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: Kawhi Leonard (SF). I’m a stubborn man, so I will keep telling you to bet on Clips. I’d be the first one to laugh at LA falling short of the second round against Dallas after they chose to face the Mavs but at the same time I can’t believe this team will go down without a W. Even in a potential 0-4 series defeat, Kawhi can’t do more for this squad than he’s already cooking. Kawhi has reached 56 and 59 DKFP in the first two games. His average line is up to 36-8-4-3 and he comes from dropping 41 pops (including 4 treys) on Dallas’ foreheads just three days ago. Like him more, or like him less, but the man is always up to the task, no questions asked. The salary is nothing unreasonable, far from it, and the ROI Kawhi has handed his bettors through the series has been through the roof.
- Hate: Kyrie Irving (PG/SG). If you have been paying attention to the Heat/Bucks series, you know what has been going on in which is looking like a sweep of a series: stars resting. Brooklyn can put up the 3-0 tonight, and they already sit some asses back in G2. One of those butts hitting the pine for long: Kyrie’s, who kicked the series off with 37 minutes in G1 but cut those down to 28 in G2 and could probably do the same today if the Nets—as every single soul expects—run the Celtics out of their own town once more. Irving rested, Harden rested, Durant rested. The problem is that the latter two were so freaking efficient that they were still valuable. Irving, not so much. Not liking the risks surrounding this one, folks.
- Love: Trae Young (PG). Love to see Trae in the playoffs, love to see him becoming the nightmare of MSG and the Knicks. Cold world for New York, having to face this supernova of a guy. Trae and the Hawks will be home in a packed arena trying to get ahead 2-1 tonight. Not that Young really needs any boost, really. Trae has dropped 32 and 30 points against NY to go with 4 boards and 8 dimes per game in those two. The fantasy points went up to 57 first and 42 in the second game while the salary didn’t even move... and it’s up just $100 bucks today. Say what!? Must-play kid in the slate with monster upside, a projection to reach 46+ DKFP, and debuting in his home court in the postseason. Nothing to hate here.
- Hate: Kemba Walker (PG). Do I truly hate the point guard position in the Nets vs. Celtics series? Nah, not really. But man, the two of Kyrie and Kemba look bad for tonight’s affair. What’s with the Ks? Walker has gone for a paltry 19 and 31 FP performances in the postseason on 27 and 30 minutes of playing time. The points are kind of there at 16 PPG, but other than that everything else has sucked. Walker is just dishing out fewer than 4 assists per while grabbing only a couple of boards a match. The usage was mollybonkers in G1 (33%) but cratered to 19% last Tuesday. Only the 7-of-8 in freebies saved Kemba’s G2 score but even tagged with a low salary his ROI wasn’t enough to home call about. I’m afraid we won’t be reading Kemba’s game around these places ROS—and probably never again?
- Love: Derrick Rose (PG/SG). Sneaky play of the day, and a freaking fun one while at it. D-Rose got Thibs to trust him in the second half of G2 as Rose played more than ever and helped the Knicks level the series against Atlanta. Obviously, it makes no sense to think of Rose as a slate-winning player in terms of raw production, but the truth is that he’s a way cheap player to fill the last spot or two in your lineup once you have ponied up the big dollars on the true top-tier assets out there. Rose projects to a healthy 35+ FP tonight, comes from putting up 33 and 37 in the past two and is hitting shots with gusto having dropped 17 and 26 points in those couple of matches. The ROI is often fantastic given the ground-level price and the minutes can’t get much higher as they are at 37/38 MPG already.
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!