Welcome to your daily NBA DFS digest at Fake Teams, 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: Anthony Edwards (SG/SF). What about putting the upcoming Rookie Of the Year in your lineup, folks? Don’t get mad at me, I’m just looking at the numbers. What can I do? Jokes aside, Ant has leveled up his game a ton during the second half of the season. That you can’t argue about, no matter how much of a LaMelo stan you are. At first, it was starting. Then came the sky-high minutes. And finally, the above-average production putting everything together. Mr. Ant is a hit on and off the court, and in his last seven games getting back to Apr. 24 he’s averaged 45 DKFP while he’s topped 40 FP in four of those seven reaching a season-high of 66 DKFP against Memphis just this past Wednesday. Tasty, tasty production. It’s been four in a row for Edwards hitting 25+ points with 2+ threes in each of them, he’s shooting 56% on 20 FGA, and he’s doing it on the boards and dimes departments too with 6.5 RPG and 4.8 APG in that span.
- Hate: Zach LaVine (SG). Zach missed three weeks going through the safe and healthy protocols starting mid-April, and he just came back last Wednesday playing two games since then. Not so bad for him, but nothing remarkable either. The 19 FP on his comeback were rather low in 27 minutes and although he bulked that run to 33 ticks of the clock on Thursday against Boston, his 40 FP weren’t that great when compared to his April near-50 DKFP average. LaVine is great, don’t get it wrong, but the Bulls stink as hell, have been disappointing as anybody out there this year, and not even Vooch’s addition helped them reach the play-in after going all-in on deadline-day. At this point, I’m not even sure if Chicago wouldn’t be better off sitting every warm body, pack it up, and just wait till October to reignite the engine. Detroit should be a cupcake tonight, but even if ZLV puts up numbers, those better be super-fat to return any sort of value given his ridiculous $9.8K tag.
- Love: Lonzo Ball (PG). Do you know the Pelicans are fielding a junior varsity team for the remainder of the season? I’m not joking. Zion and Brandon Ingram are pretty much done and already shut down. Steven Adams got banged up and missed last Thursday's game against Philly. The highest-playing folks that day were Zo (34 minutes) and Bledsoe (40), with the third-highest coming in at just 27 (Naji Marshall and James Johnson. The environment Zo will find himself in isn’t great, I know, but who the hell is supposed to put up numbers for this stupid shallow team these days? Zo got himself a nice 28% usage rate on Thursday and it’s been that high or more in three of the past four. Ball is carrying the Pels and has averaged 23-8-6-2 line in May. Not bad for the pending FA who’s most assuredly about to fill his Big Baller Bag.
- Hate: Buddy Hield (SG). Steph Curry dominates the three-point discussion—and that’s reasonable. Curry has hit 324 treys on the year, sure, but the second-best guy at it has been Buddy with 265. Those have come on 66 games, though, compared to Curry’s 60 and Lillard’s 259 in 63. The numbers are bonkers but the problem is that Hield can do nothing other than scoring from three. He’s pulling down fewer than five boards per game and dishing out fewer than four dimes per. The freebies are virtually nonexistent and the turnovers quite high at almost two per game and a stupid 3.5 in May. The Thunder will lose, because tanking, but are we comfy with Buddy returning some average value? He reached 45 DKFP against OKC just last Tuesday, but he was tagged at $7.3K compared to today's $8.2K salary. That’s a lower ROI and just because I love you let me share some higher-upside/cheaper-salary names with you for today’s slate: Drummond, Rozier, D’Lo, Chris Paul, PJ Washington, Holmes, Cole Anthony.
- Love: D’Angelo Russell (PG/SG). D’Lo has started two games in a row now after coming off the pine for his first 15 matches after coming back on Apr. 5. So far, so good for Russell who logged 37 minutes against Memphis for 50 DKFP and then lowered that run to 26 minutes against Miami a couple of days ago for 29 FP. Russell has been magnificent off the pine averaging a ridiculous 1.21 FP/min on par with some elite players out there, and he’s been the same starting in those two putting up the exact same mark. The Wolves are playing for nothing more than a good draft pick, but they need to test the Ant-D’LO-KAT waters as much as they can to see what they have in their hands, so all of them will keep playing ROS and trying to get those Ws even if the draft position is hurt a bit.
What’s cooking? Statistical trends from Week 19 (Apr. 26 to May. 2)
- This is getting boring. LOL. One month straight getting the No. 1 DK spot wasn’t enough for Russell Westbrook, who has now five consecutive weeks at the top of the leaderboard. That’s bonkers. Russ did it to the tune of a 65 DKFP average on four games played in the past seven days, putting up a 24-13-12 trip-dub on a monster 39 MPG.
- Tatum (62), the only other player to break the 60-FP barrier did it on just 3 GP, which takes a bit from him. Luka finished third with 59 FPG on a heavier dose of play on 4 GP and a 31-8-10 dub-dub.
- On a per-minute basis, Giannis was on a league of his own posting a ridiculously efficient 2.75 FP/min mark. Nobody came even remotely close, with Jokic sliding in no. 2 (1.67) followed by Russ and Luka (both at 1.65).
- Russ was the only player good enough to post a week-trip-dub, although Doncic came close along with Dejounte Murray (!) and Lonzo Ball (!!).
- Silly cheap values: Alize Johnson, Mychal Mulder, Frank Jackson, Juan Hernangomez, McDermott, Rondo, Nesmith, Anfernee, Aaron Holiday, Ty Jerome, Cam Payne, Forbes
- A little more expensive but still with massive ROI: Oshae Brissett, Lonzo, Dejounte, Bey, Tim Hardaway Jr., Birch, Olynyk, Thadd Young, Lowry, Mikal Bridges, DeRozan
- Some very expensive players not doing enough: Giannis, Embiid, Beal, Paul George, Kyrie, Capela, Gobert, Ingram, Morant, McCollum, Jrue, Garland, Rozier, Simmons, John Collins, Tobias
- Cheap points (min. 3 games played): Frank Jackson, McDermott, Mulder, Forbes, Lonnie, Rudy Gay, Melo, Juan Hernangomez, Seth Curry, Ty Jerome, Okoro
- Cheap threes: Mulder, Forbes, Seth, Anfernee, Frank Jackson, Nian, Juan Hernangomez, Ty Jerome, Shamet
- Cheap boards: Alize Johnson, Willy, Dwight, Theis, Favors, DJ Wilson, Dedmon, Markkanen, Len, Vanderbilt, Gafford, Deck, Clarke
- Cheap dimes: Rondo, Mike James, Aaron Holiday, Gary Harris, Flynn, Ish, THT, Goodwin, Saben Lee, Ty Jerome, Temple, Looney, Poole
- Cheap steals: Cody Martin, JTA, Rivers, Thybulle, Clarke, Connaughton, Willy, Burke, Rondo
- Cheap blocks: Biyombo, Craig, JTA, Reed, Thybulle, Melton, Tony Bradley, Mo Wagner, Brimah, Dwight, Naz Reid, Gafford
- Cheap FG% (min. 8 FGA): McDermott, Melo, Tye Jerome, Juan Hernangomez, Mulder, Forbes, Theis, Naz Reid, Seth, Gay, Kenyon Martin Jr., Frank Jackson, Quickley, Rondo
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!