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NBA DFS: Bradley Beal and best/worst DraftKings daily fantasy basketball plays for Saturday, Apr. 17th

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.

New Orleans Pelicans v Washington Wizards Photo by Ned Dishman/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: Nikola Vucevic (C). If you have checked the news recently, then you know Zach LaVine will be out for a few games while going through health-and-safety protocols. With Zacharias out, it will be all about Vooch to keep the Bulls above the water and fighting for that play-in spot. Just in case, Chicago is currently not into it, holding onto the 11th seed (tied with Toronto, though) and in the outside looking in, as ridiculous as that sounds. Not because of Vuc, though. Niko has been great since moving places on deadline-day putting up an average of 46 DKFP in his 12 games as a Bull, and with three consecutive outings in which he’s finished with 46+ FP (46, 54, and 53) all taking place this week. Vooch might not be the best Niko in the NBA (weird to say), but he’s a walking 20-10 baseline with upside for a 50-FP explosion any given day.
  • Hate: Jrue Holiday (PG/SG). Giannis came back against Atlanta a couple of games ago, and both Khris Middleton and Jrue Holiday also started and played 33+ minutes each. That should be read in shock, because it’s the NBA we’re talking about and two star-players right there, but it truly is surprising to read considering how Milly deals with rotations. Prior to that game, Jrue had logged 27 and 25 minutes. Call me crazy, but I think that might be the case once more today with the Bucks 2.5 games behind the Nets and 5.5 above the Hawks in the no. 3 seed in the East. Jrue was a menace to close March and open April (five consecutive games hitting 40+ FP) but since Apr. 6 he’s been a bit down, topping 32 fantasy points just once in his last outing against Atlanta. Holiday is quite bouncy and I’m not trusting his upside, even less considering Giannis/Middleton should be out there eating once more tonight.
  • Love: Bradley Beal (SG). The distance in prices between Russ’ and Beal’s is just insane for what they do on the floor. I know, I know. Russ is dropping trip-dubs as he’s never done (six in a row prior to missing on it by one dime yesterday, 10 in the last 12 games). But while Brad is not early-season Beal he’s still racking up numbers these days. It’s been five games playing since he came back on Apr. 7 and in the last three from Monday on he’s averaged 44 FP and a mighty 32 PPG while adding an average 4-5-1 rest-of-line. And he’s been low on the shooting accuracy at “just” 42% from the floor, so he can get even better. Beal, if you forgot about it, is still the leading scorer in the whole NBA. And I mean, Detroit is at the other end tonight, which...
  • Hate: Stephen Curry (PG). Stupid play, hating on Curry. I know, but I’m just a fool writing from his mom’s basement, so there’s that. You just don’t bet against Curry. As simple as that, folks. But I think you should look other places today. I mean, Curry projects to a monster 50 FP night in today’s slate, and while Boston will probably make it a bit tough for him to get there (fourth-best fantasy D in the league), odds are GSW gives Curry the rocks on a possession basis and let’s him carry the whole squad to a W—or close to it. Curry’s the third highest-priced player of the day, though, topping the $10K tag. While not projecting to as many FP, all of Tatum, Beal, Jaylen Brown, and Vooch are cheaper and look like better values out there. Curry is on a tear, though, so I’d get it if you opt to play him. It’s been nine in a row hitting 32+ points a day and averaging 6+ 3PG. Can’t argue about that.
  • Love: DeMar DeRozan (SG/SF). Sneaky winning move of the day for a reasonable price. DeDe is hot as hell and the last five games played prove it. DeRozan has topped 42 FP in four of those five and in the other one he finished with 30 fantasy points but mostly because of his short 26-minute run. The lines have been absolutely staggering in that span with a 24-3-9 average (that is counting that “stinker” against Orlando) and an impossible 54 shooting percentage from the floor on a bulky 17 FGA diet. Not the guy with the most trips to the charity stripe, this DeMar, but getting there 7 times a game and hitting 93% of his attempts isn’t something I’d label as “bad”. Phoenix is a tough squad, so if the Spurs want to pull off the upset they’ll need to hand the rock to DD and let him cook. Expect some fireworks.

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!