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: Clint Capela (C). The Sixers are making us wait. That’s cool and all because it’s reasonable for them to not unveil what they’ll do with Joel Embiid given his injury concern and questionable status for G1. Obviously, they know much more than we do—and what they’re putting out there. I would bet on Philly holding onto playing JoJo for at least a game because it’s not like they can waste chances and having Embiid re-injuring himself down the road would be a killer. With such a gaping hole in the paint, it will be about Captain Clint for the Hawks in G1. While Capela has struggled a bit throughout the last months of games, he’s still a perennial dub-dubber with nightly upside. He had it rough in the first two games against NY but then bounced back with three consecutive 10-12 baselines and an actual 12-14 average line that included four combined dimes and four combined blocks in those three games. With no Embiid and Trae getting most of the D’s attention, it’s all pointing in the right direction for Cap.
- Hate: Kristaps Porzingis (PF/C). There is something becoming more and more clear each passing game of the first-round series between Dallas and Los Angeles: remember the trade the Mavs completed with New York a few years back? Well, that’s more the “Tim Hardaway Trade” and less the “Kristaps Porzingis Trade”, folks. It is what it is. Timmy is the player making a true impact in Dallas, not KP. We will remember the deal more because of Kristaps completely dropping the ball and busting hard, obviously, but we should entirely focus on Tim Hardaway when really assessing the real value Dallas extracted from the trade. Porzingis is just an afterthought these days, and sadly it’s Luka-or-nothing for the Mavs here. Back-to-back performances with fewer than 10 points and seven rebounds shooting at or below 50%... In the six games already played, KP has grabbed all of 27 boards, not even good for a 5 RPG average, has scored a stupid 12 PPG, and his shots have gone down from 13 FGA to just 6 and 7 in the past two games. Ugly as hell.
- Love: Trae Young (PG). Not much to say about Trae at this point. He will obviously get molly-covered in defense when in possession of the rock, and that will be a true test against the likes of Benny Simmons and Matisse Thybulle. Or maybe it goes the other way around? Young is a serial killer, and it’s more probable that those d-men suffer against the point guar rather than the opposite. Trae has reached at least 41 FP in all of his first-round games, has averaged a ridiculous 49 FPPG in those five, and his line read 29-3-10 against the Knicks even though he wasn’t that great on the shooting front hitting field goals at a 44.7% clip. The freebies are coming his way in bunches, the Hawks are trash-talking their way through the playoffs, and with Embiid's shaky health impacting Philly I’m not ruling out a series upset from the Hawks. Watch out.
- Hate: Paul George (SG). This is the D Day! Yay! Pandemic P about to make an appearance for the ages in the brightest of stages! It’s all about Luka hitting a three-point dagger-buzzer-beater tonight in Paul’s face. Can’t wait! Truth be told, George has been great. Can’t lie about that. 50+ DKFP in three of the last five games speak for themselves. Now, he had a very stinky dud in G4 when he only reached 36 FP to the tune of a 20-9-3 line shooting a paltry 37% on a healthy 16 FGA. I’m not saying that’s bad, but the bang for the buck was just not there, and if you had to bet on someone carrying the Clippers to the second round that’d be Kawhi. Paul’s salary has sky-rocketed of late and that means he either hits 50+ fantasy points or he would be cooking your whole lineup for the bad. Not liking this one.
- Love: Tobias Harris (SF/PF). What a hot streak of games from Tobi, folks. Five games in the first round against a lowly Wiz in which all Tobi did was averaging a ridiculous 47 FPPG. And that is factoring in a G2 in which he just played 23 minutes. Remove that outlier from the series and the other four matches go up to an average 26-10-4-1 line with 50 FPPG. Bonkers. The usage is high on a nightly basis, but with Embiid more than probably out tonight, odds are Tobi sees a 30%+ usage rate in G1 facing the Hawks. Not the best of matchups for him judging by early-season games, but I wouldn’t focus too much on that and rather look at his role without JoJo around, which happened at some points through the RS turning Tobi into a monster play.
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!