Sunday, January 23 2022

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Well, Wednesday was certainly a busy night in the Association, as there were 13 games on the slate. Included was a matchup between the top two picks in this summer’s draft, and the Nuggets playing without their suspended MVP. And there were big happenings on the injury front as well, with some teams welcoming back key players and others (most notably the Heat and the Warriors) losing one. Let’s dive into the Daily Dose.

Wizards 97, Cavaliers 94

With Collin Sexton out indefinitely due to a torn meniscus, it appeared as if the stage was set for Ricky Rubio to join the starting lineup. But that would not happen, as Isaac Okoro (hamstring) was finally cleared to make his return to action. Okoro started Wednesday’s loss to the Wizards, playing 28 minutes and finishing with two points (1-of-4 FGs), six rebounds and one assist. There’s clearly some rust for Okoro to work off, but he didn’t offer much in the way of fantasy value when healthy. Feel free to leave Okoro on the waiver wire until he shows that he can produce offensively on a consistent basis.

As for Rubio, he remains a must-roster player, even with his remaining with the second unit. The veteran point guard played 28 minutes, tallying 20 points (6-of-15 FGs, 7-of-8 FTs), five rebounds, five assists, two steals and one 3-pointer. Rubio, who’s providing 8th-round value in 9-cat formats per Basketball Monster, is rostered in 74% of Yahoo leagues. With that being the case, managers in more competitive leagues will likely have to make a trade if they want Rubio on their roster.

Evan Mobley (19/7/2/0/1 with one 3-pointer) was limited to 26 minutes due to foul trouble, but still managed to record a solid stat line. He, Darius Garland (19/1/4/1 with three 3-pointers) and Jarrett Allen (13/10/4/2/2) will have to shoulder even more of the load offensively with Sexton, Lauri Markkanen and Kevin Love (health and safety protocols) all sidelined.

As far as the Wizards are concerned, Bradley Beal shot just 4-of-19 from the field after scoring 30 points in Sunday’s win over the Bucks. There’s no need for concern, and the Wizards received quality efforts from Kyle Kuzma (22/5/1/1/1 with six 3-pointers) and Montrezl Harrell (24/11/3/2). Kuzma, who hit the game-winning basket, has shot 50% or better from the field in each of his last three games. For a player who’s shooting 43.4% from the field on the season, this is a welcome development.

Harrell continues to shine, providing top-20 value in 9-cat formats, and he’s been too valuable to consider selling high at this point. Daniel Gafford (4/6/1/2) returning hasn’t impacted Harrell’s production, and the eventual return Thomas Bryant (ACL) shouldn’t, either.

Nets 123, Magic 90

Kevin Durant (30/5/2 with two 3-pointers) and James Harden (17/11/11/2 with one 3-pointer) had solid nights, but were also responsible for six turnovers apiece. Durant doesn’t usually post that high of a turnover count, and Harden can make up for his in other areas, so there’s no need to be concerned there. That being said, it would be nice to see Harden get back to the high-scoring lead guard that he’s been in years past.

LaMarcus Aldridge (21/8/0/0/1 with three 3-pointers) being a top-100 player is something that none of us expected when he announced that he was coming out of retirement, but here we are. Rostered in 53% of Yahoo leagues, LMA is a must-add right now. Nicolas Claxton (illness) remains without a timeline for return, and Blake Griffin (two rebounds and two assists in 19 minutes) has been too inconsistent to be relied on in most fantasy leagues. Aldridge has now scored 19 points or more in three of Brooklyn’s last four games. DeAndre’ Bembry (11/1/3 with three 3-pointers) and Jevon Carter (10/3/5/1 with two 3-pointers) had good nights, but neither is worth adding or streaming, regardless of league format.

The big news for Orlando was the left eye injury suffered by Wendell Carter Jr. (9/5/1 with one 3-pointer in 18 minutes), who exited the game during the third quarter and did not return. Should he have to miss time, that would open up more minutes for Chuma Okeke at the power forward position. Okeke (4/5/3) played 23 minutes off the bench Wednesday night, and would have some deep league streaming value in the scenario listed above. Franz Wagner (10/7/1/6) would be a better choice, but with the rookie rostered in 62% of Yahoo leagues, it’s going to be difficult to find him in your more competitive leagues.

