December 3, 2018, 7:28 am
Sunday was a rough night for fantasy basketball as we saw multiple players start games and fail to finish them for a variety of reasons. The biggest news of the evening was Devin Booker coming up lame after chasing after a loose ball. It looks like his left hammy is acting up again, he previously missed three games due to it and will likely miss at least this week to get it right. Joining Booker on the shelf were Rodney McGruder with a right ankle sprain, and Marvin Williams who sprained his shoulder. One player refused to stay down though and that was Dennis Smith Jr., who exacted revenge on the Clippers by getting the game-winning block after having his tooth knocked out, and placed back in during the third quarter.
Welcome to La-La Land
The Lakers started us off on Sunday with the early home game and came ready to play for the post-brunch crowd. The game was a blowout by the second half although the Lakers first had to overcome a first-quarter deficit to finish the game 120-96. Once the Suns lost Devin Booker, you could tell they were deflated. Taking advantage, Kyle Kuzma filled up the box with 23 points, eight boards and five counters while Lebron James did the usual with 26 points, six boards and eight assists. JaVale McGee was still productive despite only playing 21 minutes thanks to 7-of-10 shooting and eight boards, one steal and a block. Given this was a blowout special we saw Michael Beasley drop a season-high 14 while rookie Moritz Wagner scored his first NBA bucket and went on to finish with 10 points with two triples. Wagner sat out the start of the season due to a knee bruise so it’s great to see him out there, he could be interesting in Kuzma ever goes down due to his ability to space the floor.
The Sun sets early on Sunday
The Suns are having a rough go at fielding their best five players this season. Right as it seemed like there might be some continuity building they lost their best player for what we can assume will be a minimum of a week. They were already without T.J. Warren (sore ankle) on Sunday and he will now assume the primary scoring role for the Suns while Booker recovers. We saw some young Suns deliver on their upside with Booker and Warren out tonight as Josh Jackson scored 13 points with two steals, a block and six boards while Mikal Bridges hit two triples to score 11 points with two steals and four boards. Deandre Ayton pulled down10 boards with 10 points and a block but only logged 25 minutes due to the blowout, Richaun Holmes took advantage of the 23 minutes he logged to finish with four blocks, three steals, and 15 points. He’s worth a look in 12-team leagues at this point given he’s a per minute monster and if he gets up to 24 minutes a night with regularity, he will be worth owning in 10-team leagues.
Pelicans Fly High
Anthony Davis took home Sunday’s line of the night with 36 points, 19 boards, eight assists, two steals, two boards and two triples. The Pelicans beat the Hornets 119-109. Davis’ line was so dominant that his value was greater than the second (Damian Lillard) and fourth (LaMarcus Aldridge) best lines combined. He wasn’t alone though as four more Pelicans made it into double-figures led by 19 points and eight assists by Jrue Holiday. The real surprise was Darius Miller scoring 13 points on 4-of-7 shooting while filling in for E’Twaun Moore who missed the game with a leg injury. Moore should be back soon as he was questionable tonight.
The Hornets lost one of their hottest players on Sunday with Marvin Williams hurting his shoulder. Kemba Walker continued his slump, finishing the week outside of the top-160, an amazing feat for someone who is a top-15 player on the season in 8-cat. Expect him to bounce back shortly, he should be a lock for top-20 production. With Marvin out, Miles Bridges started the second half and delivered with 16 points, three triples, eight boards, two blocks and an assist. Bridges might have a shot at sticking in the starting five if he plays well considering that the Hornets drafted him this season with the 12th overall pick. Give him a look in your 12-team league. Tony Parker continued his solid play while moving into 18th all-time on the assists list. It looks like he could make it into the top-15 this season if he stays healthy and continues to log consistent minutes. Parker scored 10 points with five assists.
It’s getting hot in here, so wear Whiteside
Hassan Whiteside is a bit of an enigma. Some days he disappears and then days like tonight, he scores 23 points with 20 boards and three blocks against a top-tier center in Rudy Gobert. He only hit 1-of-6 freebies but was dominant otherwise for owners in 34 minutes, helping the Heat win 102-100. As a result, Bam Adebayo struggled, only logging 14 minutes with a block, a steal, two boards and two points. Dwyane Wade has found the fountain of youth in Miami, He’s continuing his top-tier play with 15 points, eight assists, three boards, two triples, a block and a steal. With Rodney McGruder going down Wade will only continue to log more minutes. If he’s on the wire feel free to pick him up, even in 10-team leagues as he’s been pushing for top-100 value and should see even more time next week.
Ricky Rubio has had a rough start to the season, returning top-80 value despite being a top-60 contributor last season. The main issue has been his jumper which always seems to round into form post-All-Star break. On Sunday he hit 9-of-14 shots to lead the Jazz in scoring with 23 points, six assists, five boards, two triples and a steal. Donovan Mitchell bore the burden of shooting poorly, only hitting 8-of-24 shots for 18 points, five boards and a steal. Rudy Gobert put up a fight against Whiteside to finish with 12 points, 18 boards, three blocks, a steal and four assists. As a reminder the Jazz cycle Jae Crowder and Derrick Favors based on the matchup, tonight they went with Jae and he scored 19 with three triples and six boards while Favors contributed with two steals, two blocks, seven boards and five points.
