November 19, 2017, 10:17 am
The Celtics have won 15 straight games and during that span they’ve played games without Marcus Smart, Kyrie Irving, Al Horford and Jayson Tatum. Coach Stevens is getting the job done and they’re doing so as a team. While Kyrie Irving and Al Horford are their most consistent players and their stars, the supporting cast has been better than expected and they’re all capable of dropping fantasy gems on any given night. What’s being done in Boston is even more impressive when you realize that next season they’ll get Gordon Hayward back from injury. There were also six other games played last night and here’s the rundown of them all.
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Rockets 105 @ Grizzlies 83
Chris Paul makes his second appearance since his knee injury at the beginning of the year while Mike Conley is out indefinitely with a sore Achilles. Paul scored 17 points with 4 3-pointers, handed out six assists and tallied two steals on 6-for-11 shooting. James Harden was up to his usual tricks dropping a 29-5-7-3 line with six treys and his efficiency from last season may increase due to his new point guard. These two will be able to thrive in Coach D’Antoni’s system. Eric Gordon took a backseat, scoring 12 points and hopefully you sold high as his minutes and stats across the board should dip as Paul works his way back into game shape. Clint Capela is having a career year and continued his strong play with a 17 point, 13 rebound and 3 block performance.
Marc Gasol had a steady game with 15 points, nine boards and two blocks and the Grizzlies are going to struggle without Conley. Tyreke Evans scored only seven points, but has been so hot that you have to ride him out, especially with Conley out. Chandler Parsons heated up with 17 points in 25 minutes, but his stat line was empty and it’s hard to trust him yet, he’s someone to keep an eye on though. JaMychal Green is going to be a solid source of percentages and boards, but not much else. Dillon Brooks played 33 minutes and was able to record two steals, he’s another guy to watch out for as long as Conley is out.
Clippers 87 @ Hornets 102
Blake Griffin is continuing to show that more 3-point attempts isn’t good for big men in fantasy as he shot 6-for-17 from the field and is at 41.9 percent on the year. He’s a mid -round play that was drafted early, hopefully you sold high. DeAndre Jordan grabbed 14 boards and Lou Williams will be the most consistent Clipper guard with Patrick Beverley out. The Clippers are sorely missing Beverley and Danilo Gallinari and they should both be back within the week, meaning Austin Rivers can be ditched soon.
Dwight Howard had a double-double with 16 & 16 and will be a strong play for punt free throw teams as long as his back holds up. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist recorded a steal and a block which is what gives him value. Nicolas Batum played 28 minutes to Jeremy Lamb’s 22, but both were productive and should hold standard league value for the rest of the season. Kemba Walker scored 26 points with six triples and is as steady as they come in the top-25.
Jazz 125 @ Magic 85
The shorthanded Jazz throttled the Magic by 40 thanks to their explosive bench play. Rodney Hood erupted for 31 points and seven 3-pointers and is a standard league must own. Derrick Favors fills in nicely for Rudy Gobert with 25 & 11 and Ricky Rubio only played 16 minutes. Smokin’ Joe Ingles dished out six assists with two triples and needs to be 100 percent owned.
Aaron Gordon and Elfird Payton were the only players who escaped this game with solid fantasy games. Gordon had 18 points with nine boards and missed all four attempts from deep, his hot shooting is starting to regress but he still has top-40 upside and should bounce back. Payton had 7-3-3 with three steals and will get better as he works his way back. Nikola Vucevic put up a stinker, but is still an early-round play and owners shouldn’t be worried.
Celtics 110 @ Hawks 99
Kyrie Irving lead the charge for the Celtics with 30 points, five assists and five triples as the C’s extend their streak to 15. Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown both dropped full lines which made up for Al Horford’s inefficient shooting night. Tatum is the better play and looks too polished to be a first year player. Marcus Morris started and scored 14 points with a 1-1-1 cash counter line. Coach Brad Stevens is doing amazing things.
Taurean Prince had a 14-5-3 line with two triples on efficient shooting and continues to get better with each game. John Collins outplayed Dewayne Dedmon, but both players are still playing around equal minutes and Dedmon is still the better play due to his ability to rack up defensive stats. Dennis Schroder had 23 points and handed out nine assists and is a lock for mid-round value with no one on the team contesting him for shots. Kent Bazemore had two steals and two triples and is the 70th ranked player in 9-cat leagues.
Warriors 124 @ Sixers 116
The Warriors came back in this game and it was business as usual in fantasy land with the big four. Kevin Durant had a 27-5-2-2 line on 11-of-20 shooting while Draymond Green stuffed the stat sheet with 8-7-8-1-2. Klay Thompson had a rough shooting night, going 7-for-17 and only hitting one triple, but Stephen Curry continues his strong play this year with 35-5-5 on 11-of-22 shooting and four triples. He’s sitting as the second best player in 9-cat leagues and will be a top-3 play as long as he’s healthy.
Robert Covington continues to be scorching from deep, hitting 5-of-11 from distance with two steals and a block. Dario Saric is still starting and producing so he should be owned for now, but it was nice to see Richaun Holmes log 15 minutes, grab four boards and record a block. His role should be expanding as the season progresses. Ben Simmons is having one of the best stretches by a rookie and gave owners 23-8-12 with only one turnover on 1-of-2 shooting at the line. Joel Embiid looks healthy and had 21-8-3 with a block. He was having difficulty swatting shots at the start of the season, but that number should start to increase and his value will balloon with it.
Bucks 79 @ Mavs 111
Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton were the only Bucks players who did anything notable, with Giannis posting a 27-13-2-3 line with a triple on 7-of-20 shooting. He went 6-for-8 from the line and the free throws and triples were concerns heading into the year, but we’re splitting hairs with a top-5 play. Eric Bledsoe and Malcolm Brogdon both struggled and Brogdon played 32 minutes to Bledsoe’s 22. Brogdon takes a slight hit with the Bledsoe trade, but should still be a top-75 guy.
Wesley Matthews looks the best he’s been since his Achilles injury and canned six triples tonight while Harrison Barnes scored 18 and had two triples of his own. Even with the uptick in boards and 3s, Barnes is outside of the top-100. J.J. Barea and Yogi Ferrell scored 20 & 16 respectively while Dennis Smith struggled, something that you’ll have to get used to with rookies. Nerlens Noel played three minutes in garbage time and is only a hold if you enjoy a wasted roster spot. Coach Carlisle seems done with him and the Mavs have no reason to play him as he won’t be returning next season.
Kings 90 @ Blazers 102
The Kings continue to run their team around Zach Randolph and he had 17 points, five boards and a triple. He’s a late-round play at his best and if the Kings are wise, they’ll start to shift away from Z-Bo, but it doesn’t look like that’ll happen anytime soon. George Hill had a productive game in 31 minutes while De’Aaron Fox started and produced an 11-2-2-2 line with a triple. Both players are talented and have the potential to put up standard league value together, but it’s hard to trust the Kings in fantasy land right now. Willie Cauley-Stein had an 18-9-0-3-1 line in 33 minutes off the bench while Skal Labissiere played 11 minutes. Labissiere has long term upside, but Cauley-Stein is the guy to own right now.
The Blazers won this game on the backs of their two star guards as they usually do. Damian Lillard had 22 points and six dimes with three money counters on 8-for-18 shooting while C.J. McCollum scored 25 points with four 3-pointers on 9-for-16 shooting. These two should roll along this season. Another Nurk alert went off last night as Jusuf Nurkic scored 14 point with seven boards on 50 percent shooting and swatted four shots.