Jalen Suggs (7/5/4 in 25 minutes) continues to struggle with his shot, making just two of his eight field goal attempts on the night. I’m holding onto Suggs in hopes that he can turn things around soon, but any manager that decides they’ve had enough can’t be blamed at this point. Suggs is shooting just 30.6% from the field, barely ranking within the top-300 in 9-cat formats. Cole Anthony (10/8/2/3) had a tough night, but he’s been on such a heater to begin the season that you had to expect a game like this at some point.

Celtics 104, Raptors 88

With Jaylen Brown (hamstring) still sidelined, Dennis Schroder (20/3/4 with two 3-pointers) made another start for the victorious Celtics. The good news is that he shot the ball well, making 8-of-15 field goal attempts. The bad news? Schroder committed a season-high eight turnovers. Only averaging 2.5 per game, Schroder’s issue thus far has actually been his poor shooting (39.3% FGs). Having made at least 40.9% of his attempts in each of Boston’s last three games, hopefully Schroder can continue to make progress. With Brown expected to miss 1-2 weeks as he recovers, Schroder will not lack for starts or playing time.

Jayson Tatum (22/12/7/1 with three 3-pointers) put up 24 shots, making eight, raising his total to 43 over the last two games. Tatum is clearly going to get even more shots than he already did now that Brown is sidelined, but there are two questions to answer. How efficient will Tatum be? And will his teammates also get more looks? All five starters attempted at least 11 shots Wednesday night, with reserve Josh Richardson (15/3/1/3/1 with two 3-pointers) getting nine. Richardson (rostered in 6% of Yahoo leagues) is worth adding in deep leagues due to Brown’s absence, while he should be tracked closely in standard leagues.

For Toronto, Pascal Siakam (8/7/3/2) failed to have much of an impact in his 30 minutes on the court. Getting all the way back to where he was prior to the shoulder surgery is going to take some time, so some patience will need to be exercised here. Precious Achiuwa (3/9/3/1/3), who was moved to the bench when Siakam returned, didn’t offer much offensively, but the defensive production (rebounds, steals and blocks) is something that we’ll take. With Siakam likely to rest and Khem Birch (knee) still sidelined, Achiuwa is worth streaming for Thursday’s game against the 76ers. Scottie Barnes (21/7/4) also stands to benefit if Siakam sits out the second game of the back-to-back, as his usage has dipped some recently.

Bucks 112, Knicks 100

One night after Grayson Allen (15/5/2/0/1 with five 3-pointers) went off in a win over the 76ers, it was Pat Connaughton who stepped up as the Bucks held off the Knicks. Shooting 8-of-14, Connaughton finished with 23 points, nine rebounds, five assists and seven 3-pointers in 31 minutes. Ranked just outside of the top-100 in 9-cat, Connaughton is a definite streaming option for as long as Khris Middleton (health and safety protocols) remains sidelined. Bobby Portis (17 points, five rebounds and three 3-pointers) didn’t offer much defensively, but he’s a player who should be rostered in all leagues. With Brook Lopez (back) without a timeline for return, Portis should not have a rostered percentage of just 64% in Yahoo leagues.

Jrue Holiday (18/2/6/1 with four 3-pointers) bounced back from his showing Tuesday night in Philadelphia, a positive development given the number of games that he missed due to both an ankle injury and an illness. Something to keep an eye on ahead of Friday’s game against the Celtics is the status of Giannis Antetokounmpo, who tweaked his right ankle. He still played 38 minutes Wednesday night, finishing with 15 points, 15 rebounds, eight assists, one steal, two blocks and two 3-pointers, but an ankle injury can certainly stiffen up in the hours that follow. Allen, who tweaked his right wrist during Wednesday’s game, Connaughton and Holiday would all see their values increase if Giannis were to sit out Friday night.

The Knicks’ starters were poor, with Tom Thibodeau making the decision to bench all five for the entire fourth quarter. The decision likely wasn’t a difficult one either, as the reserves dragged New York back from a 24-point deficit to tie the game at 89. Given the struggles of that first five on both ends of the floor, it’s fair to question if Thibodeau will look to shake things up. And if so, who moves to the bench? Kemba Walker (two points, two assists and one steal) is the player in the crosshairs of some given his slow start, while Evan Fournier (two points, two assists and one steal) and RJ Barrett (9/3/1/1 with one 3-pointer) both struggled.

