Okay, admittedly, a lot of us “Fantasy Basketball Experts” hate on Blake Griffin, due to his lack of defensive stats and overall efficiency. However, he has been straight beasting to start the year for Detroit. Let’s be honest, who else can get buckets? There’s something to be said about a player that has aggressiveness. Some players are solid fantasy players, but lack that intangible quality that makes a real difference maker in the NBA. Blake Griffin went 2-38-13-6-2-0-7 on 12-of-21 shooting and 12-for-16 from the charity stripe. He’s never going to be a blocks guy, but the out-of-position assists really float his value outside of the points and boards. Maybe there’s something abut him, that you just don’t like, but the man has been getting it done this year so far. Will he sustain it? Well, I think the points and the FG% come down some, but the rest of the numbers are fairly sustainable, so he’s pretty much a hold unless you wanna be a hater like the rest of us ‘perts.

There were eight games on the schedule this Saturday in the NBA, so let’s dive on in to the daily notes!

Joel Embiid – 1-39-17-1-0-2-4 on 10-of-18 shooting and 18-of-23 FT shooting. That’s a ton of free throws, and honestly, he could have been the lead, but I think his ceiling is a bit higher than Blake’s, so I gave Blake the spotlight. Speaking of “Spotlight”, heard it’s a great movie, and won the Academy award, but like Blake Griffin, it just doesn’t seem like my cup of tea.

Ben Simmons – 9-5-5-5-0-2 on 2-of-4 shooting and 5-of-6 free throws. Saved his night with the steals. As well as he’s played this year, he played even better last year, so if you’re punting FTs, go after him.

Mike Muscala – 2-14-4-0-1-0-3 in 26 minutes. I have a strange fondness for Muscala, probably because he had a nice final couple of weeks last year, but I doubt he sustains more than 20 minutes in Philly.

Chris Paul – 7-6-8-4-0-4 on 3-of-11 shooting and made just 1-of-3 FTs.  His shooting is way down to start the year, but my concern level is low right now. The two-game suspension messed up his rhythm.

James Harden – 5-25-1-7-4-0-8 on 7-of-17 shooting and 6-of-8 FTs.  After missing three games with a hamstring injury, Harden returned and had a “bad night”.

Carmelo Anthony – 1-17-7-0-0-0-0 in 32 minutes off the bench. This is about an average night for Melo sadly. His FT % is way down, but on the plus side, his turnovers are quite low.

Jabari Parker – 1-15-3-0-1-0-7 on 50% FG shooting and made both FTs. This was in 40 minutes as a starter. Man, he was supposed to be the next big thing when he was a rookie. I still have that magazine somewhere where he was on the cover. Actually, on second thought I probably threw it out. He’s still a solid player, but I don’t foresee many All-Star games in his future. Man, the NBA was a downer last night.

Wendell Carter Jr. – Finally, someone we can talk positively about! 14-13-1-2-4-3 on 4-of-7 shooting and made all six FTs. He even attempted a three! He got 36 minutes last night, and if he can stay out of foul trouble, the Bulls have no reason to hold him back. Why didn’t I draft this guy? Oh yeah, I was hyped on Jarren Jackson Jr…

Zach LaVine – 1-21-4-4-1-0-3 on 4-of-16 shooting and 12-of-13 FTs. If this is a down game from him, I’ll take it.  He was clearly a sell-high candidate, but I can’t blame you for holding because he’s so fun to watch. The voluminous free throws really float his value too.

Rodney McGruder – Still rippin’ throats! 2-18-4-5-0-0-1 on 7-of-15 shooting and made both FTs. Looking like a great pickup.

Justise Winslow – 2-15-10-8-2-2-5 on 5-of-11 shooting and 3-of-4 from the line. Played like a Chief Justise last night! Got 37 minutes and the start with Goran Dragic out. Pick him up if your Wins-low! Man, NBA really got me down last night…

Josh Richardson – 6-32-1-3-2-1-1 on 10-of-18 shooting and 6-for-6 from the charity stripe. He’s in the elite 3-1-1 club to start the year, and I only see the 3-pointers taking a slight dip. Dude’s a beast on defense.

Alex Len – 2-11-4-0-1-3-1 in 24 minutes. He’ll have a lot down games, but then he’ll have a game like this and totally redeems himself! Those blocks and a trickle of 3’s are keeping him relevant.

Trae Young – 2-24-6-15-0-1-5 on 9-of-19 shooting and 4-of-5 from the line. Almost made the lede with the 1.5 dimebag, but the five TOs are kind of a bear. Atlanta actually won this game against the Heat and Trae was a big reason why. He’s definitely a punt TOs guy, but he’s shown flashes of brilliance like last night.

Gordon Hayward – 4-7-3-1-2-1 on 2-of-10 shooting in just 26 minutes. A lot of people may be down on him, but remember, this is only his ninth game playing with the C’s and he missed a year due to injry. You would probably struggle too in that situation. I think it’s just a matter of time before he’s back to playing well, but the minutes will be restricted and the rest days do worry me down the stretch.

Marcus Morris – 4-23-6-1-1-1-2 on 9-of-13 shooting and made his only free throw. Has he developed into the better Morris twin? Take notes Robin Lopez! Just realized this, but if you’re having twins, maybe don’t name one of them Robin. When they’re playing Batman and Robin, who do you think is going to develop the inferiority complex?

Thaddeus Young – 4-8-5-1-0-0 on a soul crushing 2-of-12 shooting and 0-for-2 from the line. The low FG% is rare, but can he have one game where he hit’s like 3-of-3 from the line? Shooting 47.1% on the season, which should come up.

