• Run and check all your wires to make sure Jordan Bell isn’t available. I’ll wait.

    Week 11 Schedule

    2 games: POR
    3 games: ATL, CHA, CLE, DEN, DET, LAC, MIA, MIL, NOR, ORL, PHO, SAS, TOR, UTA
    All other teams play 4 games.

    For the second week in a month, the Blazers play only two games, which mean owners of Damian Lillard (strained hamstring, but plans to play in their next game) will miss a portion of his league leading free throw weight in addition to big positives in points, assists and threes. Owners of C.J. McCollum will miss the same stats to a lesser degree (points, threes and free throw shooting are McCollum’s significantly weighted categories).

    *Anyone else see Dame Dolla looking like he robbed Big Daddy Kane on Saturday? The retro-80s look is still in, though I see a nascent 90s revival on the way. I’m geeked ‘cause I never could rock skinny jeans (too tight). I’m going to have to start looking for my striped Girbauds.

    For My Streamers

    Due to all teams having Christmas Eve off, Week 11 is pretty spread out, with only Wednesday having at least 10 games. You’ll want to check, but most teams shouldn’t have many, if any, players benched this week, so whomever you roster will likely play every game.

    Monday, Christmas Day, has 5 games: Sixers at Knicks, Cavs and Warriors, Wizards at Celtics, Rockets at Thunder, and Wolves at Lakers.

    Tuesday has 8: Pacers at Pistons, Raptors at Mavs, Magic at Heat, Bulls at Bucks, Nets and Spurs, Jazz at Nuggets, Grizzlies at Suns, and Kings at Clippers.

    Wednesday has 10: Celtics at Hornets, Mavs at Pacers, Wizards at Hawks, Knicks at Bulls, Nuggets at Wolves, Nets and Pelicans, Raptors at Thunder, Cavs at Kings, Jazz at Warriors, and Grizzlies at Lakers.If you happen to have a full Wednesday and want to stream around it, Pistons (Reggie Bullock), Magic- (Mario Hezonja or Bismack Biyombo, D.J. Augustin in deep leagues) and Spurs (Patty Mills) play Tuesday and Thursday.

    Thursday has 5: Pistons at Magic, Rockets at Celtics, Wolves at Bucks, Knicks at Spurs, Sixers at Blazers.

    Friday has 9: Rockets at Wizards, Hawks at Raptors, Nets at Heat, Pacers at Bulls, Mavs at Pelicans, Bucks at Thunder, Suns at Kings, Hornets at Warriors, and Clippers “at” Lakers.

    Saturday has 7: Spurs at Pistons, Heat at Magic, Knicks at Pelicans, Blazers at Hawks, Cavs at Jazz, Grizzlies at Warriors, and Sixers at Nuggets.

    Sunday has 8: Bulls at Wizards, Wolves at Pacers, Nets at Celtics, Lakers at Rockets, Mavs at Thunder, Hornets at Clippers, Grizzlies at Kings, and Sixers at Suns.

    Because the schedule is so spread out, I’m paying attention to back to backs. A bunch of teams are doing Tues/Weds: BRK, CHI, DAL, DEN, IND, MEM, SAC, TOR, UTA, but only three are doing Weds/Thurs: BOS, MIN, NYK. HOU and MIL go Thurs/Fri, while Fri/Sat has ATL, GSW, MIA, and NOR playing. Finally, MEM and PHI are the only two teams going Sat/Sun.

    *A brief note on game planning- I picked up Ekpe Udoh, then Brook went down (along with Gobert) so I dropped Udoh for Troy Daniels in one very injured league and will win threes. Stuff happens; you gotta roll with it if you want to stream effectively.

    Working The Wire

    Point Guards

    (All still less than 50 percent owned and are holds in standard leagues) From the last few weeks, still: Tyler Johnson (three games) and J.J. Barea & Yogi Ferrell (four games) are still guys you want to roll with.

    The corpse of Jose Calderon (three games) still kissed low-end standard league value last week (top-90), while T.J. McConnell (four games, top-160ish) is better suited for 14-16 team leagues, unless the schedule happens to fit just right.

