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: Bam Adebayo (C). I love my Jonas Valanciunas as I love my Cheerios, but I just can’t pass on Bam on top of JoVa tonight. Memphis as a whole has a borderline bottom-third D in fantasy contests, Bam is averaging 45 FP in the past week (4 GP), and I’m sorry but there is no one stopping this man these days. Bam’s not going to drop 20 pops nightly, and odds are he falls short of that mark, sure. But he just doesn’t need the points to excel, because he can do it all on the court. Seriously. He’s needed just back-to-back 30-minute games to score himself a couple of 38 and 44 FP nights, putting up 19-8-6 and 18-11-5-1 lines with a block in each of those adding 9-of-9 freebies. You see what I mean. No matter the time he’s on the court, he just put on nightly explosions. And at his price, there no reason to fading him.
- Hate: Ben Simmons (PG/SF). I know it might be getting repetitive, and I don’t like to write about the same guys over and over again, but this is honestly something worrying. Ben Simmons is fantastic. He has been one of the best—if not the best—defenders this season, he was doing everything on the court even on Embiid’s absence, but he’s just lost his touch entirely in the past couple of weeks. In fact, you could even stretch the slump all the way back to the start of March. Since then, Simmons has only had two games above 40 FP while averaging 42 FP prior to March in 29 GP. That stinks. Simmons last five games have gone for an average 27 FP, yet he’s been tagged with salaries ranging from $8.7K to $8.9K, which has meant putrid ROI from Benny. He’s playing low minutes (27 MPG in that span), being just barely an average-level player on a per-minute basis, yet he keeps getting massive tags attached to his forehead. Hating is falling short of my true feelings.
- Love: Lonzo Ball (PG). Zion and Ingram have been out since Mar. 29 game against Boston. Lonzo played for the last time on Mar. 18 until he came back just two days ago against Houston, and truth be told he looked as good as ever with a top-5 DFS game that saw him reach 52 FP... playing for a squad that missed its best two players. Sure, the opposition was Houston, but still. Lonzo scores, rebounds, dishes out dimes, steal rocks, and even blocks shots. Seriously. I’ve been calling Zo “Simmons Lite” since he entered the league, and he keeps honoring my take. That last outing against the Rocks, combined with the prior three games he played (before missing time) yielded an 18-5-10-2 average line for 44 FP/G. Crazy numbers. And Zion/BI are questionable for tonight’s match, which means they might be back. Oh, and Atlanta is the foe while carrying the worst fantasy-D leaguewide. Awesome play.
- Hate: Victor Oladipo (PG/SG). It’s been just two games for Oladipo as a member of the Heat, and I’d already ask... are we sure Miami is going to hand Dipo a max extension or something of the like? Seriosly? The deal was neat for Miami because they had to give up virtually nothing to snatch him from Houston, but Oladipo looks molly-cooked these days. He was limited to 23 minutes in his debut on Apr. 1, and that cut his upside and he could only score 20 FP. Three days ago against a shitty Cavs squad he played 30 minutes, which is way more ticks of the clock, but he put up another dud with 21 FP to the tune of a silly 8-1-5-2-1 line... His two games as a Heat have saw him shoot a ridiculous 24 percent from the floor on a total 21 FGA, he’s fouling massively (5 FP in each of those games), turning the ball over a lot (3 and 4 TOs), and can’t just find his pace. It all looked good for Dipo until he got injured. He came back and now his talents have somehow vanished, to say the least. Sad, but true.
- Love: Nikola Vucevic (PF/C). Vooch has played five games as a Bull, yet he’s only been able to go home winner once—against Brooklyn, though. That might not improve tonight as the Pacers are a strong opponent, but it is not that Chicago ain’t winning because of Vucevic. Nik has been great for the Windy City, full stop. He has yet to fall short of 35 DKFP in a game playing for the Bulls, he’s dropping almost 21 PPG and pulling down 10 RPG, and he’s adding 3.5+ APG to that dub-dub average. The blocks are a nightly tick on his logs and the shooting can hardly get any better with the man hitting 53% in his last five while on a very healthy 15+ FGA diet. Great usage rates along with Zach LaVine, low turnovers, good free-throw accuracy and volume,... No issues on Vooch’s resume right now for me to fade him.
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!