Dallas Mavericks(8-4) at San Antonio Spurs(4-8)
Luka Doncic provided the top fantasy performance of the night in a 123-109 win over the Spurs. He finished with 32 points, 15 assists, and 12 points. Luka has been heating up in recent games and finally exploded for a massive stat line. He remains a top-three fantasy option as an elite provider in the main three categories. Kristaps Porzingis matched Doncic with 32 points of his own in last night’s win.
The Spurs struggled last night and were led by 20 points off the bench from Devin Vassell. It was an off night for the Spurs as many of their players posted worse than average stat lines. Dejounte Murray and others will look to get back on track in their next game.
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New York Knicks(7-6) at Charlotte Hornets(7-7)
The Charlotte Hornets completed a come from behind victory over the Knicks, winning 104-96. They were led by the Most Improved Player candidate, Miles Bridges, who finished with 24 points in the win. Bridges added four assists, four rebounds, and two blocks for another well-rounded stat line. LaMelo Ball flirted with a triple-double once again, as he finished with 12 points, a whopping 17 rebounds, and nine assists. Ball added five steals to this already juicy stat line. LaMelo Ball has become an elite fantasy option in the main three categories, while also helping with the defensive stats. The only downside to LaMelo is his shooting percentages, as he is prone to a decent number of poor shooting nights.
Kemba Walker returned to Charlotte for his first time in a Knick uniform. Walker exploded for 17 first-quarter points and finished with a season-high 26 points. Although the Knicks starters have struggled, the bench has been fantastic, with Obi Toppin providing a huge burst of energy. Toppin has played well in his limited playing time this season and could see some extra minutes in the coming weeks because of his level of production off the bench.
Milwaukee Bucks(6-7) at Boston Celtics(6-6)
The Celtics were able to come away with a 122-113 overtime win over the defending champions. Dennis Schroder played like a player who deserves a $71 million contract, scoring 38 points in the overtime win while adding eight rebounds. This was an uncharacteristic night for Schroder, but he will continue to see more opportunities as long as Jaylen Brown is out with injury. Jayson Tatum took a backseat last night, but still posted a very respectable stat line of 27 points and 11 rebounds. Tatum and Schroder should continue to lead the team until Brown is back.
The Milwaukee Bucks were without Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kris Middleton last night and still managed to stay in the game. Every starter scored 15 or more points, with 22 from Bobby Portis and 21 from Grayson Allen. Jrue Holiday is starting to look more like himself as he is still fully recovering from an early-season injury. Holiday scored 17 points to go along with 13 assists, six rebounds, and three steals. This was an encouraging performance for fantasy managers who are used to Holiday being an excellent all-around player.
Detroit Pistons(2-9) at Cleveland Cavaliers(8-5)
Third overall pick Evan Mobley and the Cavaliers walked away with a 98-78 win over first overall pick Cade Cunningham and the Pistons. Darius Garland continues to lead this team as their main ball handler, scoring 21 points with seven assists. Garland should continue to provide fantasy managers with a steady stream of scoring and assists. He should continue to see all the opportunities he can handle now that Collin Sexton is out with a torn meniscus. Evan Mobley continues to be an excellent all-around producer with 16 points, seven rebounds, three blocks, and two steals. Mobley continues to play above expectations and should only get better as the season continues.
The Detroit Pistons continue to be one of the worst teams in the league and have no consistent fantasy producers. Jerami Grant led the way with 16 points and was the only starter to score in double digits. Killian Hayes had six steals tonight but is not consistent enough to stream for steals at the moment. Hayes is more of a boom or bust option for steals with two games of five or more steals this year. The young players should continue to see heavy minutes, but it has not led to viable fantasy performances thus far.
Portland Trail Blazers(6-7) at Houston Rockets(1-11)
The Portland Trail Blazers were able to beat the most beatable team in the NBA, by a score of 104-92. Damian Lillard continues to be a lesser version of the elite player we have seen in years past. He finished the night with 20 points, seven assists, and six rebounds. Lillard remains a high upside fantasy player and will look to escape his shooting woes as the year continues. Nassir Little was the biggest surprise tonight, posting 14 points and 13 rebounds for a huge double-double off the bench. Little saw his second-highest minute total of the season, as he was rewarded for his stellar performance. He should not be expected to produce at this level consistently, as this was a rare outburst.
Houston continues to be a bad team from a real-life standpoint, but the Rockets can have viable fantasy options with their struggles. Kevin Porter Jr. led the way for the Rockets with 18 points, five rebounds, and five assists. Porter has had some ups and downs to start the season but has remained a very solid fantasy option because of his ability to produce across the main three categories. Christian Wood continues to be the best fantasy option for the Rockets but failed to complete a double-double because of a poor shooting night. He only finished with eight points to go along with his 15 rebounds. Wood will have better days moving forward, especially if he can post rebound numbers like tonight.
