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NBA DFS: Khris Middleton and best/worst DraftKings daily fantasy basketball plays for Friday, Jan. 31st

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Duds and studs. Good and bad plays. We take a look at the past and upcoming NBA games to let you know what’s going on and how to tackle your DraftKings plays.

Washington Wizards v Milwaukee Bucks Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

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!

Hoop Land Times: News and notes from around the Association

  • Yesterday marked the 100th night of games in the NBA this season. Yessir!
  • The All-Star reserves were announced and... Beal is pissed off on his snub. He could have made it for sure, same as Trae who will start the game, same as Booker who was also snubbed, etc, etc... Someone had to fall, and it was BB. Cold world, mate.
  • Watch out for Luka’s potential injury as he might miss the ASG entirely. It’d definitely suck...
  • To the sideline fans out there messing with players: stop tossing pro hoopers around like they were baseballs, folks. Shouts to Lowry for speaking on the issue. He went for a ball, gave 101% effort to get it, and fell over a couple of fools on the crowd that for some reason felt compelled to push him back to the court in a way disrespectful way. Shame on them. If you’re one of those fools reading this, go home.

Duds and Studs: Last night slate roundup

  • I was this close to having Trae as one of the Love picks of the day yesterday but ultimately passed on him (the $9.9K price didn’t help, I must say). Oh boy, did I miss a big one. Trae went OFF for a massive 77 DKFP on a night in which he dropped 39 points on a Sixers team he dominated for 38 minutes. He contributed 6 rebounds, 18 (!!!) assists, and 2 steals too. You read that right, 18 dimes. LeBron got 19 a couple of weeks ago with the Lakers, but this is the first time since 1993 (Tim Hardaway, in 45 minutes, though), second since 1972 (Tiny Archibald), and eighth in NBA history (!) that someone has finished with 39+ points and 18+ assists. Crazy.
  • Two more 60-DKFP performances yesterday: Beal pointed at NBA All-Star voters and showed them what he’s capable of with a 34-9-9 line that I’m sure they’ll use to say something like “but hey, you ain’t trip-dubbing bro, no way you make the ASG like that!”. De’Aaron Fox was never considered in the run for the ASG accolade but he went for a sweet 34-3-8-4-2 stuffed stat line shooting 58.3% from the floor on a heavy dose of 24 attempts.
  • Although the best value was given to his owners by Cory Joseph (35 DKFP at $3K) on a 16-2-7-1-1 performance, I have to give infinite kudos to my man Jordan Clarkson. He has become a monster of a player since hitting Salt Lake City and he had the game yesterday with an incredible 37-2-2-1 line in under 31 minutes of run while scoring 7 long-rangers. The ROI sat at 11.34 as he reached 46.5 DKFP while priced at just $4.1K. If he’s still available in your league go snatch him fast.
  • Another couple of huge returns on investment: Dewayne Dedmon’s 41.75 DKFP at $3.7K with a 11-11-1-4-3 stuffed line, and Shake Milton’s (this guy actually exists, believe me) 46.25 DKFP at $4.2K with an all-around 27-5-6-1 contribution.
  • The flip of the coin today shows Paul George’s putrid performance in 19 minutes that were super low and left his bettors paying $8.2K for a ridiculous 19 DKFP... Another couple of duds came from Donovan Mitchell (celebrating his ASG call he forgot to play; 20 DKFP at $7.2K) and Nemanja Bjelica (sometimes average players play average games; 20 DKFP at $6.5K).
  • Fred VanVleet was the bobo of the night, falling two points short of a dub-dub and three rebounds short of a trip-dub. So close, yet so far away.
  • Only two points-dimes dub-dubs (Trae, Nikola Jokic), and six via points-boards (John Collins, Embiid, MPJr., Gobert, Dedmon, Torey Craig). No triple-doubles. Shaking my head...

