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NBA DFS: Jimmy Butler and best/worst DraftKings daily fantasy basketball plays for Thursday, Feb. 20th

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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.

Miami Heat v Utah Jazz Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via 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, 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

  • Tons of stuff to cover after a week out! Let’s get to it.
  • Shouts to Bam Adebayo for being the most skilled player out there, to Buddy Hield for hitting some sweet long-rangers and extending the drama to the last possible second, and to Derrick Jones Jr. for truly dominating the dunk contest to previously unseen extents. Also, kudos go to Kawhi for snatching the first Kobe Bryant All-Star MVP Award!
  • Zion Williamson put his name in the potential group of 2021 Slam Dunk contest participants. Ja Morant made it clear his won’t make it there.
  • Marcin Gortan is officially retired. This here is one of just four Polish basketball players to ever made it to the NBA, and obviously the best of them all. 806 games, 7951 points, and 6407 rebounds in America before calling it a career. No joke.
  • We’re still ages away from it, but if you’re playing dynasty basketball leagues you might want to keep an eye on this: Giannis might stay playing in Milwaukee his whole career. Wow. Groundbreaking news. Definitely something to track because his game is so team-dependent that if he stays/leaves he would definitely lose all his powers. Jokes aside: folks, pay attention to Milwaukee and pay due respect. The Bucks are low-key putting together one the best seasons ever. Forget about free agency—even still years away in this case!—and all that. This is basketball at his peak and you’re missing it!
  • Just a few of your Class of 2020 Hall of Fame Finalists: Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Kobe Byrant. Jeeeeeeeez.
  • Is Pau Gasol retired, or is he just playing mind tricks on us? Gasol is willing to play in the 2020 Olympics with the Spanish national team (yessir! as a fellow native I root for this) and who knows if he’ll be back balling on NBA courts come 2021. Another upcoming HOFer here, so enjoy him while it lasts.
  • The Clippers approached Evan Turner and he might sign with the LA franchise in the next few days as a veteran addition to help them get that elusive chip.
  • Who the Clippers ultimately signed was Reggie Jackson, perhaps the best addition (along with that of Marcus Morris earlier, also going to the Clips) leading up/after the trade deadline. The Lakers missed on a potential second-unit point guard here while the Clippers keep building the best bench ever put together. Detroit, meanwhile, is somehow worse now than it was just a few days ago even if that feels impossible.
  • Speaking of the Lakers, they might make a run at Moe Harkless. The Clippers ditched him in the Marcus Morris trade and if New York decides to buy him out then the Lake Show could go grab him.
  • John Beilein and the Cavs are parting ways. The Cavs will keep sucking, and John Beilein maybe comes back to Michigan and hopefully loses a few games to Ohio State. A man can dream. JB Bickerstaff will coach the Cavs for the remainder of the season.
  • Kyrie Irving was named vice president of the NBPA, which means 1) we don’t know the real Kyrie, 2) NBA players definitely have a different view of Kyrie than ours, 3) the NBA is probably holding games in Mars next season, 4) recreational goodies are getting legalized, and 5) I’m so happy about this. Kyrie Irving also re-injured his shoulder, so yeah, he’s basically resting the year and thinking about playing once Durant is back or something.
  • Kevin Durant, by the way, has ruled out returning this year. Extra resting time for Kyrie, yay!
  • Kris Dunn might be done for the year, which really sucks a lot. It’s been two weeks since the last update came from Chicago and we have not known more in that span. Dunn had stepped up a bit lately, so it’s a bummer to have him out.
  • San Antonio has bought out DeMarre Carroll’s contract and you know what that means: Houston will sign him as it has already signed Jeff Green too to bolster its small ball rotation. It’s wild these days.
  • Some fools thought Jay Wright would leave 2018 Natty Champ Villanova to go coach the Knicks. He ain’t moving a bone. LOL.

Duds and Studs: Last night slate roundup

  • No games during the past week other than the All-Star Game. I’m a sucker for basketball, so here is some small breakdown of it.
  • While Kawhi got the MVP award, it was Giannis who led the game in DKFP with 54.25 on the night in his 30+ minutes of (logged) playing time. He finished with a sweet 25-11-4-1-3 stuffed line that included a dub-dub.
  • The very own Leonard finished inside the 50s, though, and was the only other player to do so posting a 52.25 fantasy tally. The line read 30-7-4-2 for him and he was the only one to get to the 30-point mark.
  • Three players in the 40-to-50 clip in this one: Anthony Davis (44.75 DKFP), LeBron James (42.25), and Rudy Gobert (41.25). Special shouts to Croissant Gobert for posting a dub-dub to the tune of 21 pops and 11 boards.
  • Ben Simmons didn’t shoot a three.
  • Everybody scored at least a couple of points, included Brandon Ingram who played all of eight minutes... and Domas Sabonis in his 19 ticks. Also, all bodies caught a rebound.
  • Only Devin Booker (hahaha!) and Domas finished without an assist.
  • Embiid (21-11-1) and Trae Young (10-3-10) were the other two players to post a dub-dub.

