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, statistical 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
- Ja Morant dodged a bullet and he will “just” be off the court between three and five weeks. It truly sucks for us fans and for the Memphis org. but it could have been much worse.
- Keeping on the injury wire: Kevin Love will miss at least three weeks, Kristaps Porzingis seems to be closer than expected to his comeback, Kemba Walker won’t be back “any time soon”, and Blake Griffin entered concussion protocol after getting knocked in the faced by James Wiseman yesterday.
- Kelly Oubre finally hit his first no-dunk field goal of the year and a triple on top of that!
- It looks like the 2021 G League season will take place in Orlando’s bubble. Not every team is participating, though, as multiple franchises opted to keep their development squads off the season for a year to save costs.
Duds and Studs: Yesterday’s slate roundup
- Four biggies in the top-5 fantasy scorers yesterday, which is huge, pun intended. Julius Randle of all men led the slate with 63+ DKFP thanks to another ridiculous performance that saw Mr. Randle get himself a tasty trip-dub to the tune of a 28.12.11 line with a steal and four (!!!) triples on the night.
- Embiid (29-16) finished with 62+ fantasy points, Drummond put up an 18-17-2-3-6 stuffed line, Russ (21-15-11) dropped his third triple-double for the Wiz, and Jokic reached a quadruple-double (of the bad variety, though) thanks to his 26-11-12 with 10 turnovers.
- Only four more guys finished in the 50-to-60 DKFP-clip, including Tobias, Tatum, Vucevic, and MPJ.
- Four dudes in the 40-to-50 DKFP clip, them being Harden (34-6-8 with 5 treys but 5 turnovers), LBJ (29-9-6-2-1 stuffed line), Conley (!) (20-10-9 near-trip-dub), and McCollum (20-11 on pops and dimes with 3&3 boards and steals).
- The ROI King award went to... Monte Morris! Starting at the point with Jamal Murray off injured, MoMo reached 37+ fantasy points thanks to a massive 24-point game in which he also grabbed a board, dished out four dimes, stole two rocks, and swatted a shot. Very complete game for a $4K player yesterday, which made him a hidden gem. O.G. Anunoby (44 DKFP) scored more fantasy points, but he came way more expensive than Morris so he has to be ranked below the Nug.
- And the DOTS (Dud of the Slate) Award went to... Giannis Antetokounmpo! Giannis is going to win the MVP, and if he doesn't, he will still finish in the top-3 more probably than not. That being said, what a rough start to the season for the Greek... Second time in a week he’s hit the DOTS with putrid performances, this last one of 30 DKFP against Miami thanks to a 9-6-6-3 line with which he didn’t hit double digits in any single cat... while having the most expensive price of the slate. Resounding stinkers also came from Booker, Zion, and Bam. Not a good day for single-name players.
- There were 11 dub-dubs via points and rebounds (Tristan Thompson, Wendell Carter, and MPJ did so at the cheapest salaries) and just one between points and dimes (Markelle Fultz’s 11-10).
- Monster night for the King of Trip-Dubs Russ who logged his third in three games, to go along with Jokic’s third and Randle’s first of the year. So far this season, Russ is 3-for-3 and the Wiz are 0-for-4. LOL.
- More silly numbers: O.G. Anunoby was the only player to steal 5 balls, while Dr. Dre blocked a slate-leading 5 shots with no other fool swatting more than 3 balls.
What’s cooking? Statistical trends from the preseason
- James Harden (67.3 FPPG) is the chef of the first week of the season, but he’s only played two games so his numbers are a little bit on the small-sample realm of things, which we have to take with a grain of salt. Nikola Jokic, though, is averaging 65.7 FP in his four games, has three trip-dubs in four matches, and is putting up a ridiculous 24-11-13-1-1 line. No Joke(r).
- Among cheaper/affordable players, Christian Wood has been great averaging 46 FP per game at just $6.5K and Caris LeVert, while starting only 1 of 4 games, is at 37 FPPG while priced at a reasonable $6.7K.
- No real surprises at the top of the three-point leaderboards (Harden, McCollum, Irving...) until we hit the no. 4 spot and find Terry Rozier (4.3 3PM per game). Alec Burks has been a rather nice surprise for the Knicks and fantasy GMs out there hitting 3.3 3PM per game while averaging 20-3-3-1 stuffed line for peanuts.
