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) Trae Young, ATL ($10400, at WAS)
The price may look high, but consider what Ice Trae is doing this season (29.2 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 8.5 apg, 1.1 spg) and what he’s done this year since coming back from injury (35 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 10 apg) and things look much better. Even being over $10K sounds like a discount to my ears, seriously. Trae has dropped more than 40 points in two of his last two games (41 against Indiana, 42 against Houston), has dished out at least 8 dimes in three of his last four, and just two days ago against the Rockets he got himself his second and triple-double of the season (42-13-10) in which finished as his first game of the 2019-20 campaign finishing with a massive 80.25 DKFP. Don’t think that is out of Young’s reach nightly, though. TY has played 35 games this season and he’s got to at least 50 DKFP in 21 of them—including all four he’s played in January—which means he’s performed as a top-3 player in 60% of his games. You have more chances of playing Trae and have him reward you with 50-plus DKFP than flipping and coin and have it landing in heads or tails. Crazy.
Hate: (PG) Devonte’ Graham, CHA ($7600, at UTA)
This Graham hasn’t been so Golden since New Year’s Eve. In the five games he’s played since we were on the verge of flipping the calendar’s page, Vonte has only broken the 37-DKFP mar once against Dallas and finished at 37 or fewer fantasy points in the other four matches. The minutes have been crazy high at almost 40 per night, so it’s the production which has flopped a bit. De’Gra is struggling with his shooting lately hitting shots at just 30 percent from the floor in the last month of play compared to his 41.5 percent success prior to Dec. 13. The threes have dropped too, with Graham not scoring more than 3 triples in any game since Dec. 22 while that was almost a given thing to pop in his stat lines nightly earlier in the season. The dub-dubs come here and there, but they are borderline viable with scoring outings closer to the 10s than higher marks. Not liking this cereal so much right now.
Love: (SG) DeMar DeRozan, SAS ($7200, at MEM)
The algorithm must be into something I’m not aware of with DeRozan because DeMore and DeBetter DeRozan plays DeCheaper he gets... Silly algorithm. DeDe’s price is laughable considering is dropping a 22-5-5 line nightly on the season for these lowly Spurs and that he’s a lock to end every game in the 40-DKFP neighborhood. It’s been a bunch of games in a row for DeMar getting himself high fantasy tallies. In fact, during his last eight games he’s finished with more than 35 DKFP in seven of them while performing like a top-20 player in the slates he’s been part of. The scoring numbers are a delight with DeDe on the 20s for nine consecutive games—including two 30-point bursts—while the boards remain on the season average and the dimes have seen an uptick lately going from 4.9 on the season to 5.6 in his last eight. DeDe might not hit a three (he’s trying more these days, though) but his shooting from the floor can’t get higher with a fg% of 66 percent in those aforementioned last eight games.
Love: (SF) Kawhi Leonard, LAC ($9900, vs GSW)
Kawhi under $10K, rested, and in for tonight’s game with George confirmed out against the shitty Warriors? You bet I’m playing this fool. If you have read my column at any point you know I hate Kawhi because he’s more of a headache than a basketball player these days. But hey, when the chance arrives you have to take it. Even with just 28 games to his name Leonard is having a ridiculous season. He’s currently ranked 33rd in total DKFP (1,305) on the season while appearing in those 28 slates. No player has more points than him with fewer games, and when looking at the averages Leonard’s 46.7 DKFP per game rank a much higher 13th in the league. Reasonable, considering he’s filling the stat line all across the board to the tune of 25 points, 7-plus rebounds, 5-plus assists, and almost 2 steals on the season. Kawhi should come rested rested today as he hasn’t played since a week ago against Memphis when he dropped 24 on the Grizz and added 8 boards, 3 dimes, and 2 steals to that.
Hate: (SF) Luka Doncic, DAL ($12600, vs LAL)
The last time Luka faced the Lake Show he finished with 35.5 DKFP on a 19-4-7-2 night shooting 35.7% from the floor. His price is sky-high. That’s it. That’s all I have to convince you to not play the Don. Other than that, top-5 player on the season at 21 years of age. Wtf.
Love: (PF) Brandon Ingram, NO ($9200, at NY)
Do you know what the Knicks do? Stink. Do you know what Brandon has become in New Orleans? An All-Star. Do you know what great players do at MSG? Thrive. Sounds like the perfect combo is up for Tiny Dog’s grabs. Skinny B has no ceiling. I’m serious. That would have been a joke just six months ago but it’s so real these days. In case you have not paid attention, Ingram is playing a top-15 player in the freaking whole NBA in this the 2019-20 season of our Lord. He’s basically doing it all. Scoring, rebounding, assisting, you name it. He’s cooked 35 and 29 chicken wings in his last two games, grabbed 8 boards in both of them, and finished with an extra 5-1-1 (assists-steals-blocks) and 11-0-2 in those games to round those performances and get him to 56.5 and 61.5 DKFP respectively. I can’t wait for Zion but BI is filling my Pelican nights quite wonderfully in the meantime.
Hate: (PF) Deandre Ayton, PHO ($7800, vs ORL)
What a bummer to see Ayton come back from his suspension and overwhelm a bit ever since... Sure, he’s dub-dubbing with gusto in almost every game, but I still don’t think the return is good enough. Just the other night against Sacramento he dropped to 36 DKFP on the night with a paltry 21-9 line. This guy should be putting up 20-15 dubs nightly but he isn’t getting quite there yet. I hope he does in due time, but we’re still a little far from it. The run is extended at more than 34 minutes per in his last four, but he’s just not giving me enough. Orlando lost Isaac but still has some bodies in the paint, which doesn’t make the matchup so great. Pass on Ayton until he gets it right right.
Love: (C) Nikola Vucevic, ORL ($8800, at PHO)
At the risk of sounding boring and losing you as a reader, I’m still picking this Niko over any other Niko whoever else. I have yet to write these many positive words about anyone in the column almost daily, it’s getting ridiculous. Vuc prolonged his 40-plus DKFP streak to eight games and counting two days ago with a 49.75-fantasy point night against Washington in which he even finished out of the dub-dub lacking one more rebound. He still had a 29-9-2-2-1 line covering every possible stat line box so there’s that, I guess. Niko is performing like a top-12 player going back to Dec. 27 in the eight games he’s played in that span, is averaging 46 DKFP, and his nightly lines sit at 21-12-4-1-1. The production can’t be higher and he’s even hitting threes every single game as he’s scored at least one in his last nine matches and two or more in eight of them. Do-it-all biggie here.
Hate: (C) Bam Adebayo, MIA ($8100, at BKN)
I think it is impossible to truly hate Adebayo, but 2020 has not been a BAM! year for him so far. Where is the December version? Can I downgrade him back to that one, please? In Santa’s month, Bam averaged 44 DKFP in 15 games. In January’s four matches, he’s at 37 DKFP. He’s failed to dub-dub in his last couple of outings and although he’s raised his shooting percentage from a 58.5% on the season to a ridiculous 78.2% in his last four the scoring his rather low as the attempts have dropped a bit from almost 13 in December to 9 this month. Again, not that you can hate Bayo a lot, but his numbers have been a little down lately. Let him rest for a bit before playing him again, and take into account he’s going against two towers in DAJ and Jarrett Allen 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!