• Pickups of the Night: Thursday, January 31 ($)

    We had a busy six-game Thursday night so let’s hop to it. As usual, players owned in at least 50 percent of leagues will not be covered since they are already widely owned.

    Pickups

    Shabazz Napier, BKN (35% owned) had 15 points, two 3s, seven assists and two blocks on 5-for-13 from the field. Over the last four games with Spencer Dinwiddie (thumb) out of action, Napier has put up top-100 value in over 27 minutes a game. Feel safe to stream him in standard leagues until Dinwiddie comes back despite the poor shooting.

    Ed Davis, BKN (12%) pulled down 11 rebounds to go with a block and six points in 20 minutes. And that’s the Ed Davis story. He’s been averaging 10.7 boards over the last two weeks in almost 22 minutes a game and can be streamed as a rebounding specialist while he’s hot.

    Bryn Forbes, SAS (25%) managed to collect 11 points, three 3s, five rebounds and a block in 28 minutes. Forbes has been a top-150 play over the last week and over the past two months so it’s a bit of a baseline.

    Fred VanVleet, TOR (48%) had a measly 10 points, two 3s, three assists and a steal off the bench and that’s an approximation of what his upside usually is while all the major Raptors are healthy, i.e. about the top-140 in 9-cat he’s been on the season.

    Norman Powell, TOR (1%) had 10 points, two 3s and a steal in 23 minutes. He’s been a top-175 play over the past two months and can be used as a deep-league stream for 3s and some points if there are  no better options.

    D.J. Augustin, ORL (42%) hit 4-for-8 from the field and all 10 of his freebies to finish with 20 points, two 3s and two assists. Augustine has maintained low-end guard stats for most of the season and that’s what you use him for.

    Dwight Powell, DAL (19%) had 10 points, five rebounds, a trey, two blocks and a steal in 24 minutes and had been a top-160 play over the last week with a heavy roto lean. He’s on deck to get heavy run in Dallas with DeAndre Jordan on his way to New York.

    Maxi Kleber, DAL (7%) probably has a better chance than Powell to hit top-120 value (top-160 on the season) but he got into foul trouble on Thursday and only had four points (one 3), eight rebounds and a steal.

    Kevon Looney, GSW (9%) collected 14 points, five rebounds, two steals and two blocks in 23 minutes. Ironically, Looney’s 9-cat value has been better since DeMarcus Cousins returned to the court. He’s been bringing in top-60 value over the last few weeks but should settle in closer to top-100 when some of the randomness averages into the sample size.

    Patrick Beverley, LAC (41%) continued his recent tear with 17 points to go with five treys, eight boards, four assists, two steals and a block in 37 minutes. Beverley’s quiet 9-cat game has been shining lately with top-50 value over the last two weeks. The biggest difference with his value in that span has been the defensive stats- 1.4 steals and 0.9 blocks compared to 0.7 and 0.5 on the season (top-165 on the year).

    Avery Bradley, LAC (10%) got 13 points, two 3s, eight rebounds, two steals and a block in 35 minutes against the Lakers and it marked the seventh straight game Bradley has scored 10 or more points. He’s in the middle of the best stretch of the season and probably the best he’s looked since his Boston days. Bradley has top-190 value over the last two weeks and top-150 over his last four games so maybe he has finally turned a corner for deep-leaguers.

    Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, LAC (25%) managed to add some cash counters which is the major difference between pulling in value (top-120 over the last week vs. top-180 on the season). SGA had 10 points on 4-of-12 shooting with a trey, three assists and two steals but until he can maintain any peripheral stats, he’s strictly a deep-league play.

    Ivica Zubac, LAL (44%) didn’t exactly have himself a great game- seven points and three rebounds but he still played more minutes than JaVale McGee and Tyson Chandler, but just barely, with McGee closing in overtime with with LeBron James finally back in action. The writing might be on the wall for Zubac’s run of top-100 value.

    Lance Stephenson, LAL (7%) hit five 3s and ended up with 20 points, three rebounds and a steal in 30 minutes even with LeBron James back. Stephenson has been a low-end standard-league play over his last few games but his ability to do that with LeBron in the lineup is very much in doubt.

Fantasy News

  • Dwight Howard - C - Washington Wizards

    Dwight Howard will return to Washington D.C. and start on-court work on Wednesday.

