• Saturday night treated us to an eight game slate and the Chicago Bulls are still a putrid team, but even the worst teams in reality can provide fantasy assets. The Pelicans might be figuring it out, but it might be partly due to the fact that the Cavs continue to be one of the worst defenses in the league. Russell Westbrook continues to collect triple-doubles and the Phoenix Suns look like a completely different team than the one that played last week.

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    Cavaliers 101 @ Pelicans 123

    LeBron James and Kevin Love continue do all of the heavy lifting for a Cavs team that is seriously struggling on the defensive end. The King had an 18-5-8 line with no defensive stats while Love contributed 26 points with five triples and 11 boards. Dwyane Wade came alive off the bench for 15 points and four assists in 7-for-12 shooting and might be able to maintain low-end value as the primary scorer in the second unit. Jae Crowder is a serious cut candidate for a hot free agent but the Cavs are all out of sorts and when they figure it out, Crowder should see more success.

    Anthony Davis returned to action after bumping knees earlier during the week and is already in first round form. AD had a 30-14-2-2-3 line with two shots from deep and shot 11-for-22 from the field while hitting all six of his free throws. The return of Davis didn’t slow down DeMarcus Cousins, who triple-doubled with 29-12-10. He also added three steals and continues to gun it from deep, hitting two from distance. Jrue Holiday is picking up the pace after a slow start and scored 29 points on 12-for-17 shooting with seven dimes. E’Twaun Moore scored 24 points and hit 10-for-13 from the field and owners who are desperate for a 3s and points streamer can give him a look but the Cavs are one of the worst defenses in the NBA which allowed Moore to have such an inflated line. That being said, if you’re looking for a streamer for 3s next week it would be a good idea to stream any shooters playing against Cleveland’s league worst 3-point defense.

    Thunder 101 @ Bulls 69

    Russell Westbrook’s gaudy scoring numbers are down but he remains a consistent triple-double threat and recorded his second of the season on a 12-13-13 line. The shooting remains suspect as he went 5-for-13 from the field, but he only turned the ball over twice this game. Paul George and Carmelo Anthony scored 20 and 21 respectively and Anthony has had a surprisingly well rounded fantasy game thus far. Carmelo is shooting 47 percent on the year and is averaging 2.7 triples, 1.2 steals and 1.2 blocks. This all screams sell high as Anthony has never averaged more than 0.7 blocks and hasn’t shot this well from the field for an entire season since he played with Allen Iverson in 2008.

    Lauri Markkanen continues to provide Ryan Anderson numbers and if you picked him up off the waivers you need to ride him until the wheels fall off. His shooting will hover around the 40 percent mark and you shouldn’t expect any defensive stats, but the situation in Chicago is a mess and Markkanen is the only sure thing at the forward slot. Justin Holiday continues to score in double digits and give owners triples but as with every Bulls player, the percentages from the field are going to be bad because this team is bad.

    Celtics 96 @ Heat 90

    Al Horford was unable to connect from distance after his 3-point explosion last game but he’ll continue to be a solid early mid round play due to his contributions across the board. Kyrie Irving is starting to dial in on offense, scoring 24 points and going 10-for-23 from the field. The 23 shot attempts is good news for owners as Uncle Drew needs to start taking over for a Celtics team without Gordon Hayward. Marcus Smart shot an uncanny 6-for-12 from the field with two steals and should be owned everywhere. Jaylen Brown continues to struggle at the line hitting 4-for-6 from the charity stripe with zero money counters while Jayson Tatum keeps it rolling with 20 points and two triples. It looks like Brown might be worse than we thought and Tatum might be better. It’s still early in the year but Tatum’s efficiency is much higher than Brown’s and it looks sustainable.

    Goran Dragic scored 22 points on 9-for-15 shooting and handed out four assists. As long as he’s healthy he’ll be a mid-round point guard play. James Johnson and Josh Richardson scored 16 apiece but were lacking their usual eye popping defensive stats. Dion Waiters scored five points on 2-for-8 shooting and can’t be trusted in standard leagues. Kelly Olynyk scored 14 points with nine boards, a steal and three blocks. Olynyk should be owned in all leagues. Tyler Johnson fizzled out with two points and will need an injury on the wings for him to provide consistent value.