Barrett has not taken the step that some fantasy managers expected before the season began, as he still ranks outside of the top-150 in 9-cat. The issue is that he doesn’t produce all that much in the defensive categories, averaging 0.4 steals and 0.3 blocks per game. Being a starter makes Barrett a player worth holding, but that could very well change down the line. Derrick Rose (22/3/7/3/1 with six 3-pointers) should be rostered in most leagues, while Immanuel Quickley (18/5/4/1 with two 3-pointers) and Obi Toppin (14/6/2/1/1) should be left on the waiver wire. Their minutes (and production) have been too inconsistent at this point in the season.

Pistons 112, Rockets 104

The matchup of the top two picks in this summer’s draft did not disappoint, as both Cade Cunningham (20/4/3/2/1 with four 3-pointers) and Jalen Green (23/5/2 with three 3-pointers) both posted solid stat lines. But it was the former who left with the win, while also shooting 4-of-8 from three. After going 1-of-21 from deep in his first three games, Cunningham is 7-of-15 over the last two. He was a 40% 3-point shooter at Oklahoma State, so it should come as no surprise that Cunningham has found his form.

As for Green, the percentages remain lower than what you’d want, but you’ll take the overall performance given his struggles scoring-wise. After scoring 24 points in a November 2 loss to the Lakers, he scored a total of 34 points in the three games that followed. With Alperen Sengun (illness) sidelined, Usman Garuba being a DNP-CD and Josh Christopher playing just five minutes, Green was the only Rockets first-round pick to figure prominently in Wednesday’s game.

Of greater importance to Houston and fantasy managers alike was that Christian Wood bounced back from a terrible game Sunday night against the Warriors. He certainly got his wish with regard to being more involved in the offense, shooting 7-of-14 from the field and posting a line of 20 points, nine rebounds, three assists, and three 3-pointers. It would have been nice to get some defensive stats out of Wood, but the offensive production is the key here. After a breakout 2020-21 season, he’s currently ranked just outside of the top-100 in 9-cat formats. It goes without saying that many fantasy managers were expecting more from Wood when the season began.

On the Detroit side of things, Jerami Grant (35/5/3/0/2 with four 3-pointers) went off, establishing a new season-high in points. Going 12-of-23 from the field, he was lights years better than he was in Friday’s loss to the Nets (0-of-9 FGs). There are likely many fantasy managers who would like to know what the deal is with Isaiah Stewart. Facing early foul trouble he played just 18 minutes Wednesday, posting a line of four points, eight rebounds, one assist, one steal and one blocked shot. At least Stewart produced a full line, but there wasn’t much to be had in the way of value.

Kelly Olynyk (13/6/1/2/1 with three 3-pointers) injured his left knee during the game, and it remains to be seen just how serious the injury is. If he has to miss an extended period of time that would free up minutes for Trey Lyles, but hopefully this would simply mean even more minutes for Stewart. In this scenario, Lyles would not be worth streaming in most fantasy leagues.

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Bulls 117, Mavericks 107

Chicago’s point guards are the story here, as Lonzo Ball (20/6/6/1 with seven 3-pointers) and Alex Caruso (16/2/1/6 with three 3-pointers) both had big nights. The former established a new career-high with the seven triples, while the latter tied his career-high with his six steals. Ball, a top-50 player in 9-cat, is already rostered in 98% of Yahoo leagues, so there isn’t much need to discuss his value. As for Caruso, how is he rostered in just 45% of Yahoo leagues? Even with the reserve role, he’s still playing 27.5 minutes per game and providing 6th-round value in 9-cat formats.

Zach LaVine (23/3/3/1 with two 3-pointers) and Nikola Vucevic (18/10/4/1 with one 3-pointer) had efficient nights, while DeMar DeRozan (17/7/6/0/1) shot 7-of-20 from the field. Also of note for the Bulls is the progress being made by Coby White (shoulder), who practiced with the franchise’s G League affiliate on Thursday. Provided things go well with his workout on Thursday, White could travel with the team for its upcoming road trip. So a return to game action isn’t far off, and this could ultimately bounce rookie Ayo Dosunmu out of the rotation.

