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: Chris Paul (PG). This man missed the first two games of the series isolating while going through the league’s health and safety protocols. Sure, the Suns dropped G3 to the Clips, but do you know what Paul did in that match? He came back from that small hiatus and seemed to have skipped no beat: 39 minutes on the floor, a ridiculous 15-2-12-3 dub-dub, and that is while shooting a dumb-low 26% from the field on a more than healthy 19 FGA. Raise that percentage to an average 40%, and we could be talking about a few more fantasy points here and there to round a 50 DKFP night. That’s CP3 for you, and that’s also a play tagged at just $8.1K, way cheaper than the top-2 comprised of George and Book. The algorithm has yet to fully catch up with the Point God exploits, so take advantage while it lasts.
- Hate: Devin Booker (SG). Book is insanely great. I am his no. 1 stan, and that won’t change any time soon, nor will it be affected by this Hate. The thing is, other than his mighty G1 explosion (78 DKFP to the tune of a 40-13-11 trip-dub) he has been rather mediocre in the following two games. Obviously, he got his nose broken in G2 and then was forced to play the masked-man role in G3, which he didn’t use as an excuse but clearly affected his game. Book has put up back-to-back 29-DKFP performances, his points have gone down to 20 tops, and the rest of his line is stuck at 5-5-0-0 while shooting below 30% from the floor. Also, the turnovers have been absolutely bonkers with 7 and then 4 in the past couple of matches. Booker can go for his bulky 35+ pops any given day, of course, but with Paul now back—and putting on a show in G3, the only Sun to shine back then—I’m not sure I’d bank on Book too much. I’d rather pay the big bucks for Paul George if I’d had to pick between the two of them today.
- Love: Ivica Zubac (C). Los Angeles kicked the series off applying the same strategy they used to defeat Dallas and to remove Utah from their path: downsizing. That didn’t work quite well for the Clips, so Zubac went from playing off the pine in G1 (just 18 minutes, too) to starting in the past two matches while logging 34 and 32 minutes in those, dub-dubbing in both cases. That’s right, dub-dubbing in both G2 and G3. Zubac has put up back-to-back a minimum 14-11 line while reaching 15-16 his last time out to go with a dime, a steal, and three blocks in those two games combined. Zubac is visiting the free-throw line fan average of 7 times a night while hitting a tasty 91% of those shots. The usage is on the wrong side of 20%, sure, but the boards are coming Zubac’s way in bunches, and the points (more than anything aided by the freebies) are quite high for his role in this offense.
- Hate: Reggie Jackson (PG/SG). I think this is a case of distrust. I mean, Reggie has been absolutely great for his salary, putting up three consecutive games of 34+ DKFP in this series, and two more to close the series against the Jazz. His price never got above $6.3K in that five-match span, and it’s now lower at $6K. Jackson is a great play, can’t lie about that. But do we really trust Jax? He’s been fantastic, and he’s scored 19+ pops in each of the past five games taking advantage of Kawhi’s absence while getting a rather high usage rate while starting at the point- or/and shooting-guard positions. But on a lower minute dosage just a couple of weeks ago, and through May in the regular season, Reggie is more of a bouncy player hitting 15 points at most in more games than not. The triples are always going to be there, but the shooting percentages in the past five are a little overboard at 53% while still hitting 3 3PG. I don’t really trust him keeping it up for another full series, and if the points are removed from his line, he’d crater: 3-4-2-0 is the rest of his line.
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!