    Rockets 89 @ Grizzlies 103

    Ryan Anderson stayed hot with 22 points and seven triples with Eric Gordon sitting out this contest. James Harden struggled from the field, going 6-for-19 to get his 20 points. The Beard added eight assists and two triples and will be better in the next one, as playing in Memphis is still a tall task. Clint Capela continued his strong play with a symmetrical double-double of 12 & 12 and a block to go with 5-for-8 shooting from the field. He’s hitting over 90 percent of his free throws but is only attempting 1.6 a game. Capela won’t always be this efficient from the line but even when that number regresses, his impact on field goal percentage while providing over a block and double digit boards have him inside the top-20 currently and a top-50 finish is easily attainable.

    Tyreke Evans stays hot with 14-7-4 and should be owned until further notice. Mario Chalmers chipped in 15 points but is just a streamer and Mike Conley struggled in this game, shooting 4-for-10 for only eight points with three assists. Marc Gasol also failed to score in double digits, tallying six points, but he salvaged his line with four swats. Chandler Parsons was the big surprise here, coming out of nowhere with six shots from deep on his way to 24 points and a steal. He still only played 18 minutes, but I wouldn’t blame you if you took a flier on him.

    Sixers 112 @ Mavs 110

    Ben Simmons had himself another big night with 23-7-8 on 10-for-15 shooting with three steals. It’s still early but there are no signs of him slowing down his Rookie of the Year campaign. Dario Saric started and played almost 30 minutes and hit four shots from deep, but this was a case of J.J. Redick not being in the lineup. Robert Covington hit three 3s and got one swipe while Joel Embiid scored 23 points and grabbed nine boards. It was a disappointing line for Embiid as he committed seven turnovers and had zero defensive stats. The Process is only at one block a game, but once that number climbs back up his value should skyrocket back into the early rounds. For now owners should just be happy he’s healthy.

    For the Mavs, Wesley Matthews scored 19 points and hit three 3s with three steals. It’s great to see Matthews looking healthy again and he’s been a nice surprise so far for fantasy purposes. Nerlens Noel started and played 20 minutes but had zero defensive stats in another disappointing line. Owners have to hold out hope that he figures it out and Coach Rick Carlisle gives him more leash. The Mavs are bad and they could really use Noel’s help. Dirk Nowitzki scored 11 points in 28 minutes but isn’t consistent enough to own in standard leagues. Harrison Barnes racked up 25 points on seven shots from deep which makes up for his low defensive numbers.

    Lakers 81 @ Jazz 96

    Brook Lopez struggled again tonight and has only eclipsed the 30 minutes played mark once this season. He played 17 minutes tonight and scored six points but added three blocks. Larry Nance Jr. won the position battle tonight against Kyle Kuzma and Julius Randle with 10 boards, two steals and a block. This puzzle doesn’t look like its any closer to being solved but all three are worth being owned due to their upside. Lonzo Ball had nine points, all from range to go with four dimes and two swipes. He’s going to struggle from the field and turn the ball over a lot all season, committing five tonight. Brandon Ingram had 16 points with four steals on an efficient 7-for-14 shooting night, but I’d bet against him keeping up this efficiency.

    Rodney Hood and Joe Ingles each scored 13 points with three 3s, but Ingles handed out four assists, committed zero turnovers and recorded three steals to give him the edge. Ingles should also be owned in all leagues. Rudy Gobert only scored six points and grabbed eight boards, but the three blocks will keep owners happy. Derrick Favors double-doubled with 14 & 10 to go with a steal and a block in his best game of the season. The upside is there but the health concerns remain. Ricky Rubio had  21-7-4 line with four triples. He’s looking for his shot and the scoring numbers will increase this year and though the assists have been a bit low but they’ll come soon enough. Donovan Mitchell had a team-high 22 points to go with three triples and three steals but all you need to do is look at his last game to keep expectations in check.

