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NBA DFS: Collin Sexton and best/worst DraftKings daily fantasy basketball plays for Saturday, Jan. 2nd

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.

New York Knicks v Cleveland Cavaliers Photo by Jason Miller/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

  • We hate to see it, but COVID keeps hitting the league and the latest player to miss games due to contract-tracing is part of the Nuggets. Michael Porter will miss a few games due to health and safety protocols, and meanwhile, Denver will keep losing games...
  • Another victim of COVID-positiveness: Chicago’s Chandler Hutchinson. One week off the court for him.
  • Magic sophomore and former 2019 16th-overall pick Chuma Okeke will miss multiple weeks with a bone bruise in his left knee. He already missed the whole 2020 season due to a torn left ACL, so this very seriously sucks for Orlando.
  • Injury Watch: Tyrese Haliburton, who has been very impressive and already labeled a true-steal for the Kings, will miss a few games and won’t return—at least—until next week.
  • The NBA dropped fines on all of James Johnson, Cody Martin, and Caleb Martin for their scuffle a couple of days ago in the Mavs vs. Hornets matchup. No big deal on the actual fight, but the dollars will fly Adam Silver’s way.
  • Speaking of fines... Jordan Clarkson now owes $25K to the Association because he “pushed” a game official. Go watch that thing and build your own conclusions.
  • Ty Lawson, former great NBA point-guard and Chinese CBA legend, is headed to Greece to play pro hoops in the land of Giannis.

Duds and Studs: Yesterday’s slate roundup

  • Although it makes the most sense instinctively, it’s not that the highest-priced players always put on the best fantasy performances. That didn’t happen yesterday, though, with six of the eight most-expensive players all ranking inside the top-10 in DKFP.
  • Giannis led the slate in total fantasy points with 65 DKFP, which is impressive considering he played just below 28 minutes against Chicago. He fell just short of a trip-dub, getting a dub-dub in a 29-12-8-2-2 stuffed-line effort. The usage rate was absolutely bonkers at 43.4%, and his 2.41 DKFP/min made for the most-efficient tally so far this season (min. 10 minutes played).
  • Los Angeles demolished the slate yesterday—both the Lakers and the Clippers. LBJ (26-11-10), AD (34-11-5), and Kawhi (20-16-9 with 3 blocks) all finished with 60+ DKFP and Paul George (25-8-4-6-1) racked up 55 himself.
  • Three more players in the 50-to-60 clip, including Dame, Conley (!), and Luka.
  • The ROI King award went to... Keldon Johnson! Look, if KJohn (48 DKFP) can put up performances like yesterday’s every time he starts, the Spurs are on their path to another 20-year postseason-making streak. Keldon played 34 minutes starting at PF, dropped a dub-dub (26-10) on Golden State, and added an assist, two steals, and a block to his line. Johnson was automatic shooting 63.6 percent from the floor and hitting seven of his eight freebies. Other valuable plays on a lower scoring plane were Derrick Favors, Derric Jones, Kyle Anderson, and Bismack Biyombo.
  • And the DOTS (Dud of the Slate) Award went to... Jimmy Butler! The Jimmer came back for the Heat, and I’m pretty sure Miami is wondering if they would have been better off without playing Butler... JB put up a serious dud in his 27 minutes of playing time, finishing 2-3-2-2, scoring none of his 6 FGA, turning the ball over three times, and getting a putrid 11+ DKFP while carrying the 20th-highest price of the slate. Devin Booker sucked too due to his 8 turnovers, with DLo starting to be very worrying for his fantasy GMs.
  • There were 14 dub-dubs via points and rebounds (with four more players falling just one board short of it; Favors got the cheapest one) and just one between points and dimes (Jokic’s 17-11 to go with 9 rebounds).
  • Just one triple-double in LBJ’s, although Kawhi missed on it by just one dime, and Jokic did so with 9 rebounds. Giannis was next in line with 8 dimes instead of double-digit ones to make it happen.
  • More silly numbers: somehow PG13 stole 6 rocks and Derrick Jones 5 himself, while up to five players swatted 3 shots each.