What’s cooking? Statistical trends from the past seven days

  • Keep an eye on Keita Bates-Diop and Willy Hernangomez. It’s been three games for each of them in the past seven days and their ROIs are sky-high for those betting on them. Willy is providing 1.34 DKFP per minute on the court in his short runs (15 mpg) with a 9-5-1-1 line that should get better on healthier minute-diets. Keita is at a good 8-4-3-0-2 average in 20 minutes providing 1.12 DKFP per minute he plays.
  • Larry Nance Jr. renaissance is taking place and you’re missing it big time. The man is at 1.40 DKFP per minute, averages 34 DKFP per game, is playing 24 mpg and dropping a 14-9-4-1-1 nightly in the past week while shooting 53.8% from the floor on just 20.5% usage rate. Go get him on the cheap.
  • Brandon Clarke is far from new this deep into the season, but he’s still available for low money yet providing plenty of fantasy goodies. He’s averaged 13.5 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 1 apg, 1.5 spg, and 1 bpg in his last four this week. Those are crazy high numbers at a steep discount.
  • Someone worth sitting for a while: Will Barton. His 13-5-3-1-1 might look relatively good but it only does until you discover he’s playing all of 31 minutes per game... which puts his per-minute production at a paltry 0.84 DKFP per minute. Another fool: Ricky Rubio. He’s at 30 mpg yet only rewarding his owners with 0.73 DKFP per minute on an average 7-4-4-2 line while shooting a horrific 33.3% from the floor on a silly 14.4% usage rate.
  • Blocks for free: Mitchell Robinson (3.0 bpg in his last four). Steals for free: Matisse Thybulle (2.3 spg in his last three). Assists for free: Draymond Green (10 apg in his last three) and T.J. McConnell (6.3 apg in his last three). Rebounds for free: Ivica Zubac (9.7 rpg in his last three).

Gotta Win The Day: Best/Worst DraftKings plays for tonight’s slate

  • Love: (C) Jonas Valanciunas, MEM ($6300, at NO): I see no reason for JoVa’s low price other than him logging under-30 minutes for a while prior to his last two matches. Other than that, it makes no sense. JV graduated to the Varsity squad in his last two games against Denver and New York having 48- and 37-DKFP games in which he dub-dubbed twice to the tune of 23-12-3-1-1 and 12-13-4-1 stuffed lines. The minutes were back up to 33 and 30 respectively so there is nothing to be afraid of here these days. This man has proved that every single time he’s given even the slightest of runs he is a walking double-double: in the 26 games in which he’s played 25+ minutes, Jov has gotten himself 16 dub-dubs and averaged 16.5 ppg and 11 rpg. See? He’s been on that minute-diet for five games in a row now and averaging a 14-11 line, so the recent span checks with the season-long one. All good around JV.
  • Hate: (PG/SG) James Harden, HOU ($10600, vs DAL): We must be this close to Harden exploding and getting back to his 60-pop games, but he’s coming too rich for my blood after a couple of duds in his last two games. Let me say it again: we must be this close, but I’m not risking it. The problem for you now is that every time I tell you not to play someone then he goes and scores like 105 points and grabs 42 rebounds. Proceed at your own peril. Just to try and convince you, these are Harden’s last three-game averages: 19 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks. BUT he’s shooting just 32.4% on 14.6 fga per game and has only hit 4 triples in those three games combined. I don’t know, I think that is enough to fade him until he gets it right.
  • Love: (SF) Khris Middleton, MIL ($8000, vs DEN): I know you’ll hate on me for picking K-Midd but man, after what he did the other day and given tonight’s price, one has to pounce. The average $8K-valued player is averaging around 40 DKFP per game, and Khris is a 36-DKFP performer on the year... but a 43-DKFP nightly man in the past three weeks. In his last nine games, Middleton is averaging 25.2 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 4.3 apg, and a steal. Those numbers are good but definitely not great, right? Well, the interesting bit I omitted is that he’s putting those up on a restricted minute basis of just 30 mpg in that span. Six players (LeBron, Giannis, KAT, Kawhi, Luka, Russ) are averaging a 25-6-4 line on the season, but all of them are doing so on heavier loads that Khris’. Giannis might be out tonight, too, as he’s a little banged-up and well, let’s say the Bucks have enough margin of victories as to give their star some rest.
  • Hate: (C) Serge Ibaka, TOR ($6900, at DET): With Marc Gasol’s hammy not willing to dance, Ibaka went for the start against the Cavs in his last game yesterday and didn’t have a bad game (26-4-1-1-1 with 71.4% shooting). He logged 33 minutes, though, something he had not done since all the way back to Jan. 12. All stars aligned, Iblocka can be a dub-dub player (he’s got two of them in his last three games) but he’s more of a 15-7 averager than anything else. In fact, he’s averaging 15.3 ppg and 8.1 rpg on the season playing 26 minutes, which is more than reasonable to expect from him even if he gets the starting nod again today. Keep in mind DruDru is at the other end and showcasing himself if not for a move before the deadline then for a huge bag stacked full of Gs this summer.

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!