    Isaiah Canaan makes his debut here, and is a typical off the bench, irrational confidence guy (copyright Bill Simmons). When he had free rein to do what he pleased in Philly a few years ago, he was rosterable as a third point guard (with horrible shooting). When he has a shorter leash, and has to play in a team system like last year in Chicago, he’s not as good. Mike James (RIP) is gone and this Suns squad is really dysfunctional (but they’re not (yet) tanking like Sam Hinkie) so he’ll get up plenty of shots and threes and rack up drive and kick assists while Devin Booker (left adductor strain) is out. When Booker returns, he’ll still be used as a gunner off the bench, but will have a hard time matching his top-60 value from last week. The Suns play three times.

    Delon Wright is back from a shoulder injury and outplaying everyone else on Toronto’s bench. Over the last three games he’s averaging 11.7 points, 1.0 threes and 1.3 steals, good enough for back-end standard league value. The Raptors bench takes turns getting hot (C.J. Miles, Fred VanVleet), so he might only have short term use.

    Shooting Guards

    Wayne Ellington kept it up last week (3.7 threes), but was picked up in a bunch of leagues after knocking down a career-high 8 trizzles along on his way to 28 points. Add him if you need scoring with lots of threes. He’s been top-70 over the last two weeks, and Dion Waiters’ ankle injury gives him a good chance to fill it up this week. The Heat go three times in Week 11.

    Troy Daniels cooled off a bit, but still put up 12.5 points with 2.8 threes last week, good for top-120 value. Like last week, he’s an option if Ellington isn’t. If Devin Booker (adductor) returns this week, it’d obviously put a big dent in Daniels’ value. The Suns also have three games.

    Denzel Valentine broke out of a shooting slump, and posted top-50 last week on 14.7 points and 2.3 three from a laughable .720 from the field. His slump-busting knocked The Demolition Man, David Nwaba, down to deep league value (top-175). Both are looking a little shaky longer term, as they will lose minutes and usage when Zach LaVine (knee) returns, most likely mid-January, but will still probably keep value in deeper leagues. Chicago plays four times.

    Small Forwards

    Mario Hezonja: Aaron Gordon (calf), Evan Fournier (ankle) and now Nikola Vucevic (broken hand) are all out and I’m still hesitant to include Mario as he’s notoriously streaky and will take a ginormous hit when Fournier returns. Still, he’s balled out over his last four games, scoring double figures in all, while racking up 16.8 points, 3.0 trifectas and 2.7 steals, good for top-30 value. That’s obviously not sustainable but even cutting those numbers in half would be usable in a lot of leagues. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to risk random Hezonja duds and Fournier’s return. Hopefully, Hezonja will not self destruct in five seconds.

    Reggie Bullock stays trending up for some reason. He’s been top-110 over the last month, top-85 over the last two weeks, and top-60 last week. This whole time his field goal percentage keeps getting better (.617-.630-.667), and is his highest weighted category along with low turnovers (he’ll score about 10-12 with 1.5 threes). He’s a usable low-end guy as long as he’s hitting his shots. He only has three games this week, but Avery Bradley (groin) will be out.

    Jeff Green continues to hold back-end value for deeper leagues (top-100 last month, top-95 last week), scoring in double figures and helping you a little bit or barely hurting you across the board. Cavs has three games.

    Power Forwards

    The Curious Case of Trey Lyles and Mike Scott: Both have been ranked top- 55 over the last two weeks because both are shooting the ball way over their career clips. If you take away that category weight, Lyles was only top-100 and Scott top-115 over that two week stretch. That’s still rosterable for many teams, but not close to must-own, though I like Lyles for his threes even when he cools off. Watch their field goal percentages and adjust accordingly.

    Omri Casspi: Everyone in the Warriors organization seems to praise Casspi for his Basketball-IQ. Kerr likes him, and even with K.D.,Draymond and Iggy back in the lineup, Casspi kept his top-50 value last week. It’s largely based on low turnovers and ridiculous shooting (.625) but he got over 12 points and 6 rebounds in 23.3 minutes, which is not bad for a guy at the end of your bench. He can’t keep up the shooting despite playing in Golden State which gets him so many open looks. That being said, Steph Curry is out at least another week and the Dubs go four times, so roll with Casspi in deep leagues, DFS, or if you can’t find anyone better (I can find someone better in all of my standard leagues).

    Centers

    Jordan Bell: He has been on Working the Wire for the past few weeks, but after his breakout 20-10 game, you might have missed your chance. (Humble brag: I had him stashed on my killer squad and picked him up on Thursday (Ekpe Udoh wasn’t getting the job done) to stream on Friday and Saturday. Even after his big double-double, I was able to pick him on all my other squads. Merry Christmas to me!)

