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: Donovan Mitchell (PG/SG). I guess the cool folks programming the algorithm just don’t like the Jazz or don’t want to accept the Lakers are cooked and are here no more. No other explanation for the hate on DoMi... Mitchell comes in with the fifth-highest salary of the day, which isn’t even reaching $9K on today’s slate. That’s ridiculous, no matter how you look at it. The projection is sky-high at 46 DKFP, but if you watched G1 against the Clips then you know what Spida is capable of: monster 62-FP performance for one of the highest ROI marks last Tuesday, which is all to love. The line was bonkers at 45-3-5-1-1. Stuffed numbers with an even tastier 6 treys and 30 (!!!) FGA to kick the series off. The usage was absolutely mental with 43% of possessions ending on Mitchell’s hands. The Clips gave up against Luka and everything looked oddly similar for them when it came to stopping Donovan. Expect nightly explosions and take advantage of this man’s relatively low salary while it lasts.
- Hate: Kyrie Irving (PG/SG). The Nets have run the Bucks out of town resoundingly. Kyrie has been good with 48 and 40 DKFP in the first two games, but he was 1) aided by the absence of James Harden for most of his minutes and 2) logging 44 (!!!) minutes in G1 and a way-above-average efficiency in G2. That, obviously, can repeat itself going forward because Kyrie is a top-10 player in the league and an absolute talent. But as is always the case, Kyrie comes super expensive and that will hurt whatever ROI he returns. Durant is Brooklyn’s top dog and that won’t change. This is also a do-or-die game for the Bucks, which doesn’t mean by itself that Milwaukee will go murdering Nets, but still. I expect Jrue to step up, and Kyrie/KD to drop their performing levels at least a tick if only because of regression hitting a bit. Kawhi, the Clippers honcho, projects to the same or more FP today, is the clear no. 1 in his offense, and is tagged with a lower salary than Kyrie. Find value elsewhere, is what I mean.
- Love: Jrue Holiday (PG/SG). Risky play given the stupid performance of the Bucks as a whole facing the Nets, but here we are betting on the most sure-thing other than Giannis playing for the Milly B’s. Holiday projects to get his truthers a top-3 ROI today putting together the combination of salary and projected FP (40+), and although it’s going to be tough as hell for the Bucks to win even a single game against BKN if they keep up their impossible game, Jrue should at least raise the bar a bit through the remaining games. At the end of the day, Holiday had a monster series against Miami averaging 43 DKFP per game and a 16-6-10 line, and that’s closer to his true talent level than the last couple of games talk about. In those two against Brooklyn, he could only get to 34 and 22 FP, which sucked to watch, but his numbers weren’t entirely bad as he put up a 17-9-6 line in G1 and a 13-4-3 one in G2. Gotta expect a floor near the G1 outcome with a ceiling much higher, nearing the 45-to-50 FP gap.
- Hate: Paul George (SG). It took him time, but George seemed to finally get things right in the last three games of the Mavs series with the Clippers' backs against the wall. Is this fool going to pull off such a thing on back-to-back rounds? That could be the case, as he was good-not-great in G1 against the Jazz even though he put up a dub-dub to the tune of a 20-10. That got him to 37 FP last Tuesday, which is great for Jordan Clarkson but not for someone tagged at a freaking $9K. PG13 has seen a slight drop in his price entering G2, but he’s still the sixth highest-salaried guy around tonight while the likes of Khris Middleton, Rudy Gobert, and Jrue Holiday project to nearly the same amount of FP on much lower salaries. The Clips will rely on Kawhi because Kawhi is the linchpin and only lock to produce on a nightly basis. Paul, on the other hand, is way bouncier to play him without risks. Not 100% hating him, but not loving him either.
- Love: Rudy Gobert (C). Gobert “struggled” a bit in G1 against LA, but it is not that he had that many options to rack up points, and he also got into foul trouble finishing with 5 PF on the day. Anyway, Gobert made the most of his chances even though he hit just 2 of his 6 FGA mostly helped by 7 freebies good enough to help him reach another dub-dub to the tune of 10 pops and 12 boards. Rudy swatted two shots to go with that. The minutes were relatively low at just 33 total (only Joe Ingles played fewer starting for the Jazz with 32) and Zubac was great grabbing 6 rebounds and blocking 3 shots himself, but even in that very putrid context Gob Gob still found a way to be great and even blocked a last-second effort by the Clips to tie the game. For the ground-level salary he always carries and the value he returns, you can do much worse in filling your last lineup open spot.
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!