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
- It’s starting to get serious with COVID, folks. Houston and OKC already had to postpone a game earlier this season, and it happened to Boston and Miami yesterday after Boston couldn’t field at least eight healthy players. The Celtics will miss all of Tatum, Jaylen, TT, Kemba, Ojeleye, Grant/Robert Williams, Romeo, and Javonte Green at least for 7-to-10 days.
- The NBA won’t expand rosters, and the league isn’t thinking about suspending the season either. The product is going to drop its quality, and the risks of super-spreading the virus are clear at this point. Tough call for Daddy Silver.
- The Mavs dodged a bullet after Maxi Kleber tested positive for COVID but all of the other Dallas’ players seemed to be good after contact tracing. Jeez.
- Durant returned from his own COVID absence yesterday, but he couldn’t help a Kyrie-less Nets to defeat OKC even putting up on a show.
- Cousins and Markieff got into a little scuffle yesterday with the former bodying the latter. Both of them ended the game ejected, Morris after that play, and Cousins after dropping a flagrant on Bron Bron.
- This is a real thing that happened: Julius Randle joined Oscar Robertson as the only two players in NBA history to record at least 200 points, 115 rebounds, and 70 assists in their team’s first 10 games of a season. See it to believe it.
- Bogdan Bogdanovic got injured fracturing his right knee. The Hawks have yet to issue an expected timeline for his return, but it could expand a bit.
Duds and Studs: Yesterday’s slate roundup
- Are we witnessing the building of a Most Improved Player in Zach LaVine’s season? Uh, oh, Zachary my love. LaVine led the slate yesterday with 66 DKFP in a monster 42 minutes of playing time in which he netted 10 triples for 45 pops on the Clips, to go with 7&7 boards and dimes. Zach shot as many as 26 FGA and was successful 57.7 percent of the time while hitting all of his 5 FTA on top of that. Crazy great game by the Bulls franchise player (?).
- No player was even remotely close to ZLV exploits, but KD came back with a bang (36-11-4), Paul George finished close to a dub-dub (28-7-9), Shai bested the no-Kyrie Brooklyn (31-6-7-2-1), Kawhi stuffed the line (35-2-4-3), and Randle kept playing out of his mind (29-10-5). All of them finished in the 50-to-60 DKFP clip.
- The ROI King award went to... Hamidou Diallo! Not the literal ROI King, as pre-season sensation Talen Horton-Tucker dropped 35 DKFP at $3.4K, but Diallo scored almost 10 more FP with 43+ at just $4.2K, which handed him the trophy. Diallo put up a 25-3-4-4 line shooting 71+ from the floor and committing only two turnovers, all of it coming off the bench, in the Thunder W yesterday. THT, Lonnie, Temple, and Lou were other fine plays.
- And the DOTS (Dud of the Slate) Award went to... Stephen Curry! I guess playing for such a horrifically slim team as the Warriors are these days come with this kind of stuff. Curry can drop 62 on Portland, but he can also shoot 12.5 percent on 16 FGA like he did yesterday and lay a rounded egg. Curry’s line read 11-9-6, which is not super bad and gave him 29+ DKFP, but that is nothing given his slate-leading $12K salary. Game to forget for Curry in one of his worst career performances. FVV, Anthony Davis, Wiggins, and C-Wood sucked big time, too.
- There were six dub-dubs via points and rebounds (with four guys finishing just one board short of it) and one between points and dimes (Draymond’s 10-10, with Coby falling one point short).
- No triple-doubles yesterday, with Draymond’s 10-9-10 being the closest line to it. Green can do it all, pretty much as P.J. Tucker and some other guys, but he is never a sound fantasy option because he never puts up huge numbers in any cat. Coby White was close himself with a 9-8-13 line.
- More silly numbers: Diallo, THT, and Batum all finished with 4 steals leading the slate, with Chris Boucher the only guy to reach 6 blocks yesterday followed by Wiggins’/Gobert’s four.
What’s cooking? Statistical trends from Week 3 (Jan. 4th to Jan. 10th)
- It sounds very stupid, but two guys (even on small samples of just three and two games) were able to keep up averages of 65+ DKFP per game: Doncic and Beal. Luka closed last week averaging a 30-12-11-2 line in his three games, while Beal dropped a 50-5-4 nightly line. Jesus Christ those 50 pops a game.
- Tim Hardaway Jr. was the only player to average 25+ PPG last week while carrying an average salary below 6K. The next player below that price was De’Andre Hunter, already down at 20.0 PPG.
- The minutes have worked in Jarrett Allen’s favor, as the biggie-fro has played 30.5 MPG this past week and closed it averaging the cheapest dub-dub of all men at 15-11-3. Thank God Brooklyn finally came to its senses and put Allen in the starting five.
