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NBA DFS: Zach LaVine and best/worst DraftKings daily fantasy basketball plays for Monday, Feb. 22nd

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.

Sacramento Kings vs. Chicago Bulls Photo by Jeff Haynes/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: Zach LaVine (SG). I know ZLV comes with a high price today, but the matchup against Houston can’t get tastier. The Rocks are missing Oladipo, Cousins might play (which is great because he sucks, thus the org. looking to ditch him), PJ Tucker is questionable and Christian Woods is still out. The Bulls are playing rather nice ball these days, and that’s mostly thanks to an outrageous season by Zacharias, who is sustaining a seemingly impossible—for what we knew about ZLV prior to this season—average line of 29-5-5-1 on the season. That’s legit All-Star level right there, and if he can keep that 25-5-5 line up he will become just the 30th player in NBA history to have such a season. Not waxing much more about Zach, though, let’s leave it at this: ZLV has scored 45+ DKFP in nine consecutive games averaging 52 FP per game in that span. Bananas.
  • Hate: LaMelo Ball/Terry Rozier (PG/SG). Double hate here as Charlotte faces an uphill battle today against a Jazz squad that just doesn’t know how to lose and boasts the third-best fantasy defense so far on the year only behind the Lakers’ and Cavs’ one. LaMelo has thrived as a rookie but was already short-circuited against Golden State a couple of days ago (7-3-7-2-1 stuffed-but-low line) while Terry murdered the Warriors with a buzzer-beater in a hard-to-repeat 50-FP night (36-3-4-1 with 8 treys); the last time these two teams faced each other a couple of weeks ago Terry finished with 33 fantasy points in 36 minutes. LaMelo finished that one at an almost season-high 59 FP, but he needed 40 minutes to get there and that was an oddity of a game in which the Hornets started Graham and Rozier in the backcourt with Melo at the SF position. I’m just not into the ROI these two can return today given their $8K+ salaries.
  • Love: Rudy Gobert (C). The Jazz dropped their first game since January’s loss to Denver on Saturday. Nothing to be too worried about, considering the Clippers were the ones at the other end of the floor. Gob has been a little bit on the low lately, missing on dub-dubbing twice in his last three games after doing so just two more times in the prior 16 games. Rudy is a walking dub-dub, like it or not. Gobert is having a ridiculous season averaging a near-14-14 line to go with 2.7 BPG (!!!). Our beloved Croissant is one of only 14 players pulling down 10+ boards per game, and the only one shooting above 59% from the field with a 63.8 FG% entering tonight’s game. The Hornets will know no way of stopping the towering Gob.
  • Hate: Deandre Ayton (C). Is it time to fade Ayton once and for all already? I mean, this is a big man, he plays for a winning team this season, he’s surrounded by playmakers that can elevate his upside, yet he can’t even put up dub-dubs nightly... I don’t like this thing, not a single bit. Ayton had his third below-10-and-10 game of the year on Saturday when he finished with a silly 7-6 line in 22 minutes. That was a short run, I know, but in the prior five games he was averaging 28 FP to the tune of an average 14-10 borderline-dub-dub line (three out of five times he grabbed fewer than 10 boards...) Either Ayton starts to put up some serious, biggie-man numbers, or he’ll be off my book ROS.

What’s cooking? Statistical trends from Week 9 (Feb. 15 to Feb. 21)

  • One week ago we crowned Giannis as the best player of the past seven days with an average of 64 DKFP. That’s peanuts compared to this week’s cream of the crop, with as many as four players finishing with higher averages: the very own Giannis, Harden, Dame, and the leader Joel Embiid (70 FP on three games played).
  • JoJo did it in three of four possible max. games played, sure, but even then his line of 35-15-5-1-2 was absolutely bonkers. That being said, Embiid was the more bouncy of the top-4 players with a deviation of almost 20 FP between his three fantasy scores this week with none of the other three even reaching 10 FP of deviation. Embiid also led the FP/min leaderboard with a stupid 1.91 mark; Giannis and Dame finished second and third with 1.83 and 1.81 respectively.
  • James Harden was probably the best player all things considered. Four games, an average of 65 DKFP, a variation of just 8 FP (his FP were 72, 68, 54, and 67), and an average 32-9-11-1 near-trip-dub line was all he did. Nothing mindblowing, amirite?
  • Jamal Murray finally got it right by getting into the top-3 in PPG with 35 pops a day, joining Dame (36.3) and JoJo (35.3).
  • Russell Westbrook was the lone player to average a trip-dub this past week. He closed the seven-day span with an 18-12-13 line, while Jimmy Butler fell 0.2 dimes short of pulling off the feat himself. Jimmer’s line: 20-10-10. Kudos to the man anyways.
  • Silly cheap values: Derrick Jones, Campazzo, Cam Payne, Bazemore, Robin Lopez, Jordan McLaughlin, Robert Williams, Wanamaker, Okoro
  • A little more expensive but still with massive ROI: Cedi Osman, Bagley, Covington, Bertans, Whiteside, Ross, Oubre, Crowder
  • Some very expensive players not doing enough: Ingram, Booker, Fox, Jaylen Brown, Middleton, Valanciunas
  • Cheap points (min. 3 games played in the past seven days): Duncan Robinson, Campazzo, Tristan Thompson, Muscala, Derrick Jones, Temple, Zubac, Paschall, Bjelica, Cam Payne, Connaughton
  • Cheap threes: Duncan Robinson, Cam Payne, Danny Green, Anfernee Simons, Tyler Johnson, Campazzo, Forbes
  • Cheap boards: Willy Hernangomez, Zubac, Tristan, DWight, Robert Williams, Derrick Jones, Roby, Isaiah Stewart, Robin Lopez
  • Cheap dimes: McLaughlin, Cam Payne, Augustin, Toscano-Anderson, Satoransky, Kira Lewis, Campazzo, Caruso, Ellington, Wanamaker
  • Cheap steals: Bruce Brown, Okoro, Thybulle, Robert Williams, Dennis Smith Jr., Campazzo, Bazemore
  • Cheap blocks: Robert Williams, Temple, Jaden McDaniels, Derrick Jones, Marc Gason, Birch
  • Cheap FG% (min. 8 FGA): Temple, Muscala, Derrick Jones, Naz Reid, Willy Hernangomez, Duncan Robinson, Forbes, Shamet, KCP, Maxey

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!