February 11, 2019, 3:49 am
When the Warriors won their first championship many began to opine that the dominance of big men was coming to an end thanks to the pace and space that the Warriors brought to the association. While the Warriors are still the team to beat we’ve seen a resurgence at the center position as more and more dominant bigs have become mainstays over the past few years. Joel Embiid, Nikola Jokic, Nikola Vucevic and Jusuf Nurkic are all relatively new fantasy stars who’ve delivered big lines for owners this season. Even the Warriors have gotten in the act with DeMarcus Cousins showing fans what they’ve been missing by overlooking the importance of having a dominant big.
Nothing like some Texas cooking
Luka Doncic looks to have the ROY trophy locked down considering that he has the Dallas Mavericks within striking distance of the playoffs. The Mavs will likely fall off a bit more now that they’ve traded away for the future at the deadline. Doncic has been no less impressive, scoring 28 points with nine boards, six assists, four triples and a block on Sunday against the Blazers. The Mavs emerged victorious 102-101 and newly acquired Tim Hardaway Jr. played his part with 24 points, four boards, three assists and two triples. Hardaway was previously known for his efficiency but this season he’s been south of forty percent from the field, now that he has a bit more talent around him he’s going to have the ability to take better shots and might approach his top-100 value post-All-Star break. Dwight Powell is a possible pickup moving forward, he’s still coming off the bench but he’s the Mavs most talented healthy big, delivering 13 points eight boards and two assists.
Lillard Time gets lost
The Blazers played horribly in the final frame on Sunday, scoring a dismal nine points. Damian Lillard still had an attempt for a game winner though, but his finger-roll missed as time ticked away. Lillard finished the evening with six triples, 30 points, five assists, three boards and two steals. He’s a top-12 lock and considering he doesn’t miss games it is no surprise that his season value by totals will put him in the top-10. Jusuf Nurkic played well with a double-double before fouling out in the final frame, scoring 18 with 10 boards, a block and an assist. Zach Collins did his part covering in the waning minutes with seven points, nine boards, two steals, two blocks and an assist. Collins missed 3-of-4 freebies tonight and will likely be kicking himself tonight given the one-point loss. C.J. McCollum finally cooled down after his streak of six games with 20+, he scored 14 points with five assist and five boards. The Blazers have been running an 11-man rotation since acquiring Rodney Hood (eight points, two triples, 24 minutes), look for one of the guys (Meyers Leonard) to completely fall off in the coming weeks.
Big Bad Joel knocks off the King’s crown
Joel Embiid came ready to claim the crown as the Eastern Conference’s premier player on Sunday as the Sixers hosted LeBron James and the Lakers. Philly blew out the Lakers 143-120, led by Embiid’s 37 points, 14 boards, two triples, three assists and a steal. Embiid is going to have a lot of fun with Tobias Harris (22 points, six assists, six boards, three triples, one block) as he highlighted that having a shooter like Harris makes him a more willing passer. J.J. Redick joins Harris as the only other Philly player with twenty or more in the matinee affair with 21 points, five assists, three triples, two steals and two boards. Jimmy Buckets (15 points, four boards three assists) and Ben Simmons (eight points seven assists, a block and steal) weren’t needed tonight. Owners will likely see a similar sight occurring on a nightly basis as all five guys won’t make as big of an impact in the scoring column.
Whatcha talking ‘bout Kuz?
Kyle Kuzma did his best to keep the Lakers in the game on Sunday, scoring 39 points on five triples but came up short as only the starters came ready to play. LeBron James had a quiet night by some standards with 18 points, 10 boards, nine assists, two triples. JaVale McGee continues to re-establish his dominance as he’s the unquestioned starter once again with 21 points, 13 boards, a steal, a block and an assist. Brandon Ingram was the final Laker to positively impact the game with 19 points, four boards and four assists. Reggie Bullock (two points, two blocks, a steal and three assists) drew the start over Rajon Rondo (seven assists, three boards) but both guys struggled to get their shots to fall.
Just put it in the Bags
Marvin Bagley grew up in Phoenix, and on Sunday he delivered his finest performance of his rookie season with a career-high 32 points, seven boards, a triple, a steal, a block and an assist on 10-of-15 shooting in the 117-104 win against the Suns. Willie Cauley-Stein came in with his own season-high with five blocks along with 10 points and eight boards. The Kings are playing well and want to make a run at the post-season so don’t be surprised if you see them lean more heavily on their top producers like Bogdan Bogdanovic (14 points, five boards, five assists, three steals) and Buddy Hield (18 points, six boards, three triples, a steal and a block) who at times have lost playing time to lesser competition. Harrison Barnes didn’t do much on Sunday, scoring nine points with four boards, three assists and two steals. His value is based on scoring and he’s now on a team that doesn’t need that skillset as much as his last.
Introducing Johnny “the IceMan” Isaac
Jonathan Isaac is an athletic specimen, on Sunday in the 124-108 blowout of the Hawks he put it all together for 17 points, three triples, five blocks, two steals and three boards. That’s double-digit counters from a player who only logged 28 minutes. Newly minted All-Star Nikola Vucevic continued his career-defining campaign with 19 points, 12 boards, three assists, a block and a triple. Evan Fournier and D.J. Augustin both scored in the teens while handing out a combined 17 assists. Aaron Gordon, who was questionable heading into the game due to a sore lower back scored a dozen with a block, two triples, three assists and three boards. Terrence Ross should have a bit more breathing room off the bench with Jonathon Simmons now in Philly, he dropped 18 with six boards and two triples in 24 minutes.
