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
- You might have heard about this one... James Harden got moved to Brooklyn, Houston landed Victor Oladipo (yes), Indiana acquired Caris LeVert, and Cleveland (yes, yes) somehow ended with Jarrett Allen. You can listen to our boys Pete and Natty discuss it in their latest reaction-pod.
- In related news, Kyrie Irving keeps missing and nobody knows what the hell is going on with him, when he will come back, etc... In fact, some voices around the league are considering very seriously a potential retirement announcement from Kyrie in the next few days. Perhaps he doesn’t go that far, but it’s not crazy to think of Irving taking a sabbatical similar to what Maya Moore did recently. Quite the headache, this man, that’s for sure.
- More on Harden’s trade: PJ Tucker could be traded next, same as Drummond on Cleveland’s side now that they have 22-year-old Jarrett Allen in tow. On more of a long-term plane, Dipo might not re-sign with Houston, so he could also be moved at some point.
- Zion Williamson missed yesterday’s game due to NBA health and safety protocols, so we have to assume he’ll be out for seven-to-ten days while his COVID-related woes go away.
- Mike Malone confirmed Michael Porter Jr. went through coronavirus. He’s still out but he should be back soon enough.
- Someone who actually came back yesterday: Kristaps Porzingis. He stayed on the court for 21 minutes and that will only ramp up as we get deeper into the season and Porz gets in better playing shape.
- The NBA is getting a super-bump up in viewership rate compared to last year, but the NBA is also suspending games left and right, which sucks.
Duds and Studs: Yesterday’s slate roundup
- Seven-game night after the postponements and one that watched a couple of players hit 70+ DKFP in a slate led by Luka Doncic’s 77 FP. The Don, playing along with KP for the first time this season, logged 35 minutes of playing time and completed a tasty 34-13-9-2-4 near-trip-dub while shooting a freakish 25 (!) FGA hitting 56% of them from the floor. The other 70+ player was Dame (71 FP), whose time came against Sacto as he cooked a 40-burger on them to go with one rebound, 13 dimes, and 3 steals. Not bad.
- Only Giannis finished with 60+ DKFP below Luka and Dame, thanks to a sweet-to-the-eye 22-10-10-2-3 stuffed trip-dub line, and even though he turned the ball over five times in 33 minutes.
- A bunch of players in the 50-to-60 clip, including McCollum, Kawhi, Alexander-Walker, KAT, Valanciunas, and Randle.
- The ROI King award went to... Nickeil Alexander-Walker! Absolutely ridiculous performance by Shai-lite yesterday starting at the point and racking up a monster 33.9% usage rate taking advantage of Zo’s and Zion’s absences. NAW reached 52 DKFP on a night in which he finished with 37 pops (5 treys included), 8 boards, an assist, and a theft. This man was ruthless enough to shoot the rock 23 times... while hitting 65.2 percent of those attempts! There wasn’t anyone even remotely close to NAW’s value, but Bruce Brown, Grayson, DeAndre, and Quickley were all good plays.
- And the DOTS (Dud of the Slate) Award went to... Anthony Davis! The Lakers went away with the W once more, and they didn’t need a lot from AD nor Bron, so you know what happened. Davis played a low 24 minutes and only got 28 FP while carrying the 10th-highest salary of the slate. Hate to see it. Similarly bad were Porzingis (understandable and expected), Middleton, Hayward (injured, keep an eye on upcoming updates), and Shai.
- There were seven dub-dubs via points and rebounds (Bruce Brown put up the cheapest; DAJ, Brook Lopez, Holmes, Brandon Clarke, and Isaiah Roby missed on it by a single rebound) and two between points and dimes (Dame’s 40-13 and McCollum’s 28-10; Luka, Kawhi, and Haliburton missed on it by a dime each).
- One triple-double yesterday, courtesy of Giannis. The Greek get there in just 33 minutes of playing time, which is pretty ridiculous. Giannis finished with a 22-10-10 rounded line to which he also added 2 steals and 3 blocks. Not bad. CJ Mac fell 3 rebounds short, and Doncic just 1 dime.
- More silly numbers: four guys (Dame, Devonte’, Jrue, Clarke) stole 4 rocks while four more (Doncic, Marc, Brook, Biyombo) swatted 4 shots each.
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: Tyler Herro (PG/SG). For someone who comes from cooking a sweet 49-DKFP cake in his last game to have Herro’s salary makes no sense. If you factor in the fact that that near-50-FP game came against the very same Sixers that Miami is facing once more tonight... welp. Herro put up a 34-7-4 line against Philly two days ago, hit 3 treys, shot the ball a freaking 26 (!!!) times, and still was able to shoot 46.2 percent from the floor. The usage was mental at 36.2%, and even though he turned the ball over six times he was still able to fall just short of that 50-bounty. Do you want to be my Herro?
- Hate: Ben Simmons (PG/SF). What the hell will Benny do tonight after yesterday’s show? The Sixers seemed to be locked into getting Harden with just a little stuff to iron out before making it official (a Maxey here, a pick there), but ultimately they couldn’t pull it off after dangling Simmons around as the main piece going to Houston all day long. Reports are saying Ben is cool with everything and happy he’s staying put in Philly, but I won’t believe it till I see it, and it’s not that Philadelphia can’t still move Benny to, say, Washington in exchange for Brad Beal. Will Benny play the cold game today and not shot/assist/whatever as a response? Will he explode for an 80-DKFP game? Total boom/bust play this one, so I’d rather stay off Simmons for a couple of days.
- Love: Malcolm Brogdon (PG). The President comes with a rather high tag today, sure, but Indiana will be without Oladipo once more today, won’t have Caris LeVert available yet, and although Brogdon has had great games next to Dipo, the truth is that his absence should give him more touches and opportunities to rack up points all by himself. Brogdon has dropped below 43 DKFP just once in the last six games, and his worst performance came just two nights ago against the Warriors when he played the second-fewest minutes he has in a game this season (33). He will undoubtedly bounce back with more playing time, and there is no way he repeats another 27.8 shooting-percentage as he did last time out. Portland hands plenty of goodies to opposing guards and the Blazers D ranks 6th-worst overall in fantasy contests.
- Hate: Jamal Murray (PG). So which Murray is the real Murray, bubble-Murray, or 2021-Murray? Hmmm... Things are pointing more toward the latter being the true version of Jamal, which we all hate to see and much more to acknowledge, but here’s where we are, folks. Murray’s last three games: 21, 14, and 27 DKFP. Prior to those three, Jam has only reached more than 36 FP in three of the seven games leading up to Jan. 9th. Murray is underperforming as hell, and that’s the main reason Denver is far from the juggernaut it should be these days after making the WCF last fall. Bank on Jokic, no matter the price, but balk on Murray... no matter the price either.
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!