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: Devin Booker (SG). Chris Paul is available but banged up more than a bit. CP3 was pretty much forced out of the second half of G2 a couple of days ago, and he could barely pass, shoot, and do anything other than sitting with his arms down after getting hit by LBJ back in G1. Now seriously, that sucks. Chris deserves better. But with Paul limited in playing time and actual ability going forward, the Phoenix Suns will live or die depending on Book’s exploits. Dev had a fantastic debut in the playoffs with a 55-FP game back on Sunday, but he could only reach 35 FP in his last outing even though he played a massive 40 minutes on the day. Even if only on brute force and pure volume, Booker looks like a must-play guy no matter what. The usage is already sky-high and will only grow higher. The points are always going to get to 30+, and the rest-of-line should hit 4-4 more often than not.
- Hate: Bam Adebayo (C). I’m done with Bam. I’m sorry, but it is what it is. The Heat had a chance at snatching one from Milly back in G1 but they ended dropping that one and then got mollywhopped in G2 landing a massive blow from the Bucks. Game 1 was bad from Bam, who seemed disinterested in doing crap, and while I thought he would step up and make up for that middling game in G2, turned out that wasn’t the case. That game was obviously an outlier overall because it was a demolition derby, but Bam putting up 24 FP is dubious at the very least. Just 3 rebounds and 4 assists to go with 16 points aren’t going to cut it for a winning lineup. And the worst of all is that Adebayo finally shot 45%+ from the floor and logged a usage rate above 22% from the first time in the last four games. Not even that helped. Yikes.
- Love: Jrue Holiday (PG/SG). I guess Jrue doesn’t care about tight games or blowouts when it comes to performing nicely. Super-close match in G1, going to overtime? Holiday put up 43 FP in 42 minutes with a 20-11-3-3 line. Super-not-close match in G2, with no extra efforts needed? Holiday put up 47 DKFP in 31 minutes to the tune of an 11-7-15-2. That’s Jrue for you. No matter if the Bucks run the Heat off the building once more tonight, bank on Holiday. Three games in a row against Miami, three games in which this man has hit 42+ fantasy points while averaging a 17-7-9-2 line in 35 MPG for a 1.26 FP/min mark. Sweet play on a discount at just $7.6K, only the 9th-highest salary of the slate.
- Hate: Khris Middleton (SF/PF). Khris, on the other hand, is Mr. Hyde to Jrue’s Dr. Jekyll. Not so surprising, though. Middleton was insane in the first game playing 45 minutes and handing Miami the L with some clutch greatness baked into his performance. Last Monday, though, not so much. Sure, the performance was kinda good with a 0.98 above-average FM/min mark... but a limited 24 minutes of playing time for just 23 FP total and a silly 17-2-3 line shooting a ridiculous 5 FGA on the whole game. One thing is playing efficiently, which is alright, but another very different thing is getting so little run that your numbers just don’t add up to anything remotely close to a valuable ROI. Pass until the series are 2-2 or 3-3 or something like that.
- Love: Goran Dragic (PG). The Heat are so needy for that first W in this series, and they will be looking to flip the script by doing anything they need to. That might mean flipping starting PG Kendrick Nunn for vet off-the-bench Goran Dragic. The Dragon has been rather nice in the last two games—nothing incredible, mind you—and he might be better off starting games rather than playing with the second unit. Dragic put up 25 pops in G1 and followed that up with 18 in G2. He might be the missing piece to finally activate both Jimmy and Bam in full force, although if we’re honest the Bucks look like too much for the fluky Heat to overcome. Anyway, the price is too low and the upside too high with some tasty ROI potentially coming our way if we bank on GD.
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!