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: Devin Booker (SG). Chris Paul is going to play. I mean, this is a win-or-go-home game for the Lakers and Phoenix still has a little bit of margin, but there is no way they don’t try to close this series tonight to avoid a very scary G7 against Bron Bron. That being said, it’s going to be Booker the one with the better health and chances to really flash and put the cherry on top of his postseason debut against no less than the (now less) Mighty Lake Show. While Book struggled a bit in the three games prior to Tuesday’s—by struggle I mean he scored between 31 and 34 FP—he was absolutely incredible in G1 and G5. Just a couple of days ago and while limited to only 33 minutes of playing time, Dev dropped 30 pops on the Lakers and added a 7-5-1 rest-of-line while shooting 56% from the floor on a more than healthy dose of 23 FGA. It’s going to be a true test for the no. 2 team in the West, and if the Suns want to snatch that W then Book will have a lot to do with that.
- Hate: CJ McCollum (SG). Second time in a row that I’m hating on CJ, but it is what it is. CJ has been good, not great. He’s been borderline average on a per-minute basis, averaging just 0.97 FP/min while playing a ton of minutes per game. That’s the only thing saving Mac, the volume. Even playing 34+ minutes in all but one game, CJ is putting up his 20 PPG but the rebounds and the dimes fluctuate a bit and the personal fouls are troubling at the very least. CJ is averaging a good 38 FPPG, but that’s not really cutting it for me and McCollum seems to be playing at his ceiling already with Dame eating everything and then some. Portland is playing for its life, though, and that might help CJ hit some biggies and get more trust on offense, but even then it should be Dame putting on another monster effort and getting the best of tonight’s game.
- Love: Michael Porter Jr. (SF/PF). MPJ hit the winning basket in G5 for the Nugs. I know, it was more about the ridiculously great dime from Jokic than the actual shot, but there’s that for Young Mike. Truth be told, MPJ has sucked a bit in this series, going from great to good to bad to worst in the first four games of the series before exploding on Tuesday. The 51 DKFP are going to be hard to replicate, as he had bonkers efficiency with a 77% shooting from the floor on 13 shots, 3-for-3 shooting from the line, 3 treys, and a combined 26-12-3-2 dub-dubbing line. But Denver needed him, and he provided. The usage rate has cratered in the last two matches at 9% and lastly 16%, but again, all of that should change and go up or at least stay around 20% because other than MPJ Denver doesn’t have a lot of aces in its lineup in a win-and-get-in game tonight.
- Hate: Jusuf Nurkic (C). For some reason, Nurk has forgotten how not to foul folks and that little line in the rulebook that says a player would be sent off when he commits six of those. Too bad it might be too late to realize. Nurk has fouled out in three of the five games already played, which has him averaging a measly 28 MPG. Ugh. The efficiency has been great, don’t get me wrong, but with such a low playing time it’s always going to be hard for Nurk to really rack up true biggie numbers as we’d expect and like him to. The dub-dubs are almost a nightly thing, but not quite there because of his wild ways. Also: 6 PF and 6 TO in the past G5 hurt a lot and made him drop to the 30 FP on the day. Only a couple of matches in this series above 32 FP with all of the rest in the 26-to-32 clip. Not loving it.
- Love: Deandre Ayton (C). Ayton, on the other hand... (L) Quite the debut for the former blasted Luka-classmate who is showing a terrific level of play in the postseason. The algorithm is catching up a bit of late, and the salary is approaching $8K. Even then, though, Ayton only has one stinker in the series and it happened last Tuesday as the Suns ran the Lakers out of town and put on a collective show. In the prior four games, Ayton had played 36+ minutes while never falling below 37 DKFP any day. The value has been absolutely insane coming from Ayton, who is playing like a top-tier biggie boy these days. Almost a virtual dub-dubber against the Lakers, he should rebound tonight unless Phoenix goes to demolish Los Angeles once more. I’m not counting on that even with AD out because LeBron is LeBron and won’t get out of the playoffs before a do-or-die G7, so Ayton lives to lead your lineup one more time.
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!