• Hello, Hoop-Ballers. It’s me again, Erik with Friday’s Daily Dish, covering Thursday night’s games.

    While I wish I could say that it was a quiet and uneventful night, the news was not very encouraging. Why? Well, injuries, what else?

    Bobby Portis (sprained MCL) is going to be out for at least a month opening opportunities for Jabari Parker to get back into the Bulls’ starting lineup. This is tough news both for the Bulls and for Portis owners. The team is already without Lauri Markkanen (elbow) and Kris Dunn (MCL). Cameron Payne has been a serviceable add in Dunn’s absence but with Portis out we should see more from the aforementioned Parker as well as, hopefully, some Wendell Carter Jr.

    James Harden (hamstring strain) is out for at least two games with his injury which means we should see a bump in the production from Chris Paul and Eric Gordon.

    The latest buzz in the ongoing Jimmy Butler trade saga is that the Houston Rockets have reportedly offered a package of four first-round picks for the disgruntled star. Butler would be a good fit for the Rockets as he could add some defensive grit to the offensively-minded team. If he does land here, P.J. Tucker will take the biggest hit. That’s it for now. Stay tuned for the next (hopefully last) episode of this basketball telenovela.

    Well, onto the games.

    Blake Griffin continues to produce at an unprecedented level 26 points, 10 boards and a full line against the Cavaliers. Yes, the Love-less Cavs ended up falling to the Motown Madness 103-110. Considering their lack of veteran manpower, they still had a good showing for themselves, avoiding a nasty blowout. Andre Drummond was Lord of the Paint with his 26-and-22 performance. Oh, the 4-of-6 shooting from the free throw line was a sweet bonus as well.

    Sans Kevin Love, the Cavs oddly started old man Channing Frye, who did a lot of nothing impressive. Larry Nance (11-6-5-3) was finally getting into a groove as well as Collin Sexton (14-5-2). We should see more of them in the coming weeks and months. Both are worth stashing for the opportunities to mount late-season runs.

    The Celtics are too good for their own good. Fears are being validated early that they are, indeed, too stacked. Despite Gordon Hayward and Kyrie Irving have off nights, the Celtics down Russell Westbrook and the Thunder 101-95. Jayson Tatum and Al Horford shined through in this one for the win.

    The fantasy highlight on the end of the Thunder was Jerami Grant sliding into the starting lineup. He had a nice game in 31 minutes, dropping 10 points, six rebounds, a trey, two steals and a block. I alluded to Rasheed Wallace when I was beaming about him when I guested in the Boxscore Breakdown podcast. He’s a solid glue guy in fantasy as he provides 1-1-1 in the money categories while being easy on the turnover rate.

    Damian Lillard blew up for 41 points against the Magic and as expected he powered the Blazers to the 128-114 win with his performance. The fantasy eye-opener of the game belonged to Zach Collins, who had a perfect shooting night and finished with 17 points and a full line. He’s a nice deep-league add and a must-watch guy in standard leagues.

    The Magic got a surprising 21-point performance from Terrence Ross who was a little less than an afterthought in most fantasy drafts. The Jonathan Isaac watch continues with his 10 points, seven rebounds and four blocks in 30 minutes. He’s steadily getting more comfortable. Once he’s fully acclimated, expect that breakout to finally come to fruition.

    The Lakers halted their losing skid with a 114-121 win over the Nuggets. Even with Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray dropping double-double performances, the Lakers managed to still prevail thanks to LeBron James waking up with a 28-11-11 triple-double. Josh Hart supplanted Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in the starting lineup. Now whether this is merely an adjustment to the absence of Brandon Ingram and Rajon Rondo, who are both serving out suspensions, remains to be seen. Hart is ready to prove that his Summer League MVP-win was no fluke and that he’s going to be a force for this Lakers club moving forward.

    Part of me was disappointed the Lakers won. I was half-buying into the meme that Kobe Bryant would come out of retirement if the Lakers started the season 0-5. Maybe LeBron saw it and did not want to share the limelight in Tinsel Town. Oh well. Oh yeah, Lonzo Ball had another sweet game with 10-6-8 and five steals.

