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
- The NBA is legit holding an All-Star Game. As stupid as it sounds. Thank God at least some players—Fox, Bron—are bashing the league for such a dumb decision.
- Related to the ASG, the NBA released the first voting numbers... and Klay Thompson made it to the top-10 Western Conference guards list. LOL. LeBron and Durant lead their conferences in total votes.
- Miami can’t catch a break. After missing Jimmy Butler for a while, and just when Bradley was as close as possible to coming back, news popped that Avery will be out for a month with a strained right calf. Yikes.
- The annual tradition of putting Evan Fournier in the rumor mill is already here, folks. Tim Bontemps of ESPN was probably bored at home, so he decided to write about it yesterday in advance of March’s deadline.
- A lock to be traded: George Hill. The guard is injured and will miss the next few weeks, but it looks like OKC will move him no matter what before the deadline. Good for Theo Maledon, who is already starting at the point for the Thunder.
- More injury problems: the Warriors, which are already missing a ton of warm bodies, will now be without Eric Paschall for a while with a knee injury. They played yesterday’s game with just nine players available, so they’re on the verge of hitting the eight-player minimum if anything goes wrong for any other man.
- KAT has been part of the Wolves mob lately featuring on the team’s bench, but he keeps racking up DNPs and will be out tonight once more.
- Forget about floor-stretching, three-point shooting, etc... The most coveted free agents these days are those who have already gone through COVID. Seriously. Henry Abbott got the insight from NBA agents, and as heartless as it sounds it looks like the current transaction trend.
Duds and Studs: Yesterday’s slate roundup
- Overly hyped slate in which Denver and the Lakers faced each other for the first time this season... and in which obviously, LeBron stepped up, played 36 minutes, and finished with the lone 60+ DKFP score of the night thanks to a 27-10-10 trip-dub that included a block and only two turnovers. Too much gold for the Nugs to dig.
- Kelly Oubre, as unbeliever as that name sounds to put here, was the second-highest fantasy scorer of the day thanks to his 59 FP against Dallas. Seriously. Kelly cooked a career-high 40-burger to the tune of 21 FGA of which 7 were good treys. He added 8 boards and a couple of dimes to go with a steal and a block to his line. I guess this is the Wave Papi the Warriors thought they were getting for the year, but so far not so good for Oubre. Let’s hope he finds a steady mojo going forward.
- Seven players in the 40-to-50 clip. Only JoJo bested 45 fantasy points though, with a 37-5-1-1-1 line. The rest: Luka, Draymond (11-15), Porzingis, Curry, Melo, Kanter (17-18).
- The ROI King award went to... Kelly Oubre! If you read above you already know. Kelly dropped a career-high 40 pops on Dallas, hit 7 treys, and pulled down 8 boards among other things to reach 59 DKFP. Not bad. Juan Toscano, Melo, Draymond, and Tate were other great values.
- And the DOTS (Dud of the Slate) Award went to... Nikola Jokic! Sucked to watch because of the high expectations we all had put on the whole DEN-LA matchup. Jokic could only get to a paltry 13-10-6 dub-dub in his 35 minutes, falling way short of any good fantasy value with just 34 DKFP while carrying the highest price of all eligible players. AD, Wood (left injured), Capela, and Conley were other horrid plays.
- There were five dub-dubs via points and rebounds (six if you count LBJ’s trip-dub; Tillman fell one point short, AD one rebound) and one between points and assists (Draymond’s 11-15).
- One triple-double yesterday, thanks to LeBron in a winning effort that saw him reach a 27-10-10 borderline-trip-dub line in 36 minutes. The Lakers demolished Denver so it is not that they were forcing any player to do too much, which means Bron coasted to his line with gusto. Shame on Draymond for his close-but-no-cigar 11-6-15 dub-dub.
- More silly numbers: Robert Covington was able to steal a slate-leading 4 rocks, while Memphis’ Gorgui Dieng led all players in blocks with 3 swats.
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: Nikola Vucevic (C). Aaron Gordon had to leave the first leg of the Magic back-to-back against Toronto on Jan. 31 injured. Vucevic, taking advantage of his part- and full-absence of Gordon in the last two games, has basically thrived manning the paint all by himself and stretching the floor while at it. It’s been 23 games in a row for Vuc hitting a three, which is to say he has yet to finish a game without scoring at least one triple. That’s correct. Vuc has dropped back-to-back dub-dubs, and although his shooting hasn’t been any good of late he’s still racking up points (21.8 PPG in the past two weeks). The boards have not been a problem at all for Niko at any point so far throughout the season, and he even comes with some tasty dime/steal upside. And it is not that Chicago boasts a Monstar-lineup...
- Hate: Mike Conley (PG). Conley has been reborn in Utah in his second season as a Jazzman. He’s doing it all, both classic and advanced metrics praise his game, and he’s been an above-average fantasy player all year long. The problem with him and Utah, though, is that the Jazz are absolutely killing foes left and right, and that has turned into resting stretches for some players here and there. In the first leg of a back-to-back yesterday, Conley played only 23 minutes because the Hawks were crappy at best. That made Conley finished with a putrid 17 DKFP and a ground-level ROI. I’m not saying that will exactly happen today, but it is not that Charlotte is a murderer’s row of hoopers, so odds are Gobert and DoMi combine to turn the Hornets to mush and Conley sits his ass for 25+ minutes once more, and consider this is the second day in a row the Jazz are playing. Not liking it.
- Love: Domantas Sabonis (PF/C). It’s about them biggies today, folks. Domas and the Pacers face a Pelicans team that while having a couple of great players inside in Zion and Stevie Adams, are far from a menace. Sabonis has been a true stud this year, posting dub-dubs in all but two games (he finished with 10+ points and 3/8 boards in those two matches) with an average 21-12-5 line so far this season. That’s insane, and his 1.31 FP/min mark is truly speaking volumes of Sabonis fantasy upside. It’s been just two games in which Dom dropped below 0.98 FP/min, and even those two ended with Sab Jr. reaching 37 and 32 FP... The last time Sabonis faced NO (Jan. 4) all he did was put up a 19-11-7 near-trip-dub with two blocks to spare... and that he did while getting into foul trouble and ultimately being put off with 6 PF. Can’t get much better.
- Hate: Zion Williamson (PF/C). At the other end of the court and facing Sabonis will be Zion. And I don’t like his upside tonight. Not only can Sabonis follow him all around the court, but Williamson will also be going against DPOY candidate Myles Turner in the paint along with Sabonis. As much as Zion has turned into a bully-baller this year, I really don’t like his chances here today. He was able to put up a 24-10 dub-dub against Indiana back at the start of January, but he has reached 10 boards only twice more since then while averaging a lower 7.0 RPG in the past 12 outings. The shooting is a little bit worse because he’s attempting more threes lately, but he has yet to hit more than two in a single game. The turnovers have been high lately too.
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!