March 5, 2021, 3:53 am
Thursday featured a 9-game slate but very few of them had much to take away from a season-long fantasy perspective with teams either waiting to get a litany of injured players back or resting their healthy ones to get an early start on the week off. That being said there are still a few names worth highlighting. Take a look at a few interesting adds from Thursday’s games, and a couple of guys who you’re better off leaving on the wire.
Add of the Night
Robert Williams – Rostered in 44% of Yahoo leagues
MIN FG% FT% 3PM PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 23 .800 (4/5) 1.000 (2/2) 0 10 7 1 0 3 1
Williams played well off the bench again in this game, but this time received extra minutes from the odd benching of starter Daniel Theis after a seven minute half. Brad Stevens decided to go with Jeff Teague in the starting unit, and split the rest of the center duties between Williams and Tristain Thompson. In post-game media sessions, Stevens explained that the Raptors playing as small as they were forced the Celtics to stick with a two-center lineup, though it’s still odd that Williams was among those two instead of Theis
The third-year big man continues to play well in limited minutes, and appears to be gaining a new level of trust with the coaching staff. He’s averaging ridiculous 9-cat numbers whenever he sees over 20 minutes a night, and it’s possible his recent trend of receiving extended opportunities will only grow in the 2nd half of the season. It’d be wise of you to add him now if he’s still on the wire.
Kelly Olynyk – Rostered in 27% of Yahoo leagues
MIN FG% FT% 3PM PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 37 .875 (7/8) — 4 18 10 7 1 0 3
Olynyk stepped up in a big way with Bam Adebayo (knee) sitting this game out. He’s likely been cast off to the waivers recently due to sustained subpar play, and a particularly off shot, bit maybe today’s game can help him establish a rhythm. The assists he compiled tonight were more a function of him filling into Bam’s role in the offense than any sign of things to come on that front, but other than that, Olynyk can be a standard league source of triples and boards as long as his shot is falling.
Derrick Jones Jr. – Rostered in 37% of Yahoo leagues
MIN FG% FT% 3PM PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 28 .667 (2/3) 1.000 (3/3) 1 8 4 4 1 1 0
DJJ has been really solid of late, and though tonight’s line doesn’t jump off the page, it still managed to provide value across every category. He’s stepped up in a big way over his last 10 games, posting top-75 value in 9-cat leagues built on stellar percentages, solid rebounding, three-point shooting and a strong blocks averages of 1.7 per-game. His previous two outings could easily send him to the wire, but as long as Jusuf Nurkic (wrist), CJ McCollum (foot) and Harry Giles (calf strain) remain sidelined, there’s no reason to see his role change going forward. Put him on your roster through the break as we wait to hear reevaluated timetables for the three players mentioned above. None of them figure to be available to play immediately out of the break, leaving room for DJJ to continue providing elite shot blocking while not really hurting you in any other area.
De’Anthony Melton – Rostered in 22% of Yahoo Leagues
MIN FG% FT% 3PM PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 15 .667 (2/3) — 2 6 2 1 3 0 1
Those who picked Melton up after his last three games of productive play were obviously disappointed to see him not even clear 15 minutes off the bench despite Grayson Allen still being sidelined with a concussion. I understand the frustration, and it’s possible it’s just not going to happen for Melton unless there are multiple injuries in the Grizzlies backcourt. That being said, the upside is still tremendous, and it’s at least worth adding and holding him through the break to see if Taylor Jenkins and Co. reevaluate their rotations at all with an opportunity to get in some practices and tweak their game plan for the second half run. Feel free to cut him lose if he’s playing 15 minutes again in his next game out though.
Better on Your Watchlst
Elfrid Payton – Rostered in 33% of Yahoo Leagues
MIN FG% FT% 3PM PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 35 .500 (7/14) .833 (5/6) 1 20 6 4 3 0 3
Elfrid Payton made his return from a four game absence in Thursday’s game and had one of his better lines of the season. The reason, however, he isn’t in the adds section tonight is because his production on the year as a whole has been well beyond the cusp of 9-cat standard league rosterability, not even cracking the top-250 on the season. Instead, we’re watching his role, and the Knicks’ PG rotation in general, as we head into the second half of the season. Derrick Rose (health and safety protocols) played fairly well during his few games as starter, and it’ll be interesting to see whether Tom Thibodeau lets Payton return to the role, or hands over the reigns to Rose once he’s cleared protocols.
Kendrick Nunn – Rostered in 58% of Yahoo leagues
MIN FG% FT% 3PM PTS REB AST STL BLK TO 25 .308 (4/13) 1.000 (4/4) 1 13 4 1 1 0 1
The Heat had Jimmy Butler, Goran Dragic and Tyler Herro on the floor with each other for the first time and weeks, and though Nunn surprisingly still got the start, he only played 25 minutes, down considerably from the near 33 per game he had been playing over the past month. He exceeded expectations during that span with enough points, 3’s and steals to float himself to top-70 value, but it’s hard to see him hold onto that if he’s competing for minutes and shots with those three ahead of him. He still got 13 shots off, but with Bam Adebayo (knee tendinitis) likely returning to the lineup after the break, that figures to go down too, which will likely push him towards the cut line.