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, and players to target/fade if you want to win tonight’s slate of games!
Gotta Win The Day: Best/Worst DraftKings plays for tonight’s slate
Picks at the Guard positions
- Love: Jrue Holiday (PG). I was close to picking Russy for the Love blurb among guard-eligible players, but I ultimately settled on Jrue. See, Russ has plainly sucked this preseason, and while you don’t have to believe those stupid late-summer/early-fall games, they’re there to start to paint the upcoming season picture. Jrue, while projecting to some fewer DKFP tonight by my calculations is way cheaper (1.6K below Russ’ tag) and has put up a nice 12-5-6-1 line this preseason in 3 G playing only 23.6 MPG and logging a below-average 19.8 USG%. I mean, I’m not discovering anything here at the end of the day. Jrue is a goddam reigning Champ, so you bet this is a sound pick to make.
- Hate: James Harden (PG/SG). Boy, does the Beard come with a high salary glued to his forehead to tip the year off... Harden is the fourth highest-salaried player on the slate and although he projects to finish right there, the price is absolutely ludicrous for me to pony up. Let’s be honest for a minute here, folks. This game between the Nets and the Bucks, even without Kyrie eating from Harden’s point role, is all about Giannis vs. Durant. Harden—pretty much like Russ—is going to finish with a dub-dub and potentially near trip-dub more often than not, but he’s hella expensive today and the stakes (even on G1) too high and risky to bet on him. I’d rather pay big bucks on Durant/Giannis than wasting a good chunk here.
Plays at the Forward positions
- Love: Khris Middleton (SF). The disrespect stays strong on DK as Khris is carrying “only” the eighth-highest salary of today’s slate. Smh... Midd is a stud and one of the best value plays of the day if you ask me. Coming back to preseason numbers, Khris has appeared in just a couple of games but it’s not that he’s needed much more to excel and keep our hopes up: 19.5 PPG, 4 RPG, 2.5 APG, and 1.0 SPG against just a couple of turnovers per, with a rather nice 23.6 USG% and in just 21.2 MPG? Against a Nets team he sent packing last Playoffs? Ah, feels good to score yourself such a player for so little.
- Hate: LeBron James (SF/PF). Betting against the King ain’t an advisable thing, I know. But it’s Game 1 and I’m not entirely sure the 0-6 Preseason Lakers are anything even remotely close to the final product we’ll see come April. I wouldn’t bat an eye if Westbrook ends posting a 40% usage rate and LeBron looks frustrated when the final buzzer sounds after falling short of the Warriors on the scoreboard. Will everybody defer to others, making this a mess? Will they try to eat their lunch and bully teammates for an extra piece? I don’t know, I don’t know. LBJ is rested and the usage was sky-high at 31.6 in the pre, but I’ll need to see it before I believe it.
- Love: Carmelo Anthony (PF). The best-value player as my algorithm sees it. Melo comes at a rather ground-level $3.9K salary that makes me giddy. Melo’s no. 1 stan reporting here, yes, but numbers are numbers and I trust them. “Ayo, P, they say I gotta come off the bench,” he said back in the day... and that might be right these days, but this fool is the go-to guy on the Lakers' pine-riders unit and a lock to shot every ball he touches without remorse. Not a single chance I kick things off this season without some good old Melo shares in my pocket.
Picks at the Center position
- Love: Giannis Antetokounmpo (PF/C). Kid to build around tonight. Three preseason games, 21.2 MPG... and a freaking 18-8-4-1 line with a usage rate above 28%. Yikes, folks. It’s still early (I mean LOL) but I am already crowning Giannis the 2022 MVP of the Regular Season. And the Finals’ too, what the heck. Forget about any other money-wasting play and bet on the bounty inside the Greek Safe.
- Hate: Draymond Green (PF/C). In case you want a reminder, and even though his salary is as low as they come, don’t ever play Dray in fantasy leagues or DFS contests. It’s a trap, as simple as that. He can go bonkers and put up some stupid 5-15-20-1-5 line or something ridiculous like that, but more often than not his statline will reflect that of his preseason days: 7-4-4-1-1. Not a bad floor, but definitely in the boom/bust realm of plays with not a lot of fantasy appeal all things considered. Don’t say I didn’t tell you.
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!