• It’s not the most appetising slate of waiver pickups from tonight’s games, but there are some guys worth grabbing. Tonight, we’ll explore what we can take away from the Heat’s spanking of the Rockets, some low-end guys that can help your team in the short and long term, and some one-off performance guys you should probably not get too excited for.

    Worth a Look

     

    Meyers Leonard (9%)

    MIN FG% FT% 3PM PTS REB AST STL BLK TO
    28 .818 (9 / 11) .667 (2 / 3) 1 21 4 1 3 1 1

    Leonard looks like he is really growing into his own in his new role with his new team. The modern big man has outperformed Kelly Olynyk and usurped him for the starting PF minutes, and the fantasy skill set that has intigued us for years finally looks ready to be actualized. The high scoring is the eye-popping number from this line, but it quite possible that component is largely tied to the abhorrent defense Houston is running out there these days. Leonard is not a guy that’s gonna give you high double-digit scoring on a night to night, rather, he’s worth an investment for his 3’s, defensive stats and very low turnovers which are all going to a part of his game regardless of the level of usage he sees, making him an ideal guy to take a chance on in 9-cat. The one concern with him moving forward is how many minutes he’ll be able to see with James Johnson being added to the fold, but for now, he seems like he’s locked into the starting gig and is deserving of your attention in standard leagues.

    Nemanja Bjelica (11%)

    MIN FG% FT% 3PM PTS REB AST STL BLK TO
    24 .800 (4 / 5) — (0 / 0) 2 10 8 6 1 0 1

    Bjelica hasn’t gotten much love since hopping into the starting lineup to replace the injured Marvin Bagely, but at this point he’s at least worth giving a side-hug or something. He’s playing at a top-70 rate as a starter and it looks like head coach Luke Walton is going to stick to his guns and continue feeding him 25 minutes a night. At that work level he’ll give you solid percentages with 3’s, low turnovers and some rebounds (the assists tonight seem like a high watermark so don’t get used to that). He should be owned in a good deal more than the 11% of leagues he is now, but he also shouldn’t take priority over a guy who has more long-term upside.

    Marcus Morris (48%)

    MIN FG% FT% 3PM PTS REB AST STL BLK TO
    35 .643 (9 / 14) .857 (6 / 7) 4 28 6 2 0 1 1

    Morris hasn’t been the steadiest top-100 guy this season, mixing fantastic shooting nights with total clunkers. Tonight he was on though, and he has now rattled off two stellar performances in a row. You really have no choice but to take a flier on him when he’s this hot, but know that the drop off game is probably around the corner. He’s a better roto option than he is in head-to-head leagues, and is far more appealing in points settings than catagory leagues.

    Rudy Gay (54%)

    MIN FG% FT% 3PM PTS REB AST STL BLK TO
    27 .462 (6 / 13) .500 (1 / 2) 3 16 10 3 0 0 2

    Gay isn’t on the wire in the majority of leagues, but he’s been getting dropped in a good deal of places and it’s worth mentioning him if he wound up on waivers in your league. He started off a but slow to start this year’s campaign, but Gay has slowely started to get things going, getting better in each of his last three games. It’s likely that he’ll be capped out as a top-90 asset at best, but he’s worth having on rosters in most 12-team catagory leagues.

    Dwight Howard (52%)

    MIN FG% FT% 3PM PTS REB AST STL BLK TO
    21 1.000 (7 / 7) .000 (0 / 1) 0 14 13 2 0 2 1

    Like Rudy Gay, Dwight is owned in the majority of Yahoo leagues, and unlike Gay he is being scooped up in a hurry. After a line like tonight’s it’s easy to imagine that he’ll get picked up elsewhere and if you need traditional big man stats you should consider grabbing him too. Howard has embraced his leading role in the Lakers’ bench squad, and regardless of whether he stays in that role or not, he is going to be the center worth owning between he and JaVale McGee. His propensity for turnovers and poor FT shooting will keep him capped however, and until the minutes break out of the loww-20’s he’s more of a 14-team guy than a 12-team guy.

    Goga Bitadze (12%)

    MIN FG% FT% 3PM PTS REB AST STL BLK TO
    19 .571 (4 / 7) — (0 / 0) 1 9 4 3 0 4 1

    Goga fouled out of this one, but still managed to put together a serviceable fantasy line in the amount of time he was able to see the court. The Georgian big man has been the early winner in the fallout of the Myles Turner injury. He’s got high upside in blocks, and those who picked him up after his great line in his previous game shouldn’t push the eject button quite yet, especially considering that Turner is going to be evaluated on a week-to-week basis as ooposed to operating off a firm time table. His tendancy to collect fouls can’t be ignored as a potential inhibitor to his value, making him more appealing in 14-team settings.

     

    Better on Your Watch List

    James Johnson (2%)

    MIN FG% FT% 3PM PTS REB AST STL BLK TO
    22 .583 (7 / 12) .500 (1 / 2) 2 17 4 3 0 0 1

    James Johnson finally got his conditioning up to an appropriate level and came out the gates swinging in his seaosn debut. However, there are a few reasons not to get too excited about it. Number one, the minutes are a byproduct of the blowout, and on that same note, the quality of the opposition he got to face in the form of the Rockets’ bench unit made for an easy punching bag to get easy looks against. Number two, his role on this team fantasy-wise will be more about who he is taking away from than what he’ll be able to offer on his own. His timeshare with Kelly Olynyk was well chronicled last season and now it appears the Heat have even more depth at the position. To be honest, I wouldn’t even go as far as to consider keeping an eye on him, as I think (and hope) he won’t crack enough rotation minutes to matter. This is just for those of you who may be thinking about him considering his history and the nice looking fantasy line upon first glance.

    Duncan Robinson (1%)

    MIN FG% FT% 3PM PTS REB AST STL BLK TO
    36 .667 (8 / 12) — (0 / 0) 7 23 6 1 0 2 1

    Robinson had a great night shooting the ball and actually managed to do more than just score, getting some decent rebounding and blocks numbers to go a long with his monster seven 3-pointers on the night. I’m of the opinion that those other stats are outliers, and that Robinson is still a fantasy player who brings little else to the table other than his ability to shoot. It’s also worth hammering the point home again that this Rockets defense is horrible and looks like they’ll help bring out several monster performances from nondiscript guys all season long. Robinson should definitely be on your watch list in case injuries rattle this team, but I wouldn’t go further than that on the second year wing.

    T.J Leaf (0%)

    MIN FG% FT% 3PM PTS REB AST STL BLK TO
    22 .462 (6 / 13) — (0 / 0) 1 13 15 1 1 1 2

    Leaf got some extended looks with Sabonis out of the lineup, and showed off some of his popcorn number abilities with this hefty double-double line. He’s someone to stick on the waiver wire to keep in mind as a streamer the next time minutes open up in the Pacers’ frontcourt.

     

     

     

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