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
- We all know Zion Williamson is a freaking animal, only a caged one at least for his own Pelicans... New Orleans coaches keep saying that the minute restriction will stay there for the upcoming games, so we can pretty much fade Zion for the remained of the seeding games because he will be super limited and not worth playing. Sad but true.
- Great Cavalier Ante Zizic has signed with Real Madrid from Spain and will move there in preparation for the upcoming season. Considering Cleveland’s roster that might even be a big loss, who knows!?
- It looks like Lou Williams drops pretty tasty tips. Not as tasty as his chicken wings, I guess though. Also, no Lou nor Harrell today for the Clippers as they keep quarantining.
- If there is a team carrying more wounds than Denver, let me know in the comments section below. All of Gary Harris, Will Barton, and Vlatko Cancar won’t make their debut today with the Nuggets due to different injuries while Jamal Murray is questionable himself. I wouldn’t like to be on Mike Malone’s bones.
Duds and Studs: Last night slate roundup
- When the Bucks closed their game yesterday against the Celtics I thought it was going to be impossible for anyone to top Giannis’ 70.25 DKFP (36-15-7-1-1 in 32 minutes). Turns out I was wrong. Enter James Harden. The Beard dropped 49 pops on the Rockets opener and paired those with 9 boards, 8 dimes, 3 steals, and 3 blocks while shooting 70% from the floor and hitting 18 free throws. Crazy, crazy game for 85.25 DKFP. This is the first 85+ fantasy points performance since Jan. 20 and only the fourth during this full season.
- Two more players inside the 70s: the aforementioned Giannis (70.25 DKFP) and Kristaps Porzingis (70; 39-16-2-2-1).
- And two more with 60+ DKFP: Luka Doncic with 64.25 (28-13-10-1-1) and Russell Westbrook (61.75; 31-11-8-2-1)
- Nobody was even remotely close to the value returned by yesterday’s ROI King Trey Burke. The latest Mavs addition reached 47.25 DKFP while priced at the minimum $3K in the slate. Who the hell expected such an explosion!? Burke dropped 8 treys on the Rockets and finished with a 31-1-6 line and a theft in just under 30 minutes shooting 68.8% from the field.
- Other very valuable plays from yesterday’s slate: Brandon Clarke (38.75 DKFP at $4.1; 21-7-2-1-2), Danuel House (34.25 at $3.8; 20-5-1-2 with 3 triples), and Jaren Jackson Jr. (43.25 at $4.9K; 33-3 with a steal, a block, and 6 treys).
- And the DOTS (Dud of the Slate) Award goes to... Jayson Tatum! Talk about a stinker of a game. Tatum played all of 32+ minutes and even with that, he could only finish with 23.25 DKFP while priced at a monster $8.7K. The return was simply horrific. Tatum’s line: 5-7-3-2-1 shooting 11.1% from the field (!).
- Other pretty solid duds: Hassan Whiteside (16 DKFP at $8.1K), Jonas Valanciunas (22 at $7.8K), and Kemba Walker (23.25 at $7.1K)
- Thank god the dub-dubs made a solid return on the first day with more than a couple of games going. Seven double-doubles via points and boards (Kristaps, Giannis, Ayton, Theis, Russ, Aaron Gordon, RoCo), and a couple between points and dimes (DeRozan and Morant). Shouts out to Luka Doncic (28-13-10) for dropping a trip-dub yesterday, the first inside the bubble!
- Kudos to the big-time blockers of the day Brook Lopez (6 blocked shots), Jusuf Nurkic (6), and Robert Covington (4).
Gotta Win The Day: Best/Worst DraftKings plays for tonight’s slate
- Love: (PG/SG) Jordan Clarkson, UTA ($3900, at OKC): What about Sixth Man of the Bubble candidate JC!? Nobody has returned a higher value on investment than Clarkson during the first two slates of games other than Alec Burks, but Clarkson carries a much higher floor and is a way safer daily bet. Coming off the bench JClark dropped 23 points on New Orleans, grabbed five boards, and paired those numbers with 3 dimes and 2 steals. All of that in 32 minutes, which ultimately amounted to 37.25 fantasy points... and he’s now going for a lower price than he did on Thursday! Sure, the Pels stink on D and OKC will test Utah as they have the fifth-best defense when it comes to limiting fantasy points from the opposition. Even with that, there is nothing telling us Clarkson will see any limit and he will still be a very important role man for these Jazz during the seeding games, including today.
- Hate: (SF/PF) Tobias Harris, PHI ($7100, at IND): What are the 76ers these days? We have yet to see. Not worth repeating at this point, as you have already more than heard about it: Simmons and Embiid will share the court with Richardson, Tobi, and Shake Milton, but not Horford who will hit the pine. Again, Tobi will remain in the starting five. Also, Tobi has been shaky this season at best. He’s averaging just 1.03 DKFP per minute and around 35 per game with a 19-6-3 line and shooting 47.2 from the floor. Harris’ usage rate sits at 23.4% this year, but how the hell will that change now that Philly is exploring alternatives in their lineup? Will he see more ball? Fewer opportunities? Until we see what this team is about Harris looks like a really risky play to my eyes, and even more at this price.
- Love: (SF/PF) Brandon Ingram, NO ($7800, at LAC): Bones Brandon proved once again that this season has been no fluke for him. In a losing effort on Opening Night, he had a rather good outing finishing with a nice 23-8 near-dub-dub in just under 32 minutes with a 29.1 usage rate. Something we know now that we didn’t know leading up to Thursday’s game: 1) the Pels will limit Zion’s minutes to 15-20 per night (more volume for BI to eat), and 2) the Pels are 0-1 inside the bubble and if they really want to have even a minimal chance at the no. 9 seed and a play-in they better start winning now (and who better than their leading man to carry them?). The Clippers D is far from bad and LAC is also 0-1 and looking for their first W, but with the stakes so high it makes sense for Ingram to step up his game and put on a show today.
- Hate: (PG) Jamal Murray, DEN ($6700, vs MIA): Kemba Walker was one of my fades from yesterday’s slate mostly because of the concerns regarding his health. He was priced at $7.1K and finished with 23.25 DKFP, making him one of the worst values indeed. Today’s Kemba: Jamal Murray. Not much jam on this play either. The Nuggets depth is slim at best, and that means that perhaps they are forced to force Murray into a little more playing time than they hoped, even more considering how strong Miami looks these days. I’m not buying into a staggering performance from Murray, though. It’s not about making a case to fade him for what he’s done before the hiatus, because he’s been good enough to play him without much trouble, but rather about not risking it with him given his situation and Denver’s. Let this team marinate for a minute instead of making rushed decisions.
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!