    Dwight has been recovering from November spine surgery, and it's good to see him progressing. He's still a few steps away from playing, and with the injuries he's been dealing with this season, it's hard to see him being useful outside of deep free throw punt teams. More likely, the greatest impact he'll have is eventually taking a few minutes from Thomas Bryant and Bobby Portis.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • Henry Ellenson - F - New York Knicks

    Henry Ellenson plans to sign a 10-day contract with the Knicks.

    Ellenson has shown promise at times, but he has never really put together any fantasy-relevant stretches. Leave him on the wire for now, but it's not impossible to imagine a scenario where the tanking Knicks are missing or sitting a couple bigs, giving Ellenson some decent run.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • Clint Capela - C - Houston Rockets

    Clint Capela (thumb) returned to practice on Tuesday with no limitations, which could determine his playing status for Thursday's game against the Lakers.

    Capela underwent surgery on January 17 and was initially given a 4-to-6 week timetable, so this would be at the early end of a return. The fact that he is returning to practice without any limitations is a great sign for owners, meaning a return is imminent. Watch out for the Rockets injury report on Wednesday.

    Source: Jonathan Feigen on Twitter

  • Jodie Meeks - G - Toronto Raptors

    Jodie Meeks is signing a 10-day contract with the Raptors, per Adrian Wojnarowski.

    Meeks was waived by the Bucks following the conclusion of his 25-game suspension for violating the league's anti-drug program. He hasn't played since last season with Washington and is unlikely to see much action with Toronto. He'll give the team some extra shooting when he does see the floor.

    Source: Adrian Wojnarowski on Twitter

  • Jared Dudley - F - Brooklyn Nets

    Jared Dudley (left hamstring strain) was scheduled to be re-evaluated on Tuesday.

    Dudley has already made it known that he's planning to return right out of the All-Star break, so unless today's checkup revealed some kind of further issue we're expecting him to be ready for Brooklyn's two games this week. His biggest fantasy impact will be taking minutes from more intriguing players.

    Source: Greg Logan on Twitter

  • Caris LeVert - G - Brooklyn Nets

    Caris LeVert will undergo an evaluation from the Nets medical staff on Tuesday.

    There's no sign of any setbacks from LeVert but the team will obviously keep a close eye on him after he's returned from a dislocated foot. This shouldn't be anything more than routine maintenance, so fantasy owners don't need to worry about it.

    Source: Greg Logan on Twitter

  • Ray Spalding - F - Phoenix Suns

    The Suns are expected to sign Ray Spalding to a 10-day contract.

    Spalding was the 56th pick in last summer's draft but only appeared in one NBA game this season with the Mavs. He was waived at the trade deadline with Dallas taking on one more player than they sent away, and will look to make an impression in a crowded Phoenix rotation. His college numbers (12.3 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.7 blocks in 27.7 minutes per game) make him a name to file away in deep dynasty leagues.

    Source: Gina Mizell on Twitter

  • MarShon Brooks - G - Chicago Bulls

    Marshon Brooks has agreed to terms with the Guangdong Tigers of the Chinese Basketball Association, according to Sportando.

    Brooks played 29 games for the Grizzlies this season averaging 6.6 points and he is expected to replace Malcolm Delaney. Leave him on the waiver wire.

    Source: Sportando

  • Kristaps Porzingis - F/C - Dallas Mavericks

    Mark Cuban said that Kristaps Porzingis won't play this season, even if the Mavs somehow are able to make the playoffs.

    The Mavs want to put their world-class training staff, led by Casey Smith, to work, strengthening Porzingis’ body the rest of this season and throughout the summer to hopefully prevent similar injuries in the future. And after all, given the amount of money the Mavs could be committing to KP this summer, a max salary of $158 million, there is no need to risk something happening to him in a season where making the playoffs seems unlikely. Kristaps remains a great stash in redraft leagues.

    Source: 247sports.com

  • LeBron James - F - Los Angeles Lakers

    Joe Vardon of The Athletic is reporting that the Lakers are "somehow a little concerned" about LeBron James.

    LeBron hasn’t been showing the same speed or overall movement lately and the team is concerned that he’s not fully recovered from the groin injury that cost him to miss a career-high 18 games. The Lakers are in the 10th place in the Western Conference, three games behind the Clippers for the eighth and final playoff spot and they will need LeBron to be healthy for the rest of the season. James is averaging 26.8 points, 8.6 rebounds and 7.6 assists in 35 minutes per game, while his shooting percentage (51 percent), 3-point percentage (35 percent) and free-throw percentage (68 percent) are all down from last season. He is still returning borderline top-15 value in standard leagues and owners can only hope he doesn’t suffer a setback.

    Source: The Athletic