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NBA DFS: Russell Westbrook and best/worst DraftKings daily fantasy basketball plays for Sunday, Apr. 25th

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.

Golden State Warriors v Washington Wizards Photo by Stephen Gosling/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: Russell Westbrook (PG). See, I know Russ is the most expensive player in tonight’s main slate, but this guy is just bonkers. I just could not let the regular season slip without writing about him. Russ is putting together a trip-dub season for the fourth time in his career. Yes, his Win Shares have gone down each of the years he’s accomplished that feat. Yes, he might not be an MVP candidate, the greatest player ever, or whatever you want to throw his way. But he’s an offense in and of himself. Westbrook is averaging a freaking 22-11-11-1 line on the year, he’s putting up 56+ FPG, 1.59 FP/min on a ridiculous 35+ MPG, and even if you remove his scoring from the equation he’d still racking up 30+ DKFP per game. Dawg. Mate’s averaging 64 FP in the last month, is on a four trip-dub streak, or, even more impressive, has missed on trip-dubbing just six times out of a possible 25 since the AS break. WTF.
  • Hate: Giannis Antetokounmpo (SF/PF). When it comes to betting against a top-3 player in the league, well, it’s reasonable to think I’m dumb. But Giannis has played the last couple of Milly’s games against Philly in the span of two games and the Bucks are playing for the second consecutive night today... against the Hawks. Sure, Atlanta is better than the fame it’s gotten through the last few years, but even then I’m not sure if Giannis will log heavy minutes on the day. He just played 24 yesterday and shouldn’t be so tired, but we’ll see. Even the slightest of drops in production will tank his potential ROI as he comes with the second-highest price. His 48-FP projection isn’t bad at all, but the two guys sandwiching him in salary (Russ above, Curry below) project to 60 and 53 DKFP respectively, and are in better situations than Giannis if you ask me. I’d rather play it “safe” and build around any of those other two.
  • Love: Darius Garland (PG). Are we sure Collin Sexton is the go-to Cav? Are we sure Darius Garland isn’t taking on that role and snatching it from Sexy’s hands? Hmm... To be fair, Garland has been a better value than Sexton through the month of April in fantasy contests. Sexton has put up slightly better FP totals, but on average they’re separated just by one measly point with Garland coming in at 38 FPG and Sexton at 39 FPG. The salaries, though, have been separated by almost $1K this month. Sexton is missing tonight’s game and that means Garland should eat all he can and then some: he’s already averaging a usage rate at almost 28%, so just imagine what could be just around the corner today. Five consecutive games hitting 20+ pops, 2+ triples, and putting up a 2-7-1 rest-of-line while keeping up a nice 50% shooting from the floor.
  • Hate: Draymond Green (PF/C). Dray is so bouncy I don’t even want to touch him with a ten-foot pole. This dude ain’t fooling me. He put up back-to-back 45+ DKFP games a couple of weeks back, then proceeded to have one of 37, three straight below 30 FP, and then he went on to school Denver to the tune of a stupid 2-12-19 line for 44 DKFP. What the hell is that line, mate? If we’re going to bank on this guy dropping 15 assists, I’m sorry, but I’m buying into it. The points suck falling below 10 more often than not, the rebounds are not a nightly lock either, and again, if we’re betting on ridiculous assisting upside, I just can pony up $7.5K for such a what-if play.
  • Love: Tyrese Haliburton (PG/SG). Top-3 rookie in this the 2021 year of our lord, playing for the lucky Kangz. LOL. Tyrese has been great coming off the pine for Sacto and he even got to enjoy the starting lineup for a good chunk of time spanning from mid-March to mid-April. Anyway, Haliburton is a good-not-great value to throw into your lineup if you need a productive guy with limited upside on a budget. The numbers have gone down a bit of late, but Hali comes with upside on the assists/steals departments and it’s more often than not that he reaches 10+ pops and hits a few treys a day. Don’t bank on him winning you the slate, but if you need someone for cheap he definitely looks good today against a Bucks squad that might rest some folks on the second leg of their back-to-back.

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!