• Pickups of the Night: Thursday, December 6 ($)

    There were only three games on Thursday, all blowouts despite Rudy Gobert getting tossed after three minutes. He picked up his second personal foul on a James Harden flop (what else), blew his cool while heading to the bench and was promptly ejected. The Rockets still had nothing for the Jazz as their disappointing season continues.

    Pickups

    Nene, HOU (0% owned) and Michael Carter Williams (0%) had 11 points and 13 points respectively and you can ignore this blowout special.

    Dante Exum, UTA (1% owned) scored 14 points (no 3s) on 6-of-10 from the field and 3-of-6 from the line and added five dimes, two steals and three turnovers in 22 minutes and this was another blowout special as Exum hadn’t scored in double-figures in 10 games and hasn’t cracked the top-300 in 9-cat this season.

    Richaun Holmes, PHO (23%) was already snatched up in many competitive leagues and had owners feeling very happy with the news that he’d start tonight. Unfortunately, Deandre Ayton subbed in after three minutes, so Holmes only ended up with nine points and four rebounds in a typical 21 minutes. Holmes has been a standard league play over the last two weeks in about 20 minutes a game, but it’ll take more run for him to really break out.

    Josh Jackson, PHO (37%) scored 14 points (no 3s) and added seven rebounds, three assists and three steals but as usual, his efficiency was bad: 6-for-14 from the floor, 2-of-3 from the line and four turnovers. It’s that awful efficiency that keeps his value outside the top-300 on the season, but he has moved into top-280/175 in 9/8-cat over the last week with increased counting stats.

    Elie Okobo, PHO (8%) had a decent game with 11 points (one 3), five boards, a steal and a block in 28 minutes but did little to separate himself from De’Anthony Melton (10%) who had seven points (no 3s), five rebounds, four assists and two steals in 26 minutes. They’ll probably continue to go through their rookie growing pains and are fringe guys in standard leagues who are better suited for deeper formats value-wise. We’ll have to see if either can get some distance over the other.

    Troy Daniels, PHO (1%) scored 15 points with two 3s and he’s been averaging 11.3 points and 2.8 threes over the last week, mostly with no Devin Booker (hamstring). He’s a deep-league streaming option until Booker gets back.

    Jake Layman, POR (0%) was benched for Mo Harkless and poured in a career-high 24 points with three treys, seven boards and two steals in 26 minutes. He hasn’t had more than 11 points this season, so it looks like a case of him getting hot after a benching vs. a putrid Suns squad. He can be left on the wire.

    Zach Collins, POR (12%) also played 26 minutes off the bench including extra run in garbage time and scored 10 points (no 3s) to go with five boards, a steal and a block. He’s been hovering around the top-200 in 9-cat lately so is really more useful for roto leagues that are at least 16 or maybe even 18-deep.

    Terry Rozier, BOS (44%) had 11 points (three 3s), seven boards, four assists, two steal and a block in 24 minutes. The minutes were a little higher than usual as the game was a blowout and the Knicks are horrible defensively which allowed Rozier to take advantage. It’s surprising his ownership is so high as he’s largely a high-upside hand-cuff in case of a Kyrie Irving injury. With barely top-200 9-cat value on the season, there are better options for even 14-deep.

    Jaylen Brown, BOS (50%) returned from a tailbone injury and scored 21 points (no 3s) to go with three rebounds and two assists in 25 minutes off the bench. He had previously been starting but has 9-cat value outside the top-250 on the season due to severe flaws in his fantasy game. He probably shouldn’t be used in a standard 9-cat leagues.

    Noah Vonleh, NYK (47%) has less ownership than Brown but  is not available in competitive 12-team leagues. He got 12 points, one trey, 10 boards and two steals in 34 minutes and has top-100 9-cat value on the season. He’s been even better over the last two week and should be owned as long as he’s starting.

    Emmanuel Mudiay, NYK (28%) started and had 17 points, two triples and six assists and again, Frank Ntilikina didn’t play one second. Trey Burke (knee) is still out which makes Mudiay a decent stream for points and assists as long as he’s the only point guard playing. Everything with the Knicks is dependent on the whim of coach Fizdale so we’re not expecting him to have consistent season-long value.

    Kevin Knox, NYK (28%) managed 11 points, two 3s and four rebounds in 25 minutes off the bench and his lack of efficiency and defensive stats leaves him off the radar for 12-14 team leagues.

    Mitchell Robinson, NYK (19%) had two more blocks to go with eight rebounds (his second highest total on the season) and seven points in 20 minutes. Most importantly he didn’t foul out which is the biggest impediment to his value. He’s a high-quality stash or blocks specialist in 14-team leagues. His top-150 value on the season means he usable in deeper roto formats.

