Milwaukee Bucks(17-10) at Houston Rockets(8-17)
The Bucks snapped the Rockets’ seven-game win streak last night behind the fantasy star of the night, Giannis Antetekounmpo. The Greek Freak finished with 41 points, 17 rebounds, five assists, three steals, and two blocks. He stuffed the stat sheet on the way to a 123-114 win. Antetekounmpo is just inside the top-20 in category leagues, so owners will hope he can produce more stat lines like this one so he can justify his ADP. Khris Middleton and Bobby Portis each added 21 points and eight rebounds in last night’s win. Portis has been an excellent producer while starting for Brook Lopez who remains out with a back injury. Both Portis and Middleton have been top-60 players with Portis ranking in the top-50.
The Houston Rockets finally lost after what seemed like ages for them. Garrison Mathews surprisingly led the way with 23 points in the loss on Friday. If you are in desperate need of threes and nothing else, he can be looked at while Jalen Green remains out. Armoni Brooks and Christian Wood each added 21 points. Wood added 13 rebounds in the loss and he remains a nightly double-double threat since moving to the center position. He sits outside the top-100 category players and produces almost nothing outside of points and rebounds.
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Sacramento Kings(11-15) at Charlotte Hornets(15-13)
The depleted Hornets continue to fight hard and stay in games until the very end of them. They snuck away with a 124-123 win behind a game-winner from Cody Martin, which was followed by missed free throws from De’Aaron Fox that could have won the game. The core four of Cody Martin, Gordon Hayward, Miles Bridges, and Kelly Oubre Jr. all played 40-plus minutes and should see these minutes as long as the rest of the team is out with Covid-19. Bridges led the way in scoring with 23 points, eight assists, and seven rebounds. He has had some ups and downs but still has a ton of upside as a young, evolving player. Cody Martin had another solid game with everyone out, posting a final stat line of 19 points, eight rebounds, five assists, three blocks, and two steals. While he won’t always have this upside, he has shown that he can be an excellent all-around producer when given the opportunity. He should be added in all leagues as of now and still could see heavy minutes off the bench even when the team is at full strength.
The Sacramento Kings lost a heartbreaker on Friday, and while De’Aaron Fox could not seal the game, he still had a great performance with 31 points, five assists, and four steals. Fox has been a disappointment for category players this year as he has ceded a lot of the ball-handling duties to teammate Tyrese Haliburton, but with back-to-back 30 point games, it seems like he can still turn it around. Haliburton ended the night with 15 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists. Unlike Fox, Haliburton has been a great category player this season as he ranks in the top 50 players. He should continue to keep up these assist and rebound numbers, but he is more volatile with scoring on a game-to-game basis.
Dallas Mavericks(12-13) at Indiana Pacers(12-16)
The Indiana Pacers opened the week up saying that they were looking to move their key players in hopes of a rebuild. Since then they have won the last two games, including a win on Friday over the Mavericks. Caris LeVert is starting to boost his trade value after scoring 26 points while adding six rebounds and five assists. Levert has had 15 or more points in his last three games while adding five steals and four blocks in those games. He has come to life lately which is doing wonders for his fantasy value, but he will need to provide more consistently to hold this value. Domantas Sabonis continued his hot streak with 24 points,10 rebounds, and seven assists for his 21st double-double in 28 games this season. Over the past few weeks, he has stepped up his game, and it’s shown in the box score. He is an elite rebounder while providing a healthy stream of points and assists as well. While a trade could hurt his fantasy value, he should be locked in as a top-25 player until his situation changes.
The Mavs continue their ups and down season as they stay around .500. Luka Doncic had an excellent first half and even a strong start to the third quarter but struggled the rest of the way as the Pacers ran away with the game in the fourth quarter. He finished with 27 points, nine rebounds, and nine assists. Doncic continues to stuff the stat sheet but has also had some struggles recently from behind the arc and with turnovers. His upside is limitless, but he will need to improve in these categories to unlock the immense upside he has. Kristaps Porzingis added 22 points in the loss. He will normally have a bit more peripheral upside but did nothing outside of his scoring on Friday night.
Brooklyn Nets(18-8) at Atlanta Hawks(13-13)
The staple of Friday nights was back in action last night and walked away with a 113-105 win over the Hawks. Kevin Durant returned from a one-game rest absence and it appears that rest did him well. He finished with 31 points, six assists, five rebounds, and three blocks. His superstar counterpart, James Harden, finished with 20 points, 11 assists, and five rebounds. Both of these superstars currently rank in the top five in category leagues and will continue to have all the upside in the world, even when sharing the court.
The Hawks are still finding their footing this year as they have battled a series of injuries throughout their first 26 games. Trae Young continues to be an elite scorer and passer as he finished with 31 points, 10 assists, and seven rebounds. He has solidified himself as one of the best combo players in the league and ranks in the top-10 in category leagues. Clint Capela added a double-double in the loss, finishing with 11 points and 16 rebounds. He also added two steals and two blocks. Capela remains as one of the top rebounders in the game right now, but his upside is limited outside of this category.