- The algorithm has yet to catch up with LaMelo Ball’s game, no less than the youngest of trip-dubbers in NBA history. Ball has played four games this past week putting up an average of 43 DKFP at just $6.2K. Somehow, the Hornets keep playing him off the bench and starting Rozier and Graham...
- Silly cheap values: Hamidou Diallo, Khem Birch, Haliburton, Troy Brown Jr., Dorian Finney-Smith
- A little more expensive but still with massive ROI: LaMelo, Tim Hardaway Jr., PJ Washington, De’Andre Hunter, Jerami Grant, Caris LeVert
- Some very expensive players not doing enough to help their owners: Trae Young, Russell Westbrook, Bam Adebayo, Devin Booker, Tobias Harris
- Cheap points (min. 3 games played in the past seven days): Mills, Maxey, Diallo, Justin Holiday, Gary Harris, Cam Johnson, Lonnie, Pritchard, Temple
- Cheap threes: Mills, Cam Johnson, Danny Green, Temple, Rivers, Justin Holiday, Brook Lopez
- Cheap boards: Dwight Howard, Khem Birch, Willie Cauley-Stein, Juan Hernangomez, JaMychal Green, Derrick Favors, Maxi Kleber
- Cheap dimes: Damyean Dotson, Pritchard, Augustin, Ish Smith, Pat Beverley, Danny Green, Delon Wright, Theo Maledon, Brad Wanamaker, Mills
- Cheap steals: Gorgui Dieng, Patrick Williams, Ish Smith, De’Anthony Melton, Stanley Johnson, Jevon Carter, Grayson Alen, Derrick Jones
- Cheap blocks: Brook Lopez, Marc Gasol, Pat Beverley, Daniel Gafford, Derrick Favors, Maxi Kleber
- Cheap FG% (min. 9 FGA): Diallo, Maxey, Gary Harris, Pritchard, Justin Holiday, Austin Rivers, Taurean Prince, Cam Johnson, Danny Green
Gotta Win The Day: Best/Worst DraftKings plays for tonight’s slate
- Love: Andre Drummond (C). The price is high, not gonna lie. The matchup isn’t that bad against Memphis, with Valanciunas at 0.9 BPG/1.0 SPG compared to Drummond’s 1.5/1.0 marks, and with Dr. Dre entering this game averaging a stupid 47+ DKFP on the season and a ridiculous 1.51 DKFP per minute on the court. Dre is playing 31+ MPG, so you do the math. While the scoring could be better (17.9 PPG), the dub-dub is a lock in Drummond’s nightly line as he’s grabbing 15.2 RPG per game, more than any breathing body in the NBA. Gobert and Capela are second and third in that cat, but neither is scoring even 13 PPG. Drumm also got his first 20-20 game of the season putting up a 26-24-3-1-1 stuffed line against the Bucks two days ago.
- Hate: Damian Lillard (PG). Lillard has the fifth-highest salary of the slate, and Lillard might be pretty well worth it. The problem with Dame is that it’s been a true two-man backcourt in Portland this season, and the best play has undoubtedly been CJ McCollum and not Damian. Mac is averaging a 28-4-5-2 line to Dame’s 26-5-6-1. That’s as close as it gets, I know, but Mac is way cheaper than Lillard on average, and that makes the former a way better value. Lillard has been better since we flipped the calendar page to 2021 but even then had a rough one last time out against Sacto (17-4-6 shooting a putrid 31.3 percent) and Toronto, although horrific this season, featuring a couple of dogs in its backcourt with Lowry and FVV.
- Love: Clint Capela (C). I don’t think I need to tell you more than that Atlanta is facing Philly to convince you of playing CC. The Sixers played with a bunch of chumps against Denver, and Embiid is probable for tonight’s game. The former fact is great, the latter not so much. But the combination of Philly missing a ton of players and Embiid having to carry this team all by himself should be enough to diminish JoJo’s defensive effort at least a bit and also make life easier for Trae and the rest of the Hawks in feeding Clint. Cheap biggie with tons of upside. If you don’t feel like it, go with LaMelo Ball (PG)—I was this close to writing about him instead of Capela, so it’s another winning play in my book today.
- Hate: Gordon Hayward (SF). Not long ago (Jan. 6th) Hayward had a game and dropped 44 pops on Atlanta. On Atlanta, let me repeat that bit. The problem is that Gordo faced the Hawks again two nights ago and in pretty much the same playing time he finished with just 13 points... and 20 DKFP. Gordo’s last four games went for 35, 61, 43, and 20 fantasy points, which speak of a hella random player. He will keep putting up scoring numbers, but he’s closer to 20 pops a night than higher, and while he can get some rebounds here and there, the rest of the cats are often on the low. Only Melo can save this man handing him cookies, but even then I don’t like Hayward at his price today going against a middle-of-the-pack D in the Knicks’.
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!