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: Tobias Harris (SF/PF). Barring a down day in G2, Tobi has been incredible for a Sixers team that 1) needed him to do more than whatever he was doing to close the regular season, and 2) will need him today with JoJo out and going forward if they want to actually make a deep playoffs run toward the title. Harris’ other three games against the Wiz so far watched him reach 51, 45, and 48 FP in an average 35 MPG. It’s been two games in a row dub-dubbing with virtually the same lines (20-13-5, and 21-13-5 with a block) which talks about a pretty reliable and steady performer. The usage was already up the last time out at 29%, and with Embiid out odds are that mark goes even higher. Can’t hate this man.
- Hate: Luka Dondic (PG/SF). Do you know this meme of the dog in the burning house? That’s me calling this Hate: this is fine. Hating on someone as Doncic is always going to kill you, because there is like a 95% chance he goes bonkers and ends at some 60 FP or whatever. But the Mavs have dropped two consecutive games, and Luka seems to be pretty banged up and limited because of neck and shoulder issues. Some noted that he couldn’t even turn his head to lock left, which is beyond concerning for him and his team odds at pulling the upset off. Luka’s last game, in fact, finished with the Euro reaching only 36 fantasy points with a silly low (for him) 19-6-6-1 line hitting none of his 5 attempted freebies and turning the ball over four times. Again, Doncic is a wonder. But his salary is the second-highest of the slate and the upside is nothing to love given what happened last Sunday.
- Love: Ja Morant (PG). It’s been a little bit up-and-down for Morant in this series. Truth be told, though, the downs haven’t gone below the 38-FP mark, so there’s that. Morant has put up at least 37 FP all the way back to the start of the play-in mini-tournament, burned Golden State with 58, and is averaging 48 against the Jazz. Just two days ago he dropped his first postseason dub-dub with a 23-6-12-1 line even though he shot a low 38% from the floor. Morant has stepped up while regular-season phenom Jonas Valanciunas has struggled a little bit against Gobert. Not the most expensive of plays today, Ja projets to become one of the best ROI player bets in DFS contests in a win-or-go-home situation for the Griz. The intensity will be there, and if there is someone that will go for it and that Memphis will trust down the line that’s Morant, so it’s not that he will lack the opportunities to rack up points.
- Hate: Julius Randle (PF/C). It took him four games, but Randle finally seemed to right his game once for all against Atlanta in the second leg of the Atlanta-based set of games. Is that going to hold for tonight’s match? Let me doubt it. You heard Giannis say it after the Bucks kicked the Heat outside of the postseason: you don’t play with your food. Atlanta is here for no jokes either, folks. They have the chance to eliminate New York, in Madison Square Garden, no less. I’m betting on Trae solidifying himself as the freshest new NY villain, putting on a show, slashing the Knicks, and sending them packing home while advancing to the second round. Randle was atrocious before G4 with a ridiculous average of 36 FP in three games even playing 35+ minutes in all of them. Sure, he has four dub-dubs, but they are of the low variety with Randle not topping 15 points nor 12 boards in any of those first three games. The shooting is dumb at 27% on the series, and only the freebies are saving his scoring outings. Hating is falling short of my feelings.
- Love: Dwight Howard (C). This is a very ridiculous pick, and it’s obviously tightly tied to JoJo’s absence today. If that’s not the case, well, forget about playing Dwight. If he’s out, though, you can very nicely throw Howard into your lineup for a ridiculously low $4.3K on the day as a last-man filler. Howard has not been bad, only he’s not played more than 17 MPG on the year so his upside was always going to be cut in half. Dwight closed the regular season on a super-efficient run, and that’s actually been the case all year long in his short minutes of playing time. He might get into the 25s tonight, and it is not that the Wiz have a ton of warm bodies in the paint to complicate matters for Dwight. Howard can very well put up a dub-dub and hand you some very tasty fantasy goodies in G5.
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!