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: Jrue Holiday (PG/SG). Holiday was forgettable in G1. He just didn’t have it, couldn’t hit a shot (28% from the floor), was used in less than 20% of Milwaukee’s possessions, and although he did a little bit of everything (10-7-9) his numbers were on the low side of things and he hurt himself with 3 TOs on the day. The adjustments worked wonders for him in G2, though, which bodes well for Jrue going back home for G3 tonight. Jrue put up a much more respectable 44 DKFP last Thursday to the tune of a 17-5-7-2-2 mega-stuffed line even though he shot a paltry 33% from the floor—yes, the shooting is slowly but surely positively regressing and will keep doing it going forward. Jrue has a monster playing next to him in Giannis (35% usage rate) but that can only help Holiday in the dimes department, while Middleton (if he doesn’t put on another stinker, which shouldn’t happen) can also help by taking some of the D attention. Holiday is already below Ayton’s salary, which is neat given his upside for just the sixth-highest salary of the slate.
- Hate: Chris Paul (PG). Jrue Holiday (actually, coach Mike B) came to his senses and covered CP3 on defense in G2 after not doing so in G1. The outcomes were, obviously, quite different for both men. While G1 was all about the Point God as he put up a 51+ DKFP game (32-4-9-1 line), then G2 was a semi-stinker to the tune of just 37 DKFP in 41 minutes of playing time with a meh 23-4-8-1 good-not-great line. Jrue, on the other hand, went from 29 FP to 44 himself, a much better outing considering the salary he came tagged with. The Suns, Paul thriving or not, were able to put the 2-0 in the series and now face a way easier path than Milwaukee to snatch the Larry O’B. It is not that Paul needs to do that much for Phoenix at least for a game or two (don’t get me wrong, you get where I come from) so I’d rather let his game marinate for a while and not risking a thing with him.
- Love: Deandre Ayton (C). Cheat code. That’s it, that’s all you need to know about Ayton for the Finals. Biggie Boiz are always hits in fantasy basketball because they rack up fantasy goodies with gusto. But Ayton is even better than that, folks. Ayton, debuting in the postseason—let alone the Finals—is mastering the game on a nightly basis. Two games against Milly, two performances of 48 and 44 DKFP to the tune of a 22-19 dub-dub in G1 followed by a lower-yet-stuffed 10-11-4-3-2 dub-dubbing line in G2. Seriously. I don’t know what the hell the Bucks are going to do to stop Deandre from killing them, and what is worse for the Bucks chances of reversing the trend, I don’t even know if it is possible for anyone to slow Ayton down. As I already said in past columns, there is no chance the algorithm tags Ayton as a top-4 salaried player with Giannis/Khris/CP3/Booker available. Exploit the bug in the system.
- Hate: Brook Lopez (C). It’s been two games and 50+ minutes of playing time for Lopez in a squad that just ditched deep rotations already in the Finals. Not even that has helped Brook become a viable fantasy player, so you better be fading him in a hurry. Lopez has scored 60 DKFP combined in the past two games, which is to say he’s got fewer fantasy points in two games than Giannis in G2 alone. LOL. Lopez should be doing more, but he’s not. He rocked a nice 28% usage rate in G1 that cratered to a silly 15% in G2. He attempted 14 shots, then just 10. He mans the zone, yet he’s shooting 45% from the floor and the 3 treys he hit in G1 went down to zero in G2. I mean, it’s obvious that Brook. Is. Cook’d.
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!