Sunday, April 14 2024

When Rockets point guard Fred VanVleet returned from a strained adductor on Thursday, there was concern that rookie Amen Thompson‘s fantasy value would take a hit. That has not happened, as the fourth overall pick was productive in games against the Pelicans and Suns. After accounting for 22 points, five rebounds, four assists, three blocks, and one 3-pointer in 28 minutes in Thursday’s loss to New Orleans, Thompson (45% rostered, Yahoo) had another good night as the Rockets held off the Suns on Friday.

Playing 33 minutes off the bench, he posted a stat line of 15 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, one steal, and two blocked shots. Thompson shot 6-of-11 from the field and 3-of-4 from the foul line; while the 3-point and free-throw percentages have been low, the rookie has shot nearly 61% from the field over the past two weeks. Houston‘s first two games after the All-Star break have shown that Thompson is good enough to have an impact regardless of his place within the rotation. VanVleet may be healthy, but with Tari Eason (leg) still on the mend, Thompson won’t have to struggle for minutes.

This also impacts fellow first-round pick Cam Whitmore (17%), who tallied 15 points, three rebounds, one assist, and two 3-pointers in 21 minutes off the bench against Phoenix. While more of a deep-league option currently, Whitmore is a player who could have increased value during the “silly season,” especially if Houston can’t close the gap in the race for a Play-in Tournament spot.

Let’s look at a few more of Friday’s top pickups, beginning with a starter whose team was not in action.

Ayo Dosunmu (44%)

Dosunmu has been a worthwhile streamer for a few weeks, and he won’t be dropping off the radar anytime soon. On Friday, it was reported that Patrick Williams will undergo season-ending surgery on his right foot. With Zach LaVine (ankle) lacking a timeline for return, Dosunmu will remain in the starting lineup for the foreseeable future. Over the past month, he has provided 6th-round per-game value in 8-cat formats and 7th-round value in 9-cat.

De’Andre Hunter (36%)

Hunter is an interesting case as he continues to come off the bench behind starting forwards Saddiq Bey and Jalen Johnson. However, the absence of Onyeka Okongwu (toe) prompted Hawks coach Quin Snyder to use Johnson as a backup center during segments of Friday’s loss to the Raptors. That approach could open up opportunities for Hunter, who has scored 21 points or more in three straight games. He played 25 minutes off the bench in the two-point defeat, accumulating 22 points, five rebounds, two assists, and two 3-pointers, shooting 8-of-16 from the field and 4-of-4 from the foul line.

Duncan Robinson (28%) and Jaime Jaquez Jr. (35%)

Miami‘s 106-95 win in New Orleans was a wild affair, including a fourth-quarter altercation that led to four ejections. A more significant concern for the Heat was the hyperextended left knee that Tyler Herro suffered later in the quarter. With the team already shorthanded on the perimeter, an extended absence for him would put Robinson and Jaquez back on the radar in some standard leagues. Robinson hit five 3-pointers on Friday, finishing with 17 points, two assists, and two blocked shots. Jaquez didn’t shoot the ball well (2-of-8 FGs, 4-of-4 FTs), finishing with eight points, four rebounds, one assist, and one steal.

Rui Hachimura (22%)

Over the past two weeks, Hachimura has been a top 50 player in 9-cat formats. While hesitating to commit to him is understandable due to the limited rebounding/defensive production, Rui appears firmly entrenched in the Lakers‘ starting lineup. Playing 32 minutes in Friday’s win over San Antonio, Hachimura accumulated 17 points, seven rebounds, two steals, one blocked shot, and three 3-pointers. With LeBron James still dealing with a nagging ankle issue, now would be an excellent time to consider hopping onto the Hachimura bandwagon.

Corey Kispert (15%)

With Deni Avdija (heel) being a late scratch on Friday, Kispert was a more valuable player within the Wizards rotation despite coming off the bench. One of the few bright spots in their blowout loss to Oklahoma City, Kispert hit three 3-pointers and scored 20 points with two rebounds and two steals in 25 minutes. Kispert has reached double figures in three straight and eight of his last ten games, providing 10th-round value in 9-cat formats over the past three weeks. If Avdija remains sidelined, Kispert will be a much better streaming option than Landry Shamet, who filled the resulting void in the starting lineup on Friday.

Terance Mann (4%)

The Clippers had their entire starting lineup for Friday’s game in Memphis. However, the absence of sixth-man Norman Powell (ankle) opened up additional opportunities for other members of the team’s supporting cast. Mann, the fifth starter, took full advantage, posting a stat line of 23 points, 12 rebounds, one assist, one steal, and four 3-pointers in 31 minutes. While his place within the rotation makes it difficult for Mann to provide solid fantasy value consistently, Powell being sidelined changes the equation concerning streaming him in deeper leagues.

Gradey Dick (4%)

Toronto was without RJ Barrett in Atlanta, as he was sidelined due to a nagging knee issue. While Jordan Nwora was the player moved into the starting lineup, it was the Raptors’ first-round pick who capitalized on his opportunity despite coming off the bench. Gradey shot 8-of-13 from the field in the two-point win over the Hawks, scoring 18 points with two rebounds, one assist, and two 3-pointers in 22 minutes. Toronto, which still trails Atlanta by four games in the loss column for the 10th seed in the East, has not given up its pursuit of a Play-In Tournament spot, but their rookie wing is someone who could have added value during “silly season.”

Source: Yahoo Sports

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