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
- After a week of hot takes and debates seemingly everywhere around the figure of Steph Curry, his position in the history of the Association, and the way he “changed” the way the game is played with critics poping everywhere (he can’t lead a team by himself!), Steph took on the Blazers and dropped a 62-burger on Portland hitting 8 triples. Mouth-shutting time.
- Yesterday saw the first Russ-Wiz game in which Westbrook couldn’t log a triple-double. Obviously, the Wizards got themselves a W... against the Nets. This is legit the most mindfucking thing ever, and Brooklyn is below .500 now with a 3-4 record through seven games.
- The Clippers were able to take the court yesterday against the Suns, but multiple staff members of the franchise have been forced into quarantine. Keep an eye on the Clips because this very well could end in some players missing games due to contact tracing measures.
- Tomas Satoransky has already fallen ill with COVID and will be out for a bunch of days and not available to play for the Bulls any time soon. Markkanen and Arcidiacono will miss time too due to close contact with Sato.
- Stan Van Gundy keeps blaming himself for the Pels struggles, lastly about JJ Redick’s low performing levels. It’s been like this for two weeks already, and while you have to give SVG kudos for shielding the team, odds are he grows tired of getting the hits and starts putting some weight on the squad sooner or later. We’ll see what happens then.
Duds and Studs: Yesterday’s slate roundup
- If you read from the start of the column, you already know about it: Steph set the slate on fire and reached 75+ DKFP on a historic night that marked Curry’s career-high in scoring with 62 pops. Curry finished 62-5-4 shooting 58.1 percent from the floor (31 FGA!) and 94.7% from the charity stripe (19 FTA!) while hitting 8 triples on the night. It’s not often that we watch players log usage rates above 35%, but Curry finished 49.5 percent of the Warriors possessions in which was a clear mouth-shutting performance after the criticism he’s endured this week.
- Had it not being for Curry, the slate would have been hella tight at the top of the fantasy leaderboard as LaVine (39-6-5-3), Kyrie (30-5-10-2-2), and Tatum (24-8-12) all finished with 58+ DKFP.
- Eight more players closed the night inside the 50-to-58 DKFP clip, including PG13, Beal, LBJ, Jokic, Murray, KD, McCollum, and Westbrook.
- The ROI King award went to... Jalen Brunson! Not even close, this one. JB started for the Mavs with Luka out and in his 37 minutes of playing time he scored all of 31 points, grabbed 5 boards, dished out 7 dimes, stole a rock... and for our interest he reached 49+ DKFP against the Bulls. An absolutely masterful performance by BrunBrun. Shouts out to Campazzo, Malik Beasley, and Enes Kanter too for their valuable performances yesterday.
- And the DOTS (Dud of the Slate) Award went to... Jaylen Brown! The Brother Brown fell quite short of expectations, although that is reasonable considering folks all around the nation recently started to label him as the Celtics best player... even with Tatum still around and getting better on a nightly basis. Jaylen’s 30 DKFP weren’t any good given his salary, while Tatum’s 58 were very tasty and proved, once more, who’s the Beantown don. Kawhi, Dame, Wiggins, and Valanciunas were other rather bad plays.
- There were 10 dub-dubs via points and rebounds (Gobert missed on it by 3 points, and Royce O’Neal returned the cheapest one) and four between points and dimes (Tatum, Russ, Kyrie, Smart).
- Nikola Jokic came back to his trip-dubbing ways and logged the only one in yesterday’s slate. The Joker put up a 19-12-12 line, Denver snatched another very-needed W, and Niko has yet to finish a game without either a dub-dub (two times, falling just one board short of a triple-double in each of those games) or a trip-dub (four times) this season.
- More silly numbers: as many as seven fools stole 3 balls, and Rudy Gobert put on a blocking show swatting 6 rocks.
What’s cooking? Statistical trends from Week 2 (Dec. 28th to Jan. 3rd)
- Nobody has been able to keep up a 60-DKFP average through last week. That being said, Jokic closed it on Sunday with a 59.1 fantasy-point average in four games played. Four more players in the 55/56 clip (Curry, Westbrook, Harden, LBJ) with three more at 50+ (Giannis, Durant, Tobias).
