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NBA DFS: Zach LaVine and best/worst DraftKings daily fantasy basketball plays for Sunday, Apr. 11th

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.

Chicago Bulls v Atlanta Hawks Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via 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: Zach LaVine (SG). It doesn’t get any better than this. ZLV has dropped 139 total points in five games this month, culminating that run with a 50-burger against Atlanta just a couple of days ago. This is the Zachary we want, and the one that we expect looking at his first-half averages. It’s been three games in a row getting into the 40-FP realm for LaVine, he’s averaged 30-7-8-1 line in those three, and he’s playing 35+ MPG these days. For the upside he comes with tonight, ZLV is one of the best values out there and a clear go-to player to build your lineup around. Not cheap, but definitely not properly valued with a projection of 43 FP by my calculations. Nothing surprising considering Minny has the third-worst D in fantasy basketball...
  • Hate: Jrue Holiday (PG/SG). While Jrue Holiday (same as Khris Middleton and Brook Lopez) has a “probable” tag hanging above his head for tonight’s game, I’m betting on the better of the Holidays getting back to the court today. The Bucks have become the load-management squad for reference this season, and that is what is keeping me on my toes with Jrue. Sure, Jrue has played a monster 33 MPG since the break and an even larger 35 MPG in his last six, but with Milwaukee 3.5 games below the Nets and 4.5 above the Hornets—which is to say pretty much locked into the no. 3 seed—I’m envisioning some rest coming the starters way for the last 20 games of the regular season. This is kind of risky in that you might be leaving a 45+ FP asset on the shelf, but I would rather look into more stable/less unknown assets from tonight’s slate. I mean, I have 18 players projected to more FP than Holiday on lower salaries. Just saying.
  • Love: Zion Williamson (PF/C). Zion put up a dud against Brooklyn last Wednesday, but the truth is that he just logged 23 minutes back then. Other than that, it’s all good with Thanos. The 10+ points streak is now at 50 games spanning from last August to his last match against Philly on Friday when he put up his best performance of the season: 37 pops, 15 boards, and 8 dimes read the line. Masterful game to the tune of 68 FP on the day. Obviously, Zion is not the average biggie when it comes to racking up dub-dubs on points and rebounds, but that doesn’t mean he’s a bad fantasy biggie basically because he contributes all across the board and is sublime both on the floor and from the charity stripe. 50 FPG in the past three weeks are far from a joke, and although the price is high it’s worth paying given the late exploits and the fact that Cleveland boasts the second-worst fantasy-D.
  • Hate: Damian Lillard (PG). Did you read Jrue’s blurb above and thought I was crazy for fading him? What about fading... Dame!? That’s correct. Lillard has a monster $9.5K salary attached to his name today, which is the fourth-highest of the main slate of games. That doesn’t look to good when put next to his FP projection of 42 DKFP, which is a great amount of fantasy points, but surely not a great value all things considered. Zion, Vooch, Sabonis, Butler, LaVine, PG13, and Valanciunas project to more goodies while tagged at lower prices. Lillard has been magnificent this season, and Portland very well should be thanking him for everything he’s done. Remove Dame from the Blazers equation and we’d be looking at a no. 12 seed instead of the current Western Conference sixth-best team (and rising). With the Heat at the other end and C.J. McCollum back to his 20+ FGA ways, I’m not trusting Dame that much these days, not at least when it comes to his ROI as he’s constantly needing 50+ FP games to return any value at all.
  • Love: Jonas Valanciunas (C). Contrary to Zion, JoVa is indeed your classic big man out there. Williamson has 12 dub-dubs in 47 games (25%) compared to Valanciunas’ impossible 38-in-45 (85%). Obviously, Valanciunas is not Zion, plays only 28 MPG on low 23% usage rates nightly, and his numbers come down to extreme efficiency levels of play. JoVa is always going to give you his 16-12 baseline, and that’s a lock you can count on. While not the riskiest of plays, if you need some solid production and want to net you 35 FP without having to worry just one bit, Jonas will always be your brother at that. Always a bargain, forever in my heart.

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!