• Four weeks in and there’s no slowing the chaos. Hopefully you’ve been able to keep yours under control. If it feels like the walls are closing in all around you, don’t fret my pets. We’ll help you through this stretch and beyond. Still plenty of basketball left in this young season.

    Regardless of how you’re feeling about your team this Sunday night into Monday morning, you’re going to want to try to stay ahead of the curve or make more adjustments. As the season progresses, you’re going to need to get more creative with the moves you make and we hope it isn’t because you are running out of IR spots. Whether you’re taking that celebratory morning sip of coffee or wondering if it’s more than just the Daylights Savings Time that is adding all this darkness into your life, here are some pointers no matter what type of fantasy mood you’re in.

    Add(s) of the Night

    Daniel Theis, PF, Boston Celtics – 22 minutes, 14 points, 10 rebounds, one assist, two blocks, 5-of-6 FG, 4-fo-4 FT

    Daniel Theis is exactly the kind of guy that flies under the radar but does the little things that can help fantasy teams. He can score efficiently in limited minutes, he can deliver defensive stats and knock down the occasional 3-pointer. His per-game averages may not look pretty, but when you add it all up you get a top-150 player who doesn’t need a ton of minutes to get there.

    Now it’s starting to look like his minutes are stabilizing and Theis is sticking in the starting lineup even with Enes Kanter returning and Robert Williams still Lording some time as well. Still, we know Kanter isn’t going to play heavy minutes because of his defense and Time Lord will still battle with inconsistency. That means Theis will remain a fixture in the Celtics rotation until Gordon Hayward is healthy again and be a sneaky value for your teams.

    Eric Paschall, G/F, Golden State Warriors – 35 minutes, 30 points, seven rebounds, two assists, two 3-pointers, 10-of-17 FG, 8-of-10 FT

    It’s a been a miserable season for the Warriors, but Eric Paschall has been one of their bright spots. The assumption was that Paschall would soak up the majority of minutes while Draymond Green was out and then revert to backing him up once he returned. However, he’s stuck in the starting lineup with Green back and remained the beneficiary of the offensive touches with D’Angelo Russell now out for a while.

    Paschall is a nice story but is limited for fantasy purposes. You’ll be lucky to get any defensive stats from him and he’s a big-time rebounder or passer. Still, it’s nice to get some high-volume scoring both from the floor and at the stripe with positive percentages. If anyone gave up on him once Green got back, Paschall looks like he’s still the guy to pivot toward if you’re done trying to figure out the mess in the Warriors backcourt.

    Drop Zone

    We’re not saying that you have to drop any of these guys, only that you should at least consider it depending who’s on your waiver wire. Your mileage may vary based on league size and team build, but for the most part we’ll try to cut dead weight in the 12-team range.

    Dillon Brooks

    Brooks was a popular add after putting up 20-plus points in two of his previous three games. Unfortunately, that came to a screeching halt with an absolute clunker on Sunday. He was 0-of-5 and only one assist in 18 minutes of action. It’s been a bit of the current operating procedure for any of the Grizzlies players not named Ja, Jonas, Triple-J or Clarke. There just isn’t enough consistency anywhere else to feel like they can be regular contributors to standard league teams. Brooks is just the latest to fall victim to the Grizzlies inconsistency issues.

    Cory Joseph

    We’re only talking about Cory Joseph because De’Aaron Fox has a significant ankle injury and the Kings are playing next man up for the point guard position. That man is Joseph and Luke Walton is playing toward a strict adherence to positional basketball. That’s meant that Joseph has been seeing minutes at minimum in the upper-20s which we should typically believe is a good thing.

    However, Joseph has somehow been worse with the additional opportunity then he was without it. He was already a terrible per-minute producer and now his shooting has also found the abyss. If you had Fox and decided to grab Joseph, we can’t fault your logic. But lick your wounds and move on because if you need help at the point guard position, Joseph won’t be the guy to provide it.

    Injury Report

    You ready? This may take a bit.

    First some good news. Mitchell Robinson is probable for Monday despite spraining his ankle in practice. He’s been playing well despite the Knicks so lets hope this isn’t anything we’ll need to worry about down the road.

    His teammate Elfrid Payton is still out with a hamstring injury. Probably for the best. Payton being out means one less variable in the Knicks rotation for David Fizdale and basketball math can be quite hard for him.

