• Just when you think you had the NBA figured out, two upsets get splashed in on a Tuesday night. Trae Young returned after a one-week absence and shocked the Spurs, the Lakers found themselves down 13 to the Bulls entering the fourth quarter and came all the way back, and the Hornets aren’t as bad as we thought they were.

    Let’s dig in to some moves to help out your fantasy squad while everyone is still trying to figure out value in this young season.

    Add(s) of the Night

    Jabari Parker, F, Atlanta Hawks – 32 minutes, 19 points, eight rebounds, two assists, one steal, 9-of-14 FG, 1-of-2 FT

    In case you are living under a rock, Hawks big man John Collins has been suspended 25 games for the illegal use of a banned growth hormone. The big beneficiary here is Jabari Parker, who is an instant add in all formats. He has a fantasy-friendly game and is capable of filling up the stat sheet across the board when given minutes, which he will now inherit.

    In roto formats, Parker becomes a prime, albeit shortasset to help get you a third of the way through the season with big numbers off the wire. He will also serve as a great head-to-head player to give you a good head start to make your playoffs into December. Run, don’t walk, to grab Parker, as he is surprising less than 14% on ESPN, 34% owned on Yahoo, and 65% owned on FanTrax.

    De’Andre Hunter, F, Atlanta Hawks – 36 minutes, 16 points, eight rebounds, one assist, 6-of-13 FG, 2-of-2 FTs

    You can sense a theme here. With John Collins out and more minutes to go around, Hunter saw the most usage he has seen in his young career. His 36 minutes and 13 field goal attempts were a career-high. Fantasy basketball has a lot to do with opportunity and Hunter could provide some low-end value in standard leagues. If you play in a 14-team league or deeper, Hunter is a borderline must-add and see what happens in those formats.

    If you’re looking for more potential adds, check out our Pickups of the Night, part of the Hoop Ball Gametime Premium package.

    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.

    Dwayne Bacon

    If you added Bacon to your fantasy breakfast on opening night, you likely suffered from a pork overdose. He possibly tempted owners with the smell of Bacon again after Saturday’s 25-6-2-2 line against the Warriors, which made him a popular waiver wire add once again.

    Devonte’ Graham stomped on his greasy value on Tuesday night, posting a monstrous 35-4-6-3 line in 42 minutes, compared to Bacon’s 13 minutes. He was in foul trouble, but Graham is simply better than him. It’s time to move on to other diets.

    John Collins (pending appeal, situational)

    Let me start with a word of caution: don’t make a hasty decision just yet, as John Collins plans to appeal his 25-game suspension.

    Several of you spent a hefty pick on John Collins during your drafts. The decision to drop a player of this caliber on a non-injury absence is entirely up to you and the settings in your league.

    Most leagues do not allow suspended players in your IL spot, so you will likely have to hold Collins until late December, which will bleed you in the standings. In head-to-head leagues, we are two matchups in the books, so if you are already far behind near last place, you could at least shop Collins around to a bold owner and salvage some value. Again, it all depends on your circumstances. Perhaps you are facing other teams with injuries or holding DeAndre Ayton and you can stomach some time here and there. Maybe your league allows a high amount of teams in the playoffs. You know your circumstances best.

    In roto leagues, if you are in a league which allows daily substitutions and transactions, you probably have to cut bait and move on if Collins’ suspension is upheld. It’s hard to do so this early on a guy oozing talent, but a roster spot with no stats for seven weeks gives you nearly no shot to jump atop the standings.

    Again, this is all circumstantial. Assess your situation, wait for news of Collins’ appeal, and make a calculated decision.

    Injury Report

    Kawhi Leonard is being listed as out against the Bucks on Wednesday, but is expected to play against the Blazers on Thursday. This will be Kawhi’s second game of the young season resting in order to manage his load. The Clippers have a back-to-back next week as well, so you can expect Kawhi to probably play only three games next week.

    Trae Young returned for the Hawks after a one-week absence and led the Hawks to a 108-100 upset victory over the Spurs. His ankle looked just fine on this play toying with LaMarcus Aldridge.

