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: Pascal Siakam (PF). Is the algorithm reliable these days for DK folk trying to make money off frustrated fantasy GMs? Not sure. DK has Siakam tagged at a silly $7.2K salary tonight, in a game against the no. 2 (worst) D in the league in that of the Cavs, in a match that projects to see Pasky hit 40+ DKFP with gusto. I mean, no player has a higher projection in today’s slate while being tagged at a lower price than Siakam, and it is not even close. Only Sexton is approaching his potential ROI, but he falls a tad short with a 35 FP proj. That’s insane. Siakam has played only two games (both this week, though) since he was forced out of the squad on Feb. 24, but even then he’s been catching bodies in those two. Just in his last one: 50 FP to the tune of a 27-5-9-1 line, 4 treys, 41 percent FG%, and 5-for-5 on freebies at a massive 36% usage rate. Licking my chops.
- Hate: Tobias Harris (PF). “So why you do this, fool, if Tobi has just led the slate in fantasy points and thrived for the Sixers!?”, they’d say. I mean, yeah, Tobi just had a great game yesterday in which he reached a season-high 61 FP... against the Kangz of all squads. He did so in just over 30 minutes of playing time, which was insane, and finished with a near-trip-dub reading 29-11-8. Is that Tobi Daily-Tobi, though? Let me doubt it. Harris came back from the break a little bit shaky and had a couple of below-35-FP outings in his first two games since then, but he’s got to 40+ in all last four. That’s great, but that has also coincided with JoJo’s injury and with Ben Simmons missing one game and playing just 26 minutes in another one. Remember what happened when that same thing happened back on Feb. 15? That’s right, Tobi cooked himself a 58-FP game. Ben might be back tonight, New York has a middle-of-the-pack fantasy D, the Knicks come in rested compared to the back-to-back-playing Philly, and Tobi would need another 45+ FP night to make up for his high tag.
- Love: Zach LaVine (SG). I’m not 100 percent convinced yet, but it looks like LaVine is finally righting his wrongs after a few shaky games entering the second half of the season. Three consecutive games hitting 40+ FP look good to me. Zacharias has played some heavy 36 MPG this week in his three matches, he’s dropped at least 29 pops in each of them, hit 7, 3, and 3 treys in those outings and he’s been able to keep up a massive 61% shooting from the floor on 20+ FGA a day. The turnovers are back to reasonable numbers (2.2 in the last four) compared to what he had been doing not long ago, he’s visiting the line a lot, and the efficiency is plenty great—not that he needs it that much though, considering he’s logging league-leading MPG lately. Sounds like a must-play against a stupidly bad Pistons squad.
- Hate: Devin Booker (SG). It’s hard to know what will happen with Book and the Suns today considering the Lakers will most definitely sit LBJ after yesterday’s ankle scare. This is more about what might not be, rather than what it might be. What I mean is, the Suns are the second-best team in the West and the Lake Show will be hurting to get that W and cut the distance, but this match could very well be over in a couple of quarters if the LA role players can’t keep it at distance and Phoenix ends resting their starters for long stretches. I’m honestly betting on that happening tonight, even more on back-to-back nights of play for the Lakers. Book might sit two full quarters and still drop 40 FP or something like that, but he will need to have a resounding performance to make up for his incredibly high salary, the fourth most-expensive of the day. Look elsewhere for value as Book comes with high risks attached to his forehead—bonus Hate: CP3 for the same reasons.
- Love: Mason Plumlee (C). Cheapity-cheap play of the day. You know how it goes: biggies always put up numbers no matter what, so whenever they come on the low-salary side of things you gotta pounce. And that’s precisely what is going on with the Plum today. Mason is holding a low salary of $5.8K on the night, is facing Chicago, and is also averaging his very nice 30 FP on the year. That mark is nothing to be too proud of, I know, but we’re talking about a last-spot filler here who is going to start for Detroit, to play his customary 25+ minutes, and most probably to finish with a dub-dub nearing the 10-12 line with some dimes and swats on top of that. Plumlee’s ROI is always high because the salaries are ridiculously low for the production he plays at: this fool is putting up 1.29 FP/min in March, which is to say he’s a low-maintenance Randle/Kyrie/McCollum/LaVine.
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!