Welcome to your daily NBA DFS digest at FakeTeams, 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: Richaun Holmes (PF/C). The discount is real over here. Holmes projects to return the highest value tonight and considering he and the Kangz are facing the big-less Wiz, it makes sense. On top of that, Washington has the fourth-worst fantasy D around the L, so go figure. Holmes has been a delicious play all year long, is putting up 13-9 lines with 1.5 swats per night, playing 30 MPG, shooting 65 percent from the floor (and even hitting the eventual trey here and there!), and is an above-average player (with room to spare) in terms of FP/min efficiency and production. With Marvin Bagley out injured for whoever knows the time, it will all be about Rich in the paint. Just peep at his last three games off the break: 40, 38, and 58 FP, including that last one against a Hornets squad on which he unveiled the 17-15-6-2-4 line we all dream of having in our lineups. Oh, by the way, this is the second leg of a series against Charlotte.
- Hate: LaMelo Ball (PG). Speaking of Hornets... Melo has stung you hard of late, hasn’t he? Since we came back from the AS break, Ball has sandwiched a great game against Toronto between a couple of 26- and 29-FP turds versus Detroit... and Sacramento two days ago. Sacramento is out there tonight once more, and yes, LaMelo played just 26 the other day but he still didn’t reach the levels he’s shown earlier on the year. It’s obviously a small sample to make deep conclusions, but Ball has come shaking a bit from that stoppage of play yet he still carries a price as high as a Georgia pine at $8.5K. Makes sense to find every player with a salary above Melo’s projecting to more FP, but what is worrying is that 15 (!!!) guys below his tag also project to more than his 35 FP for tonight. Fade.
- Love: Jaylen Brown (SG/SF). The difference in price between Jaylen and Jayson amounts to a monster $1.5K today. That’s insane. Brown is averaging 40 FP on the season compared to Tatum’s 44. That distance in points doesn’t correlate with the distance in prices, even less when these two have very similar, scoring-driven games. Tatum is putting up a 25-7-4-1 line while Brown is at 24-5-4-1 although Tatum is playing almost two more MPG. Against a tough squad in Utah yesterday, Brown had his best game since Jan. 22. No joke. 39 minutes on the floor, 28 pops, 5 boards, 7 dimes, a couple of thefts, and a block to round it all up. The shots were high at 21 FGA but that didn’t impact Brown’s percentages as he connected on 57% of those shots. Looking good against a putrid Cavs D (second-worst league-wide) tonight.
- Hate: Ben Simmons (PG/SF). Simmons missed the first game back from The Weekend due to COVID tracing, and Embiid got injured in that game. Philly has played two games since, and Ben has been out there in the two of them. Results have not been great, though. Simmons got it moderately right yesterday against the Knicks, but before that, it had been three games in a row falling below 34 FP, and overall he’s dropped below 40 FP in five of his last seven, and below 44 FP in all of them going back to Feb. 21. While those outcomes aren’t bad, the truth is that we’re talking about a top-tier player carrying top-end salaries nightly but not returning enough value to his truthers. The fantasy points are going to be there every day; this kid is going to drop 15 pops and contrib some 5-5 baseline on the boards and dimes cats effortlessly, but I’m happy with that level of production for someone tagged at $9K. Look for better guys out there in the slate.
- Love: Buddy Hield (SG/SF). Buddy is way underrated, man. I will never grow tired of repeating it. This guy is a borderline $6K player, yet he’s putting up 16-5-3-1 lines while shooting 39/37/85. Those splits are barely palatable, right? For sure, but Hield is shooting a monster 14 FGA per game and throwing 10+ 3PA toward the rim nightly, which is bonkers, and he’s doing so while logging 35 MPG nightly. The volume is so high that just on sheer brute force is getting there and yielding absolute freakish ROI value. It’s been four of six games hitting 40+ FP while topping at 51 DKFP back on March 3. Since Feb. 28 Buddy is averaging 22 PPG, 5 RPG, 5 APG, and 5 3PG while on a low 21% usage rate and never priced at more than $6.6K. Must-play until the algorithm starts to catch up.
