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
- RIP to the Mamba. Still can’t believe it...
- Speaking of Lakers greats, LeBron became the oldest Laker to post a 40-pop performance since Kobe dropped 60 in his final career game. Not a bad tribute.
- Ridiculous tweet by Jorge Sierra, founder of HoopsHype: “The oldest players to average 25, 7 and 7 in a season: 1. LeBron James at 36, 2. LeBron James at 35, 3. LeBron James at 34, 4. LeBron James at 33, 5. LeBron James at 32, 6. John Havlicek at 31”. Crazy.
- Shouts out to JoJo and Jokic for becoming the latest pair of Players of the Week. Biggies out there balling hard these days.
- Isaiah Roby—and all of his 22 years and 357 days of age—was the oldest starter for OKC yesterday. LOL. Even then, the Thunder know no tank and defeated Portland 125-122.
- Domantas Sabonis was forced out early in yesterday’s game against Toronto due to an injured knee but it looks like he dodged serious damage. Pacers breathe.
- The NBA is seemingly planning on holding an All-Star Game—no other games/contests, though—next March in Atlanta. This is the most stupid thing ever, seriously, yet for some reason, Adam Silver and NBPA president Chris Paul are all for it. Some things one will never understand...
- The Nets are all over Cleveland, and I’m not talking of winning games. After dropping two to the Cavs last week, it now looks like Brooklyn is targeting all of JaVale McGee (trade), Andre Drummond (potential buyout candidate), and Kevin Love (what?) to bolster their interior game. We’ll see how this ends.
- Miami Heat’s Avery Bradley confirmed that he’s been out after testing positive for COVID. Out since Jan. 9th, Bradley still has to come back to the court but he is inching as closer as it can get.
- Marquese Chriss, out injured and probably done for the year, is willing to re-sign with the Warriors once his deal is over.
- Another guy looking for a contract and a comeback to the L: Lance Stephenson. Lance called out the league for not opening up more roster spots, which would make it easier for him to find a way to a squad. Somebody, please sign this man.
Duds and Studs: Yesterday’s slate roundup
- Luka destroyed the slate. That’s it, that’s the summary.
- No, seriously, Doncic was mental in putting up 86+ DKFP yesterday against Denver, and not even that massive score could stop the Nugs from getting the W. Luka finished with a 35-11-16-4-1 stuffed trip-dub, shot the rock 23 times, and hit 47.8 percent of them (3 treys, 8 two-pointers) and all 10 freebies he attempted. Incredible game by the German.
- LBJ was ridiculous himself reaching 75 FP on a night he played a season-high 38 minutes against... Cleveland (?). LeBron celebrated getting back to playing his former and first-team by dropping 46 pops on them and pairing that with an 8-6-2-2 rest of line shooting 73+ percent from the floor. Malcom Brogdon was the only other player to reach 60 DKFP, and he did so thanks to a near-dub-dub to the tune of a 36-7-9 line.
- Seven players finished with 50+ fantasy points, including Vucevic, Delon Wright (!), Steph, KD, Kanter (!!), Shai, and Dame.
- The ROI King award went to... Delon Wright! Tenth consecutive start for Delon at the Pistons point, and by far his best game of the season. Absolutely unexpected performance coming out of left field by D, who definitely got it Wright yesterday. Delon hit 28 points, dropped 4 treys, pulled down 7 boards, dished out 9 dimes, and also stole a couple of rocks while blocking a shot. All-around game by the guard, who put up 56 DKFP at a very big discount. Anfernee Simons, Thad Young, Powell, Theis, and Melo were other sweet values.
- And the DOTS (Dud of the Slate) Award went to... Kyrie Irving! Sabonis gets a pass because he got injured just after 10 minutes of playing time. Excluding Domas, Kyrie sucked a ton with just 33 DKFP in 40 minutes and a $9K salary tag... Yikes. Ben Simmons and KP were putrid plays, while Lowry, Coby White, and Jamal Murray also put up nights to forget.
- There were 13 dub-dubs via points and rebounds (somehow Tristant Thompson grabbed 10 boards yet scored no points) and two between points and dimes (Ricky dished out 11 dimes yet he could only drop 6 pops).
- One triple-doubles yesterday, by the mighty Luka Doncic and his monster 35-11-16 line that also included 4 steals and a block to put the cherry on top. Gotta hate on Thad Young, who finished 16-9-9 and was this close to putting up a trip-dub while being tagged at just $4.5K.
- More silly numbers: Luka stole 4 possessions, while all of AD, Theis, Wiggins, and Myles swatted 3 shots each.
What’s cooking? Statistical trends from Week 5 (Jan. 18th to Jan. 24th)
- As many as 105 players logged four games played during the past seven days. Do you know who led them all in DKFP per game? No shit, Luka. Seriously, what does this guy eat for breakfast? Doncic closed last week at 48.8, just above Randle’s 48.3 score also in four games. Luka’s averages on those four matches: 22-8-10 shooting 41.5 percent from the floor, 80.2 percent from the line, and putting up 1.43 FP/min trailing only Steph Curry there (1.44) among players with 4+ GP.
