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NBA DFS: Jimmy Butler and best/worst DraftKings daily fantasy basketball plays for Wednesday, Feb. 17th

Duds and studs. Good and bad plays. We take a look at the past and upcoming NBA games to let you know what’s going on and how to tackle your DraftKings plays.

Miami Heat v Los Angeles Clippers Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images

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: Malcolm Brogdon (PG). I find it very funny to look at Brogdon’s fantasy evolution from Jan. 25 to his last game on Feb. 15. He went from 60 DKFP on the first date to a low of 18 on Feb. 5, and then all the way up to 52 last Monday, and he did so in steady decreasing and increasing ways game to game. It’s been six games in a row now for Brogdon raising his FP points on a nightly basis, he’s played 33+ minutes in all of his last five games, and his average line in that span reads 18-8-6-1. That’s a great baseline, and while we can’t expect a performance such as his last one when he put up a monster 23-15-5-1 against Chicago, there is a great chance for him to thrive once more tonight against a putrid Wolves squad that is entering the second leg of back-to-back playing nights after facing the Lakers yesterday.
  • Hate: Karl-Anthony Towns (C). Speaking of Wolves, here we are discussing KAT. The Pacers are rested, have a couple of interior-studs in Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis, and Tony Towns has been a little bit off since coming back on Feb. 10. Only once has KAT topped 38 FP in his four games after the comeback, he’s been forced into an all-alone situation with D’Lo being bad and now injured, and rookie Anthony Edwards is the only other guy out there helping Karl these days... A dub-dub at his best, Towns has had two games of a 20-7 average in his last three, and although the usage is high he’s not really making the most of it. On top of all that, his price is incredibly high to return any sort of good value even if he gets to his 45 DKFP, which I highly doubt he does today anyway.
  • Love: Jimmy Butler (SF). If I’m honest, I have never truly loved Butler, or better said enjoyed him too much. He’s the sort of player that always stuffs the line and finishes with gaudy numbers, but let’s say he just doesn’t catch my eye. Good for me, though, that doesn’t mean a lot in the fantasy realm as long as the stats keep piling up, which is precisely what Jimmer does best. Butler came back for Miami after missing every game from Jan. 9 to Jan. 30 and in the nine games he’s played since then he couldn’t have looked better. Butler is dropping 22+ PPG, pulling down almost 9 RPG, dishing out 8+ APG, and even stealing 1.5+ possessions a game. Those are mental numbers, and this fool is somehow getting to the free-throw line more than 11 times per game while hitting 84% of those attempts. Last four games: 56, 58, 38, and a season-high 65 DKFP with his second trip-dub in four days.
  • Hate: Julius Randle (PF/C). After Randle had his best game of the season two days ago against Atlanta (65 FP), it made sense for the algorithm to go wild on Julius’ price for tonight’s slate. That’s why we’re mega-fading the man. What are the odds Randle puts up another such performance? In his last three games, all in the past seven days, he’s cooked 55, 38, and 65 FP games. He did so against Washington, Houston, and Atlanta. Two of those teams rank worst and fourth-worst in FP allowed to the opposition, and the other ranks 8th... so there was nothing surprising in those explosions. Orlando has a top-10 D, which is two times better than any of those other teams’ units, and I’m sorry but I just can’t see Randle hitting 40+ pops, 10+ boards, and 5+ dimes in two consecutive nights.
  • Love: Jonas Valanciunas (C). Sneaky slate-winning play of the day. I haven’t had the chance to love JoVa so much this season because Memphis has been off the schedule a lot, and the very own Valanciunas has missed time himself. It’s good to be back on the Euro-Track, though. Jonas sucked a bit yesterday against the Pels, but other than that he’s put on a show nightly since coming back on Feb. 6. Six games since then, five of them above 36 DKFP, and two in which he reached 45 and 60 fantasy points against Toronto and Sacramento to the tune of 27-20 and 25-13 lines. The shooting is sublime, the usage isn’t low at all, the personal fouls have been cut out of late, and the dub-dub threat is always going to be there. All of that for a measly $7.3K against OKC? Can’t miss!

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!