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: Paul George (SF/PF). It is hard, I know, but we gotta believe. There is no way Pandemic P strikes back, right? The G1 outing wasn’t mind-blowing, but George still hit 40 FP on the day with a 23-6-5-1 line in a losing effort against the Mavs. What I mean is, there is no freaking way the Clips drop another tonight, or else they’d be mollycooked and on their way home early. Kawhi was neat, PG wasn’t bad, and all things point toward a rebound tonight starting with Coach Lue putting some better plan together. Give me Pauly on a sweet discount and just the 10th-highest salary today yet carrying a projection of 46+ FP and upside for much more if the Clips run the show.
- Hate: Luka Doncic (PG/SF). Never bet against studs. That being said, Luka’s salary is bonkers at $10.6, clearly the leading one. Luka’s projection is insane too, obviously, but we’re paying for the ceiling and not the floor here, which I don’t entirely like. Doncic has clearly not forgotten how the sport of the orange ball is played in the past three days, but let’s be honest for a minute: Luka is definitely not reaching 71 FP for the second game in a row. Those 71 goodies were the eight-most he’s gotten in a single game this season, and you’re telling me he has a chance to double on that? Hardly. Even “falling” to 50 DKFP would already half-murder Doncic’s ROI tonight, and I don’t think the Clips will be handing him another cupcake of a game like the last one. Just won’t happen, can’t happen.
- Love: Jayson Tatum (PF). The Celtics season is over folks. It just has not been made official yet, but we all know it. But hey, if you’re on your way home, at least throw as many rocks toward the rim as you can, am I right? Enter Jay Tat. Tatum had a middling postseason debut last Saturday when all he could do was hitting 6 shots overall for a putrid 30% from the floor on 20 FGA. 22 points on the day but an otherwise stuffed line with 3-5-1-1 counting stats was not bad, but this fool needs to start shooting like a mad man if only to keep Boston up there. Bet on a rebound to his realistic 40% usage rate marks from the RS and a healthy 25+ FGA in G2 tonight. There is not much risk baked into this play basically because the Beantowners would need to rely on someone to put on a fight and that someone can’t be any other player than Jay.
- Hate: Chris Paul (PG). Not really hating Paul, but after we got to watch Cliff instead of Chris in the second half of G1—after CP3 got banged by LBJ on a rebound—I’m hesitant to expect a full-force Paul entering this one. He will play, and he will probably do good things and put up numbers, but the floor is low at below 30 FP and the ceiling is not going to top 40 FP even on the greatest of nights. Pretty much like the Clips, I expect the Lake Show to rebound, fix some issues, put the clamps on Book/Paul, and get away with victory putting up a 1-1 moving into Staples. Chris, by the way, stank a bit in G1. He finished with just 28 FP in 36 minutes with a 7-4-8-1-1 shooting only 8 FGA, not going to the line at all, and logging a stupid 11% usage rate.
- Love: Deandre Ayton (C). Shouts out to the haters! Ayton was sublime in his postseason debut putting together a 21-16 dub-dub against the Lakers in 37 minutes of playing time and swatting a shot on top of that. Not bad. The 44 FP might be a little bit out of reach on a nightly basis, sure, but this man is far from a joke and should definitely not be an afterthought in your lineups. The Lakers interior is quite putrid with AD having to make up for the Harrell/Gasol/Drummond deficiencies, and that is always going to benefit Ayton. Super-low price and massive potential ROI from the young biggie boy who finished the year averaging a 14-10 double-double on just 30 MPG.
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!