    Gary Harris left Tuesday’s game with an ankle injury and was quickly ruled out. After the game, Nuggets coach Michael Malone said he expects Harris to play against the Sixers on Friday. This was starting to sound all too familiar, but it’s a relief to hear Harris should be back quickly.

    Paul Millsap was another Nuggets player who left Tuesday’s game and did not return. He collided with Justise Winslow and cut his forehead, bleeding profusely before leaving the game with a towel over the wound. Millsap is getting stitches and coach Malone expects him to play against the Sixers on Friday.

    PJ Washington is day-to-day with a lower leg contusion after injuring it on Tuesday against the Pacers. He shouldn’t miss much time, if any.

    D’Angelo Russell is questionable with a right ankle sprain for Wednesday’s game against the Rockets. Steve Kerr was hopeful Russell should come back, which sounds like his return will be very soon.

    Will Barton returned from a two-game absence with a toe injury. He played 32 minutes and put up a nice double-double with 15 points, 10 boards, four assists, a steal, a block and two 3-pointers. It’s safe to say he has recovered nicely.

    Jeff Teague is being listed as questionable with an illness ahead of Thursday’s game against the Grizzlies. Shabazz Napier is doubtful with a right hamstring strain, so there’s a chance the Wolves could be down to Jarrett Culver. No thanks.

    Brad Stevens said that Jaylen Brown worked out on Tuesday after an illness landed him out for the past two games. Stevens said Brown has a chance to play against the Hornets on Thursday.

    Blake Griffin is out for Wednesday’s game against the Knicks with his left knee injury. Griffin went through 3-on-3 practice on Tuesday and is inching closer to a return.

    Zach Collins is having surgery on his torn labrum and will be re-evaluated in four months. He can safely be dropped in all formats.

    The Hornets are Above .500 with Waiver-Wire Heroes

    The Hornets won their third game in a row after a 122-120 overtime win against the Pacers. Sure, they beat the depleted Warriors and lowly Kings, but doesn’t a win over the Pacers warrant taking this team more seriously?

    The game fell on the back of young fantasy waiver-wire heroes: Devonte Graham (35-4-6-3), Terry Rozier (22-5-4-1), PJ Washington (16-3-3-1). All three should be owned in your leagues, no matter the format.

    As for the Pacers, your ultimate sell-high moment lasts all day, since the Pacers play again Wednesday: T.J. Warren shot 15-for-18 from the field for 33 points, four boards, three assists, two steals, one block and two 3-pointers. It would be hard to imagine Warren tops this performance. Throw some darts at top-75 players and see what lands. This is the top of the mountain.

    Gordon Hayward is All the Way Back

    It took a while, and quite a bit of scrutiny, but it appears that Gordon Hayward has rediscovered himself on the Celtics roster. On Tuesday, he shot 17-for-20 from the field and 4-for-4 from the line for 39 points, seven boards, eight assists and one 3-pointer in 34 minutes. It was his Celtics career-high, one shy of his actual career-high of 40 points, which is impressive considering his only hit one triple.

    Obviously, Hayward won’t shoot that well, and there’s a great chance he won’t shoot this well again in a single game this season. However, it’s nice to see a guy who battled so hard to come back from a gruesome injury have success again.

    Hayward has name value, so you bet this is a great opportunity to sell high. You could shop him around for a top-50 player, but not worse than that. There is a legitimate chance Hayward finishes in the top-60 or beyond this season.

Fantasy News

  • Patrick Beverley
    PG, Los Angeles Clippers

    Patrick Beverly had a monstrous stat line against the Celtics in a 107-104 overtime win on Wednesday, ending the night with 14 points, 16 rebounds, seven assists, three steals, two blocks and four 3-pointers.

    It's really hard to ask for a better game than this. Beverly was a machine in this one and had easily his best game of the year. Unfortunately, this performance was more of an outlier than the norm. It's tough to count on him for consistent value in standard leagues, but could have merit in deeper leagues. This was the Clippers' first game with both Kawhi Leonard and Paul George, so it's possible this dynamic creates more chances for Beverly, but we'll have to wait and see.

