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: De’Aaron Fox (PG). Is Foxxy a candidate for the MIP this season? I dunno about that, but he definitely has been demolishing opponents for a week and change and it’s been five games in which this guy has put up 43+ FP... with an impossible 62 mark just a couple of days ago against the lowly Pels. That was the cherry on top of an impressive five-game run, culminating with the most points scored by Fox since Mar. 25 (43), six boards, six dimes, and the most threes (5) since Feb. 23. Obviously, it is going to be quite hard for De’Aaron to put up such numbers on back-to-back games, but while we expect him to go down a bit I would still not bat an eye if he breaks for more than 50 once more. Such is Fox these days, a nightly must-play.
- Hate: Paul George/Kawhi Leonard (SF/SG). Not hating on these two for what they are or what they’re doing of late, which is bonkers good, but rather on the fact that they’re playing on the second half of a back-to-back against the depleted Pistons in a game that should not have much story to it. If all goes according to plan, the Clips should be running Detroit out of the building easily tonight. Killian Hayes and Jerami Grant seem to be in for the Pistons, but even then the distance between these two teams is massive. Kawhi himself comes with a questionable tag, and while Paul George seems to be fully cleared he already played 39 minutes against a tough Pacers squad less than 24 hours ago. This would be the first time since Feb. 3 that George plays in both games of a back-to-back against different teams. Kawhi has not played since Apr. 9 and should be well rested (assuming he plays at all), but even then he will probably not be that needed and might see his run cut and minutes limited.
- Love: Bradley Beal (SG). I was kind of intrigued by Washington’s addition of Russ this past offseason, basically because the Westbrook-Beal backcourt sounded to exciting on paper as to not pay attention to it. Then the season arrived, Russ kept putting up trip-dubs, Beal was magnificent, but the Wiz never got it truly right. And to make matters worst, Beal got injured and missed and missed a few games in January and in late-March, early-April. Beal is now back, has played three already, and he’s put up 39, 30, and 48-FP games in that span. The best of all is that the minutes restriction seems to be off already (he logged 37 a couple of days ago), the numbers are starting to pile up (34 pops in that last game shooting a massive 31 FGA), and don’t forget about it, we’re talking about the leading PPG scorer in the NBA this season at 31.0. The Wiz are just two games out of the play-in as I write this, but we definitely need Russ and Beal causing mayhem come postseason time. For real.
- Hate: Kevin Durant (SF). Back-to-back games for the Nets as they were forced into playing yesterday on a one-day delay after the affair with Minny was postponed. See, this is a tough one. BKN and Philly are fighting for the no. 1 seed, as simple as that. Durant has started two in a row since coming back, he’s gone from 19 to 24 to finally 27 minutes yesterday, and although he’s been super efficient in those minutes of playing time (between 1.36 and 1.75 FP/min) the truth is that his total FP have not been that great, which is basically unacceptable in DFS. Durant is tantalizing, and that’s nothing new. He is doubtful for tonight’s game as it’s the second game in two days and he’s fresh off the injury, but with such high stakes in place and Harden/Irving out, odds are he plays. But he might be limited once more, and it’s not that the Sixers are bad in D. Fade KD in favor of better looking plays. Not risking this biscuit tonight.
- Love: Ja Morant (PG). As incredible as it is, here I am writing about Ja Morant as a sneaky winning play giving both his low salary and his low-floor, high-upside profile this season. It’s been a tough one for Ja. Cold world, sure, but it is what it is. Morant is second to Jonas Valanciunas in FPG for the Griz this season, which tells you all you need to know. Good for us fantasy GMs, though, Mo has been getting it more or less right lately, and he’s turned into a nice ROI play given his ground-level prices. At juts above $7K, and with a 40+ FP ceiling and solid 35 floor (barring his 30-FP game against Chicago), Morant has scored 19+ pops in three of his last four matches, dished out at least 6 dimes in all four, and shoot relatively well at 50% from the floor on a heavy dose of shots. The turnovers are killing him, as he’s averaging 5 a game in the past five, but once he fixes that he should be back to his daily 40 FP average. Let’s hope he starts tonight against a middle-of-the-pack D in Dallas’.
What’s cooking? Statistical trends from Week 15 (Apr. 5 to Apr. 11)
- Back-to-back Fantasy Crowns for Russell Westbrook, who just doesn’t know how to stop putting up numbers. If you’re a fan of the Wiz, you might not like Russ that much because he’s all about himself and the team still sucks, but you gotta acknowledge greatness when you watch it. Not only did Westbrook lead the week with 62 FP/G on 4 games played, but he also edged no. 2 Jokic by 4 FP while at it. Bonkers.
- Russ, Jokic, Karl-Anthony Towns, and Steph Curry were the only four players to break for more than 55 FP this past week, though Curry only played three games compared to the others’ four.
- Jokic was able to beat Russ when it came to efficiency as The Joker put up 1.81 FP/min compared to Russ’ 1.67 mark. Makes sense, considering Jokic logged just 32 MPG to Westbrook’s monster 37.
- The two of Russ and Jokic closed the week with trip-dub lines: it was a 20-13-13 week for Russ, and a 24-10-11 one for Jokic. Not bad, indeed. The only other player that came close to doing it was Julius Randle, putting up an average 20-10-8 line for the Knicks in four games.
- Silly cheap values: Jalen McDaniels, Korkmaz, Cory Joseph, Bembry, Bitadze, Wanamaker, Bazemore, KCP, Tony Bradley, Theis, Rondo, Hayes, Nwora, Dozier
- A little more expensive but still with massive ROI: Malachi Flynn, Bamba, Hartenstein, Zeller, Reggie Jackson, LaVine, Valanciunas, Miles Bridges, Kyle Anderson, Boucher, Garland, Bobby Portis, Paul George, Kanter, Olynyk, Ayton, Porzingis
- Some very expensive players not doing enough: Kyrie, Lillard, Embiid, Wood, Simmons, Rozier, Jrue, McCollum
- Cheap points (min. 3 games played): KCP, Mo Bamba, Jalen McDaniels, Bertans, Taurean, Korkmaz, McDermott, Reid, Cory Joseph, Coby White, Aaron Holiday, Frank Jackson, Okoro, Nwora, Markkanen, Ty Jerome
- Cheap threes: Bertans, KCP, Mo Bamba, Korkmaz, Aaron Holiday, Cam Johnson, Sterling Brown, Georges Niang, Jalen McDaniels, Markkanen, Bane, Forbes
- Cheap boards: Zeller, Bradley, O’Neale, Noel, Stewart, Favors, Theis, Bamba, Tristan Thompson, Solomon Hill, Willy Hernangomez
- Cheap dimes: Cory Joseph, Wanamaker, Dellavedova, Saben Lee, Rondo, Augustin, Ty Jerome, Brandon Goodwin, Campazzo, Jeff Teague
- Cheap steals: Patrick Williams, Bembry, Korkmaz, Okogie, Jeremy Lamb, Solomon Hill, Taj Gibson, Caruso, Killian Hayes, Bazemore, Watanabe
- Cheap blocks: Noel, Bitazde, Bamba, Bradley, Hayes, Tristan Thompson, Jeremy Lamb, Favors, Len, Stewart
- Cheap FG% (min. 8 FGA): KCP, Jalen McDaniels, Bamba, Batum, McDermott, Cory Joseph, Bertans, Okoro, Elfrid Payton, RJ Hampton
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!