• 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

  • Hamidou Diallo - G - Oklahoma City Thunder

    Hamidou Diallo puts his stamp on the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest by beating Dennis Smith Jr., John Collins, and Miles Bridges.

    Diallo arguably delivered one of the greatest performances in Slam Dunk Contest history by jumping over the seven-footer Shaquille O'Neal and throwing down a vicious elbow dunk. He left the crowd mesmerized and gave them a moment to remember in an otherwise lopsided contest. As incredible he might be tonight, fantasy owners shouldn't really give him a look unless they're in deep leagues.

  • Joe Harris - G/F - Brooklyn Nets

    Joe Harris was scorching hot during the entirety of Saturday's 3-point shootout as he bested Stephen Curry with 26 made three-point shots in the final round.

    Harris put an end to Curry's storybook ending of winning the 3-point contest in his hometown of Charlotte by besting him and Buddy Hield. It's no surprise that Harris was a dark-horse candidate entering the contest since he's been hot all season long from behind the arc, making 47 percent of his shots. In the past week, Harris has been rewarding his owners with top-20 value with averages of 22.7 points with 4.7 threes per game on 67.6% shooting. If you could sell high on him, now would be the perfect time.

  • Jayson Tatum - F - Boston Celtics

    Jayson Tatum clinched the Taco Bell All-Star Skills Challenge by draining a half-court shot to beat Trae Young in the finals of the competition.

    Tatum sealed the deal in this one and is responsible for one of the most exciting finishes in Skills Challenge history. For the past month, Tatum has been posting Top-40 value with 16.2 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.1 blocks and shooting 46 percent from the field. He's currently cruising as an early-middle round guy and should be even better once the Celtics find their footing.

  • Jayson Tatum - F - Boston Celtics

    Jayson Tatum clinched the All-Star Skills Challenge by draining a half-court a half-court shot to beat Trae Young in the finals of the competition.

    Tatum sealed the deal on this one and is responsible for one of the most exciting finishes in Skills Challenge history. For the past month, Tatum has been posting Top-40 value with 16.2 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.1 blocks and shooting 46 percent from the field. He's currently cruising as a early-middle round guy and should be even better once the Celtics find their footing.

  • Hasheem Thabeet - C - Oklahoma City Thunder

    Hasheem Thabeet worked out for the Rockets, Raptors and Pistons while the teams were in Charlotte for All-Star weekend.

    Thabeet was the second overall pick in the 2009 draft by the Grizzlies and was quickly one of the biggest busts in NBA history. He was the highest overall pick to be sent to the then D-League until Anthony Bennett secured the top spot. Thabeet is somehow still only 31 years old, and 7'2" centers can certainly provide value in today's NBA, but it's unlikely Thabeet finds his way back into the league. He's currently playing in the Japanese B-League.

    Source: Keith Pompey on Twitter

  • Dirk Nowitzki - F - Dallas Mavericks

    Dirk Nowitzki said he has not made any final decision on if this is his last season.

    "I haven't said this will be it," Nowitzki said, "I'm going to wait and see the last couple of weeks, how my body feels and if I continue to see improvement and I'm still having fun, we'll see." While Dirk has been treating this season as a retirement tour, there's still a chance we see him playing next season.

    Source: Brad Townsend on Twitter

  • Anthony Davis - F/C - New Orleans Pelicans

    Anthony Davis (left shoulder contusion) said he is unsure if he will play in the All-Star game on Sunday.

    Davis said the plan is to play, but we will have to wait and see if he's feeling okay. He's certainly not worried about saving himself for the second-half of the season.

    Source: Tim Bontemps on Twitter

  • Kyrie Irving - G - Boston Celtics

    Kyrie Irving (right knee strain) says he is healthy and plans to play in Sunday's All-Star game.

    Irving missed the Celtics' last two games but fantasy owners shouldn't expect him to miss any more with the current injury. Terry Rozier was a hot pickup when Irving initially went down but now goes back to being a handcuff. Irving has put up top-10 per-game value this year with no holes in his fantasy game but he has already missed 11 games. He has missed at least 10 games in seven of his eight NBA seasons so this is something fantasy owners should already be used to.

    Source: Gary Washburn on Twitter

  • Anthony Davis - F/C - New Orleans Pelicans

    Anthony Davis said that the Celtics are on his list of preferred destinations.

    Moreover, Davis added "they were never not on my list," though he also confirmed that the initial reports of his list including the Knicks, Lakers, Clippers and Bucks were true. Initially it had been said that the Celtics are not a preferred landing spot, and Davis' dad would rather his son play elsewhere. It sounds like everything is on the table now that his push to end up on the Lakers has failed, as Davis also said "all 29 teams" (sorry New Orleans) are on his list. Get ready for more updates on AD's thoughts as the season rolls on.

    Source: Tim Bontemps on Twitter

  • Nikola Jokic - C - Denver Nuggets

    The Nuggets have agreed to extensions with president of basketball operations Tim Connelly and GM Arturas Karnisovas.

    The Nuggets haven't reached the playoffs in the last five seasons but will surely end that streak this year. Their abundance of talent and depth currently has them in second place in the Western Conference although Paul Millsap, Gary Harris, Will Barton and Isaiah Thomas have all been injured for much of the season. Their draft choices and player development over the years has been a big catalyst for this as one could look at Nikola Jokic and the breakout seasons of Jamal Murray, Torrey Craig, Monte Morris and Malik Beasley, all of them having been with Denver since their first day in the NBA.

    Source: Denver Post