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 Lakers are back in the NBA Finals. It took a few years, but here we are. LeBron is making his 10th final-round appearance. Three different franchises. Age-35 season. 17th year in the league. Kudos to the Lake Show for making it. Terrific run and a 4-1 WCF win over the Baby Nuggets.
- Speaking of whom: shout-out to Denver for once more getting further than any single soul expected. This team will never be considered the no. 1 contender—because Denver—but the Nuggets franchise keep overperforming as they have ever done in history, and you gotta be proud of this bunch.
- Re. LeBron: He just became the second Laker—and second player in history—to put up a 35-15-10-plus line (he finished 38-16-10) in a series-clinching win. Couldn’t get much better.
- Win-or-go-home Game 6 tonight for the Celtics, and second Finals-making chance for the Heat to defeat all odds and make it to the promised land where they’d encounter former-Heat BronBron.
- The Finals will start either next Wednesday (if Miami wins tonight) or next Friday (if Boston forces Game 7).
- Remember when Montrezl Harrell and Luka Doncic had a little scuffle a few weeks ago? Well, it looks like the Mavs are interested in the free-agent and will make a run at him on a discounted price after the dud of a postseason Monty had this past month.
- The Kings were making headlines yesterday. De’Aaron Fox is looking for a max-money deal—which he’ll get—and Buddy Hield could be trying to really force his way out of Sacto via trade.
Duds and Studs: Yesterday’s Slate Recap
- Don’t take LeBron for granted, folks. James mega-led the slate yesterday by reaching 79 DKFP. No joke. It happened, for real. James dropped 38 points on Denver, grabbed 16 rebounds, and dished out 10 dimes to close the WCF and demolish Denver once for all after the Nuggs had seemed immortal through the postseason. Insane performance shooting 60% on 25 fga, hitting 7/8 freebies, losing only one ball, and logging a monster 35.3% usage rate. Kudos to the King.
- Even on a pretty nice night, AD’s and Jokic’s 42+ DKFP looked low. Davis finished with a stuffed 27-5-3-2-1 line while the Joker hit a 20-7-5-3 line himself but man, even with that LeBron almost doubled those performances.
- Murray couldn’t get over 35 DKFP, a disappointing match from Denver’s guard who still completed a not-so-bad 19-4-8 game.
- Nice game for someone about to hit free agency, as the ROI King award went to... Jerami Grant! Denver has a solid solid contributor in Grant. He starts for the team, played 45 (!) minutes yesterday, hit 20 points falling one rebound short of a dub-dub grabbing 9 boards, and all things considered he reached 37 DKFP beating Murray at it. Now, the most incredible thing, is that LeBron finished with the second-highest ROI of yesterday’s slate even while priced at a massive $11K. LOL.
- And the DOTS (Dud of the Slate) Award went to... Michael Porter Jr.! Rookie growing pains, gotta be. MPJ played just 17 minutes in a deciding game probably due to a lack of confidence in his chances of changing the course of a very important match, and could only put up a 10-2 line. Rondo, on the other end of the veteran-spectrum, also had a dud himself with just 12 minutes played and an 8-3-4 performance.
- No dub-dubs via points and rebounds and none on points and assists either.
- Shouts out to LeBron for his trip-dub on a series-clinching win, just the second in history to James Worthy’s. James reached a monster 38-16-10 line with a steal to spare.
- Jokic led the slate with 3 steals, while two players (Dwight and Danny Green) did so with 2 blocks.
Gotta Win The Day: Best/Worst DraftKings plays for today’s slate
- Love: (SG/SF) Jayson Tatum, BOS (at MIA): Screw the price and pay for Tatum tonight. Sure, he comes as the most expensive play ever, but he also carries the highest floor/ceiling combo. Even on a horrific shooting performance during the first half of G4 he still got to lead the slate four days ago, and he also led it his last time out. Tatum is averaging 53 DKFP against Miami, has finished no. 1 in fantasy points three times and no. 2/4 the other ones. He’s a lock to score almost 30 pops, grab 8+ rebounds, and dish out around 5 dimes. That’s ridiculous. Boston is against the wall, so you know who needs—and definitely will—to step up tonight.
- Hate: (SF/PF) Gordon Hayward, BOS (vs MIA): Hayward has been playing more and more since coming back, has definitely helped the Cs through the series, but he’s far from a good play and much less a valuable one. See, can’t hate a lot on Gordon, but he’s far from a great performer these days. He’s put on three consecutive under-30 DKFP games, and it is not that he will have it easy to improve on those numbers. I wouldn’t risk the biscuit, and rather play for Tatum/Brown/Smart/Kemba over him.
- Love: (SG/SF) Duncan Robinson (at BOS): Call me crazy, but I have this feeling that some unexpected guy will boom tonight to put Miami in the Finals. Tyler Herro would be the “expected” one to do so, being a rookie and all, but I’m betting on Duncan becoming the Boston-slasher tonight hitting a bunch of threes and catching heat through the game to finish the Cs run through this postseason. Don’t believe me, but again, I just have this feeling today and at least personally I’d run with it.
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!