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NBA DFS: Gordon Hayward and best/worst DraftKings daily fantasy basketball plays for Saturday, Feb. 20th

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.

Minnesota Timberwolves v Charlotte Hornets Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via 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: LeBron James (PG/SF). I think this is the first time I have given Love to LBJ this season. If you follow my column, you know I’m not one to hand you top-priced picks because it’s obvious those guys will always hit the jackpot. But tonight is the night for Bron to hella murder someone. The Lake Show is facing the Heat, which I mean you know what happened in the final game of 2020 am I right? With Davis out for a month, the Lakers are forced to rely on LeBronidas on a nightly basis even more than they were doing already more often than not. Bron is hunting for that elusive fifth MVP award this season, he’s putting up a stupid 26-8-8-1 line shooting 51/37/70, and he’s averaging a league-high 1.48 FP/min on 34 MPG. Jeez.
  • Hate: Jimmy Butler (SF). On the other side of the court... Jimmer McBuckets, only not so much. As I did with Trae yesterday (he ended having a good performance, as was the most-probable outcome), I think it’s not crazy to fade Jimmy today in favor of other high-end players such as Russ, Beal, or Steph. Butler has been great, don’t get me wrong, but I’m not convinced this Heat squad can do damage to the Lakers—there is precedence if you know what I mean—and although Butler will cook himself some 10-10-10 and paint my face, he will need to do that to return any potential ROI tonight given his overboard price. Anything below that trip-dub would yield a good-not-great value, which I’m sorry but am not in for.
  • Love: Gordon Hayward (SF/PF). How much passion is inside Gordo’s body I am not entirely sure, but this guy just got voted as just the 15th-best frontcourt player of the Eastern conference by his fellow hoopers. The media, on the other hand, has him as the seventh-best. I guess players just hate poor sad Gordo. But, that’s not bad. Hayward has had a great season after filling the bag in Charlotte this summer, and although he’s been a little bit on the low of late, he’s still racking up numbers. This man is dropping 22 PPG, hasn’t had a no-trey game since Dec. 26 (!!!), and his rest-of-line shows a tasty 6-4-1 in February. Charlotte has been off the schedule for a week due to contact tracing, and Gordo is back against a cupcake in Golden State. Must-play.
  • Hate: Ja Morant (PG). Do I hate Ja? No, sir. Do I hate Ja going against Mighty Chris Paul? You bet. Even though Memphis and Morant have missed a good amount of games this season for different reasons, there was a game between these two teams back on Jan. 18 in which all Ja did was finish with 36 DKFP on 34 minutes. That was a borderline-average performance, and only the thinnest of dub-dubs (17-10) saved Ja’s day. He lost 4 possessions, could only shoot 50%, and he attempted a measly 10 FGA. Ja has played great ball for the past week with a couple of 45+ FP nights including a trip-dub against OKC last Wednesday, but I’m not buying into an explosion happening today.

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!