Saturday, April 20 2024

Already down three starters (OG Anunoby, Julius Randle, and Mitchell Robinson) due to injury, the last thing the Knicks needed on Sunday was to lose another marquee player. Sure enough, Jalen Brunson banged knees with Isaac Okoro during the first minute of the Knicks’ game in Cleveland and did not return. That injury freed up additional rotation minutes for Miles McBride (2% rostered, Yahoo), who subbed into the game … and never left.

McBride played 47 minutes in the Knicks’ 107-98 win, accounting for 16 points, one rebound, five assists, and four 3-pointers. While his 6-of-15 night from the field wasn’t impressive, Deuce did not commit a turnover, and only Jericho Sims (+17) and Josh Hart (+16) boasted higher plus/minus ratings. Given his production in prior starts this season, McBride stepping up should not be surprising. In four starts, he averaged 17.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, 4.8 assists, 1.5 steals, 0.8 blocks, and 3.0 3-pointers in 40.0 minutes, shooting 45.0% from the field and 80.0% from the foul line. McBride has also taken care of the basketball as a spot starter, averaging 1.5 turnovers per game.

Following Sunday’s win, it was reported that X-rays on Brunson’s knee were negative, and he has been diagnosed with a left knee contusion. McBride wasn’t on many fantasy managers’ radars before Sunday, but he should be now. New York begins a three-game Week 19 slate on Tuesday when they host Atlanta. If Brunson’s injury leads to McBride moving into the starting lineup, he will be worth streaming. Let’s look at a few more of Sunday’s top pickups:

Norman Powell (43%)

Sunday’s matchup with the Timberwolves was the first game for the Clippers since Russell Westbrook suffered a fractured left hand on Friday. While Bones Hyland handled the backup point guard responsibilities, he only played 14 minutes off the bench. Powell remains a superior streaming option despite not being a point guard, and he’ll be worth holding onto for the foreseeable future based on his performance in Minneapolis. He scored 24 points off the bench, shooting 9-of-13 from the field while contributing three rebounds, one steal, and six 3-pointers in 27 minutes. The Clippers play four games in Week 19, beginning with the Bucks on Monday.

Kelly Olynyk (49%)

A trendy name in the immediate aftermath of the Raptors losing Scottie Barnes to a broken finger, Olynyk didn’t offer much offense in Sunday’s win over the Hornets. He missed all four of his field-goal attempts and scored four points to go along with four rebounds, four assists, two steals, and two blocks in 26 minutes. Ochai Agbaji was the choice to replace Barnes in the starting lineup, but Olynyk remains the superior fantasy option. Also, starting center Jakob Poeltl exited Sunday’s game before halftime with a dislocated finger. Should he also miss time, that enhances Olynyk’s fantasy value even more. Toronto plays three games in Week 19, beginning with the Pelicans on Tuesday.

Grant Williams (26%)

With Nick Richards (foot) ruled out, the Hornets went small in Toronto as Williams slid into the starting lineup. He played reasonably well, finishing the defeat with 18 points, 13 rebounds, five assists, one steal, and one blocked shot in 40 minutes. The most significant issue for Williams was the turnover count, as he racked up six. While his fantasy value hasn’t improved much since being traded to Charlotte, Williams has a more straightforward path to fantasy relevance now than with the Mavericks. Williams could be in for another start if Richards can’t play in Tuesday’s game against the Magic.

Simone Fontecchio (19%)

Providing 11th-round value in 9-cat formats over the past two weeks, Fontecchio has reached double figures in seven of the nine games he’s played since being traded to the Pistons. He played 33 minutes in Sunday’s loss to Orlando, finishing with 15 points, four rebounds, four assists, two steals, and two 3-pointers. Quentin Grimes (knee) being sidelined freed up additional minutes for Fontecchio, as did the starters have a rough night at the office. That said, Fontecchio’s shooting ability provides the Pistons with a valuable spacer, which can help clear up driving lanes for Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey.

T.J. McConnell (14%)

Every so often, McConnell is good for a night like the one he had in San Antonio on Sunday, even if Tyrese Haliburton and Andrew Nembhard are both available. Making 13 of his 15 shots from the field, McConnell scored 26 points with two rebounds, five assists, and three steals in the Pacers‘ 12-point loss to the Spurs. If you already have him, McConnell is worth holding onto, but he isn’t worth rushing out to add unless Haliburton or Nembhard were to be sidelined with an injury.

Isaac Okoro (9%) and Sam Merrill (1%)

While the Knicks were nowhere near full strength on Sunday, their opposition was also down a few key pieces. Donovan Mitchell (knee) and Caris LeVert (elbow) were sidelined, which resulted in Okoro moving into the starting lineup and Merrill logging more rotation minutes off the bench. Okoro recorded a full stat line, finishing with 17 points, five rebounds, four assists, two steals, one block, and three 3-pointers. As for Merrill, he shot 7-of-13 from three and tallied 21 points, three rebounds, and two assists in 29 minutes. Their respective values moving forward depend on the availability of Mitchell and LeVert, but Okoro and Merrill played well enough to land on more managers’ radars in the short term.

Malaki Branham (2%)

Even with his move into the starting lineup, Branham wasn’t a player that fantasy managers needed to add ahead of the Spurs’ matchup with the Pacers. But he’s worth adding to watch lists ahead of “silly season,” especially if Gregg Popovich keeps him in the starting lineup. Branham accounted for 18 points, four rebounds, six assists, one steal, and two 3-pointers in 31 minutes, shooting 7-of-13 from the field and 2-of-2 from the foul line. San Antonio plays three games in Week 19, so the schedule isn’t great for Branham. But keep an eye on his minutes and production, as the Spurs play four games in Week 20.

Source: Yahoo Sports

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