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. On top of that, I’ll bring you some news, statsitcal trends from the past few days, some studs/duds from the last slate of games, and much more!
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.)
Hoop Land Times: News and notes from around the Association
- Almost as soon as Dallas lost big man Dwight Powell for the season—and probably for the first few months of the next one too—the Mavs traded for Willie Cauley-Stein. You can get rid of Powell as it’s going to be a long time until we have him back balling. As far as WCS, he’s been a constant play for these depleted Warriors this season. In 41 games and 23 minutes per game he’s averaging 7.8 ppg, 6.2 rpg, and 1.5 apg. On top of that, he’s also contributing in the steals (1.1 spg) and blocks (1.2 bpg) cats, which makes him a good low-tier player. Not someone to consider playing on DFS contests still, as his outcomes are almost always under 30 DKFP and he is averaging 22 DKFP per game on the season.
- Zion Williamson played his second game of the season... and the minute-limit is obviously in place. The ticks were bumped up from 18 to 21 in his second outing and they will keep growing, so nothing to be afraid of. It is still early to judge too much, but so far so good for Zion in his first couple of games with lines of 22-7-3 and 15-6 (plus 1&1 in steals and blocks) while shooting a massive 75.3% from the floor on 10 attempts per.
Duds and Studs: Last night slate roundup
- Kawhi Leonard got himself his first career triple-double to the tune of a 33-10-10 line including a couple of steals and a block. Perhaps the most incredible thing, though, was the fact that he played almost 39 minutes, something he has only done once all season long! Of course, he led the slate with a massive 72 DKFP.
- Westbrook, Jokic, Giannis, and Kemba all broke for more than 60 DKFP. Russ did it on brute force dropping 45 pops on the Wolves but Jokic had the sweetest performance with a delicious 27-12-7-4-1 line on 45% shooting from the floor and a relatively “low” 26.5 usage rate.
- James Harden became the pariah of the night with a historical dud. The Beard finished with 29 DKFP in 34 minutes (12-1-8 line, 23.1 (!) fg%!) while carrying a monster price of $11.1K giving their owners a ROI (points per $1K) of just 2.61...
- Ricky Rubio also had an outing to forget, as his $7.3 salary turned into just 16.5 DKFP. Incredible considering he stayed on the court for a heavy 35 minutes of run but he could only finish with a paltry 11-2-2 line... on a 14.6 usage rate.
- Josh Hart (41.75 DKFP at $4K), T.J. Warren (53.25 at 6K), and Eric Gordon (40.25 DKFP at 4.6K) finished as some of the best plays of the night. All of them have relatively important roles on their teams and played 28, 35, and 36 minutes respectively, so they’re worth considering going forward.
What’s cooking? Statistical trends from the past seven days
- No player has appeared in more than four slates in the past seven days, but among those to play in four of them, Russ (67.4) leads the way in DKFP per game. Perhaps more interesting—as under-the-radar potential plays/acquisitions—are the names of John Collins (42.6), Shai (42), Lonzo (40.7), DRose (40.7), and Dennis Schroder (37).
- Some of the worst ROI given the DK prices have come from Terry Rozier (average 9-5-5-2 line), Eric Bledsoe (12-4-4), and Malcolm Brogdon (10-2-5).
- Duncan Robinson (4.3 three-pointers per game), Dough McDermott (4.0), Evan Fournier (4.0), and Gary Trent Jr. (4.0) are all at or over four long-rangers per game during the last seven days, making them interesting plays with upside at low salaries.
- Christian Wood has been shooting lights out during the past week, keeping up an incredible 76.1% from the floor while attempting 6.3 shots per game on around 20 minutes per.
Gotta Win The Day: Best/Worst DraftKings plays for tonight’s slate
- Love: (SG) Zach Lavine, CHI ($9200, at CLE): Not the cheapest of guys tonight, sure, but the matchup is as sweet as they come and LaVine is making his case to appear in the upcoming All-Star game. Not that he’s not making enough merits: it’s been 13 consecutive games scoring 20-plus points, the average line he’s posting in 2020 comes to 29-5-4, he’s become addict at scoring from three (3 three-pointers per game), and between last Saturday and Monday he stole 8 (!) balls from the Cavs (wink, wink) and Bucks.
- Hate: (PG/SG) Collin Sexton, CLE ($6800, vs CHI): Sex is expensive. That is all. For this price you would expect, what? Around 40 DKFP? Well, our friend Collin is having a hard time even breaking the 30-DKFP barrier (29 DKFP per game on the year...) so forget about that explosion. The points are high at 19.3 per, but he’s shooting 16.3 rocks a day and hitting shots at a 45.6% clip from the floor. He had his best game of the season two days ago but even then he finished with a 29-4-4-2 line that, as always, highlighted his high-scoring traits but still left him a little bit cold on the rest of the cats with nothing huge in any of them.
- Love: (C) Andre Drummond, DET ($9100, vs BKN): He comes rested after missing the first leg of the current Pistons back-to-back yesterday (nothing to be worried about). At this point in the season you already know everything you should about Dre: he scores and grabs boards like a mad man (17.3 ppg and 15.7 rpg dub-dub on the season) and no matter if he gets traded or not he keeps putting up massive numbers nightly. It’s been three straight games finishing with at least 47 DKFP and four in which he’s finished with 3+ steals and 1+ blocks. Can’t get much better.
- Hate: (PF/C) Al Horford, PHI ($6500, vs LAL): Pretty similar to Sexton. Horford is a 31-DKFP averager on the year getting run because of Embiid’s absence. On 31 mpg he’s dead-average at 1.0 DKFP per minute on the court and his 12-7-4 line isn’t quite cutting it. The extended run has allowed him to bump his numbers a bit but you won’t find 20 pops in his stat line any day, let alone more than those 7 boards or 4 assists. The usage sucks even with injuries to the Sixers roster. It’s an all-stars-align-or-nothing-good-happens with good old Al.
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!