April 4, 2021, 2:30 pm
Baseball. Is. BACK. Today I had the pleasure of watching two pitchers watch every pitch on the way to striking out because making them hit brings a lot of excitement to the game. I love baseball but I’m so disenfranchised by their lust for tradition and making sure it’s not exciting for casual fans. Look, we’re stuck with pitchers hitting, a six-month season with only 10 total playoff teams and way too little action on balls in play. In the dog days of July if the Brewers are 10 games out of the 5th playoff spot (which obviously is really four because a one-game wild card is a farce), why would I, an avid baseball fan, pay 50+ dollars to go to the game or provide an establishment patronage when I could just go outside on one of the few nice days in this wintry hellscape. If I won’t pay, why would a casual fan who just wants to see wins? Fantasy baseball, you are the labor of love that keeps me in it.
I feel like I run through this rant at least once a season in all sports where that’s a concern, so I’ll save it for 1000 words down the page and just address that this is an exciting time for sports with baseball back, Major League Soccer about to start back up and the home stretch of the hockey and basketball seasons. It’s getting serious in our fantasy seasons, people. Let’s see what cool cats we have on the docket today.
Week 15 Stream Table
In the stream table, home games are in orange because basketballs are orange. Road games are in blue because blue is not orange. As always, check back for cancellations.
Back to Backs
Brought to you by Drake*
Sun/Mon (of Week 14): BKN, HOU
Mon/Tues: DET, TOR
Tues/Weds: ATL, BOS, DEN, IND, MEM, NOP
Weds/Thurs: DAL, OKC, PHX, UTA
Thurs/Fri: HOU, MIL
Fri/Sat: GSW, HOU, PHI, WAS
Sat/Sun: DET, POR
Sun/Mon (of Week 16): CHI, MIN, NOP, NYK, ORL, SAS
Working The Wire
We’re back in Detroit for a few names this week because their rotation is bonkers and I’m obligated to not be over it. I’ve also thrown my hands up at the Memphis backcourt situation so we should change situations like this in fantasy to “team position” because they’re ridiculous.
Cory Joseph: What a weird scenario in Detroit. They’ve decided they hate Dennis Smith Jr., Killian Hayes is returning but is tragic for fantasy for the time being. Cory Joseph is ancient but somehow 29. His time is up, yet he is timeless. We’ll continue to monitor this rotation, but if Dennis Smith Jr. is going to be hated, CoJo is a streamer option.
Tomas Satoransky: The boring vet is never far from one of these lists and that resurfaces here. Sato is efficient in percentages and turnovers for a distributing guard and has been a willing passer for his whole career. Throw in some steals and we get a top-80 player over the last seven contests.
On the Radar
Shake Milton: Shake is a classic ride out the hot streak player. Top-50 player over the last week. I expected more this year but he’s had moments.
Jalen Brunson: He’s casually a top-40 player over the last four games. Definitely viable as a streamer in all leagues.
Josh Jackson: What a rollercoaster with bemused Josh Jackson. He goes from a DNP-CD to completely disinterested to a season-high 31 points. Of course, he went right back to disinterested in the drubbing at the hands of the Knicks, but I was disinterested in that game and box score after one of the most embarrassing first quarters in NBA history. Jackson did have two steals though! It’ll be a rotation to monitor with a lot of bodies that aren’t really that deserving but have to play.
The entire dumb Memphis Grizzlies shooting guard trio: I officially hate this rotation. Desmond Bane is a top-75 player over the last three games in 26 minutes per game. Grayson Allen is somehow the 133rd player in 9-category on the season and top-100 over the last six games. De’Anthony Melton is the best of the bunch with a ton of defensive upside and top-75 rest-of-season value if HE COULD JUST GET THE BULK OF THE MINUTES. At this point, I’m throwing my hands up and saying they all should be cycled when they’re running hot but it’s impossible to say which night we’re going to get what we want. I’m irrationally angry about it.
On the Radar
Bruce Brown: I basically think Bruce Brown is the best player in the league and is only rostered in 5% of leagues on Yahoo! despite being a pretty prime streaming option on this Nets team that only needs him to not do anything silly.
James Ennis III: The Magic rotation is incredibly annoying, but I do want to recognize that James Ennis is out here running up and down for 35 minutes every night because Otto Porter (featured last week, still interesting, only needs 20-25 minutes) can only play 20-25 minutes and Ennis is going to do the bulk of the playing. His cross-board production is enough to be a late-round streamer.
Nicolas Batum: Batum annoys me too but he has to be rostered in all leagues. The fact that he’s only sitting at 35% ownership in Yahoo! tells me that people aren’t looking at the bigger picture. Yes, he’s coming off the bench. Yes, the stat lines are weird and empty-looking. They’re only empty-looking because Batum has this knack of doing nothing for 35 minutes but still ending up as a top-100 player. We’re still getting late-round value here.
