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NBA DFS: Kyrie Irving and best/worst DraftKings daily fantasy basketball plays for Tuesday, Apr. 20th

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 Miami Heat Photo by Carlos Goldman/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: Kyrie Irving (PG/SG). No joke with this salary, which is the third-highest of the day. That being said, though, only KAT has a higher projection although he also boasts a higher price, so it makes sense. The Nets are hurting—which they have done pretty much all year long—and will be without KD and Harden once more as the former got banged up his last time out while the latter is still recovering and missing games. That means Kyrie must eat, and he will definitely eat no matter what. The Nets still have a shot at finishing no. 1 in the East as they’re just one game behind Philly with no matches between them ROS, but they can go to sleep because Milwaukee is just three games behind. Irving has been up-and-down of late, but he’s been great overall this month averaging 45 FP a day. Even if he playsbad he’s still racking up numbers with a baseline of 20-3-8-1, which is bonkers and will always give you the bang for the buck.
  • Hate: Paul George (SG). It is truly hard to hate on George because he’s been sublime of late. That being said, the Clips are a couple of games above the Nuggets and also two games below the Suns while locked into the no. 3 seed at least for another day. Something that has been going on this season when it comes to load management is that teams have deployed their best players in winnable games when cutting their minutes in tough ones—you basically secure those “easy” Ws, while leaving the others open, as you might have dropped them anyways. The latter could be the case today as the Clippers face the no. 6 Blazers after playing Minny two days ago. George played 27 minutes in that game and logged 39 against Philly in the prior one, but I’m not entirely convinced of what will happen here today. Sure, PG13 put up 53 FP against the Blazers two weeks ago, but he logged 34 minutes and had to shoot 61% from the floor while hitting 6 treys to reach that mark. It would take a game for the ages by George to return great value, and Kawhi might share the floor with him—Leonard came back last Sunday—removing opportunities from him.
  • Love: RJ Barrett (SF). Did it take time for RJ to start showing his value and potential? Maybe. Is he getting there? You bet, haters. Barrett has been in the spotlight since he was like 14 years old. He was a mighty high-school player, the no. 1 recruit in his class above Zion Williamson, a Canadian international call-up for years now, a Dukie, the no. 3 pick in the draft, etc, etc... This guy is going to be great, full stop. And although his rookie season wasn’t even remotely great, what about his pro-sophomore year? Barrett is putting up a season-long 17-6-3-1 line, he’s doing it with 45/38/73 shooting splits, and he’s basically doing it all on the court next to no. 1 teammate and MIP-candidate Julius Randle. The price is laughable today and even though the efficiency is never going to be there, that’s only because the minutes are insane. Easy 20-point getter with upside on the boards and pretty good steal numbers. Cheap ROI right here.
  • Hate: CJ McCollum (PG/SG). While CJ has been good for the lats couple of games, the truth is that he’s needed two massive runs of 38 and 40 minutes while shooting a rather large 26 and 22 FGA in those two matches (he had not shot as many times since Mar. 26). CJ is quite point-dependent, and while Lillard is seemingly out tonight and CeeJay will keep launching bombs, I’m not entirely liking his chances against a top-third D in that of the Clips. McCollum has shot a low 39% from the floor in his last three matches during the past week of games, and he’s making it just on the virtue of pure volume. The triples are a bit down—as has been the case ever since he returned from his mid-January injury—and the ROI potential isn’t that high for his price, which has sky-rocketed to the eyes of the algorithm because of Dame’s absence.
  • Love: Hassan Whiteside (C). It looks like Karl-Anthony Towns is playing for the Wolves tonight even though he might be limited (he’s played 25 minutes in each of the last two games after missing a few days prior to that). That’s not optimal, but that’s not a killer for Whiteside’s upside as the Wolves as a whole have the freaking third-worst fantasy D in the whole NBA... Richaun Holmes should be out for a couple of games so Hassan will be manning the paint once more for the Kings. That, in turn, enabled Hassan to start yesterday at the C spot and although he had his worst outing of the last three he’s played, he still dub-dubbed and returned great value to his truthers. The FP in the last three read 36, 29, and 27. That’s not mindblowing, I know, but the ROI is high because the salary is ridiculously low. Not the slate-winning play, but quite the one to fill your last roster spot once you’ve loaded your lineup with superstars in all other positions.

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!