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). I have very hard to trust Paul given his series so far, but the truth is that he showed some positive signs in G5 even on defeat. We’ve reached the win-or-go-home point in the Finals for the Suns, and that means that it’s CP3 Time. I know, I know. This is absolutely uncharted territory for the vet because he’s never been even remotely close to these heights, but if there is anyone that should be expected to thrive in this environment that’s Paul. After getting worse and worse for the last few games, Paul came back to his senses last Saturday reaching 42 DKFP in just 35 minutes for a tasty 1.16 FP/min. Nobody is touching Giannis. Nobody is touching Book. And as things are going, nobody is touching Jrue. But below those three, Paul definitely looks like the best value entering Tuesday and the one with the highest upside for the cheapest salary.
- Hate: Khris Middleton (PF/C). The Bucks better end building a statue of Giannis outside the Fiserv Forum. And also, the Bucks better not mention Khris at all when referring to these Finals in the statue’s plaque. Not hating here, folks, just stating what should happen given this Middleton’s run toward the chip. Bad? Nope. Good-not-great? You bet. In the five games against the Suns, Midd has only topped 40 DKFP once in G4 while he is supposedly Milly’s no. 2 guy and second fiddle to Giannis’ no. 1 honcho role. The scoring hasn’t really been there all series long as he’s scored more than 30 pops only once (yes, again in that 40-pop explosion) and there is no reason for that. He’s shooting tons of rocks, going to the free-throw line, logging good usage rates, and everything you want to highlight. But he’s just not getting it compared to the likes of Book and—more concerning for his upside—his teammate Jrue, who has been outstanding of late in helping Milwaukee getting just one game from the title.
- Love: Jae Crowder (SF/PF). This type of game always follows the same script: someone comes totally out of the left field and has the game of his life just to screw with you and leave you wondering what the hell just happened. That obviously has to involve a role player, and while there could be a super surprise when it comes to who will that be, odds are Crowder is our man. Not a lot of players are getting minutes this deep into the series with rotations down to just seven players per team. Crowder has been out there forever, but as expected his usage rate hasn’t even reached the 20% mark since Jun. 7 (!!!) when the Suns were opening the series against the Nugs. Just imagine. Crowder has been a 24 FPPG player throughout the postseason, but he’s put up three straight games above 26 DKFP with four of those at 30+ fantasy points. The last two matches’ average line reads 12-6-3-2-1 and he’s shooting 57% in Phoenix’s three losses. Give me a ridiculous game from Jae in G6 to keep the Suns alive and for carrying us all to a marvelous G7.
- Hate: Giannis Antetokounmpo (PF/C). If all of what I just wrote above with the three other picks is going to happen, it probably means Giannis has to put up a dud. Honestly, don’t do this. Don’t fade Giannis even if you trust my brain and think it is a functioning thing. But who knows. Maybe the Suns put on a show, destroy the Bucks, and they opt to sit their starters for long. Maybe Giannis had a 30-minute game in which he ends limited to, say, 30 DKFP and truly upsets his bettors. Maybe, just maybe, Giannis gives us another chance to watch him before we reach the cold season of the year. Let’s hope that happens so we can enjoy G7.
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!