A little South Florida sunshine did a world of good for Quentin Grimes, who busted out of a big slump with back-to-back standout performances in Miami and Orlando. On Thursday, the sophomore sniper put together an all-around gem, with 25 points on 10-for-18 from the field, five rebounds, six assists, five treys, and three steals in 38 minutes. That coming on the heels of a 22-point, six-triple night, which ended a five-game rut where Grimes averaged just 5.6 PPG. Grimes can pour in threes in bunches, but he usually does nothing else, and hasn’t been closing games for the Knicks. Last night was just the second time this month he saw at least 30 minutes of action. He’s a streaming option if you’re looking for a three-point specialist, and that’s about it (11 percent rostered in Yahoo! standard leagues). Please, blog, may I have some more?
With rookie center Mark Williams exiting early due to injury, this may be the moment for Nick Richards to shine. The youngster came off the bench to record a double-double in 29 minutes, with 13 points on 6-of-7 shooting, 10 boards, a steal, and two blocks. It was his highest point and rebounds totals in a month, as well as the first time in a month he’s recorded a swipe. If Richards gets a runway to play big minutes, he can deliver bushels of traditional big man stats. If word comes out that Williams misses time, don’t hesitate to pounce on Richards (nine percent rostered in Yahoo! standard leagues). Please, blog, may I have some more?
Amongst players who were dealt at the deadline, has anyone seen a more meteoric rise in fantasy value than Jakob Poeltl? Prior to Thursday, Poeltl had already been a top-15 overall player in 9-cat averages since the All-Star break. That will only rise after another dominant performance last night. The homecoming king was a paragon of efficiency, going 8-for-9 from the field and shoring up his one weak link by going 7-for-7 from the line to score 23 points. He also tossed in 13 rebounds, four assists, three steals, and two blocks in his 32 minutes. Over his past six contests, Poeltl is averaging 18.3 PPG, 11.0 RPG, 2.8 APG, 2.3 SPG, and 2.2 BPG while shooting nearly 77 percent (!) from the field. Who else is ready to say that Kawhi Leonard is now the second best player the Raptors have ever acquired from San Antonio? Please, blog, may I have some more?
Denver’s post-deadline pickup of Reggie Jackson is an ill omen for Bruce Brown, and that manifested itself on Thursday. With Brown (53 percent rostered in Yahoo! standard leagues) relinquishing backup point guard responsibilities, he struggled to find footing, finishing his night with just two points, two rebounds, two assists, and no threes or defense. I fear he won’t have enough volume moving forward to put up counting stats, or enough time to make for it with defense. I’m ready to cut bait on him right now. Please, blog, may I have some more?
With Milwaukee resting a couple key rotation players on the perimeter, Jevon Carter was re-inserted into the starting lineup. And boy, did he make the most of his opportunity, pouring in 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting, with six rebounds, six assists, four treys, and a steal over 32 minutes. Even on his good nights, Carter (four percent rostered in Yahoo! standard leagues) doesn’t produce lines this robust, giving this the whiff of an anomaly. He’s normally only a source of threes, as he’s made 10 over his past three games, but his role and his playing time are too inconsistent to depend on. With the Bucks likely returning to full strength after the break, Carter can be left on the wire. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Denver made a couple of moves on the margins. One was to shore up their backup center spot with the acquisition of Thomas Bryant. While that may help the Nuggets a smidge, it has no bearing in the fantasy realm. Bryant was a hot pickup when he took over the starting center role for a few weeks in LA, but he won’t get enough clock to matter behind Denver’s two-time MVP. Meanwhile, Denver shipped off a disgruntled Bones Hyland, opening up a backup point guard slot. Ish Smith filled in last night (technically as the backup to the backup with Jamal Murray sidelined) and scored 0 points with five assists. The main beneficiary will probably be Bruce Brown, who has been quite useful in spurts this season. Brown (56 percent rostered in Yahoo! standard leagues) has done a little bit of everything, but may get a couple more shots and assist chances if he gets the ball in his hands a bit more. Sliding into the starting lineup last night, he finished with a quiet seven points, three assists, two steals, and a block. He’s still a solid pickup in the almost half of leagues he’s out there in. Please, blog, may I have some more?
