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. On top of that, I’ll bring you some news, statistical trends from the past few days, some studs/duds from the last slate of games, and much more!
Hoop Land Times: News and notes from around the Association
- Nikola Jokic on similarities between him and LeBron James: “Speed, athleticism and jumping ability”. Gotta stan for the Serb.
- Even better than Jokic’s words, those from Darko Milicic: “We must be aware that money is the basis of NBA’s existence. If Gobert is worth that much money, then our Jokic should sign a contract for 500,000,000 dollars. That’s how much better he is than Rudy.”
- The Warriors have lost Kevon Looney for two weeks. Are there any warm bodies left in the Bay these days?
- On brighter news: Kevin Love is back practicing and should get back soon for the surprising Cavs.
- Jared Dudley dropped a long essay on the Bubble Days of last season, how the Lakers dealt with them on their way to the chip, the behind-the-scenes stuff, etc. Worth reading or listening to, for sure. If you’re not a Paul George stan, that is.
- With Markelle Fultz out for the year, the Magic signed Frank Mason III in order to add some depth to the point position. Always loved Frankie, so I’m fully rooting for this to work for both sides.
- The Knicks are all into both Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen come trade deadline (really?) or next offseason, per the Chicago Sun-Times. Also, Victor Oladipo seems to be on New Yorks’ radar so keep an eye on that going forward.
- Elfrid Payton, he of the HOF career, endorsed teammate Julius Randle as a lock to make it to the All-Star game this season. Because Elfrid definitely knows from experience about that kind of stuff, you know what I mean? Anyway, BR reported that there seems to be high interest in the big man from multiple teams around the L, and some might try to trade for him before the deadline.
- The Olympics and the NBA playoffs are going to clash if both events going ahead as expected, throughout next July. That’s worrying alone because of the implications of the Olympics roster deadlines, which could make multiple NBA (American and European) miss the international competition, but in terms of COVID protocols USA Basketball, Australia, and Spain seem to already be organizing a Las Vegas bubble to training there before leaving for Tokyo. That means even more players might be called to national teams way early leaving out of the equation most if not all superstars. Ugh.
- Sad day for both Raptors and Brazilian Nation: Lucas Nogueira is retiring at age 28. Props to the big man.
Duds and Studs: Yesterday’s slate roundup
- Fools keep trying to make a rivalry off the whole Dallas-Atlanta trade a few years ago involving Luka’s and Trae’s draft picks, but folks, there is nothing to it. Both teams won the trade. That’s it. That’s the truth. Just accept it.
- Now with that off my body, let me tell you Luka led yesterday’s slate with 64 DKFP becoming one of only two players to break the 60-FP barrier on Wednesday. Luka did so to the tune of a near trip-dub of 27-8-14-2-1, hit all of his 10 freebie attempts, and the only blemish was the 4 TOs. Not bad.
- Another euro, Giannis, put up 62 FP in just 30 minutes of playing time against Indiana finishing with a trip-dub 21-14-10 line and exactly no triples on just 8 FGA. Giannis shot 87.5 percent both from the field and the free-throw line (also 8 FTA) and he just coasted through the night with an incredibly small 20.1% usage rate.
- Six players with 50+ DKFP yesterday, which made for a great slate to enjoy in the coziness of your couch. Sabonis, JoJo, Tatum, and John Collis dub-dubbed, while Beal and PG13 also became part of that 50-point group.
- The ROI King award went to... Bobby Portis! I’m sorry for ditching Elfrid Payton’s effort (37 DKFP) which was more valuable by the numbers, but Portis was absolutely bonkers for the Bucks yesterday. Bobby played fewer than 17 minutes yet he somehow managed to put up 43 DKFP to the tune of an 18-9-3-3-1 stuffed line, hit 4 treys, and his 2.73 FP/min were just ridiculously efficient. Kenrich Williams, Sterling Brown, Valentine, Forbes, Huerter, Poeltl, and Zubac were also great plays.
- And the DOTS (Dud of the Slate) Award went to... Christian Wood! What the hell was Chris thinking about yesterday? The 8-6-3-3 line stank, although at least he can say he played only 22 minutes thus making the 25 DKFP more reasonable. A similar situation and outcome from Drummond, with Kawhi, Middleton, and CP3 big-time sucking too.
- There were 13 dub-dubs via points and rebounds (it could have been a historic night, but five fools couldn’t reach 10 points and six more couldn’t reach 10 boards...) and four between points and assists (McConnell fell four points short, four others were just one dime from the feat).
- One triple-double yesterday, courtesy of Giannis and his 21-14-10 line in just 30 minutes of playing time. No Buck had to put on a monster effort as they demolished the Pacers and that’s why Khris sucked and Bobby Portis played his best game in ages... while logging a measly 16 minutes. LOL. Shame on Jimmy Butler for finishing with a close-but-no-cigar 19-8-9 line.
- More silly numbers: somehow Theo Maledon stole 6 rocks (Trae got 5 steals), while Jakob Poeltl was the only guy to block 4 shots yesterday.
What’s cooking? Statistical trends from Week 6 (Jan. 25th to Jan. 31th)
- For the first time this year we have a fantasy leader not named Luka... yet we’re still stuck in the Euro-beat as it is Giannis who’s at the top this time. The Greek played 3 games this past week and all he did was average 67.6 DKFP to the tune of a 32-15-7-1-1 line. Not bad, as he even logged a seemingly impossible-to-reach-in-Milwaukee 38 MPG and still put up a 1.78 DKFP/min mark. Only Dr. Dre was able to average more points per minute at 1.81 among those playing more than four minutes per game.
