• Hey there everyone! It was a busy Wednesday night and I’ve got a lot to cover as far as bits of news are concerned. Since this will be my last “Daily Dish” for 2016, I decided to talk a little bit more about players and their outlook for the coming year, and less about breaking down what transpired in the box scores.

    I just got off recording a podcast with our very own Dan Besbris and some of the topics and players we talked about struck a cord and I figured why not put some of my thoughts down in this post.

    That said, let’s get right to it, shall we?

    Indiana Pacers 105, Washington 111

    Big news in this game was that Bradley Beal went down with an ankle injury and he ended playing just 18 minutes. He’s listed as Day-to-day, so it shouldn’t be a big cause for concern for his owners in the short term. He’s an injury prone guy and has been a risky asset to hold onto for most of his career. If I own Beal (thankfully, I don’t), I’d consider selling high on him the moment he strings together a few solid games.

    Otto Porter Jr. has been getting more consistent over the last few games and believe me, if he keeps this up, he’s going to be a shoe-in to finish as a Top-50 player in fantasy. This game was two-dimensional with Porter scoring 22 points and hitting three triples, but he’s generally able to add rebounds and steals to his nightly repertoire.

    Monta Ellis was back in action and played 18 minutes of the bench. I’m not high on Monta making a big comeback and salvaging what’s left of his lackluster 2016-17 season. My money is on Jeff Teague (19 points, 11 assists), being given priority as far as ball distribution is concerned limiting Monta’s touches and hogging the rock.

    Paul George had a sick game with 34 points and six treys. If anyone can turn things around on this team, it’s him; and this game is a good sign that as long as PG-13 stays healthy, his owners have a bright 2017 to look forward to.

    Charlotte Hornets 120, Orlando Magic 101

    Evan Fournier missed another game with his heel issue, and Jodie Meeks provided some of his owners in very deep leagues with a serviceable game with 11 points, a trey, and two steals.

    The sell-high window for Elfrid Payton got abruptly shut on Wednesday, as he had trouble keeping up with Kemba Walker and company. He struggled in 27 minutes, shooting 2-0f-10 from the field and getting four assists. His previous few games were encouraging, but the law of averages caught up with EP in this game. Here’s my 2017 outlook for Payton. He’ll ended up being better than he was in 2015-16, but won’t suddenly wow us all with a magical (no pun intended) elevation of his game to a higher next-level.

    Not really much to discuss on the Hornets end of this game with Kemba and Nicolas Batum, pretty much doing their thing.

    Jeremy Lamb had an “Okay” game with Marco Bellinelli out. That said, trust neither guy as they are in a tug-of-war game with each other’s value.

    New York Knicks 98, Atlanta Hawks 102 (OT)

    Carmelo Anthony got tossed out of the game for a flagrant 2 foul, so that explains his 15 minutes on the court. Despite his throwback double-double game, I wouldn’t expect Joakim Noah to make a habit of it moving forward. It’s just a sputter in his fading value. While it’s a reminder that he can put up numbers when healthy, and he did look good, but Noah is notorious for his lack of durability and his erratic games. Save yourself the headache and let him be someone else’s conundrum in 2017.

    Derrick Rose had a good game with 26 points and six dimes. Is he back? Maybe. Here’s my view though. Assuming he is regaining his form this season, that’s well and good, but I have simplified my fantasy basketball life by taking him out of the equation this season. I’d consider him next season if he does end up being solid, but I’d prefer not to carry his risk-reward scenario in 2017.

    Dwight Howard looks like that his back issue is behind him (again, no pun), as evidenced by his 16 points and 22 boards. It looks like DH will get to continue his bounce-back season in 2017 unencumbered.

    Paul Millsap played through his banged up eye and still managed to contribute an across-the-board kind of line, which was obviously a good sign, but his hitting 4-of-20 shots from the field made me want to poke myself in the eye as I saw my teams’ FG% take a hit. You know, kind of like the flagrant 2 Melo hammered on Thabo this game. Still, a healthy Millsap is more promising than a DNP-Millsap, so I’ll take the bad with the good.

    Milwaukee Bucks 119, Detroit Pistons 94

    The Bucks have been showcasing Greg Monroe in recent games and have been actively shopping him. This situation makes John Henson (seven points, two blocks in 19 minutes). John should get a big bump in minutes and value once (not when), Monroe is shipped off. Owners of Greg should take a cue from the Bucks management and sell-high and get what they can for him.

    Tony Snell has been pinging on my deep league radar lately and he had another solid outing with 11 points, three treys, and six boards.

    I agree with the Pistons’ move sending Tobias Harris to the bench. He’s been a good sixth man and it’s reflecting in his production, leading the second unit in scoring among other things. Jon Leuer should remain a cult roto guy moving forward, so he’s definitely worth holding onto.

    Brooklyn Nets 99, Chicago Bulls 101

    With Jeremy Lin out again with a sore hamstring, Sean Kilpatrick steps up with 18 points, four triples, and six dimes. Kilpatrick has a good outlook in 2017, even if Lin does come back and is healthy the rest of the way. Of course, expect better value out of Killie when Lin misses time.

