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
- Just mere hours after we lost Jonathan Isaac for the rest of the season—and potentially all of 2020-21—we had to also say goodbye to Jaren Jackson Jr. Sucks as hell. He got injured in the game against the Pelicans and won’t be coming back this season either.
- Anthony Davis is 27 years old. Anthony Davis is also third in the all-time list of 40-10 games in the NBA since the merger with 29, only behind Shaquille O’Neal (43) and Michael Jordan (33). That, simply put, is insane. Appreciate The Brow if you still don’t.
- Looks like we will have no second bubble for the Delete Eight. Truth be told, it never made sense to me so I’m cool it isn’t happening. I know, it puts all of those eight franchises in a bad situation compared to those playing in Orlando, but it’s a dumb risk to take all things considered.
- Did the Backup Backup Nets beat the Bucks yesterday? Sure. Did I expect it? Absolutely. I don’t get the fanfare about this thing, seriously. It was clear to me (check who I picked as a fade on yesterday’s slate, a certain Khris Middleton...) that Milwaukee wouldn't give a damn about this game, and indeed Giannis and KMidd played 16 minutes yesterday and missed the second half entirely. No big deal here, folks. Calm down a bit.
- Finally and once for all we got to experience Jamal Crawford stepping on a court in this the year 2020 of our lord. Sadly, as I’ve said, it’s the year 2020 and things are screwed all around the place, so obviously JC injured his left hamstring just minutes into his debut with Brooklyn...
- It looked like he wouldn’t play but Lou Will cleared quarantine and logged 21 minutes in his first game inside the bubble. Did those chicken wings power him up at all knowing he finished with a 7-6-6 line, though?
- The Suns are one of the few teams to go 3-0 since the restart and it looks like Aron Baynes is inching closing to return to the court. Not yet, per head coach Monty Williams, but he’s already practicing.
- Speaking of Western Conference teams... things are heating up as hell for all of the franchises with chances to make it to the play-in by finishing either 8th or 9th in the standings. Memphis, Portland, San Antonio, New Orleans, and Phoenix are bunched in a three-game difference clip, and the distance between Portland (no. 9) and Phoenix (no. 12) is just 1.5 games.
- The Nuggets can’t seriously catch a break. Barton and Harris have been ruled out against San Antonio today and Murray is still questionable. The postseason is approaching fast but Denver doesn’t look like improving his injury woes at all.
Duds and Studs: Last night slate roundup
- The Mavs keep struggling to close games and they needed overtime to beat Sacramento, but oh boy did Luka defy the laws of basketball yesterday. Luka went on to reach 83.5 DKFP in 43 minutes to the tune of a monster 34-20-12 trip-dub with 2 blocks to spare. Insane game from the golden boy.
- The gap between Doncic and the next-best fantasy play was massive. Nobody got into the 60s, let alone 70s, with only two guys reaching 50+ DKFP: Jusuf Nurkic logged 29 minutes against the Pocket Rockets and finished with 54.75 fantasy points on a sublime 18-19-3-1-3 performance, and Devin Booker was insane winning Phoenix the game against the Clips with a 54-DKFP performance translating to a 35-4-8 line with 6 treys.
- Only three more ballers getting into the 45-to-50 clip yesterday including De’Aaron Fox (28-3-9-2), bubble-glitch T.J. Warren (32-2-3-3-1), and impossible Dame (21-9-8-2) even shooting 31.6% from the field.
- A bunch of good ROI King award candidates from yesterday’s slate, but the ultimate winner ended being Kelly Olynyk. With Jimmy Butler out Olynyk put on a great 41-DKFP performance finishing with 15 pops, 6 boards, 8 dimes, 2 steals, and a block, all of that at the sweet price of $3.8K. Super close to him was Dorian Finney-Smith, who reached 38.5 DKFP at just $4.2K (16-16-1).
