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: Nikola Jokic (C). You won’t believe this, but Nurkic scored more points than Jokic in G4 last Saturday. That’d be hard to see happening again, same as Niko logging only 27 minutes of playing time as he did in that game or hitting only 39% of his shots (that hadn’t happened since Apr. 1, by the way). The salary tells you all you need to know for today’s affair in the now-best-of-three series between Portland and Denver. Jokic had hit 56+ DKFP in the first three games of the series before falling to just 28 last time out, but that’s nothing to be worried about, honestly. The Nugs depend on Jokic and Jokic will deliver as he’s done in pretty much 95% of the season games... Even on that stinker, Jokic put up a 1.05 FP/min mark, letting you know the efficiency is always there even on bad nights. Huge commitment with such a high salary, but well worth it.
- Hate: CJ McCollum (SG). CJ, on the other hand... I know he’s been heating up a bit with each passing game, but for someone playing 36+ minutes a night and as the second-best option for his team, I’m just not enamored with his production. He’s playing borderline-average per-minute basketball and although he’s scored either 21 or 22 points in every game, his fantasy scores are only saved by the mighty high rebound numbers. Do we trust those to stay up? Could be the case with Denver hurting for guards, but I’m hesitant. CJ is a lock to give you his 20-5-3 baseline, but the salary has gone slightly up and it looks like Portland is better going strong with the Dame-Nurk pairing than anything else. Not hating Mac to the highest of levels, but still not convinced about his upside.
- Love: Deandre Ayton (C). Ayton heard about the Suns having screwed it up by drafting him no. 1 overall and decided to not fuck around just one bit in his postseason debut. Yikes. Four games, four chef meals for him. The DKFP have gone up to 44, 37, 41, and 43. The dub-dubs are now a daily thing. Ayton has yet to finish a game without 14 points and 10 rebounds, or looking at it from an even more impressive angle, without 22 points or 17 rebounds. The shooting can’t get better already at 81% from the floor, and the only thing still missing could be an uptick in attempts (currently 12 FGA). All of that is great, but it can be even greater now that Anthony Davis is out for good and that will ease Ayton’s way to producing goodies. Can’t love this play more than I already do.
- Hate: Kyrie Irving (PG). Kyrie is back to his comfy Brooklyn confines, and the series will most probably end today with the Nets finally burying the Beantowners and resting for a few days instead of wasting any more time delaying the announced final outcome we all know will happen sooner or later. As has been in the case throughout the series barring G4, Kyrie has been the odd man out when it comes to putting up big numbers among the members of the BKN3. Obviously, Sunday’s match brought an explosion from Kyrie that saw him finish with a 39-11-2-2 line hitting 6 treys for 64 DKFP, but prior to that, he had put up just 40, 32, and then 29 FP in the first three games. Just not liking that ground-level floor for a freaking near-$9K play.
- Love: Andre Drummond (C). Anthony Davis is out, whether the Lakers like it or not, or say he is day-to-day or that “any AD is better than no AD”. If LA is stubborn as hell and Davis plays tonight, good luck on the whole postseason run, folks. The odds of him suffering a serious and ROS-affecting injury would grow by the minute. There is no point in risking this one, even with their backs against the wall. That only means all of Drummond, Gasol, and Harrell should get a little bit more playing time and see their upside rise at least something. Drummond’s price is just ridiculous. Drummond’s performances have been ridiculous, too, and sadly on the wrong side of things. He’s only reached more than 26 DKFP once in the series, but he should get back up a bit with AD out. The rebounds are there, and he might roll the hell out of Phoenix tonight and score some easy buckets tonight. Or so we hope. Load up on big-salary fools, and when your bag dries with no room for much more expending, throw some Dre in there.
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!