• Week 10 Schedule

    2 games: CLE, DET
    3 games: BKN, HOU, IND, MEM, MIL, MIN, NOR, NYK, ORL, SAC, TOR, WAS
    All other teams play 4 games.
    Next week gets a paltry two games from the second overall player LeBron James. His value is most heavily weighted on field goal percentage, assists and points. Even more hefty than any of Bron’s individual category weights is Andre Drummond’s league leading rebound weight. You’ll also miss his steals and blocks. Owners of either take note (owners of Kevin Love and Tobias Harris will suffer to a lesser degree).

    For My Streamers

    In Week 10, Monday has 10 games, Wednesday has 12 games, Friday has 9 games, and Saturday has an overloaded 13 games in celebration of Festivus (really, because there are no games on Sunday, Christmas Eve). The typically light days of Tuesday and Thursday have 3 and 5 games respectively.

    Check your individual schedules, but it’s likely you have at least two of these days overbooked, maybe even three: Monday, Wednesday, Friday/Saturday.

    Streaming Rule #1: It’s a sin to have stats wasting away on the bench in H2H. Unfortunately, there are only two teams this week with the prized Tuesday-Thursday double play: The Cavs and the Sixers. The Sixers go four games including Monday and Saturday, while the Cavs, again, have just those two games.

    From the Sixers, you can consider T.J. McConnell, Jerryd Bayless and Richaun Holmes. From the Cavs, we have Jeff Green, J.R. Smith and Kyle Korver (maybe even Jose Calderon) for a second week in a row. Notice that the same schedule that’ll deliver weak stats from your stars like LeBron can sometimes provide streaming options from the role players (‘role players’ to be read in a Shaq voice).

    If you’ve already maxed out your adds this week, but still want to stream, on Monday you can consider the Kings for Tuesday and Wednesday, and the Knicks for Thursday and Friday.

    I’m not telling you to cut someone productive. I’m not saying cut Kris Dunn or Taurean Waller-Prince. I’m saying if you were riding a hot streak that went cold or a low-upside waiver wire guy that is going to sit two out of three games, why not?

    If you’re in roto, you almost want to take an opposite approach. You still want to take advantage of hot-streaks you can glean from the wire (like Burks or Ersan two weeks ago), but you don’t want to play useless games just to get an extra block or assist. Only your top-ranked players are actually providing real value. Anyone after the fifth round or so is technically losing you value. Don’t waste games, yet don’t fall so far behind that you have unused games at the end of the season. A fine line to walk, indeed.

    WORKING THE WIRE

    POINT GUARDS

    Disgruntled George Hill has been sub-par most of the year and found himself on a lot of waivers as a result. He’s picked it up as of late, and his arrow is pointed up. He’s ranked top-100 over the past month, top-75 over the last two weeks, and top-60 over the last week. If he’s on your wire, he’s must-own and count your blessings you don’t play in a really competitive league.

    From last week, Tyler Johnson, J.J. Barea and Yogi Ferrell (four games each next week) are still must-own in standard leagues. Patty Mills (three games) continues to hold value for 14-16 teamers and streamers, though Ferrel will lose value once DSJ (left adductor) returns, probably sometime this week.

    The corpse of Jose Calderon averaged over 12 points, 4.7 dimes and three treys over the last three games (top-50 value) which means we probably missed it. Then again, with IT3 out, Calderon might hold some value with threes and assists.

    Milos Teodosic: Another game for Milos!! (Yes, I have been waiting all season to use that). Last week, including a DNP (old-rest), Milos was only top-160, with his value mostly hurt by poor shooting and virtually no steals. He’s a great, if overrated passer (Ralph Lawler claimed he might be the best passer in the entire NBA) and rebounded for the position. He’ll never get steals, but if his shot starts falling, his stock will rise. His ownership has fallen a bit, so give him a go if he’s on your wire as the Clippers has four games this week (though he might rest one game of Friday/Saturday’s back-to-back).

