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) Chris Paul, OKC ($7400, vs HOU)
One can clearly make a Point about Chris being a God indeed. Most folks expected a trade sooner rather than later, but here we are. The Thunder are led by this oldie and are good enough to make the playoffs. Who would have thought... No revenge game as CP3 already played Houston in October but a great chance for the oldie to break some Rocket hearts as they are playing on back-to-back nights. In his last eight games going back to Santa’s Day, Pauly has been a top-25 performer, finished as a top-3 player two times and another one inside the top-10. Christopher is averaging a pretty neat 18-7-8 line nightly and has had two dub-dubs in that span failing to get another one by three points and a trip-dub by just a couple of dimes against Toronto on Dec. 29. Paul has taken a heavier load during those past eight games shooting north of 15 field goals per game while he was at just 11 from the start of the season to that late-December point. Always bank on reliable veterans.
Hate: (PG) Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, OKC ($7100, vs HOU)
SGA is dope as hell and OKC’s future. Shai has had his present-day moments too, but let’s say he’s still a little more Shy than Shai. Gilg had a torrid streak of games going from Dec. 18 to Jan 2. in which he averaged almost 43 DKFP per game but after that, he’s cooled off a bit. His last three have all ended with him at no more than 32 DKFP yet the price remains a little high for my blood given the return. The points and boards are great, not going to lie, but the assists always suffer because of CP3 and Schroder being out there in the court taking touches from him. The shooting in the last 10 games is mental at 52.9% from the field but as expected it has regressed in the past two to a more reasonable 45.3% against Philly and Brooklyn. Let Shai marinate for a few games to see if he gets back to those aforementioned heights before playing him again.
Love: (SG) CJ McCollum, POR ($6800, at MIN)
It’s not been the best couple of weeks for Mac but Portland functions like a Russian Roulette and you never know who will get the bullet each night. Sometimes it’s Dame, sometimes it’s Melo, sometimes it’s CJ—every time it’s Hassan though, that’s for sure. Anyways, McCollum is a little bit of a rollercoaster but he’s always at one’s reach of having a booming performance. Just a few days ago went for 24 pops, 4 rebounds, and 6 assists against the Wiz, and four days earlier he finished with a 25-2-6 versus Phoenix. He’s had better games reaching the 33 points and 10 dimes, and that looks like his ceiling. He could reach it tonight against a very poor Minny team lacking quality players and carrying more than one and two banged-up and straight injured guys. The usage rate is moderately high at 25% and Mac is attempting almost 20 shots per game from the field so he’s always a very real threat to get some tasty fantasy points.
Love: (SF) Ben Simmons, PHI ($9000, vs BOS)
To hell with Point-Simmons, give me Big-Ben-Simm all day. If you’re one of those bitching folks criticizing Benny because he doesn’t shoot a damn three, get out of here and close the door once you’ve left. No BS around Simmons game. This guy might not shoot from long range, might have a seriously worrying usage at 20% on the year, and might not have a single-word description who fits his abilities, but goddammit does he knows how to ball. Benny’s got himself three triple-doubles on the season and in seven other games he fell just two boards/assists short, so just imagine! He’s logged 16 dub-dubs, is averaging an 18-10-10-2-1 line in the past two weeks, shooting 56% from the floor, and getting to 50-plus DKFP routinely. Going back to Dec. 23 Benny has been a top-10 player on average and finished in the top-5 of the slate’s he’s been part of three of seven times. Whether you like or hate his fit on the real-life Sixers, BS is a must-play in fantasy contests and much more at this ridiculously low price.
Love: (PF) Carmelo Anthony, POR ($6600, at MIN)
You can go and read CJ’s blurb above. I said it there: every night someone from the Blazers eats, but you never know who will it be. Melo murdered Toronto a couple of days ago like it was 2005 shooting 58.8% on 17 fga to finish the day with 28 points (5 treys included), 7 rebounds, 1 assist, and a couple of thefts. That was the best Melo of these days in action. Could he repeat such a performance? Sure. He did back in November and December with similar 40-DKFP performances in five-day spans, so we’re still inside that gap. Minny sucks and if Melo stays hot you never know his limits. No concerns in the playing time as Portland was for real when it signed him and said he’ll be a key part of the team: Melo has played more than 33 minutes in all but five games since the start of December, so there’s that.
Hate: (PF) Sekou Doumbouya, DET ($5800, vs CLE)
I’m excited about Sekou because he’s young as hell and who knows where he can end at. What if he is the next Giannis? You never know. I’m not Doumb enough to play him at this price given the potentially ugly return, though. Sekou posterizes fools with gusto but those plays won’t get you extra fantasy points. The Pistons are the worst team in the league if only because they don’t have any idea what they’re doing and they could turn into something even worse if they finally take the rebuild route and trade Dre away. With Blake out for the year and 15 more injured players in the roster, Detroit is running with Sekou. He’s playing a ton of minutes (27, 38, 34, 33 in his last four, all as a starter) but the production is pretty meh even with those massive counts. He’s got two borderline double-doubles to kick off the year, sure, but he’s averaging a 13-7-nil line in those four starts with a 16% (and going down) usage rate that I don’t like one bit. He’ll get some numbers if only because he lives on the court, but his inexperience is something you don’t want any part off. Get him in dynasty leagues, though. This Doumb could prove us wrong and be the next Freak.
Love: (C) Steven Adams, OKC ($6800, vs HOU)
See how hot and cold games and streaks work? I told you the other day: play the hot streak, avoid the hot game. It’s time to play the Kiwi, folks. It’s been three games in the 40-to-50 DKFP range for Stevie and that’s something good enough as to him a lock at a very delicious price, and much more against a Rockets team on back-to-back games that could potentially rest Clint Capela tonight. Three straight dub-dubs for Adams make me droll, and his playing time of 30, 35, and 35 minutes in those matches is even more encouraging of more festivities being announced in New Zealand. In case you don’t check the numbers, Adams is already an official dub-dubber on the season with an average of 11.9 ppg and 10.3 rpg. He’s either dunking or baby-laying up balls at the rim so the 61% shooting percentage from the floor checks. Gotta improve that 55.8% from the line, though, but you can’t have it all I guess.
Love: (C) Hassan Whiteside, POR ($9300, at MIN)
Double love at the center position! If you are low on funds, go with Stevie. If you have room to waste those dollars, play Hassan. You know how it goes: you play Hassan, Hassan rewards you with a tasty 20-20 and some sweet 45-plus DKFP. It never fails, seriously. Call it empty stats or call it what you want, but Hassan is a fantasy-must. This fool has broken the 40-DKFP barrier in his last six games (10 games if we don’t count the one against Utah when he played just 21 minutes). He’s averaged 16 points and 18 boards in those 10, and 18-18 in the last six. Oh, I forgot to mention that he’s also blocked at least 3 shots in 14 of his last 19 games, and that he’s averaging 4 blocks per in his last six matches topping at 7 two days ago against the Raptors. Hassan also logged his first 20-20 game of the season on Jan. 3 with a 23-21-1-0-5 stocked line. Top-5 performer since the flip of the calendar’s page.
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!