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: Bam Adebayo (C). Adebayo has been in such a slump of late that it was a true relief to watch him getting back to his 40+ FP habits thanks to a resounding 49-fantasy-point performance against Brooklyn yesterday. The Nets are missing bodies all around, sure, but that didn’t take from Bayo’s 21-15-5-2 stuffed line in just 33 minutes of playing time. The good thing about Bam’s prior five games falling below the 40-FP mark is that his salary can’t be much lower for what he offers, and even in those five stinkers he still averaged a 17-6-3-1-1 that wasn’t that bad. What is truly killing Bam’s upside are the TOs, with almost 5 per game in the last four, but that shouldn’t take long to change as he is averaging half that through the full season. Back-to-back games, I know, but Houston shouldn’t be too much of a threat to Bam’s floor/ceiling today.
- Hate: Christian Wood (PF/C). Wood came back on Mar. 17 and has played 17 games since then for the Rocks averaging a more than healthy 33 MPG. The minutes are super high, but the fantasy outings have been a little bit bouncy for someone tagged at an average $8.5K since his return. That’s the problem with Wood these days. The FP are good at almost 40 fantasy points per game in April, but the salary is too high to consider Wood a true value these days. In fact, these are Wood’s last six outings going back 10 days: 36, 29, 54, 54, 21, 47 FP. That’s some freaking random scores right there, so you’re kinda playing with fire. Wood and the Rockets played yesterday against Orlando, Wood logged a season-high 40 minutes, and tonight they are facing a strong Miami squad that ranks 7th in fantasy D. Not liking this one too much with all the risks and red lights around it.
- Love: Caris LeVert (SG). If you read Bam’s blurb above, flip the script and you’ll get a good picture of LeVert’s current status. Instead of putting up consecutive duds and exploding yesterday, LeVert has done the opposite with four games above 38 FP topping at back-to-back 52+ performances in two of the last four games, but he then proceeded to drop a measly 23-FP tally on Sunday facing Atlanta... and playing a season-low 24 minutes since he’s a Pacer. That’s good, because even on the second leg of a back-to-back tonight Caris should get a slightly longer run of minutes against the Spurs. Even if he doesn’t, though, LeVert is fantastic no matter the minutes because his efficiency is sublime. He shot a putrid 33% yesterday, which should also rebound a bit, but even then he was able to put an above-average FP/min mark. Anyway, nothing to worry about here. LeVert had dropped 34, 26, 27, and 24 pops in the prior four matches while pairing that scoring with almost 6 RPG and 3 APG. Nothing to hate.
- Hate: Khris Middleton (SF/PF). Talk about a bouncy play, this one. Let’s get straight to the point: Midd’s games in April went for 45, 30, 41, 31, 42, 49, 34, 43 FP. That’s pretty much one up, one down. The minutes have stayed virtually the same in every game, and the most ridiculous thing is that Midd had his best couple of games precisely in the two matches in which he played fewer than 30 minutes... Now with Giannis back and Jrue in shape, the rock is moving around more and the chances are getting spread wider. Phoenix will be at the other end of the court tonight, and while the Suns are middle-of-the-pack in D, odds are they put on a serious effort as there still are high stakes in play for them. Not really hating Khris that much given he’s a lock to hit some 10-8 baseline, but the value he returns isn’t overly high given his price and upside.
- Love: DeAndre Ayton (C). Hard not to have noticed Ayton this season if only because of Phoenix’s great record, as the Suns are still fighting for that no. 1 Western Conference spot. Chris Paul and Devin Booker are the two carrying the heavier load, but Ayton is finally a fantasy-darling biggie posting up a 17-10 dub-dub in the past months of games, reaching that double-double in 9 of the last 16 matches. Ayton is doing this on a low 20% usage rate, which is the bare minimum you should expect from a starter. Ayton doesn’t do much more than scoring and rebounding, but the shooting percentages can’t get higher as he doesn’t know what a triple is, and the steals and blocks are quite high for what Ayton is. For the price he comes at, you can do much worse than rostering DeAndre.
What’s cooking? Statistical trends from Week 15 (Apr. 2 to Apr. 18)
- Three weeks in a row, folks. That’s the time Russ has been leading fantasy basketball in DFS contests, and it is not that he’s doing while playing little time or fewer games than the competition—in fact, he’s playing more than anyone out there. Russell Westbrook averaged 66 FP/G this past week, besting his 62-FP mark from two weeks ago while both Steph Curry and Julius Randle finished precisely there with 62 FP/G each. All of them played 4 games, and no other player with 4 GP topped 56 FP.
- As is often the case, Russ couldn’t top the efficiency leaderboard with 1.76 FP/min. That was Nikola Jokic, who averaged 1.85 FP/min this past week on 33 MPG. Steph and Embiid followed Jokic with 1.81 FP/min each, though Curry has the edge over JoJo as the former played one more game and almost three more minutes per game.
- After Jokic and Russ made the cut last week, this week only Russell Westbrook was able to put up a trip-dub average with a massive 25-14-11 line to go with a couple of steals on top of that. Jokic fell a little bit short with a 24-13-9. Rozier (yes, that Rozier) finished with a ridiculous 28-7-9 himself, while Draymond Green was also great with a 10-8-10-3 in 4 GP.
- Just so you know what Curry is doing: Steph averaged a freaking 44 PPG this past week in his four games. That’s absolutely insane and nobody came even close to that mark—Embiid finished second with just 37 PPG in one fewer game played. Bonkers.
- Silly cheap values: Korkmaz, Gafford, Paul Watson, Ariza, Birch, Naji Marshall, Jevon Carter, CamPayne, Watanabe, Taj Gibson, Toscano-Anderson, Gary Harris, Caleb Martin
- A little more expensive but still with massive ROI: Stewart, Grayson Allen, Melo, Noel, Huerter, Dragic, Brook Lopez, Dray, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Steven Adams, Brooks, Garland
- Some very expensive players not doing enough: Donovan Mitchell, Durant, Porzingis, Booker, Jrue, Adebayo, Chris Paul, Wall, Ben Simmons, Gobert, DeRozan
- Cheap points (min. 3 games played): Shamet, Melo, Grayson, Korkmaz, Ariza, Forbes, Bullock, Watson, Gary Harris, Frank Jackson, Theis, Nunn
- Cheap threes: Grayson, Shamet, Korkmaz, Melo, Watson, Ariza, Bullock, Jevon Carter, Connaughton, Niang, Bane, Nunn, Danny Green
- Cheap boards: O’Neale, Noel, Looney, DeAndre Jordan, Taj Gibson, Eubanks, Naz Reid, Tristan Thompson, Naji Marshall, Caleb Martin, Birch
- Cheap dimes: Cam Payne, Gary Harris, Naji, Elfrid, Milton, Bane, Tristan Thompson, Toscano-Anderson, O’Neale, Shamet
- Cheap steals: Korkmaz, Delon Wright, Patrick Williams, Danny Green, Eubanks, Noel, Birch, Milton, Nunn, Grayson, Ariza, Lamb, Jevon Carter
- Cheap blocks: Noel, Taj Gibson, Eubanks, Birch, Reid, Rudy Gay, Danny Green, Lamb, Tristan Thompson, DeAndre Jordan
- Cheap FG% (min. 8 FGA): Shamet, Ariza, Theis, Bullock, Grayson, Korkmaz, Watson, Melo, Nunn, Cam Payne, Rudy Gay, Elfrid, Niang
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!