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: Rudy Gobert (C). Gobert didn’t have the greatest game ever in the series tipoff last Tuesday, but he still dropped a dub-dub and 30 DKFP on the Clips. He did that struggling mightily on the shooting department, hitting just 2 of his low 6 FGA. Then came G2 and things went much better for Gob Gob, who even shotting one fewer shot hit four of the five he took, scored 13 points, and grabbed 20 (!) rebounds, the most he has pulled down since May 12 when he did it against Portland. Obviously, DoMi has been the clear key player for the Jazz in the first two games, but Gobert looks like he’s growing by the day and he’s a lock to get do double-digit territory nightly. Can’t pass on the reigning Defensive Croissant.
- Hate: Royce O’Neale/Nico Batum (SF). Don’t ever trust these two. O’Neale has been starting for Utah all year long, but his mojo is to be found on defense, not offense, and that kills his fantasy upside entirely. He has just scored 30 and 17 FP in the first couple of games of this series, and he needed to grab 11 boards in G1 to get there. Batum has started for the Clips as many games, too, but he went to the pine in G2 and while he played 27 minutes he just reached 21 FP on the day. Batum has back-to-back stinkers, is logging putrid usage rates, and is cooked and washed these days. I know you probably didn’t have any of these two in your plans anyway, but consider this your daily remainder.
- Love: Kawhi Leonard (SF). You will never be able to buy low on Kawhi because the algorithm isn’t that dumb and it’s always going to attach a sky-high salary to Kawhi’s forehead. But this play is about betting on the player with the biggest odds to hit big-time fantasy points on G3. Sure, Mitchell has been better, but he’s also put up 62 and 49 DKFP in the first two matches, which screams regression is coming. Kawhi, on the other hand, has been the same or worse than PG-13, which I’m sorry but I just don’t believe. Leonard reached 39 FP in G1 and then dropped a bit to 37 DKFP in G2. That’s nothing compared to what the Klaw did against Dallas, being the only viable fantasy play from LA in the first round. Kawhi should get back to his true talent level as soon as possible if the Clippers want a real chance at upsetting the no. 1 team, and I think today is a good day to do so getting back home.
- Hate: Paul George (SG). Opposite play to that of Kawhi. George finished on par with Kawhi in G1 when it came to fantasy points and even put up a dub-dub, and then came the G2 explosion of 49 DKFP to the tune of another 27-10-6 dub-dub. George, though, needed to hit all of his 9 FTA to bulk up his FP tally a bit as he turned the ball over a game-high 4 times and also committed 5 PF on his way to finish with the worst plus/minus (-12) of all players involved in that game. Obviously, getting to those high FP marks is making George an above-average player on FP/min, but the numbers aren’t that great considering he’s played 37 and 44 minutes, putting up a good-not-great 1.06 FP/min. If you’re going to drop big bucks on a Clip, make it Kawhi. If you’re going to drop bigger big bucks on anyone, then pick Donovan Mitchell and his ridiculous 1.45 FP/min and 55 FPPG average in the first two games.
- Love: Jordan Clarkson (PG/SG). Definitely not the cheapest of second-tier players out there, but quite a good-looking one. Clarkson is going to find it hard to keep up his scoring pace, but he’s thrived in the first two games of the series. Clark has dropped back-to-back 6 treys in G1 and G2 while shooting an average 47% from the floor on a combined 33 FGA in those two matches. The volume of shots is quite high with J-Clark as part of the second unit of the Jazz, and that shouldn’t change going forward. Clarkson is a heater and brings all of his upside with his shooting prowess, so if he’s cold you’d be looking at a real dud. That hasn’t been the case so far, though, so I gotta keep betting on his hot streak.
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!