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) Derrick Rose, DET ($7300, vs CHI)
Check this out, and know I’m not making this up: Rose has averaged 41 DKFP in his last three games (spanning a week) and he’s the only player in the league with three games coming off the bench in that span with such a high scoring tally. Lou Williams has averaged 42.75 but in just two games, and Dragic has an average of 35 in three. Rose is for real for real, which is not hard in a shitty team as Detroit that is screaming for someone to help them survive as a professional team in a somewhat competitive way. DRose has been massive in his last three with a usage over 37% in each of them, dropping 28, 24, and 27 points, and combining those scoring outings with lines of 3-5-1 (rbd-ast-stl), 3-7-1, and 7-5-0. The minutes are getting heavier going from 29 to 31 to 36 in his last one, and the ROI is still nice so take advantage before the price goes sky-high.
Hate: (PG) Eric Bledsoe, MIL ($6100, at POR)
Hard, hard to love Eric-B these days. The season has been a damn rollercoaster with a clear peak in the first half of November and not much more to it between middling performances and injuries to the B. The minutes have been pretty low all year long and although they have been ramping up lately (almost 31 yesterday, Bledsoe’s most since Dec. 9) the production isn’t that pretty. Counting from the start of December The Walking Muscle has played 12 games and only got to 41-plus DKFP in two of those games... The scoring is more or less good at 14 ppg in that span (not bad for his 24 mpg) with 4 rpg and almost 5 apg. Eric does a little bit of everything but not a lot of anything so that kills his upside, even more with Giannis and K-Midd often eating big time.
Love: (SG) Jamal Murray, DEN ($6900, vs CLE)
Truth be told, Murray comes from laying an egg against Dallas in his last game. Can’t lie with that one. The point of playing Jam tonight, though, comes from his other last three games, in which MuMu got to 41, 52, and 38 DKFP against (mostly) bad teams like Washington and Atlanta. What Cleveland is, kids? That’s correct! A bunch of slugs! A bunch of crappy guys playing crappy basketball, that is. So yea, Murray should get back to his thriving ways with this get-right game. Jamal has either scored 39 points or grabbed/dished 5 boards and/or 5 assists in his last seven games. Since flipping the calendar page he’s ranked inside the top-25 performers in three of the four slates he’s been part of, and he’s stuffed the stat line with at least a token in each cat in two of his last three games. Cheap as hell, also.
Love: (SF) Tobias Harris, PHI ($6800, at DAL)
Risky play here, bros, so you know what you’re getting into. Tobi has been a little down lately as he hasn’t had a top fantasy performance since Dec. 27 when he got to 44 DKFP. That’s the scary thing. The good thing is that TomaHarris has shown flashes and his ceiling is known to be high, and at this price, there is a good chance the ROI gets tasty at the end of the night. The usage is back to where it was earlier in the season around 24% and he should log 34 minutes easily. Harris is a lock to get to at least some low-20 points and the boards should pad his line to the tune of 5-plus to go with a few dimes. Again, not the most surefire play of the slate, but one with all of the upside even more knowing Embiid is out for good.
Hate: (SF) Gordon Hayward, BOS ($6500, vs NO)
I have never known what to do of G-Hay. Since he was traded to Boston and got injured for the year he’s seemed to have lost his magic. He was dope in Utah, then he moved places and all of a sudden he sucky-sucked. He’s not a bad player, don’t get me wrong, but he’s not the guy whose name said “star” back in the day... The season averages of 16-6-4 on 32 minutes with shooting splits at 52/36/83 are good, but he’s not doing a lot for fantasy players. Five consecutive games at or under 36 DKFP are killing him and even playing 36 (!) minutes against Philly two days ago he finished with a ground-level 12.5 DKFP after logging an 8-2-2 line shooting 36.4% from the floor with a usage of just 16%... This Gordon has no Flash in him.
Love: (PF) Danilo Gallinari, OKC ($6200, vs LAL)
The matchup isn’t great but the Lake Show ran the circus yesterday and is playing in the second leg of this back-to-back. The Gallo has been good lately, so good he’s broken the algorithm. He was priced at $6.3K for his last game against Houston and although he finished with a 23-11 dub-dub and almost 48 DKFP the mad math-men dropped his price to $6.2K. Shaking my head... Good for us, as we can take advantage of the bug and go play him tonight and hope for another sweet explosion. Don’t get fooled by that line though, as Dani has only one other dub-dub on the season and it arrived more than a month ago. Not to be too worried, though, as he’s getting a good usage at 24% on the season and averaging a 20-6 getting there virtually every night since Dec. 16. You know the threes are always part of the recipe with at least three long-range hits per game in that same span (last eight games), which is a nice addition to this very cheap yet delicious Italian dish.
Hate: (PF) Kevin Love, CLE ($7200, at DEN)
I’m just adding Love here because I want him to crap the bed tonight in front of the Nuggs and their fans so Denver doesn’t trade for him. I don’t want Love nor his tremendous old ass and heavy contract around the Rockies. No, sir. Great game against a shitty Pistons teams last Tuesday, but a massive drop in production in his other last four outings going back to Dec. 31. He’s struggling to get to 20 points and reaching 10 boards in more than 30 minutes while being the Cavs head honcho, so just imagine... Here’s to hope he gets moved as soon as possible so everything gets stabilized and we can play him confidently again in a—hopefully—better environment that bumps his numbers back to the heights he started the season at.
Love: (C) Nikola Jokic, DEN ($9700, vs CLE)
At this pace, I’ll be turning Eastern European any of these days, believe me. It’s all about them Nikos. Turn for the Joker today, as who doesn’t like Big Honey feasting on a swarm of Cavs? Jokic is no more a dub-dubber but he could easily fix his season averages tonight with a booming game against a totally broken Cleveland Basketball Team. He’s currently at 19.3 ppg and 9.7 rpg, so even the worst of double-doubles would virtually bump that line enough. Everything stays the same in Niko’s wide surroundings: the dimes are up at 6.4 per, the steals have reached one a night, the blocks are at 0.5, and the turnovers still “low” at 2.5 per. The shooting is sublime with splits of 51/33/79 and the fantasy production per minute can’t get much better at 1.44 DKPF on 26.2 percent usage rate. Oh, I forgot to mention Jokic last two games: 47-8-5-2-1 (64% shooting, 38.7% usage), and 33-6-7-1-1 (60%, 38.5%) against Atlanta and Dallas. And they say this is being a bad year... What a Joke.
Hate: (C) Al Horford, PHI ($6700, at DAL)
Logic says to play the hell out of Horford until Embiid is bad, but I’ll advise keeping calm. Sure, he thrived against Boston with JoJo out, but do we believe that will be the norm nightly going forward? Remember, kids: ride the hot streak, not the hot game. Other than that booming game against Boston two days ago without Embiid, Horford last five prior to that went for as many as 24 DKFP in the best of cases even while playing up to 34 minutes... The scoring is as low as under 10 points per, and the boards aren’t there with an average of 5.1 rpg after Dec. 25. Horford will get his chances has he now has all of the paint for him to work at, but seriously, be cautious and watch him perform on at least back-to-back games before pulling the trigger too fast.
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!