    Suns 107 @ Blazers 114

    Tyler Ulis played 21 minutes to Mike James‘ 26 but the former had the better fantasy line tonight. James scored nine points and handed out four assists while Ulis scored eight points and handed out five assists with four steals. The ability to get defensive stats makes Ulis a higher upside stash than James, but they’re both still stashes at best in standard leagues. Devin Booker had a 34-6-6- line with 11-for-19 shooting and hit four shots from deep. Enjoy these rare efficient shooting nights from Booker. T.J. Warren scored 12 points with seven rebounds to go with a steal and a block in 26 minutes. Owners should keep an eye out on the minutes Warren plays. Alex Len played 22 minutes while Marquese Chriss played 19 and this wasn’t due to foul trouble. Len had 12 points, eight boards, a steal and a block while Chriss scored seven points and pulled down only one rebound. He had a money counting line of 1-2-1 to save his night though. Dragan Bender scored eight points and grabbed seven rebounds and rounded out his line with two triples, a steal and two blocks. He played 28 minutes in this game is a name you should watch as the season progresses.

    Al-Farouq Aminu hit three more from deep with two steals and two blocks. He scored 10 points to go with his five rebounds and the across the board production should warrant your attention. Jusuf Nurkic had a nice game with 17 points, nine boards and a block in 28 minutes. C.J. McCollum and Damian Lillard continue to provide early round value as McCollum’s 23-5-6 line was rivaled by Lillards’ 25-7-9. Dame Dolla struggled from the field again, hitting 7-of-21 shots, and is at 38 percent on the year. That number will increase and owners just need to be patient. Evan Turner scored 10 points with five rebounds and two assists but committed five turnovers. With Allen Crabbe gone, Turner’s role is clearer and his playing time will be steady.

    Pistons 95 @ Clippers 87

    Andre Drummond had another big double-double with 15 points and 17 rebounds. Dre added two steals and three blocks to go with 7-for-10 shooting from the field. He’s also been great at the line this season, hitting 72 percent and only attempting 3.6 free throws a game. Tobias Harris scored 12 points and did little elsewhere and is still a late-mid round play. Avery Bradley scored 11 points with five rebounds and four steals. The days of him averaging six rebounds are over so owners should enjoy nights like this while they can and maybe even look to sell high. Bradley provides little elsewhere outside of points as he’s averaging 1.6 3s and 0.8 steals. The rebounds gave a strong boost to his value and it looks like he’ll be closer to his career average of three boards a game this year. Reggie Jackson had a 15-4-7 line with 6-for-15 shooting while committing four turnovers.

    Danilo Gallinari had 13 points on an inefficient 4-for-16 shooting to go with six boards and three triples. Patrick Beverley scored nine points and handed out eight assists. Mr. 94 feet added three shots from deep, two steals and a block. He’ll continue to provide the ancillary stats that have him sitting as the 58th player in fantasy thus far. Austin Rivers scored 20 points with four steals and six shots from deep and is worth a flier with Milos Teodosic out for a while. DeAndre Jordan corralled 14 boards to go with three swats in another night of business as usual. Blake Griffin had a 19-11-4 line with two triples but no steals or blocks. He shot 5-for-18 from the field and if he continues to increase his attempts from deep, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see his field goal percentage take a hit. If you believe the Griffin can stay healthy and continue his 43.5 percent clip from deep then keep him rolling, but if not, a sell-high window is still wide open.

Fantasy News

  • Paul George - SF - Oklahoma City Thunder

    Paul George is expected to miss most of the preseason as he recovers from surgery to repair his right rotator cuff and left labrum.

    George is coming off a fantastic season, and it's unlikely that this will scare any fantasy players off from taking PG in the first round. That said, if he's already expected to miss most of the preseason, that won't leave a lot of leeway if any setbacks arise. There's no need to worry about George for the time being but keep your eyes open for updates on his progress as the summer rolls on.

    Source: The Oklahoman

  • DeAndre Jordan - C - New York Knicks

    The Lakers have reportedly shown interest in DeAndre Jordan.

    Jordan is in a strange spot, entering his decline at a position that is increasingly looking for more versatile skillsets than he has to offer but still good enough to command a large-ish paycheck. It's unlikely that he gets a big deal from the Lakers, as it means they'll have failed to spend their money elsewhere, but he'd fit as a lob threat and rebounder. His fantasy stock should be fairly predictable as long as he doesn't end up in a timeshare situation.

