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
- Mike Budenholzer and Billy Donovan tied for the NBCA coaching award, which was announced yesterday. Shouts to both for taking the Bucks and Thunder places this season!
- As expected, Victor Oladipo missed yesterday’s game (back-to-back) but he will be active and playing the next Pacers match inside the bubble. No risks taken at least until the playoffs start for Indiana’s guard, although there will be no B2Bs once the postseason start so that means a full-time employment come playoffs time. Yay!
- DeMar DeRozan made his first three-pointer since January 10. That happened 200+ days ago.
- The Grizzlies are 0-3 in reseeding games. Do they know they are not guaranteed a postseason spot even if they finish as the eighth-best team? I mean, maybe they should try and win some games here and there? Just saying.
- Dennis Schroeder has left the bubble to welcome his newborn child to the world. Congrats to the man! Oklahoma is not really fighting for anything of substance right now and has a place in the postseason already, so it’s better for them to see Dennis now and have him ready for the playoffs rather than missing him once playoffs-ball starts rolling.
- It’s been like a week since the Chicken-Wing Fiasco, but Clippers’ guard Lou Williams is still questionable to play today versus the Suns. What a restaurant can do to a man...
- While Lance Stephenson confirmed a few days ago that he was really close to signing with Indiana back in March before COVID screwed everything and made it impossible for him to come back to the L, Darren Collison just told media that he never thought about coming out of retirement to join the Lakers or Clippers. Don’t always believe the hype, folks.
- Makur Maker could have become the next kid to jump straight from high school to the NBA—he’s spent five years in HS, including this last one over Hillcrest Prep—but it looks like he has withdrawn for the 2020 draft entry list and will instead play college ball at Howard after committing to the HBCU earlier this year.
Duds and Studs: Last night slate roundup
- There is nothing wrong with putting the GOAT—at least active-GOAT—label on LeBron, but Anthony Davis is taking the reins of the Lakers for good these days. AD led yesterday’s slate to the tune of 42 points, 12 boards, 4 dimes, 3 steals, and a block translating to a monster 74 DKFP in 39 minutes of playing time. There was no stopping him—he logged a massive 40.1% usage rate!—and the Lake Show was able to win and lock into that no. 1 western seed.
- While no other player reached 70+ DKFP, two crossed the 60-DKFP line: T.J. Warren (69.75) is definitely the man of the bubble after dropping 53 and 34 pops in his two games, and Nikola Jokic (66.5) took a bit of time to wake up yesterday but he did soon enough as to finish with a very sweet 30-12-10 trip-dub.
- Only two 50+ DKFP performances coming from Michael Porter Jr. (59.5) thanks to a great 37-point game that marked a career-high for the redshirt freshman, and Fred VanVleet (51.75), who was mental shooting and finished with 36 points and 7 treys carrying his Raps to victory over Miami.
- No question at all on the ROI King award front yesterday: Michael Porter Jr. stole the freaking show almost reaching 60 DKFP at a paltry price of $4.5K! The minutes were super high—helped by an overtime—at 44 and in that time MPJ finished with a great 37-12-1-1-1 line while shooting 75% from the field. The rook became just the 14th player this year to have a game with at least one point/rebound/assist/steal/block while shooting .750+ on 15+ fga. Not bad.
- And the DOTS (Dud of the Slate) Award goes to... Ben Simmons! Our favorite power-forward (LOL) laid a beast of an egg yesterday in his 25 minutes of playing time: 21 DKFP while priced at $9.1K, which must have killed more than one DFS player. Following him closely was Jrue Holiday with his 26.5 DKFP priced at $8.7K. Ugh.
- Not many double-doubles yesterday, with just six between points and boards (Valanciunas, Gobert, AD, Porter Jr., T.J. Warren, Thomas Bryant) and none on points and dimes.
- Shout-out to Jokic for getting the lone trip-dub of the slate after getting a 30-12-10 line to go with a couple of steals too.
- On the abnormal side of things, Lonzo Ball had one of his do-it-all performances that just don’t cut it overall finishing with an all-around line of 7-4-6-4 including a couple of treys, while Royce O’Neal also logged 4 thefts. Both T.J. Warren and Valanciunas led the slate on blocks with 4 air-stops each.
Gotta Win The Day: Best/Worst DraftKings plays for tonight’s slate
- Love: (PF/C) Jusuf Nurkic, POR ($8500, vs HOU): I expected Nurkic to come back and make an impact on Portland’s game, but oh boy has he exceeded all expectations! Nurk has played a couple of games already and is averaging the ninth-most DKFP inside the bubble at 53 per game. The line reads 24-9-5-2-3 so far and those are some pretty sweet numbers for a biggie. The sample is super small, sure, but it is amounting to 1.61 fantasy points per minute on the court, which is basically only behind the marks of Harden, Giannis, and Doncic. Insane. Tonight Portland faces a the Pocket Rockets, by the way, so chances are Nurk eats big time at least on the boards and probably scoring too. The price is high, but this looks as sure a winning play as any other in today’s slate.
- Hate: (C) T.J. Warren, IND ($8000, vs ORL): Look, I’m happy as hell about Warren and his absolutely impossible explosion in Florida. The man dropped 53 pops a few days ago in his debut and followed that up by cooking 34 chicken wings yesterday. How he’s done that, we don’t know. But that’s not sustainable at all. He hit nine triples against Philly first, and then just one yesterday against the lowly Wiz. Grabbed four boards first, then 11 yesterday. I mean, his numbers are all around the place, and the algorithm has bumped up his price from $5.8K on his debut to $7.4K yesterday to $8K today. Not hating the man and what he’s doing—and Orlando isn’t anything otherworldly either—but there is no way Warren keeps it up, much less with Dipo back on the court and getting opportunities from T.J. Time to regulate.
- Love: (C) Nikola Vucevic, ORL ($7800, at IND): In the same game, Vucevic definitely looks like the more solid place... and somehow comes cheaper than T.J. Vuc has been far from bad inside the bubble averaging 42 DKFP in his two games by means of a 22-9-3-1 line while shooting 60.6% from the field and hitting 1.5 treys per. Even with those great numbers, they are still below Nikola’s line for the season (20-11-4-1-1) so there is a very real chance he bumps his registers even higher. Also, the Pacers are weak inside. They have allowed the two centers they’ve faced to reach 43+ DKFP (Embiid had a 41-21 game and Thomas Bryant got to a 20-11 performance). Vucevic is not Embiid, sure, but he’s not Thomas Bryant either so I can easily see him getting to some good 50/60+ DKFP tonight against Indy.
- Hate: (PG) Khris Middleton, MIL ($7900, vs BKN): Impossible to hate Khris. On pure talent and level of play, it makes no sense. Even more, the Bucks are going against a pretty stupid squad in that of the Nets. You know Brooklyn is missing a few games here and there, right? Well, they have now ruled out Jarrett Allen, Joe Harris, and Caris LeVert for tonight’s matchup. I don’t even know who the hell will dress for them in this game. You also know that Milwaukee somehow manages to have terrific games while playing both Giannis and Midd around 30 minutes per game and no more. That has not taken from their fantasy performances, with the former averaging 60.5 DKFP and KM 37.6 himself. But considering the Bucks are already locked into the no. 2 seed and can’t either improve or drop from it, that the Nets will be manageable even if Milwaukee fields a squad full of reserves, and that the load-management is Milwaukee’s creed I see no reason in betting on Middleton today. Wouldn’t surprise me if he and Giannis hit the bench at the half and never come back to the court for the night, cutting their upside a ton.
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!