- The algorithm has yet to catch up with Tobias’ exploits, though, as his 50.1 DKFP per game are the most for anyone averaging salary tags below 8.9K compared to Harris’ 7.1K price on average.
- Perhaps it’s time for the Hornets to put LaMelo in the starting lineup? Ball is averaging—by far—the most fantasy points among bench-players with 37.8 per game in three matches this week. The second-best player without a start this past week (min. 3 games) is fellow Hornet Miles Bridges already down to 29.3.
- Silly cheap values: Brunson, Dieng, Roby, McGee, Olynyk, JaMychal Green
- A little more expensive but still with massive ROI: LaMelo, Tobias, Michael Porter, Jamal Murray, Seth Curry, Tyler Herro
- Some very expensive players not doing enough to help their owners: Luka, Dame, Drummond, Booker, Siakam, Butler
- Cheap points (min. 3 games played in the past seven days): Brunson, Avery Bradley, Carmelo, Monte Morris, Bryn Forbes
- Cheap threes: Saddiq Bey, Avery Bradley, Powell, Kleber, Connaughton, Bane, Wesley Matthews
- Cheap boards: McGee, Ed Davis, Carter-Williams, O’Neale, Jaxon Hayes, Dieng, Marc Gasol
- Cheap dimes: Killian Hayes, Brunson, McLaughlin, Monte, Konchar, Pritchard, Patty Mills, McConnell, Thad Young, Reggie Jackson
- Cheap steals: James Johnson, Layman, Justin Holiday, Teague, Pritchard, Derrick Jones
- Cheap blocks: Eubanks, Olyny, Robert Williams, Theis, Noel, Jaxon Hayes, Alex Len
- Cheap FG% (min. 9 FGA): Avery Bradley, Monte, McGee, Bacon, Bane, Brunson, Powell
Gotta Win The Day: Best/Worst DraftKings plays for tonight’s slate
- Love: Julius Randle (PF/C). I’m not going to open your eyes by loving Dr. Julius, because he’s been able to stay off his Mr. Randle persona for the season’s kickoff. Randle is putting up nightly double-doubles going back to G3, which means he’s done so three times in a row with a triple-double in the middle (against Cleveland). Seriously. Julius is a force of nature these days. He’s averaging a 21-10-7 line that while will probably go down in due time, is currently on par with historic averages from Jokic, Oscar Robertson, Russ Westbrook, and Wilt Chamberlain. LOL. Can’t pass on a living legend and future HOFer against the horrid Hawks D.
- Hate: Kyle Lowry (PG). KLow, pretty much as the whole Raps squad, has been a little bit disappointing through the start of the season. While still an above-average fantasy performer on a per-minute basis, Kyle is playing way below expectations averaging a 19-4-8 line that falls a little bit short for his monster 37.5 MPG and $8K price tag. Sure, Lowry can still give you his daily 40 fantasy points, but he’s done so only once this season, falling below that mark in his other four games. If you’re looking for star-players with potential, Lowry shouldn’t be your play because the ROI has been on the low side of things this season.
- Love: John Wall (PG). I was this close to writing about Jayson Tatum here, but I opted to pass on him because Wall is way cheaper, yet carries monster upside too. Go with Tatum if you want, though, as he looks hella great tonight. Back to Wall, it definitely looks like Johnny has lost not a single step now that he’s been on the cour for a couple of games. Wall has put up a 25-7-2-1 average line and back-to-back exact 45.5 DKFP games against Sacramento. Wall is as quick and agile as he’s ever been, is dropping buckets, grabbing boards, and dishing out dimes, and in one of his games, he didn’t even have Harden to help boost his numbers.
- Hate: Gordon Hayward (SF/PF). Gordo hasn’t been bad, but there is an easy issue to stop in his game logs that has affected his fantasy points this season: how many assists he’s able to dish out. The points are up at 18.8 PPG, and the rest of the line reads a nice 5-5-1. That being said, Hayward averaged 7 APG in the first three games of the season but that mark has gone down at 3.3 APG in the past three matches. The scoring fluctuates between 10 and 30 pops, and the shooting percentages are also going down a bit. With the steady ascension of LaMelo at the point and both Rozier/Graham out there dishing out dimes and taking tons of shots, Hayward might lose a few touches and opportunities and that will inevitably cut down his upside.
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!