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
- The playoffs came back yesterday after we saw postseason action more than a freaking year ago. It’s been a struggle, for sure, but it paid off even with the first game between Denver and Utah already going to overtime. Let’s gooooo!
- Gordon Hayward can’t catch a break, nor remain healthy. He left yesterday’s game against Philly in the fourth quarter with a sprained right ankle, and we’re waiting for the MRI results. Sucks for Boston, and most of all for Gordon.
- Rajon Rondo cleared quarantine and is back and ready to go inside the bubble. Although he’s been medically cleared to play, Vogel made it known that it’s hardly likely to watch him coming back today. We’ll see.
- Udonis Haslem made it to the playoffs with the Heat, the only team he’s ever known, and he seems to be thinking about extending his career further. Keep it up UH, you the man!
- No All-Star Weekend in 2021. Not at least when it was scheduled to happen in Indy, with the NBA canceling hotel contracts as the biggest clue it won’t be taking place on the set dates.
Duds and Studs: Yesterday’s Slate Recap
- Absolutely insane game by Donovan Mitchell, who was this close to carrying the Jazz to an upset win against Denver in Game 1. With Mike Conley out, DoMi put the team on his back, played all of 43 minutes, and went on to finish the day with a monster 81.25 DKFP to the tune of a massive 57-point performance that included 9 boards, 7 dimes, and a steal to spare. Spida shot 57.6 percent from the field and hit all of his 13 freebies.
- Plenty of fireworks to tip the postseason off. Although nobody finished with 70+ fantasy points, there were two 60+ DKFP performers in yesterday’s slate, both of them very expected: Luka racked up 65.75 fantasy points with another stuffed 42-7-9-3 line against the Clipps, while Fred VanVleet continued his awesome restart-run against Brooklyn dropping a neat dub-dub with a 30-2-11-2-1 all-around line for 60 DKFP.
- Six fools hitting 50+ including Kawhi, Jamal Murray, Tatum, Jokic, Embiid, and Jaylen Brown. Three of them from the high-octane Boston-Philly series. Oh boy.
- Even with a rather high price, yesterday’s ROI King was... none other than Donovan Mitchell! When someone is tagged at $8K and still finishes as the most valuable player of the slate you know he did something bonkers. And indeed DoMi did so. This man dropped 57 on Denver’s forehead. Only two players—a certain Michael Jordan (63) and some Elgin Baylor (61)—have ever scored more points in a playoffs game. That is ridiculous. Read it again. Mitchell ranks third all-time in that list now... at the ripe age of 23. 81.25 fantasy points at $8K well spent. Shout-out to Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot and his 40.25 DKFP at just $4K, which was close-but-not-quite-there to Mitchell’s ROI.
- And the DOTS (Dud of the Slate) Award goes to... Kristaps Porzingis! Luka was our last DOTS winner when we wrapped up the seeding portion of the restart, and teammate KP takes the baton now that we’re back at it. Porzingis was ejected with just under 20 minutes of playing time in which he could only reach 25.5 DKFP... while priced at $8.3K. Sucked for his owners. Al Horford was another solid candidate after playing 31 minutes and finishing with a paltry 6-7-6 line and 24.25 fantasy points at $7.2K.
- Four games to get things started in the postseason in which we watched seven dub-dubs on points and boards (Embiid, Tatum, Kawhi, Jarrett, Siakam, Jokic, Zubac) but only two between pops and dimes (LeVert’s 15-15 and FVV).
- No triple-doubles yesterday, but there were tons of treys falling from the sky. Six guys dropped 5+ triples with FVV leading the slate hitting 8 long-rangers.
- Although Gordon Hayward had to leave the game injured late, he was able to lead the slate—along with Marcus Morris—with 4 steals, while Rudy Gobert did so on the blocks department with 4 shots stopped.
Gotta Win The Day: Best/Worst DraftKings plays for tonight’s slate
- Love: (SG/SF) Victor Oladipo, IND ($6200, vs MIA): The Pacers and the Heat meat again and for the third time in the past week. Only the stakes are ultra-high now. The sexy face-off is obviously between Warren and Butler, but the two of them are priced at $7.6K+ today and that’s too much. Plus, TJ is a little bit banged up. Enter Oladipo, who will need to step up his game as hell for Indiana to have a chance to advance to the second round against this Heat squad. Oladipo has been far from a world-beater during the seeding games, but he’s played six of them averaging 31 minutes so at least we know he’s fit and will be ready for war once the ball flies tonight. If his usage gets up a bit—and it should—it’s not crazy to see Oladipo averaging 20+ pops against Miami to go with around 6+ boards and 3+ dimes per game. Dipo also comes with the bonus of hitting treys on a daily basis, and the price is too sweet to pass on him.
- Hate: (C) Myles Turner, IND ($7200, vs MIA): On the flip side of the coin... My Turn(er). For someone like turner, with long-range scoring prowess and a great all-around game, he’s put on some serious duds inside the bubble. He’s been super cheap during the seven seeding games (never over $6.6K) but now all of a sudden the price has gone bonkers for his production. He’s only had a 40+ DKFP game—his last one—but other than that he’s been rather mediocre even with Domantas out. When Indiana faced Miami a week ago the Heat already limited him to just 9 points and 7 boards, which... shame! Not seeing that improving a lot, even less knowing that the only team he’s been able to hang a dub-dub on since the restart were the Pocket Rockets and he even struggled to get there with an 18-12 performance.
- Love: (PG) Chris Paul, OKC ($7700, at HOU): The Rockets won’t have Russ to start the first round, but the Thunder will have Chris Paul and Dennis Schroeder after he came back and cleared the quarantine in time to play today. With Russ off, we’ll see how things go for Houston during the game he misses, and with Dennis on it is only possible to expect OKC to run great three-small-guys lineups putting SGA, CP3, and DS together. That benefits Paul the most, provided he’s the best player of the three and the team as a whole. Chris will give fits to Houston and it wouldn’t be a surprise to find the Thunder beating Houston today and on the series to advance to the second round. Paul also comes rested after logging just 23 minutes in back-to-back games to close the seeding part of the restart, but on a full-time basis he should be hitting the 18-6-6-2 line easily. Oldie but goldie.
- Hate: (SF/PF) Kyle Kuzma, LAL ($6400, vs POR): Not the most expensive of players today, I know, but still a fade to my eyes. This is Kuzma’s first postseason game, and although Portland sucks on D they bomb as hell on offense. That means Kuz will need to do it all and have a nice scoring outing night in and night out to help the Lake Show on a daily basis. Do I trust that happening on the series? Perhaps eventually. Today, I’m not sure. Kuz has dropped 20+ pops in the two games he started during this month, but when he plays below 28 minutes he’s finished with 16 at most while not contributing nothing on the rest of cats (4 rebounds and 1 dime per). The value can be really really atrocious no matter the “low” price.
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!