    D.J. Augustin is a consistent if uninspiring low-end (top-130 last week) three game option for threes, assists and steals.

    SHOOTING GUARDS

    Wayne Ellington has been on-fire! He’s averaging 4.5 threes over the last week, ranking in the top-50. Of course, there’s no chance he stays this hot, and there’s a good chance his run is over. That aside, he’s hitting 2.6 threes on the season, and remains a guy you want whenever you need threes this season. Miami goes four times next week.

    With Devin Booker out (strained left adductor), Troy Daniels was not to be outdone, hitting a ridiculous 4.7 trizzies over the last week along with top-40 value. Jay Triano added just signed Isaiah Canaan to the rotation, but that’ll hurt Tyler Ulis and Mike James more than Daniels. The Suns run it four times next week, so roll with Daniels for threes if Ellington is taken.

    Rodney Hood returned last week and killed Alec Burks’ (top-275) value. Gee, thanks.

    David Nwaba: Chicago Bulls TV color guy Stacey King once again assigns the proper nickname. From now on, David Nwaba is The Demolition Man. Commence assaulting the rim! His arrow is still pointed up, returning top-125 value last week which puts him on the cusp of stand league value. I think he’s still more of a 14-16 team guy, but if he keeps it up, he will soon be standard league ready (he probably already is if you’re punting free throws). The Demolition Man has four games.

    Rookie Bogdan Bogdanovic put up top-125 value last week and over the last two weeks, and provides low-end value in standard formats with some threes, assists and steals. He would be doing better if he wasn’t on such a dysfunctional squad, but his arrow has to be pointed up on a team going nowhere. At the moment though, he’s only a deep league or streaming option with three games next week.

    In a blowout loss to the Raptors, Nik Stauskas went for 22 with five trips in 28 minutes in his first game as a Nyet. And just like that, he was gone. Fun Fact: He was accidentally given the Sauce Castillo nickname by the Kings closed-caption guy who mistyped his name as a rookie. LOL.

    SMALL FORWARDS

    Ersan Ilyasova continues to get burn even after John Collins returned last week. The Bizarro James Franco was good for top-75 last week, with almost 15 points and 2.3 threes per game. The Hawks have four games, so he makes for a good option if someone preemptively dropped him.

    Michael Beasley: Kristaps Porzingis (knee) missed Saturday’s game, which makes Beasley and his huge usage a fine choice for DFS, points leagues or streaming for as long as The Unicorn is out. Related: who would have thought that Beas would be out playing Derrick Rose in their 10th season?

    Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has a very unsexy stat line, but has been coming on lately, bringing home top-90 value over the last two weeks, and top-60 value over the last week. The Hornets have four games, so pick him up for double digit scoring with some boards, a little defense and low turnovers. I like him better in roto, but he might have a spot on your H2H squad.

    Jonas Jerebko has top-120 upside as long as both Rudy Gobert (knee) and Derrick Favors (eye/concussion) are out. Jerebko’s minutes will drop when Favors returns, especially with Iso Joe Johnson returning from a sprained wrist, so he makes for a somewhat risky add. Thabo Sefolosha is also on the radar as the Jazz have four games next week.

    Reggie Bullock played well last week, averaging 1.3 threes and 1.8 steals, good for top-110. While Avery Bradley (right adductor strain) is out, Bullock should get around 20 minutes of Van Gundy’s bench. He’s inconsistent, and not the best option, but is widely available should better options not exist. Detroit plays four times this week.

    Darius Miller is still getting minutes in the mid-20s and still hitting around two treys a game. He remains a widely available low-end (top-160 last week) option for threes.

    POWER FORWARDS

    Mike Scott (top-90) was balling last week. He’s averaging 15.5 points, 1.8 threes, 5.5 rebounds and over a combined stock on fantastical .743 from the field. Over the week, his field goal weight was fifth best in the NBA. Otto Porter (hip) also went down on Friday, and with Markieff Morris (groin) dealing with nagging injuries, Scott has a good change to perform in his three Week 10 games.

