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: Donovan Mitchell (PG/SG). Donovan comes rested, in peace with the medial department of the Jazz, and as hot as a sun—and getting hotter by the day. Mitchell played in G2 for the first time this postseason, and all he’s done since then is thriving. He’s gone from 31 to 41 to 49 to finally 57 in G5 to send Memphis packing. Not bad. Oh, and that explosion came in just 29 minutes of playing time, which yielded a ridiculous 1.90 FP/min for Dom. Mitchell has scored at least 25 pops in every first-round match, has paired that with 3-6-1 rest-of-line, is shooting above 45% from the floor on a more than healthy diet, and he’s been an addict to visiting the free-throw line. Not the easiest of matchups this one for a struggling Clips squad that suffered to get past Dallas and won’t have it easier facing Utah. Thanks to Mitchell, that is.
- Hate: Mike Conley (PG). Conley is questionable for the series tipoff tonight. If you remember, he was forced out of the finale against Memphis a few days ago after playing a low 11 minutes before suffering a hamstring injury. What I’m saying is, you’re risking your biscuit by putting Mikey in your lineup tonight as even if he plays Utah might limit his playing time. More concerning is what he did before that injury-derailed game, though, as he could only hit 30 FP in G4 while still playing 32 minutes in that one. The 11-3-7-1-1 line was stuffed but on the low, which we don’t love. Again, Conley had been great before that semi-stinker, but we’ll see how he deals with his new foes in LA’s before going ahead and rostering him.
- Love: Rudy Gobert (C). We might be getting too high on Utah or too low on Los Angeles, but it is what it is, folks. Both Mitchell and Gob Gob look like must-play players in tonight’s slate kicking off G1 of the Jazz vs. Clips series. Gobert has been sublime in the postseason so far with an average of 42 FPPG in his five first-round games to go with four dub-dubs and monster blocking numbers. That’s correct. Rudy has swatted 3.2 shots per game and fewer than 3 of them only once in G4. The shooting is always going to be sweet as Gob doesn’t know what stretching the floor means, and he’s also been good from the line attempting a good 6 FTA a night. You know you’re getting a dub-dub every day with Gobert, and he’s always a great ROI returner no matter what happens in games.
- Hate: Clint Capela (C). This is not about hating on Cap as much as it is making an exercise of logical reasoning involving him and John Collins. See, Cap finished G1 against Philly with an 11-10-0-1-1 line shooting 55% on 9 FGA. Collins finished with a 21-4-2-2 shooting 78% on 9 FGA. Cap scored 28 FP, Collins 33. The difference in salary is at $2K+ in tonight’s slate, and while obviously, Capela comes with the highest upside, the truth is that with a fully available 76ers in front of them, the Hawks balled toward JoCo more than Cap. If only for a game, I’d bet on Collins at a steep discount more than I would on Cap at his $7.8K price. If things go as they did in G1, odds are by the final game of the series the salaries have reversed with Collins the higher-tagged play. Take advantage while it lasts and ditch Captain Cap.
- Love: Tobias Harris (PG). Not the cheapest play as to consider him an under-the-radar guy, but an encouraging one going forward even with Embiid available and Benny Simmons sharing the floor too. Tobi hasn’t dropped from hitting 43 DKFP in the past four games, he’s played an average 36 MPG in those four matches, and the points have yet to fall from the 20s. In fact, Tobi has been this close to dub-dubbin in all four of those games, only missing on it in the first-round finale when he finished with 9 boards... but otherwise had his best game of the postseason to the tune of a full 28-9-6-3-1 line shooting 53% from the floor on 17 FGA and hitting 8-of-10 freebies. Harris has had his up-and-down moments throughout the regular season, but he’s cruising through the first few games of the postseason. We stan.
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!