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
- I’m sorry, but I’m starting to get a little bit full of Bradley Beal... The guy won’t admit he wants out but keeps dropping bullshit on a daily basis. Just man up and confirm the already-known issues, mate. And if Beal re-signed with the Wiz wanting to win there, and is now asking the FO for an extra effort, what the hell does he expect? What’s the winning move here? Trade Hachimura for... something? Jeez...
- The 76ers are leading the East although they haven’t had the toughest of schedules. Until yesterday, when they faced the Lake Show and edged LA by a single point. Huge win for Philly, which seems to solidify itself as a real threat for the whole NBA come postseason time.
- Per Elias Sports: Kevin Durant is the 2nd player in NBA history to average at least 30 points in his first 15 games with a new team, joining Wilt Chamberlain in 1959-60 with the Warriors. Durant, in case you don’t know, is playing off an Achilles injury that kept him out of basketball courts for two years. Uh, oh, flex on the devil.
- Get your All-Star Voting Guns ready, folks, because it’s today at Noon ET when you’ll be able to start dropping votes on your favorites fools to be part of the still-to-know-if-will-be-held 2021 AS Game. The squads will be named whether the game is actually played or not, so you know what to do. Starters will be revealed on Feb. 18, and reserves on Feb. 23.
- Mitchell Robinson bitched about his offensive role in New York, where he feels he’s lacking touches. Not everything could be rosy in Manhattan, as expected.
- Speaking of the Knicks, they seemingly had an interest in adding Lonzo Ball this past summer via trade, but the interest went nowhere ultimately. Zo has played in LA, Mardi City, and could be on his way to New York. Doesn’t get much better, to be honest, basketball-related stuff not considered, of course
- LeBron’s no. 1 stan Brian Windhorst reported that NOLA might be looking to trade Eric Bledsoe on top of Lonzo and JJ Redick. Looks like Stan the Van ain’t happy with the pieces in place.
- Zach LaVine is surely playing to All-Star levels this season (only 23 players in NBA history have had at least one season with LaVine’s current 27-5-5 line), that’s something I know. Nobody in the Bulls seems to be out of potential trade discussions, although whispers around the league are saying ZLV is seemingly untouchable right now, reports K.C. Johnson.
- Veterans Joe Johnson and Isaiah Thomas will be part of Team USA for its AmericaCup qualifying tournament on Feb. 19-20. Not sure about Joey making it back to the Association, but it will definitely be a great stage for Thomas to present his candidacy to make a late-season run in the L with some contending team hurting for point-guard help.
Duds and Studs: Yesterday’s slate roundup
- The day I hate on James, the day Harden decides to put on a show... Harden led the slate to the tune of 72 DKPF in 46 minutes of playing time and was one of only two (Brad Beal) players to reach 70 FP on a packed night of hoops. Harden dropped 31 pops on Atlanta while dishing out 15 dimes and pulling down 8 boards. Close to the trip-dub, but not quite there. Two steals and a block adorned his line, and he went 100% from the free-throw line hitting 8 freebies.
- Bradley Beal put up 47 points, Washington lost once more, and nothing really changed for the man nor the squad. Beal will end the season elsewhere. That I know. The full line read 47-4-6-4 with 6 treys and 7-for-7 freebies and a stupid 46% (!!!) usage rate.
- Two more players were able to surpass the 60-FP mark: Gobert did so with a ridiculously stuffed 29-20-1-2-3 line while Giannis helped Milwaukee overcome Toronto thanks to a neat 24-18-9-1-1 performance in a too-many-for-Giannis 38-minute run.
- As many as eight guys closed the night in the 50-to-60 clip, them being: Drummond (in 28 minutes), Trae, Sabonis, Simmons, Ingram, Middleton, Hield, and LBJ.
- The ROI King award went to... Cody Zeller! The Hornets are positioning themselves to at least make a run at the play-in come season’s end. If that’s the case, odds are they retain Zeller, but if they drop a bit in the standings they might buy him out or trade him away, bolstering some true contender’s paint. Zeller was beastly starting for Charlotte yesterday, playing 29 minutes, and dropping a sweet 14-10-4 dub-dub on a low 14.7 percent usage for 37 DKFP. Not bad. Joe Ingles, Achiuwa, Anthony Edwards, Horford, and Reddish were a few more valuable plays.