LeBron James has been an All Star for as long as some NBA rookies have been alive after being honored for the 19th consecutive season. You might have heard that King James is also closing in on a certain auspicious all-time record as well. But LeBron is pacing (pun intended) himself now, after coming under his season average of 30 points per game for the third time in his last four with 26 points in Indy on 11-of-19 shooting. It was just enough for the Lakers to complete a comeback they desperately needed. James added his patented seven boards and seven dimes, while also canning a pair of triples. On a night full of stars, it’s only fitting we start with the brightest of this generation. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Robert Covington has gotten lost in the sauce on a confounding Clippers roster. He hasn’t found his footing at all and been largely out of the rotation, but he’s maybe suddenly back on the map? Covington turned a vintage RoCo performance against the Spurs, finishing with 13 points, seven rebounds, two steals, three swats, and three triples in 21 minutes. He’s played at least 19 minutes in three straight, averaging 2.0 3PTM, 1.3 SPG, and 2.7 BPG. It’s impossible to rely on any set rotation from the Clips, but they did recently express a desire to cut back Ivica Zubac’s minutes. As Covington’s recent rim protection metrics show, he’s capable of sliding over to play backup center. We know what he’s capable of, and I’m okay with taking the risk of being fooled by the Clippers once more before letting him slip away to another manager if he’s indeed going to be a rotation regular going forward (21 percent rostered). Please, blog, may I have some more?
Patrick Williams continued his solid play recently with an efficient 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting, with a pair of threes, steals, and blocks each. That’s the perfect form of production you’re looking for out of Williams. He’s not aggressive enough on offense to score bushels of points, but as long as the offense is coming from beyond the arc and he uses his size and athleticism to rack up stocks, Williams will have fantasy value. He’s scored in double figures in seven of his last nine, and hit multiple threes in eight of his last nine. He’s also averaging 1.1 SPG and 0.6 BPG in that span. The ceiling isn’t the highest, but he Williams is a decent add to round out a roster (28 percent rostered in Yahoo! standard leagues). Please, blog, may I have some more?
Kenrich Williams saw his streak of six consecutive games of at least 20 minutes played draw to a close on Thursday. Kenny Hustle played just 17 minutes off the bench, taking just five shots. He did convert three of them (including a pair of triples), but a modest 8-4-1 line with two threes and a steal isn’t what you’re hoping for. OKC’s rotation is a jigsaw puzzle, with different pieces floating between starter and bench roles, and appearing and disappearing from the rotation altogether. The lack of consistency outside their three or four top guys is frustrating. There could be a lot of value in others if you knew when they would play, but it’s tough to recommend anyone. If you grabbed Williams during his recent outburst, it’s probably time to move on to someone else (18 percent rostered in Yahoo! standard leagues). Please, blog, may I have some more?
The Grizzlies completed a back-to-back Southeast division sweep with a win over the Magic that probably should have been by more points. If only Dillon Brooks didn’t use up 18 shots to score a paltry 11 points. Brooks is a frustrating player, both if you’re being guarded by him, and if he’s on your fantasy team—and he’s on far too many of those. He’s rostered in 72 percent of Yahoo! standard leagues despite barely landing inside the overall top-200, ranking behind eight of his teammates. He’s not shy about shooting the rock, hoisting nearly 16 times a game despite connecting just a tick above 40 percent. He recorded six rebounds and six assists, which was a pleasant surprise as it doubled his usual output in those cats. And he had no defensive stats, which is all too common an occurrence for Brooks. At least he makes some threes, though he’s made more than one in a contest in just one of his past nine outings. The PPG looks nice, but he harms your team more than he helps. Cut bait if you haven’t already. Please, blog, may I have some more?
Mark Williams made the most of his 21 minutes on Thursday. Charlotte’s rookie center went a perfect 7-for-7 from the field to score 17 points, while also hauling in 13 boards, ripping two steals, and swatting two shots. Williams has broken into the rotation over the past couple of games, and while Mason Plumlee is entrenched as the starter, the Hornets have had valuable performances from their backup center over the course of the season. Williams can do a lot of damage even in shorter minutes, and if he sticks as the primary backup he’s a worthy streaming option, especially if you need defensive stats (four percent rostered). Please, blog, may I have some more?