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
- Victor Oladipo opted in, and will keep playing games for the Pacers during the seeding part of the restart and the playoffs, we have to assume. With Domantas Sabonis injured this news was a blessing for Indiana.
- Woj let us know prior to their second game that New Orleans was planning on giving Zion a 20-to-30-minute run against the Clippers. Sure, the Pels were down a lot and had no chance at winning the game yesterday, but even with that Zion’s minutes didn’t even get to 15 in NOLA’s defeat... Pack your bags and close shop, NOLA, you’re done and I’m sad for Zion.
- Another reason to hate COVID-19: Lance Stephenson confirmed that he was this close to signing with Indiana back in March before the pandemic hit and he wasn’t permitted to move to the USA and sign with the Pacers. Ugh.
- Montrez Harrell lost his grandmother. RIP. Harrell doesn’t have a timetable for his return, so we’ll keep an eye on how things go on this front. He will be available for the playoffs full-time, and it is not that the Clippers need him now, but it’s a bummer not to have him playing during the seeding part of the restart.
- We have barely seen the ball bounce around the bubble and we’re already getting rumors about what will happen in the upcoming NBA draft. When asked about it, Warriors GM Bob Myers said that the franchise is currently not looking into potential trades involving the potential no. 1 pick. We’ll see what happens and if that pick actually turns into the first-overall selection when the lottery takes place on Aug. 25th.
- Also from outside the bubble: Chicago is not convinced of trading assets (Zach LaVine has been making the rounds for quite some time) at this point. I mean, they don’t even know if they’ll keep Jim Boylen at the head coach position so thinking about completing a trade would be ridiculous at least for now.
- Marcus Smart was fined for criticizing the refs. Ah, come on, cancel the NBA!
Duds and Studs: Last night slate roundup
- It’s August already, folks. Hard to believe, but here we are. And so was JoJo. Joel Embiid led the slate even with Philadelphia dropping their debut to Indiana to the tune of 81.25 (!) DKFP with a 41-21 monster performance that included 4 dimes, 3 blocks, and a steal while shooting 65.2% from the field. He did so in just 34 minutes of playing time. This is the 15th-best DKFP-mark of the season and the third-highest while playing 34 or fewer minutes. Imagine if the 76ers knew what they’re trying to do.
- Only one other player crossed the 70-DKFP barrier and it was an absolute surprise: T.J. Warren reached 70.5 fantasy points while dropping 53 pops on Philly (including a franchise-record 9 treys), and added 4 boards, 3 assists, and 2 blocks to that. Insane game.
- Another one over 60 DKFP: Kyle Lowry and his 63.5 DKFP closed the top-3 performers of the night and he reached that mark with a very sweet 33-14-6 line including 5 triples and a theft.
- Two players fought for the ROI King title, although T.J. Warren ultimately got it. As I already wrote above, Warren finished with 70.5 DKFP at just $5.8K. Nice. Although Kelly Olynyk (20-5-3-1-1) was a much-lower fantasy scorer, he finished with a very good 35.75 DKFP given his minimum price of $3K. Third on the list: Aaron Holiday (15-5-10) and his 37.75 at $4K.
- And the DOTS (Dud of the Slate) Award goes to... Jrue Holiday! The Pelicans were ran out of the building by the Clippers and that limited Holiday to 24 minutes in which he could only reach 16.25 DKFP... at an incredibly high price of $8.2K. The point guard was bad as hell finishing with a paltry 4-5-5 line shooting 28.6% from the field.
- Other pretty solid duds: Brandon Ingram (15.5 DKFP at $7.8K), Zion Williamson (11.75 at $7.5K), and Donovan Mitchell (18.25 at $6.9K)
- Not many dub-dubs yesterday. We had five on points and rebounds (JoJo, Lowry, Ben Simmons, Steven Adams, LeBron), and a couple between pops and dimes (VanVleet and Aaron Holiday).
- We didn’t enjoy any trip-dub performance yesterday, but Nerlens Noel led the slate with 4 blocks while Justin Holiday stole 4 balls, also leading on that leaderboard all by himself. Pascal Siakam (15-9-3-2-2) was the only player to finish with 2+ 3PM, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocks.
Gotta Win The Day: Best/Worst DraftKings plays for tonight’s slate
- Love: (SF) DeMar DeRozan, SAS ($7600, at MEM): DeDe’s debut the other night was far from perfect, but he was still able to finish as a top-10 player in the six-game slate. That’s not bad, either, and everything is pointing upwards for DeRozan on this one. The Spurs defeated Sacramento and believe it or not, still have a chance at making it to the no. 9 seed and force the play-in themselves. Will the Spurs ever die, man? DD racked up 47.75 DKFP in 38 minutes of playing time, but the usage was super low at just 22.7 percent. That can’t (won’t) stay like that for long, and more possessions mean higher upside, which I love. Even with that usage, DD finished with a 27-5-10 line and a super-efficient shooting at 76.9% from the field. The Spurs have a prime chance at cutting the distance to the no. 8 spot playing Memphis and DeRozan will give it all to get that W tonight.
- Hate: (SF/PF) Rui Hachimura, WAS ($7400, at BKN): Even with a Nets team that sucks a bit and is going to lose big-time sooner or later, and even with my perennial love for Rui, I just can’t anything but hate him for today’s contest. See, I was super high on the rook for the bubble reseeding stretch, but his debut was kind of a dud. 32 DKFP are not something horrific, but Rui finished with 21-8 on an impossible 30% usage rate. He is definitely the Wizards leading man these days, but even in that role a couple of days ago against a not-so-great Suns team he couldn’t put up many more than 1.0 DKFP per minute on the court while playing 32. Brooklyn isn’t better than Phoenix, so Rui might improve his numbers, but I think we should keep it cool when it comes to rookies after all and Hachimura is no exception.
- Love: (C) Jarrett Allen, BKN ($5600, vs WAS): Back-to-back players from the potential stinker of the day. Yay! Check what happened to the Wizards in their bubble debut when it came to stopping big man Deandre Ayton: DA finished with 24 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 blocks. He was able to shoot 78.6%, and he finished with 50 DKFP on just an 18.5% usage rate. By no means is Allen on par with Ayton, but he’s facing the same incompetent defense that allowed Ayton to rule the game two days ago. Allen’s debut wasn’t overly great (14-5-3) but he only played 27 minutes finishing 14% of Brooklyn’s possessions. If the Nets have studied the scouting report they’ll try to find Allen more often than not and I see no reason not to play him and expect a booming game from the ‘Fro.
- Hate: (PG) Kemba Walker, BOS ($6900, vs POR): Kemba wasn’t that bad against Milwaukee considering he only played 19 minutes (23.25 DKFP) but he’s just not cutting it even at a steep discount. Much less against a Blazers team that looks legit as hell and is trying to inch closer to the postseason with a second win tonight. Kemba is going to limited again, and Portland’s backcourt features a pair of guys Boston might want to stop, which calls more for a Smart-type player than a Walker one, so it’s not that defense will keep Kemba out there for long. Put everything together and I don’t see Walker having too much of an impact today (perhaps a 20-2-5 ceiling?), so I’d still keep fading him for a while.
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!