• I’m a man who lives in phases. Marketing schemes and flavor of the week ploys have me in the palm of their hand. Frankly, it may be the reason I’ve been tasked with this article so once everything I say is deemed irrelevant by Tuesday afternoon, I can pretend I never published it. My friends and I have recently discovered this disc golf game on the phone called Disc Golf Valley (not a sponsor but if they want to and help me get good at this game I wouldn’t be mad). It’s been a definite flavor of the day moment for me where I’m wondering why a disc I threw went 65 feet past the basket at 3:00 AM when I should have been sleeping two hours earlier. This scratches my itch of wanting to be at least adequate at a game I’m definitely terrible at in real life. I’ve gone three times in my life and I’ve lost two discs so I don’t think it’s in my skillset.

    As is the case with every one of these games I find, we’ll check back in two weeks and I’ll have rage-deleted the game. It happened with that Temple Run game in like 2011. It happened with the Clash of Clans game. It happened with Trivia Crack (although I’ll take anyone on in that). It happened with both versions of Farmville because my phone was at 14% battery by noon harvesting corn every 10 minutes. Somehow, fantasy sports is the only thing that has endured. I’ve been playing all four fantasy sports through triumphs, bad beats, injuries, forgotten lineups and all different formats. Just like all of y’all, I’m here trying to figure out which of these tall folks is better at putting the blob in the circle.

    Week 9 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*

    *not actually

    Sun/Mon (of Week 8): CHA, PHX, WAS
    Mon/Tues: BKN
    Tues/Weds: BOS, DEN, DET, MEM, MIN, NOP, OKC, POR, SAS
    Weds/Thurs: MIA
    Thurs/Fri: MIL, TOR
    Fri/Sat: CHA, CHI, GSW, HOU, MEM, PHX
    Sat/Sun: NYK, SAC
    Sun/Mon (of Week 10):  CLE, LAC, SAC

    Working The Wire

    It’s especially sad when a number of folks recommended last week get injured and we’re back to square one. By the time the season is over I’ll definitely have recommended every Grizzly and Piston at some point.

    Point Guards

    TJ McConnell: I’m leaving TJ here because he’s still rostered in 30% of leagues despite being the optimal find for assists on the waiver wire. He’s got a role locked in and can be counted on for assists, steals and a disgusted face. He’s also getting some wide open looks from distance so it’s going to be a decent smorgasbord of low-scoring but deceptively useful lines. He should be rostered in all leagues.

    Michael Carter-Williams: MCW returned to action on Friday and immediately got 27 minutes and gave us a flashback to his heavy counting stat rookie season. 21-7-7 is not going to be what we get but he’s at least in the conversation to split time with Cole Anthony, who finally was starting to show flashes before a shoulder injury knocked him out for two games. Definitely as long as Anthony is recovering, MCW is a great cheap option.

    On the Radar
    Bryn Forbes: Jrue Holiday is out for the time being due to the NBA health and safety protocols and it’s not clear whether Jrue himself has COVID or if it’s a contact tracing situation. Forbes had a couple hot shooting nights before putting up a stinker against the Jazz like pretty much every team these days.

    Shooting Guards

    Grayson Allen: Well this is gross because Grayson is easily one of the most unlikable players in the league to me. With De’Anthony Melton and Desmond Bane both out right now because they both featured in last week’s edition, Allen has strung together some nice lines. He’s going to get minutes and score some points but it’s low-end streamer value.

    Denzel Valentine: Surprisingly consistent over the last couple weeks. The upside isn’t very high here and we’re probably on the downswing of the value at this stage, but he’s clearly in the rotation for now with Lauri Markkanen and Otto Porter sidelined. He’ll score some points and make some triples.

    On the Radar
    Dwayne Bacon: He’s strictly a streamer as long as Evan Fournier and Cole Anthony are out, but Bacon has sizzled (relatively, the percentages are terrible) to 13.3 points and 2.3 triples per game in February.

    Small Forwards

    Saddiq Bey: All it takes to get our attention is a 30-point double-double. It’s quite simple, really. Bey is probably more of a radar guy and not really bae at this point, but with a banged-up roster and not a ton to play for, the Pistons are probably going to roll this out further. It looks like he’s going to be very Jabari-Parker like with some range, just points, boards and 3-pointers.