  • Paul George
    SF, Los Angeles Clippers

    Paul George racked up 25 points on 8-of-18 shooting in Wednesday night's contest against the Celtics, in addition to five rebounds, eight assists, a block and four 3-pointers.

    George had another solid outing and shows that he can contribute across the board. Although he has only suited up four times this year, he is a top-10 player on a per-game basis along with his teammate, Kawhi Leonard. He should have the opportunity for some huge games when Kawhi takes his days off.

  • Kawhi Leonard
    SF, Los Angeles Clippers

    Kawhi Leonard did a little bit of everything in his return on Wednesday night, putting up a line of 17 points, six rebounds, three assists, three steals, two blocks and three 3-pointers.

    Simply put, Leonard can ball. It's just a matter of how often. Fantasy players drafted him for nights like this, but have to live with the fact that he'll be missing games every now-and-then. That being said, on a per-game basis, he is still a top-10 player this year and someone you can count on to end the season around that mark.

  • Montrezl Harrell
    PF, Los Angeles Clippers

    Montrezl Harrell logged 31 minutes off the bench on Wednesday, and turned it into six points, six rebounds, three dimes, two steals and two blocks.

    It was a quiet night on offense for Harrell as most of the Clippers' shots came from their guards and wings. However, he was still able to contribute a couple steals and blocks tonight. Even after the low offensive output, Harrell is sitting inside top-80 value on the season. Ivica Zubac and Maurice Harkless also had quiet nights with five and three points respectively.

  • Lauri Markkanen
    PF, Chicago Bulls

    Lauri Markkanen woke up with a team-high 24 points on 7-of-14 shooting with six boards, three treys, one steal and two blocks in a 109-89 win over the Pistons on Wednesday.

    Markkanen has not delivered anything close to his mid-round ADP so far this season, mostly the result of his .362 shooting from the field. He could warm up soon and his buy-low window would slam shut. Act accordingly.

  • Lou Williams
    SG, Los Angeles Clippers

    Lou Williams took over for the Clippers on Wednesday night, ending the contest with 27 points on 10-of-21 shooting, two rebounds, two assists, two steals and three 3-pointers but also seven turnovers.

    In a night where all eyes were supposed to be focused on Kawhi Leonard and Paul George on the court for the first time, Lou Williams stole the show. He led the team in both points and field goal attempts. Williams has had a great stretch of games and has played at a top-50 value recently. However, his season marks are more realistic and have him just inside the top-100.

  • Wendell Carter Jr.
    C, Chicago Bulls

    Wendell Carter Jr. played well in a tough matchup against Andre Drummond, posting 12 points on 3-of-7 shooting with 15 rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block in 33 minutes.

    WCJ is a top-120 value on the season, but has the tools to pull that needle closer to top-75 before the 2019-20 dust settles. Consider floating a buy-low offer right now.

  • Shaquille Harrison
    PG, Chicago Bulls

    Shaquille Harrison drew the start for an injured Otto Porter (righ foot bone bruise) and thrived with 15 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, three steals, one trey and one block in 26 minutes on Wednesday.

    Porter is out for at least a couple more weeks. Harrison has outplayed Chandler Hutchison with this spot start, making him a speculative add in case Harrison sticks with starting five.

  • Jayson Tatum
    SF, Boston Celtics

    Jayson Tatum balled out on Wednesday, dropping a season-high 30 points on 12-of-24 shooting, and adding, six rebounds, three assists, two steals, two blocks and five 3-pointers.

    This was one of Tatum's best lines of the season. He has strung together a couple of solid outings with Gordon Hayward out. Tatum is currently a top-40 player and should settle somewhere around there as the season progresses.

  • Kemba Walker
    PG, Boston Celtics

    Kemba Walker had a rough night on Wednesday, scoring 13 points on 4-of-17 shooting, with only two assists and six turnovers, but somehow managed nine rebounds.

    Kemba's night was salvaged with his nine rebounds, but other than that it was one he'd like to forget. It was his season-high in turnovers and tied his season-low in assists. He is still a top-20 guy and he'll move past this. It just wasn't a great game, simple as that.