Alright! Who’s still rockin’ in the playoffs? Some of us got screwed over by late-season injuries and will forever curse the names of the players who hurt themselves and cost us hundreds of dollars and bragging rights amongst our friends. With the season winding down and fantasy playoffs in full swing, there are many players who are suddenly becoming fantasy-relevant down the stretch. The Mavericks have fallen out of playoff contention, but fantasy owners are monitoring them closely because they have some juicy pickups. Maxi Kleber went 3-18-12-1-0-1-0 on 5-of-11 shooting and 5-for-5 FTs and Jalen Brunson went 4-22-4-2-0-0-0 on 8-of-18 shooting and 2-for-2 FTs. Both of these guys have suddenly become viable options, especially with the Mavericks playing four games next week. Brunson has been ballin’ over his last five averaging 21.2 points and 5.6 assists with really nice peripherals. I would definitely add him if he’s somehow available and would strongly consider adding Kleber if you have something to lose. There’s only two weeks left for most of us, so if a guy’s not producing, or you’re like me and lost Malcolm Brogdon, it’s time to cut bait and make a pickup.
Here’s what else went down in the NBA last night:
Malcolm Brogdon– Will miss the rest of the regular season and probably part of the playoffs with a plantar fascia tear. Obviously, this is crushing news for Brogdon and the Bucks, but I think they’ll be OK in the first two rounds. Hopefully, he’ll be back for the Eastern Conference Finals assuming the Bucks make it that far. Obviously, you’ve got to drop him if he’s on your squad. Pat Connaughton could be a pickup, but I’m not too gung-ho about it.
Trae Young– 5-26-4-4-2-0-6 on 10-of-17 shooting and 1-of-2 FTs. Trae Bay-Bay! After four games in a row with two or less turnovers, he goes and drops the ball. He’s going to be a good NBA player, but for fantasy, you’re going to have to compensate for his poor FG%, high TOs, and lack of D stats.
John Collins– 20-11-6-1-1-3 on 7-of-19 shooting and 6-of-9 FTs. Having a huge breakout year and he’s averaged two blocks over his last four. If he can bring that element back to his game, he’ll be someone to consider in the top 30 next year.
Vince Carter– 4-16-3-0-1-0-1 on 6-of-11 shooting. Vinsanity is back! Well, 42 year old Vinsanity is back. He’s scored in double figures in seven of his last nine, and he’s hitting some 3’s. He’s not really a great option unless you’re desperate.
Marcus Morris– 2-19-11-0-1-2-3 on 6-of-14 shooting and 5-of-6 from the line. He’s managed to stay relevant the entire year and he’s got two double-doubles in a row. The Morris Brothers are not guys I would draft, but if you want a safe option, there they are.
Kyrie Irving– 4-30-11-9-1-2-3 on 12-of-24 shooting and 2-for-3 from the line. Had a nice opening week to the fantasy playoffs and he’s primed for another huge week with Boston playing four games.
Marcus Smart– 2-16-1-9-5-1-1 on 5-of-9 shooting and 4-for-4 from the line. Oh, you’re wicked Smahht now huh? Atlanta runs a ton and doesn’t put up much resistance on defense, so they’re a great target if you’re streaming guys.
Jaylen Brown– 3-23-3-2-0-0-0 on 8-of-14 shooting and 4-of-6 FTs. I’m not really sure what to make of this guy. I’m just gonna go with he’s a better real-life player than fantasy player. He does have 22+ points in three straight though, so he’s definitely an option if you need points.
Avery Bradley– 3-21-2-5-0-0-2 on 9-of-17 shooting. Memphis has one of the worst fantasy playoff schedules, but they do play four games in the championship week, so I could see adding Bradley at some point next week if he’s floating out there.
Chandler Parsons– 2-16-6-5-1-0-0 on 6-of-10 shooting and 2-of-3 FTs in 23 minutes off the bench. Don’t do it. I’m actually surprised to see he’s been playing. I don’t know if anyone noticed. If Chandler Parsons plays 15 minutes per game for the Grizzlies, does he make a sound?
Joakim Noah– 15-8-1-0-1-2 on 6-of-8 shooting and 3-of-4 from the line in 26 minutes off the bench. Who would have thought Joakim Noah would be helping fantasy teams win championships in 2019? He might have revitalized his career in Memphis.
Mike Conley– 3-28-3-12-0-0-1 on 8-of-15 shooting and 9-of-11 FTs. He’s quietly having his best or second-best season as a pro in his 12th year with Memphis. I’m sure he’ll retire holding most of the team records.
Bobby Portis– 3-18-6-2-1-1-2 on 7-of-11 shooting and 1-for-2 FTs. Washington is Bobby’s World! He’s really flourished in his new home although he’s coming off two really bad games. Washington plays four games the next two weeks, so if you survived this week with Portis on your squad, you’re in a good spot.
Bradley Beal– 9-40-5-7-2-0-1 on 12-of-17 shooting and 7-of-9 FTs. Please let me not play Beal in the playoffs. Please let me not play Beal in the playoffs. Please let me not play Beal in the playoffs. Phew! His owner didn’t make the playoffs in my league! I’m safe, and this is all about me.
Jabari Parker– 1-20-11-2-1-1-5 on 6-of-13 shooting and 7-of-9 FTs. He’s scoring! He’s a FT% drain and he turns it over way too much, without contributing in D stats so I’ll pass next year. For this year, if you’re punting TOs, he’s a viable option.