     

Fantasy News

  • Kevin Durant - F - Golden State Warriors

    Kevin Durant scored 30 points on 13-of-22 shooting with seven rebounds, five assists and five turnovers in the Warriors' 113-93 loss to the Raptors on Wednesday.

    The offense tilted toward Durant's isolation game and the team played less defense than it should have, two issues that are tough to correlate but not surprising when it happens. Steph Curry hit just 3-of-12 shots for 10 points and a lower-end line, and Klay Thompson missed all five of his 3-pointers and finished with 14 points in the blowout loss.

  • Draymond Green - F - Golden State Warriors

    Draymond Green hit just 1-of-5 shots for two points but was otherwise solid with five rebounds, seven assists, two steals and three blocks over 25 minutes in Wednesday's home loss to the Raptors.

    Green is right on track for preseason expectations the rest of the way as far as we're concerned, so there might be a little room to buy low before that's readily apparent.

  • Kyle Lowry - G - Toronto Raptors

    Kyle Lowry scored 23 points on 9-of-18 shooting (including two threes) with five rebounds, 12 assists and three steals in Wednesday's blowout win over the Warriors.

    That's two in a row for Lowry and with Kawhi Leonard (hip) out he has been forced to hit the gas pedal, though that shouldn't be construed to suggest he can't be productive with Leonard on the floor. Serge Ibaka added 20 & 12 with a steal and two blocks, and Pascal Siakam added 13 points with three rebounds, three assists, one trey, two steals and one block in the win. Jonas Valanciunas' (thumb) potential absence will feed them even more minutes and touches.

  • Fred VanVleet - G - Toronto Raptors

    Fred VanVleet started for injured Kawhi Leonard (hip) and scored 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting with two threes, three boards, two assists and three steals over 28 minutes in Wednesday's win over the Warriors.

    VanVleet is worth owning while Leonard is out and it won't hurt that Jonas Valanciunas (thumb) could miss some time and ease the frontcourt portion of the logjam.

  • Nemanja Bjelica - F - Sacramento Kings

    Nemanja Bjelica scored 25 points on 9-of-15 shooting (including four threes) with five rebounds, three assists and two blocks over 29 minutes in the Kings' 141-130 win over the Wolves on Wednesday.

    The score pumped up the entire box score but Bjelica is still sitting on top 75-100 value (9/8 cat) on the season and that's a guy that probably shouldn't have been dropped in too many leagues. He was, though, so hopefully you got in on the post-hype production.

  • Willie Cauley-Stein - C - Sacramento Kings

    Willie Cauley-Stein scored 14 points on 5-of-9 shooting (4-of-9 FTs) with eight rebounds, three assists, one steal and two blocks in Wednesday's win over the Wolves.

    Cauley-Stein was intentionally fouled late in the fourth quarter after airballing a free throw and this isn't just a one-game thing. He has hit just 47.8 percent from the line this season and it's keeping him stuck in the late rounds for fantasy value. This probably gets on scouting reports and he'll have to prove he can make it or he's going to get an even bigger weight on his value, as well as less minutes.

  • Marvin Bagley III - F - Sacramento Kings

    Marvin Bagley scored 17 points on 4-of-5 shooting (9-of-10 FTs) with 10 rebounds and three assists in 26 minutes off the bench on Wednesday against the Wolves.

    Bagley did not have a steal or block and he's not likely to hit that well from the free throw line. He struggled on defense, as well, but he's going to be getting anywhere from 22-30 mpg on most nights. He's well outside the top-150 in 24 mpg so far this season.

  • Yogi Ferrell - G - Sacramento Kings

    Yogi Ferrell scored 17 points off the bench in Wednesday's win over the Wolves, hitting 5-of-6 shots (including four threes) with two rebounds, six assists and one steal in 16 minutes.

    Ferrell looked great in this one and he adds a component to the fast break that the Kings really do need. He's not in the clear when it comes to Frank Mason, even if Dave Joerger said after the game that Ferrell is going to get a 10-game stretch in this role. If you're in a deep league where 14-18 mpg with the right guy can play, give him a look for the aforementioned stretch.

  • Bogdan Bogdanovic - G - Sacramento Kings

    Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 20 points off the bench in Wednesday's win over the Wolves, hitting 9-of-15 shots (including two threes) with five rebounds and six assists in 31 minutes.

    Bogdanovic is bringing late-mid round value back when on the floor this season and he can climb up and over the top-75 hump with just a few more upticks. Aside from some lower-grade injury risk, he's going to be as consistent as it gets.

  • Robert Covington - F - Minnesota Timberwolves

    Robert Covington (knee) scored 17 points on 6-of-13 shooting (1-of-2 3PTs, 4-of-5 FTs) with six rebounds and no steals or blocks in Wednesday's loss to the Kings.

    Covington's goose eggs on defense in a game with no defense being played stood out and he didn't look like he was at full strength. One has to hope that these aren't Thibs minutes and it'll be something we all monitor going forward.