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
- No upsets in the first day of playoff games... but two big ones yesterday as both no. 8 seeds Orlando and Portland defeated no. 1 seeds Milwaukee and the LA Lakers respectively to kick their first-round series off. Make it spicy, baby.
- The NBA and NBPA have reached an agreement for the Delete Eight to have group workouts while building their own bubble-like environments from mid-September to early-October.
- Victor Oladipo was poked in the eye yesterday in the first quarter of Indiana’s Game 1 and he visited the hospital for it. Damn. At least he didn’t leave the bubble so he wouldn’t need to quarantine and won’t miss time due to that.
- The Rockets keep saying that Russ’ injury is progressing nicely, but for some reason I smell something bad here and wouldn’t rule out a full series absence from Russy... Same for Will Barton and the Nuggets, which have finally ruled him out indefinitely.
- Three to four weeks of recovery time for Gordon Hayward, which means he will most probably miss a couple of rounds if the Celts make it that far. Boston’s depth was already slim as hell, so they’ll need to give it all to finish the Sixers earlier and hope for a super-quick comeback from Hayward if they want to make a deep run.
- Mike Conley is back inside the bubble and Utah hopes to have them available for Game 3 vs. Denver on Friday.
Duds and Studs: Yesterday’s Slate Recap
- Must have been Taco Tuesday, folks. LeBron couldn’t help the Lake Show defeat the underdog Blazers, but he couldn’t have done more either. Bronny finished with 73.25 DKFP leading a slate in which he played 41 minutes (!) and dropped a monster 23-17-16 trip-dub, which was just the third 20-15-15 line of the season (the others by Giannis and Luka all the way back to November and January).
- Two players finished inside the 60-to-70 fantasy-point clip, although they fell on opposite sides of the winning spectrum: Giannis ate the L in a great 31-17-7 effort while Vucevic got the W for the Magic after putting up a nice 35-14-4 line with 5 treys to his name.
- Four ballers hit the 50+ mark, including Harden (37-11-1-2-2), AD (28-11), Dame (34-5-5 with 6 triples), and Chris Paul (20-10-9; that missing dime!)
- Not the most unexpected and unknown of names for yesterday’s ROI King award, who went to Miami’s Goran Dragic! All eyes were on the every-beefing Butler and Warren, but Dragic was low-key the best Heat player dropping a 42.5-fantasy point performance starting for Miami while priced at just $4.4K. He played 34 minutes and was able to put up a great 24-6-5-1 line hitting 4 triples. Close to Dragic’s value was that returned by D.J. Augustin and James Ennis, although on much lesser fantasy efforts between 31 and 34 DKFP.
- And the DOTS (Dud of the Slate) Award goes to... C.J. McCollum! This is not entirely correct, as the clear worst play of the day was Victor Oladipo (5.5 DKFP at $6.2K) but the price wasn’t that high and he had to left after 8 minutes of action due to an eye-poke so he gets a pass here. CeeJay though... Mac played all of 41 minutes, cracked back or not, and in that time he could only drop 28 DKFP (21-5 line) after being tagged with a monster $8.1K price. Sucked to watch.
- Almost double-digit dub-dubs between points and rebounds with nine of them in yesterday’s slate (Giannis, Nurkic, Vucevic, Steven Adams, Harden, AD, CP3, Bam, Melo) but only two between pops and dimes (D.J. Augustin and Brogdon).
- Shout-out to LBJ for his impressive triple-double in a losing effort against no. 8 seed Portland finishing with 23 pops, 17 boards, 16 assists, and a steal to spare.
- Both Jimmy and Warren excelled at stealing rocks with 4 each leading the slate. The most ridiculous stat from yesterday’s game, though, were Whiteside’s 5 blocks on the Lakers. That’s pretty much all he did (7 points, 8 boards), but those blocks helped the Blazers secure that W against LA.
Gotta Win The Day: Best/Worst DraftKings plays for tonight’s slate
- Love: (PG/SG) Jordan Clarkson, UTA ($4700, at DEN): This is far from a lock to finish as a great value today, but all signs point in that positive direction. I was expecting Clarkson to start for the Jazz with Conley out for Game 1, but it turned out Utah had other plans. No problem, though, as Clarkson still saw extended action logging all of 39 minutes, putting up an 18-4-3 line, and all of that while battling foul trouble. The usage wasn’t overly high at just 20.9% so he did basically all he could. Conley is out once more and Clarkson had started the last two restart games prior to the postseason. Utah needs someone to score other than DoMi if they want to make a dent on Denver, and Clarkson has proved his value during this little run. The price has gone up from Monday, obviously, but the upside Clarkson offers for cheap is massive.
- Hate: (PF/C) Al Horford, PHI ($6700, at BOS): Good old Al was an absolute disaster in Game 1 starting for Philly. He played 31 minutes and all he could do was score 6 points and grab 7 rebounds. Against Boston. Which is a team with between none and zero capable big men. Ugh. Horford hasn’t scored more than 37 DKFP since the restart and he considers a good day one in which he drops a 10-5-5 line, which truth be told doesn’t happen often. With Gordon Hayward out of the lineup, Boston will probably be even smaller, but I don’t think Horford is at a point where you can have any confidence in his game, sadly. Not overly high price, but clear fade nonetheless.
- Love: (PG/SG) Fred VanVleet, TOR ($7600, vs BKN): For someone putting up the numbers FVV is currently at, the price doesn’t make any sense. Freddy is averaging a really great 19-3-7-1-1 line inside the bubble while playing 35 mpg translating to 41 DKFP per game. That means he’s the 22nd-best player since the restart in fantasy contests, sandwiched between Embiid and Butler. No joke, folks. Oh, have I mentioned how FVV malibooyed Brooklyn just a couple of days ago? Let me remind you: Fred played just under 38 minutes, logged a silly-low 18.3% usage rate, and still was able to finish with 30 pops (8 triples!!!), 11 assists, and a 2-2-1 in boards/steals/blocks while shooting a mental 73.3 percent from the floor for 60 DKFP. You know what to do.
- Hate: (C) Rudy Gobert, UTA ($7400, @ DEN): Even after a meh performance against Denver to start the first-round series, Gobert has virtually retained his price for Game 2. As you know, biggies often find themselves in the dub-dub realm without much effort, but Gobert couldn’t even reach the 10-10 the other day and only his 4 blocks and 2 steals helped him bulk up his fantasy score a bit. Remove that—which is far from a lock to happen again—and you are left with a stupid 17-7 outing... Gobert will need to step up big-time and to help Mitchell if Utah wants to get some Ws down the road and put on a fight, but I’m just don’t seeing it at this point. Gob had a nice three-game run in the middle of the restart with three consecutive dub-dubs, but after that, his lines read 9-5 and 17-7. If that’s the Gobert we are and will be getting and pretty fine not picking him up.
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!