• A full ten-game slate brought lots of action to NBA fans on Friday night, including a career night for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and another chapter in the Sacramento Kings/Marvin Bagley/Richaun Holmes/Nemanja Bjelica playing time drama. More on that soon, but first let’s make some adds and drops.

    Add(s) of the Night

    Dillon Brooks, SG, Memphis Grizzlies – 33 minutes, 16 points, seven rebounds, four assists, four 3-pointers, two steals, one block, 5-for-16 FG

    This was an uncharacteristically well-rounded line from Dillon Brooks, who has been putting up consistent value mainly as a source of points and steals recently. Brooks tends to be an up-and-down fantasy asset but he’s playing good minutes for this Memphis team and is worth a look while his play is on the upswing to see how long it can last.

    If you’re looking for more potential adds, check out our Pickups of the Night, part of the Hoop Ball Gametime Premium package.

    Drop Zone

    We’re not saying that you have to drop any of these guys, only that you should at least consider it depending who’s on your waiver wire. Your mileage may vary based on league size and team build, but for the most part we’ll try to cut dead weight in the 12-team range.

    Harrison Barnes

    While Barnes may not be a drop in every single situation, the simple truth is that his roster percentage is inflated and not justified by his production. It’s taking Barnes 35 minutes per game to average a very pedestrian 15.5 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.3 threes per game – numbers that could easily be improved upon with some strategic streaming. On top of that, add in how the Kings are slowly getting healthier and it makes sense to consider someone on your waivers for Barnes’ spot.

    Injury Report

    Fred VanVleet returned to action on Friday night from a right knee contusion, finishing with 18 points, nine rebounds, eight assists, a steal and a triple in 34 minutes.

    Eric Paschall injured his right knee in Friday’s game and did not return

    Michael Carter-Williams injured his left shoulder in Friday’s game and was not able to return. He was seen with his left arm in a sling after the game.

    Carmelo Anthony left Friday’s game with a left knee contusion and did not return. He indicated after the game that it isn’t serious and he expects to be back soon.


    Shai’s Big Day

    So much of fantasy basketball has to do with timing. When is the right time to add or drop someone? When is it a good call to buy low or sell high? Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is an example of someone who we all thought was in a buy-low window as recently as a week ago after failing to score 20 points in three straight games from December 11-16.

    After Friday’s performance where he dropped in a career-high 32 points on a scorching 13-for-18 from the field, it seems the time is no longer right to try and buy Gilgeous-Alexander low. So what’s the lesson learned here? If you see an opportunity for a buy-low or sell-high type move, make it quickly. These things change fast and timing is always key.

    The Sacramento front court conundrum

    As much as “the Sacramento front court conundrum” may sound like some hipster band from California, I’m actually using it to refer to something much more confusing. When Marvin Bagley fractured his thumb, the Kings finally unleashed Richaun Holmes in a 30 mpg type of role much to the delight of fantasy hoops nerds everywhere. Holmes proceeded to do exactly what most of us thought he would in extended minutes and produced big numbers and looked like the best big on the Kings.

    Now that Bagley is back in the lineup, things are getting a bit crowded with Holmes, Bagley and Nemanja Bjelica all looking worthy of rotation minutes. As of now, Bagley is still coming off the bench so it’s hard to peg just where this is headed. What we do know is that Holmes hasn’t played more than 27 minutes since Bagley has returned.

    For now, you have to continue to hold all three with the understanding that Bjelica or Holmes could become drop candidates depending on who Luke Walton decides to play next to Bagley more frequently. It’s a tough situation with how productive Holmes and Bjelica have been but it’s also understandable that the Kings want to get Bagley as much experience as possible.

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