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: Kevin Durant (SF/PF). Boring pick? Yes. Sure thing? You bet. There is just no way in hell KD lets this one get away from him. Like, no way at all. Forget about that G6 performance by Kev, who was good-not-great for someone of his talent as he dropped to “only” 43 DKFP back then. That outing didn’t make sense at all considering KD’s prior five games: 63+ FP on average including a 96-DKFP explosion in G5 when he put up a ridiculous 49-17-10-3-2 stuffed line shooting 70% on 23 FGA and going 13-of-16 from the free-throw line. I’m not saying we’re in for another historical performance as that one, of course, but Durant is Durant for a reason, folks. G6 saw him limited to just two freebies of which he missed both. He also committed 7 TOs on 40 minutes of playing time. The dimes were down to 3 and he didn’t get a steal nor a block. I mean, that’s just a freakish outlier right there. Bet on KD to rack up goodies tonight and thrust Brooklyn to the Eastern Finals.
- Hate: James Harden (PG/SG). The Beard has doubled his DKFP from G5 to G6, going for 20 fantasy points in his comeback game and doubling down on that tally with 40 FP in his second game back. He needed some bulky 46 and 40 minutes played in those games to reach those heights, though, and that is what kinda killed his efficiency with 0.44 and 1.01 FP/min marks in those matches. Harden is clearly rusty with shooting performances of 10% and 55% from the floor on a combined 19 FGA in the past two games. The freebies were also low with only 8 attempts in those two combined, while the turnovers ended at 4 in each of those matches. Harden is clearly getting fitter each passing day and will be in the ECF if Brooklyn gets there, but I’m not buying into an explosion from Harden tonight. 40 FP are nice, but not for someone tagged with the third-highest salary of the slate and a projection of 48 DKFP—probably closer to his ceiling than a reasonable outcome—by the numbers.
- Love: Jrue Holiday (PG/SG). This is a risky play compared to those of Giannis/Midd, but it is also a cheaper one I’d go for tonight. Jrue has struggled a bit through the series against the Nets, but he seemed to finally get things right in G6 a couple of days ago. For the first time in six games, Jrue went for more than 35 DKFP reaching 49 on the day playing 43 minutes for the Bucks. Holiday’s line read 21-8-5-4 as he did all and could bulk up that score a bit given his low 38% shooting from the floor on a series-high 21 FGA. Jrue was able to limit his turnovers to just one, he stuffed the line all across the board and has now been trusted to finish 24%+ of the Bucks offensive possessions in back-to-back games. If Milly wants to keep their title hopes alive they better put on a collective effort including the whole bunch and of course all of its Big 3 members.
- Hate: Jeff Green/Brook Lopez (PF/C). Game 7, folks. Winner takes all. Yada, yada... This is a night for the stars, and yes, there will be some fool putting on a show—read: Terance Mann for Philly yesterday—but odds are you’re not going to hit on him and if you go with a popular play you will screw it. That brings us to Jeff and Brook, who had their moments throughout the series but ultimately balked in the end. Jeff had a massive G5 helping BKN win that one, but the 36 FP were more an outlier than anything else given he put up a 20-DKFP dud last Thursday starting at SF. Brook was seemingly going to be good himself taking advantage of Brooklyn’s lack of biggie boys, but far from it. Six games below 32 DKFP with back-to-back games of around 20 FP are just bad. Now, listen to me. Today is the day those two go and paint my face putting on 40-FP games. Count on that, of course. But looking at their track records I’d be truly anxious about rostering them and I’d rather throw a flier toward a super-under-the-radar player like Connaughton, Forbes, Shamet, or Bruce Brown.
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!