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 Lakers edged the Celtics by one point yesterday. Their series, historically, now sits at 204-163 in favor of the Beantowners. This is considered a “rivalry”, but I mean...
- Daryl Morey out there putting no pressure on his Sixers, saying it’s “chip or bust” for the squad this season. Gotta love this man.
- Scott Brooks yesterday on Beal’s trade rumors: “We’re not interested. I think I might tell Tommy to block all the 29 other GM’s numbers. We’re not answering.” If that’s not enough to straight fire Brooks today, then I don’t even know.
- Luka Doncic is frustrated with the Mavs recent play. Normal, considering he comes from winning absolutely everything from his Spanish and international days.
- Rick Rubio Sr.: “My game is off”. No shit, Sherlock.
- Dennis Smith Jr. (‘member him?) is a Knicks player, believe it or not. He has asked the franchise to send him to the G League to play for New York’s affiliate in the bubble so he can prove he still got game. Sucks to see DSJ on such a low, but here’s to hope he regain his mojo and pulls off the comeback.
- In the last attempt at salvaging Marvin Bagley’s career, the Kings will play at PF going forward now that “Richaun Holmes is playing well and Hassan Whiteside is healthy”, per HC Luke Walton. We’ll see how this goes, but I’m starting to lose faith in this Bag getting filled.
- The Wizards signed Jordan Bell to a 10-day deal and just dropped him today. Nets target, maybe?
- Speaking of Nets targets, Brooklyn is bringing Iman Shumpert back to the L after signing the free agent to a deal yesterday. Yesssssir!
Duds and Studs: Yesterday’s slate roundup
- One demi-god and one deity on yesterday’s slate. Starting at the top, the Greek Dream Giannis reached the lone 70-breaker of the day putting up 72 DKFP to the tune of a monster near-trip-dub of 34 pops, 18 boards, and 9 dimes to go with a swat. Impossibly unstoppable, this kid.
- On the West, Dame slashed Chicago’s hopes of getting a W with a buzzer-beater bucket that added to his day’s end 44 chicken wings. Lillard closed the day at 68 DKFP with 8 treys, 5 boards, 9 assists, and a steal. Bonkers 41.2% usage rate, which is the daily business in a CeeJay-less Blazers squad.
- Shouts out to the bunch-a-guys dropping between 50 and 60 FP: CP3 (29-12-4 on dimes), LaMelo (career-game stuffing a 27-5-9-4 line), AD (27-14), and Butler (30-7-8 on his comeback).
- As many as 15 players in the 40-to-50 clip, with Ayton (18-17), Bam (18-13), Thad Young (8-11-11) among them.
- The ROI King award went to... LaMelo Ball! Back-to-back Balls on the Award! It was Lonzo two days ago, and we’re getting younger today going with Melo. The kid reached 55 DKFP on a night when he came off the pine (who would have thought...) and finished with a monster 27-5-9-4 line hitting a couple of treys, shooting 80% from the floor (10 FGA) and adding all 9 FTA he shot. Sweeeet-o game for the Big Baller Bro. Willie Cauley-Stein, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Zeller, Thad Young, and CP3 were also great plays.
- And the DOTS (Dud of the Slate) Award went to... Khris Middleton! Night to forget that of Midd, who didn't even got to reach half of the FP put up by Mighty Giannis. Khris finished with just 29 fantasy points in 32 minutes and an 18-4-4 line which fell way short of expectations. Jerami, Brandon Ingram, Tyler Herry, and most of all DeMar DeRozan sucked big time too.
- There were five dub-dubs via points and rebounds (Zeller and Thad fell short of reaching 10 points) and two between points and dimes (CP3’s 29-12 and Ja’s 19-11).
- No triple-doubles yesterday, although we got to watch the rare board-dime dub-dub by Thad Young (8-11-11), though, who got really close to reaching that sweet triplet but couldn't quite get it. Giannis was super frustrating finishing just one assist short, with Doncic going with a close 29-8-7 himself.
- More silly numbers: four fools (CP3, Trent, LaMelo, RoCo) stole 4 possessions, while Willie Cauley-Stein was the lone man alive to swat 4 shots on the night.
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). It’s been a little bit of a bouncy play of late after Allen got to town, but Dru keeps putting up numbers no matter what. Last Friday marked the first time this season Dru dropped fewer than 10 points, but it’s also worth saying that he just logged 24 minutes of playing team and a season-low 17.1% usage rate. That won’t hold, and the Wolves feature a slew of bench-fodder kids in the pain, which bodes well for an explosion from the Doc. Even if the minutes don’t go beyond the 28-mark, odds are Drummond can still rack up stats and finish with some 15-15 baseline with upside for more. Such are fantasy biggies these days.
- Hate: D’Angelo Russell (PG/SG). In a league of two Russells, neither is worth a penny these days. DLo hasn’t been better than Russ, the same as Russ hasn’t been better than DLo. What I mean is, fade both Russells until something entirely changes. DLo came back last Friday after a seven-day hiatus and all he did was duplicating his last performance reaching a measly 21 DKFP against the Sixers after getting 17 FP against Atlanta 7 days before. Other than some points (20+ PPG on the year), DLo seems to know nothing more about the game. His dimes are down to 5.4, the boards are virtually void at 2.8, and the shooting has been straight horrific with a 40.9 percentage from the floor. Only his triples (2.8 3PG) are saving him, but again, you can’t count on nightly scoring greatness to repeat steadily. The Cavs, as silly as it sounds, have a top-10 defense these days, which doesn’t sound too good when banking on DLo’s upside today.
- Love: Kyle Lowry (PG): It’s been a while since I’ve discussed or handed Kyle some love here, but so it’s about time to do so. After starting the season with a little overpriced salary tags, the algorithm has calmed down a bit and is reasonably tagging Klow these days. That’s why Lowry is a good value, huge upside play nightly. This vet is playing north of 36 minutes per night, which is borderline insane, is averaging 18 PPG, paring that with sublime rebounding (7 RPG in his last 10 games), and dishing out dimes with gusto (5.6 APG in that span). The shooting is either sky-high or ground-low, but it’s been more of the former and even when he fails there, Lowry fixes it at the free-throw line hitting 80%+ of his attempts. I’m not sure the Raps are going to be a serious contender unless they add someone via trade, and if they don’t, I’m all in for Lowry getting traded to a real contender and getting a second chip. That I’ve said.
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!