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). The truth is, Siakam hasn’t been incredibly great of late playing for the sucking-Raps. Tampa is 2-8 in the last 10 games, and Siakam could very well be pointed as one of the reasons in at least a couple of those matches. But, against a plain-bad team in Golden State’s last Friday, Siakam got it very very right and came back to his usual self: 36 pops including 4 treys, 7 boards, 5 dimes, and 2 steals with no turnovers on a super-high 35% usage rate. That’s the Siakam we love, and the one we expect. Even with that 58-FP explosion just a few days ago, the price hasn’t gone overly high, even less considering the Wiz will be at the other end tonight. While Pasky will need to drop some good 45 fantasy points on Washington to be truly valuable, odds are he does so given how he looked on Friday and the putrid D (fourth-worst in the league) of the Wiz.
- Hate: Donovan Mitchell (PG/SG). It is hard—impossible, maybe—to make a case against playing DoMi. See, he’s been playing at an above-average level on a per-minute basis for the last 10 games, and in 11 of the 12 matches he’s played since Mar. 12. His 1.43 FP/min mark in that three-week span is just insane. That being said, though, Utah has won nine of its last 10, is back to his don’t-know-how-to-lose ways, and it’s sitting Mitchell every time they get a lead on those games. That’s why Mitchell is playing a low 31 MPG in this winning run, and why he’s logged 28 or fewer minutes (bottoming out at just 21 in his last outing) in four of the last six matches. And that’s why he has only scored 32, 37, and 39 FP in the last three, making him everything but a valuable DFS play. Again, the efficiency is great, but the upside gets molly-smashed with such small playing time. Not liking it for someone above $9K.
- Love: DeMar DeRozan (SF). Thanks to his up-and-down tendencies and kinda-bouncy outcomes, the algorithm never knows what to do with DeDe’s salary. That’s why we often find him on the high-not-highest realm, making him a valuable play almost nightly. DeRozan has dropped at least 25 points in his past three games going back to last Wednesday, and he’s scored 20+ in 8 matches of the 11 played after the AS break. That’s what DeMar does best, and even though he doesn’t know how to hit a goddam three-pointer, he just doesn’t need them that much. The good thing is that he’s contributing all across the board these days, with an average 29-5-7 line in the past week while playing a monster 39 MPG with season-high usage rates above 25% nightly (including two 30%+ in two of the last three).
- Hate: Christian Wood (C). I’m Wood no. 1 stan. This man went from zero to a 100 in no time last season coming out of left left field. Inked a super-duper contract. Is probably the lone bright light in Houston this season and in the near/mid/long-term future of the franchise. Can’t ask for much more. But after getting injured and coming back, Wood’s struggled a bit. He’s not the 42-FP player he was prior to it, but a lower version of it, Wood Lite, putting up just 36 FP/G these days. He’s kind of getting better, but he still finds it hard to break for more than 40 FP any day, which just one such game in the past two weeks and six games, including two 25 FP back-to-back duds not long ago in which he still played 28 and 29 minutes. While Wood was a nightly near-20-15 lock, he’s only scored 20+ points in three games of the nine he’s played since coming back and has only logged four dub-dubs in that span. Not liking his chances very much against a tough Suns squad, either.
- Love: Anthony Edwards (PG/SF). Believe it or not, Anthony Edwards is now the leading ROY candidate in betting sites. I know, I know. LaMelo is injured and done for the year, but his numbers in the 50%+ of team games he’s played already and prior to his injury should make him a lock to snatch the awards. Turns out, that might not be the case. And to a point, it may make sense. Edwards has been getting better on a daily basis and that cannot be argued. He’s gone from 25 FP/G in his first two months as a pro to almost 40 FP/G in March. That’s bonkers. Just last month, this kid was scoring in bunches (24 PPG), pulling down 5+ RPG, dishing out 2.5+ APG, and stealing a great 1.5 rocks a game. He’s shooting 44% from the floor since the All-Star, which is way above his 36% prior to the event, and he’s also hitting 2.5+ 3PG. Last five: 25-4-2-2-1. If you don’t like that at just $7.6K, then I don’t even know.
What’s cooking? Statistical trends from Week 14 (Mar. 29 to Apr. 4)
- While Nikola Jokic has stayed on top of his game this past week, the truth is that he has been way below the levels of performance showed by your one-and-only true Fantasy Murderer: Russell Westbrook. Russ, as he has come to be known, is a trip-dub machine, and his line from the past week shows. With an average of 25-13-13-1 in four games played, no one was better than Westbrook and his 67 FP/G during the past seven days.
- Not only was Russ the best on a per-game basis, but he also lapped the field on efficiency terms with a masterful 1.74 FP/min, followed by Giannis at a lowly 1.60 in comparison. Oh, and Westbrook was able to keep up that mindblowing mark even though he logged 38 MPG in those four matches. Insane production, that one.
- Of the six players (Kyrie, Curry, Jrue, Giannis, KAT, Russ) to average 50+ FP/G this past week, Westbrook was the one with the wildest variation in his scores at 20 (!!!) FP. That is explained by his ridiculous 94-FP outing against Indiana on Mar. 29 compared to his other “lower” performances of 70, 50, and 52 FP. Steph was the most stable player with a variation just below 4 FP per game (3PG), with Kyrie sitting in third place (6 FP of variation on 4 GP).
- For the second time in a row, Russ was the lone player to average a trip-dub on a full week thanks to his 25-13-13 line. Nikola Jokic (17-9-9) was the closest to reaching that line among those who missed, with no other players remarkably close to doing it.
- Silly cheap values: James Johnson, Terence Davis, Hartenstein, Saric, Payne, Kira, Cory Joseph, Bane, Neto, Robin Lopez, RJ Hampton, Valentine, McLaughlin, Melton
- A little more expensive but still with massive ROI: Bogdan Bogdanovic, Trent Jr., Diallo, Olynyk, Poeltl, Gay, Duncan Robinson, Satoransky, Wendell Carter Jr., Draymond Green, Anunoby, Brunson
- Some very expensive players not doing enough: Jokic, Sabonis, Trae, Fox, Mitchell, Simmons, Tobias, Wood, LaVine, Middleton, Porzingis
- Cheap points (min. 3 games played): James Johnson, Saric, Gay, Melton, Kennard, Terence Davis, Neto, Robin, Kira, McDermott, Patrick Williams, Bullock, Joseph
- Cheap threes: Melton, Terence Davis, Bullock, Grayson, Kennard, Patty Mills, Finney-Smith, Forbes, James Johnson, Saric, McDermott, Cam Johnson, Gay
- Cheap boards: Avdija, Hartenstein, Zeller, Tony Bradley, Kleber, Finney-Smith, Claxton, Iggy, Bane, Okongwu, KCP, Gay, Robin Lopez, Taj Gibson
- Cheap dimes: Cory Joseph, Cam Payne, Tyus Jones, McLaughlin, Saben Lee, Ty Jerome, D.J. Augustin, James Jonshon, Elfryd, Kira, Wanamaker
- Cheap steals: Justin Holiday, Cory Joseph, McLaughlin, Melton, Cody Martin, Bazemore, James Johnson, Flynn, Jerome Robinson, Torrey Craig, Korkmaz, Gay
- Cheap blocks: James Johnson, Taj Gibson, Jerome Robinson, Hartenstein, Theis, Biyombo, Robin Lopez, Gasol, Claxton, Stewart
- Cheap FG% (min. 8 FGA): Robin Lopez, Saric, Patrick Williams, Neto, James Johnson, Melton, Terence Davis, Bullock, Kennard, Bane
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!