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
- The Memphis Grizzlies won a game! They are 1-4 inside the bubble now! And almost a lock for the play-in! Yay!
- Sources are saying that the NBA is thinking about flipping the six teams that don’t qualify for the postseason for the Delete Eight group, bringing the latter to Orlando’s bubble so they can get some practice and balance their conditioning with the teams that made it to Disney earlier. Doesn’t seem too much of a crazy idea to me.
- Goran Dragic is practicing even on a sore ankle, which I don’t know if I’d be very happy about if I was in any way related to the Heat. Jimmy Butler also missed yesterday’s game, his third straight out of the court...
- Another guy we didn’t watch yesterday: Resting Zion, which is the most-used version of Williamson so far.
- If you have paid even the smallest of attention to the NBA this season, you know Indiana is a playoff team. Well, even with that and with a roster that has missed Victor Oladipo for half a year and is still easing him back, it looks like head coach Nate McMillan could be on his way out of Indiana. Sounds dumb to me, but what do I know?
- I feel like I’ve been writing this sentence for a month straight: the Nuggets have ruled Gary Harris and Will Barton out of today’s game against the Jazz, with Jamal Murray being questionable. I don’t see the day Denver gets its full starting squad back.
Duds and Studs: Last night slate roundup
- We’re past the halfway point of the seeding part of the restart. That means that weird times are coming during the next week—if those are not already here, that is. A clue? Ish Smith was the best fantasy player yesterday... with all of 49.5 DKFP on the day. Seriously. Smith played 32 minutes and finished with an 18-6-10-4 line that made him the best guy around. Hard to believe, but here we are, folks.
- That was the third-worst best performance of any slate of games this season only behind Paul George’s 47 DKFP back in November and Anthony Davis’ 49 already inside the bubble in Jul. 30.
- A lot of players finished in the 40-to-50 fantasy points clip, obviously, with Tobias Harris ranking 2nd finishing with 49.25 fantasy points. The rest of the bunch: Troy Brown Jr., Jarrett Allen, LeVert, Vucevic, Jrue, Derrick White, Thomas Bryant, Tony Bradley (!?), Jakob Poeltl, and Embiid.
- Obviously, the ROI King award went to Ish Smith. The Wizards stink and have yet to win a game, and no Wiz is priced high in any slate, so when one of them puts on even a good-not-great performance as Smith did he’s always going to have a nice ROI. Smith put up his 49.5 DKFP at just $5K. Super close to him was another Wiz, Troy Brown Jr., who reached 46.5 at $5.5K.
- And the DOTS (Dud of the Slate) Award goes to... Pascal Siakam! Can’t blame him nor Kyle Lowry (another super dud) because Toronto basically threw its game against Boston away yesterday, but that doesn’t take from the DOTS Award. Siakam finished with 15 DKFP at $8.2K and Lowry with 23 at $8.7K. You know something strange happened when they logged 28 minutes each, which is like 10 fewer minutes than they’ve averaged all year long.
- For such a stupid night, we still got to watch 10 players put on a points-boards dub-dub (Tobi, Embiid, Vucevic, Tony Bradley, Valanciunas, Jarrett, Theis, Poeltl, Troy Brown Jr., Favors) but just one on dimes and points (Ish Smith).
- Our leading man Ish also led the slate—tied with Chris Paul—on the steals leaderboard snatching four balls from his Pelicans’ foes. Four players blocked three shots, including Lonzo Ball and Nicolo Melli.
Gotta Win The Day: Best/Worst DraftKings plays for tonight’s slate
- Love: (C) Jusuf Nurkic, POR ($8900, vs LAC): There were some obvious concerns about how Nurkic would come back from injury after such a long time being off any type of basketball court. You can pretty much forget about that by now, as Nurk has vanished all question marks from the equation. The big man ranks as the 8th-best player inside the bubble with an average of 50.3 fantasy points per game, he’s putting up 22-11-4-1-3 lines on a daily basis through four games, and has Portland—sure, along with Dame—fighting for the eighth spot in the West to have the advantage over the no. 9 seed (most probably Memphis) in the play-in before the playoffs. As opposed to other teams, these Blazers need to keep winning games and there is no better player to ben on staying hot than Nurk. Ride with the biggie no matter his price or opposition.
- Hate: (SF) Kawhi Leonard/Paul George, LAC ($8800/$8000, at POR): I have mentioned above recapping yesterday’s action: the last week of seeding games is going to get weirder by the day with teams starting to fall into place and locking their positions down the standings. That means that while some teams—you can even think the Clippers might be one of them—might still be looking to build chemistry up, they will also be more focused on resting leading up to the postseason games than anything else. And who handles load management better than Burst Queens Kawhi and PG13? These two can give you fits any given night even if they play just 25 minutes, sure, as they are averaging 1.5 and 1.3 DKFP per minute on the court, but I just can’t buy them at those prices. Portland is truly going for the kill here as they are looking for that no. 8 seed in order to have an easier way to make the playoffs, but LAC is already a lock for the no. 2 spot and there is no need to run down its two star-players.
- Love: (C) Bam Adebayo, MIA ($7400, vs PHO): The Heat are facing the hottest team (no pun intended) in Orlando these days. Phoenix is 4-0 and Miami needs to keep winning to avoid the Sixers in the first round of the playoffs—assuming Indiana retains the fourth seed. The problem for the Heat, though, is that their no. 1 player is out and sixth-man Goran Dragic will miss this one too. Nunn left the team yesterday and although he will be back for the postseason he won’t feature against Phoenix either. I mean, someone has to score baskets and grab some boards, right? Unless Miami opts to straight throw this game (which they shouldn’t), Bam is poised to have a big game against Phoenix. Phoenix, by the way, has face one top-tier big man inside the bubble (Kristaps Porzingis) and allowed him to reach a monster 52.5 DKFP. Doesn’t look too bad for Bam if you ask me.
- Hate: (SF/PF) T.J. Warren, IND ($8200, vs LAL): Although not entirely—he still dropped 16 pops to go with 11 boards—the Phoenix Suns were able to throttle Warren’s game a little bit in his last outing inside Disney’s bubble. If you have been living under a rock for the past week and Warren’s price surprises you, you better know that this fool had scored 119 points in his three games prior to that, including a 53-chicken win performance in the Pacers opener against Philly. The price has actually gone down a bit since he flopped a bit against the Suns, but it is still super high considering what we know Warren to be, not the bubble-fluky-megaman he’s turned into lately. On top of that, the Lakers might rest players and that doesn’t mean Indy will have it easier, as they might also opt to rest some bodies. In fact, Warren is questionable for today’s game, so keep an eye on him as it is possible he misses the match entirely.
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!