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 Nets Big 3 got his first victory, against Miami, since Kyrie joined the team. I guess they are now set in stone to become the Eastern Conference champs, the same folks were labeling them busts after dropping two to the Cavs earlier this week...
- Steph Curry hit 5 treys against Utah yesterday and became the no. 2 three-point scorer in NBA history finally surpassing Reggie Miller. The count is at 2,561 for Curry after yesterday’s game with Ray Allen sitting comfy—for now—at no. 1 with 2,973 treys.
- Russ could be back tonight after missing a bunch of games—even though the Wiz got some postponements in that time—currently having a questionable tag attached to him for Sunday’s game against San Antonio.
- The Wolves stink. That all we know, and Senior Citizen Rick Rubio called out the whole squad yesterday saying they need a “three-hour team meeting” to fix their woes. I’m more of the opinion they might need a three-day one.
- The Wizards keep signing biggies, with Jordan Bell the last one to join the Wiz on a 10-day deal. We’ll see if he sticks after that, assuming Washington can play some games this following two weeks...
- Nemanja Bjelica was put on the market last November, and there is smoke at sight once more with Sacramento looking for teams willing to trade for the wing these days.
- LaVar Ball went back to his bitching ways and talking to TMZ he said that LaMelo should be starting for the Hornets because his boys are superstars and they “do what they do”.
- USA Basketball sent out 60 invitations for the upcoming 2021 Olympics in Tokyo... in case they end taking place this year at all. Every player who was called the last time out—with the exception of injured Klay Thompson—is among those 60 pre-selected guys. If the Olympics and the NBA season both go as scheduled, the participants in the NBA Finals won’t be able to play for Team USA in Japan.
- JJ Barea has signed with Spanish club Estudiantes for the rest of the season. Back to his Latin roots. I can’t complain about it. Props to Jose Juan for keeping his game and active.
- Another JJ, Jarrett Jack, is seemingly interested in making an NBA comeback. Jack is 37, Barea is 36. You bet I’m all in for his return.
Duds and Studs: Yesterday’s slate roundup
- Big night for big men. All top-5 fantasy players from yesterday play either the PF or C positions and only one other player (Chris Paul) finished with 50+ DKFP while not being a biggie.
- Props go to Bam, who was the only fool to reach 61 DKFP on the night dropping 41 pops on Brooklyn—in a losing effort, though. Bayo closed the line at 41-5-9 falling just one dime short of a sweet dub-dub yet he scored a trey and shot 70% on a more than healthy 20 FGA.
- The other bigs to rack up numbers: Jokic (29-22), Cousins (28-17), AD (27-6-3-2-1), and JoJo (33-14). The tiny one: CP3 with a 21-9-13 line.
- Lots of players in the 40-to-50 DKFP clip, though only two put up a dub-dub in LaVine (21-10) and LeBron (17-11). Zion just missed the cut (38 FP) but also reached a sweet 19-11 dubber.
- The ROI King award went to... DeMarcus Cousins! Is this the year 2021? Are we sure? DMC went back to his heyday yesterday and 30 minutes were all he needed to drop an impossible 28-17-5 line that included 4 triples to make it whole. Cousins had to endure foul trouble, reaching 5 PF, and also committed 4 TOs, but seriously, it is not that DeMarcus can’t look much better than he did yesterday finishing as the third-best player of the slate. This is the first time DMC has put up a 25-15 game since January 2018 when he played for NOLA and posted a monster 44-23-10 trip-dub. Great games by Eric Gordon, Jae Crowder, Vanderbilt, and Bojan too.
- And the DOTS (Dud of the Slate) Award went to... James Harden! Hard to give Biggie Boi a pass here, as he played 38 minutes and all he could do was finish with 28 DKFP even though he almost put up a trip-dub thanks to his low-but-all-across-the-board contribution of 12-7-11... Normal when you shoot 25% from the floor on a paltry 8 FGA, and commit 8 turnovers on top of that. Ayton, Ingram, and Tobias were some who also sucked a bit.
- There were 11 dub-dubs via points and rebounds (with three more players getting 9 boards and 10+ pops) and two between points and dimes (CP3’s 21-13 and Harden’s 12-11, with Bam falling one dime short of it).
- No triple-doubles yesterday, with Chris Paul getting the closest thanks to a 21-9-13 effort he added 2 steals to. One of the best games of the season by good old Paul, who hadn’t reached 53 DKFP since all the way back to Dec. 26th when he finished 22-5-12-2-1 against Sacramento. Season-high in dimes for CP3 yesterday with those 13 sweeties.
- More silly numbers: Josh Okogie pulled off 5 thefts, while four players tied for the block-lead with 3 each (Kenyon Martin Jr., Wiggins, Gasol, and Josh Jackson)
What’s cooking? Statistical trends from Week 4 (Jan. 11th to Jan. 17th)
- If you remember what happened last week, Doncic was—along with Brad Beal—the only player to average 65+ DKFP per game, although he played just three games. Well, Luka has improved on that and this past week, in three more games, Doncic (33-13-12-1-1) has averaged a stupid 75 DKFP. Only Jokic (27-12-10-4-1) came remotely close to Luka with 68 FP himself.