Sixers big-four are scary
The Sixers have four really good players and the rest of the team might not see the court on a playoff-bound team. That said, those four players are excellent, with each of them scoring at least 15 points on Sunday in the 103-95 win against the Grizzlies. Joel Embiid scored 15 with 14 boards, a block and a steal while J.J. Redick continued to feast off the pick and roll with his big to the tune of 24 points with three triples and three boards. Ben Simmons double-doubled with 19 points, 12 boards, six assists and two steals. The coolest of all, Jimmy Buckets scored 21 points with thee boards, two assists and a steal.
There’s no J in Memphis or Grizzlies but somehow there are three.
Jaren Jackson Jr. is going to be a fantasy stud for years to come. On Sunday he led the Grizz with 17 points, a triple, three blocks, a steal and three boards. He only logged 23 minutes due to foul trouble but he still outplayed Joel Embiid and Marc Gasol in terms of fantasy production. Gasol was no slouch though with 12 points, two triples, two blocks, a steal, three assists and four boards. Unfortunately, he only hit 4-of-14 shots on the evening. Look out for JaMychal Green, the Grizzlies need consistency off the bench and he’s emerging as the most consistent option, returning top-120 value thanks to almost doubling last season’s steals numbers. It might not last but on Sunday he stole the ball four times while scoring 14 points with seven boards.
Spurs score at will to end the week
The Spurs came into Sunday’s game after two disappointing blowout losses. They emerged with a much better result, winning 131-118 against the Blazers who are suddenly all the way down in 7th in the West. The Spurs can thank their two All-Stars for the win with DeMar DeRozan leading the way with 36-points, eight boards, six assists and two steals while LaMarcus Aldridge added 29 points, eight boards, three assists, a steal and a block.
Remember Anthony Davis’ line tonight? It was more valuable than both of these lines put together
In an interesting development, Derrick White continued to play heavy minutes, logging 33 on Sunday while scoring 10 points with five boards and six assists. He might overtake Bryn Forbes soon as the Spurs are outside of the playoffs right now and White plays a more complete game. Feel free to give him a look next week before it’s too late.
Right Now the Blazers couldn’t stop the halftime entertainment from scoring
The Blazers are 1-5 in their last 6 games while giving up over 121 points per game. On Sunday the same issues occurred as the Spurs hung 131 on the visitors. Damian Lillard did his job though, scoring a game-high 37 points with 10 assists, three triples, two steals and two boards. Considering the Blazers slump I would give Dame a hard look in all three of the Blazers games if I was playing DFS this week. He looks poised for an eruption as he tries to steady the Blazers. Al-Farouq Aminu had his second straight 20-point performance which is not the norm. He added nine boards and four triples while getting one of every other stat. Moe Harkless also made it back into fantasy relevancy with his first full box of the season, scoring eight points with seven boards, three assists, three blocks, two triples and a steal. Keep an eye out for Harkless, he has a balky knee but could produce similar lines as he gets comfortable.
Get some teeth in the game!
Dennis Smith Jr. had a memorable game. First, he lost a tooth, courtesy of a Patrick Beverley elbow and then he secured the win late in the game with a block. He finished the evening with a full box, clocking in with nine points, five assists, three boards, two steals, two blocks and a triple. Feel free to sell high if you can on DSJ. Harrison Barnes also hit a high, with 30 points, nine boards, three triples and a block. This is his first thirty-bomb of the season. Barnes has seen his value climb over the last month and he’s hit at least three triples in each of his last five games. He’s still not bringing much outside of scoring but if he can hit three triples a game he is a good bet for top-75 production despite the rest of the box lacking much substance. DeAndre Jordan had some fun against his former team, finishing with 16 points, 23 boards, three assists, a steal and a block. At one point they went to the hack-a-Jordan but DeAndre made his shots, finishing 4-of-7 from the stripe. J.J. Barea was ejected in the fourth as things got chippy, he finished with 24 points, five boards and four assists.
We’ve spotted land!
The Clippers avoided a scare on Sunday when Montrezl Harrell went down with a shoulder injury but was able to return to the game. Harrell’s motor is key to the Clippers success, he finished the game with a team-high 23 points, 10 boards, a block and a steal. Danilo Gallinari was hot to start the game but cooled late to finish with 21 points, six boards, two threes and a steal. Lou Williams did his thing off the bench with 21 and eight assists while Patrick Beverley did his thing and knocked out a tooth and then got ejected in the fourth quarter. Beverley is only worth a look if you need help in counting stats from your guard position as he won’t get enough points or assists to really help your squad, he finished with three points, a triple, three assists, four boards, two blocks and a steal.
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December 13, 2018, 2:34 amKevin Durant - F - Golden State Warriors
Kevin Durant scored 30 points on 13-of-22 shooting with seven rebounds, five assists and five turnovers in the Warriors' 113-93 loss to the Raptors on Wednesday.
