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: Karl-Anthony Towns (C). Read Julius’ blurb.
- Hate: Julius Randle (PF/C). Check this out, because it is very important. This Love/Hate pairing is the key move of the day. KAT and Julius have the fourth- and fifth-highest salaries of the slate, and those are separated by a meaningless $100 in a matchup that will pit one against the other tonight. This is me risking my reputation here, folks, as these are two of the top-heavy dogs right here, and I can only pick one and ditch the other one. It’s all about KAT, though. Julius in on a very bad two-game skid in which he’s played 37 and 36 minutes yet only reached 32 and 35 FP against the Wiz and the Heat. He shot 31% in the former, and was absolutely destroyed by Bam in the latter. He can bounce back, sure, but even if he goes and reaches his 49 FP from the last time he faced Minny, he would still fall short of KAT’s exploits.
Karl, in that same Feb. 21 game against the Knicks, put up a massive 61 FP to the tune of a silly 27-15-4-1-3 line shooting an average 50% on just 18 FGA and committing 5 PF. I mean. He could have absolutely reached 70 FP wasn’t it because of his troubles, as he dropped those 61 FP in... 31 freaking minutes on the court. That’s bonkers. Not only that, but KAT has been insane of late. Back-to-back-to-back 64, 46, and 62 FP and four-of-five games reaching 56+ DKFP. Jeez. The average line in the past two weeks for Towns: 30-11-5, a block, and a 53% shooting stroke. Damn, son.
- Love: Jimmy Butler (SF). Read Sabonis’ blurb.
- Hate: Domantas Sabonis (PF/C). The algorithm is stupid as they come. Jimmer is tagged at $8.8K on the day. That’s nothing cheap, sure, but that is also nothing expensive considering this fool’s exploits. Butler is dishing out 47 FP per game on the year, doing it on all fronts (21+ PPG, 7+ RPG, 7+ APG, 2 SPG, 48/40/83 shooting splits), and is one of the less scoring-dependent players out there, which is great for us fantasy nuts. Jimmer put up 42 and 34 FP in his last couple of games, and reached 50 on March 21... against Indy! Guess who’s at the other end today. You right, mate. Butler cooked the Pacers for a neat 21-15-7 on the day, logged 42 minutes (wut), and did it all on a near-season-low 22% usage rate. Can’t get much better than that.
Dom, though... Back-to-back great outings getting into this match, but those two games against Miami on Mar. 19 and Mar. 21 have me doubting him big time. All Sab Jr. could do was putting up a not-so-valuable 39 and 37 FP against a Heat squad that burnt Sabonis’ butt. I’m not doubting this man’s talent and his near-baseline of a 20-10, of course, but check the salaries and you’ll see why Butler is the man. Fading Sab in favor of Jim.
- Love: Dejounte Murray (PG). Sneaky play this one, at a measly $7K price tag on the day. Dejounte has been balling for the Spurs, is putting up a sweet 1.13 PF/min on the year, and he’s doing it mixing and matching stat lines. The season line sits currently at a stuffed 16-7-5-1 with just 1.7 TOs per game. It’s been three in a row for Murray hitting 39+ FP, dropping 14+ pops, pulling down 6+ boards, and dishing out 7+ dimes in each of those. In each of those, I said. 18-7-7-1 is even better than his year-long line, and his 1.20 FP/min in those last three are better than his usual self too. Quite the stretch to squeeze this Mu before the algorithm catches up.
What’s cooking? Statistical trends from Week 13 (Mar. 22 to Mar. 28)
- Joel Embiid is out. LeBron James is out. Nobody is believing—for some reason—in James Harden’s chances. All of that, combined with Nikola Jokic's seemingly ever-improving numbers, is making the Joker the clear-cut and leading MVP candidate of the 2021 season. Another week of games, another lead for Jokic at the top of last week’s fantasy leaderboard thanks to his 57 FP per game. Jokic was the only player to break the 55-fantasy point barrier on the deadline week.
- It was a rather weird week when it comes to those making it to the top of the board, as the names behind Jokic are not your usual ones. Zion finished second, followed by De’Aaron Fox, Karl-Anthony Towns, Russ, Donovan Mitchell, Kawhi, Siakam, Tatum, Young, Wall, and Sabonis. Again, not your usual suspects.
- Although Jokic was the best player on a per-game basis, Donovan Mitchell edged him with a 1.68 FP/min compared to Jokic’s 1.64. Makes sense, considering Mitchell played just 31 MPG to Jokic’s 34 in the same span and number of games (four each).
- Of the top-10 players in this past week’s leaderboard, only two finished with an FP-deviation below 3 FP (min. 3 GP). Kawhi (1.9) and Mitchell (2.2) were the best two, with Mitchell’s effort being notable given he played one more game than Kawhi, logged more FP/G, and all of his matches ended in between 49-and-54 FP. Solid as a rock.
- Surprise, surprise. Russ was the lone player putting up a trip-dub through the week with a 15-14-10 line in three games played averaging 35 MPG. The FP/G mark was high at 53, but not enough to top the leaderboard. Only Jokic (25-10-8) finished close enough to the trip-dub line this past week.
- Silly cheap values: Mann, Ariza, Thanasis, Kira Lewis, Juan Hernangomez, Aminu, Bitadze, Luwawu-Cabarrot, Nico Mannion, McLemore.
- A little more expensive but still with massive ROI: Moses Brown, Jalen Brunson, NAW, Monk, Burks, Barrett, Covington, Anunoby, Kanter, Nunn, Hardaway Jr., Millsap.
- Some very expensive players not doing enough: Beal, Simmons, LaVine, DeRozan, Wood, Booker, Lowry, Ingram, Hayward, Chris Paul, Jerami Grant, PJ Washington, Aaron Gordon
- Cheap points (min. 3 games played): Monk, Brunson, Mann, Grayson Allen, McLemore, Ellington, Okeke, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Juan Hernangomez, McDermott, Kira, Mills
- Cheap threes: McLemore, Ellington, Grayson, Anfernee, Okeke, Mills, Monk, Mannion, Sumner, Forbes, Melton, Niang, Bogdan Bogdanovic, McDermott, Garrison Matthews
- Cheap boards: Aminu, Mann, Favors, Ariza, Claxton, Birch, Juan Hernangomez, Brunson, Batum, Gay, Bitadze, Iggy, Millsap
- Cheap dimes: Gabe Vincent, Kira, Mannion, D.J. Augustin, Bledsoe, Saben Lee, Brunson, Lamb, Batum, Millsap, Campazzo, Cory Joseph
- Cheap steals: Caruso, Winslow, Mykhailiuk, Thybulle, Millsap, Dean Wade, Birch, Grant Williams
- Cheap blocks: Favors, Alex Len, Bitadze, Robin Lopez, Derrick Jones, Jaden McDaniels, Thybulle, Brodric Thomas, Ariza, Gay, Gafford, D.J. Wilson, Metu, Diakite, Toupane, Jeff Green
- Cheap FG% (min. 8 FGA): Monk, McDermott, Brunson, Mann, Okeke, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Millsap, Derrick Jones, Neto, Jeff Green
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!