What’s cooking? Statistical trends from the preseason

  • Only two players (min. 3 GP) have been able to keep up a 60+ DKFP average through the last week of games: James Harden and Nikola Jokic. Both of them, though and logically, carried average salaries above 10K.
  • Of players with 4+ games played, Jerami Grant has finally found his place in Detroit’s system and the algorithm has not caught up to Jeri’s exploit yet: Grant is averaging 42+ DKFP at a laughable 6.1K. Go take advantage of this. Also, steal some Richaun Holmes, Mike Conley, and Julius Randle shares while you can.
  • Silly cheap values: Kelly Olynyk, Richaun Holmes, George Hill, Monte Morris, Bismack Biyombo
  • A little more expensive but still with massive ROI: Jerami Grant, Christian Wood, Mike Conley, Julius Randle, C.J. McCollum, Darius Garland
  • Some very expensive players not doing enough to help their owners: Luka Doncic, Trae Young, Devin Booker, Zion Williamson, Ben Simmons
  • Cheap points (min. 3 games played in the past seven days): Lu Dort, Monte Morris, Avery Bradley, George Hill, Patty Mills, Raul Neto
  • Cheap threes: Dort, Mills, Bradley, Muscala, Saddiq Bey, Solomon Hill
  • Cheap boards: Biyombo, O’Neale, McGee, Marc Gasol, Jakob Poeltl
  • Cheap dimes: Satoransky, Tyus Jones, McConnell, Hayes, George Hill, Monte Morris
  • Cheap steals: Jeff Teague, James Johnson, Justin Holiday, Pritchard, Aaron Holiday, Derrick Jones
  • Cheap blocks: Marc Gasol, Robert Williams, Olynyk, Noel, Pokusevski
  • Cheap FG% (min. 9 FGA): Monte Morris, Bradley, Geroge Hill, Lu Dort, McDermott, Gary Harris

Gotta Win The Day: Best/Worst DraftKings plays for tonight’s slate

  • Love: Collin Sexton (PG/SG). Sex has played 36+ minutes in all but one game (29) and he’s been an above-average fantasy player on a per-minute basis in four of his five matches to date. That’s impressive considering the super-long stretches of play he’s going through. Sex is dropping 25+ PPG, 3.8 APG, and 2 RPG. It won’t be a surprise to find Sexton in the 8K salary-clip sooner rather than later, and you have to exploit this play while the cheap fun lasts. I was about to tell you to build your lineup around Drummond—do it if you want, it’s a winning play—but he’s already at 9.2K, which was more than expected to happen.
  • Hate: Ben Simmons (PG/SF). If you read the section above, you know Simmons is falling way short of what his salary tells us. Benny is averaging a relatively good 39 DKFP per game, but that’s not what a 9K play should return to his investors. Simmons has not finished inside the top-20 performers of any slate since the first game of the season (45 DKFP), and he’s turned into a mid-30s DKFP player these days. Simmons does it all and can stuff the line, only he does on the low for every cat so it’s not rare to find his lines reading something like 10-9-5-1-1. Again, that’s great, but the problem is that his shooting sucks badly and the rest of the cats are not hyper-boosted. The usage is also kind of worrying at a low 21.3% and getting lower steadily for three consecutive games now.
  • Love: Brandon Ingram (SF/PF). Ingram has had a couple of stinkers in his last two games (30 and 34+ fantasy points) but I’m betting on a rebound happening tonight. It was always going to be hard for BI to keep up his 50 DKFP average from the first three games of the year, but Skinny Bones is more than what he’s shown of late. Ingram is still dropping 20+ pops a day easily, and the rebounds and dimes are often on the verge of reaching double-digits, giving Brandon upside to reach those dub-dub bonus points. He’s going to keep taking as many shots as he can handle next to Zion and not much more viable finishers. Toronto hasn’t been any good either, which brings us to...
  • Hate: Pascal Siakam (PF). The idea of flipping Pasky for Harden is growing strongly on me, folks. Siakam is having a rough start to the season—pretty much the same way he closed the bubble-portion of 2020—but Houston won’t extract much more from the Raps than Siakam and some salary-matching pieces and draft picks. If Siakam is “all” you have to surrender for the chance at a title-run with James, you go for it. Siakam is averaging a good-not-great-for-a-8K-play 40 DKFP per game in three games. He’s currently at 18-9-4 averages but turning the ball over almost four times per game. The worst of all is definitely Siakam’s shooting, with a putrid 39/33/83 slash line while attempting 18+ FGA and 7 3PA... pretty much killing the Tampa Raps offensive prowess. Siakam’s DKFP/min (1.03) make him the least-efficient player of the 17 most-expensive eligible for today’s contests.
  • Love: Victor Oladipo (SG). Sneaky play of the day at just 6.7K while averaging 38 DKFP per game in a team that features MVP-contender Domantas Sabonis, big-GOAT Myles Turner, mighty point-guard Malcolm Brogdon, and is missing T.J. Warren to injury opening the door to more shots and touches for Dipo. No, seriously, Vic is reasonably good and cheap play putting up a 21-5-5-1 nightly line, shooting a mental 55/54/87 on 14+ FGA and 6 3PA, and averaging 1.26 DKFP per minute on a very palatable 30.5 MPG. The Knicks have somehow stayed on games here and there, but it’s not that they’re not the worst pro-hoops team around the nation.

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!