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). I was having an internal debate regarding Dev and Kyrie for the leading play in tonight’s slate. The salary difference was more than enough to make me go Book. Dev and his Suns are in the second round. The second round! After 54 years without playoff basketball in the desert! And what does Denver lack? Guards. So what will happen? Explosion coming Booker’s way. Now, this being the playoffs, that will be tough. But man, if we judge by Booker’s last outing things can’t look much more encouraging, can they? As if sending the Lakers home wasn’t enough, Booker put up 49 DKFP in the second-to-last game he played against LA and closed the series with a silly 71 FP to the tune of a 41-11-3 line with 8 (!!!) triples and a block to spare, hitting 68% of all 22 FGA and going 9-for-9 from the free-throw linE. Not saying it will happen again any time soon, but that’s Dev’s insane ceiling, and if there is a game prone to explosions that’s G1 before adjustments are made deeper into the series.
- Hate: Khris Middleton (SF/PF). I expect Khris to put himself a little bit more in the Middle of this thing as the series progress, but I’m not convinced it’ll happen as soon as today. It’s been two rough games in a row for KM, who hasn’t topped 32 DKFP in any of those two matches. G4 against Miami gets a slight pass because Milly was pretty much demolishing the Heat and he only played 24 minutes attempting five low field goals hitting four of them. The line finished at 17-2-3 on that one. The first game against Brooklyn was a little bit more concerning considering the 36 minutes and 13-13-4 line. I know, that’s not bad, but it is far from great and the shooting was absolutely atrocious at a paltry 26% on 23 FGA. That’s wasting possessions as hell, and this fool used 28% of them. Not liking that outlook.
- Love: Jrue Holiday (PG/SG). Jrue had his worst game of the postseason so far last Saturday in Milly’s second-round debut against BKN. He could only reach 34 FP on the day with a near-dub-dub of 17-9-6 hitting a couple of three and shooting rather bad (37%) compared to his full postseason mark of 49% from the floor. That should rebound back a bit tonight, and again, Jrue fall just one board short of dub-dubbing while posting his lowest assist-mark since G1 of the first round (he had 9, 12, and 15 in the other three games). Jrue has been fantastic for Milwaukee so far and with Harden out for BKN it definitely seems like the Bucks are the one having an actual Big 3 these days.
- Hate: Deandre Ayton (C). Ayton’s postseason debut, pretty much like Booker’s, has been absolutely insane. DA put up four straight dub-dubs for the Suns in the first round after coming back down to Earth in the last. While it was true that he only played 27 and 32 minutes in those two matches, he was still bad on a per-minute basis averaging just 0.71 and 0.41 FP/min. That can’t repeat itself going forward if Phoenix wants to advance... but it should also be factored in that Ayton will be banging against Jokic in the paint instead of the troika of Drummond/Harrell/Gasol. That’s quite a step up in toughness, folks, and Ayton—even if he’s looked great so far—is a rook going against the upcoming MVP. Not liking this play at least until we see how things look for these two squads when it comes to the Ayton/Jokic matchup.
- Love: Chris Paul (PG). CP3 is definitely not going to win you the slate. He’s not been that type of player since the postseason started, averaging a low 27 FP against the Lakers in six games while playing just 29 MPG. Paul, though, has been really efficient and a fantastic ROI player given his ground-level salary day in and day out. The baseline is low at some 8-3-7 or something of the like, although the usage rate has been rising a bit of late and the shooting percentages should bounce back at least a bit after back-to-back 33% performances from the floor. Don’t expect sky-high shot attempts because they are not coming, but CP3 should be good for some 40% accuracy and comes with dub-dub upside on the points and dimes departments.
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!