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
- Both Boston and Toronto clinched and locked their postseason seeds yesterday. The Celtics will be the no. 3 team and the Raptors the no. 2 in the East. That means Boston will get one of Miami/Indiana/Philly depending on how they finish the regular season, while Toronto will be facing the Nets.
- Speaking of the Nets, they are 4-2 since the restart. They are also missing like 27 players to injury, which doesn’t help at all in explaining that stupidly good record.
- On the West, the Pelicans were eliminated from contention. Such a disappointment after the NBA organized the whole bubble-thing just with Zion in mind, I guess. Also eliminated from the play-in run: the Sacramento Kings—for the 14th consecutive season.
- Injury Watch: Joel Embiid got his left ankle injured and left yesterday’s game for good. Not only was Philadelphia already missing Ben Simmons—probably out for the year—but now the 76ers face a scenario in which they might have to throw the rest of the season away if they don’t want to risk Embiid’s health further. Bye, bye, 2020.
- Carmelo Anthony surpassed Paul Pierce in the all-time scoring list. Melo is now the 15th leading scorer in NBA history now, with Tim Duncan being his next target.
- Zion exits the playoff run with a pretty meh set of games inside the bubble so far. In five matchups Williamson has averaged 18.4 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 1.8 apg,... and has gotten no steals or blocks at all. We all get it. Zion can score on a mental efficiency, but that’s not going to cut it going forward. He needs to step up big time in the rest of the aspects of the game, both on offense and—most of all—on D. Growing pains, let’s hope.
- Hall of Famer and great baller Paul Westphal has been diagnosed with brain cancer. Best wishes from the FakeTeams fam.
Duds and Studs: Last night slate roundup
- Very ridiculous game from Dame yesterday. Lillard cooked his first 50-wing game inside the bubble against Philly (51 pops) in 40 minutes while grabbing 3 boards, dishing 7 dimes out, and stealing a couple of rocks. All in all, Dame finished with 68.25 DKFP and led the slate easily.
- Two Rockets finished exactly at the 60-DKFP mark and one of them doesn’t look like the other: Harden had one of his average games against Sacramento dropping 32 on them to go with 8 rebounds and 7 assists... while Austin Rivers (!) was the main attraction of the game as he got hella hot and put up 41 points (including 6 triples) and paired those with 6 boards, 4 dimes, and 2 steals. Sweet soon of a Doc.
- Five ballers in the 50-to-60 DKFP-clip yesterday: Kawhi, LeVert (this kid has gone bonkers in Disney), Tatum, Hayward, and Josh Richardson (someone has to cook for Philly, right?).
- Clear winner of the ROI King Award last night in Austin Rivers. Seriously. Rivers’ game came absolutely out of nowhere. In fact, Rivers’ ROI was the fourth-highest since the start of the season and the best inside the bubble. Makes sense, considering he was priced at a ridiculously-low $3.4K yesterday with Russ out and cooked big-time buckets. This was just the second 60-DKFP game from anyone with a price at-or-below $3.4K, with the only other such performance coming from Aron Baynes back in March (69.5 at $3K).
- And the DOTS (Dud of the Slate) Award goes to... Jrue Holiday! I’m skipping Embiid here but he was the real DOTS yesterday (8 DKFP at $10.6K) with just under six minutes of playing time. Injuries aside, Jrue was—once more—horrific for New Orleans reaching just 20.75 fantasy points while priced at a monster $9.1K. Fade him forever. Tobias Harris was also terrible, and with everybody getting injured in Philly he better step up his game before it’s too late.
- Only eight dub-dubs between points and rebounds (Jarrett Allen’s 16-16, RoCo, Jaylen Brown, Ibaka, Favors, Vucevic, Harrison Barnes, James Ennis), and three between pops and dimes (LeVert’s 27-13, Fultz, Morant).
- No triple-doubles, but I gotta give kudos to Jonas Valanciunas after he somehow finished with 0 (zero) points, 10 rebounds, and 1-1-1 assists/steals/blocks in 27 minutes. I’m sure you have to go for that line on purpose to achieve it.
- De’Anthony Melton was crazy stealing 6 balls while both Theis and Nurkic led the slate with 3 blocks each.
Gotta Win The Day: Best/Worst DraftKings plays for tonight’s slate
- Love: (PG/SG) Devin Booker, PHO ($8700, vs OKC): Book has yet to be hit with a $9K price since in Disney, but so far he’s over-performed his average price returning tons of value to his owners. Book has dropped at least 27 points in four of his five games since the restart and Phoenix has yet to lose. Yes, you read that right. Oklahoma isn’t a bad team, but this clearly smells like a match to put the Suns at 6-0 inside the bubble with DeBoo cooking some chicken wings again. Actually, Book’s best scoring outing so far has just been a couple of 35-point games, which is far from what he’s capable of. I don’t think he’ll leave this thing without a 40- or 50-point game, and OKC could very well help it.
- Hate: (SG/SF) Jimmy Butler, MIA ($7200, vs IND): This Butler is a very stubborn servant. He declared war on T.J. Warren a while ago, and he’s facing him today—assuming both play. What is about to happen is something close to Jimmy shooting shots left and right, going for it each and every possession, and probably due to just sheer volume he might end with a good fantasy outcome but allow me to doubt it. I think this could end more in frustration than celebration for Butler. Not saying Warren will bomb this game as he’s become accustomed to lately, but rather that Butler might get too crazy inside his brain as to put on a dud tonight. We’ll see, but I wouldn’t risk it with him.
- Love: (C) Brook Lopez, MIL ($5300, vs TOR): Bucks versus Raps is the stuff of dreams, amirite? It is, indeed, and these two squads are expected to face each other down the road in the postseason, namely on the ECF if they both reach that round. That, folks, is going to be a great series. This match, though? I don’t think either of these two will show any legit cards to each other, so forget about your monster games from the likes of Siakam, Lowry, Giannis, and Middleton. Brook, though? Give me all of his shares. I mean, Milwaukee doesn’t have to rest Brook and we all know how he operates and what he can do—pretty much anything you ask him for. He will hit some treys, grab some boards, dish out some assists, and have an all-around game with tons of DKFP at a very very low price in a meaningless game. Greatest fantasy play ever.
- Hate: (PG) Jamal Murray, DEN ($7100, at LAL): Man, did Jamal look good on his comeback from injury the other day. This fool had been out forever yet he was able to play all of 39 minutes in a two-overtime game while dropping a 23-12-8 sweet line against Utah helping Denver get the W. That was nice, but are we sure he can go for another monster game two days after that one? I’m not entirely sure, and this type of game against a Lakers squad that is already locked into the no. 1 seed doesn’t help either. He might face soft opposition, and finish with a great score, or finish without many points only because of lack of effort, or maybe face LBJ+AD and the rest of the Lake Show, or who knows... Too many questions to pay for Jamal on this one, so I’d pass.
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!