Watch out league, The Dieng Train is about to run ya over like you’re Magic defenders! Our season chugs along through Thanksgiving (although with our jeans barely fitting), heading into December with 3 guys flirting with Oscar Robinson for tripdub averages, Brow looking redonk, and a multitude of other breakouts and disappointments, but I don’t want the Dieng Train to slip under the radar! Like a German train station, Gorgui Dieng remains regular, consistent, and otherwise just mundane, bringing true multicat performance after performance from a big (minus treys). After a slow-ish start, the Dieng Train put together a nice weekend with a rainbow 11/7/2/3/4 against the Suns, then 15/6/2/1/2 in a tough-matchup-for-a-big against the Warriors. And even though I said “minus treys”, he actually hit a triple in each of them! Shot 11-22 overall, committed only 2 combined TO, and after hitting only 6 treys last year, maybe this is a part of his game we’ll start to see expand. Before you Dieng Train detractors type “BORING!” in the comments, I know his per-36 is a smidge down from last year. That said, he’s played 36+ minutes in 4 of the past 5 games, and it’s all due to that beautiful, cuddly, Tibby Tibs treatment. Run your starters to death! But well, when one of your starters is a effin’ train, you ride that rail! Here’s what else went down over Thanksgiving weekend in fantasy basketball:
Davis Bertans – Starting the return of the Daily Notes off with an absolute bang! Hah, I wanted to mention Bertans because he looks mad impressive to me every chance I see him get run. He’s 24 and actually got drafted way back in 2011, and the investment is now paying off. He actually was the final piece of the Kawhi Leonard/George Hill deal… Anyway, he had 15 and 11 point games last week, and despite being an awkward looking ginger, he has some great athleticism and a great perimeter shot. In under 12 minutes a game he’s at 1.0 3PTM and 0.6 block – per-36 of 3 treys and 1.8 blocks. He’s a quintessential bench stretch-4, but I’m putting him on your radar as I could see him getting mad burn during March and April as Pop rests the old bigs.
David Lee – I thought Lee was going to SA to slowly die like David West, but he looks good every stretch I see. Same analysis with Bertans – might get more and more burn as Pop rests guys.
Jonathon Simmons – Ya know, while he’s not close to ownable in 12ers due to being unpredictable with his minutes, he strikingly resembles Will Barton to me. I think in a similar situation, Simmons would be the same player. Both are lanky wings that look out of control sometimes, yet somehow it’s a “tamed aggression” I’ll call it. Of course there’s some recency bias as he’s off his second-best game since the opener (15/1/4/2/1 on 5-6 FG 4-4 FT Saturday against the Wiz), but he could be getting that 23 MPG role or maybe even 30ish MPG when the Spurs – as you see in a trend with these first few blurbs – inevitably start their DNP train. Gorgui is like, “Huh?! Oh I though you said ‘Dieng Train’ “.
Kevin Love – Hard to believe we haven’t had a Daily Notes since Love broke that record for 34 points in the first quarter! I was actually with my Cleveland in-laws for that… And as a Michigan fan, Saturday went awesome for me too… Ugh! I wasn’t huge on Love or anything, but I think his boringness on draft day made him a value that you’re feeling great about if you nabbed him, like the one RCL where he fell to me.
Kyrie Irving – #SixersBoost! 39 Pts with 5 treys while everyone was watching football.
Dirk Nowitzki – Speaking of boringness, look at Dirk able to walk again! Man, it looks like he has trouble getting up and down the court… That said, I watched a good portion of the first half of the Mavs getting decimated by the Cavs Friday, and almost every offensive set was give Dirk the ball to shoot a fadeaway in iso. 7-18 that game, which made every other Mav utterly useless in fantasy. I could totally see the Mavs giving Dirk the Kobe treatment like we talked about on the Pod, letting him hero ball some crazy games. Given he DNPed last night, but that might extend your window the next few weeks – sell all your Mavs, post haste.
Seth Curry – Speaking of selling Mavs, as I mentioned with Deron Williams ou, Seth was a solid add… But even a few minutes of Deron then Dirk taking all the usage makes Seth unusable.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – After a huge Pistons win against the Clippers on Friday – a game where KCP got a career-high 10 assists – the Pistons get dismantled at OKC and KCP goes 10/2/0/1/0. Yup, nary an assist after the Pistons beat one of the best teams in basketball getting a lot of rock in his hands. Speaking of rock in my hands AND seeing KCP get a dimebag has me all sorts of addicted!
Carmelo Anthony/The Poison Goose – Melo of course had one of his best career games against me, because ya know, REL is cursed, going 35/14/5/2/1 against the Hornets, shooting 14-25 in a matchup where boards and FG% coulda been close. Ugh! Thankfully even with Melo having a huge game, Kristaps Porzingis wasn’t an afterthought going 16/8/2/1/3. Then 25/6/0/0/2 with 2 treys and 9-11 FT in the rematch against the Hornets Saturday. He’s so golden, that Goose!
