November 6, 2019, 3:20 am
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.
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.
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.
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.