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
- I told you about it in yesterday’s column and we have more info now: Ben Simmons’ injury is bad as hell for Philly as the point-power-forward will most probably have to stay out of courts for a month or six weeks. That means no postseason and bye-bye to the year. Sucks for the Sixers, which are now on the verge of losing another season.
- The folks at HoopsHype ran a poll through media members asking them to share their votes for the different season awards. No surprise at all on the MVP front with Giannis getting near-consensus MVP consideration, which would (and will) make him the 12th player in history to win the award on back-to-back seasons.
- That poll also suggests that Giannis would be your Defensive Player of the Year over Giant Gobert. That I like the most, as it didn’t look as clear as the MVP ballot.
- Kevin Durant said yesterday that he’s surprised by Caris LeVert’s game. Is he truly betting on him going forward, or just hyping the kid for Brooklyn to get more in return in a potential trade for a third superstar? Let the speculation begin!
- As incredible as it sounds, it looks like the Chicago Bulls will retain head coach Jim Boylen for the start of the 2020-21 season.
- Kemba Walker was close to signing with New York last summer. It came down to the Knicks not being able to get a second top-tier free agent signed, which made Kemba reconsider his plan and ultimately sign with the Celtics. Them Knickerbockers can’t catch a break, poor gents.
Duds and Studs: Last night slate roundup
- It’s about time—Dame Time, that is. Lillard finally broke out inside the bubble yesterday to reach a monster 80 DKFP to the tune of 45 points (including a massive 11 triples!!!), 12 dimes, 4 boards, and 3 steals. This man was somehow able to shot 61.9% from the field on 21 fga, and all of that with a relative manageable 29.4 usage rate over 41 minutes of playing time. Crazy day for Dame.
- James Harden wasn’t that far from Dame, though. The Beard finished close to Lillard with 74 DKFP himself and a 39-8-12-3-1 line... and 10 turnovers!
- Nobody in the 60-to-70 clip, with Giannis, Michael Porter Jr., Fox, Middleton, and Kristaps all getting between 50 and 60 DKFP. Shouts out to Giannis and MPJ for getting 33-12 and 27-12 dub-dubs!
- Some close calls for the ROI King award, but I have to go with Gary Trent Jr. The second-year man put on a show yesterday against Denver helping the Blazers win their matchup contributing 27 pops (7 treys), 3 boards, 4 assists, and 2 steals. All of that translated to 43.75 DKFP and he did it while priced at a ridiculously low $4.4K. Close to GTJr. was Zubac with 44.75 fantasy points in just 24 minutes while tagged at $4.8K, and MPJ who broke the slate once more with 54.5 DKFP at a reasonable $6.4K.
- And the DOTS (Dud of the Slate) Award goes to... Bam Adebayo! Jimmy Butler and Goran Dragic missed yesterday’s game against the Bucks, and that might had you thinking Bam would eat big time, but that just wasn’t the case. Bam played 22 minutes and finished with a paltry 6-5-6 line and only 21.75 DKFP while tagged at $7.7K. Very disappointing performance.
- Shout-out to Jokic for making this a very close race after finishing with 31.25 DKFP himself in 24 minutes while priced at a massive $9.5K.
- We got to watch seven dub-dubs via points and rebounds (Zubac, Giannis, AD, MPJ, Cam Johnson, TJ Warren, Deandre Ayton) and four between pops and dimes (Harden, Lillard, Fox, Booker).
- The living legend Talen Horton-Tucker (he plays for the Lakers, just in case) finished leading the slate with 4 steals. Mighty Ayton blocked 4 shots, also leading on that front.
Gotta Win The Day: Best/Worst DraftKings plays for tonight’s slate
- Love: (PG) De’Aaron Fox, SAC ($7600, at BKN): There is no way I can pass on Fox today, no matter how I look at it. DAFox has been one—if not the one—of the guys I’ve enjoyed the most since the restart of this Disney thing and he still is priced relatively cheap for what he’s been able to do with these Kings. Fox is the 14th-best fantasy player in Orlando so far and the 10th-best among players with at least four games played already. He’s averaging a monster 45.3 DKFP per game and a great 27-3-7-2 line while doing it all on the court. Sacto has played nice ball and faces a depleted Nets team that shouldn’t pose much trouble for neither Fox nor his teammates. Also, the Kings need to go for the kill each and every game if they want to keep their hopes to make it to the play-in, so everything points in the right direction for De’A to have a great game again today.
- Hate: (PF/C) Zion Williamson, NO ($8000, vs WAS): I know that New Orleans is going against Washington today. I know, too, that New Orleans has been rather bad inside the bubble. Look, Zion is great and all, but I and others are starting to realize that he can’t just be great—or at least efficient—at scoring and he needs to step up his game in other areas (defense, anyone?) in order to actually make a true impact in this thing called basketball. Zion’s 23.3 fantasy points per game just don’t cut it, much less at this massive price tag. He’s averaging 16.8 ppg in just 18.8 mpg through four games, but other than that he’s only at 3.5 rebounds and 2 dimes per, which is ridiculously low for such a supposedly talented player. Again, not hating on Zion at all because rookies gonna rook and they always need to go through growing pains, but Williamson is far from the player we have in our brains and still ways away from reaching such elite heights. Let him marinate for a few more months before the start of the 2021 season.
- Love: (PG/SG) Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, OKC ($6900, at MEM): The Thunder are 2-1 in Disney so far but the competition they have faced (Utah, Denver, LA Lakers) has been much stronger up to this point than the team they’re playing against tonight. While Memphis needs a win so bad, I don’t think this is the best matchup for them to get it and SGA has low-key be a rather nice daily play for DFS contests returning good value at very manageable prices. Shai is playing from the start of games and logging 35 minutes of run on average scoring 35 DKFP per game. That is not otherworldly, for sure, but he’s steadily putting on solid near-20-5-5-2 performances and it is not that these Grizzlies are a super scary threat for his numbers to flop today. Chris Paul has been amazing and gets the bulk of the ball-handling duties (thus his 7 dimes per) but Shai is a very nice DFS play in himself and there is no reason for hating him here.
- Hate: (PG/SG) Marcus Smart, BOS ($6500, at TOR): Smart started his first post-hiatus game on Wednesday facing Brooklyn and went on to play 33 minutes. In that time all he could do was getting 32 DKFP thanks to 12 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, and 3 steals. Those numbers are not super bad, but look a little shaky to me going forward. The points check with the season average, but the rebounds, assists, and steals were a little over what we could expect. Kemba is playing more minutes by the day as he’s getting healthier and getting ready for the postseason, so I wouldn’t bet on Smart getting monster performances at least for the rest of the seeding-games part of the restart. The minutes won’t move up and Boston is virtually locked into the no. 3 seed already, so there is no need to force anything either.
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!