Luka Doncic (20/8/10/4/1 with one 3-pointer) posted a full line, but he criticized himself for not taking better shots after the game. With Dallas scheduled to play the Spurs Friday night, Doncic’s assist tally and field goal percentage will be worth tracking. Shooting struggles aside, he’ll be fine moving forward. Tim Hardaway Jr. (21/3/2 with five 3-pointers) and Kristaps Porzingis (22/12/1 with two 3-pointers were both productive, and the same can be said for backup Jalen Brunson (12/4/7/1 in 29 minutes). Brunson’s rostered in 64% of Yahoo leagues, which is a bit low given his production (9th-round value in 9c-cat formats.

Hornets 118, Grizzlies 108

The “Tsumani Papi Show” took over Memphis, as Kelly Oubre had his best game of the season. In 31 minutes off the bench he shot 13-of-17 from the field and 4-of-4 from the foul line, tallying 37 points, five rebounds, one assist, two steals and seven 3-pointers. Oubre hasn’t been the most consistent player thus far, but he has been more productive coming off the bench than he was as a starter filling in for Terry Rozier (11/3/5/2/1 with one 3-pointer). Oubre is still rostered in 53% of Yahoo leagues, which sounds about right given the lack of consistent production.

Gordon Hayward (25/5/5/1 with two 3-pointers) put up a nice point total but a lot of his damage was done at the foul line, as he went 11-of-11. The five turnovers didn’t help matters either, which moves his tally up to nine over the last two games. There isn’t any need for concern, however, as Hayward had a total of five turnovers in the six games prior. And after his hot start to the season, Miles Bridges (10/9/6/2/1 with one 3-pointer) has cooled off a bit. Over his last four games he’s shot 32.3% from the field, hitting the 20-point mark just once during this stretch.

Bridges is still a top-20 player in 9-cat, and that early run felt like fool’s gold given his ADP (93.0 in Yahoo leagues). He’ll be fine, as Bridges’ production in other areas will ensure that he retains solid value. LaMelo Ball (12/9/8/2 with two 3-pointers) had a relatively quiet night by his standards, while Jalen McDaniels (6/6/1/1/1 with one 3-pointer) played 22 minutes off the bench. With P.J. Washington (left elbow) still sidelined and the Hornets not having much faith in their centers other than Mason Plumlee, minutes have opened up for McDaniels. He certainly isn’t worth picking up, but it was good to see him contribute a full line Wednesday night.

Memphis welcomed back Dillon Brooks, who made his season debut after undergoing offseason wrist surgery. And to his credit Brooks was sure to make up for lost time, putting up 17 shots (making eight) and finishing with a line of 20 points, four rebounds, six assists, two steals and four 3-pointers. Brooks did not start however, coming off the bench as De’Anthony Melton (7/8/3/2/2 with one 3-pointer) and Desmond Bane (two points, one rebound) remaining with the first five.

In the case of Bane he’s in the midst of a serious slump, having missed his last 15 3-point attempts. The second-year guard was 0-of-7 Wednesday (1-of-10 FGs overall), playing 21 minutes before fouling out. Whenever Brooks is reinserted into the starting lineup, either Bane or Melton will have to sit. That being said, both should be able to retain much of their fantasy value, as the logjam was cleared up over the summer with the trade of Grayson Allen. Ja Morant (32/7/8/3 with one 3-pointer) won his individual duel with Ball, but it wasn’t enough to get the win.

Thunder 108, Pelicans 100

Luguentz Dort had his best game of the season in this one, shooting 8-of-13 from the field and 9-of-10 from the foul line, finishing with 27 points, five rebounds, two assists and tow 3-pointers in 34 minutes. Dort’s offense has always been behind his defense, and he entered Wednesday shooting just 34.4% from the field. That’s why he’s rostered in just 34% of Yahoo leagues, as Dort is not even a top-150 player in 9-cat formats. Some fantasy managers may see Wednesday’s effort as a reason to pick him up, but it’s better to wait and see if Dort can build on it before making that leap.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (24/7/5/1/2 with two 3-pointers) also had a productive night, while Josh Giddey (7/12/9/1 with one 3-pointers) did a little bit of everything for the Thunder. The sixth overall pick in this summer’s draft, Giddey is rostered in 76% of Yahoo leagues, and that’s too low given his all-around production and importance to the Thunder rotation. Mike Muscala (12/1/1/1/1 with three 3-pointers) and Darius Bazley (14/7/1 with one 3-pointer) are both worthy of consideration in deep leagues, but neither is a must-add at this point. Muscala has largely been a points, rebounds and 3-pointers option, and he’s rostered in just 2% of Yahoo leagues.

