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NBA DFS: LaMelo Ball and best/worst DraftKings daily fantasy basketball plays for Wednesday, Jan. 13th

Duds and studs. Good and bad plays. We take a look at the past and upcoming NBA games to let you know what’s going on and how to tackle your DraftKings plays.

Atlanta Hawks v Charlotte Hornets Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

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 NBA dropped new guidelines for COVID protocols, including stuff that I believe to be even more stressful than the very own bubble. We’ll see how players deal with all of this stuff, and if it has any positive impact on the league and the current spread of cases around it.
  • James Harden landed was seemed to be the final blow on Houston. He called the situation around the franchise crazy, one that can’t be fixed, and that was it from the Beard at the press podium. Houston keeps talking to other teams about potential deals, but the high demands are moves so far.
  • Nothing to call home about in terms of performing levels, but Bol Bol started his first game for the Nuggets yesterday and played 15 minutes. Not bad, I guess.
  • Just when Kristaps Porzingis looked set to make his comeback appearance, the Mavs were hammered with a game-postponement so KP had to wait. If Dallas and Charlotte play tonight, it might mark the first game for KP in 2021 after he underwent surgery a few months ago. Nothing clear at this point, though.
  • Kyrie Irving is not expected to rejoin the Nets this week, he appeared on parties here and there on a bunch of videos and pics that popped up in the last few hours, and no one has any freaking idea what this guy is up to. Yet we, once more, fell for Kyrie working once for all in Brooklyn... No, sir.

Duds and Studs: Yesterday’s slate roundup

  • Big night for big guys, starting with JoJo Embiid and his monstrous 82 DKFP. Embiid was a beast, dropped 45 on Miami, snatched 16 boards, and completed his stat line with 4 dimes, 5 steals, and a block to put the cherry on top. Mental game for the Biid, who surpassed the 80-FP mark even turning the ball over four times.
  • And speaking of biggies, Jokic had the second-best performance of the slate to the tune of a 23-8-11-7 line. It’s been the closest (10-7-7-7 or more line) to a quadruple-double we’ve been since James Harden put up a 26-7-10-8 all the way back in 2016.
  • Durant and Danny Green finished with 60+ DKFP yesterday too, closing that group of players. Only Myles Turner finished in the 50-to-60 clip.
  • The ROI King award went to... Danny Green! I’m lying to you here, because the actual, literal, best values were Aaron Holiday and Precious Achiuwa (both 39+ DKFP) but they fell short of Danny’s monster 61-DKFP day. Playing 50 minutes (!) for a slim Sixers squad, Green put up a 29-10-6-2-2 stuffed dub-dub with 9 treys on top of it. Gabe Vincent and Bruce Brown were two more very tasty values.
  • And the DOTS (Dud of the Slate) Award went to... James Harden! Was yesterday’s last game in a Rockets uniform for Harden? Could very well be the case, and he might have waved goodbye to Houston with a resounding stinker: 16-7-6 was the line, which isn’t that bad, but it was indeed bad for the second-highest tagged player of the slate. Same for Curry, Gobert, and John Wall, all of them playing way below the expectations.
  • There were nine dub-dubs via points and rebounds (Gobert could get past 4 points, Durant and Shai finished with 9 rebounds) and three between points and dimes (Simmons had just 5 points and Draymond 7).
  • No triple-doubles yesterday, although Durant was just one board short (24-9-13) and Jokic missed on it by a couple of rebounds (23-8-11-7).
  • More silly numbers: Jokic somehow committed 7 thefts while Turner/Wiggins/AD all blocked 5 shots yesterday.

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: LaMelo Ball (PG). It is virtually impossible to find a bench guy leading one of my columns, but here we are. Should Ball be starting for the Hornets? Maybe, but he’s more than good already coming off the pine so we’ll go with that for the time being. Melo is averaging 35 DKFP per game and a ridiculous 1.38 per minute on the court (25.3 MPG). That mark is above the ones of Paul George, AD, Trae Young, CJ Mac, and Kawhi, just to name a few... Melo is dropping 12.4 PPG with a not-so-bad 43.4 FG%, but the most impressive numbers come from the rest of his line: 7 RPG, 6 APG, 1.6 SPG, and 0.4 BPG while committing only a couple of turnovers per game. Can’t ask much more from a rookie, or should say from the upcoming ROY already?
  • Hate: Kristaps Porzingis (PF/C). The Mavs-Hornets game is scheduled for today, and it looks like it will ultimately be played. KP should make his season debut on this one, but I don’t like this risky play. Sure, the Hornets are a bottom-third team in defending fantasy players and they’re surrendering the 10th-most FP per game. That being said, Zingis has been out for long recovering, and this is his first time out in a while. The algorithm is tagging him with the 15th-highest price of the slate, and he’s the fifth most-expensive PF/C available today. Below his price line, less risky, and with high upside: Jerami, Zion, Collins, Ayton, Valanciunas, Jarrett Allen, etc...
  • Love: Jerami Grant (SF). This looks like a great play on multiple levels. First of all, Milwaukee has stopped opposing SF in the last two games, which might scare you, but those two games were against Cleveland (Cedi Osman) and Orlando (James Ennis). Before that, starting SF dropped 47, 47, and 42 FP on the Bucks. Oh, by the way, those last two 47 and 42 fantasy tallies were scored by... Jerami Grant! Jeremi bet on himself this past offseason, bolted out of Denver, signed a no. 1-role contract with the Pistons, and so far he is shutting mouths left and right with great performances. He’s scored 42+ DKFP in his last four games, including two against Milwaukee when he averaged a 27-7-2 line with 4 combined stocks. Must-play today.
  • Hate: Devin Booker (SG). At some point, Book will get his game right and explode for 60 points or something. Right now, though, he’s far from that, and although Phoenix as a team is working wonders, Book has not been his über-killer self in 2021. The salary is too high for a kid putting up 23-3-4-1 lines on a massive 35.4 MPG. He’s raised his ceiling a bit of late with back-to-back 40-fantasy point games, but prior to that, he had a couple of performances at-or-below 35. The scoring is there at around 25 PPG, but the presence of CP3, Jae, and Mikal is cutting his rebounding and assisting upside. Not liking Booker, not at least until the price goes down a bit or the production levels up.

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!