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) Eric Bledsoe, MIL ($5500, vs MIN)
The Walking Muscle is back! Yay! It wasn’t the greatest of comebacks and the run was very very limited (to 16 minutes, that was) but Eric B still finished with a very sweet 30.25 DKFP against Chicago a couple of days ago in his return since Dec. 13. There is nothing making me think Bled won’t be fully used going forward starting tonight against a depleted Minny squad. EB was a top-40 player during the first month of the season and he was putting up 40 DKFP per night effortlessly with high usage rates around 27%. Nothing will change there. Don’t think of EB as a dub-dub performer because Giannis and Khris eat big time in Milwaukee, but Eric is always on the 15-to-20 points range with a 5-5 in boards and assists almost guaranteed (he’s actually averaging 4.9 rpg and 5.6 apg on the year). His shooting has been great in the 27 games he’s played with splits of 48/35/81 and even playing for the all-sharing Bucks he’s still shooting 11.7 rocks from the floor per game and visiting the charity stripe 3.1 times a night.
Love: (SG) CJ McCollum, POR ($6800, at NY)
I’m not in full love with CeeJay more because of his surroundings than his own game, but his last 15 days have been torrid at the very least. Mac had another great run in mid-November but this last one looks more promising if only because of the heavy dose of minutes he’s been played. CJ has been on the floor for an average of 38 minutes in his last eight games going back to Dec. 16 and in that span, he’s averaged 40 DKFP per game while playing like a top-20 performer in all but two of those games. The 40-plus DKFP were a constant leading up to Xmas day and though he has dropped his performances a bit in his last outings he’s still an easy 20-popper. Barring a bad day against the Lakers, CJ has dropped 20 or more points on seven on the last eight teams he’s faced, he’s hit 3 or more triples in five of those games, and he’s averaging a 26-4-4 line in the past two weeks while shooting a ridiculous 50% from the floor. Tell me how the Knicks are going to stop this.
Love: (SF) Khris Middleton, MIL ($7500, vs MIN)
Word in the street says Giannis will play tonight, but hey, the Wolves stink big time and both KAT and Wiggins won’t be there, so I don’t think Milwaukee will be pressed to put the Greek out there. Even if he plays Khris is still a go on this very first 2020 day. Have you checked K-Midd last four games from Dec. 25 to Dec. 30? 51, 43, 40, and 41 DKFP. 31, 23, 21, 25 points. 8-4, 8-7, 5-7, 6-4 rebounds-assists on those days. Seriously, the dub-dubs and trip-dubs haven’t visited Khris’ house but he’s been in the very dead freaking Middle a Ton in those matches. No matter the minutes (topped at 33, played as few as 25 in that span), he’s still broken the 40-DKFP barrier in each of those and the addition of Bledsoe will give him more space to operate on the court. This Khris is no joke with a 30-plus percent usage rate during his last four. Top-30 performer in the whole month of December, top-15 since Xmas. Santa came full of gifts for K-Midd.
Love: (PF) Jonathan Isaac, ORL ($6600, at WAS)
Every time I remember Isaac is 22 I enter a fantasy world. No wonder he has his peaks and valleys at such a young age, but what JI is already showing makes me dream of a tasty future. Isaac is averaging 12.3 ppg, 7.1 rpg, and 2.5 (!) bpg on the season. His shooting is great at 46.3% from the floor and 76.7% from the line. He’s even shooting three triples per game and hitting 33% of them. Put some handcuffs of him and lock him into your facilities if you’re the Magic’s GM reading this here this moment if you are not a fool. To hell with Aaron Gordon and the rest of wonderboys, Jonathan is the real deal here, folks. Isaac is not yet a walking dub-dub but again, he’s freaking 22 years old. He’s been this close to dropping three double-doubles in his last four games with outings of 13-9, 19-9, and 13-9, but some other Magic fool had to grab that lacking board every damn time. Shaking my head... The year averages are short of that double-digit line but I truly believe Isaac is a nightly 15-10 threat easily and he comes with the extra sweetness of a massive upside on the blocks and thefts cats—in his last five games he’s stolen an average of 3.8 rocks and blocked 2.2 shots a night!
Love: (C) Nikola Vucevic, ORL ($8200, at WAS)
Okay, okay. Jonathan is good, but Vuc ain’t that bad either. Niko started a little bit slow but oh boy did he ramp up his numbers. Now, this is a true dub-dubber with averages of 18.1 ppg and 10.6 rpg on the year to go with 3.4 dishes. The stocks are high enough at 2 per game and the turnovers are limited as hell at 1.1 per. Great shooting splits of 46/34/78 considering he’s launching 4.2 treys per game and 15.7 shots from the floor, which is more than cool for a big man these days. The Wiz have between none and zero interior presence, so let the Vuc eat. Not that he hasn’t feasted lately... Peep his last three games: 44, 49, and 41 DKFP to make him a top-15 performer since Dec. 27 with his best performance against a Bucks team on which he dropped a 21-8-4-3-2 line (including 5 treys!) that is the most stuffed thing you’ll see today. The dub-dubbing has been lacking lately (only two in his last six games) but he went on a seven-game streak accomplishing the feat earlier in the year so you know the explosion is coming.
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!