• Lines of the Night

    Zion Williamson, New Orleans Pelicans – 31 points, nine rebounds, five assists and one steal (10-for-17 FGs, 11-for-14 FTs)

    This was easily his best game as a pro. Zion was an absolute beast on both ends of the floor and ended the game with only 28 minuets played and the highest plus/minus on his team with plus-25. He threw down an efficient scoring night from both the field and at the line. His free throw shooting won’t always be this lights out, but it wasn’t near the awful percentages it was before so this is more of a regression to the mean game. The Pelicans were without Brandon Ingram and Zion won’t play in back-to-backs, but this is a taste of what he brings to the table in fantasy hoops. Think Giannis Antetokounmpo level statlines.

    Zach LaVine, Chicago Bulls, – 41 points, nine rebounds, four assists, two steals and eight 3-pointers (15-for-21 FG, 3-for-4 FTs, 8-for-11 3PT)

    LaVine was scorching from deep and did everything in his power to will the Bulls to a win, but Bradley Beal was just too much down the stretch. The Bulls are lacking talent with injuries to Wendell Carter Jr. and Lauri Markkanen, which means LaVine should continue to shoulder most of the burden on offense. He can put up huge numbers in a hurry and the matchup against the Wizards was just icing on the cake.

    Bradley Beal, Washington Wizards – 30 points, four rebounds, seven assists, one steal and three 3-pointers (12-for-23 FG, 3-for-4 FTs)

    This is the 11th consecutive game of at least 25+ points for Beal and fantasy guys are well aware of his propensity for these insane hot streaks. With Damian Lillard and James Harden both going on scoring binges this year, Beal’s hasn’t been talked about as much as you’d think. It doesn’t help that the Wizards are a bad team and barely on the cusp of a playoff spot, but they’re only in the picture because of Beal’s superhuman efforts. We always caution owners of him being worn down, but he only logged 34 minutes and has proven he can stay on the floor.

    James Harden, Houston Rockets – 42 points, eight rebounds, seven assists, one steal, one block and seven triples (9-for-19 FG, 17-for-18 FTs)

    Harden is back to being a regular here.

    Add(s) of the Night

    Danuel House Jr., Houston Rockets – 17 points, nine rebounds, one assist and three triples (5-of-11 FGs, 4-of-4 FTs)

    No Eric Gordon tonight, but House is back. The Rockets small-ball move has helped him cement himself in standard leagues once again.

    Drop Zone

    Alec Burks, Philadelphia 76ers – two points and two rebounds (1-for-4 FG, 0-for-2 3PT)

    Burks is now a bench player and the minutes and shots just aren’t there. Feel free to cut him loose.

    Injuries

    Mike Conley (illness) is questionable for Wednesday.

    Luka Doncic (ankle) has been upgraded to questionable for Wednesday’s game.

    Dario Saric (left ankle sprain) and Deandre Ayton (left ankle soreness) are both listed as out vs. the Warriors on Wednesday.

    Mitchell Robinson (illness), Maurice Harkless (illness), Damyean Dotson (illness) and Allonzo Trier (illness) have all been upgraded to probable for Wednesday’s game against the Wizards.

    Kevon Looney (left hip soreness) is being listed as questionable to play in Wednesday’s game against the Suns.

    Jabari Parker (right shoulder strain) is being listed as questionable to play against the Mavs on Wednesday

    Delon Wright (right ankle sprain) is being listed as probable for Wednesday’s game against the Kings.

    Michael Porter Jr. (right ankle sprain) is being listed as out ahead of Wednesday’s game against the Lakers.

    Will Barton (right knee inflammation) is being listed as out ahead of Wednesday’s matchup with the Lakers.

    Derrick Rose (adductor strain) is being listed as probable to return to action for Wednesday’s game against the Magic.

    Kevin Love (right Achilles soreness) is being listed as questionable to play against the Hawks on Wednesday.

    Giannis Antetokounmpo is being listed as out for Wednesday’s game against the Pacers for the birth of his son.

    George Hill (left hamstring strain) is being listed as out for Wednesday’s game against the Pacers.

    De’Andre Hunter (left ankle sprain) is being listed as probable to play against the Cavs on Wednesday.

    Kyrie Irving (knee) is being ruled out ahead of Wednesday’s matchup with the Raptors.

    Rundown

    POR 117 @ NOP 138

    This game was well in line with everything the Blazers have done this year, besides Damian Lillard not scoring 40+ points, but he’s cooled off a bit now that C.J. McCollum is back in the mix. Carmelo Anthony was prone for a cold streak from deep, going 0-for-5 tonight and it’s saying a lot when you see Hassan Whiteside drop 17 & 14 with a block and think, “Hmm, he could do better.”