Baby Hawks fail to fly on Sunday
The Hawks had six scorers in double-figures on Sunday, but it was due to how quickly the game became a blowout. No player logged more than 28 minutes on the night. Alex Len was the high mark for the evening with 16 points off the bench, he hit two triples and added a block. Fellow big off the bench Omari Spellman was impressive with 10 points, two triples, a steal, two assists and five boards in 26 minutes. Spellman is my sleeper for top-150 production late in the season. Kevin Huerter and John Collins led the starters with 15 apiece. Taurean Prince only scored eight points but added two blocks, a steal, two triples, a board and three assists to fill the box. Trae Young was the most productive Hawk with 13 points, seven assists, five boards and two triples.
The Golden Warriors emerge victorious
Kevin Durant had a rough Sunday night, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson both logged more productive performances than the finals MVP who only hit a triple in the waning moments of the game. KD’s rough night is a bit overblown, he scored 39 points, hit 16-of-24 shots, with six boards, four assists and a block. Klay scored 29 with six triples while Curry drained 25 points with five triples and two steals. Draymond Green got in on the action with 14 assists, five points, seven boards, a block and a steal in the 120-118 win against the Heat. Boogie Cousins didn’t score much, just adding seven points but his three blocks and two steals were big for the Warriors in the close game. He should continue to get comfortable over the All-Star break and look for him to show a bit more once we approach the stretch run.
A career-high isn’t enough from J-Rich
Josh Richardson has had a season of growth, he’s averaging a career-high in scoring and he set his single-game high on Sunday with 37 points and a career-high eight triples. J-Rich added five assists, a steal and a board. Dion Waiters started for his second straight game with Tyler Johnson out of town and Goran Dragic still out and delivered 24 points, six triples, four assists, three boards, a steal and a block. This was by far his best game of the season but it’s hard to trust Waiters as his window of opportunity will shrink once the Heat get healthy again. For now, keep an eye on his production, maybe he’s taken a step forward now that he’s a bit more mature and knows the system in Miami. Justise Winslow brought some solid defense on one end of the court and scored 22 points with six boards, four assists and four triples on the other end. Dwayne Wade almost made it out of Oracle a hero, he blocked Durant’s turnaround jumper and made a layup to put the Heat up late. He finished with 10 points, nine assists, six boards, a block and a steal but missed all three freebies and only hit 5-of-14 from the field.
February 21, 2019, 4:01 pmJoakim Noah - C - Memphis Grizzlies
Joakim Noah (right heel soreness) is probable for Friday's matchup with the Clippers.
Noah is looking at a few extra minutes with Jonas Valanciunas out for personal reasons, so he could be a viable cheap DFS play with the way that the team has limited Ivan Rabb's playing time of late. It's hard to envision Noah being worth your time when JV is with the team, however, so this is going to be a short-lived affair.
Source: Grizzlies PR on Twitter
February 21, 2019, 3:54 pmTyler Dorsey - G - Memphis Grizzlies
Tyler Dorsey (left knee soreness) is probable for Friday's game against the Clippers.
Dorsey only played 10 minutes in his team debut so this has no bearing on any leagues with fewer than 30 teams.
Source: Grizzlies PR on Twitter
February 21, 2019, 3:43 pmJevon Carter - G - Memphis Grizzlies
Jevon Carter (right knee soreness) is probable for Friday's game with the Clippers.
Carter can be let go, even in most deep leagues, as the trade deadline really didn't go his way. In addition to Mike Conley staying, Delon Wright and Avery Bradley have immediately overtaken him on the depth chart.
Source: Grizzlies PR on Twitter
February 21, 2019, 3:41 pmLuka Doncic - G/F - Dallas Mavericks
Luka Doncic was getting his foot looked at by the training staff on Thursday but was able to practice in full and is not on the injury report for Friday.
Seems like much ado about nothing for the star rookie. Fantasy owners have had to deal with some minor bumps and bruises for Doncic, but he has yet to miss any significant time.
Source: Brad Townsend on Twitter
February 21, 2019, 3:39 pmKyrie Irving - G - Boston Celtics
Kyrie Irving (right knee strain) is not on the injury report and will play in Thursday's tilt with the Bucks.
As expected after Irving played in Sunday's All-Star game. He should be good to go for top-10 value the rest of the way as the Celtics claw their way up the standings.
February 21, 2019, 3:38 pmRobert Williams III - C/F - Boston Celtics
Robert Williams is available to play in Thursday's game with the Bucks.
Williams missed the final game before the break because of an illness. He's unlikely to see much playing time either way, but at least he's healthy.
February 21, 2019, 3:37 pmTerry Rozier - G - Boston Celtics
Terry Rozier (illness) is not on the injury report and will play on Thursday against the Bucks.
Rozier's illness wasn't expected to sideline him for long and he had the whole All-Star break to rest up. He's fine to use if you usually have him in your lineup.
February 21, 2019, 3:35 pmAndrew Wiggins - G/F - Minnesota Timberwolves
Andrew Wiggins (illness) is not on the injury report for Friday's matchup with the Knicks.
Wiggins missed the two games prior to the All-Star break, allowing Luol Deng to start. He's safe to get into fantasy lineups tomorrow.
Source: Wolves PR on Twitter
February 21, 2019, 3:34 pmTyus Jones - G - Minnesota Timberwolves
Tyus Jones (sprained left ankle) is no longer on the injury report and should play on Friday against the Knicks.
Jones is expected to make his return and the formal step of taking him off the injury report bodes very well. Deep-league owners can give him a look for steals and assists, though the ceiling is quite low with both Jeff Teague and Derrick Rose back in action.
Source: Wolves PR on Twitter
February 21, 2019, 3:32 pmGorgui Dieng - C - Minnesota Timberwolves
Gorgui Dieng (personal) will miss Friday's game against the Knicks.
Dieng would've been an interesting player to watch had he been moved at the deadline, but no dice. His absence won't mean much for fantasy players.
Source: Wolves PR on Twitter