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’m starting to get worried about injuries impacting the postseason hugely, and I can only hope that’s not the case. You already know the news: Kyrie Irving was forced out of yesterday’s game and might miss some time. Harden was already out with a hammy. And Mitchell himself got banged up for Utah a couple of days ago, joining Mike Conley—who has not played since the last game against Memphis 12 days ago—on the sidelines. It sucks. Mitchell is not even in today’s injury report, so he should be good to go, though. Mitch has been sublime this playoffs since the medical staff allowed him to start playing back in G2 of the first round. He could only play 32 minutes in G3 against the Clips last Saturday, but even then he reached 46 DKFP and it’s been six games in a row for him hitting at least 41 FP every single night he steps onto the court. DoMi is doing it all, hitting 5+ treys per game, dropping 30+ pops a night (topping at 45 in G1 of this series), and contributing in all rebounds/dimes/steals cats. Can’t get much better than Mitchell’s current version. Let’s hope he stay healthy and Utah’s run doesn’t get derailed by the injury bug.
- Hate: Ben Simmons (PG). It wasn’t incredible, but at least Simmons came back to his—or rather, basketball’s—senses a bit in Game 3 after shooting a ridiculous 3 shots in G2 hitting just two of them for 4 points in 35 (!) minutes of playing time. My lord. It is not that Simmons is not willing to shoot threes, nor that he’s bad at shooting overall; it is just that he straight refuses to shoot the rock no matter the situation. Somehow, Benny is averaging a reasonable 14 PPG in the playoffs, and 13 PPG against the Hawks, but attempting a measly 7 FGA per game isn’t going to cut it for me. The salary isn’t high because dropping buckets is the easiest way to bulk up fantasy scores and the algorithm knows Simmons won’t be doing that. The problem comes when he falls down in the rest of the departments, as he’s done in the past two games with just 3.5 RPG and 7 APG to go with 1.5 SPG. Those aren’t bad numbers, but they are far from great, which is why Simmons could only reach 23 and 34 DKFP in his last two outings. As long as Simmons has Embiid/Tobi/Seth around him, he ain’t crossing the shooting line. Too bad we won’t put him in our lineups till then.
- Love: Tobias Harris (SF/PF). Getting back to this whole injury thing, I have to make a confession: I spend 30 minutes every day praying so Embiid makes it all the way till the Sixers are eliminated or win the chip. Seriously, it feels like we’re one step closer to JoJo stepping into the wrong place every passing day. Does Tobi need Embiid out to thrive? No, sir. I gotta admit I wasn’t expecting Harris to be this good this late in the season. He had a great run from mid-February to the end of May, but other than that Tobi had been a very average player for what he says should be considered a Philly Big 3. We’re still not there, but Tobi is making a hard press to force that label into our thinking, folks. Only once has Harris fallen below the 38-FP mark in his eight postseason games while putting up 44 FPPG in those matches. He’s a lock to hit 20+ pops, is grabbing 9+ boards per game and 8 RPG facing Atlanta, and he’s adding 4 dimes and a steal per game to that. Even better? Tobi is shooting a ridiculous 60% from the floor on a healthy 16 FGA. Perks of playing along with a non-shooter point-forward in Ben Simmons, I guess.
- Hate: Clint Capela (C). Neither of Capela or John Collins has been a viable fantasy play these playoffs in the eight games they’ve already played. Capela has the best two games, but those only amounted to 37 and 40 FP. Collins is averaging 28 FPPG (not counting G2 against NY when he played only 14 minutes) to Capela’s 31 FPPG. At least Capela was dub-dubbing nightly, until he stopped doing so in the past two games falling two rebounds and two points short of it respectively. Collins has not pulled off the feat even once, but he’s been the better and steadier play against Philly in the past three games with a 17-7-1 line compared to Cap’s 9-11-1. Collins is shooting more, attempting treys nightly, and getting in as much foul trouble as Capela. Captian Cap, though, still has a salary of $1K+ above Collins’, which makes little to no sense at all. It was always expected for them to struggle against JoJo, but Capela is the one taking the bigger hit while tagged at the higher price. Easily fading Clint these days.
- Love: Rudy Gobert (C). You might like and think of Conley as Utah’s second fiddle, but let’s be honest for a minute here and recognize Gob as the no. 2 Jazz only behind Mitchell, which is the truth. Rudy needs to play to the highest of levels these days. Mitchell got screwed their last time out, and Utah went from leading 2-0 to half that leads with LA snatching a W and having the chance to leveling the series tonight. Gobert has not been great this postseason, mind you, but the salary he often gets attached to is way low given his upside. GobGob is a biggie boy putting up biggie boy numbers. No more, no less. He’s dub-dubbed in 12 of his last 13 games going back to the regular season (May. 8), has done so in all three games against the Clips, and his average line this series reads 12-14-0-1-2. Sure, Rudy is giving a crap about dishing out dimes, but he’s making up for it big time with his rebounding and blocking. The shooting percentages are always high because he operates in the paint all day, and the best of all is that he’s going to the free-throw line on a rather healthy basis with 6 trips per game hitting 32 of the 50 FTA he’s attempted this postseason (64%).
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!