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: Jrue Holiday (PG/SG). I won’t be going on Holiday at least while Jrue is still around. Can’t get much better than finding this guy at just the fourth-highest salary of the slate given he’s projecting to 41+ FP in G1. Jrue has been fantastic outside of the obvious Giannis/Middleton picks from the Bucks. As it was expected, Jrue dropped his stat lines from the Miami series to the second-round one against a much better Nets squad, but that should change at least a big facing the Hawks. The minutes are going to be a little bit lower most probably, but that shouldn’t really impact Holiday’s upside. If we take those Heat series as his baseline, then we’re looking at a probable nightly 40-to-50 DKFP-getter. Sweet play at a tasty discount.
- Hate: John Collins (PF). I am more into Collins than Capela in this playoffs, but that could change this series. Capela vs. Brook looks better than Collins vs. Giannis, as simple as that. Collins comes with a higher average and playing better basketball of late, which is impacting his salary. The difference there is almost zero, but still talks more about past performance than what’s to come. To wit: Capela projects to 32 FP while Collins is expected to stop at 30 FP tonight. Collins will need to do much more than just roam the paint against the Freak, which we’ll see if he can or can’t pull off. Collins has been hitting threes here and there, but I’m not convinced he’ll have it easy in the ECF. I’d honestly pay for Cap believing in a bounceback facing a worse C in Lopez rather than Collins going against a D-beast.
- Love: Brook Lopez (C). The Hawks biggie boys have not been any sort of good throughout the postseason so far. Neither Clint Capela nor John Collins has been dominant against the Knicks (Randle) nor the Sixers (Embiid), and although they’ll take on a lower-level player in Lopez, I don’t really think they’ll fare much better. Brook can stretch the floor a bit, and he should be good for a last-slot-filler pick. Although not a huge factor for the Bucks' exploits during their postseason run, Brook is still good for his 10-8 nightly, and if you paid attention to the G7 against BKN a few days ago, you know the ceiling is rather high with him. Win-or-go-home game for Milwaukee and the big man went bonkers with a 19-8-1-1-4 stuffed line shooting 64% on 11 FGA, including 3 treys on the day. The blocks always came his way, he barely turns the over nor fouls more than one or two times a game, and he's usually in the mid-30s MPG.
- Hate: Trae Young (PG). Nobody would hate a man that steadily puts up 50+ DKFP a night. That being said, though, I think Young might be the riskies of top-salary plays today. Young comes off a putrid outing against Philly to reach the ECF. Trae could only hit 22% of his 23 FGA and scored 3 treys on the night for 21 points, which were also aided by a good bunch of freebies. The turnovers were massively high at 6 TO on the day against 10 AST, and the boards were kinda-low at just 3. That was probably Young at his worst and he still reached 39 FP, just imagine. There should be a bounceback around the corner, but the Bucks are no worse in D than Philly with Jrue putting his clamps on Trae this series. Again, Young is going to thrive. I just think Khris and Giannis are better plays at least for one day.
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!