    Source: ESPN

  • Chris Paul - PG - Houston Rockets

    According to the Houston Chronicle, Chris Paul says he has not asked to be traded and downplays supposed rift with James Harden.

    This corroborates statements made by Rockets GM Daryl Morey earlier in the month denying rumors that there was a rift between Harden and Paul. While the Rockets are exploring options to improve their roster for the season, it appears that Paul is unlikely to be moved.

    Source: Houston Chronicle

  • Kawhi Leonard - SF - Toronto Raptors

    Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports is reporting that Kawhi Leonard will decline his player option and test unrestricted free agency, though he is "seriously considering" re-signing with the Raptors.

    There's nothing more that the Raptors could've possibly done in their first and potentially only year with Leonard, making a concerted effort to keep him healthy and fresh while amassing solid depth around him on a run to a championship. Leonard will have plenty of teams pitching him when free agency opens, with the Nets, Lakers and Knicks in the mix and the Clippers thought to be the biggest threat. The Raptors can pay Leonard more than any other team, but if the superstar wants to play close to home then there's not much they can do about it. Still, his one year in Toronto makes a pretty compelling case that sticking around would be the best move for his career.

    Source: Yahoo Sports

  • Yovel Zoosman - F - International

    Yovel Zoosman, who was not selected in Thursday’s draft, is focused on landing with an NBA team despite a four-year offer on the table from Maccabi Tel Aviv.

    Zoosman was widely expected to be chosen in the draft, and it’s not at all surprising that he feels he can make the jump. He may need to spend time in the G-League but the 21-year-old should be able to attract someone into giving him a shot. Our international hoops expert, Dio Nikiforos, calls Zoosman a more athletic version of Omri Casspi with a 7-foot wingspan and the ability to guard multiple positions.

    Source: JD Shaw on Twitter

  • Gustavo Ayon - PF - International

    Gustavo Ayon is eyeing a return to the NBA.

    Ayon last played in the NBA way back in 2014, when he appeared in 26 games with the Hawks. He would undergo season-ending shoulder surgery and has been playing overseas since. Ayon has been playing with ACB and EuroLeague fixture Barcelona, and it’s unclear if any NBA teams are as interested in the 34-year-old as he is in them.

    Source: Sportando

  • Vanja Marinkovic - PG - Sacramento Kings

    60th overall pick Vanja Marinkovic would reportedly like to play for the Kings this season.

    Marinkovic has a "modest" buyout clause for NBA or EuroLeague teams in his current pact with Partizan, and Vlade Divac has already hinted that he'd like to get Marinkovic over to the team. The 22-year-old is a steady shooter but will need some serious help on the defensive end to make some headway on a rotation spot.

    Source: Sportando

  • Jaron Blossomgame - SF - Cleveland Cavaliers

    Jaron Blossomgame will be headed to unrestricted free agency with the Cavs declining to extend him a qualifying offer.

    Blossomgame had a couple weeks where the Cavs were giving him good minutes, but he didn't log any minutes over the final two months of the season. He should be able to find a spot in the G-League at the very least, but fantasy owners can look elsewhere for production.

    Source: Chris Manning on Twitter

  • Willie Cauley-Stein - C - Sacramento Kings

    According to Jason Anderson of the Sacramento Bee, Wilie Cauley-Stein has decided that he "wants a new opportunity with another team."

    The Kings can extend WCS a qualifying offer, making him a restricted free agent. The team responded to the statement made by Cauley-Stein's representation that he "needs a fresh start," saying “Willie is a great player who has shown he can fit our style of play,” the team said. WCS was one of the more frustrating big men to own in fantasy last season due to his inconsistency, so maybe a change of scenery might do his value some good. Hopefully.

    Source: Sacramento Bee

  • Naz Mitrou-Long - SG - Utah Jazz

    Naz Mitrou-Long is expected to play for the Cavs in Summer League.

    Mitrou-Long was on a two-way deal with the Jazz last season but didn't make much of an impact in 14 games. Teams like Cleveland should be taking shots on just about anyone, so we'll see how NML looks in Vegas.

    Source: Eric Woodyard on Twitter