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 on top of that, I’ll bring you some statistical trends from the past week of games!
Gotta Win The Day: Best/Worst DraftKings plays for tonight’s slate
- Love: Enes Kanter (C). Although projections for tonight’s games doen’t paint the flashiest of pictures, I like Kanter against OKC. Sure, the Thunder are not as tank-ish as you might think, and they have Al Horford doing wonders lately, but the Blazers are barren of talent outside of Dame and Kanter has become one of the most valuable plays out there with Nurkic out injured. It’s been 14 games started by Kanter since Jan. 16 and he’s missed on dub-dubbing just four times (two of them in his first three starts, and he didn’t even played 28 minutes in those). Kanter is a steady source of points and boards, is putting up a 13-13-1 line in February, and he logged his best game of the season on Jan. 25... against OKC! That’s correct. Kanter dropped a 13-22-3-2 stuffed line on them on just a 15% usage rate with no turnovers on the day. Sweet deal at his bargain price.
- Hate: Jamal Murray (PG). This is the classic “hate me, thus I burn you” kind of thing, but I’m going to risk it a bit. The Celtics have the fourth-toughest fantasy defense these days. They have been on the low lately as a team and are barely .500 on the year. Do you know who has been playing even worst basketball? That’s correct, our boy Jamal. Last summer’s bubble level of play was kinda ridiculous and looked a little bit like a mirage, which could perfectly be the case judging by Murray’s regression to earth this season. Jam is still putting up his casual 18-4-4 line nightly, sure, but that’s far from the 40-pop explosions, the dub-dubbing nights, etc, etc... Murray has topped 40 FP just twice in his last nine games going back to Jan. 25, is averaging a measly 31 DKFP in that span, and hasn’t returned great ROI marks through the season, thus the discount. It hurts, but I’d say I’d rather move Jamal in a potential trade rather than MPJ these days. Just so you know my views and opinion on him going forward.
- Love: Kyle Kuzma (SF/PF). I never thought I’d be loving me some Kuz, but here we are. Anthony Davis will be out for two-to-three weeks with an Achilles injury, and Kuzzy should be the next man up. Just a few days ago Kyle said that he was fine with his role in the Lakers, which made sense considering his bench-warming ways up to this day. That will now change, with Kuz forced to level up a bit on AD’s absence. Kuzma has been an above-average performer in February when it comes to fantasy ball (1.03 FP/min) and we’ll see if he keeps up that average now that he might put in the starting lineup or at least stays on the court for 30+ minutes nightly. I have to believe. Kuz is averaging 15 PPG and 7.6 RPG in his last six games, has scored 1+ treys in his last nine without fail, and he’s shot 10+ FGA in his last five matches at a 51% clip from the field, so it’s not that he’s that bad.
- Hate: Pascal Siakam (PF/C). At some point, Siakam will rebound and hit us in the forehead. Until then—and I hope it is not today—we’re cool fading his lately losing plays. Siakam is always going to play 35+ minutes because that’s what Toronto does. The counting stats will probably be there at like 20-5-2 or something like that, which is not horrid but is not going to cut it for me either. No player with a top-15 salary tonight projects to fewer FP than Pascal today, which should give you a little bit of pause. Siakam has returned middling value in five of the seven games he’s played this month, topping 40 DKFP just twice in that span. Also, the last time Toronto and Siakam faced Milwaukee he put up quite a dud with just 26 FP in 35 minutes. The line read 11-9-3 even though he entered that game on a five-day rest. Not liking this one.
- Love: Deandre Ayton (C). If you’re not aware, the Nets suck as hell on D and they have no big men to protect the paint. They thought Norvel Pelle would fix his woes, but they cut him yesterday. Oh, also yesterday Hassan Whiteside put up a stupid 26-16-1 line with 5 blocks in 24 minutes... against these Nets. LOL. Now you tell me you don’t like Ayton’s upside against this bunch of midgets entering tonight’s slate. The price has stayed low because Ayton has been on a little bit of a bad streak of games of late, but Ayton is a dub-dub threat like no other playing next to the likes of CP3 and Book, and he will most probably have himself a day today with no opposition stopping him. Gimme a 15-15 baseline with all of the upside in the world baked in there.
What’s cooking? Statistical trends from Week 8 (Feb. 8 to Feb. 14)
- A tight, tight race at the top of this past week’s fantasy leaderboard with Giannis averaging 64 DKFP and Luka coming in second at 62 FP, both with 4 GP. While Giannis did it mostly on PTS and RBD with a touch of stocks (32-13-5-1-2), Luka thrived at the trip-dub-slash with a 36-8-9 baseline but just below 2 stops per game. That being said, Giannis averaged 1.74 FP/min while Luka fell way short of that mark at 1.62. Edge Giannis.
- Luka’s 36 PPG were insane, but Zach LaVine kept proving how much of a heater he’s been all year long by finishing with 35.7 PPG himself in 3 games played. ZLV keeps putting up 28-5-5 lines nightly, something only he, Durant, Curry, and Luka are doing this season, and something only nine other players have done in NBA history at least once.
- You know the L has become a true make-or-miss league, right? Well, tell Minny’s own Malik Beasley. Malik put up the highest 3PG mark of the week with 5.8 long-rangers per game, even more than Curry and ZLV (5.5 and 5.3 respectively). One of the very few bright Wolves lights.
- Joel Embiid’s week was impressive. He averaged 55 FP with a variation of just 7 FP in his 3 GP. Dame put up the highest FP mark (46) with the smallest variation (6 FP) among players with 4 GP.
- Silly cheap values: Saddiq Bey, James Ennis, Justin Jackson, Grayson Allen, Dylan Windler, Satoransky, Bacon
- A little more expensive but still with massive ROI: Lou Williams, Terrence Ross, Josh Hart, McConnell, Valanciunas, Horford, Dejounte, Kyle Anderson, Joe Ingles
- Some very expensive players not doing enough: Karl-Anthony Towns, Ben Simmons, FVV, Tobias, Ingram, Drummond, DeRozan, Kanter, Lowry, Ayton, Jerami
- Cheap points (min. 3 games played in the past seven days): Bey, Justin Jackson, Grayson, Forbes, Aaron Holiday, Semi Ojeleye, Jaylen Nowell, Cory Joseph, Nnaji
- Cheap threes: Bey, Grayson, Forbes, Nnaji, Justin Jackson, Ojeleye, Sterling Brown
- Cheap boards: Harry Giles, Dwight, Sterling Brown, Windler, Derrick Jones, Willy Hernangomez
- Cheap dimes: McLaughlin, Augustin, Justin Jackson, Chuma Okeke, Sterling Brown, Raul Neto, Damion Lee, Baynes
- Cheap steals: McLaughlin, Kira Lewis, Connaughton, Campazzo, Danny Green, Grayson
- Cheap blocks: Noel, Gafford, Jaden McDaniels, Isaiah Stewart, Biyombo, McGee, Gasol
- Cheap FG% (min. 8 FGA): Bey, Justin Jackson, Grayson, Forbes, Aaron Holiday
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!