The offense tilted toward Durant's isolation game and the team played less defense than it should have, two issues that are tough to correlate but not surprising when it happens. Steph Curry hit just 3-of-12 shots for 10 points and a lower-end line, and Klay Thompson missed all five of his 3-pointers and finished with 14 points in the blowout loss.
December 13, 2018, 2:26 amDraymond Green - F - Golden State Warriors
Draymond Green hit just 1-of-5 shots for two points but was otherwise solid with five rebounds, seven assists, two steals and three blocks over 25 minutes in Wednesday's home loss to the Raptors.
Green is right on track for preseason expectations the rest of the way as far as we're concerned, so there might be a little room to buy low before that's readily apparent.
December 13, 2018, 2:23 amKyle Lowry - G - Toronto Raptors
Kyle Lowry scored 23 points on 9-of-18 shooting (including two threes) with five rebounds, 12 assists and three steals in Wednesday's blowout win over the Warriors.
That's two in a row for Lowry and with Kawhi Leonard (hip) out he has been forced to hit the gas pedal, though that shouldn't be construed to suggest he can't be productive with Leonard on the floor. Serge Ibaka added 20 & 12 with a steal and two blocks, and Pascal Siakam added 13 points with three rebounds, three assists, one trey, two steals and one block in the win. Jonas Valanciunas' (thumb) potential absence will feed them even more minutes and touches.
December 13, 2018, 2:21 amFred VanVleet - G - Toronto Raptors
Fred VanVleet started for injured Kawhi Leonard (hip) and scored 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting with two threes, three boards, two assists and three steals over 28 minutes in Wednesday's win over the Warriors.
VanVleet is worth owning while Leonard is out and it won't hurt that Jonas Valanciunas (thumb) could miss some time and ease the frontcourt portion of the logjam.
December 13, 2018, 2:18 amNemanja Bjelica - F - Sacramento Kings
Nemanja Bjelica scored 25 points on 9-of-15 shooting (including four threes) with five rebounds, three assists and two blocks over 29 minutes in the Kings' 141-130 win over the Wolves on Wednesday.
The score pumped up the entire box score but Bjelica is still sitting on top 75-100 value (9/8 cat) on the season and that's a guy that probably shouldn't have been dropped in too many leagues. He was, though, so hopefully you got in on the post-hype production.
December 13, 2018, 2:17 amWillie Cauley-Stein - C - Sacramento Kings
Willie Cauley-Stein scored 14 points on 5-of-9 shooting (4-of-9 FTs) with eight rebounds, three assists, one steal and two blocks in Wednesday's win over the Wolves.
Cauley-Stein was intentionally fouled late in the fourth quarter after airballing a free throw and this isn't just a one-game thing. He has hit just 47.8 percent from the line this season and it's keeping him stuck in the late rounds for fantasy value. This probably gets on scouting reports and he'll have to prove he can make it or he's going to get an even bigger weight on his value, as well as less minutes.
December 13, 2018, 2:09 amMarvin Bagley III - F - Sacramento Kings
Marvin Bagley scored 17 points on 4-of-5 shooting (9-of-10 FTs) with 10 rebounds and three assists in 26 minutes off the bench on Wednesday against the Wolves.
Bagley did not have a steal or block and he's not likely to hit that well from the free throw line. He struggled on defense, as well, but he's going to be getting anywhere from 22-30 mpg on most nights. He's well outside the top-150 in 24 mpg so far this season.
December 13, 2018, 2:08 amYogi Ferrell - G - Sacramento Kings
Yogi Ferrell scored 17 points off the bench in Wednesday's win over the Wolves, hitting 5-of-6 shots (including four threes) with two rebounds, six assists and one steal in 16 minutes.
Ferrell looked great in this one and he adds a component to the fast break that the Kings really do need. He's not in the clear when it comes to Frank Mason, even if Dave Joerger said after the game that Ferrell is going to get a 10-game stretch in this role. If you're in a deep league where 14-18 mpg with the right guy can play, give him a look for the aforementioned stretch.
December 13, 2018, 2:05 amBogdan Bogdanovic - G - Sacramento Kings
Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 20 points off the bench in Wednesday's win over the Wolves, hitting 9-of-15 shots (including two threes) with five rebounds and six assists in 31 minutes.
Bogdanovic is bringing late-mid round value back when on the floor this season and he can climb up and over the top-75 hump with just a few more upticks. Aside from some lower-grade injury risk, he's going to be as consistent as it gets.
December 13, 2018, 1:56 amRobert Covington - F - Minnesota Timberwolves
Robert Covington (knee) scored 17 points on 6-of-13 shooting (1-of-2 3PTs, 4-of-5 FTs) with six rebounds and no steals or blocks in Wednesday's loss to the Kings.
Covington's goose eggs on defense in a game with no defense being played stood out and he didn't look like he was at full strength. One has to hope that these aren't Thibs minutes and it'll be something we all monitor going forward.