    That’s it for now. Catch you all next week.

Fantasy News

  • Reggie Jackson
    PG, Detroit Pistons

    Reggie Jackson (lower back tightness) is listed as probable to face the Pacers on Wednesday.

    Although the team added a few guards and Jackson is about as dull as they come, he is the starting PG for a fringe playoff team who is a reliable source for points and assists, while quietly nearly doubling his career average from the three-point range last year.

    Source: Eric Woody on Twitter

  • Markieff Morris
    PF, Detroit Pistons

    Markieff Morris (sore lower back) is being listed as questionable to play in Wednesday's game against the Pacers.

    The Pistons have a back-to-back set to open the season and are already going to be without Blake Griffin for the rest of October, so they need Morris in the lineup. Is Morris can't go, Christain Wood is going to be a hot cheap DFS play to open the season after earning a roster spot by averaging 13.2 points and 7.2 rebounds in five preseason games.

    Source: Eric Woody on Twitter

  • Blake Griffin
    PF, Detroit Pistons

    The Pistons announced on Tuesday that Blake Griffin (sore left hamstring/posterior knee soreness) will continue to receive treatment and will be re-evaluated in the first week of November.

    Things aren't looking too good for Griffin as the injuries could have some correlation. Griffin's extensive injury history is already starting to bite, and we'd have to imagine the Pistons are going to be careful with him. It will be a lot of Markieff Morris (sore lower back) and Christain Wood in the meantime.

    Source: Tim Bontemps on Twitter

  • Robert Williams III
    Team, Boston Celtics

    Robert Williams (concussion) is no longer being listed on the injury report ahead of Wednesday's game against the Sixers.

    Williams has the requisite size to match up with Embiid and may find himself in the starting C spot as the Celtics employ a mix-and-match strategy there. He is hard to trust outside of being a blocks specialist.

    Source: Jared Weiss on Twitter

  • Klay Thompson
    SG, Golden State Warriors

    In a mini reversal, Steve Kerr said on Tuesday that it's "still possible" that Klay Thompson (torn left ACL) returns this year.

    The reality is that both comments are correct and neither should be read into too much. Thompson underwent surgery to fix his ACL in July, and all the timelines being thrown out are just speculation. Owners should operate with a return after the All-Star break as a best-case scenario.

    Source: Nick Friedell on Twitter

  • Tacko Fall
    C, Boston Celtics

    Tacko Fall (concussion) has been ruled out of Wednesday's game against the Sixers.

    Fall isn't a fantasy option this year and could find himself in the G League instead of buried on the bench.

    Source: Jared Weiss on Twitter

  • Kevon Looney
    PF-C, Golden State Warriors

    Kevon Looney (left hamstring strain) said that he is 95 percent sure that he is going to play in Thursday's season opener against the Clippers.

    With Willie Cauley-Stein (left foot strain) ruled out for the game already, the Warriors are going to need Looney out there. Marquese Chriss would be in line for substantial run should Looney not be able to go.

    Source: Nick Friedell on Twitter

  • Ty Jerome
    PG, Phoenix Suns

    Ty Jerome turned his ankle in Monday's practice and he is questionable to play against the Kings on Wednesday

    The Suns have a plethora of guards, and it will be hard for Jerome to find consistent playing time this season. He is off the fantasy radar right now.

    Source: Gina Mizell on Twitter

  • Cameron Johnson
    SF, Phoenix Suns

    Cameron Johnson (strained calf), who is questionable to play against the Kings on Wednesday, was shooting after practice on Tuesday.

    Johnson can shoot the three-ball and has upside if he can get enough minutes, but that may be tough to come by battling for reserve minutes behind Mikal bridges.

    Source: Gina Mizell on Twitter

  • Eric Bledsoe
    PG, Milwaukee Bucks

    Mike Budenholzer confirmed that Eric Bledsoe (ribs) and Wesley Matthews will start against the Rockets on Thursday.

    This is a big win for fantasy owners as Bledsoe will end up missing no games after fracturing rib cartilage only 11 days ago. Bledsoe has been a reliable fantasy cntributor throughout his career and will look to keep it going.

    Source: Eric Nehm on Twitter