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: Khris Middleton (SG/SF). Not that much to say here. With Giannis most probably missing G6 and Trae potentially back although banged-up, odds are Khris racks up the most DKFP among all eligible players. Jrue should be another sound play tonight, but let’s be real for a second and acknowledge Khris as the safest play of the slate. This is one of the cases where paying a top-dollar price for a guy makes sense with Milly playing for the Finals. I still don’t believe I am writing this after the Bucks have flopped so many times in the past, but here we are. Midd has not been fantastic by any means through the fill ECF, for sure, but he’s gotten to 64 and 61 FP in two games, and with Giannis out that’s probably on Khris’ horizon if only while the Greek stays out. Masterful outing last Thursday with a sweet 26-13-8-2-1 stuffed dub-dub nearing triple-double territory, and that was with a low 21% usage rate.
- Hate: Brook Lopez (C). All stars aligned last Thursday for Brook Lopez to thrive. With Giannis out for good and the paint open for Lopez to work it without clogging Giannis’ path to the rim, the twin went to work, and oh boy was he sublime. He went all the way to reach 57 DKFP on the night, which meant he had his best game since... forever! Brook’s prior-best came in G7 against Brooklyn, but he could only put up 45 FP in that one, and he had just another 40+ fantasy-point game all season long, that one coming Mar. 15 against the Wiz. What I mean is that there is just no way Lopez puts on another such show. What are the chances, really? Even if Giannis remain out and Atlanta doesn’t adjust that much its defensive to counter Brook’s role, he’d need to have another monster game, which I just can’t believe will come his way. Lopez put up season-marks all across the board with 33 points, 7 boards, 2 steals, and 4 (!) blocks while shooting the ball a crazy 18 times hitting shots at a 78% clip... Come on, folks.
- Love: Bogdan Bogdanovic (SF). BogBog is banged up, and that’s something that can’t be argued and that is actually impacting his game and his fantasy upside. That being said, though, he’s been absolutely fantastic in the last two games reaching 40+ DKFP in back-to-back nights against the Bucks. Bog’s three-point shooting has come back to sky-high heights with the Euro hitting 6 and 7 treys in his last couple of outings. The points have been at or above 20 pops in those two, and the rest of the line quite stuffed to the tune of a 24-4-4-2 only without blocks. Plenty of shots with 19 and 22, a shooting percentage that should get even higher (41% in the past two games), and almost no turnovers adorn Bogdo’s line. Trae might be back and taking some possessions off Bogdan, but that doesn’t mean ‘Danovic won’t start or lose all of his upside tonight in a do-or-die G6 for the Hawks.
- Hate: Lou Williams (PG/SG). Lou didn’t expect to start a game in the playoffs, until the situation forced him—or better said coach Nate McMillan—to do so. Chicken wings for Lou Will, though, as he finished his two starts in G4 and G5 with 21 and 17 pops scored. That’s cool and all, but he could only really put on a viable fantasy performance in G4 when he combined his 21 points with a 5-8-1 rest-of-line in an über-efficient game in which he shot 78% from the floor on just 9 FGA while turning the ball over only once and hitting 5-of-6 freebies. That was it for Lou, sadly. Even playing 35 minutes starting last Thursday, all Lou could do was dishing out five dimes, steal a rock, and pull down a couple of boards. The 24 DKFP on the night were rather putrid, and that is considering he was on a prime position to excel with both Atlanta and Milly missing players. That’s closer to a reasonable expectation than his absolute outlier of a game in G4. Clear fade—Trae Young available or not.
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!