Welcome to your daily NBA DFS digest at Fake Teams, 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: Jonas Valanciunas (C). Not much of a thing, discussing this pick. The Griz are where they are because of Jo, not Ja. Valanciunas has been absolutely incredible all year long, and yes, he’s only edged Morant by 100 FP on the season, but he’s been much more impactful in fantasy contests on a daily basis than Morant. And he’s a biggie, which nothing trumps in this game of fantasy we all love. You just have to check the last five games of Jonas to close the regular season to get enamored: 46, 56, 48, 47, and 53 FP he reached. No joke. All five games ended in double-doubles with at least 18 points and 11 rebounds in all of them. Not happy enough with that, JoVa went all in and swatted shots in four of those five, topping at 4 facing Toronto and then raising that mark to 5 against the Pels. The shooting percentages are insanely high and the FGA per game healthy enough to make those rates count. Must-play till Memphis goes home.
- Hate: Draymond Green (PF/C). This is more about finding the best value other than hating a lot on Dray. For his salary, I’d rather put DeRozan, JoVa (read above), and Dejounte (read below) in my lineup before I do Green. Don’t get me wrong, though. Dray is pretty much the only non-Curry viable play among Warriors tonight and ROS if you are not into the Wiggins vibe, and even if you are that makes it three warm bodies. Dray finished the regular season on a tear, that can’t be argued. The problem I have with Green is that he’s as capable as put up a triple-double as he is to close the game with a stupid 4-5-18 line or something. That production is just nonsensical and too much of a risk. Honestly, I’d pony up a slate-highest amount on Anthony Davis and go cheap on the rest of the lineup before spending big bucks on Dray.
- Love: Dejounte Murray (PG). You might get fooled by Murray’s season finale in which he played 30 minutes yet he fell to a rather horrid 22 FP against Phoenix. Well, the truth is that San Antonio was already locked into the no. 10 seed, had no path to snatch the ninth seed, and Phoenix was actually battling for the no. 1 that ultimately ended in Utah’s hands. Prior to that, in the three games before, Dejounte had put up 45, 43, and 40-DKFP games facing the likes of Milwaukee, Brooklyn, and New York. That’s tasty enough to bank on Murray. He returned massive ROI given his always-low salaries and averaged a 17-8-7-1 in those three. We’re talking Coach Pop here, which means that the Spurs might have no chance at advancing against Memphis on a pure talent basis, but the schemes will be masterminded by a true basketball brain, which we gotta like. Murray should eat.
- Hate: Andrew Wiggins (SG/SF). Drew Wig Stan No. 1 right here. But let’s calm down for a minute. This feels like the first time Wiggins is going to play a high-stakes game in which he could actually have a true impact and build a story off of it—only because the Warriors are slim as hell and because the Lake Show/LeBron is the foe—and it’s all good because he/GSW has nothing to lose. Are we sure we’re going to treat it that way if he puts up a dud, though? I’m of the opinion media won’t. They will bash Wig, call him out, etc etc. We know the story. I want him to succeed and drop 50 points tonight, and get that no. 7 seed and put the Lakers’ backs against the wall, obviously, but I’m hesitant 1) he will have the nerve to do so and 2) Dray/Steph will allow him too—not because they won’t, but just because they will probably eat too much for Wiggins to be a true DFS stud tonight. Not feeling this play.
What’s cooking? Statistical trends from the Regular Season
- Nikola Jokic is about to become the reigning MVP... in the NBA, but not in the fantasy world! Russell Westbrook, who has been on a tear for the last month-and-change, is the one on that front, folks. Westbrook closed the season averaging 58.2 FP per game, good enough to edge Nikola Jokic by a measly 0.6 FPPG!
- On a pure counting basis, though, Jokic gets the edge as he played seven more games than Russ. The final tally is Jokic 3,914 FP, Russ 3,548 FP. No other player crossed the 3,400-FP mark on the year.
- The most efficient player of the season was Giannis Antetokounmpo, who posted 1.72 FP/min in 57 games averaging 33.5 MPG. Both biggies Jokic and Joel Embiid rounded up the top-3 with similar scores of 1.62 FP/min.
- It is reasonable to expect centers to top the Points Per Shot leaderboard as they operate in the paint most of the time. The top-3 players were Rudy Gobert (1.84 Pts/Shot), Jarrett Allen (1.78), and Dwight Howard (1.76). But there is a clear outlier among the top scorers: Kevin Durant with 1.70 Points Per Shot. That’s absolutely bonkers for a non-center player. If we don’t count Zion as a wing (he’s a biggie to me given his shooting profile), then Durant is the only qualified non-center in the top-20, with Jimmy Butler at no. 21 but already down at 1.51 Pts/Shot.
- As stupid as it sounds even if nobody wants to acknowledge the feat anymore: Russ has just wrapped up his fourth season averaging a triple-double. What the hell, dude? Russ closed it on a 22-11-11 average line. Bonkers.
- Silly cheap values (min. 30 games played): Kenyon Martin Jr., Ty Jerome, JaVale, Stewart, Brunson, Melton, Hart, Rudy Gay, Portis, Nunn, Robert Williams, Reiz, Cody Zeller, Whiteside, Diallo
- A little more expensive but still with massive ROI: Olynyk, Garland, Thad Young, Plumlee, McConnell, Dray, Harrison Barnes, Derrick White, Lonzo, Holmes, Rose, Anunoby, Nurkic, Ant Edwards, Haliburton, Bobby Portis, Kemba
- Some very expensive players not doing enough: Anthony Davis, Simmons, Booker, Ingram, Porzingis, Drummond, John Collins, Nance, Aaron Gordon, Kuzma, Harrell
- Cheap points: McDermott, Monk, Quickley, Lonnie, Bacon, Reid, Poole, Bullock, Mills, Jerome, Grayson Allen, NAW, Monte Morris, Lamb, Forbes, Gary Harris
- Cheap threes: Danny Green, Ellington, Bullock, Mills, Forbes, Monk, Jerome, Grayson, Shamet, Cam Johnson
- Cheap boards: Willy Hernangomez, Stewart, Noel, Mo Bamba, Whiteside, Tony Bradley, Birch, Vanderbilt, Favors, Taj Gibson, Biyombo, Kleber, Bruce Brown, Kenyon, Baynes, McGee
- Cheap dimes: Satoransky, Rondo, McLaughlin, Ish Smith, Tyus, Jerome, Saben Lee, Campazzo, Cam Payne, Cory Joseph, DJ Augustin, Monte Morris
- Cheap steals: Thybulle, Danny Green, Campazzo, Neto, Caruso, Melton, Okeke, Noel, McLaughlin, Bazemore, Vanderbilt, Nwaba, NAW, Okoro, Cory Joseph, Iggy
- Cheap blocks: Noel, Gafford, Mo Bamba, Bitadze, Stewart, Whiteside, Biyombo, McGee, Gasol, Thybulle, Taj Gibson, Reiz, Favors, Len, Pokusevski, Derrick Jones, Eubanks
- Cheap FG% (min. 8 FGA): McDermott, Reid, Monte Morris, Bullock, Jerome, NAW, Cam Johnson, Jaylen Nowell
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!