December 14, 2016, 8:19 am
Tuesday night might have had a light six-game slate, but the grind of fantasy add-drops were in full motion. Several waiver-wire names popped on to the scene, including Kyle O’Quinn. More on that below. It was nice to see the Knicks make positive fantasy headlines for a change, though they lost to the Suns. Aaron Bruski and I covered a lot of this material and answered your questions live last night. Here is a more verbal overview of what went down on an important Tuesday night. Let’s get to it.
CAVS TROUNCE GRIZZ, BIG 3 WILL REST WEDNESDAY
In the first game of the night, the Cavs trounced the Grizzlies with a lot of the same tricks as always.
Kevin Love had another magnificent night, achieving a double-double with 29 points (three triples), 13 boards and two steals. He has been a top-20 fantasy asset for most of the season. A lot of his value is because of LeBron James’ selfless play and willingness to take a step back, likely to save some gas for the playoffs. Speaking of James, he had a typical night and almost stayed in line with his season averages by scoring 23 points, six boards, eight dimes and three steals. His six turnovers may hurt some of the owners out there, but it usually averages out.
The real story was J.R. Smith, who played with a shirt on. After starting the year slow and sitting a few games with an injury, it seems like Smith might be turning the corner a bit. He shot 47% with six treys, 23 points, five rebounds, two dishes and one block. Smith is wildly inconsistent, but when he’s hot, he is a must own fantasy player. If he’s out there on your wire, pick him up.
Cavs coach Tyronn Lue ruled out LeBron, Love and Kyrie Irving from Wednesday night’s game in order to give them some rest.
On the Grizzlies side, JaMychal Green continues to miss every shot in sight, but keeps on accumulating all of the “other” stats. He should be owned in all leagues. Zach Randolph saw a bevy of minutes with Marc Gasol resting and was the best player on the court for the Grizz. He had a stat sheet stuffer, but owners should temper expectations unless Gasol were to miss time. Andrew Harrison kicked in with his usual line but added three blocks to his repertoire. Deyonta Davis left the game with an injury and his timetable is uncertain. He should not be fantasy relevant in standard leagues. Tony Allen disappointed owners after a top-50 week last week by mailing in an 8-1-1-3 line. He continues to be a hold in 12-team leagues. The rest of Memphis’ team can be ignored in 14-teamers.
BITE OF THE BIG APPLE BRINGS FANTASY JOY
The Knicks may have lost 113-111 to the Suns on Tuesday but the real winners were fantasy owners. Kristaps Porzingis is straight up ballin’ right now and is only getting better by the day. KP dropped 34 points with eight rebounds, three steals, three blocks and four 3-pointers in 42 minutes on Tuesday. He has officially joined the top-20 fantasy stud conversation and shows no signs of slowing down. If you snagged him late in the second round or early in the third, it’s time to talk trash.
The add of the night and possibly beyond rang in the ears of fantasy owners who sounded the alarm on Kyle O’Quinn (22 points and 14 rebounds). This is the last call. Our own Aaron Bruski was two years too early by touting O’Quinn as a member of the Magic with a top-50 grade but hey, better late than never. Mysteriously, KOQ is only owned in 15% of Yahoo! leagues at the moment. Without giving up too much, our Pickups of the Night article calls him a must-own player right now. You know what to do.
The Suns overcame outbursts by KP and KOQ with nice stat lines of their own. Eric Bledsoe was 9-for-21 from the field and 12-for-12 from the line for 31 points, six boards, eight assists, two steals, one block and one 3-pointer in 39 minutes. Brandon Knight even provided 14 points with two 3-pointers in relief. He still needs a trade to provide top-100 value.
Good old Tyson Chandler manned the boards inside with a line of 13 points and 23 rebounds with a steal and a block in 41 minutes. He is a decent rebound specialist who is ownable in standard leagues. It’s hard to believe he is only 34 years-old.
Marquese Chriss popped onto the scene with 14 points, 12 rebounds, one steal and one block in 31 minutes. He enjoys starters minutes but hasn’t proven value yet. I need to see it for a solid week straight before I consider him an add.
THIBS DOWNS BULLS BUT KAT STAYS COLD
The Wolves were able to hang on in the Thibs Bowl with a 99-94 victory over the Bulls. Panic has creeped in on Karl-Anthony Towns who has a player value just outside of the top-25 right now nearly two months into the season. Call it a “sophomore slump” if you will, but KAT is still an otherworldly talent who is struggling to shoot the ball right now. He finished 6-for-21 from the field with 16 points, 12 rebounds, two assists, one steal, three blocks and one 3-pointer in 39 minutes on Tuesday. He is playing a bit too far from the basket right now. I like him to turn it around and crack the top-20 in the near future. I wouldn’t sell-low just yet.
Zach LaVine (24 points, six assists and six boards) and Andrew Wiggins (23 points, nine rebounds and two 3-pointers) led the way for the Wolves. Wiggins is having a solid season. Unfortunately, the Wolves only play one more game this week.
The Bulls came up short but Jimmy Butler still got his numbers in. Butler shot 9-for-22 from the field and 8-for-9 from the line for 27 points with nine boards, six assists, three steals, one block and one 3-pointer in yet another big stat line. Butler is in the top-10 this season and is playing with great energy and health. His rank seems to have switched with KAT so far this year. Give me Jimmy Buckets ROS.
I’ve seen a few questions about Taj Gibson‘s line of 10 points, four rebounds and one assist. Taj is boring to own but he gives you a highly consistent line. At center, that consistency is priceless. Use Taj as your top-110 rock all season.
The concern for Taj might come at the hands of Nikola Mirotic who played 20 minutes last night. Mirotic only put up five points and five rebounds in the effort. He was a mid-round talent last season but it seems like those days are long gone. Mirotic will provide an outburst or two based on his potential, but I’d leave him alone until he strings together multiple games of consistent outputs.