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 two nights ago LaMelo got the best of his brother Lonzo and absolutely overperformed him, falling just one assist short of a trip-dub. Melo righted that wrong yesterday, and in doing so he became the youngest player ever to drop a trip-dub in the NBA. I’m glad Melo has started his period of Association dominance this early.
- The game between Denver and Philadelphia went ahead with the Sixers having seven playable guys... I’m not sure we really want the NBA to put on this kind of show and for the year, but they’re set on going for it as long as COVID doesn’t become a mass-murderer of NBA players, so...
- Jayson Tatum has tested positive for coronavirus, so he will be out 10-to-14 days no matter what. Time for Jaylen Brown to step up—as if he hadn’t already. Oh, and at this time there are nine Celtics on the “injury” list ahead of today’s game versus Miami. We’ll see how this ends and if the game gets canned or is played.
- Westbrook missed yesterday’s game with a quad injury. Beal didn’t play either, but in this case due to COVID-related issues, in fact, he missed due to “exposure to Jayson Tatum”. Crazy, but true.
- Speaking of injuries, Wiz C Thomas Bryant was forced out of yesterday’s game with a seemingly bad knee injury that might keep him off basketball courts for more than a while. Waiting for that MRI on Sunday morning.
- As crazy as it sounds, John Wall is considered an MVP contender 10 games into the season. The John Wall from Kentucky, yes, and the one that just came back from a two-year recovery from injury. Yikes.
- The Warriors might be considering signing old veteran Leandro Barbosa to a 10-day contract. And if I’m honest, I’m all for that happening.
Duds and Studs: Yesterday’s slate roundup
- Big menn, big games. Dr. Dre led the slate yesterday with 63 DKFP on a season-best performing night for him. Drummond closed his game against the Bucks with a monster 26-24 dub-dub and added a 3-1-1 rest-of-line to that. Not even six turnovers could cut his fantasy score short of the leading spot. Second to Drum was Domantas Sabonis, who himself put up a silly 28-22 double-double to go with 4 dimes. Crazy games but both guys.
- Third on the leaderboard and the only other player to reach 60+ DKFP: LaMelo Ball, youngest NBA player ever to trip-dub. You read that right. The line reads 22-12-11 with Ball coming off the bench and playing just 31 minutes. Über-efficient performance by the rook, who averaged a stupid 1.97 DKFP per minute on the court.
- Eight fools finished in the 50-to-60 DKFP clip: Butler, Maxey, Vucevic, Doncic (trip-dub!), KAT, McCollum, Dejounte, and DeRozan.
- The ROI King award went to... Trey Burke! I know you were expecting Maxey, and I get it. The kid had to carry all of the Sixers load against Denver yesterday and was a monster doing so. That being said, it was all about Mavs’ guard Trey yesterday as he dropped 29 pops on Orlando including 7 triples, and posted up a 40-DKFP score for the minimum salary in DK. Avdija finished with the same DKFP for a slightly more expensive price, while Garrison Mathews, Dotson, and LaMelo were also great cheap plays.
- And the DOTS (Dud of the Slate) Award went to... Gordon Hayward! Hard decision to make here. The absolute worst player was De’Aaron Fox, but we kinda knew he was gonna be limited in minutes (he played 25) so he gets a pass—but he finished with a putrid 14 DKFP, truth be told. Hayward played all of 36 minutes and he could only reach 20 FP while having the 12th-highest price yesterday. Sucked to watch unfold. More bad plays: Trae, John Collins, and Capela. Not the best day for the Hawks...
- There were 14 dub-dubs via points and rebounds (Bam missed by a point, Ayton by two, and Capela by three; Jokic/Herro/Keldon missed by a rebound) and three between points and dimes (Jokic, Trae, and CP3).
- Two triple-doubles yesterday, with LaMelo (22-12-11) getting into the history books thanks to being the youngest getting one, and Luka exploiting Orlando with a 20-11-10 performance.