New York Knicks(12-14) at Toronto Raptors(12-14)
The Raptors managed to hold off the Knicks and win 90-87 on Friday night. Gary Trent Jr. led the way with 24 points on an excellent shooting night, going five of seven from beyond the arc. He ranks in the top 50 in category leagues and should remain a great option because of his heavy minutes, three-point shooting, and steals. Fred VanVleet added 17 points and 11 assists last night for his third double-double of the year. VanVleet has been a top-20 player this year and should continue to lead the Raptors most nights.
The Knicks had a chance to tie on the final shot of the night, but RJ Barrett was unable to convert. He finished tied for the team-high in points with 19. Barrett ranks outside of the top 200 category players and has been a disappointment for fantasy this year. Obi Toppin is the name to watch for fantasy this week. He finished last night’s game with a career-high 19 points and 10 rebounds for his first career double-double. He has played very well lately and is deserving of more minutes. If his role were to increase, he would be worth a look as he is very active on the court when he plays.
Cleveland Cavaliers(15-12) at Minnesota Timberwolves(11-15)
The Cavaliers are a legitimately good team this year and continue to prove it every game. The Cavs beat the Timberwolves 123-106 behind 21 points and 10 rebounds from Jarrett Allen. He has been an elite center of late and his connection with Darius Garland continues to grow and leads him to plenty of easy buckets. He sits just outside of the top-20 players this season. Garland has been excellent this season, especially since the Cavs lost Collin Sexton for the season. He finished with 12 points and 12 assists. His recent boost in assists has pushed in into the top-35 fantasy players this year and he has a chance to move even higher if he can continue putting up numbers like last night.
Karl-Anthony Towns led the way for the Wolves on Friday with 21 points, seven rebounds, and three blocks. He has been a top-10 fantasy player even with his high number of turnovers this year. Jarred Vanderbilt posted nine points, eight rebounds, three steals, and a block. He has surprisingly been a top-100 player this season and should be rostered in all leagues as he is locked into 30 minutes a night with great all-around upside.
Los Angeles Lakers(14-13) at Oklahoma City Thunder(8-17)
The Lakers won in blowout fashion on Friday night, beating the Thunder 116-95. LeBron James has looked like the elite player we are used to lately and continued it last night with 33 points, six assists, five rebounds, three steals, and two blocks. Although James has only played 14 games this season, he still ranks in the top-five fantasy players and should remain an elite option as long as he is healthy. Avery Bradley added 22 points in the win, but should not be relied on for these scoring numbers as he only averages around six points per game.
The Thunder as a team had a very poor night. Tre Mann was a bright spot off the bench with 19 points and three rebounds. His role could continue to grow as the year moves on, but he is only worth a look in the deepest of leagues right now. Josh Giddey had 12 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists in the blowout loss. Giddey sits in the top-150 this season and could be on the rose if he can better his shooting numbers and limit his turnovers.
Detroit Pistons(4-21) at New Orleans Pelicans(8-20)
Two of the worst teams in the league squared off on Friday, with the Pelicans winning 109-93. Brandon Ingram led the way with 26 points, five assists, three rebounds, and two blocks. He ranks in the top-50 this year and has been getting better every game since returning from injury. Josh Hart added 14 points, 13 rebounds, and five assists in the win. Hart has been a real surprise this year and has carved out a huge role on the Pelicans. He ranks in the top-100 and should remain there for the rest of the year.
The Pistons continue to struggle as they have now lost 11 straight games. Trey Lyles was the leading scorer for the Pistons on Friday, finishing with 18 points and five rebounds. Cade Cunningham added 16 points, four assists, and three steals. The first overall pick has been a top-100 player so far and could potentially be a top-50 player if his shooting numbers weren’t a glaring negative.
Boston Celtics(13-14) at Phoenix Suns(21-4)
Without DeAndre Ayton and Devin Booker, the Suns still managed to blow out the Celtics, 111-90. JaVale McGee was a beast on Friday, posting 21 points and 15 rebounds in the win. He is a great fill-in if Ayton is ever out, but does not garner enough minutes on a night-to-night basis to be a fantasy viable player. Chris Paul posted his 13th double-double of the season, finishing with 10 points, 12 assists, two blocks, and a steal. Even at age 36, he remains a top-15 fantasy player while leading the league in assists.
The Celtics have lost three straight games while Jaylen Brown has been out with a hamstring injury. Jayson Tatum continues to lead the way, finishing with 24 points in the loss on Friday. Dennis Schroder sees the biggest bump when Brown is sidelined and finished with 15 points. Schroder has been a top-100 player this season, but will likely fall out of the range if Brown can get and stay healthy.