    Lonzo Ball’s game was tailor made for fantasy leagues. He’s killing it over the past two weeks, averaging 12.8 points, 7.8 boards, 7.4 dimes, 1.6 swipes, 0.8 blocks and 2.8 3s. He’s hitting .522 of his shots and that number is sure to go down, but during that span he’s the No. 25 player in fantasy hoops. I think as long as he gets minutes, his floor is a top-75 guy with the ceiling being what you’re seeing right now. He’s always been a decent defender and the numbers are showing it. He averaged 0.8 blocks in the 2017-2018 season so that number is definitely sustainable. Jrue Holiday might still be able to be bought low, as he only scored 16 points, but the five cash counters and 10 dimes might make owners think twice. Zion Williamson is here. He needed 28 minutes to pulverize the Blazers and Derrick Favors is slowly slipping through the cracks, only logging 21 minutes tonight.

    CHI 114 @ WAS 126

    Tomas Satoransky has put together a season where he hovers just around top-100 in value and he should continue to do so. He’s the best point guard on the Bulls and it’s not really close. Thaddeus Young is reliably mediocre and besides Zach LaVine, who is bound to go supernova while the Bulls are shorthanded, I don’t trust anyone else on this team. Nope.

    Rui Hachimura is a guy I’m still not sold on. He got it done across the board here, but I’m not believing that he’s suddenly become a defensive stopper just because he did this against the Bulls. Ian Mahinmi had a nice night, but I still like Shabazz Napier as the waiver wire guy to own here. Bradley Beal is an absolute stud and I’ll go to the grave thinking he got robbed of an All-Star nod.

    LAC 103 @ PHI 110

    Kawhi Leonard and Paul George had a rare game where they both played together and while George didn’t shoot well, he got the boards and dimes to make up for it. Leonard has been a machine lately so I’m never worried about him, but George’s cold streaks are always annoying. He’ll turn it around with a hot streak soon. Marcus Morris started, but his value decreases greatly in L.A. and Lou Williams owners should have sold high back when George was hurt.

    All of the starters played well for the Sixers, but man is it good to see Josh Richardson get back into the swing of things. They added some shooting at the deadline and Al Horford got demoted to the bench, but he was still able to give you two blocks and a triple. His value is quickly sinking and I’m officially worried about his long-term outlook. Especially since he and Joel Embiid both played only 28 minutes. That’s the main thing I’ll be looking at for Sixers games, whether or not Horford can produce with his diminished role and if the Sixers can maximize their best players.

    SAS 114 @ OKC 106 

    Dejounte Murray continued his hot streak but this time Derrick White also played well, which meant both guys would log identical minutes. I will always be upset that Coach Pop won’t play both guys together. Trey Lyles cooled off as expected and I don’t like anyone here, except myabe Lonnie Walker IV as a streamer with DeMar DeRozan sidelined. LaMarcus Aldridge always pops off against the Thunder as if he has a vendetta against them and it’s a bit amusing.

    The Thunder didn’t get much help from their usual guys tonight and Steven Adams has been a tough own all year. The defensive numbers came in tonight, but overall he’s trending way down. I would definitely be looking to sell-high. Chris Paul has been torching teams and after a slow first few weeks, he’s figured out how to integrate himself with this lineup. He’s only missed one game all season and it looks like the vegan diet he switched to has been working. All he needs to do is stay on the floor for a few more weeks and he’ll easily return value past his ADP.

    BOS 105 @ HOU 116 

    The usual suspects played well here, Jaylen Brown has stepped up his game recently and although they don’t look sexy, Marcus Smart’s lines are still valuable. Don’t get fooled. Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker both struggled tonight, but the Rockets have been playing much better defense lately so we’ll give them a pass.

    Russell Westbrook is unleashed. I’ve said this in the Weekly Report, but my shameless Twitter plug of @HB_Nate has some details on why I think Westbrook finishes the year inside the top-25. He’s hitting free throws again and is now playing in some insane space with downhill speed. This is all because of James Harden’s brilliance on offense, displayed again tonight by his 19 straight points in the third quarter. Westbrook then carried the Rockets home.

Fantasy News

  • Damion Lee
    SG, Golden State Warriors

    Damion Lee went 4-for-12 from the field and 4-for-4 at the line to finish Thursday's game with 13 points, one 3-pointer, four rebounds, three assists and one steal.

    Lee has been one of the hotter pickups since D'Angelo Russell was sent to the Wolves. However, some buyer's remorse might be setting in as Lee's .413 shooting from the field can dip thanks to the variance that comes along with him being a streaky shooter, making more suiting for FG-punting builds.

