March 9, 2020, 2:02 am
So I’ve come to realize that I am in a unique position in writing these pickup articles on Sunday nights. With the playoffs around the corner (for a handful of you they have already begun, for most I assume they begin March 16th) Sunday becomes an essential part to your streaming strategy. Making adds on Sundays allow you to use up a move now so that you don’t have to use one of your limited moves the following week. You can use these adds to assess where your weaknesses are relative to your next opponent, and ultimately maximize your chances of coming out victorious! So, with that in mind I want to slightly tweak how I evaluate pickups to help you take advantage of this valuable streaming window on your fantasy calendars. The three sections for tonight’s articles can be explained as follows:
1. Worth a Look on Your Team: Like usual this section will focus on players who are worth picking up for long-term looks, but will also be prioritized based on how valuable they will be to you next week specifically. For example, a guy like Bruce Brown, who I like as a rest-of-season add, will be further down on this list tonight just because he only plays two games next week. Still worth a look on your team, but perhaps is not the greatest guy to grab if you need to stream.
2. Hold Him if You Have Him: Also pretty standard. You should hold onto these players for a variety of factors I may point to, with streaming potentially being one of them. Say a fringe type of player put up a pretty bad line tonight, but also has a favorable streaming week coming up. I may recommend that you hold on through the bad lines solely for this reason.
3. Solid Streamers: Instead of our usual watch list section, I will be devoting this last part specifically to players who are worth making add on but only as a streamer for the following week. Players I include in this section do not have long-term appeal.
So with that in mind, let’s dive in!
Worth a Look on Your Team
Donte DiVincenzo (27%)
MIN FG% FT% 3PM PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 29 .636 (7 / 11) .000 (0 / 1) 2 16 7 4 2 0 0
DiVincenzo has been cruising at standard league value pretty much all season in a 23-25 minute role most nights, so he was already worth owning before Giannis Antetokounmpo (knee) went down. He was able to get closer to 30 minutes in tonight’s ball game and crushed with his usual steals output and an added bonus of solid scoring and rebounding numbers as well. Giannis should be out for at least one more game which certainly adds more incentive to own DiVincenzo, but again, he was already worth owning before this extra opportunity. With three games next week Donte is among the best adds you could make tonight.
Shabazz Napier (14%)
MIN FG% FT% 3PM PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 40 .429 (6 / 14) .786 (11 / 14) 4 27 4 7 4 0 2
Napier finally started taking (and making) shots and the result was one of the fuller stat-lines of tonight’s proceedings. He has been forced into an even larger role of late with Jerome Robinson (Achilles) sidelined alongside Ish Smith (hamstring) so perhaps he can keep his foot on the gas. Efficiency will still be an issue with him moving forward, but tonight illustrates how high his high’s can go when he’s feeling it. The Wizards have three games next week, so feel free to add Shabazz in standard settings if you need boosts to your AST and STL categories with potential upside in PTS and FT% as well.
James Johnson (26%)
MIN FG% FT% 3PM PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 25 .455 (5 / 11) 1.000 (2 / 2) 3 15 5 4 0 1 2
James Johnson has been a top-80 dude throughout his stretch of playing without Karl-Anthony Towns. I’ve written about him ad nauseum in these posts, nothing has changed, tonight’s line is just further evidence. He is still available in plenty of leagues and has a very unique stat set in his ability to get you solid steal, block and assists numbers. He is worth owning everywhere with Towns potentially out for the remainder of the fantasy calendar, and if you’re not convinced of that, well then you can take advantage of the fact that he plays three times next week and just stream him.
Naz Reid (47%)
MIN FG% FT% 3PM PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 25 .286 (4 / 14) 1.000 (2 / 2) 0 10 5 1 3 1 2
Reid continues to be hampered by his poor FG%, but you cannot deny that he has really settled into a groove over his last four to five ball games. He is a solid source of boards and defensive stats and should be owned in all leagues moving forward with Karl-Anthony Towns out for the next two weeks at least.
Jeff Green (4%)
MIN FG% FT% 3PM PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 27 1.000 (8 / 8) .500 (1 / 2) 1 18 5 0 1 0 1
Jeff Green has inexplicably found his way into some serious rotation minutes with the Rockets of late, to the point where he should be given serious consideration in fantasy leagues. The biggest take away of his short stint with the Rockets so far has been his crazy high efficiency, a sky-high 67% on 6.7 shot attempts per-game. Though that should come down, it is encouraging that it is coming with him taking easy looks around the rim as a small-ball five. If he is seeing minutes in the mid-to-high 20’s like has in his last two games he could help you in more than just FG% with contributions to 3’s, rebounds and even some steals here and there as well. With a three game week on deck Green is an interesting speculative pickup in standard leagues.
Derrick Jones Jr. (7%)
MIN FG% FT% 3PM PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 31 .333 (1 / 3) 1.000 (2 / 2) 0 4 8 3 3 1 1
DJJ rises again now with Jae Crowder (concussion) sidelined for the next handful of ball games. He managed to climb back into a 30 minute role and in that time he can become a decent source of defensive stats. He’s not the most appealing add compared to some of the others on this list, but if you have a need for steals and blocks you could do worse than him with a three game week ahead of himself.
