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
- Seth Curry—again, Seth and not Steph—has tested positive for COVID. He will be forced out of Sixers games going forward while isolating. Embiid has said he will self-isolate from his family until he confirms he doesn't have the virus, and there could be more players implicated in this and potentially delayed games if some more 76ers test positive—the team stayed in New York to take tests today after facing the Nets.
- Speaking of the Nets: Kyrie Irving didn’t play yesterday due to “personal reasons” and he won’t be joining the team to play Memphis tonight either. Oh no, Kyrie’s BS is ramping up...
- After debating between Tyson Chandler and Taj Gibson, the Knicks re-upped with the latter and signed him yesterday to bolster their wing/interior rotation of bodies. Sneaky under-the-radar potentially winning move, and a necessary one with all of Toppin, Spellman (now also waived), and Noel injured these days.
- Michael Porter Jr. didn’t play yesterday for Denver and it was made known that he will miss up to two more weeks due to the whole COVID-tracing stuff he’s going through. Tough blow to a struggling Nuggets squad.
- Ja Morant was expected to miss three-to-five weeks of play, but he’s already going through pre-game drills and he might be back as soon as next week. Talk about a quick recovery.
- After Detroit signed-then-ditched LiAngelo Ball, the middle-aged of the Triple-B brothers is back in the NBA circuit after signing a G League deal. Can’t wait to watch the three of them in the same court starting an All-Star game. LOL
- More G League signings that have me excited: Lance Stephenson, Jeremy Lin, and Michael Beasley are back at it!
Duds and Studs: Yesterday’s slate roundup
- The NBA keeps putting together the strangest season of its history, and yesterday we enjoyed a ridiculous game between Denver and Dallas that ended in OT and featured an impossibly great outing by Luka. Doncic finished with 77 FP in 43 minutes thanks to a near-trip-dub reading 38-9-13 with 4 steals and a block. The usage rate was close to 40% and this is the second game in a row Luka has led the slate he’s been part of, in both cases with 70+ FP.
- Lillard got the second-biggest fantasy score of the day with 67 FP (39-7-7-3 and 7 treys) but at the other end of the Nuggets’ court was Nikola Jokic, who logged another dub-dub to the tune of a 38-11-4 line with 2 steals on top of that for 63 FP.
- Only two more players in the 50-to-60 clip: LBJ completed a sound 27-6-12 game for 54 FP and LeVert started at the point and dropped a 22-7-10 dub-dub for 50 FP.
- The ROI King award went to... Joe Harris! The literal ROI king would have been Dorian Finney-Smith, but he scored fewer FP and that puts Harris on top. Joe hit 6 treys and finished with 28 pops to go with 6 boards and 4 dimes against Philly. 46 FP in a 30-minute run coming off the bench. Maxey, Chiozza, Anthony Edwards, and LeVert were other valuable plays.
- And the DOTS (Dud of the Slate) Award went to... Ben Simmons! Pretty horrific day for Simmons, who could only hit 22 FP while carrying the seventh-highest price of yesterday’s slate. Benny did a lot of things but none of them on huge volume, which killed his upside. He closed with a super-low 11-4-2-2-1 line shooting 30.8 percent from the floor, turned the ball over five times, and also had a little bit of trouble with fouls logging 4 on the night and a negative -22 plus/minus in his 31 minutes of play. Bad games by C.J. McCollum, Tobias, and Keldon Johnson too.
- There were eight dub-dubs via points and rebounds (with Dwight falling one point short, and Clarke/JaMychal one rebound) and three between points and dimes (Doncic, LBJ, LeVert).
- No triple-doubles yesterday, although Luka came as close as it gets with a 38-9-13 line against Denver. That being said, I will take advantage of this bullet point to also mention his near-double-digit turnover-mark losing 8 (!) possessions.
- More silly numbers: Rubio was the only player to reach 5 steals yesterday, while Anthony Davis blocked the most shots with 3 swats.
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: Jaylen Brown (SG/SF). You can go with any of Tatum or Brown here, but know that Brown is slightly cheaper if you need to maximize your budget. Tatum has a higher floor, thus the more expensive tag, but Brown has been great this season for the Beantown Boyz and he’s had his bombastic performances too. Against a very bad D in that of the Wiz, tonight might mark another spectacular day for Brown and the Celtics on offense. The Wizards score a ton of points with Beal and Russ in place—and that helps them make games competitive and keep the best opposition players on the floor—but they also concede a freaking ton of them. Brown: great. Tatum, too.
- Hate: Steph Curry (PG). Curry dropped 62 points on Sunday and since then his numbers (obviously) have come down to Earth quite a bit. His 75 FP were a season-high, but they went down to 54 against Sacramento the night after the explosion and then 28 two days ago facing... the Clippers, who are on schedule tonight in the second leg of a two-game series between the two franchises. Curry was limited to 13 points, 4 rebounds, and just 5 assists by LAC two days ago even though he played 35 minutes. His shooting accuracy from the floor was a true outlier (29.4%) but even if he bumps it up tonight, the rest of the cats were ultra cut-down and it makes zero sense to pay $10K for such a risky play.
- Love: Chris Paul (PG). The Point God isn’t playing to otherworldly levels this year, but he stays out there on the floor for 30.1 MPG these days leading a young Suns team, and he’s putting up very tasty numbers through 8 games this season. His line reads 13-4-8-1 with just 1.8 turnovers per, and that’s great for fantasy GMs out there looking for production all across the board and not entirely based on scoring. Paul has upside and enough talent to get himself in the 20s in pops (he did so against Sacramento and Denver), and his baseline from the past four days would sit at 11-4-6, with averages of 14.8 PPG, 5.5 RPG, and 7 APG. Don’t rule out a dub-dub against a depleted, bad-as-hell Pistons today.
- Hate: Gordon Hayward (SF/PF). We all know what happened Wednesday when Hayward had his Coup Game and posted a career-high 44 points facing the Hawks. That was great, but Gordo needed to log a nonsensical 35% usage rate to reach that mark while shooting 25 FGA and having just one turnover. Everything worked for Hayward, is what I’m saying, and he played 39 minutes, also a season-high mark for the forward. A lot of folks will be jumping on him today, but Ingram/Zion will pose a threat and I don’t think Hayward will finish above a 20-6-3 line at most. That means that his new, molly-bumped salary of $8.4K won’t make for a very valuable play... if at all.
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!