    Brook Lopez is a definite sell-high guy as far as I’m concerned. He’s so important to the Nets that he could be looking at another shutdwon situation like in 2015-16, when he disappeared for the fantasy playoffs.

    Jimmy Butler remains the only real Bulls player who you can count on. Dwyane Wade is having a nice fresh start in Chitown, but is still an injury-prone old guy, who can easily miss a week or two at any given tweak of this or that. He’s another player I’d consider selling high on for 2017.

    Los Angeles Clippers 98, New Orleans Pelicans 102

    Tim Frazier was a healthy DNP-CD, which is just catastrophic for his value. You can drop him now and just grab him again if Jrue Holiday (11 points, nine assists) goes down.

    Tyreke Evans had a decent 12-5-5 line in 16 minutes. He’s working his way back into game shape and should get even better in 2017. Get ahead of the rush and stash him now if you’d like. Sadly, the better he gets, the less the Pelicans will need Frazier on the floor.

    Chris Paul is back and he played well with 21 points, eight boards, and six assists.

    It was Austin Rivers’ turn to step up in the absence of J.J. Redick, and he blew up for 22 points. His value is short-term, with Redick not expect to miss too many games. Rivers’ good game hurt Jamal Crawford (seven points, 3-of-15 from the field). This is a clear sign that the SG-glut in LAC is just ugly, with Redick claiming the lion’s share of the usage when healthy.

    Phoenix Suns 98, San Antonio Spurs 119

    It was a case of “No Kawhi, no problem”, with LaMarcus Aldridge and Tony Parker handling things with 27 and 20 points, respectively. It was a stomach bug that kept Kawhi Leonard out, so nothing to really worry about on that end.

    Danny Green showed up with 11 points, three treys, four steals, and a block. When he’s on, he’s on; but when he’s not, it’s just plain fugly. Play him in Roto leagues, but stay away from him in Head to Head, that’s if you value your sanity.

    Dragan Bender alert! Second good game for the rookie tonight with 10 points, two triples, a steal, and a block. I’ve added him in deep leagues now and you should too. He could finish the season strong as the Suns head off to “Tanksville”.

    Minnesota Timberwolves 103, Denver Nuggets 105

    Karl-Anthony Towns‘ 15-11-10 trip-dub, made me reconsider selling him off in one of my leagues. He wasn’t rookie of the year in 2015-16 for nothing, folks. He’s only going to get better, and the upside is real. Very real. Soon enough, it will all come to fruition.

    We talked in length in the podcast about Ricky Rubio and how he’s shaken off his slow start. He’s a hold, because I don’t see his production slipping even IF he does get traded. Both Kris Dunn and Tyus Jones don’t appear ready to inherit the PG job this season, so the T-Wolves, might just hold on to Rubio.

    Admittedly, I’m now officially a convert and believer in Nikola Jokic (16-8-11). The guy is something special and a definite gem in dynasty leagues. His court vision is clearly superior to that of Emmanuel Mudiay’s and when it’s Jokic doing the facilitating, things tend to go well for the Nugs. He’s now over his “confidence issues” and is primed for bigger and better production in 2017. With all due respect to Domantas, Jokic could be the next generation’s Arvydas Sabonis as far as passing big men are concerned.

    Sacramento Kings 89, Portland Trail Blazers 102

    A committee of Blazers stepped up in the absence of Damian Lillard, which allowed them to cruise to victory. All that short-term value will fade like a fog in spring, once Lillad returns.

    Rudy Gay‘s hip is still clearly bothering him, hence the DNP. Despite the injury, other teams will still be courting the Kings for a crack at the talented forward. Hold him for now. It’s hard to sell-high on a hurt guy.

    Well BOTH Darren Collison and Ty Lawson sucked in this game, but Lawson has been the better PG as of late. I dropped DC in a standard league, because I am already nursing a recovering Derrick Favors. If I could afford to, I’d be more patient. Always, remember that our “buy”, “hold”, and “sell” recommendations are in a general sense; so please take into account your team’s specific context when making moves.

    Toronto Raptors 111, Golden State Warriors 121

    The Warriors are trying to end 2016 on a high note and their “Big 4” all did their thing in this game. Special mention has to go to Kevin Durant who had a monster game with 22 points, 17 boards, three triples, seven assists, and five blocks. Six turnovers, you say? With those numbers, I don’t really care. As far as I’m concerned, the less dominant the Warriors are overall, the better it is for the fantasy outlook of their players in 2017. The more they need to hustle, the less chances there are of key guys being rested down the stretch, which at this point is the only real threat to their production.

    Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan did their thing as expected keeping the game far closer than the end score leads you to believe. However, it was, nope you guessed wrong, Terrence Ross who exploded for 24 points on 10-of-23 shooting from the field and 4-of-9 from deep to help keep them in the fight.

    As expected, the pace of the game was not favorable for Jonas Valanciunas who faded into the shadows with seven points and five boards.


    Well, that’s it folks! I’d like to wish you all a belated Merry Christmas! and I hope you have a wonderful New Year’s celebration! Here’s to a healthier (for our NBA players) 2017 ahead! Cheers!


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