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: Khris Middleton (SG/SF). It took Khris a couple of games, but Middleton is well in the middle of this thing right now. Back-to-back games below 33 DKFP to kick the series off turned into a couple of 57 and 44 FP performances, which we loved to watch unfold. The minutes went all the way up to 44 and 41 respectively and that helped, sure, but also did Khris’ efficiency levels going from averaging a putrid below-average 0.82 FP/min to 1.17 in the last two. The Nets might be done for good after losing Harden and Irving due to his G4 injury. Khris is getting up to max speed just at the right time, and the Bucks have a very serious chance of snatching home-court advantage tonight to play a series-clinching G6 in Milly. Middleton is doing it on the boards and points cats mostly, but his G4 dimes were über-high at 8, his highest mark there since April 29. Can’t look much better than this.
- Hate: Jrue Holiday (PG/SG). Holiday was a lock when it came to putting up numbers in round one, but he’s far from that player these days against BKN in round two. Jrue will benefit from Kyrie’s absence going forward, and he was good against the Nets in their regular-season affairs, but that rings true no more. Holiday has topped at a measly 34 FP throughout this series, and that happened in G1 more than a week ago. Jrue is playing the same minutes with similar usage rates as he’s been getting for the past month, but the production has been mediocre at best with an average of 0.72 FP/min. Jrue isn’t the most expensive of players, and that softens the risks taken a bit if you opt to bank on the upside, but odds are he disappoints once more, Kyrie Irving available or not.
- Love: Joe Harris (SG/SF). Someone other than Durant has to do something, right? I mean, KD will probably shoot something like 35 FGA and go the free-throw line 10 times on top of that. But the Nets will need much more than that if they want to beat the Bucks today and twice in the next three games. Can’t lie about this one, though: Harris has been bad as hell against Milwaukee, and it is not that he was sublime against the Celtics either. Sure thing, his usage rate in the postseason has been at a low average of 15% while starting every game at the SF position. That happens when you share the floor with KD/Harden/Kyrie. Good for Joe, only one of those is still available and healthy. Harris will start again, play his 34+ minutes, and he will most probably shoot the rock 12 to 15 times easily. He should rebound a bit, hit some treys, and contribute some boards. Good upside for the super-low price.
- Hate: Brook Lopez (C). I didn’t even know who to hate on for this one. I was this close to writing about Giannis here, not precisely because I hate him, but because of the situation BKN finds itself in. Only Kevin Durant looks capable of putting on a winning effort for the Nets. That can turn into a blowout by the Bucks, which means Ginnis might be sitting tons of time. It also might mean that the likes of Brook Lopez, PJ Tucker, etc... are going to be just afterthoughts while Giannis/Jrue/Khris rack up numbers while setting Brooklyn on fire. Outside of the top-tier players in this game, and perhaps some unexpected surprise stepping up for the Nets (read above: Joe Harris) I wouldn’t risk a thing with any Buck.
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!