Victor Oladipo – 4-24-12-3-3-0-5 this is light work for Victor. Hit the game winner and was apparently quite ill. Dude’s a beast.

Tyreke Evans – 3-17-0-3-1-1-2 on 50% shooting and made both FTs. He’s not in the greatest situation for his fantasy numbers, but solid lines like this one will bolster his value.

Jeremy Lamb – 19-8-2-1-0-2 on 8-of-15 shooting and made 3-of-3 from the stripe. Criminally underrated fantasy player and solid real-life player. He’s like a poor-man’s Gary Harris. Solid %’s, low TOs and a trickle of everything else. The lowish minutes are what really holds him back.

Miles Bridges – 2-12-3-0-1-0-1 on 5-of-7 shooting. This game was a blowout vs. the Cavaliers, so it’s hard to take away much from this game, but definitely someone to keep an eye on if the coach starts trusting him more.

The Cavs put up another stinker, and I don’t see any good lines worth mentioning from this game. LeBron really left a husk of a team in Cleveland once again…

Nikola Mirotic – 2-22-16-1-0-0-0 on 9-of-16 shooting and made both FTs. Him and AD are looking like the perfect pairing. Putting up insane value on the young season.

Anthony Davis – 17-8-3-2-5-3 on 5-of-13 shooting and 7-of-10 from the line. Chalk this one up to Popovich having a solid gameplan to slow down the Brow. Spurs won by 14, so it definitely worked.

Jrue Holiday – 29-4-8-0-0-3 on 13-of-21 shooting and 3-of-4 from the line. These guards could really build up their FG% if they didn’t chuck up a million 3’s a game…

LaMarcus Aldridge – 22-12-6-0-0-1 on 11-of-21 shooting. The numbers have dipped a bit from last year, which was expected, but still putting up solid value.

Dante Cunningham – You know it was a downer of a night in the NBA if Dante Cunningham is getting a mention, but he went 3-15-7-2-1-2-1 on 5-of-8 shooting and 2-of-2 from the line in 38 minutes. He’s getting minutes on the Spurs, but that’s about it.

Rudy Gay – 6-4-2-0-0-0 on 3-of-12 shooting. He was flying so high, but he flew a little too close to the sun in this one. AD blocking shots can do that to you.

Patty Mills – 4-15-8-7-0-1-1. Floor General Mills! Easily his best game of the year. He’s not much of an assister, so his value stays low.

Donovan Mitchell – 16-5-2-3-0-0 on 7-of-22 shooting and made both free throws. He rolled his ankle, but toughed it out and played 32 minutes. His owners were sweating for a minute though, as it looked like it could have been a DL stint.

Rudy Gobert – 12-12-1-0-1-2 on 5-of-9 shooting with 2-of-8 FTs. Rough night for the Big Frenchman, but he’ll be better most nights. You gotta thinks he’s shooting free throws in the gym after this one. At least if he has that Mamba Mentality…

Jae Crowder – 4-21-5-1-1-3-3 on 8-of-15 shooting and made his one free throw. Man, LeBron really knows how to get the least out of his teammates… I mean, he’ll drag them to the Finals, but statistically, a lot of these role players wither under him and seem to flourish statistically when he leaves. Plus, Crowder was good before he went to the Cavs too.

Nikola Jokic – 7-10-16-1-0-4 on 3-of-9 shooting and 1-of-2 from the line. 16 assists from a 7-footer is amazing, and the off shooting night didn’t matter, as the Nuggets spanked Utah.

Garry Harris – 1-20-4-1-0-0-3 on 8-of-13 shooting and 3-for-5 from the line. My guess is the free throws (78.4%) and the 3-point makes (1.2) will improve as the season progresses, but his owners are probably pretty savvy fantasy players who will realize this. What? I’m simply saying that you can try to buy-low, but good luck.

Damian Lillard – 2-30-4-4-3-0-0 on 10-of-23 shooting and 8-for-8 from the line. This is why he’s a first rounder. No TOs is just icing on the cake. The Omen Part VII continues.

CJ McCollum – 2-30-5-4-0-0-3 on 13-of-24 shooting and made both FTs. Anything you can do, I can do…just slightly worse actually. Okay, this was a nice line from CJ. I don’t want to poo-poo him every week.

Jusuf Nurkic – 14-13-2-1-2-2 on 5-of-13 shooting and 4-of-6 FTs. Au Jus brought the sauce last night. His FT% (77.8%) has been way up from last year (63%), which would make him a nice value if he can sustain it.

LeBron James – 1-28-5-7-0-2-3 on 9-of-20 shooting and 9-of-11 from the line. Are you sleepwalking LeBron? Wake up! Seriously though, his numbers are ridiculous.

Brandon Ingram – 8-6-0-1-0-3 on 3-of-10 shooting and 2-for-4 from the line. This was a clunker for Ingram, but then again the dude is a walking clunker. Yeah, I’m a hater! I used to just not like him, but now I’m a hater!

JaVale McGee – 12-9-1-1-6-2 on 6-of-8 shooting and missed both FTs. JaVale Unveiled! I always thought if he got minutes, he’d be similar to DeAndre Jordan. Looking like a steal if you drafted him or added him early on.

Lonzo Ball – 1-3-3-3-0-0-2 on 1-of-6 shooting in just 19 minutes. Not good, especially since the Lakers got the win. I think he and Rondo are going to drain each others value, but Ball should be better most nights.

Rajon Rondo – 1-17-10-6-3-0-4 on 8-of-10 shooting. Meanwhile, Rajon had himself a night. He’s somehow avoiding the free throw line, which is good for his fantasy purposes.

Kind of a ho-hum night in the NBA TBH. Hopefully, next week will be better. As always don’t be afraid to drop comment.