For the Pelicans Jonas Valanciunas just keeps on producing, as he posted a line of 25 points, 15 rebounds, two assists, one steal, one block and one 3-pointer in 39 minutes. A top-10 player in 9-cat, those who have Valanciunas rostered would be better off holding onto him and not attempting to sell high. With Brandon Ingram and Zion Williamson both sidelined, the veteran center is of high importance to the Pelicans rotation.

Nickeil Alexander-Walker had one of the best games of his career, going off for 33 points while also tallying 10 rebounds, four assists, two steals, one blocked shot and four 3-pointers. He’s currently ranked just outside of the top-100 in 9-cat formats, and rostered in 78% of Yahoo leagues. While his field goal percentage (36.6) leaves a lot to be desired, Alexander-Walker should have a higher rostered percentage due to the absences mentioned above. Devonte’ Graham (18/2/4/1 with three 3-pointers) has been solid all season long, while Josh Hart (4/3/1/1) had a quiet night before getting ejected in the second quarter.

Going back to Ingram, he has missed the Pelicans’ last six games, which has freed up additional minutes for Garrett Temple (3/3/5/2) and Herbert Jones (4/6/4/2/1). Jones, who had been dealing with an ankle injury, filled his stat line but there wasn’t much to write home about there. Neither he nor Temple is worth much consideration outside of deep leagues, and that would be as streaming options so long as Ingram is sidelined.

Spurs 136, Kings 117

These are interesting times in Sacramento, as it was reported that Marvin Bagley refused to enter Sunday’s game against the Suns. Prior to Wednesday’s game in San Antonio, Kings coach Luke Walton refused to elaborate on the situation, preferring to keep things in-house. Sure enough Bagley, who has been out of the rotation all season long, picked up another DNP-CD. It’s no secret that he wants out, and the Kings clearly don’t view Bagley as a building block for the future. But putting the man on ice doesn’t seem to be a great way to go about boosting his trade value.

As for on-court matters, Tyrese Haliburton (back) was held out, resulting in Buddy Hield joining the starting lineup. Hield played 34 minutes, posting a line of 12 points, one rebound, two assists, one steal and two 3-pointers. He’s a nice middle-round player in fantasy basketball, and can be valuable for managers in need of 3-pointers, but that’s all. De’Aaron Fox (37/2/6/1/3 with two 3-pointers) having one of his best games of the season may be the most important development for the Kings, given his slow start.

Still ranked well outside of the top-100, Fox hit the 30-point mark for the first time this season, and has scored 61 points in the Kings’ last two games. And those just happen to be games that Haliburton was unable to play in due to the back injury. That is certainly something to keep an eye on once Haliburton is healthy enough to play. His absence also meant more playmaking responsibilities for Davion Mitchell, who put up 13 points, three rebounds, six assists and one 3-pointer in 26 minutes. Mitchell’s shot remains an issue, as he was 6-of-16 from the field, but he’s still rostered in 29% of Yahoo leagues. There isn’t much reason to keep Mitchell rostered in standard leagues.

Simply put San Antonio ran roughshod in this one, with seven players (including four reserves) scoring at least 15 points. Dejounte Murray (26/6/7/2 with two 3-pointers) led the way, with Drew Eubanks (18/6/2/1) and Doug McDermott (17/3/2 with four 3-pointers) also playing well. Thaddeus Young (17/5/8/1/1) is a must-have with Jakob Poeltl (health and safety protocols) still sidelined, even more so than Eubanks (who’s starting). Young is still outside of the top-100 but isn’t far off, making this a good time to pick him up if available.

Devin Vassell, Lonnie Walker and Bryn Forbes all scored 15 points apiece, with the former also accounting for five rebounds, one assist, one steal and five 3-pointers. Rostered in just 25% of Yahoo leagues, now would be a very good time to pick up Vassell, who remains a top-100 player. If there was a negative for San Antonio, it’s that Derrick White continues to struggle with his shot. Just 1-of-6 from the field, he finished with two points, four rebounds, six assists, two steals and one blocked shot in 30 minutes. The overall stat line is why managers who have White should avoid making a move; even if he isn’t scoring, there are other areas in which he can accumulate stats. And we’re talking about a player who’s a near 45% shooter for his career. White will bounce back eventually.