On the Radar
Sterling Brown: The Rockets have a litany of guys that are going to stick around on the streaming radar. Brown joins Kenyon Martin Jr. and Danuel House Jr. as options.
Miles Bridges: The number one pickup to replace Gordon Hayward. Bridges has been a top-100 player in the past, but his stat set… isn’t great. He’ll be a volume play for at least the next few weeks. He’s probably rostered in any league where people are paying attention, but I got enough Wendell Carter Jr. add questions after the Vucevic trade that it’s a mention just to be safe.
Jaden McDaniels: I missed the early add window for the article which is just a shame because McDaniels would have been the showpiece to a great find if this article dropped four days ago. In McDaniels we’re getting a 3-point shooter and shot blocker with good percentages and almost no turnovers. His upside is limited by the offensive presence of Karl-Anthony Towns and the impending return of D’Angelo Russell (just on the basis of limited touches).
On the Radar
Dorian Finney-Smith: Friendly reminder that DFS doesn’t have to just be a cheap DFS play. We get a very consistent and reliable player who is rarely top-100 but is always top-150 in 9-cat.
Marcus Morris Sr.: I really can’t stand Morris and his attitude but that attitude gets him on heaters that make him at least top-120 viable for stretches during the season. This is one of those times that he’s getting 30+ minutes and hitting a lot of triples (3.8 over the last five).
Cody Zeller: I don’t fully understand why Biyombo has to start because it seems like he’s just out there to show his face and then it’s mostly Zeller. Cody Zeller has made a career on being impressively dull but somehow ending up as a fantasy-relevant player when he’s on the court. He’s coming off a game where he made all seven of his shots and he’s going to be asked for more to make up for the missing scoring in the backcourt.
Robin Lopez: The scintillating combination of Alex Len and Robin Lopez are fine enough to be interesting in 16-teamers. Right now, RoLo is even viable in standard leagues because he’s making every shot he takes. Over the last two weeks (eight games), he’s almost in the top-125 because he’s scoring 11 points a game on 75.9% from the floor and blocking 1.3 shots.
On the Radar
Jaxson Hayes: I’m once again interested in Hayes because there’s no reason Steven Adams should be plugging along in a year that doesn’t matter anymore for the Pels outside of seeing what they have in their youths.
The Stream Team
PG: Jordan McLaughlin – Heavy volume of late with Ricky Rubio injured. McLaughlin is a good passer and should be at least a reasonable stream for assists in a deep league.
SG: Brad Wanamaker – Malik Monk is out at least two weeks and Gordon Hayward is out a month so Wanamaker will probably get some of the fill-in minutes. Not excited about the output.
SF: Trevor Ariza – If Ariza is going to start for the Heat, he’s definitely on the radar in all deep leagues. This is a 3-and-D player who we already have the book on.
PF: Dean Wade – Obviously very dependent on the health of Larry Nance, but Wade has been deceptively productive and is basically the best Wade to play in the NBA. Just pretend Saturday didn’t happen.
C: James Johnson – Always had a very interesting stat-set and has played pretty well in the absence of Zion and Ingram.
Piggybacking off of my baseball mini-rant, I’ve started to feel this way about a lot of sports. The NBA’s parity problem makes it hard for me to imagine why a casual fan would be invested in a team that has no chance to win. My bi-monthly picking on the Hornets comes through here. I want Charlotte to succeed but how are they going to win an NBA championship in this climate? How are the Orlando Magic going to? Without the miracle of Greece, how were the Bucks going to be in this picture?
This ties into the above, but I’m fascinated by the NBA buyout rules as another spoonfeeding of large market contenders. I know the Lakers are convinced that Andre Drummond is the answer and they got to sign him for a tiny contract which is going to be dwarfed by whatever contract he gets this summer. I’m still convinced that he’s just a number compiler and not actually good, but numbers are numbers and I guess fans will show up to watch him go for the triple-20. 20 points, 20 rebounds and a 20-point team loss. But why does this setup exist? Why should a team that is already contending be able to go get what seems like better and better players in the buyout market? Will Orlando be a destination for a buyout candidate in 2027?
I was scrolling through the NBA news stories and noticed that every time they mention the MVP race, they have to say “the Kia MVP”. Like “the Kia MVP candidate” or “Reining Kia MVP”. By this time next year expect this article to be turning heads and get sponsored to feature “the Fiat WWD” (Waiver wire darlings). This year that’s T.J. McConnell and whenever De’Anthony Melton is allowed to play. Until then, keep checking in and making us famous. Hit me up on Twitter here.