On a weekend where elite guys did elite things – we got served more 40-burgers than a McDonalds – I’m going to open this Monday morning a little further down the bunnyhole. It may be “rabbit” hole, but it sounded dirtier my way…
When Al Jefferson went down with his calf strain (he’s still out at least another 1-2 weeks), I clowned the Hornets for their “three-headed” monster for C minutes. I joked it was a nice way of saying none were any good. Kinda like saying the “three-headed monster” of good M. Night Shyamalan movies. Especially Frank the Stank, as Michael Jordan’s never-ending conquest of building an NCAA dream team continues to keep the Charlotte franchise in the awful-to-mediocre range. At least Spencer Hawes looks OK out there, putting up decent lines in 20+ minutes the past two Hornets games. But watching the Hornets against the Bulls on Saturday – I was mad impressed by Cody Zeller. Took the lion’s share of PT playing 32 minutes, and went 17/8/2/1/1 on 6-10 FG (5-7 FT) with no TO. And it wasn’t a cupcake matchup either against Pau Gasol. Although Gasol wouldn’t get that joke, let’s say “it wasn’t a flan matchup.” Just at the eye level, he was cutting to the basket with great speed, finished strong at the rim with a few dunks, and took jumpers confidently. I think the Hornets wanted someone to step up with Big Al down, and they’ve found their guy. Now this would only be a medium-term pickup in 12ers, plus the schedule is going to be a crazy test. Hornets get DET, MIA then @MEM the next three, so Zeller is going to have to D up Andre Drummond, Hassan Whiteside, then Marc Gasol. Eesh. At least the Gasol one is more his player-type… And it’s not like Hawes or Frank Kaminsky is going to play any better against those beasts… So if you’re looking for a little help up front without the big blocks upside, Zeller is worth a look. Here’s what else went down over the weekend in fantasy hoops action, including The 7 Ahead for week 7:
Markieff Morris – Maybe would’ve been the open, had I not have started earlier before seeing (well, not seeing) what the Suns did yesterday. Kieff with a healthy DNP. Yikkkkkkkes. Came off the bench on Friday against the Wiz and had a late tech, so Hornacek waved his big Horn around and sat Kieff. Now there’s a rumor Houston really wants him. Because, ya know, disgruntled or troubled players have been home runs for the Rockets lately… What to do with Kieff…? If you have any stashes, he can go in 12ers I think. But any deeper you hold, and hope the trade happens sooner than later. Or hope this is another bump in his road back to the starting 5.
Jon Leuer – In the meantime, my boyfriend and REL hero Jon Leuer is your starter! I want to nickname him “The Big Cheese”, since ya know, Wisconsin, but I bet that’s taken by another athlete somewhere… Can’t think of by whom though… Anyway, 13/2/1 Friday then 10/11/4/0/3 yesterday, but with 3 TO and shot only 3-11. Missed two pivotal FT against his former squad as well, but the second one was tipped in by Len to save him. He’s certainly worth a flier in 12ers, but not a must-add or hold or anything yet. A lot of big men have entered that range right now, and I’d rather take Zeller for example.
Alex Len – Speaking of Len, 32 minutes of 12/7/1/1/2 last night as Tyson Chandler continues to be old. He and Leuer are right about in the same range, but I’d rather own Len for the more traditional big man stats.
P.J. Tucker – That T.J. Warren gravy train seems to have been poured out of the gravy boat, playing only 14 minutes last night and not topping 22 mins the past 4. Instead, it’s been a lot more of the super Tucker, going 6/9/2/1/0 last night and kinda playing like the PJ of last year – wing steals, boards, and a trey or two. A rich man’s streaming version of Tony Allen.
Wesley Matthews – Achilles is a deity yet again! 36/6/5/1/1, hitting a crazy 10 treys, playing a crazy 41 minutes leading the Mavs to a win… Single-handedly turned our F&F matchup into a crushing victory. In shallower leagues, impatient owners might’ve cut him for the slow start. It could be their Achilles heel…
Raymond Felton – The weekend’s most improbable double-double, going 11/10/6/2/0 starting for another Chandler Parsons rest day last night. He had a lot of TO, but I feel pretty good about his off-the-radar weekly stream call last Monday. 9.3/5.0/5.8/2.0/0.3 with 0.8 treys across 4 games. I’m pretty sure he ended the week on a double-double just so he could feel better about his order at In-N-Out Burger.