  • Juan Toscano-Anderson
    PF, Golden State Warriors

    Juan Toscano-Anderson was a beneficiary of lengthy garbage time in Thursday's loss to the Rockets, recording a career-high 10 points on 5-of-9 shooting with seven rebounds, four assists, two steals and one block.

    JTA played well, but as mentioned this game was long over even before the fans could form their conga line leading out of the arena. He's worth a watch list spot if you're playing in an 18-teamer or deeper, but expect him to fall off when Stephen Curry eventually returns.

  • Andrew Wiggins
    SF, Golden State Warriors

    Andrew Wiggins recorded a team-high 22 points on 10-of-17 shooting with three rebounds, two 3s, one steal and two blocks in a loss to the Rockets on Thursday.

    There's not much more to add regarding Wiggins and the Warriors' sad state. On a positive note, Wiggins has managed to keep the peripherals going since joining the Dubs, something he should be able to sustain ROS.

  • DeMarre Carroll
    SF, Houston Rockets

    DeMarre Carroll debuted for the Rockets on Thursday vs. the Warriors but was quiet in his 13 minutes off the bench with just two points (2-of-2 FTs), three rebounds and four assists.

    Carroll was added more for playoff depth as a veteran shooter. He's not going to make noise in fantasy, so leave him on the wire.

  • Jeff Green
    SF, Houston Rockets

    Jeff Green made his debut for the Rockets on Thursday and looked surprisingly spry given that he's 33 years young, chiming in with 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting with four 3s, four rebounds and one steal in 24 minutes.

    Before you go rushing off to grab Green, note that there was so much garbage time in this one, you could have built a landfill. He was likely seeing extra run to get acclimated with his new team and system. Leave him on the wire for now. Green's extra time on the floor came at the expense of Danuel House, who played just 19 minutes and was able to tally 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting (three 3s) with three rebounds and one assist. House remains a standard-league hold at this time.

  • James Harden
    PG, Houston Rockets

    Coming out of the All-Star break, a refreshed and rested James Harden was back in tip-top form, leading the Rockets to a 135-105 stomping of the Warriors with 29 points (6-of-16 FGs, 14-of-15 FTs), 10 dimes and a fat stat line.

    Harden was in full beast mode (beard mode?) in this one, handily dispatching with the Dubs with three rebounds, three treys, three steals and two blocks, while committing just one turnover. 2019-20 has been rockier than usual for Harden as he saw some unfamiliar territory with ups and downs. He's back and killing it, so clearly the ASB-rest may have been exactly what the doctor ordered.

  • Kent Bazemore
    SG, Sacramento Kings

    Kent Bazemore saw some quality run in Thursday's win over the Grizzlies, logging 23 minutes off the bench and dropping 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting with three rebounds, two 3s and one steal.

    Bazemore is not an efficient scorer, so his .600 clip from the field tonight should be taken with a hefty grain of salt. He's been widely inconsistent for most of the season but is worth keeping an eye on in case he makes it a habit of playing well.

  • Jabari Parker
    PF, Sacramento Kings

    Jabari Parker (right shoulder impingement) debuted for the Kings on Thursday but was unremarkable in his 15 minutes off the bench, tallying just four points, four rebounds and two assists.

    While Parker is not a high-impact player in fantasy, we should expect to see those minutes rise as he gets his legs back. And given that Marvin Bagley III's timetable is in weeks, Parker may be worth a streamer once he's closer to 100 percent.

  • Harrison Barnes
    SF, Sacramento Kings

    Harrison Barnes was unconscious as he went 7-for-11 from deep en route to his game-high 32 points in Thursday's 129-125 win over the Grizzlies.

    Barnes was hot as hell, making 11-of-17 shots from the field, but chipped with just a sprinkling of peripherals outside of the 3-pointers, adding one rebound, one assist and one steal to the box. Even when he's on a tear, Barnes still is just a score-first (only) guy, who doesn't really diversify into the other categories. Still, it was a good night overall. Just don't expect him to be THIS good every night moving forward.

  • Tyus Jones
    PG, Memphis Grizzlies

    Tyus Jones made his 18 minutes on the floor count on Thursday, chipping in 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting with three rebounds, two 3s and six assists.

    Jones is flying under the radar lately and should be on the radars of managers looking for a quality guard to stream. While he's not averaging 20 minutes per game, his per-36 minute numbers of 13.2 points, 8.6 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.2 3-pointers per game on .468 shooting from the field should be enough to convince you that he's worth the grab.