Bruce Brown (13%)
MIN FG% FT% 3PM PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 37 .500 (7 / 14) — (0 / 0) 2 16 4 6 0 0 2
Brown moved into the starting lineup tonight over Brandon Knight (hamstring strain) who inevitably and unfortunately ran into another injury after being run into the ground over his last handful of ball-games. Brown now has the reigns to fully handle the point guard duties for the Pistons moving forward, and should be a solid source of assists, rebounds and steals as long as he has the job. He is one of the few guys who play two games next week that I’d recommend trying to hold onto if you’re able, as his runway the rest of the way unlike anyone else I’ll be discussing on this list. That being said, if you’re fighting tooth and nail to get into the playoffs then Brown may not be the best way to allocate your resources.
Aron Baynes (26%)
MIN FG% FT% 3PM PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 33 .500 (8 / 16) .800 (4 / 5) 4 24 7 1 0 1 2
Baynes thrived yet again filling in as the starting center in place of Deandre Ayton (ankle) and really looks like he could flirt with the value he put up to start the season when he was healthy, bodying dudes off of picks and splashing triples from deep. The problem with him as an add in this particular set of circumstances is that a) Ayton’s MRI came back clean and likely won’t keep him sidelined for that long and b) the Suns only play two games next week. He is a solid speculative add for playoff-bound teams to see if Ayton misses more time than anticipated, but if you’re on the fringe and fighting to get in I don’t think you can afford to roll the dice on this one.
Hold Him if You Have Him
Jarrett Allen (84%)
MIN FG% FT% 3PM PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 19 .800 (4 / 5) .750 (3 / 4) 0 11 6 1 0 1 2
So here’s a weird name to bring up in this space, but dammit I need to vent about this. Jarrett Allen was the massive loser of the Kenny Atkinson ousting (aside from Atkinson himself, obviously), by being shifted to the bench in favor of DeAndre Jordan and reduced to a paltry 19 minutes of game action. The move his soul crushing for Allen’s owners, who could lose a competent shot blocker and rim runner to boost their FG% numbers for good. The move itself is asinine, one that is surely going to lead to more inner-team turmoil that apparently this was meant to address. Allen was a key cog of Brooklyn’s scrappy ascent last season and at 21 years old with a boat load of potential, this will only serve to limit his growth moving forward.
From a fantasy perspective, it’s tough to overreact to one game, but even a per-minute stud like Allen cannot survive in just 19 minutes a night. The saving grace, if you could call it that, is that you have a four game week for the Nets coming up, creating some incentive to hold onto Allen regardless of this unfortunate turn of events. This may not work for all teams considering where you are in your playoff chase, but if you can afford to you should hold onto Allen for his four games, get as much as you can out of them, and then determine whether or not he is worth sticking with for your playoff run. I don’t like his chances of surviving this, but this situation is fresh enough (and he is talented enough) to be worth the wait to see what happens.
Maxi Kleber (47%)
MIN FG% FT% 3PM PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 34 .250 (1 / 4) — (0 / 0) 0 2 5 1 0 0 0
Kleber was frustratingly quiet despite playing 35 big minutes in Dallas’ loss on Sunday. This should not deter his owners from holding on though. The Mavs play two of their three games in a back-to-back Tuesday and Wednesday, making Kleber a solid hold to maximize your games played. Aside from the game-to-game implication here he has been a top-100 value over the last month as a blocks specialist. He makes sense as a hold beyond this week, but if you really want to move off of him at least wait until you can squeeze a cheap two games out of him until Wednesday.
D.J Augustin (20%)
MIN FG% FT% 3PM PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 27 .700 (7 / 10) 1.000 (6 / 6) 4 24 2 3 1 0 2
While they play different positions, D.J Augustin might actually be the biggest beneficiary of Evan Fournier (elbow) being out for “an extended period of time”. In his last two games Augustin has seen his minutes bump to 27 and has seen a decent spike in usage as well. The Magic have a giant void in perimeter scoring and frankly they don’t have anyone else beyond Terrance Ross to fill up that space. With two games coming up in the next four days, Augustin is a sensible streaming option for those in need of the points, and if he keeps this hot stretch going he could potentially be worth owning for a little while after that.
Shaquille Harrison (5%)
MIN FG% FT% 3PM PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 36 .333 (3 / 9) — (0 / 0) 0 6 8 3 4 1 1
Shaq Harrison has been getting extended looks with the starting lineup over his last six games and has been one of the best defensive stat collectors you can find in that span with averages of 2.5 steals and 1.0 blocks per game. That’s really all you need to know when it comes to Shaq, and if you have a need for either of those categories he makes for a fantastic streaming option for next week as being a member of one of the few teams with four games. All he needs is roughly 22 minutes a night to get you what you’re looking for.
Marvin Williams (14%)
MIN FG% FT% 3PM PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 26 .333 (1 / 3) 1.000 (2 / 2) 1 5 5 3 0 1 0
Marvin saw a boost to his playing time without Giannis Antetokounmpo (knee) in the lineup, and could get into a 25 minute role again in the Bucks next game without the Freak. He’s not nearly as appealing as the others on this list. I’m really only including him here as a courtesy because we’ve seen he is capable of fantasy useful stuff in this time, AND the Bucks play tomorrow, meaning you could stream one free game out of him if you have the space to do so and are willing to bet he plays better against the Nuggets on Monday.