 DKFP with a 51-DKFP explosion on Friday against Minny. He’s this close to averaging a dub-dub on his last six games (15.2-9.7) but he’s gotten one in four of those and fell really short (just one board) in one of the other two. Big Kiwi is dishing out dimes like he was a big point and is a steady 3 APG provider, plus his 1.2 blocks are also a sweet addition to the mixture. He’s shooting a good 61.9% from the floor and it’s frustrating that he’s launching only 7.7 FGA per. He must improve at the line (50.9%...) but this is the Steven Adams of yesteryear and he comes at a tasty discount. Play him before he becomes too pricey.
Hate: (C) Karl-Anthony Towns, MIN ($10200, at LAL)
So we have a kitty KAT priced like a bengal tiger. I’m not falling for it, dawg. Towns is the highest-priced big man of the main slate and truth be told, his game deserves it. He’s on a 26-12-5 average line on the season and playing 33.5 MPG with a great 27.3% usage rate. That’s good and all, but the Lakers are no joke. Seriously. The KAT has been torrid lately but I don’t trust him at that price going against a team that looks like are throwing parties instead of playing professional basketball games yet still winning them easily. You’re probably not getting fewer than a good 40 DKFP from him tonight, because the KAT is that good no matter what, but I’m better off the Town and visiting some other village tonight.
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!