What’s cooking? Statistical trends from Week 11-12 (Mar. 1 to Mar. 14)
- Man, was that a long-ass break or what? I’m cooking the weekly recap through the past couple of weeks, but that doesn’t mean the span contained a ton of games due to the AS weekend taking place in the middle of it.
- The last time we checked, if you remember, it was Giannis with 65 FP who led all NBA players on that leaderboard. Well, turns out we have a new leader in James Harden, who put up a ridiculous 67 DKFP on average among players with 4+ games played in the past two weeks. Hard to see Harden getting MVP-love, but this fool has been absolutely insane since moving northeast to Brooklyn.
- As impossible as it sounds, Nikola Jokic also managed to cross the 60-DKFP barrier even though he played 5 games. Jokic closed the last couple of weeks averaging 62 FP himself, an absolutely crazy mark.
- Harden’s dominance also popped in his line through the four games he played: 26-11-12-2-1 was his average performance in those while logging some 41 MPG. Say what!? A ton of players finished that two-week span dub-dubbing, but none other than James trip-dubbed. Jokic was close at 30-12-9, same as Giannis with a 27-10-8 and Sabonis with his 17-10-8.
- The ridiculous MPG number of Harden (40.8) killed his per-minute fantasy production. Giannis kept that no. 1 spot with 1.71 FP/min in 34.3 MPG throughout the span, followed by Jokic, Harden, Westbrook, and Butler.
- Jimmy Butler was the most stable among top-tier performers with a deviation of just 6 DKFP in his 4 games played while averaging 57 FP. His scores read 51, 62, 52, and 62. Not bad.
- Silly cheap values: Kira Lewis, Rodney McGruder, Cameron Payne, Jaxson Hayes, Abdel Nader, Robert Williams, Nicolas Claxton, Jaylen Nowell, Cory Joseph, Reggie Jackson, Isaiah Stewart, Furkan Korkmaz, Dario Saric, Nickeil Alexander-Walker.
- A little more expensive but still with massive ROI: Kelly Olynyk, Rudy Gobert, Carmelo Anthony, Josh Richardson, Buddy Hield, Robert Covington, Danilo Gallinari, Maxi Kleber, Will Barton, Ja Morant
- Some very expensive players not doing enough: Bradley Beal, Karl-Anthony Towns, Julius Randle, Zach LaVine, Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, Khris Middleton, Jamal Murray, Jarrett Allen, Jaylen Brown, Dejounte Murray
- Cheap points (min. 3 games played): Jordan Poole, Kevin Porter, Nowell, Saric, Korkmaz, Reggie Jackson, Ellington, Pokusevski, Mykhailiuk, Shamet, Brook Lopez, McGruder
- Cheap threes: Ellington, Mykhailiuk, Nowell, Shamet, Poole, Korkmaz, Reggie Jackson, Forbes, Kleber, Pritchard, Poku
- Cheap boards: Poku, Moses Brown, Tristan Thompson, Zubac, Baynes, Stewart, Kleber, Markieff Morris, Connaughton, Winslow, Vanderbilt
- Cheap dimes: Kevin Porter, Mykhailiuk Satoransky, Payne, Saen Lee, Reggie Jackson, Raul Neto, Mannion, Chasson Randle, Rondo
- Cheap steals: Thybulle, Wagner, Patton, Mykhailiuk, Kira, McGruder, Cory Joseph, Kevin Porter, Mannion, Nader
- Cheap blocks: Brook Lopez, Patrick Beverley, Vanderbilt, Nicolas Claxton, McGee, Patton, Jaxson Hayes, Biyombo, Stewart, Naz Reid
- Cheap FG% (min. 8 FGA): Tristan Thompson, Saric, Poole, McGruder, Cory Joseph, Korkmaz, Shamet, Nowell, Reggie Jackson, Brook Lopez, Ellington
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!