Phoenix Suns(8-3) at Memphis Grizzlies(6-6)
The Phoenix Suns took care of business Friday night, winning 119-94. The Suns continue to dominate behind Chris Paul, as he posted another double-double in the win. Paul finished with 15 points and 12 assists and has shown early on this season that he is still an elite fantasy option. Paul has been a great producer of assists and steals and should continue that trend as the season moves on.
The Memphis Grizzlies continue to be one of my favorite teams to watch, mainly because of Ja Morant, who is the most exciting player in the NBA right now with nightly highlights and great stats. Morant finished with 26 points, 12 rebounds, and six assists. He has clearly taken a massive leap, shows no signs of slowing down, and continues to be a highly efficient scorer because he averages over 15 points per game in the painted area. Fantasy players who drafted Morant should continue to see some all-around stat lines.
Brooklyn Nets(9-4) at New Orleans Pelicans(1-12)
The Brooklyn Nets have become a staple of the Friday night recap. For the second straight week, they let a lesser team stick with them for four quarters. The Nets won 120-112, but this is a game they should have won in blowout fashion. James Harden led the way last night with 39 points and 12 assists. He remains an elite fantasy talent and appears to have a bit more upside than fellow superstar teammate, Kevin Durant, who added 28 points along with eight assists and seven rebounds for a very nice all-around performance.
The Pelicans continue to be the biggest head-scratcher of the season. The Pelicans fall to 1-12 but still manage to have solid fantasy producers on their team. Jonas Valanciunas led the way with 20 points and 12 rebounds. He has been the bright spot on a struggling Pelicans team, leading them in points and rebounds on most nights and should remain an elite fantasy option and is a near-lock for a nightly double-double.
Sacramento Kings(5-8) at Oklahoma City Thunder(5-6)
The Thunder were able to come away with a win after a game-winning steal and score from Lu Dort, who put De’Aaron Fox in “The Dorture Chamber” to seal the win on Friday night. Dort finished tied for the team-high in points with 22. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander also finished with 22 points in the win. Rookie Jeremiah Robinson-Earl is the player to watch on the Thunder. He has fluctuated in and out of the starting lineup and has done well when given the opportunity.
The Kings were stunned late by a young Thunder team as they continue to have an up and down start to the season. Harrison Barnes has been excellent this season and continued that last night, leading the way with 21 points. He has been a pleasant surprise and hopes to keep it up for fantasy managers who drafted him in the middle rounds. Richaun Holmes loves to play on Friday nights with another double-double. Holmes finished with 16 points, 15 rebounds, four blocks, and two steals. He is an excellent producer in rebounds, blocks, and steals, even as an undersized center.
Atlanta Hawks(4-9) at Denver Nuggets(8-4)
The Denver Nuggets welcomed back Nikola Jokic after his one-game suspension, and he returned in great form. Jokic finished with 22 points, 19 rebounds, and 10 assists. He was a close second to Luka Doncic as the fantasy star of the night. Aaron Gordon added 23 points in the win last night and he will continue to see more opportunities with Michael Porter Jr. out for the foreseeable future.
The Atlanta Hawks have struggled early, but still, have enough talent to turn around their season. Trae Young led the way with 30 points and nine assists. He continues to lead the Hawks and has been an excellent provider of points and assists. John Collins added 26 points and nine rebounds in the loss.
Chicago Bulls(8-4) at Golden State Warriors(11-1)
The Warriors continue to look like contenders behind 40 points from Stephen Curry in last night’s win. Curry became the all-time leading 3-point shooter, passing Ray Allen. He remains an elite fantasy option with a huge boost in points and three-point shooting but the main issue with Curry this season is his playing time as he is forced to sit late in most games as many of the Warriors games have finished in blowout fashion. This is more of an annoyance than a problem, as Steph can put up elite numbers in less time.
The Bulls were without Nikola Vucevic last night, who will be out for at least 10 days as he entered the health and safety protocols. The Bulls struggled for the most part but were led by 23 points from Zach Lavine. Tony Bradley started in place of Nikola Vucevic last night and should see more minutes in a more favorable matchup than the Warriors. Alize Johnson also picked up extra minutes in last night’s contest.
Minnesota Timberwolves(4-7) at Los Angeles Lakers(7-6)
Karl-Anthony Towns led the Timberwolves with 29 points in last night’s win. D’Angelo Russell had 22 points and seven assists against his former team. Russell should continue to provide a steady stream of scoring and assists as he tends to be the main ball handler.
The Los Angeles Lakers continue to be without Lebron James, who is out with injury. Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook led the way while James was out and were the only two players to score in double digits. Davis finished with 22 points, eight rebounds, three steals, and three blocks. Westbrook finished with 20 points and five rebounds. These two will continue to lead the way for the Lakers while James is out for the near future.