Nuggets 101, Pacers 98

With Nikola Jokic serving a one-game suspension, Denver called on JaMychal Green to fill the void in the middle of the starting lineup. A popular choice among DFS managers looking for a cheap roster filler, Green played played 22 minutes and finished with two points, seven rebounds, two assists and one blocked shot. Those of you who streamed JaMychal drop him back onto the waiver wire, and Jeff Green (12/2/1/0/1) would have been a better choice. He stands to remain in the starting lineup, as the Nuggets will be without Michael Porter Jr. (back) for the foreseeable future.

The safer assumption when looking at Denver without Jokic was that Will Barton would go off, and he certainly did. Shooting 11-of-19 from the field and 2-of-2 from the foul line, he put up 30 points, six rebounds, three assists, two steals and six 3-pointers in 34 minutes. Barton, who was already playing well, is still rostered in just 78% of Yahoo leagues. That number should be, at minimum, well into the 80s as we’re talking about a player who’s providing top-30 value in 9-cat. Just as big for the Nuggets were the performances of Nah’Shon Hyland (12/3/4 with two 3-pointers) and Zeke Nnaji (19/5/0/0/1 with two 3-pointers), who both established new career-highs.

Neither is worthy of consideration in most leagues, but they may have given Michael Malone something to think about regarding how he distributes minutes on the back end of the rotation.

Indiana was forced to make a change to its starting lineup due to injury, as Caris LeVert was ruled out due to a back issue. Justin Holiday made the move up from the bench, accounting for six points, two rebounds, one assist and two 3-pointers in 35 minutes. Rostered in 26% of Yahoo leagues, he is (at best) a deep-league option. Malcolm Brogdon (25/3/5/3/2 with three 3-pointers) and Domantas Sabonis (20/19/2/1/1 with one 3-pointer) did most of the heavy lifting offensively for the Pacers, who also received a line of 13 points, eight rebounds, six blocks and two 3-pointers from Myles Turner.

No surprise there, and the same can be said for T.J. McConnell (16/3/9/0/1 in 29 minutes). McConnell is one of the most productive point guards in fantasy basketball, and certainly merits consideration in deep leagues. And it may not be long until we’re saying the same about him for standard leagues.

Suns 119, Trail Blazers 109

One could argue that Suns backup center Frank Kaminsky hasn’t looked as good as he did Wednesday since he was plying his trade at Wisconsin on teams that made consecutive Final Four appearances in 2014 and 2015. Whether that’s a testament to him staying ready, or an indictment of the Portland defense, who knows. What we do know is that “Frank the Tank” shot 12-of-18 from the field and 5-of-5 from the foul line, finishing with 31 points, seven rebounds, three assists, one block and two 3-pointers in 31 minutes.

With Deandre Ayton (leg) still sidelined, Kaminsky is certainly worth taking a flier on in most leagues. And with his being rostered in 11% of Yahoo leagues, it won’t require too much effort to find him on a waiver wire. Chris Paul (21/4/7/0/1 with one 3-pointer) and JaVale McGee (14/8/1), who’s been starting in place of Ayton, also had good nights for the home team. McGee does offer some streaming value in the short-term, but not to the point where you should drop a player whose place within his team’s rotation is already secure.

Damian Lillard (28/7/7 with one 3-pointer) is warming up after getting off to a slow start, as he has scored 25 or more in four of Portland’s last five games. The question is whether or not he aggravated the abdominal strain that he played through at the Tokyo Olympics, and if this could be an issue down the line. For now Lillard is pushing through, but his health will also impact the fantasy prospects of C.J. McCollum (18/4/7/0/1 with one 3-pointer) and Norman Powell (23/3/1/1 with three 3-pointers). Both McCollum and Powell rank just outside of the top-50 in 9-cat, which was to be expected.

Warriors 123, Timberwolves 110

The “Andrew Wiggins Experience” can be a bit frustrating at times, but Wednesday was not one of those nights. Clearly motivated to face his former team, Wiggins went off for 35 points, four rebounds, two steals and three 3-pointers, shooting 14-of-19 from the field. Included in this were two dunks on Karl-Anthony Towns, as the Warriors coasted to their 10th win in 11 games. Stephen Curry (25/5/6/1 with three 3-pointers) and Kevon Looney (11/17/1/2/1) had good nights, but the bigger story for the Warriors was the thigh injury suffered by Draymond Green (7/5/6/2/1). He was limited to 21 minutes, and an extended absence would have a major impact on the Warriors’ frontcourt rotation.

