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/SG). If you thought CP3 was done after he sustained that soft injury against the Lakers in round one, thing again, folks. Paul was sublime against Denver in G1 putting up the highest FP mark among all eligible players and finishing second overall in the two-game slate on Monday. Not bad for the vet, who reached a 21-6-11-1 line shooting 57% on 14 FGA. The return on investment was quite high because the price is never high with Chris, which you gotta love. The Nuggets are hoping to welcome back Will Barton as soon as tonight, but I’m not entirely sure 1) that will happen, 2) it will have any impact on Paul at all, and 3) Barton will come back at a 100% percent. Keep playing Pauly for the time being and reap the rewards.
- Hate: Monte Morris (PG). With a barren backcourt, MoMo has to thrive. It’s either that or Denver getting cooked on a daily basis because the Nugs are betting on good performances from the likes of Facu Campazzo and Markus Howard, just imagine. Monte, though, was absolutely disastrous in his 23 minutes of playing time two days ago and was good for just 16 DKFP on the night. Ugh. The line closed at 2-1-6-2, which is already bad, but if you factor the shooting in—a ridiculous 1-of-10 from the floor—then things get even worse for Morris. Mo’ Monte, mo’ problems for the Nugs. Not liking this one just one bit, even less with Barton potentially getting back to the court even on a pitch count.
- Love: Deandre Ayton (C). Are we sure Ayton wasn’t worth the no. 1 draft pick? I know, I know. He was not if put into the proper context. But man, this kid is absolutely amazing and he has yet to take the foot off the gas. Another postseason game, another good performance facing the MVP of the regular season, no less. Ayton put up another playoffs dub-dub to the tune of a rounded 20-10 pair of stats on points and boards, to go with a single steal on the day. The usage is always going to be low on offense because he doesn’t know how to share a dime and the shots are always going Book/Paul’s way. Even then, though, you know Ayton will give you his 10+ boards and tons of paint points as that’s where he excels. Classic biggie boy with nightly upside no matter who’s in front of him.
- Hate: Michael Porter Jr. (C). Michael Porter suffered no unexpected issues as to expect him to put up his G1 kinda-dud. MPJ played 31 minutes but he averaged a league-average 0.91 FP/min, which was a mark that is not going to cut it for fantasy GMs nor IRL Denver staffers. He wasn’t entirely bad with 15 points, 7 rebounds and a couple of dimes, and he even hit 3 treys, but he would need to double all of those numbers if the Nugs really want to have a shot at upsetting the Suns and to get back to last year’s conference finals level. It is going to be a toughie, but somehow reasonable knowing MPJ is a little bit of a bouncy fantasy play.
- Love: Mikal Bridges (SF). Not only was Bridges good in G1, but he was also great. Mikal finished with the highest ROI among eligible players in that two-game slate after putting up 44 FP in 34 minutes while tagged at a ridiculously low $4.8K. That compared to MPJ’s $7.1K, or even Aaron Gordon’s $5.5K. Dawg. Bridges dropped a game-high 23 pops in just 12 shots (4 treys) and stuffed the line with a 5-5-2-1 rest-of. The shooting couldn’t be much more efficient with a tasty 86.3 percent true shooting and the turnovers were kept at bay committing just one (to go with only 1 PF too) for what turned out to be a critical performance to kick this series off. Here’s hoping he can keep it up.
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!