- Lowering the threshold to three games played, though, is when we arrive at the true Beast of the Week: Clint Capela and his 64.5 DKFP per game. Things got real for the Cap. Clint’s line was bonkers and hardly believable: 21-20-1-1-6. No. Freaking. Joke. Both Embiid and Trae finished second to Capela with 59 DKFP/G each, with Embiid edging Caplea 1.84 to 1.83 in DKFP/min.
- Kevin Durant is playing off an Achilles injury. Do you know what KD did last week? He played three games and an average of 40.3 MPG scoring 33 PPG and blocking the second-most shots at 2.7 BPG. WTF.
- The trade did wonders for Harden, who is doing it all in BKN. Four games, 41+ MPG, and 21-7-11 on the week for The Beard who seems to be more concerned with letting others splash the ball by dishing out dimes than hitting buckets himself. Not bad for a start in this new Big 3 environment.
- Keep an eye on Jaylen Brown, Kemba Walker, Rudy Gobert, Andre Drummond, and Collin Sexton because all of them posted more than 1.35 DKFP/min while playing fewer than 30 MPG last week. Bulk those ticks up a bit and we might be watching explosions all around the L.
- Silly cheap values: Kendrick Nunn, Taurean Prince, Devin Vassell, Wayne Ellington, Thad Young, Rudy Gay, David Nwaba, KCP.
- A little more expensive but still with massive ROI: Hunter, Capela, Smart, Theis, Sexton, Kemba, Jrue, Burks.
- Some very expensive players not doing enough to help their owners: Curry, Sabonis, Drummond, PG13, Ingram, DLo, Brogdon, Booker, Zion.
- Cheap points (min. 3 games played in the past seven days): Nunn, Ellington, Monte Morris, Lamb, Brunson, Quickley, Jeff Green, Gary Harris, George Hill, Prince
- Cheap threes: Ellington, Nunn, Jeff Green, KCP, Gary Harris, George Hill, Prince, Quickley, Cam Johnson, Reggie Bullock, Devin Vassell, Valentine
- Cheap boards: Zubac, Noel, Thad Young, Favors, Birch, Poeltl, Nunn, Ed Davis, Baynes, Isaiah Stewart, Jeff Green, Connaughton
- Cheap dimes: McConnell, McLaughlin, Rondo, Nunn, Brunson, Thad Young, Prince, Lou, Monte Morris, Cam Payne
- Cheap steals: Iguodala, McConnell, Nwaba, Okogie, Nunn, Vassell, Thad Young, Prince, Okoro
- Cheap blocks: Okongwu, Josh Jackson, Noel, Poeltl, Stewart, McDaniels, Gafford, Gasol, Zubac
- Cheap FG% (min. 9 FGA): Nunn, Ellington, Monte Morris, Jeremy Lamb, Brunson, Gary Harris
Gotta Win The Day: Best/Worst DraftKings plays for tonight’s slate
- Love: Donovan Mitchell (PG/SG). Shaq hated on DoMi, and DoMi came back roaring. Not that he hadn’t been doing it before, though. Mitchell has put up an average of 1.37 FP/min in his last six games going back to Jan. 12th and in five of those he topped 1.28, reaching 1.53+ twice. On a real-world basis, so nobody gets lost, Mitchell has averaged 27.3 PPG (4.0 3PG), 4.6 RPG, and 5.0 APG in his last eight games. He’s shooting north of 51 percent from the floor these days, virtually hitting every freebie he gets the chance to shoot, and although the turnovers are a little bit high at 3.2 per game on the season, he’s making up for that with 1.2 stocks per game. All of that for just $8.1K tonight. Can’t not love that.
- Hate: Russell Westbrook (PG). While it is not very intelligent to hate on Russ, here we are. Westbrook came back from a two-week absence two days ago and put up a dud against San Antonio in some limited 25 minutes of playing time. Russ didn’t log double digits in any cat, finishing 9-8-6 shooting a putrid 27.3 percent from the floor though he logged a high 28.4% usage rate. It’s been four games in a row in which Russ hasn’t reached 10 rebounds, two below 10 dimes, and in three of his last four he also shot below 30 (!) percent while shooting 17.5 FGA per. Not the return you’d expect from a $10K player...
- Love: John Collins (PF/C). The Clippers won’t have any of Kawhi, George, and Pat Bev available tonight. Trae Young will obviously eat big time if he plays (he’s questionable), same as Capela (another questionable) but I’m betting on cheap-ass JoCo today. See, Collins had an impressive outing just two nights ago when he scored six three-pointers against the Bucks. Collins is not going to hit 5+ treys all days, sure, but he doesn’t need to do that much to be a good value as he will most probably still finish with some sort of 20-10-2 line blocking a few shots, good for a baseline of 35+ DKFP with upside for more against a depleted Clips squad.
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!