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). Chris Paul has been fooled by the hoops gods for far too long. There are—potentially—two games remaining in this series, but if we believe in karma this man needs to get to the Finals today. I just can’t have CP3 reaching G7 and facing the pressure that’d come attached to. Paul knows this too, and he will step up to the moment, I’m convinced of it. Three straight games with 33+ DKFP is what Paul has done so far after coming back from his COVID-related hiatus, and he finally regained his shooting prowess last Monday (42%) after shooting below 28% in his first two games back. It is not that we expect 40 pops coming Paul’s way, of course, but he can very well put up his 20 while pairing that with a good 5-10-2 baseline and limited TOs getting to a healthy 40 FP easily.
- Hate: Deandre Ayton (C). Ivica Zubac missed the last game entirely and Ayton could only finish with a series-low 29 DKFP that night, even though he still was able to dub-dub (low 10-11-1-1-1). The minutes and the usage didn’t flop, so that’s no excuse for the putrid 0.80 FP/min mark he put up. Zubac is expected to miss one more game at least, and with the Clips downsizing Ayton might struggle once more. Keep in mind that while Ayton has been a freaking machine this postseason, he’s still a playoffs-rook getting his first reps in this kind of stage. The double-double feels like a lock for him to snatch because he makes it look so easy, but his upside doesn’t seem to be that high and in a win-and-get-in game tonight I think the heavy load will be handled by the backcourt guys in Book and Pauly.
- Love: Reggie Jackson (PG/SG). Little “stinker” in G4 if you want to call it that, but given the ground-low salary Jax came attached to his 29 DKFP weren’t honestly that bad. On the series, Reggie is dominating considering what we know him for. Jackson is averaging 35 FPPG in the first five outings, has scored 20+ in all but one game (19 points in that one, though), and he’s doing it on all fronts with contributions all across the board—4+ rebounds, almost 3 APG, 1+ SPG, and even two total blocks in five games. The turnovers are low, the personal fouls non-existent, and although the freebies aren’t coming in bunches he’s making up for that with his long-range shots (3.2 3PG). It’s been seven straight games for Jax with at least 14 FGA while scoring at a very tasty 51% clip. Kawhi is done for the series and probably the season, let’s assume it, but Reggie has leveled up a ton and he’s feeling dangerous of late. Expect another 38-minute bombastic and valuable game from Jax.
- Hate: Paul George (SG). It’s time, folks. Pandemic P. Dame Time P. Plain Bad P. Whatever you like the most, go with it. Crucial game—yes, I know, like G5 two days ago—tonight for the Clips and a massive stage for Paul George to prove once more that he belongs to the elite. I just don’t believe it, I’m sorry. Also, what are the odds he puts up another ceiling-like performance such as that of Monday? There is no freaking way he finishes with 72 DKFP today, let alone hitting 41 pops once more. He’s basically doing everything of late, with three straight dub-dubs and even high assist numbers. The wall is about to come and the hit will be huge. Prior to this three-game streak, he got “only” 41 FP in G2, which is much closer to his true talent (42 FPPG on the regular season). Kawhi is still out and will do for the near/mid/long-term future, so PG-13 will keep eating. I just don’t think the value will be there in the Clips last game of the season.
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!