    Juan Toscano-Anderson: JTA would be an immediate add if the Draymond Green injury was actually serious, but with Draymond coming right back in after a nasty-looking leg issue, you can slow-play it a bit. Ander the Toscan Son has been the de facto starter as the Warriors go small with Draymond Green at center and he has managed to stay relevant as streamer pitching in across the board. Forgive the horrible romantic drama reference but it felt right.

    On the Radar
    Kenrich Williams: Here’s another all-around asset who has made good on extended minutes. He followed up a 24-point heater on Wednesday with a near triple-double on Friday, eclipsing the 35-minute mark in both contests. We’re definitely in streamer territory right now.

    Power Forwards

    Kyle Kuzma: Kuzma has never had a good fantasy stat set but if people are concerned about Anthony Davis’s usage going forward given the constant issue with game-time calls and day-to-day headaches, Kuzma is a decent filler in a head-to-head league to plug in especially when AD takes it easy.

    Marcus Morris Sr.: I’m okay with running Morris out when he’s on a hot streak like this because his usage is through the roof whenever he’s on the floor (probably because he’s a selfish player who thinks he’s way better than he is). He’s going to take a lot of shots and get his looks, so he could be a 16-6 guy who makes a couple triples a night. He could also go 1-for-9 and complain for 20 minutes.

    Center

    Isaiah Stewart: This is an add in leagues until Mason Plumlee is back. There’s not a ton of upside to reach for here but he’ll have value. On top of that Sekou Doumbouya is concussed so the idea that the Pistons might go small with him isn’t really an option. Stewart should continue to start at center and put up low-end big man numbers with some defensive stats sprinkled in.

    Jakob Poeltl: Yeah it’s time to just do this. He’s creeping up into the 40% range in league rostership and the Spurs seem to be heading in that direction. If LaMarcus Aldridge gets moved it’ll be all turtle power all the time. Elite source of blocks and reliable rebounds.

    On the Radar
    Moritz Wagner: Randomly got inserted in the starting lineup because the Wizards are terrible and they might as well try. He has upside if he gets 25 minutes consistently.

    The Stream Team

    PG: Tomas Satoransky – Second appearance for Sato here because the minutes are showing up. Low upside compiler-type.

    SG: Max Strus – Everyone is obsessed so I’ll just say that he’s making some 3-pointers and doing nothing else.

    SF: Dylan Windler – Useful in a weird Cavaliers rotation that is still waiting on Kevin Love and Larry Nance.

    PF: Semi Ojeleye – I’ve been obsessed with Semi since he was at SMU and I regret nothing.

    C: Guillermo Hernangomez – Shoutout to Willy for going back to Guillermo. Also, shoutout to Guillermo for being an incredible per-minute player of late. Typical big man stat set in limited minutes, but not uninteresting.

    Miscellaneous Musings

    The issue with NBA media is we have to make a huge deal out of everything. We’ve gotten two news cycles of “Kyrie says it’s okay for James Harden to dominate the ball.” What a gracious guy. I’m so happy that he feels like he doesn’t have to dribble the ball through the Earth’s crust and out to the other side of the galaxy and can let Harden do that instead. Sometimes I understand a story is just a story because there has to be a narrative, but the fact that it had to get discussed at length on every platform just feels like too much to make out of a pretty minor situation. If they can figure out how to play together, they will win many games and maybe the title. If they can’t, they will win slightly fewer games and probably not the title. Next.

    I’ve always said that fan voting for All-Star games is stupid because fans are dumb and they have no idea what product they’re watching. I know it’s an event specifically for them, but they just don’t know better. Alex Caruso, Klay Thompson and Carmelo Anthony being in the picture is embarrassing and we deserve better. I’m also acting like I’m going to watch even though I haven’t watched one second of All-Star action in probably a decade. It used to be a place we could see stars come together but for that we can just wait for free agency or a bad trade. The voting is also goofy because it feels like people just vote for the top couple guys and then don’t even finish it out. Curry has four million votes and then by the time we get to 4th, Donovan Mitchell has less than 500,000. Apparently most people just want Curry and LeBron to go 2v2 against Giannis and Durant.

    Who are your All-Stars this year? Let me know on Twitter here.

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