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: DeAndre Ayton (C). Massive discount, this one. Sure, the outcomes have not been mindblowing of late, but Ayton is a walking dub-dub with upside for a bounty of fantasy points any given night. Can’t lie about his recent performances (25, 15, 28, and 32 FP) but as recently as the start of February he was averaging a much better 38 DKFP while crossing the 45-FP line twice against Dallas and Cleveland. Ayton already had a valuable game against NOLA back on Feb. 3 when he put up a 13-11-2 dub-dub shooting 67% on just 9 FGA and 29 minutes of playing time. Bulk up the volume a bit and the 40 FP look reachable.
- Hate: Trae Young (PG). You just don’t hate on Trae if you don’t want to get burnt, but here we are. This is a risky risky play, but in such a huge slate of games, there are plenty of options to fill Young’s gap if you fade him. The thing is, Trae cooked Boston for 40 pops just two days ago. That is putting his salary at sky-high levels, and what are the odds he has another 40-point, 8-dime performance tonight on back-to-back Beantown games? Again, this is not so much about hating Trae himself, but the combination of salary and upside (see: ROI) compared to that of other players, like the Loves highlighted in this column and other heavier-priced ones.
- Love: Kemba Walker (PG). This is it, right? I mean, it doesn’t get much better than facing Atlanta to get your game right. The Celtics are under heavy scrutiny after dropping to .500 on the season, and one of the most criticized players have been Kemba. Poor Walker is not having quite the year, but he has been far from bad and he’s had a relatively good February, all things considered. At the end of the day, Kemba has never been priced above $7K yet he has had seven games of 30+ DKFP (he’s played 13 total) with four of them coming this month. Kemba is playing near 30 minutes per game and averaging 18 pops a game. That’s cool, but he’s falling a little bit short in the rest of cats (4 RPG, 4 APG). If he can cut the turnovers and keep up his shooting (43% from the floor in his last three with 3+ treys in each game) then he might start to boost his scores. And what better than Atlanta to put on a show?
- Hate: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (PG/SG). The price and the matchup have me a little skeptical of playing Shai today. Look, I love SGA, but the truth is that he has played just four games this month due to OKC missing games due to health and safety protocols, and two of those (plus the one prior to them to close January) ended at 36-or-below FP marks... The other two were great, sure, but Shai had to log heavy minutes to get there, including a 41-minute, OT effort against the Lake Show on Feb. 8. I don’t see any scenario in which Shai finishes with fewer than a 20-3-4 line or something like that, but if that happens we might be talking about a borderline 35 FP game that wouldn’t cut it ROI-wise given his $8K+ tag.
- Love: Jerami Grant (SF/PF). There are do-it-all players, there are kinda-complete players, and there are one-trick-pony players. Jerami isn’t the flagship of the former, nor the leader of the latter, but he inches closer to that last one. Just look at his line the other day against the Bulls: 43 points, 2 rebounds, 1 block. That’s it, that was all he did. That’s nothing to hate him for, though. Grant has hit at least one triple in every one of his 28 games this season, is averaging 24 PPG, and that is on a shooting slump that saw him hit just 27% of his FGA in the three games prior to that explosion. Memphis is not the worst defensive team, but Detroit doesn’t have much more/better options on offense than Grant, so he will keep shooting everything and racking up numbers if only because of mental volume and wild usage rates. Not bad for a $7.5K man.
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!