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NBA DFS: Nikola Vucevic and best/worst DraftKings daily fantasy basketball plays for Thursday, Apr. 8th

Duds and studs. Good and bad plays. We take a look at the past and upcoming NBA games to let you know what’s going on and how to tackle your DraftKings plays.

Brooklyn Nets v Chicago Bulls Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

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: Rudy Gobert (C). I usually don’t like to play back-to-backers but Gobert is not one really suffering in those affairs because he’s just a no-move tower stuck in the opponent’s paint. Gob put a up a sound 16-18-2-3 line yesterday, went 7-for-7 from the field and 2-for-2 from the FT line, and reached a top-10 47 FP on the slate against he no. 2 team in the West. Not bad, that’s what I mean. Rudy doesn’t need many chances to excel, with a rather putrid 17% usage rate on the year that isn’t truly impacting his fantasy outings for an average of 40+ FPG. Gob has played 15 games since the break and in every one of them he’s played above-average on a per-minute basis (1.36 FP/min) while putting up 43 FP a night. Dub-dubber in 11 of those 15, the average 16-14-1 line with 3.2 (!!!) BPG is all about the love.
  • Hate: Kyle Kuzma (SF/PF). You can trust Kuz when it comes to fashion advice, but don’t trust him on basketball courts, folks. Hear me out on this one. Injuries have murdered the Lakers no. 1 seed or even no. 8 seed aspirations. Kuzzy has started the last nine matches for the Lake Show, is logging a monster 36 MPG, yet all he’s doing is averaging 32 FP on the day. Yikes. Sometimes he hits 30 pops, sometimes he finish with 8 like two days ago against the Tanking Raps. It’s hard to find a bouncier player out there, seriously. Just peep at Kuz’s FP in the last seven games: 38, 23, 44, 31, 41, 18, and 18 again. I mean, that’s wild as hell. His salary is far from high, surely, and he might have one of those nights, but against Miami today I’d rather look elsewhere for value instead of buying into Kuzzy’s Condo.
  • Love: Nikola Vucevic (C). We all know there is one and only Nikola—Jokic, that is. But hey, there is nothing wrong with being the no. 2 Niko out there, am I right? No wonder the price is high. I mean, this fool has put up 50+ DKFP in three of the last four games he’s played, and he’s had back-to-back 50 and 64 FP burgers to his name against Brooklyn and Indy. In the last four games, Vooch has averaged a silly 23-12-3-1-1 stuffed line while shooting a low 46% compared to his season 48% from the floor and mental 53% in the last seven matches. What I mean is, this can only get better. LOL. I’m serious, and who is supposed to be stopping Vucevic among those lowly Tampa Raps? Chris Boucher? OG Anunoby? Gotta love Vooch’s upside against a bottom-third fantasy-D, even more knowing what he’s been doing of late with his new team.
  • Hate: C.J. McCollum (PG/SG). Not only did Utah go to OT yesterday, they did so against a tough-as-nails squad in Phoenix’s. And they’re playing tonight on the second leg of a back-to-back. That might help CJ a bit, but I’m not truly buying that narrative. I hated on Book yesterday because the Jazz are a shooting-guard-killing gang, allowing the fewer FP to starters at the position this season. Obviously, Book dropped 35 points and 43 FP on Utah yesterday, which is great, but he needed 44 minutes and 31 (!!!) FGA to reach those heights, which is not that great. McCollum’s last two games have been outliers, to say the least. He’s shot just 29 combined shots though he’s hit them at a 59% clip, which feels just impossible to sustain long-term. The usage is ground-level these days at just 22% in the past five games, and other than in those two last games, CeeJay’s true shooting percentage hasn’t been than great since he came back from his injury. McCollum might reach 40 FP, but betting on him going back down to 35 at most against a tough D.
  • Love: Buddy Hield (SG/SF). Buddy was thrown to the pine and made part of the Kangz bench mob last season, but so far this year he’s started every single game for Sacto—51 of them already. The minutes have gone down four rounds of the clock to 32 MPG in the past two weeks compared to 36 MPG on the season prior to Mar. 25, sure, but Hield keeps hitting treys for a living and with gusto. He’s dropping almost 4 3PG and he should be doing even more because his shooting percentages have been way below expectations at just 37% from the floor in the last four games, so expect a rebound there. Other than that, though, Buddy keeps contributing his boards, dimes, steals, and random blocks here and there. For such a low salary there are many worse plays you can go with than Hield today.

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!