    Draymond Green returned, and Bell not only stuck as a starter, he’s playing better than ever averaging 13.5 points, 10 boards and 1.5 blocks, shooting .667 from the field (top-40). I shouldn’t be surprised that he’s played better as a starter, but I am. Kerr likes him and wants to play him more, so he’s set up for mid-roundish value for the rest of the season. Also, pay attention to your wire; if he has a few duds, someone might drop him, and you want to be Johnny on The Spot to scoop him up. And to think, he could have been a Bull. Thanks again, Reinsdorf, you cheap bastard.

    Kelly Olynyk is still on a quite a few waivers, and his across the board contributions left him top-80 last week. Bloodsport James Johnson looks like he’s back on the shelf after coming back early from an ankle injury to play only 8 minutes on Saturday. He left the game and did not return. Miami has three games this week.

    The Manimal has fallen out of Mike Malone’s rotation, and the other big man spot seems primed for Mason Plumlee as long as Paul Millsap (wrist) is hurt. Plumdog was top-100 over the last two weeks and top-60 last week with over two blocks, eight rebounds, and good shooting from the paint. Denver plays three times.

    Bobby Portis still struggles with consistency, but seems to have carved out a timeshare with Robin Lopez as Fred Hoiberg looks to go small. He returned top-75 value over the last two weeks with 15.4 points, 7.1 rebounds and over a three. The Bulls have four games.

    Frank Kaminsky: The Tank is heating up, averaging 15.3 points with 2.0 threes last week, which was good for top-75 value. He hasn’t really gotten it going yet this year, so you can give him a go if he keeps it up. The Hornets play three times.

    Bismack Biyombo: Nikola Vucevic (broken hand) will miss 6-to-8 weeks, and Biyombo is the only real center on the roster, so he should be good for blocks, rebounds and killing your free throw percentage. Plus, Biyombo is a really fun name to say. BeeeeYahhhmmmmBowwww. The Magic has three games.

    Domantas Sabonis started doing more than scoring and boarding, and his value is finally catching up to his ownership. He was top-120 last week and goes four times this week.

    Richaun Holmes: After performing well in three straight games with Jo-Jo Embiid out with a back strain, he almost caught a DNP with Embiid returning to the lineup. The Raptors finally pulled away and Holmes got less than four minutes of garbage time, and again played fewer minutes than Amir Johnson and Trevor Booker. I dropped him for Jordan Bell in two leagues.

    I know I’m listing some of the same guys week after week, but they’re still way under-owned as a whole, so what can I do?

    Random Observations

    Fred Hoiberg is no Tom Thibodeau, but he’s also no Vinny Del Negro. #silverlinings

    -Dear Jinglin’ Joe,

    Sir, why you do this to me?

    (Joe Ingles is a buy-low in my opinion. In one league I traded Taurean Prince and Dennis Smith for Ingles and Markelle Fultz. I’m pretty sure Ingles will end the season with the highest value of the four, plus I needed the assists. Fultz might end up being a wash, but DSJ hasn’t sniffed top-150 value all season long, and with Steph Curry coming back soon, he would have been the guy to drop anyway unless Jordan Bell falls off a cliff.)

    -I’m not sure when this became a thing, but I’ve heard numerous announcers (TNT, Dubs crew, Bulls crew) mention that Kyle Kuzma is like the Lakers’ No. 2 pick and Lonzo is playing like their No. 27 pick. I wonder how many other announcers are going to pile on next week. The roasting of all things Ball proceeds with vigor, and LaVar certainly isn’t making it any better. With the hype now gone, Lonzo will never be a superstar, but he still has the ability to be a poor-man’s Jason Kidd if he works on his shot, finishing at the rim, and overall offensive aggressiveness. I’m pullin’ for him (and kind of feel sorry for him, too).

    -Speaking of Kyle Kuzma, going into Saturday’s game in the Bay, his 60.9 TS% (True Shooting percentage) is the highest of any rookie in NBA history averaging at least 15 points per game. Dude is smooth.

    Ready to smash this Christmas dinner,
    Chef

    Hate on my suggestions or ask me questions on Twitter @Floppy_Divac.

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

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