Thomas Bryant– 10-7-2-0-2-0 on 1-of-5 shooting and 8-for-8 from the line in 20 bench minutes. He can fill it up in very limited minutes, but it’s just too few to bank on for me.
Kelly Oubre Jr.- 2-32-6-2-2-0-4 on 12-of-25 shooting and 6-for-7 FTs. His owners lucked out that he got traded to Phoenix, as his numbers have made a considerable jump. He’s been a nice draft-day value for the year.
Devin Booker– 3-40-5-13-0-1-7 on 12-of-26 shooting and 13-of-18 FTs. Man, he can really score. He’s 12th in the league in PPG and 17th in assists per game. He’s also 3rd in TOs however, so remember that when you’re drafting next year.
De’Anthony Melton– 6-8-5-3-0-1 on 3-of-7 shooting. Started and got 29 minutes. This game went into OT so everyone’s line got boosted a bit. Tyler Johnson was out so Melton got more run. He could average sixty steals if he got around 25 minutes of run per night.
Elfrid Payton– 2-16-13-16-1-0-4 on 5-of-12 shooting and 4-of-6 FTs. Is Elfrid challenging for the consecutive triple-doubles record? He has four in a row now! If you asked me what two players would have four or more triple-doubles in a row this season, I’d probably say Westbrook and LeBron. LeBron’s had a bunch, but not four consecutive. Damn, Elfrid! Damn!
Cedi Osman– 6-22-3-4-0-0-0 on 8-of-16 shooting. He’s had a really good second half and draining a lot of 3’s. He could be a nice value next year depending on his situation.
Collin Sexton– 4-28-3-4-0-0-0 on 10-of-17 shooting and 4-of-5 FTs. He’s on a heater right now, and it’s coming at the perfect time for fantasy owners.
Dirk Nowitzki– 2-14-6-1-2-2-1 on 5-of-13 shooting and 2-for-4 FTs. Dirk gets the honorable mention, in probably his best game of the year. The Mavs might actually start him the rest of the way on his farewell tour, but he’s too risky of an add for me.
Kevin Durant– Sat out against OKC… What a cop out. Every other Warrior pretty much did what they do and Warriors still won handily. No one besides the big names did anything worth mentioning, which sucks because they play five games next week and there’s no real pick-up. I would guess there will be rest days for Klay, Curry, and Boogie though, and KD could get another, but the fact that he rested tonight is good news for owners going into next week.
Russell Westbrook– 7-8-9-1-1-4 on 2-of-16 shooting and 3-of-4 FTs. Big oof. Not only did he come up small against the Warriors. He might have blown it for his fantasy owners. Westbrook probably falls out of the first round next year. He hurts you in too many categories.
Jusuf Nurkic– 24-16-4-2-1-5 on 10-of-21 shooting and 4-for-4 from the line. Nurkic has been one of this year’s biggest fantasy breakouts and he continued his rampage last night. He turns it over a lot and doesn’t take 3’s, but he’s a beast on the boards and D stats and he’s made a huge improvement at the FT line.
Damian Lillard– 3-34-6-5-1-0-1 on 13-of-29 shooting and 5-for-5 FTs. Please get scorching hot Lillard! Again, this is all about me.
CJ McCollum– 10-3-5-0-0-0 on 5-of-13 shooting. He was pretty hot over his last five, but he’ll put up a clunker/quiet night about twice a month.
Jakob Poeltl– 8-6-1-0-5-1 on 4-of-7 shooting. Every time I see his name in the box scores I think of Jacobim Mugatu from Zoolander. Five swats in back-to-back games has me thinking he’s not a bad gamble as a pickup.
Wesley Matthews– 2-7-5-5-0-1-2 on 2-of-5 shooting and 1-for-2 from the line. Pacers get a back-to-back to start next week, and that’s about the only reason I would add him.
Darren Collison– 1-17-2-4-2-0-2 on 7-of-12 shooting and 2-for-3 FTs. He was added and dropped like five times in my one league and I’m kicking myself for never adding him.
Gary Harris– 1-10-4-2-1-1-0 on 4-of-10 shooting and 1-for-2 from the line. I’m only holding on to him because the Nuggets play four games each of the next two weeks. Gary has been getting the minutes, but the Nuggets backcourt is just too crowded.
Spencer Dinwiddie– 3-22-1-2-1-0-2 on 7-of-16 shooting and 5-for-5 from the line. Pretty much all the other Nets came up small and they got blown out by Utah, but it was nice to see Dinwiddie still playing strong.
Derrick Favors– 13-12-1-0-3-1 on 4-of-10 shooting and 5-of-7 FTs. He’s finishing the season really strong and should be drafted much higher than he was last year.
Joe Ingles– 2-6-4-1-0-3 on 1-of-5 shooting and 0-of-1 FTs. I feel like he’s the fantasy basketball hipster’s favorite player. “You probably wouldn’t know about him, but Joe Ingles is actually a really good player.”
I tried to touch on guys this week that could be important for the fantasy playoffs and didn’t mention a lot of the obvious big names because they’re not moving in anyone’s lineups. I wish you all good luck in the coming weeks. Don’t be afraid to cut a guy that’s not performing!