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NBA DFS: Devin Booker and best/worst DraftKings daily fantasy basketball plays for Thursday, Mar. 18th

Duds and studs. Good and bad plays. We take a look at the past and upcoming NBA games to let you know what’s going on and how to tackle your DraftKings plays.

Indiana Pacers v Phoenix Suns Photo by Barry Gossage/NBAE via Getty Images

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: Devin Booker (SG/SF). Booker's first 17 games this season: 34 FP per game. Booker’s last 17: 42 FP per game. The difference is substantial, yet Book is still flying under the radar. Two times has Dev fallen below 20 points in a single match going all the way back to Feb. 8, and in those two matches he still dropped 17 and 16 in just 24 and 30 minutes. His dimes have gone up like hell, and although so have the turnovers he’s making up for it with greater usage rates and higher FGA marks and therefore more buckets to compensate. That’s correct. Booker has gone from shooting 48% on 17 FGA per to shooting 52% on 20 FGA. Feed the Book, and the Book will reward you. Dev projects to the most FP tonight among players tagged below $9K other than Zion and Mitchell, and his projection is above that of more expensive players such as SGA, Gobert, LaMelo, and Ingram.
  • Hate: LaMelo Ball (PG). Back-to-back hates. Hard to believe, but we right there. Four games since the AS weekend and all LaMelo has done is getting 125 FP combined, which means he’s averaging a stupid 31 per game these days... That, simply put, stinks. Only once has Ball broken the 30-FP mark in those four games and that outlier is the only thing saving him from a horrific span. The skid is real and Melo is struggling to fix it. The Lake Show is on the schedule today, and the Lakers (AD or not) have a tough as nails D that might clamp him and force him into another atrocious game that would kill your lineup for the third time in a row. With an uptick in usage has come a downtick in production, and although the minutes have been low the truth is that on a per-minute basis Melo has looked no more than your average player in three of those last four games.
  • Love: Jordan Clarkson (PG/SG). The Jazz are facing the Washington tonight, and although the Wiz seemed to be getting it finally right before the break, that’s not anymore the case. Oh, and they have the fourth most-friendly fantasy-D in the L. Clarkson isn’t quite the lock to snatch the 6POY yet, but he’s getting there each passing day. J-Clark is putting up nightly 15+ point-performances since coming back with 15, 21, and 20 pops in his three games since the break playing 21, 25, and 31 minutes. The boards fall to his hands, he dishes out dimes even while stuck in the second unit, and he’s still shooting 15 rocks a day while hitting 41 percent of them from the field and hitting 3+ treys per game. The Jazz could very well put on some distance early and hand Clarkson more minutes than those he should normally get, which might turn him into a slate-winning player today.
  • Hate: CJ McCollum (PG/SG). Read below.
  • Love: Enes Kanter (C). Let’s pack CeeJay and Kant in a single blurb, as that makes the most sense. First things first, don’t be scared. Kanter has been horrific for the past two games, the last one coinciding with CJ’s comeback. It’s reasonable, as CJ will get a lot of touches and log high usage rates (28% a couple of days ago), but that doesn’t necessarily have to take from Kanter’s upside. Kanter’s usage went down from 18% to like 16%, which is a minimal drop. The problem was that he just grabbed 5 boards and scored 10 points on 6 FGA. That is hard to see repeating itself, McCollum available or not. The last time Kanter pulled down 5 or fewer boards was on Feb. 17 and that hasn’t happened since Jan. 13 prior to that. He also didn’t dish out a single dime, which is a rare occurrence. McCollum himself comes with a higher price than Kanter, yet he might take a bit for him to ramp up his game after putting up a low 10-4-2 line shooting a putrid 27% from the floor on an already healthy 11 FGA. That, I don’t like for now. For the same upside (and biggies always have higher upsides) and a small discount, I’d rather keep playing Kanter for a while instead of betting on CJ, much less with Lillard on a steady Dame Time Mode and Portland feeding him to death.

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!