- Silly cheap values: Josh Jackson, Lu Dort, Mike Muscala.
- A little more expensive but still with massive ROI: Christian Wood, Darius Garland, Jerami Grant.
- Some very expensive players not doing enough to help their owners: John Collins, Devin Booker, Jamal Murray, D’Angelo Russell, and Jusuf Nurkic.
- Cheap points (min. 3 games played in the past seven days): Terrence Ross, Lu Dort, Kyle Anderson, Jordan Clarkson, Josh Jackson.
- Cheap threes: Duncan Robinson, Gary Trent, Donte DiVincenzo, Lu Dort, Lonnie Walker.
- Cheap boards: Kyle Anderson, Enes Kanter, Mason Plumlee, Royce O’Neale, Richaun Holmes.
- Cheap dimes: Tomas Satoransky, TJ McConnell, Tyrese Haliburton, Cam Payne, Jordan McLaughlin, Mason Plumlee.
- Cheap steals: Cam Reddish, Danny Green, Justin Holiday, Keldon Johnson, Dorian Finney-Smith.
- Cheap blocks: Nerlens Noel, Marc Gasol, PJ Washington, Aleksej Pokusevski, Derrick Jones.
- Cheap FG% (min. 10 FGA): Lu Dort, Cam Johnson, Terrence Ross, Lonnie Walker, Jordan Clarkson, Kyle Anderson.
Gotta Win The Day: Best/Worst DraftKings plays for tonight’s slate
- Love: Trae Young (PG). While Trae comes with the sixth-highest price today, Trae is the goddam leading MVP candidate of the season. Try knocking me out of that thought if you will, but get ready to eat an L. Young is leading the Hawks with mental levels of play. Trae is putting up 34-4-7 lines these days, he’s shooting 53.1 percent from the floor and 42.1 percent from three, and he’s attempting 15.3 (!!!) freebies per game while hitting 91.3 percent of them. Let me put that in some context. Trae is getting to the line 15+ times per game while all-freebies James Harden is second at 12.5, which is a goddam three free-throws below Trae’s mark. Pay the price, reap the rewards.
- Hate: Caris LeVert (PG/SG). The same as we loved Caris a couple of days ago with KD/Kyrie/Dinwiddie out, we have to hate him or at least fade him for one day. See, both Kyrie and Durant are back and that means they’ll eat 60+ percent of Brooklyn’s possessions themselves. If Caris starts at the SG position (which I think he shouldn’t, as he would be much better leading the second unit from the point) he will have very limited opportunities. If he comes off the bench, his upside goes up but that’s not set in stone and except in G1 (42+ DKFP), LeVert has not been very valuable coming off the pine with 14 and 27 FP in his two games after the season debut. I need to watch Brooklyn’s plans before risking this buiscuit.
- Love: Kyle Anderson (SF/PF). With Ja Morant out for a few weeks, odds are Memphis hands the creative duties to either Tyus Jones (not the greatest player) or Kyle Anderson (not the greatest fit). Had I to bet, I’d say Anderson will end carrying the offense and leading the unit in offensive plays, taking on a point-forward role. That can mean goodies for us fantasy GMs. Kyle is already averaging a nice 18-10 dub-dub through three games in his 34 MPG, and his 2 APG should be up to four or five easily if he gets to lead the game. Risky play as we don’t know the scheme yet, but one with a massive upside to it.
- Hate: LeBron James (PG/SF). Never bet against LBJ, kids. I’m just a bummer writing from his mom’s basement, so I can afford to hate him here, but not in real contests. Now, hear me out. LeBron has alternated stinkers with good-not-great performances this season, 30+ minute-games with <30 minute-matches... and he comes from playing a season-high 36 minutes against Portland in a game in which he also logged his highest score of the season with 55 DKFP. LBJ always carries a high floor and a higher ceiling, but I’m just not seeing it happening today. The Spurs suck a bit, and if the Lake Show can drop 80 points on them by halftime and the game is over almost before it starts, you know who will get some sweet rest on the sidelines, cutting his fantasy upside in half.
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!