- Kevin Durant only got to share the court once with newly-acquired James Harden, but KD led the week among players with 3+ games played in PPG notching 34 pops a night in three games. Doncic and Dame were the only other players to average 30+ PPG in the past seven days.
- Myles Turner missed Sunday’s game but he still played 3 other times last week averaging a stupid 4.0 BPG. Noel ranked a distant second with 2.8 BPG in four games. LOL
- Enes Kanter’s über-efficient season might see a drop in per-minute numbers now that he will be starting for Portland, but Kanter kept up the highest DKFP/min average among players valued below $5.5K during the past week putting up a 1.46 mark. Clarkson, Tillman, and Boucher were some other overly-efficient per-minute players during the last seven days.
- 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: Alexander-Walker, Quickley, Bruce Brown, Tillman, Tate, Grayson Allen, Vincent, Poeltl, Achiuwa, Okoro, Dort
- A little more expensive but still with massive ROI: Boucher, Duncan Robinson, Myles Turner, Clarkson, Fox, Danny Green, Wood
- Some very expensive players not doing enough to help their owners: Ingram, Trae, Paul George, Porzingis, VanVleet, Gobert, John Collins
- Cheap points (min. 3 games played in the past seven days): Alexander-Walker, Gabe Vincent, McDermott, Quickley, Marcus Morris, Lu Dort, Caldwell-Pope, Kennard
- Cheap threes: Isaiah Joe, Marcus Morris, Dort, Caldwell-Pope, Kennard, NAW, Vincent, Redick, McLemore, McDermott, Trent Jr., Knox
- Cheap boards: Achiuwa, Bruce Brown, Biyombo, JaMychal, Jaxon Hayes, Zubac, Poeltl, Roby, Birch
- Cheap dimes: Iguodala, Tate, Quickley, Aaron Holiday, Vincent, Kennard, Caruso, DJ Augustin
- Cheap steals: Okoro, Tillman, Dort, Vassell, Connaughton, KCP, Sumner
- Cheap blocks: Noel, Gasol, Poeltl, Biyombo, Tate, McGee, James Johnson, Favors, Pokusevski
- Cheap FG% (min. 9 FGA): Bruce Brown, McDermott, NAW, Marcus Morris, Trent Jr., Redick, Okoro, Quickley, Bacon, Dort
Gotta Win The Day: Best/Worst DraftKings plays for tonight’s slate
- Love: Clint Capela (C). I don’t know how anyone could hate on Cap these days. You can’t even be mad at his salary, which is quite low considering his exploits of late. Clint is the third-most-expensive C-eligible player of the slate behind Randle and Giannis, and his $8.5K tag should make you laugh. The Hawks didn’t extend John Collins deal and looking at Cap’s game it makes all of the sense. Cap has put up dub-dubs for six games in a row, comes off four straight pulling down 15+ boards including his mental 27-26 night against Detroit, and he has destroyed his last four opponents to the tune of 54, 54, 76, and 63 DKFP. The worst Capela has ranked in any of those last four slates he’s been part of was 7th on Jan. 16th, with the following three seeing him finish 6th, 2nd, and 2nd once more. Crazy Cap is Back.
- Hate: RJ Barrett (SG/SF). Where the hell is the algorithm going tagging RJ with a $9.6K salary!? LOL. I get it, Barrett posted a career-high in points scored in his second to last game... but he did so scoring 28, which tells you all you need to know about RJ and his upside. Barret came down to Earth (double-LOL) scoring just 21 points against Sacramento two days ago, and he’s averaging 18 PPG while playing a stupid 37 MPG. I mean, seriously. The Blazers are more a cupcake than not on D, but even then you’re betting on another career night from RJ in order to get some value from him given his utterly dumb salary today.
- Love: Bradley Beal (PG/SG). On the absolute opposite side to RJ is the Beal, who should be more than cooked at this point after having rested for two weeks having played his last game aaaaaaall the way back on Jan. 11th. The Wiz have been postponing games forever but they’re finally back. Beal’s price is a lot to pay for, I know, but there is nothing saying Beal can’t get back to a basketball court and excel, much less against a lowly Spurs team that ranks 9th in fantasy points allowed, making it a bottom-third unit at that. Let me remind you what Beal has done since flipping the calendar page, in his five games played: 59 DKFP per game, 193 total points for an average of 38.6 PPG, and a 6-6-1-1 rest-of-line to go with that. Sweet is falling short of the goodness of this Beal.
- Hate: Elfrid Payton (PG). No matter if you need a PG to fill your last open spot in your lineup, you should still pass on Payton and not play DFS tody if it’s needed. Sorry to hate on two Knicks, but here we are, folks. Payton keeps starting games for New York for some reason, and Thibs is determined to keep him right there. Even with Imma Quickley dropping jaws nightly. Smh... Payton is playing 30 MPG, has topped 31 in his last three and 33 in two of those three matches, yet his averages on the year are a super-shitty 12.9 PPG, 3.9 RPG, and 4.0 APG while he’s shooting a meh 42% from the floor and he’s scored a single freaking trey in his last five games combined. At least the usage rate is down to 17.2% in his last three, which is probably better than not for 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!