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). Everybody agrees, and it makes all of the sense. Book is going to bounce back in a hurry, and there is nothing stopping that. Three games played already, and only two below-45-DKFP performances by Book to go along with a G3 stinker of 20 fantasy points. What were the odds? Booker shooting has gone from 38% to 48% and finally to a ground-level 21% on 14 FGA his last time out on Sunday. That was a 20-point blowout, so it is not that he found himself in the best situation to excel, but even then the performance was one to forget. The Finals have not been good for Book at any point, and Book’s better game ended with Dev dropping just 31 pops in 44 minutes. No bueno, amigo. Here we’re banking on Booker getting his thing together in time for G4, and that would most probably mean the Suns are going to put up an insurmountable 3-1 lead that will virtually end the Bucks run. Nothing to hate here, folks.
- Hate: Deandre Ayton (C). Ayton’s game is turning into something a bit concerning of late if only because he’s gone from playing 40 minutes to just 24 in G3. What? I know, that’s stupid out of context. But the underlying events are clear: Ayton has committed 3 PF, then 4, and finally 5 in G3 limiting his playing time and defensive presence against Giannis and the Bucks squad. So Milly went to work in the paint and—more than anyone—Giannis ate the Suns alive attempting and hitting a thousand shots in the zone. With Dario Saric out for good and no other viable biggie around, Ayton needs to stay on the court, available, and without getting into foul trouble. But it’s starting to look worse by the day for him. The FP have dropped from 48 to 44 and lastly 30, and they have also gone down a bit on a per-minute basis. Let the postseason-rook marinate for a day or two and then we’ll see.
- Love: Jrue Holiday (PG/SG). Factor the playing time into the equation, and Khris Middleton has plainly suck through the first three games of the series. Midd is averaging a paltry 0.85 FP/min, which is 0.05 FP/min below the average NBA player performing levels. I mean... Jrue, on the other hand, struggled on G1 (0.72 FP/min) but bounced back quickly with back-to-back games above a fantasy point per minute with tallies of 44 (no. 2 on G2’s slate) and 43 (no. 2) DKFP in the last couple of matches. The Bucks better be thanking him because with Middleton a bit shaky and Giannis still gearing up—although, obviously, already putting on nightly shows—Milly has needed everything Jrue has done and then some. Jrue only got his shooting right in G3 when he hit 57% of his attempts after putting up a bad 31% from the floor on 35 FGA combined in the first two games; it was just a matter of time, as his line is rather packed at an average 16-6-8-1-1 through the third.
- Hate: Mikal Bridges (SF). Aside from P.J. Tucker—which is unsurprisingly stinking for fantasy purposes as he’s always been—the worst starter of the Finals has been Mikal Bridges. That’s right. He’s playing a healthy 32 minutes a game, his salary is not the highest but far from the cheapest, and on top of a bad 21.5 FPPG mark he’s been massively volatile with a 17-point deviation in the three games. Simply put and in other words, Bridges has finished with 20, 40 , and 5 DKFP in the last three matches he’s played. That’s bonkers bouncy, man, and as risky as it gets. Sunday’s game was a one-sided affair and not a lot should be extracted from it, but 5 DKFP is just stupid for someone who is a fixed starter playing 27+ minutes. 4-2-2 was the line and 4 the FGA with a usage rate that cratered to a ridiculous 13.4%. That better change before I cross this Bridge(s) again.
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!