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
- First-round basketball is over! The Rockets ousted the Thunder yesterday, closed those series with a 4-3 victory, and everything is now set up for the second round of the bubble postseason.
- Still two second-round series to tip-off, both including LA teams, while in the East things are looking bad for the no. 1 and no. 2 seeds as both the Bucks and Raptors have fallen 0-2 down.
- Jimmy Butler made history—I assume—as he won Miami yesterday’s Game 2 with the time expired and the clock at 0:0.0 from the free-throw line. Dope.
- As incredible as it sounds James Harden is making headlines today because of his defense after putting on a horrific offensive effort yesterday but blocking Luguentz Dort potential game-winning shot. Crazy days these we live in.
- Speaking on Lu Dort and the Thunder: how great does the Russ-CP3 trade now, even with OKC out of the playoffs? SGA, Lu, Bazley, a ton of draft picks... The Thunder have everything going for them in the future and it looks soooo bright.
- The Wolves are shopping their no. 1 draft pick around and probing the market. Not surprising considering there is no surefire top-tier prospect a la Zion available in this year’s crop.
- Philadelphia looks to be going after Ty Lue very seriously, and Lue seems to be interested in the gig. We’ll see how this develops as Jay Wright—another potential candidate for the position—ruled himself out of the job.
- Of course, the Knicks are interested in signing Fred VanVleet as a free agent in a couple of months. And Donovan Mitchell after that, and Giannis after that, and—
- JJ Barea is on some Spanish ACB’s clubs radars and he might jump the pond to play in Europe next season.
Duds and Studs: Yesterday’s Slate Recap
- Chris Paul’s slate-leading effort went for nothing even though the line read trip-dub to the tune of 19 points, 11 boards, and 12 dimes against his old Rockets. 57.75 fantasy points for CP3, who was reborn in Oklahoma City after getting traded to the Thunder this season.
- Curious development yesterday on the Bucks side of things, too. Giannis was the second-best fantasy option racking up all of 53.5 fantasy points, but he also ate an L against Miami, same as CP3. Giannis had a great game reaching 29 points and 14 rebounds, but he was on the court for under 36 minutes and sit when Milwaukee would have very well used his talents... ultimately losing Game 2 and falling 0-2 to the Heat. Sucky result.
- On the other side of the coin, Robert Covington. He was the only other player to get 50+ fantasy points (53) with a 21-10-2-3-3 stuffed line hitting 6 treys and advancing to the second round to face the Lakers.
- Three more players in the 40-to-50 clip, including Harden (17-3-9-2-3), Middleton (23-6-8), and Dragic (23-5-4-2).
- Although the Thunder fell to the Rockets and are on their way home, the ROI King award went to... Lugentz Dort! What a revelation, man. Lu Dort has played fantastic bubble-ball and he proved his talent once again yesterday getting all of 39.5 fantasy points priced at a laughable $4K. He dropped 30 pops on Houston to go with 4 rebounds and a dime. Another super-play from yesterday: RoCo with his 53 unexpected DKFP.
- And the DOTS (Dud of the Slate) Award went to... Jimmy Butler! That’s a lie, actually, because Danilo Gallinari was the worst play although the Italian was priced at just $6.1K. Butler, though, had the fourth-highest price of the slate yet he could only score 30.75 fantasy points win a middling game with a 13-3-6-3 line that didn’t cut it for that price. He won Miami the game, though, so there’s that.
- Only two dub-dubs via points and rebounds (Giannis’ 29-14 and RoCo’s 21-10) and none between points and assists.
- Super shout-out to Chris Paul for closing a truly unique season nobody was expecting with a triple-double no less. CP3 dropped a 19-11-12 on Houston and was even able to steal a couple of balls. Great way to wrap things up, even with the (expected) L against the Rockets.
- P.J. Tucker led the slate with 4 steals, while three players (RoCo, Harden, and Derrick Jones) were able to block 3 rocks.
Gotta Win The Day: Best/Worst DraftKings plays for today’s slate
- Love: (PG) Kyle Lowry, TOR ($7500, at BOS): I don’t know what Toronto is waiting for to get a win, but they better snatch one tonight if they don’t want to wave goodbye to the playoffs. If you don’t believe that would happen, just let me copy a paragraph straight from Wikipedia right here: “The NBA is the only major North American sport with a seven-game playoffs series where no team has overcome a 3–0 deficit. There have been 3 teams who came back to even the series, only to lose game 7.“ There you have it. LOL. I’m betting on a bounce-back here, though, and I think Lowry is quite a bargain entering tonight’s slate. At his price Lowry profiles as a true steal. You can project him to 40 DKFP easily. He’s gotten to 36 and 41 in his last two, is averaging 16+ points, 5+ rebounds, and 7+ assists against Boston and the last time out he played all of 40 minutes.
- Hate: (PG/SG) Jamal Murray, DEN ($9300, at LAC): I’m not basing this pick nor Jokic’s on recency bias, but actual matchups. See, the Clippers will put Leonard on Jamal for most of the series, which means Murray will face a much harder competition on offense than he’s done in round-one. On top of that, he comes from a game in which he wasn’t the unsustainable 42+ points scorer he had turned into for Games 4-5-6 of those first-round series, finishing with just 17 points, and also being limited to 2 rebounds and 4 assists on 33.3% shooting from the floor. Not saying he’s that bad, but odds are he will suffer against a much stiffer D today and going forward. Which brings us to...
- Love: (C) Nikola Jokic, DEN ($9500, at LAC): ...the Joker. If anyone can benefit from the Clippers’ matchup and Jamal’s drop in value that’s the Joker. Jokic will face a team that has its best big-man options in Zubac, Harrell, and Morris. Those guys shouldn’t give Jokic tons of trouble, let alone play to the level of first-round foe Rudy Gobert. If Jamal is limited in scoring by Leonard’s D, then he might try to look to step up his game in other areas by facilitating, which means he’ll be looking for his no. 1 option and Denver’s more often than not, which means Niko might eat big time today and all series long, at least until the Clips somehow adjust. For a Game 1 in which both teams still don’t know each other—to a certain extent, obviously—Jokic looks like the much safer play to go with here.
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!