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

  • Not a lot of changes recently, even less with just two games played yesterday. Some of the guys returning great value during the week before the break: Furkan Korkmaz (21-4-2-1), Malik Beasley (22-7-3-1), James Johnson (9-5-4-2-1), Jae Crowder (18-7-1-2), and Dejounte Murray (19-8-7-2).
  • A little more expensive (in other words: mostly owned in season-long leagues) but producing a ton of fantasy goodies: Jamal Murray (31-3-7-1), LaMarcus Aldridge (23-10-3-1-1), Ja Morant (21-6-8-1), Aaron Gordon (19-9-6-1-1), and Gordon Hayward (18-10-5-0-1).
  • Flip of the coin (only including players priced at $7K+ on average during the past seven days), or “players I’d like to watch play as I know they can do or else I’d have to kick their ass”: Paul George (14-6-3-1-1), Kelly Oubre Jr. (21-6-1-0-0-1), Kemba (19-6-5), Lonzo (13-6-7-1-1), VanVleet (22-2-5-1).
  • Cheap points (min. 3 games played in the past seven days): Malik Beasley (22 ppg in 32 mpg), JJ Redick (20.3 in 23), and Derrick White (15 in 23).
  • Cheap threes: Malik Beasley (4.7 3pm in 32), Jae Crowder (4 in 29.7), and Avery Bradley (3.3 in 27.3).
  • Cheap boards: Dwight Howard (8.8 in 17.3), Kyle Anderson (7.7 in 27.7), and Dewayne Dedmon (7 in 25.7).
  • Cheap dimes: Coby White (6.3 in 30.3), Tyus Jones (4.7 in 18), and Tony Snell (4.3 in 33).
  • Cheap steals: O.G. Anunoby (2.8 in 30.8), DeAndre Hunter (2.3 in 37.3), and Gary Trent Jr. (1.8 in 27.2).
  • Cheap blocks: Dewayne Dedmon (3.3 in 25.7), Thon Maker (1.5 in 27.5), and James Johnson (1.3 in 26.3).
  • Cheap shooting: Jae Crowder (60.1 fg% on 9.7 fga), Thon Maker (58.8% on 9.0), and Avery Bradley (55.2% on 9.0)

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

  • Love: (PG/SG) Jimmy Butler, MIA ($7900, at ATL): Same story as always. Butler becomes an All-Star for the n-th time, enters the game off the bench, and drops a goddamn egg. After flopping in the “two-thirds-of-the-season Showcase”, Jimmer goes to Atlanta to make things right, and seriously, which better matchup than this one to put stuff together? The Hawks are the worst team when it comes to preventing the opposition form racking up fantasy points, so you know what is about to happen. Jimmy is averaging 42.7 DKFP on the season, and it’s not crazy to think he can reach the 50s tonight. He’s done so in two of his last four (three if we consider he left the game against the Clippers injured after just 26 minutes of playing time), so there’s that. The line reads 27-7-3-2 in February not counting that game. Sweet—and cheap for the potential ROI!—play.
  • Hate: (SF/PF) Miles Bridges, CHA ($6000, at CHI): In the three games Bridges played before the All-Star break he looked so bad, perhaps because he was more interested in getting his Twitter account ready for the Rising Stars halftime than in playing actual basketball, ifyouknowwhatimean. Anyways, those three games saw Bridges fell Miles short of his season numbers: in that short span he averaged just 28.75 DKFP on a massive 34 minutes per game, putting up a 20-4-1-1 line. Other than the double-digit scoring, the boards have gone a little down lately and he’s never been one to dish dimes out on a regular basis. A bunch of good points-rebounds performances in early-February helped him reach the 40 DKFP a few times but he had to pair those with high scoring numbers from long range and some assists, which is nothing you should expect from him nightly. Not liking the hype.
  • Love: (SG/SF) Buddy Hield, SAC ($6600, vs MEM): A Three-Point Contest champ, for the price of just $6.6K!? Are we crazy or is the algorithm just plain dumb? Gotta take advantage of this one, folks. Sure, Buddy Buckets is a bench-guy these days but the whispers are out there saying that he’s waaaay pissed off with his new role and he might force a trade as soon as the market re-opens this summer, so Sacto better thread the needle properly. Anaways, my Buddy has been great lately and since he hit the pine. It’s been 10 games like that already, and Hield is averaging 36.5 DKFP on those and hitting more triples than ever at 5.1 per game! The points are incredibly high in that span (22.2) as he’s turned into a walking microwave. He’s pairing that with some good 5 boards and 3 dimes per game while shooting over 50 percent from the floor on a very healthy 15.6 fga per night. Even getting off the bench he’s averaging 30 or more minutes easily, so that’s not an issue.
  • Hate: (PF/C) John Collins, ATL ($8700, vs MIA): Collins is a big, and you should never bet against a big in a public place like this one, but here I am hating on him. Capela will probably be still out and miss some time, but even with that out of this hating equation we’re talking about a player here priced at $8.7K, which is $900 more than Bam is entering the slate! Shaking my head. Bam just won himself the Most Skilled Player award (it’s an award no matter what, I won’t listen to your complaints about its validity), is a menace in the paint and everywhere else, and will make things hard as hell for JoCo. Collins, on the other hand, was on the low before the AS break putting together a couple of back-to-back games in which he didn’t top 37 DKFP falling short of grabbing even nine boards. The points will always be there around the 20+ per game, but either he grabs a high amount of rebounds or he’s cooked. Not the best night to pull it off in front of one of the best bigs around the Association.

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!