• The Washington Post surveyed 100 media members and the results had James Harden as the favorite to win this year’s MVP award.

    Harden has been in the running for MVP for several years now and the Rockets entered the All-Star Break with the best record in the league, something that’s never been done before in franchise history. The addition of CP3 had many believing that his MVP chances were shot and even fantasy owners were reluctant to draft him early, but the Beard is leading the league in scoring with 31.3 points and is third in assists with 9.0. His efficiency has gone up playing next to Chris Paul and the “there’s only one ball” narrative has quickly been shut down as Paul is also having a fantastic season, averaging 19.2 points, 8.3 assists, 1.8 steals and 2.7 3s on 47.0 percent shooting. Harden has good shot at finishing as the No. 1 fantasy player while Chris Paul is sitting at No. 6 with a chance to crack the top-5. Trevor Ariza is returning from an injury soon which means Gerald Green’s minutes should decline, but Harden and Paul are going to continue to churn out monstrous fantasy games as the Rockets gun for the top seed in the west.

Fantasy News

  • Mitchell Robinson
    C, New York Knicks

    Mitchell Robinson played 32 minutes off the bench on Thursday, scoring six points, grabbing eight boards and blocking three shots as the Knicks fell to the Sixers 115-106.

    Robinson has really come on recently, posting nine points, 10 boards and almost four blocked shots over the last four games, good for the 20th ranked player in 9-category formats over the last week. It's not inconceivable that he could approach that output over the last month and a half of the regular season, especially if Bobby Portis continues to be uninspiring (seven points and one rebound in 22 minutes).

  • Elfrid Payton
    PG, New York Knicks

    Elfrid Payton had a nice outing on Thursday night, finishing with 18 points, six boards and 12 assists in 36 minutes.

    Payton is a quietly productive player when he's healthy and he should continue to be a good source of assists the rest of the way. We wish we got a couple steals in this game, but let's not get too greedy. He will likely end up the second most valuable Knick at the end of the season. This totally tanks anything we might see from Dennis Smith Jr., who left the game with concussion-like symptoms and did not return after scoring four points in seven minutes.

  • Maurice Harkless
    SF, New York Knicks

    Maurice Harkless hit five triples en route to 17 points in 26 minutes of action in Thursday's loss to the Sixers.

    Hopefully Harkless snuck into some DFS lineups and people reaped the benefit of a pretty good budget line. He's a decent option in a deep-league because he may get more volume than we expected as he sticks it out with the Knicks through the end of the season.

  • Julius Randle
    PF, New York Knicks

    Julius Randle led the Knicks with 30 points in 38 minutes to go along with 10 rebounds and five assists on Thursday night.

    Randle scored his 30 points on 18 field goal attempts and this is kind of the best-case line for a guy who just doesn't contribute defensively. We'll take lines like this when they come, but Randle has a very specific skillset that may not be as helpful as the popcorn numbers look. He should still be a top-100 option as the primary scorer on this woeful Knicks team.

  • Josh Richardson
    SF, Philadelphia Sixers

    Josh Richardson came on late in the game to finish with an acceptable line in 34 minutes, scoring 11 points, grabbing seven boards and putting up three defensive stats on Thursday.

    We still don't like the inefficiency (5-of-13) and lack of scoring and shooting for a team that's going to need more against better competition. Furkan Korkmaz matched Richardson's 11 points in just 26 minutes, but didn't add much else. We'll see which one of the ancillary pieces in the Sixers' rotation really gets it going while they're shorthanded.

  • Shake Milton
    SG, Philadelphia Sixers

    Shake Milton went off again on Thursday with 19 points (6-of-7 from the floor), five triples, four assists and two blocked shots in 32 minutes.

    Milton showed again why he should be a hot pickup with Ben Simmons out. Simmons will be out for at least two weeks, and Milton looks like he's grabbing hold of this job. He should be a good source of triples, if nothing else.

  • Al Horford
    PF, Philadelphia Sixers

    Al Horford had a nice game against the Knicks on Thursday, finishing with 15 points, seven rebounds, nine assists and four triples in 34 minutes.

    Horford's fantasy outlook has really gotten a shot in the shoulder due to Joel Embiid's unfortunate shoulder injury. Horford is going to have to be reliable and aggressive offensively to give the Sixers even a sliver of what Embiid did for this team as a scorer. That in itself should pull Horford back towards top-50 value.

  • Tobias Harris
    SF, Philadelphia Sixers

    Tobias Harris picked up the slack and led the way for the Sixers with 34 points, seven boards, seven assists and two defensive counters on Thursday night.

    Harris shot a fantastic 14-of-21 from the floor and led from the front for the Sixers without their two best players. The Sixers are going to need this output on a regular basis if they are going to keep pace in the middle of the Eastern playoff race.

  • Joel Embiid
    C, Philadelphia Sixers

    Joel Embiid (left shoulder sprain) didn't show significant structural damage in his shoulder and will be re-evaluated in one week.

    This means Embiid will miss at least the next week of action and the probable best-case scenario is that he returns next Saturday against the Warriors. We're getting right up to the fantasy playoffs and for those in head-to-head leagues, it might be a close call. Until then, Al Horford should continue to start.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • Rajon Rondo
    PG, Los Angeles Lakers

    Rajon Rondo will start at point guard for the Lakers on Thursday.

    Rondo will start in place of an injured LeBron James (groin). It looks like the Lakers are going to go with the veteran to keep everything steady and he could be a useful daily play until LeBron returns.

    Source: Dave McMenamin on Twitter