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: Trae Young (PG). Trae is screaming “bounceback” and that’s all you need to know about this play. Last Friday, Young had his worst game since April 4 (!!!) when he put up just 18 DKFP against the Warriors. Since that match, he’s dropped below 40 DKFP just six times, and a couple of those were just a couple of points short of that mark. There is just no way Trae scores 15 pops for the second consecutive night, as much as Milwaukee keeps adjusting and putting the clamps on the point guard. Trae is averaging a healthy 29 PPG in the 15 postseason games he’s played to this day, and he’s super close to dub-dubbing nightly with 9.9 APG a day to go with 2.9 RPG and 1.3 SPG. That fluky shooting performance in G2 (only 16 FGA and 3 FTA) going 37% from the floor isn’t going to repeat itself. The turnovers have been quite high of late (4, 6, 6, and 9) but even then Trae was able to rack up goodies in G1 with a 76-FP score. That’s Trae’s ceiling, obviously, but Young should always be expected to hit the 45-to-60 FP clip easily.
- Hate: Clint Capela (C). If you know me, you know I’m not very high on Capela’s postseason run. Clint was our Captain in G1, for sure, but he was absolutely atrocious in G2 going for just 11 (!) DKFP in 25 minutes of playing time. That was Capela’s worst game of the year from both efficiency and counting perspectives. He posted an 0.44 FP/min mark, and the 11 FP were five fewer than his second-lowest tally (Feb. 10 against the Mavs). While Capela didn’t have many chances to thrive on offense in G2 (just 5 FGA and no freebies), the truth is that those numbers align with his average usage (around 12% rate) and he needs to be perfect from the floor while racking up boards to be a viable fantasy play. He’s not been that player of late, though, failing to dub-dub in five of the past eight games, far from his regular-season averages. The 12-19-2-1-1 line for 44 DKFP to kick the series off was sublime, but that is looking more like an outlier than a realistic nightly expectation.
- Love: Jrue Holiday (PG/SG). Playing Trae Young (read above) instead of Giannis (he’ll be massive too, but comes with a higher salary) allows us to play Jrue at the SG slot without any problem, even more considering his “low” salary on the day. Jrue has been fantastic for a while now, and more encouragingly that’s been truly the case of late: in the past 10 days, Jrue has three games of 39+ DKFP with two getting into the 49+ realm and an explosion of 61 DKFP in one of those—against Atlanta in G1. Holiday keeps flying under the Giannis-Middleton radar, but that makes little sense to me. Holiday has put up 33 and 22 pops in this series, is dishing dimes effortlessly, has 2+ stocks per game in the first two matches, is avoiding turning the ball over too much, and not getting into foul trouble at all. Jrue is a fantasy darling always on the cheap, so you better take advantage of it.
- Hate: Khris Middleton (SG/SF). Khris was right in the Midd throughout the second-round series against the Nets, and he only got better with each passing game, going from 40 to 68 to 56 in the last three to send Brooklyn packing. Against the Hawks, though, Khris hasn’t been that great so far putting up back-to-back below-40 DKFP games with 31 in G1 and 38 in G2. Obviously, that second mark looks low but was a really efficient one considering his 28 minutes of playing time. The thing is, that tally is not going to cut it for fantasy contests. Middleton is not going to hurt his upside with dumb actions such as turnovers or personal fouls, but his shooting in the last three games is down to a measly 35% from the floor even on a healthy 20+ FGA, while his overall line sits at a packed-but-low 6-6-1 against the Hawks. Again, not the worst of plays, but for second-tier salaried folks, I’d rather get me some Jrue shares.
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!