    Trey Lyles: We saw his potential in Utah last year, and Lyles is finally getting a chance to shine a mile high. He’s been top-60 over the past two weeks, top-50 last week on 3.3 threes and great shooting. Although Nikola Jokic came back (off the bench) on Friday, Lyles still played 30 minutes and scored 19, with four threes, seven rebounds and three steals. We won’t be this good with Jokic in the lineup, but I like his ability to stretch the floor with Paul Millsap (wrist) out, and I’ll be checking to see if he can keep it up with the Joker back. The Nuggets have four games this week.

    I don’t know where this dude came from, or if he’s even a real NBA player and not some random tall guy who wondered into Philips Arena, but someone named Tyler Cavanaugh has been registering official stats for the Hawks. He ranked top-110 last week for his threes and efficiency. Now that John Collins is back, he’s fallen off (DNP on Friday) but will be on my radar for deep leagues if the Hawks make a trade or have yet another big out with injury.

    CENTERS

    Bobby Portis: With rookie Lauri Markkanen (back) out, Portis has gotten consistent minutes, if not performance. Still, over the last two weeks, he’s been a top-90 guy, with points, boards and a few threes. If Robin Lopez ever gets traded, Portis could be a reliable fantasy asset down the stretch even with Markkanen back. The Bulls plays four times next week.

    Kelly Olynyk (top-150) didn’t play all that well last week, but is still top-120 over the last two weeks and with James Johnson (ankle) out, Olynyk will get all the time he can handle. Although Bam Adebayo started the third quarter for the injured Bloodsport on Saturday, it was Jordan Mickey coming through with the defensive stats. Again, Miami plays four times this week.

    Ekpe Udoh (top-80 last two weeks) can get you some sneaky good rebounds and defensive stats as long as Gobert and Favors miss time. Even when Favors (eye/concussion) returns, Udoh should get enough minutes at center to hold value, especially with four games next week.

    Richaun Holmes: On Thursday’s dramatic triple overtime loss to the Thunder, it was disheartening to see Holmes play only 10 minutes, despite Trevor Booker leaving the game with an ankle sprain. Joel Embiid and Robert Covington both started and played 49 minutes in that contest, and it looks like Holmes and Embiid playing together will only be based on matchups. That said, he still put up top-100 value last week, and is a hold if possible. If you have to cut him for production, I ain’t mad at ‘cha.

    Same goes for Gorgui Dieng (top-125 last two weeks), who just isn’t contributing in enough areas to help most standard league teams.

    Jordan Bell returned top-65 value last week in 25.1 minutes a game. There won’t always be so many injuries, so Bell’s top-120 value over the last 10 games (in less than 15 minutes) is probably a better reflection of his value for the rest of the season. That’s still bordering standard league value, but considering he only gets value from blocks, field goal percentage and low turnovers, he’s a better option for roto leagues, though his per-minute upside is something to consider for season for a season long stash. The Dubbs go four times.

     

    As many of us are observing the holidays, we’ll forgo Random Observations this week for more traditional Festivus celebrations:

    Feats of Strength

    Ben Simmons. Like a mini-Bron without the moodiness or any sort of a shot, Mr. ROY has just been amazing. He finds the open man in the right spot, rebounds, has a decent post game, plays the lanes and angles superbly, and is just starting to be an on-ball defender. The force is strong with this one, though I also wonder if he should be a righty instead of a leftie…Meanwhile, No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz has only played in four games and is on the outside looking in.

    -Continuing with Philly, Joel Embiid is looking healthy and dominant. Outside of his play, I love the intra-organizational Trust The Process trolling, outrageously farcical stories about life in Cameroon, the self-aware, WWE-style trash talking, everything. JoJo exemplifies this social-media era as the archetypal Trickster, though not in a meanspirited manner. Also, the refs seem to love him, and he gets away with a lot, which already differentiates him from a young Boogie.