Green being sidelined would result in veteran forwards Otto Porter (10/4/0/1 with two 3-pointers) and Andre Iguodala (0/4/8/2/2) becoming players of even greater importance, with the latter being the better playmaker and defender of the two. Managers looking to add immediately before the Warriors announce anything regarding the severity of Green’s injury will likely go with Porter, which would make sense given the fact that he’s already providing 10th-round value in 9-cat. But this a spot in which patience could be rewarded, as Iguodala (or even Juan Toscano-Anderson) could be asked to serve as that frontcourt playmaker. If that happens, Iguodala’s fantasy value would jump by a significant margin.

Minnesota wing Anthony Edwards had the best game of his career, scoring 48 points (16-of-27 FGs, 9-of-12 FTs) to go along with five rebounds, five assists, two steals and seven 3-pointers. Edwards’ turnover count (six) was a negative, but he more than made up for that with the overall line. Towns (17/12/4/2 with five 3-pointers) and D’Angelo Russell (18/1/7/0/1 with four 3-pointers) also scored in double figures, but it’s a bit concerning that the former played 38 minutes but did not attempt a single free throw. Given Towns’ skill level, that shouldn’t happen, but there’s no reason to think that this will become the norm for him. Naz Reid (16/7/2/1 with one 3-pointer) had a good night, and is worth a look in deep leagues if you’re in serious need of a center.

Lakers 120, Heat 117 (OT)

Already shorthanded, the Heat took another loss during Wednesday’s overtime defeat in Los Angeles. Jimmy Butler (seven points, one assist and two steals) played the entire first quarter but did not return, with it later being revealed that he sprained his right ankle. This was the first game of a back-to-back for Miami, which takes on the Clippers Thursday night, so we’ll see if Butler is able to play on such as quick turnaround. If he can’t go, that makes Bam Adebayo (28/10/4/6) and Tyler Herro (27/4/3 with five 3-pointers) players of even greater importance to the Heat.

Obviously, with both players boasting rostered percentages above 90%, you aren’t going to be able to pick up either in fantasy leagues. But Adebayo and Herro become even more valuable in DFS leagues should Butler be sidelined.

Kyle Lowry (18/6/11/1 with two 3-pointers) falls into the same category, as the ball is in his hands even more than it already was. P.J. Tucker (10/13/2/1) had a good night, but he still isn’t worth rostering in standard leagues. As for Duncan Robinson (12/6/3/3/1 with three 3-pointers), he shot just 4-of-16 from the field, but fantasy managers have to like the fact that he posted a full line. That being said, the field goal percentage needs to improve, as he’s just 34.5% from the field on the season. That number is impacted by Robinson’s reliance on the 3-pointer, but the struggles limit his fantasy ceiling.

With LeBron James (abdominals) sidelined, the impact has been felt by the entire Lakers rotation. Russell Westbrook (25/12/14/1/2 with three 3-pointers) has the ball in his hands even more, which can be a mixed bag of sorts (eight turnovers Wednesday). And Anthony Davis (24/13/4/1/1 with one 3-pointer) is asked to do even more with regard to scoring. And we’ve seen Carmelo Anthony (12/6/1/1 with one 3-pointer) step up as well. But how about Malik Monk? He scored a season-high 27 points Wednesday night, while also contributing six rebounds, three assists, one block and four 3-pointers in 35 minutes off the bench.

Well off the fantasy radar in most leagues, Monk has hit double figures in each of the last three games. Is he a must-roster player? Absolutely not. But it would not hurt to consider picking up Monk, as he’s rostered in just 3% of Yahoo leagues. If anything, he’s worth rolling he dice on as a low-cost DFS option until James is cleared to return. And based upon reports, it may be a little while until that time comes. Avery Bradley (17/3/2/1/1 with five 3-pointers) also had his best game of the season, but I’d rank Monk ahead of him when discussing some of the Lakers’ bit players who merit a look in fantasy leagues. Wayne Ellington hit four 3-pointers, but his minutes stand to decrease significantly once Austin Reaves (hamstring) is cleared to return. Neither is a must-roster player right now.

Source: Yahoo Sports


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