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: Ben Simmons (PG). I’m sorry for the swinging thoughts on Benny, but the truth is Simmons is seemingly getting his game right as the series grows. After a bombastic G1 in which he put up 46 DKFP, Simmons put up a dud (23) and followed that up with a 34-FP performance. The hate was real until it was not. Benny reached a masterful 45 fantasy points in the G4 losing effort, had his second dub-dub against Atlanta, and in fact, he fell just one dime short of having a trip-dub game that night two days ago. Ben’s 11-12-9-0-2 line shooting 50% on 10 shots marked his fifth game of 45+ DKFP this postseason, he did it on a reasonable 36 minutes of playing time, and for the price, he often carries he is a bargain—assuming he keeps it up, which he better do if Philly wants to advance to the conference finals.
- Hate: Rudy Gobert (C). Gobert is always chip for his upside, but if we’re honest there are real concerns about his current performance levels. Gob Gob won the DPOY just days ago and was named to the All-NBA 3rd Team just a few hours ago. That rocks. The Clippers are also rocking him, tho. Rudy kicked off the series with three straight dub-dubs but finally failed to reach those heights in a G4 that Utah found no way to snatch from LA. The shots were as down as just 4 FGA in 32 minutes, only the 3-of-4 from the free-throw line helped him reach double-digit points, he fell into foul-trouble territory with 5 PF, and the 8 boards were low as hell—just for context, he pulled down 20 (!) in G2 last Thursday... Cheap play, sure, but mind you: it’s a trap!
- Love: Paul George (SG). Although PG-13 has been a little bit bouncy against the Jazz, it’s been three straight games of 41+ FP for him while helping LA bringing the series to a 2-2 tie. George’s shooting has been great of late, with back-to-back 31-point performances in which he’s shot 47% from the floor, attempted a combined 44 FGA, and most encouragingly hit 6 and 4 treys, something he had not done since all the way back to May 13 when he dropped 5 triples against Charlotte. Paul George’s usage rate went through the roof in the past two matches (34% and 32%) compared to the prior two, and the Clips ran Utah out of town in those games. George was sublime in closing the first-round series against Dallas with three consecutive games hitting 51 DKFP, and he could very well be on that path once more with 50 FP in G4 and at least two more to go before the second-round is over.
- Hate: Tobias Harris (SF/PF). Here we are with Tobi drawing the inverse line to Simmons’. While Benny is getting better, Tobi has dropped his numbers steadily through the series, going from 43 FP to 38, 39, and lastly 32 in G4. Ugh. The minutes, though, have kept growing by the way from 36 in the first game to 39 in the last one, though it’s not that the expanded playing time has helped him bulk up his stats. The last line he has put up was a rather mediocre one finishing with a 20-5-2 and a block to go with 1 TO. Tobi saw a downtick in usage due to Simmons getting more opportunities, and while his shooting wasn’t bad (53% from the floor) his shot attempts went down to 15 compared to 19 and 13 in the prior two matches. Harris had to regress a bit because he was shooting a mental 61% before Monday’s game, and not only did his percentage drop, but also his overall shots. I’d give him a game of rest before considering him as part of my lineup again.
- Love: Bogdan Bogdanovic (PG/SG). Bang for the buck, folks. BoBo isn’t definitely the most efficient player out there, I know, but for his salary and his nightly return (26+ FP every game against Philly topping at 36 on G1), he’s more than a viable play every freaking day. Bog has scored 14+ points in all four games so far and reached 20+ in both G1 and G4. The triples come in bunches, with at least two every night and an average of 3.3 3PG. Good rebounding numbers are helping his case too, though the dimes are not coming at a reasonable rate. Anyway, Bog is doing what you’d expect to do. Shoot a bunch of rocks, hit them from long distances, rack up points, and add the odd contribution in the rest of cats while helping Atlanta keep the series alive. Not the worst of players to fill that last open slot in your lineup.
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!