Frank Kaminsky – Frank the Dank! 13/9/4 and 14/5/3 against the Knicks in their back-to-back set, giving him 13+ points and averaging 2 treys a game the last 5. While it’s good to see him playing better, the D stats are still pretty anemic. But the rebounding mixed with treys and scoring should have him owned in most 12ers.
Marco Belinelli – A stream-du-jour of mine over the weekend, Marco’s hamstring turned into a linguine noodle Saturday night and he couldn’t finish the game. If he misses further time, look out for Mary having a little…
Jeremy Lamb – …holy crap, Mary had a big rebounder is more like it! 17 rebounds against the Knicks on Saturday. 17! Tied for the 7th highest output in a game so far this year. Went 18/17/2/1/0 in 36 minutes, in only his second game back from a hamstring strain that cost him most of November. He got this run with Nicolas Batum out with an eye scratch (probable tonight), but if Belinelli’s hammy stays spaghetti-ish, Lamb will certainly streamer worthy with the added onus as the 6th man. Plus Marvin Williams is out at least a week with a knee bruise, so maybe they start Lamb if they wanna go small and move MKG to the 4… Either way, minutes and opportunity are there.
Nik Stauskas – The Sauce is… weird? I’m not quite sure if it’s spicy enough for must-own, but it’s got a little kick lately. Multi treys in 7 straight, chipping in 11 AST the last 3 games, had a 3 BLK game in there… Nothing is quite consistent enough, but he’s shockingly shooting 50.9% from the field… For a ThrAGNOFish guy… Sauce has a… nice consistency?
Rajon Rondo – 38 AST the past 4 games, after starting pretty slow with the dimes. Adam loved bashing Rondo like he was as bad as Robin Lopez or something, but Rondo has been fine! Of course not the SAC guy, but TO are way down and he chips in AST and STL. I haven’t mentioned him much in the Daily Notes; it’s because I almost yack every time I make myself have to defend Rondo.
Isaiah Whitehead – Getting a little more run, and went rainbow on the Pacers for 4/7/3/2/2 on Friday night. The Nets are like bad Acne, at least Whitehead is poppable… That makes no sense…
Sean Kilpatrick – After really starting to crush on Killbillpatrick, things hit a pretty bad low a few games back, but with Whitehead returning from injury to play PG to push Kilpatrick more to his natural SG position, is off 23/2/3/0/3, 16/2/7 and 22/5/3/2/0 lines with 6 combined treys the last 3.
Glenn Robinson III – Finally had a good start filling in for Paul George still coming off that kankle on Friday night, going 20/6/0/1/1 against the Brooklyn Acne then 17/6/1 against the tough D of the Clip (although they really didn’t show up last night…) yesterday. PG13 is out at least one more with lingering kankle soreness, so Big Dog Jr. – Big Puppy? – might have a stream or two left in him.
Dennis Schroder – After only 8 steals through his first 15 games, got 3 swipes against the Jazz Friday night. You like that, Dante?! I think he’s been reading your comments… Last night against the Lakers was past my bedtime; I’m hoping he kept it going with at least 1 or 2 more…
Tyler Johnson – Goran Dragic got some tennis elbow, and has missed the last few Heat games. Thankfully Tyjo’s been staying off the tennis court! 22/5/0/2/1 then 12/4/1/0/1 the past 2 Miami games. When I did my RCL streaming over the weekend, he was available in all of my RCLs. I know the D stats and productivity dried up a bit the previous games before this run, but I like any player that is avoiding tennis!
Terrence Jones – Got only 13 minutes off the bench last night, getting inexplicably low run in a 10-point loss to the lowly Mavs. The Pels were 4-1 the past 5 games too! In other news, my hair looks like Manu Ginobili now, as I’ve pulled half of mine out!
Mike Conley – Came off the bench out of nowhere on Friday night, but started on Saturday and had good lines in both games. He’s at 47.6% from deep after being in the high-30%s virtually every year of his career, and for a guy who has had injury issues the past two season to be averaging by far a career-high in FTA is scary. I’d be selling!
Anthony Morrow – Got a big ThrAGNOF game out of nowhere Saturday night, going 21/1/1 with 3 treys. Gets the Poppycockers tonight. I bet he stays hot!
Wilson Chandler – Speaking of hot, that Wilson is so hot right now! 32/11/4/0/1 against the Thunder on Saturday and 25/8/2/3/0 last night. Slim got Ricky Rubio for him in REL this past week, and maybe that’s looking like a bad trade! I still like it, but dayum! I would definitely be shopping Chandler while his value is as high as I would be if I lived in Denver…
Jameer Nelson/Emmanuel Mudiay backcourt – Somehow working mad well right now, with Jameer on 21/4/13 and 21/2/3 lines, hitting a combined 7 treys, and Mudiay on 17/3/5 and 19/4/6 lines, hitting 4 combined treys. Big thing with Mudiay is only 6 TO over his last 5 games! I wrote that I was encouraged by what I had seen from Mudiay a few weeks back, and Slim yelled at me. Good job Mudiay! When writing this last night, Jameer was at only 5% owned on Yahoo. I’d give him a stream/short-term hold in 12ers everywhere – check your wires this morning.
