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
- Utah defeated New York yesterday and it’s now on a 9-win streak. You read that right, nine wins in a row for the Jazz who sit at the second spot in the Western Conference standings only half a game behind the Lakers.
- The Wiz, on the other hand, stayed sucking hard as they dropped one to Houston in what could very well be one of Brad Beal’s last games for the franchise. The man is just desperate and while he has yet to officially request a trade, it is not that he isn’t making it clear on the court that he wants out asap...
- Devin Booker keeps catching Ls, as he’ll miss today’s game against OKC with a hamstring injury. Definitely not a great start to Book’s season…
- Nothing clear about the returns of Kawhi, PG13, and Pat Bev. They didn’t play yesterday due to COVID protocols and it doesn’t seem anybody knows when they’ll be back hooping.
- News to celebrate: Caris LeVert got traded, that move potentially saved him from a very bad outcome as the medical allowed doctors to discover a small mass on his kidney, and now he has undergone successful surgery and will be back as soon as he can. Props to everybody involved, cause everything went alright.
- Shams Charania from The Athletic brought the rumor-heat yesterday, naming all of JJ Redick, Zo Ball, Derrick Rose, and Kelly Oubre as potential trade candidates already getting interest around the league. Unsurprisingly, Thibs seems to be hunting for Rose, who he turned into the youngest MVP in the history of the L.
- Hot seat for coach Brooks in Washington, cold seat for coach Van Gundy in New Orleans.
Duds and Studs: Yesterday’s slate roundup
- A super-thin slate of just three games... in which biggies once more got the best of it. Only Rudy Gobert and DeMarcus Cousins topped 50 DKFP, with The Croissant leading the day thanks to an 18-19 dub-dub to go with 4 blocks and 2 dimes in order to finish with 54 FP. Cousins closed the day with a 19-11-2-5-1 stuffed line and hit three triples. Love to see DMC back to his best levels of play after everything he’s gone trhough.
- Among the rest of the eligible players, five players went on to finish inside the 40-to-50 fantasy clip. Trae was so close to reaching that upper-bound, and he did so dropping 38 pops coming from an injury. Reggie Jackson was the value of the day thanks to his 46 FP, while Capela, Beal, and Russ al hit 42+ DKFP.
- The ROI King award went to... Reggie Jackson! On a night in which the Clips were without all of Kawhi/George/Bev, it made sense to find three clippers among the top-5 values of the slate. Reggie played 39 minutes and was the best of LA while starting at the SG position and closing the day with 46 DKFP to the tune of a 20-7-8-2-1 all-around performance. Terance Mann was just one board short of a dub-dub, while Cousins, Nwaba, and Kennard closed that most-valuable-plays top-5.
- And the DOTS (Dud of the Slate) Award went to... Donovan Mitchell! DoMi played on me. The Jazz easily got rid of the Knicks, so even though Mitchell logged 34 minutes he didn’t do much having just a 23.3% usage rate, shooting a disinterested 20% on 15 FGA, and finishing 9-8-3 on a night when he just reached 23 DKFP. Oladipo was close to Mitchell in value with just 27 FP on the day, while there weren’t many other less-valuable plays out there yesterday due to the small slate.
- There were seven dub-dubs via points and rebounds (both Nwaba and Mann missed by a rebound) and none between points and dimes (in fact, nobody even reached 9 dimes).
- No triple-doubles yesterday, with Reggie Jackson finishing at 20-7-8, Russ at 19-11-7, and no one else getting even remotely close to the feat. The effect of having just three games on the schedule, I guess.
- More silly numbers: DeMarcus Cousins somehow led the slate with 5 steals, while John Collins did so in the blocks department swatting 5 rocks.
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: Andre Drummond (C). Dr. Dre's last five games have been an absolute rollercoaster: 74, 26, 50, 20, and lastly 48 fantasy points have been the scores, and in the past four matches he’s not topped 28 minutes of playing time. The addition of Jarrett Allen has impacted Dru’s playing time, obviously, but he still clearly has it in him and he’s showed in the past week hitting two dub-dubs. Mathematical series say today should be a down game if we follow that peak-valley trend he’s on, but I don’t think so. Detroit’s only big with chances of stopping Drummond is Plumlee, and other than that the team is made of ancient players as Blake and rookies as Stewart. Dre could eat tonight, that’s for sure, as he did in G2 of the season (Dec. 26) when he dropped 64 DKFP on the Pistons with an impossible 23-16-5-4-3 line that is his second-best game of the year so far.
- Hate: James Harden (PG/SG). Harden started his BKN era with three ridiculous games, two of them going for trip-dubs sandwiching a 34-6-12 performance. Since that last 50-minute game back on Jan. 20 James has played three more matches and although he has looked great, the stats are just not handing a ton of fantasy goodies to Harden’s fantasy GMs. Harden has averaged a resounding 17-5-10 line in his last three games, but his turnovers are stupidly high, his usage is nowhere close to his Houston levels, and he seems to be playing the good-guy role dishing out the ball and involving other players more than going for the kill himself. It makes sense, as there is a hell of a squad in place in Brooklyn, but sadly that has cut half of Harden’s upside in fantasy contests.
- Love: Michael Porter Jr. (SF/PF). MPJ’s salary won’t stay so low for so long given he’s looked better than ever since coming back last weekend. Sure, he only played 19 minutes in his comeback (20 FP), then logged a monster 35 minutes (28 FP), and finally placed a more reasonable 27 ticks for 46 (!) fantasy points against Dallas two days ago. MPJ’s last game isn’t far from what I expect from Porter going forward. 30 points, 8 boards, and 6 triples on the night adorned his line against the Mavs, and while that three-point scoring won’t hold, MPJ should still keep putting up 25-8-3 lines easily while shooting on great percentages and barely committing turnovers nightly. Cheap play with tons of upside already hitting peak-conditioning after being out for a while.
- Hate: Malcolm Brogdon (PG). It’s hard to hate on a guy who is averaging 42+ DKFP on the year, but the truth is that Brogdon has been more on the low than not lately. Excluding his 60-FP explosion last Monday against Toronto in the second leg of a back-to-back, Malcolm was in the Middle of a slump that saw him fall below 40 FP in five of his previous six games. The playing time was the same, as was the usage, but Brog just couldn’t make anything work shooting just 38.1 percent in that span, committing a ton of turnovers, and even fouling to season-high extents. I don’t think Brogdon has another 60-fantasy-burger in him today, and although Charlotte is nothing otherworldly, I would pass on Malcolm as I don’t see too much value returning from this play.
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!