- Giannis’ 32 pops a game were good, but the leader on the scoring department was no other than Brad Beal. Beal keeps building his case for a trade although he won’t admit his desire, and he did so in his four games played through the last seven days putting up 35.8 PPG. Beal is shooting a freaking ton of shots (28.5 FGA), which is why he’s not even close to the highest-scoring efficiency (1.26 PTS/shot). Trae Young led the week there with 1.73 PTS/shot among players attempting 15+ FGA per game.
- One thing is not the same as the others in terms of MPG. As many as 11 players have been on three games this past week while averaging at least 37 MPG, but it was quite surprising to find Gary Trent Jr. tied-second in the leaderboard with a monster 38 MPG on the week. That didn’t quite work for his fantasy upside, though, as he averaged the fewer DKFP (31.9) per game among players with 35.5+ MPG last week...
- Silly cheap values: Kaminsky, Zeller, Maledon, Whiteside, Nader, Watanabe, Anfernee, Baynes, Bacon
- A little more expensive but still with massive ROI: Reggie Jackson, Anthony Edwards, Lonzo, Trent Jr., Hield, Alexander-Walker, Kanter, Jeff Green, Haliburton
- Some very expensive players not doing enough to help their owners: Sabonis, Curry, Randle, Irving, Capela, Vucevic, Porzingis, Jerami
- Cheap points (min. 3 games played in the past seven days): Anfernee, Rivers, Maledon, Diallo, Ingles, Nader, Nowell, Pacon, Whiteside
- Cheap threes: Anfernee, Maledon, Ingles, Muscala, Forbes, Rivers, Monk, Korkmaz, Connaughton, Finney-Smith, Timothe, Watanabe
- Cheap boards: Zeller, Baynes, Howard, Birch, Tristan Thompson, Poeltl, Kaminsky, Iggy, Looney, Whiteside, Robert Williams
- Cheap dimes: Monte Morris, Ingles, Iggy, Kaminsky, Wanamaker, McLaughlin, Zeller, Looney, Alexander-Walker, Okoro, Lonnie
- Cheap steals: IThybulle, Alexander-Walker, Bacon, Stanley Johnson, Garrison Mathews, Campazzo, Rivers
- Cheap blocks: Alexander-Walker, Poeltl, Robert Williams, Pokusevski, Dwight, Birch, Bitadze
- Cheap FG% (min. 9 FGA): Rivers, Anfernee, Miles Bridges, Nowell, Nader
Gotta Win The Day: Best/Worst DraftKings plays for tonight’s slate
- Love: Rudy Gobert (C). What are the chances Gobert strings four bad games? Gob started his current horrid three-game skid with a low dub-dub for 35 points but he’s gone down to score just 25 FP on back-to-back games against Denver and Detroit playing 26 and 30 minutes. He couldn’t even get 10 points in his last outing a couple of days ago... The Jazz are facing the Hawks tonight, and in case you don’t know the Hawks are the absolute worst team at stopping opponents from racking up fantasy points. Just a couple of weeks ago Gob went for 42 FP against this very same squad dropping a sweet 15-13 with 4 blocks on them. I’m betting on that becoming tonight’s baseline for the Croissant, with upside for a much bigger bounceback.
- Hate: Clint Capela (C). Gobert will be at the other end today, and it is not that either Cap or Gob are going to stretch the floor a lot or run each other out of their comfort zone. With both men battling in the paint, and given Rudy’s top-tier defense, allow me to be a little skeptical of Clint putting on a show tonight. Capela already faced Utah and pretty much put up a dud. He went for 31 FP that day, and that was before the massive jump in the salary ranks. Cap has played above-average fantasy basketball this season, but when he faced true studs like Gobert and Embiid he couldn't get past that 31 DKFP mark...
- Love: Kristaps Porzingis (PF/C). I’m banking on KP here just for one reason: win or go home, mate. This is the last chance I’m giving the Porz to do something, and if he doesn’t get there, well, he’s going to be done for good when it comes to me picking him for my lineups. The Warriors are plain bad, are missing like ten or fifteen players, and if Kristaps and take advantage of that then I don’t even know... Porzingis had a rough stretch during the last few games of January and got back on track this month in his two last games (42 and 44 FP) against Phoenix and Atlanta posting a couple of dub-dubs. It’s gotta be the third today, KP, or you will rack up DNPs in my fantasy lineups for the remainder of the season.
- Hate: Gary Trent Jr. (SG/SF). The impact of injuries, folks. The freaking impact of injuries. Portland is playing Trent off the starting SG position these days and Gary has started the last five going back to Jan. 25 and is playing 37 MPG. He was far from good in the early stages this season, but the larger run isn’t doing him any favors. Trent is getting more fantasy points because he is a living being on a basketball court, but he’s still averaging 0.79 FP/min, which is mediocrely horrid. Trent is still putting up lines of 20 PPG and a couple of boards per game, hitting his 4+ triples a game, and not committing many turnovers, but for someone playing almost 40 minutes, his production is just stupid and even on a seemingly-cheap salary he’s just a hard-fade for me.
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!