- And the DOTS (Dud of the Slate) Award went to... Clint Capela! Nobody expected Cap to keep up with his 20-20-thousand-blocks averages from last week, but for someone now carrying tags above $9K putting on a 26 FP dud was hard to stomach. Clint finished yesterday’s game not even entering dub-dub territory with a putrid 9-11 line in 30 minutes. Sucks. Curry, Bam, Kristaps, and Jerami didn’t help their fantasy GMs either.
- There were 15 dub-dubs via points and rebounds (Capela and Birch missed by one and two points respectively, Vuc/Siakam/Oubre by a single board) and four between points and dimes (shout-out to FVV for his monster 10-15-10-4-3 line).
- Two triple-doubles yesterday, one from the very unique Benny Simmons thanks to a 17-11-10 borderline trip-line with the other one coming from Domas, who came back to his ways to the tune of a 22-11-10 game. Giannis was this close, missing on it by just a single dime. Harden and Fox were just two rebounds short of the feat. Cold world.
- More silly numbers: Drummond led the slate in steals with 5 thefts, while both Naz Reid and Myles Turner (surprise) were the leading swatters with 5 blocks 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: Christian Wood (C). Wood is back after missing three games with ankle issues since Jan. 20. Before being forced out to rehab his small injury, Wood had put up 44+ fantasy points in each of his last four games played back to Jan. 14, and 54+ in two of those. Wood was a revelation last season but in a better (though not much) squad this year in Houston he’s just exploded. Wood is putting up numbers to the tune of a 25-13-2 line with 2 blocks in that four-game span, he’s played 30+ minutes every time, and his usage has sat high at 25% or more in those matches. Cousins has been great for Houston in Wood’s absence, but he just won’t hold onto the starting role with the Christian back preaching his word.
- Hate: Devin Booker (SG). Booker has also missed some games, like Wood, of late. The problem with Book, though, is that he is not confirmed as available for tonight's game and even if he plays he’s not appealing at all to hand him a roster spot. Sorry, but nope. Even in a 40-minute match last Friday, Book finished with a good-not-great 47 DKFP tally including 31 pops, 5 boards, and 5 dimes. That marked Book’s best game of the season, as his true average is at a modest 35 fantasy points on the year and only 33 in his last three games (all from Jan. 18 on and after Phoenix was left off the schedule for a week). With the 8th-highest salary among eligible players today, I think I could point out at least 30 better-value plays than Dev (doing you a favor: Dipo, CP3, Ayton, Wall, Kanter, and Melo, just to name a few...)
- Love: James Wiseman (C). Wiseman got a dose of pine yesterday in favor of Kevon Looney, but HC Kerr said the starting spot is Wiseman’s going forward, yet he didn’t confirm if that will happen today. This is definitely a sneaky, flyer-kind play. Starter or not, you know Wiseman will give you some good 25+ minutes of playing time, and the rook is one of the most valuable and efficient players on a per-minute basis this season. Wiseman is averaging 1.15 DKFP/min, and in games he’s played 20+ minutes (11 of 18) he’s putting up an average 15-6-1 line with 1.5 BPG. For his price, I can’t spot many more last-lineup-spot fillers better than the Wise Man tonight.
- Hate: Bam Adebayo (C). Bam is surely inching closer and closer to the elite-player realm, that’s for sure. The problem I see in Bayo today, though, is that he comes off his fourth-worst game of the season... which also happened to took place less than 24 hours from his next one today. Bam has played in back-to-back games this season—as recently as last Saturday when he actually had his best performance of the year against BKN—but I don’t see the upside or much value returning from playing him against the Clips today. Kawhi, George, and Bev will stay out, and Miami is missing Butler, Herro, and Leonard. Someone has to play, yes, but against a depleted team and coming off a game played as recently as yesterday there is a huge chance Bam gets a heavy dose of bench time.
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!