- And the DOTS (Dud of the Slate) Award goes to... Khris Middleton! I told you yesterday first thing in the morning to fade KM. It made sense going against a shitty Nets team, and indeed if you followed my advice you definitely got an advantage on your DFS contests. Midd played 16 minutes and finished with just 16 DKFP while being priced at $7.9K. The same happened with Giannis in terms of minutes and ROI, as he could only get 29 DKFP while priced at a monster $10.9K. Outside of Milwaukee Robert Covington was horrid with 22.5 fantasy points at $7.1K.
- We fell one dub-dub short of the double digits when considering points and rebounds (Nurk, Dorian, Bjelica, Bam, Zubac, Melo, Vucevic, Jaylen, Ilyasova) and there was just one (Chiozza’s 10-10) between pops and dimes.
- That being said, Luka broke basketball with his 34-20-12 trip-dub. Damn.
- On the odd happenings of the day, T.J. Warren (wtf) was the only player to steal three rocks yesterday, and Nurkic led the slate with his 3 blocks.
Gotta Win The Day: Best/Worst DraftKings plays for tonight’s slate
- Love: (C) Nikola Jokic, DEN ($9700, at SA): The Nuggets are screwed a bit in that they are slim as hell in terms of player availability. They are missing three starters—two confirmed, Murray most probably too—and they need to win at least a couple of games from this point on to secure the no. 3 seed as they are only two games above both Houston and Utah in the WC standings. If we factor in that San Antonio—although impressive so far—is playing a super small-ball brand of basketball these days in which DeRozan is their four and Poeltl their five, it should be easy-peasy for Jokic to grab a bunch of boards while dishing out a great number of dimes and scoring more than 15 pops. Only Embiid (64) is averaging more DKFP per game than Jokic (53) among players on today’s slate, but Big Honey’s 24-9-8 line in his three games looks good enough to me to pay his full price tonight.
- Hate: (PG/SG) Fred VanVleet, TOR ($7700, vs ORL): Do you know who’s playing the most minutes per game in Disney? Lillard, followed by McCollum and Fred VanVleet. That’s right. FVV is averaging more than 41 mpg and 71 (!) DKFP per game. Is that real, though? I don’t think so, if you ask me. This man had a good dub-dub against LAL to kick things off inside the bubble but his last game against Miami was totally bonkers and most probably something hard to repeat, with 36 pops (7 treys), 5 rebounds and 4 dimes on a 28.1% usage rate that is not even close to the average amount of opportunities FVV has had through the year. More than anything, this is a fade based on regression to the mean rather than anything else. I took that route with T.J. Warren yesterday and he once more put on a repetitively awesome show, but chances are that doesn’t happen on a daily basis. Just a warning.
- Love: (PF/C) Brandon Clarke, MEM ($4600, at UTA): If you read the daily digest of news I wrote above, you know that JJJ is out for the season. It’s not that Clarke wasn’t already playing heavy minutes inside the bubble (he’s averaged 27+ in Memphis’ three games) but his chances will—out of necessity—bulk up with Jaren out for good. On top of that, the Grizzlies need to win a freaking game at some point. They are 0-3 and their chances at the play-in, let alone the playoffs, are getting weaker by the day. Everyone in the west seems to be making a push and it’ll be all about Ja and Clarke going forward for Memphis. Gobert is a tough man to overcome on the other side of the court, that’s right, but look at that sweet Clarke price! At such a discount and with the massive upside I can’t just pass on this play.
- Hate: (C) Anthony Davis, LAL ($10300, vs OKC): Consider this today’s yesterday’s Khris Middleton kinda-fade. You all saw what Milwaukee did against the Nets not even having the no. 1 seed locked yet. The Lakers clinched the no. 1 spot the other day and can’t lose it anymore. Oklahoma is far from Brooklyn, and good enough for the Lakers to take this game seriously and as another good test for them to see where they are going forward. But both LeBron and AD are reportedly “skipping/altering” practices and pretty much avoiding getting tired before the playoffs start. It actually makes no sense for either of those two to put on any extra effort during the five games they have yet to play. On top of that OKC has Steven Adams playing center and that’s a much tougher proposition than most big men in the league. Don’t waste this much money on The Brow and look for other options with more upside—or just no downside.
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!