Jamal Murray – Cooled off a little after 20+ Pts the previous 3, going 9/4/2 last night. Still would hold strong where I have him; wings are producing like crazy in Malone’s system right now! Consistent big man play? Aaaaaaaa, not sa much.
Eric Bledsoe – Wow, hard to believe 35 points is a career-high for mini-Bron… But alas, 35/6/6/2/2 last night in a tough loss to the Nugs. His last 6 games have been insane and the D stats are coming along, so hopefully you bought low if you could!
P.J. Tucker – Had a Super Sunday going 21/8/1/1/0 last night, the first time he’s scored over 10 points. Too bad the Suns aren’t Super and have a Super ton of wings. Maybe you take a temporary stab here in deep leagues – he does consistently board and never turn it over – but bleh.
Tyson Chandler – Back into the starting lineup, and was vintage Tyson for 10/15/0/0/2 in 38 minutes last night. Alex Len got yet another shot at starting C minutes while Tyson was out, and had a 7 TO game against the Wolves! When Chandler came back and initially came off the bench, I was about to go on a rant if it continued – take a productive dude’s job away because of bereavement?! Thankfully the Suns did some good policing there, and got Tyson back in the starting 5 (REL bias).
Zach LaVine – Also did some nice policing with this Suns C issue, by giving Len a nice “POW! Right in the kisser!”
Only 13/3/0/1/0 in that game though, but then went ham on the Warriors for 31/3/3/1/0 on 13-24 shooting with 5 treys on Saturday. Almost led the Wolves to a big upset there! They’re still struggling though, which is weird! All these young players are playing pretty well! Maybe Tibby Tibs needs to be playing em 42 MPG!
Mason Plumlee – For the love of out-of-position!!! 12/14/8/1/0 against the Pels on Friday night, giving him 4.6 dimes a game heading into last night. Just pretend the basket is an open teammate when taking FTs, Mason!
Kevin Durant – Gave the Wolves mad swattage! 28/10/5/0/6, getting his blocks up to by far a career-best 1.6. His steals are actually at a career high 1.6 as well… FG%, 3PT% career-bests, 2.2 TO a career-low… I’m having trouble saying immediate sell on all that, maybe a little less onus on offense is helping more aggressive defensive play? I dunno… Warriors are 15-2 though – 15-1 since opening night – some so DNPs seem all but assured down the line. If you wanna see if you can get, like Giannis plus a third-round value kinda haul, I might try it out.
Kevon Looney – Draymond Green has an ankle booboo, so Kevon “don’t spell it Kevin like Durant does” Looney got the start and went 6/3/2/1/0 in 18 minutes. Not much to do here, other than express mail Dray some get well soon cards.
Jordan Clarkson – Still battling some ups and downs, but 16/3/2/1/0 and 20/2/0/5/0 against the Warriors in back-to-back games wasn’t too shabby. I always thought his steals could take a jump, and he had 4+ in 3 of his last 6 games before last night… Gets a big opportunity the next few weeks with D’Angelo Russell recovering from a PRP injection in his knee. At least D Barksdale is injecting PRP, not the other stuff!
Brandon Ingram – A SF version of Robin Lopez. Gets a nice full line (8/9/2/2/1) Friday night against the Warriors, but does that in 39 minutes while shooting 3-18. Shooting 37.6% on the year, and 28.6% from deep – my main knock on his game coming out of college. Although since I wrote this before tip against the Hawks last night, I bet he has a surprisingly efficient game against ATL just to curse me…
John Henson – Goes from DNPs, to starter, to DNP, to back to starting last night for 20/7/1/1/3 with no TO. Hit 8-13 from the field and 4-6 FT, with nary a TO.
Go go Gadget, arms! Jason Kidd keeps circle-jerking his way through his C minutes, but this was a huge game. Give Henson a spec add in 12ers if you need a big.
SKIIIIIIIILES!!!!! – Yes he’s back! We need to call the Ghostbusters, because his spirit is forever haunting Amway Center! A vet coach like Vogel should know that “shaking things up” with your starting line-up just means you’re a shitty team, but does it anyway and brings Nikola Vucevic and Elfrid Payton off the bench. To be fair, they both did have good games (17/16/3/0/1 for Vucci Mane and 16/3/3/1/0 for Shelfrid), but to be fairer, the Magic lost again to the Bucks at home…
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, and closed out week 5 strong! Hopefully I didn’t miss anything too big, but if I did, think about trying to focus and write a weekend Daily Notes when you’re a Panthers and Michigan fan… Sheesh…