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: Caris LeVert (C). As ridiculous as it is, LeVert is playing basketball these days even though he had to endure quite a nightmarish operation earlier this season after getting moved to Indiana. I’t taken a bit of time to Caris to find his rhythm after that, but he seems to be getting there, or at least as close as possible to it. Four games in a row for CLV hitting 30+ FP including a 51-FP sandwhich against San Antonio four days ago in a night in which he dropped 26 pops and stuffed the line to the tune of a 26-4-9-3-1 outing shooting a Pacers-high 19 FGA and connecting on 53% of those. LeVert is a steal in this slate, he’s got the highest ROI by my calculations, and that’s all because of the discount he comes at provided the great numbers he’s been able to put up of late.
- Hate: Devin Booker (SG). It’s hard to hate on Book, but bear with me. The Suns are facing the Jazz tonight in a Western Conference showdown that will serve as the preview of this years WCF. Ha! Gotta hate on L.A. No, seriously. The Jazz are the no. 1 team in the West and will hold onto that spot no matter what is tonight’s result. Utah is limiting starting shooting guards to the fewest fantasy points in the freaking league, as starting SGs are just hitting 23 FP on a nightly basis this season! Book, if you haven’t noticed, is the purest of SGs. His game is predicated on scoring and not much more than that (for real, he’s dropping 26 PPG on the year but his rest-of-line is a paltry 4-4-1). If Utah can put its clamps on Book when it comes to scoring, he’ll be cooked for good and he will put you on the losing track after spending $9.3K on his name. Yikes. Don’t get fooled by his last outings, as they came against the likes of Houston, OKC, and Chicago, all of them rather middling squads.
- Love: Zion Williamson (PF/C). Can’t love Zion more than I already do. It’s been a while since the last time I dropped a Love on Zion here, but it’s time to getting back to doing it, folks. Five games in a row for Williamson hitting 45+ FP, and seven of eight doing so going back to Mar. 16 (he finished with 41 in the other match, mind you). It’s just ridiculous what this kid is doing. The scoring can’t be more efficient at 67% true shooting and 63 percent accuracy from the floor on 16+ FGA. The line in the last couple of weeks and five games played reads a silly 33-7-4-1. Zion is the lone player on a streak of more than four games (he’s at 8 GP) getting 25+ points and 5+ rebounds. I could spend a day finding gems like that buried in the stats database and never run out of them. Brooklyn is missing pretty much everyone, and it is not that the Nets have any sort of set of fresh legs in the paint, so it’s all going to be about Zion demolishing BKN on the day.
- Hate: Christian Wood (C). I’m done with Wood, man. It hurts, and it sucks, but sometimes you just have to man up and make bold decisions. These Rockets are toxic. They stink, and that is affecting every freaking body in the ‘chise. Wood looked like a bargain of an FA-addition through the first month of the season, only then he went down injured and he’s been a different player after coming back from that. Looking at Wood’s last seven games, this is what I see: 33 FP/G, an average 18-8-1 line, and all of that for the massive price of almost $8.5K every night. Wood has gone from hitting 20+ without effort to falling below 20 on a daily basis while struggling to reach double-digit boards. The shooting is putrid at 37% (not a typo) in the last week of games, and there is no salvation for this man. Instead of dropping big bucks on Chris, go ahead and bank on secondary-player Kelly Olynyk if you want to get some real bread on the ROI front by rostering some Rockets’ frontcourt shares.
- Love: Jonas Valanciunas (C). I lightly mentioned JoVa yesterday in picking Bam Adebayo against the Griz, favoring Bam over him. That worked out nicely for me and those following my advice (Bam was a top-4 play in yesterday’s slate compared to Jo’s 28th place), but that doesn’t mean Valanciunas won’t murder his competition tonight. Ja Morant went down injured yesterday and odds are he’s back tonight, although that’s yet to be known and Memphis might take the cautionary approach. Whether he plays or not shouldn’t mean that much for JoVa, though. Valanciunas is hitting the dub-dub track nightly, and he’s done so for a ridiculous 11 games in a row and in 17 of his last 18 going all the way back to February! That’s insane for someone not tagged with a $8K salary even once this season. Sure, the minutes are kinda low at just 28 MPG, but you won’t find a cheaper/more efficient player out there for his price. Jo is putting up a near league-leading 1.43 FP/min in the past two weeks, and Atlanta (worst fantasy-D), well, let’s say they’re not too good when it comes to stopping the opposition...
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!