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NBA DFS: Ja Morant and best/worst DraftKings daily fantasy basketball plays for Saturday, Jan. 30th

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.

Phoenix Suns v Memphis Grizzlies Photo by Justin Ford/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

  • Make it 11 straight Ws for the Jazz, who are unexpectedly and seemingly unstoppable these days.
  • Trae Young, who has barely played three seasons of pro-basketball, is already the 10th player in Hawks history with 400+ three-pointers to his name. Uh, oh, flex on the haters.
  • Speaking of youth, Anthony Edwards started his first game for the depleted Wolves. Not that he was mind-bending, but still. With Jarrett Culver expect to miss another full week of games, it makes sense for Edwards to stay put in the starting lineup.
  • Karl-Anthony Towns let us know he suffered an accident during the offseason, as he was hit by a drunk driver. Seriously, this guy can’t catch a break.
  • The Nets remain in the free-agent market, and when asked about potential additions HC Steve Nash confirmed that the franchise will bring a free agent—not promoting a two-way player—to the squad today as Brooklyn needs to fill one of its open spots as late as Saturday’s night.
  • The Knicks and neighbors Nets are monitoring Zach Lavine, per SportsNet New York. Hard to see BKN pulling a trade as they don’t seem to have enough assets, but who knows what the Knickerbockers might end doing...
  • Shout-out to Fred VanVleet for his inclusion in Team USA’s first list of 60 players for the upcoming Olympics. Well deserved.
  • The Rockets traded for Kevin Porter and insta-sent him to the G League. Nothing crazy, as KPJ is a flyer and a long-term asset and project, so it’s better to go the safest way.

Duds and Studs: Yesterday’s slate roundup

  • We went back to a big-ass slate of games yesterday, which was made clear by three players topping 60 DKFP. Giannis was the best at it on a Friday night in which he dropped 38 pops and pulled down 11 boards against NOLA to finish with a 38-11-5-2-2 stuffed line and 67 DKFP. Dub-dub for the Greek, something we like to see.
  • Harden and Jokic were the other two 60-FP hoopers of the night, both with 61 DKFP. Harden did it with a 25-10-11 trip-dub, and Jokic put up a noice 35-10-5 line with 5 treys on the night.
  • Somehow, only three more players were able to finish in the 50-to-60 fantasy-clip. The group included JoJo (37-11 in 26 minutes), Trae (41 pops, 5 treys), and FVV (26-5-6-4 stuffed line).
  • As many as 19 (!!!) players with 40 to 50 fantasy points, notably DeRozan (30-1-10), Lonzo (7 treys), Domas (22-11), Tobias (17-11), and Capela (13-14).
  • The ROI King award went to... Lonzo Ball! I’m lying to you here because Zo wasn’t the literal best value of the slate, but he was the best putting up 40+ fantasy points. Ball finished with 47 FP to the tune of a great 27-3-8-1 contribution including 7 treys and no free-throws at all for a sweet price of $5.3K. Maledon, Whiteside, Haliburton, Conley, and Imma Quickley were also great.
  • And the DOTS (Dud of the Slate) Award went to... Kawhi Leonard! I’m sorry, but even coming back from COVID-related protocols I’m not giving you a pass, Kawhi. Leonard played for the first time in a few days, logged 28 minutes, and for someone carrying the sixth-highest salary of the slate ($10K) the return was putrid at just 34 DKFP. Brad Beal was far from great, same as Randle, Vucevic, Drummond, and Fox.
  • There were nine dub-dubs via points and rebounds (Steven Adams and Drummond led the slate with 15 and 20 boards yet finished with 4 points each... Nine more players missed on dubbing by just one board) and three between points and dimes (Haliburton, Graham, DeDe; Conley missed by one assist).
  • One triple-double yesterday, coming from a James Harden that has tamed himself and is contributing all across the board as a member of Brooklyn’s Big 3. The line read 25-10-11 at the end of the game, with a block to spare and 64.3% shooting from the floor on just 14 FGA. Not bad. Shame on Middleton for finishing with a close-but-no-cigar 16-8-8.
  • More silly numbers: FVV stole 5 possessions, while three players (Mitchell Robinson, Capela, and Ibaka) swatted 3 rocks 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: Enes Kanter (C). Can’t get much better for Kanter in Portland, folks. Since Jusuf Nurkic went down injured and Kanter took on the starting spot, the Turk has been magnificent when it comes to value return. Kanter has now started five games in a row, is averaging 38 DKFP, and in the three matches he played 28+ minutes he finished with 38, 50, and 50 DKFP while reaching an average 13-16-2-1-3 line. No joke, that is. The usage is ridiculous, but as Kanter can’t do anything else other than shoot layups he’s going to end with 10 points and 80%+ percentages from the floor, add his eventual three or four freebies, and grab rebounds like a madman.
  • Hate: Gordon Hayward (SF/PF). Hayward is looking to close a week that hasn’t been any good for him, at all. Starting last Sunday, Gordo has played four games and his fantasy points have gone from 57 to 43 to 25 to 33 yesterday. He’s now entering the second leg (not really, as it’s Milwaukee tonight compared to Indy yesterday) of the second back-to-back series he’s played in the past seven days. Hayward plainly sucked in his last couple of matches, finishing with putrid lines of 16-1-4 and 11-8-6 against the Pacers, shooting a combined 38.1 percent from the floor on 26 FGA, and logging season-low usage rates of 18%. Even after those two duds, Hay’s salary is back up from his last one because nobody understands the algorithm. Fade Gordo for now.
  • Love: Ja Morant (PG). Morant’s injury at the end of the 2020 calendar year and the fact that Memphis was canned from the schedule for health and safety protocols have kept Morant off the radar for most of the season. Ja was fantastic in Memphis’ first two games of the year (66 and 42 DKFP), then missed everything until coming back on Jan. 16, played two games, and was sent back home with the rest of his teammates after Memphis’ game against Phoenix on Jan. 18. The Grizz are finally back, and the Spurs will be at the other end tonight in what bodes as a good thing for Morant. We can’t infer a lot from Morant’s season to date with just four games finished (left the other one injured after 12 minutes), but we all know Ja. He’s dropped 17+ every game this year, dishes out dimes like no one, he is relentless and ruthless as hell, and he’s always a menace to put up the 20-5-10 baseline effortlessly. And the discount he comes at tonight is delightful.
  • Hate: Deandre Ayton (C). Ayton has been a lineup-killer three games in a row going back a week. Sure, he has two dub-dubs in the three games he’s played in that span, but he’s topped at 35 DKFP while never carrying a price below $7.3K. The problem with Ayton (other than in his last game) hasn’t been his minutes, which sit at almost 34 in the last six games, but his null contributions at anything not being points/boards-related, and his atrocious fouling and turnovers per game averages. Ayton is scoring below 15 PPG on the season, doesn’t know how to stretch the floor, and is logging 2.1 TOPG and 3.4 PF per game limiting his runs in stretches of the games. Not liking Ayton, Booker being on the squad or not.

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!