    The Golden State Warriors and New Orleans Pelicans played in one of the saddest games of the season. The Pelicans had a whopping nine players who were on the injury report. In total, here is a list of players who wound up being out for that one. Steph Curry, D’Angelo Russell, Kevon Looney, Jacob Evans, Zion Williamson, Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Derrick Favors, Frank Jackson, Darius Miller, Jahlil Okafor, Josh Hart, and a partridge in a pear tree.

    In fairness, Ingram, Ball, Jackson, and Favors were all fairly close to being gametime decisions despite their respective injuries so chances are we’ll see them back on the court within the next week. Ingram has had his breakout season derailed by his knee issue so approach him with caution next week knowing that the Pelicans aren’t going to take unnecessary risks with his health.

    Lonzo Ball has had an adductor strain and despite his absence on Sunday, reports indicate that he appears close to a return.

    Derrick Favors has been one step forward and two steps back all season. This time it’s his back that is keeping him from being a double-double machine. Favors has had a history of both knee and back issues so neither of these are promising signs that they’ve come up this early in the season.

    Clint Capela is being listed as probable for Monday so it seems like he’s past his concussion issues after colliding with JaMychal Green.

    Malcolm Brogdon is dealing with back spasms so it looks like Monday will be another Holiday for the Pacers backcourt.

    Jeremy Lamb may crash the Holiday brother’s party as he’s now listed as questionable for Monday. He’s getting closer to returning from his ankle injury, but as usual, keep your eyes and ears peeled before getting him back into lineups.

    Myles Turner returned to the Pacers lineup right in time for Domantas Sabonis to get a questionable tag for Monday with a bruised hip. The Pacers and Pelicans are in a dead heat for who can field the least amount of healthy bodies for an NBA game.

    Andrew Wiggins is being considered doubtful for Monday with an illness. He’s been away because of a death in the family which has put a brief pause on one of the biggest fantasy stories of the season.

    Josh Okogie is questionable for Monday with knee soreness. Jarrett Culver has been soaking up all his and Wiggins minutes with both dealing with their respective issues.

    D.J. Augustin dislocated his finger but returned to Sunday’s game against the Wizards. Michael Carter-Williams strained his hip and did not return. If Augustin has any residual issues with his finger and MCW misses time, then we might get our first full dosage of Markelle Fultz.

    Patrick Beverley is questionable for Monday night as he deals with calf soreness.

    Beverley’s better-known teammate, Kawhi Leonard, is still dealing with knee and/or load management issues and says he’ll play on Monday but we’ll believe that when he’s actually on the court. For now it sounds like he’ll be there to be a part of the Paul George revenge game against the Thunder and finally take the court with his Big-2 teammate.

    Trying To Make A Dollar Out Of 15 Cents

    Trade season is getting up to full gear now that we’re a few weeks into the season. That means one of two things. You’re either ready to pounce on a big-time stud from a team that’s floundering, or you’re the team that’s floundering and the sharks are starting to circle. I know because this is beginning to happen in almost all of my leagues so I am sure it is happening in yours as well.

    There’s some simple wisdom when it comes to making the kind of 2-for-1 deals that tend to happen when owners smell blood or want to stop the bleeding. The first thing is that owners coming a position of power shouldn’t just try to land a big fish for two random players just because they happen to be ranked decently. Nor should the trade offer be a very good player followed by a replaceable part. Of course, you want to get the best player in the deal, but that doesn’t mean just throwing two serviceable players at a losing team and expecting them to bite.

    If you’re winning and want to solidify your position, try to offer something that the other owner knows is a real need or plays to their fandom. Study their team, their habits, and their favorites before sending out offers. There needs to be a real angle and some thought put into your offer that makes the other team feel like they are getting the better end of the deal even though they would be giving up the better player.

    If you’re down on your luck and are being bombarded by 2-for-1 offers, guess what, you don’t have to accept any of them! Don’t let the top teams mess around with you just because of your record. Stay strong! If someone wants to pry your first-round pick from you, make them earn it. Hold out for the right deal and even though you feel like you’d be giving up a dollar, try to get $1.25 in return. Don’t make a hasty trade because you’re down on your luck now only to dig yourself into an even bigger hole.

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