- More silly numbers: five players with 4 steals (Jrue, Nance, Portis, Rozier, Reddish) leading the slate, with PJ Washington the only guy to reach 6 blocks yesterday.
What’s cooking? Statistical trends from Week 2 (Dec. 28th to Jan. 3rd)
- Nobody has been able to keep up a 60-DKFP average through last week. That being said, Jokic closed it on Sunday with a 59.1 fantasy-point average in four games played. Four more players in the 55/56 clip (Curry, Westbrook, Harden, LBJ) with three more at 50+ (Giannis, Durant, Tobias).
- The algorithm has yet to catch up with Tobias’ exploits, though, as his 50.1 DKFP per game are the most for anyone averaging salary tags below 8.9K compared to Harris’ 7.1K price on average.
- Perhaps it’s time for the Hornets to put LaMelo in the starting lineup? Ball is averaging—by far—the most fantasy points among bench-players with 37.8 per game in three matches this week. The second-best player without a start this past week (min. 3 games) is fellow Hornet Miles Bridges already down to 29.3.
- Silly cheap values: Brunson, Dieng, Roby, McGee, Olynyk, JaMychal Green
- A little more expensive but still with massive ROI: LaMelo, Tobias, Michael Porter, Jamal Murray, Seth Curry, Tyler Herro
- Some very expensive players not doing enough to help their owners: Luka, Dame, Drummond, Booker, Siakam, Butler
- Cheap points (min. 3 games played in the past seven days): Brunson, Avery Bradley, Carmelo, Monte Morris, Bryn Forbes
- Cheap threes: Saddiq Bey, Avery Bradley, Powell, Kleber, Connaughton, Bane, Wesley Matthews
- Cheap boards: McGee, Ed Davis, Carter-Williams, O’Neale, Jaxon Hayes, Dieng, Marc Gasol
- Cheap dimes: Killian Hayes, Brunson, McLaughlin, Monte, Konchar, Pritchard, Patty Mills, McConnell, Thad Young, Reggie Jackson
- Cheap steals: James Johnson, Layman, Justin Holiday, Teague, Pritchard, Derrick Jones
- Cheap blocks: Eubanks, Olyny, Robert Williams, Theis, Noel, Jaxon Hayes, Alex Len
- Cheap FG% (min. 9 FGA): Avery Bradley, Monte, McGee, Bacon, Bane, Brunson, Powell
Gotta Win The Day: Best/Worst DraftKings plays for tonight’s slate
- Love: Zach LaVine (SG). I have hated Zachary in the past, but it seems like he might have found the fountain of youth for real (?). After a rather bad start to the season, Zach has been Vine-worthy in his past eight games: the average DKFP are at 46+ and he’s putting up a spicy 1.3 DKFP per minute on the court while playing 36+ MPG in that span. Noice. LaVine has scored 32+ pops in three of his past four games, including his second-highest tally of the year two days ago against the Lake Show with 38 chicken wings that came including 4 treys. LaVine is hitting 90+ percent of his freebies and going to the line often, he’s hitting 3+ triples per game these days, and averaging 5-4 rebounds and dimes for the year. Not bad.
- Hate: Kawhi Leonard (SF). As always, hating on a superstar can backfire. But Kawhi has been rather disappointing in the past seven days and his last four games. The masked man has just one game above 40 DKFP in those four matches, and in the other ones, he topped at 38 DKFP. Oh, by the way, those games were against Phoenix (once) and Golden State (twice). Chicago sucks, and that might mean Kawhi plays to his versus-GSW levels, which were far from a good play and returned no value at all for Kawhi’s GMs. The usage is incredibly high at 29.9, but that is not entirely translating to fantasy goodies. The rebounds and assists are shaky, the stocks are there but low, and the scoring isn’t anything otherworldly with low long-range prowess by Leonard in his last four, scoring more than 1 trey just in his last game and none in two of the prior three.
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!