    Donovan Mitchell. The Spyda was a sleeper draft candidate, especially after an impressive preseason, but who expected this? I don’t watch college ball, but from the clips I saw, I thought he was an athletic tweener who liked dunking on people. I had no idea he was so adept initiating the offense: running the pick & roll, drive and kick, all while being ultra-competitive and supremely competent without being a diva. And, while inexperienced, he’s active on defense. I love this guy! I’m probably biased as I have him on all but one of my squads, but what a G.

    Make it point to watch these young guys as much as possible.

    -I love Dirk Nowitzki still being competitive, all while knowing his time of winning is donezo. He was complaining to a referee vs. the Spurs last Tuesday. Ref said that he couldn’t see the other player’s arm. Dirk shouted back (sounding like Schwarzenegger): “It was a clear foul. I don’t care if you can’t see it.” Ref looked away as if embarrassed to have affronted the great Diggler. Rock on, Dirk, rock on.

    Airing of Grievances

    – I love it when players hop up right after getting fouled (I’ve observed Lonzo, Larry Nance and Devin Booker do this). I hate it when a player just lays there, not hurt, waiting for teammates to help him up. Saw KAT do that against the Clippers. Two dudes had to run almost halfway across the court to pick him up. Get yo’ ass up (and play some defense)!

    -I’m also not a fan of obligatory pounds after free throws. Are you that invalidated as a player that you need to get dapped after taking a free throw? And after a missed free throw too? New Rule: No daps after missed free throws.

    -Refs taking forever to look at replays for obvious calls. I admit, it’s a hard job and some of the plays are very close, but even with the obvious plays, the refs tend to look, find a better angle, see it clearly, then go back to all the bad angles where you couldn’t see anything and watch them all over again three or four times. Then, they check with the guys in Secaucus. Yawn.

     

    -Dear Coach Stotts (Ferris Bueller’s buddy!) and Coach Triano. It’s almost Christmas so please figure out your rotations already. WTF am I supposed to do with this $&^!? At least I know Dave Joerger’s rotation. He’s going to play literally everyone (including Vlade Divac and Elston Turner) between 15 and 25 minutes a game, leaving everyone not named Z-Bo and George Hill worthless. Good job, coach.

    -For my fantasy owners, do you have relatively equal guys on different teams in different leagues that you wish you could just swap? On one team, I have excess steals and need more threes! On the other, I have Steph and plenty of threes, but also have Kemba (arggh!) and need steals. How nice it’d be to swap Gary Harris for C.J. McCollum to get those threes/steals. Unfortunately, that would mean two teams in one league would have Harris and two teams would have McCollum, and if they met in the fantasy playoffs, it would cause a collapse of the space-time continuum which would probably destroy the NBA, at least in this slice of the multiverse.

    A Sofie’s choice for real.

    Awaiting my Festivus Miracle,

    Chef

    Hate on my suggestions or ask me questions on CheffieTwitter.

    If you aren’t already, follow @Hoop-Ball Fantasy for up-to-the-minute fantasy updates.amp;^!? At least I know Dave Joerger’s rotation. He’s going to play literally everyone (including Vlade Divac and Elston Turner) between 15 and 25 minutes a game, leaving everyone not named Z-Bo and George Hill worthless. Good job, coach.

    -For my fantasy owners, do you have relatively equal guys on different teams in different leagues that you wish you could just swap? On one team, I have excess steals and need more threes! On the other, I have Steph and plenty of threes, but also have Kemba (arggh!) and need steals. How nice it’d be to swap Gary Harris for C.J. McCollum to get those threes/steals. Unfortunately, that would mean two teams in one league would have Harris and two teams would have McCollum, and if they met in the fantasy playoffs, it would cause a collapse of the space-time continuum which would probably destroy the NBA, at least in this slice of the multiverse.

    A Sofie’s choice for real.

