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: Kawhi Leonard (SF). The Klaw felt absolutely immune to duds through the first four games of the first-round series against Dallas, but that changed in G5 when he could only finish with a league-average 0.9 FP/min mark good for 38 FP in his 42 minutes of playing time. That was plainly bad for someone of Kawhi’s caliber, but pretty much as it happened with Luka one game earlier, this looks like Leonard’s rebound-night and a true chance for him to 1) keep the Clips alive in a win-or-go-home game and 2) hand his fantasy truthers some tasty FP after falling way short of expectations. Four games into the 55+ realm of fantasy points for Kawhi before dropping to 38, which tells you all you need to know about how good of a play this is.
- Hate: Kristaps Porzingis (PF/C). Seriously, bro. KP is atrocious. There is no other word we can more accurately use to describe this fool. Five games, only one above 26 FP, and even that one finished with the Unicorn at 36 fantasy points... My lord. Porzingis needed to prove his worth, but so far we’re not even close to that point. He’s gone down and down through the past few years be it because of injuries, a drop in ability, or whatever you want to think of. Porzingis, believe me, has one of the true worst contracts in the NBA these days and he’s widely overpaid. Shout out to my Knicks for dodging this bullet. Don’t put KP in your lineup tonight, or actually, never.
- Love: Tim Hardaway Jr. (SG/SF). If you know me, you know I don’t love Kristaps Porzingis that much. Well, it makes sense, before he hasn’t topped 30 FP more than once in the series against the Clippers, which... Meh. Timmy is the only non-Luka/PG/Kawhi player to do so, with two games of 30+ DKFP including a bombastic 41-FP performance back in G2 when he dropped 28 pops and 6 treys on LA. The other one came just a couple of days ago when THJr. joined Luka as the only Mavs to hit 35+ FP and he did so playing a freakish 45 (!!!) minutes on the night for a match-high. He wasn’t great, shooting 31% from the floor, but even then he finished with 20 points and went 5-for-5 from the free-throw line. Seven boards added some mojo to his line, which you also gotta like.
- Hate: Paul George (SG). I’m sorry for hating on Pauly, but I gotta go with someone. If you remember, not long ago we were talking about Pandemic P. And it is not that George has a super track-record prior to the bubble flop that speaks highly of him... George has been sent home packing more often than not and always find a way to disappoint in the postseason. In a must-win game tonight, against a seemingly (at least on paper) lower-quality team in Dallas, everything points toward a stupid game from Paul once more that sees him and LA going home to join the neighbor Lakers. The NBA will hate it because TV ratingz, but it is what it is. Kawhi forced the Clips to grab George to go along with him in this adventure. Two years later, well, he might have picked another partner. Good thing Kawhi is a free agent this summer and the Spurs have enough cap room. Cold world.
- Love: Marcus Morris (SF/PF). Not the best of series for Morris Sr. starting all five games so far, but a steady improvement from him is enough for me to consider playing him tonight. Morris has gone from a stupid 12 FP in the first two games to 20, 22, and finally 37 in G5. He needed all of 42 minutes to reach that mark, yes, but he still made the most of his run with 16 points and 4 treys to go with a packed 7-3-2-1 rest-of-line and a perfect 2-for-2 from the line. The shooting was average at just 38% from the floor, but the attempts were healthy at 13 FGA on the full game. Morris didn’t win you many slates throughout the year, sure, but this is it for him and the Clips, so I’m banking on experience and toughness and believing in Senior to keep the series running and forcing G7.
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!