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
- Quote of the night by Kyle Kuzma after winning the Lakers their game against Denver yesterday: “I think Jesus could be in front of me and I’d probably still shoot.”
- Orlando clinched a postseason slot a couple of days ago and will be the East no. 8 seed no matter what, facing Milwaukee. Bad news for them, though, as Terrence Ross left the bubble yesterday—although he should be back for the playoffs.
- Everybody is resting inside the bubble these games. Except Chris Paul, that is. Head coach Billy Donovan said CP3 is all about playing, getting out, and competing. I don’t know if these Thunder have enough to upset a top-4 team in the West but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if they force a Game 7 in the first round against whoever they face.
- Philly Injury Watch: Simmons is done for the season and Embiid is out today vs. Phoenix. The Sixers are going nowhere in the playoffs without BS, and who knows if they will opt to sit Embiid letting him properly recover from here to December now that they have nothing to win during the next few weeks. Everything points to Embiid playing one of the two remaining seeding games and he should be active in the playoffs, but what’s the point, really?
- Let Montrezl Harrell tell you himself: “I’m back!!!!!!!!”
- Not that I have them, but I read them, and sources are saying that Alvin Gentry is cooked and done in New Orleans. He had a tall task to complete and probably way overhyped and unrealistic expectations to reach if only because of the arrival of Zion, and truth is that he fumbled to a certain extent. We’ll see which way the Pels take, with Tyronn Lue and Jason Kidd as potential replacements if Gentry indeed leaves.
- The NBA Draft lottery will be held on Aug. 20, nine days from today, and it will all be done virtually with 14 representatives Zooming in. Give the Warriors that no. 1 pick and let rumors and potential trades start popping up.
Duds and Studs: Last night slate roundup
- It’d been a while since LeBron led a slate in fantasy points, which happened for the last time before the All-Star break! The Washed King cleared the competition yesterday playing 38 minutes and reaching 53.75 DKFP in that time. I mean, nothing otherworldly, but still a good 29-1-12 line hitting 5 treys and somehow only grabbing one board while blocking a couple of shots.
- As nobody reached 60 DKFP yesterday there weren’t crazy stat lines and only four more players were able to break the 50-fantasy point mark including Chris Boucher (25-11-2-2-2 !!!), Anthony Davis (27-6-5-3-2), Devin Booker (35-5-4 with 2 blocks), and Jimmy Butler (19-11-5-4-1 limiting bubble-god T.J. Warren to 12 points).
- Another four men finished with between 40 and 45 DKFP, all of them pretty hipster players: Darius Bazley, Norman Powell, Kyle Kuzma, and Boban Marjanovic.
- No discussion on the ROI King Award recipient, Chris Boucher. This man entered the slate priced at an almost-minimal $3.1K yet he finished second in fantasy points only behind LBJ with 52.75 DKFP after dropping 25 pops on Milwaukee, grabbing 11 rebounds, and putting up a nice 2-2-2 in dimes, steals, and blocks. Sweet game in which the Raptors rested bodies and run with lesser-used players, of which Bouch took the most advantage. Bazley and Marjanovic finished high-but-not-so-close to Boucher.
- And the DOTS (Dud of the Slate) Award goes to... Nikola Jokic! The Joker was a joke yesterday against the Lake Show. Both LeBron and AD played 38 minutes each while Jokic finished his run at 25, doing nothing in that time. He could only score 12 points and dish 4 dimes out to go with a rebound and a steal. Pretty meh (21.75 DKFP), if you ask me, even more at a monster $9.1K. Another super dud that was always going to arrive, sooner or later: T.J. Warren’s 12-5 game for 18.75 DKFP while tagged at $8.4K.
- A putrid three double-doubles via points and rebounds (Butler, Boucher, Bazley) and only one (LBJ) between pops and dimes. Obviously, no trip-dubs on yesterday’s slate as everybody is hitting the brakes these days leading up to the playoffs.
- We must find happiness in Butler stealing 4 balls to lead the slate, while Powell and Adebayo were the ones to top the blocks leaderboard with 3 each.
Gotta Win The Day: Best/Worst DraftKings plays for tonight’s slate
- Love: (C) Kristaps Porzingis, DAL ($8200, vs POR): Coach Carlisle said yesterday after resting both Luka and Kristaps that he was just leaving them out of a back-to-back and that he wouldn’t be sitting any of them in a nationally televised game. Both are back today, folks. Portland will throw everything they have toward Dallas because the Blazers need that W. That means no rest for Porzingis and a high-effort game from him potentially coming our way. Doncic has clearly been the bubble-darling and he’s clearly leading the league in fantasy points through five games, only he’s super expensive. For a much more affordable price, KP is posting up the fifth-best DKFP-mark league-wide at 51.8 averaging a delicious 29-10-2-1-1 dub-dub with some extra goodies baked in. Winning play and player to build around this one.
- Hate: (SF/PF) Tobias Harris, PHI ($8500, vs PHO): Simmons is out. Embiid is out. Someone has to step up his game for Philly, right? Wrong. I mean, right, but wrong in that Tobi won’t be the Sixers savior. Harris has one good game inside the bubble in the last week of matchups when he put up a 23-15 against Orlando. Against a much tougher foe in Portland two days ago he could only score 16 points and grab 7 boards. Harris doesn’t look any good, and Phoenix is untouchable these days. Philadelphia needs to win if they want to avoid Boston in the first round, but at their current state and with Harris leading the way I can’t imagine them achieving the feat. Really expensive option with not-so-much upside even with the two-best players of the team out tonight.
- Love: (C) Deandre Ayton, PHO ($7900, at PHI): Same game, flip side of the coin here. If Tobi doesn’t inspire any confidence, oh boy does Ayton do so. After missing the first quarter of yesterday’s game—not injury related, keep calm—and playing only 17 minutes, Ayton should be in and in full force today against Philly. The Suns are still perfect inside the bubble and fighting for a place in the play-in if either Portland or Memphis can’t keep it up. Ayton has had two dub-dubs already and even with just 17 minutes of playing time yesterday, he fell only 4 rebounds short of another one, which he could have probably gotten had he played his average 35 mpg. Without Embiid in Philly’s paint, you can clearly see another 20-10 line coming from Ayton on this game to elevate Phoenix’s record to a perfect 7-0 entering their last seeding game.
- Hate: (PG) Jaylen Tatum, BOS ($7800, at MEM): As is the case with a lot of players this week with the seeding portion of the restart finishing and most teams getting locked into their postseason slots, it all comes down to hating the situations more than the players themselves. Boston knows it’s the no. 3 seed and that won’t change. What about resting some bodies and getting into the postseason at 100%? Sounds good, right? That’s why I’d pass on Tatum (and Jaylen Brown, and Gordon Hayward, etc...) on this one. Memphis will undoubtedly go for the kill as there are serious chances they drop from the no. 8 spot in the West and even the no. 9 if they don’t act quickly. But is Boston going to put a real fight against the lowly Grizzlies? Even if that’s the case Boston won’t play Tatum for more than 26-30 minutes, and in the couple of games he’s stayed on the court fewer than 30 ticks he’s only reached 27 and 36 DKFP. Clear fade.
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!