    Awaiting my Festivus Miracle,

    Chef

    Hate on my suggestions or ask me questions on CheffieTwitter.

    If you aren’t already, follow @Hoop-Ball Fantasy for up-to-the-minute fantasy updates.

Fantasy News

  • Marcus Morris
    PF, New York Knicks

    Marcus Morris stated that he didn't expect another offer after he verbally agreed to the Spurs' two-year, $20 million contract.

    We've seen players renege a contract offer before, so this isn't unprecedented, but it's still not a good look for the Knicks and Morris. He took more money and will join a weaker free agency class in 2020, but he joins an insanely crowded Knicks frontcourt which will now have to find playing time for Morris, Bobby Portis, Julius Randle, Taj Gibson and Mitchell Robinson.

    Source: Kurt Helin on Twitter

  • Donta Hall
    PF, Detroit Pistons

    Donta Hall was signed by the Pistons to an Exhibit 10 contract.

    Hall is a forward that went undrafted this summer after four years at Alabama. He's currently many hurdles away from fantasy significance.

    Source: Keith Smith on Twitter

  • Thaddeus Young
    PF, Chicago Bulls

    Thaddeus Young will be added to the Team USA training camp.

    Young joins Marcus Smart on Monday as two late additions to the training camp roster after six players withdrew from camp to focus on the upcoming NBA season. Although neither of these two are superstars, both are very solid veterans who can impact the game on both ends of the court. There may be more additions to the training camp roster to come.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • Todd Withers
    PG, Detroit Pistons

    The Pistons have signed Todd Withers to an exhibit 10 contract.

    Withers will join the Pistons for training camp to compete for a roster spot. The best outcome for Withers is being signed to a two-way contract for this upcoming season. There is no fantasy impact from this signing.

    Source: Rick Bonnell on Twitter

  • Marcus Smart
    PG, Boston Celtics

    Marcus Smart has been selected to participate in Team USA training camp.

    Following the news of six players dropping out of contention for the USA roster for the FIBA World Cup, the team has decided to add Smart to the list of participants. Don't be surprised if we hear of more additions in the coming days.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • Tim Duncan
    PF-C, San Antonio Spurs

    Tim Duncan will join Gregg Popovich's coaching staff as an assistant with the Spurs.

    Duncan played all 19 of his NBA seasons under Popovich. He became one of the league's most dominant big-men of all-time. In regards to the hiring, Popovich joked "It is only fitting, after I served loyally for 19 years as Tim Duncan’s assistant, that he returns the favor." The NBA will welcome having Duncan back in the league.

    Source: Marc Stein on Twitter

  • Josh Okogie
    SG, Minnesota Timberwolves

    Josh Okogie will join Al-Farouq Aminu in representing Nigeria at the FIBA World Cup.

    Okogie broke the news Monday on Twitter. He will be playing with at least a few other current or former NBA players in China.

    Source: Magic PR on Twitter

  • Gerald Green
    SG, Houston Rockets

    The Rockets have officially re-signed Gerald Green to a one-year contract.

    Green will come back to the Rockets for his third straight season. He will continue to be a 3-point specialist off of the bench for this high-powered offense.

    Source: Jonathan Feigen on Twitter

  • Tobias Harris
    SF, Philadelphia Sixers

    Tobias Harris has decided to withdraw from Team USA training camp.

    Harris is the sixth player to withdraw from the Team USA training camp. The roster will be cut to 12 players heading into the FIBA World Cup which starts at the end of August.

    Source: Keith Pompey on Twitter

  • Darius Miller
    SF, New Orleans Pelicans

    The Pelicans have officially re-signed Darius Miller to a two-year deal.

    Miller will be playing behind a plethora of young assets at the Pelicans' disposal. Given that the team has entered a full-blown youth movement, it is unlikely that he will earn enough meaningful minutes to make a splash in fantasy in 2019-20.

    Source: Pelicans on Twitter