Kristaps Porzingis – Slim hath created a new nickname! It’s friggin’ baller… From henceforth, Kristaps Porzingis will be known as THE POISON GOOSE! As in, poor pronunciation of his last name kinda sounds like POR-ZING-GEESE, and of course he’s a singular goose amongst the… gander of goose? Is that right? Anyway, The Poison Goose was super poisonous again on Friday for 19/10/1/0/2, but not as toxic Saturday for only 12/7/1 fighting some foul trouble and committing 5 TO. Apparently the Goose is human after all! …for a sentence that makes no sense…
Carmelo Anthony – Bumped his knee so hard, the caramel holding it together leaked out. Melo said his surgically-repaired knee was numb after a bruise. He might sit a game.
Jose Calderon – Dropped an epic 1-point dimebag performance Friday, then boring 4/6/5 Saturday. Yawn. Remember when the Knicks had…
Shane Larkin – …and let him go, letting him sign for a whopping 2-yr $3 mil in BKN?! I [sadly] watched a little Nets over the weekend, and at the eye level, just looks like a completely different player than the Knicks days. The Nets are now 5-15, and fantasy owners should be hoping they blow this mess up. If Jarrett Jack is dealt or somehow benched (and he’s slumping as it is), Larkin would be an immediate must-add, no matter the league. 6/2/3/3/1 and 13/1/6/4/0 over the weekend in low-20 minute stints, only one combined TO, and he can hit treys, facilitate, be an elite steals guy, and not turn it over. He’s a spec add even in probably 14ers for his play of late. Blow this mess up, Brooklyn!
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson – Well, it was trending the wrong way then he sat with a kankle last night… I think his DNP was the real reason the Nets lost to the Warriors, no way Golden State wins that one with RHJ…
Bradley Beal – Season-high 34 for The BB King (new nickname? yes/no?), going 34/9/5/2/0 in a win against the Suns, then a more normal BB Jester for 21/5/3/0/0 against the Mavs. I thought they were both wins for the turning-around Wiz, but v00dr00 caught on to my scheme just to make Wizards fans feel worse than they already do… My bad, Wiz lost that one v. DAL! Beal’s playing some great ball, with far-and-away career bests in scoring and 3s. I should’ve listened to Slim on this one and ranked him higher… John Wall survived a really scary knee scare, but I think Beal is better off with Wall facilitating and sucking in defense. Beal owners should be wishing Wall the best, but it looks like only a bruise.
Michael Carter-Williams – I guess Jason Kidd is trying the ol’ “we’re benching you just for motivation” move. Or he has no clue. I’ll go with the latter. Either way, MCW was decent Friday night for 6/7/5, but 3 TO and 3-8 shooting. Then he went nuts Saturday, going 20/3/5/0/1 on 9-16 shooting against the Knicks. With ONLY 2 TO! Crazy thing is, Kidd played O.J. Mayo at starting PG with Jerryd Bayless (ankle) and Tyler Ennis (shoulder/shouldn’t be playing anyway) both out. I bet if Mayo got hurt, Kidd would keep sticking with his guns and go back to that Giannis Antetokounmpo starting-at-PG-experiment to keep MCW from starting…
Kobe Bryant – Didn’t play well in his final game in Detroit, partly because he ate the very questionable hot dogs at Auburn Hills. Got a stomach illness, and ran off the court before his pageantry goodbye. His bowels got a nice pageantry goodbye though!
D’Angelo Russell – Big game against the Hawks on Friday for 16/10/4/1/0, but a terrible 7 TO. Then back to being blah against the Pistons. He’s been OK, but the TO are trending the wrong direction as he gets more usage. You can’t trust D’Angelo Barksdale the more involved you get him in your organization, he gets soft! What happened to Wallace!?
Lou Williams – 21 points of straight ThrAGNOF last night (no other stats except 6-9 FT), with three straight usable games. Nick Young calling his team a circus was a death blow to his value, and making the Lou all-that-much sweeter.
Marcus Morris – A nice run for Morris bouncing back up from a cold stretch was squelched again, with only 9/3/3/0/0 last night after back-to-back 23+ point games. You’re still holding due to the ridiculous amount of minutes and possible contribution he can give every night, but showing why he’s not going to carry you like that first run to open the year.
Thabo Sefolosha – 32+ minutes the past three, starting at SF as the Hawks always seemed to intend… I’ve seen a few comments with owners still holding onto the Kent Bazemore bandwagon, but that’s come home to roost. I’m not sure if I used that right, I mean he needs to go in 12ers. He has upside to have nice games like 15/3/2/4/0 last game out against the Lakers, but he’s no Will Barton. I don’t think he’s a must-own wing 6th man.
Rockets Enigma Of Big Men – Well, I think we can all breathe a little easier as we stash Terrence Jones, going 17/9/1 and 16/5/1/0/1 Friday and Saturday, hitting 3-3 FT in both. Did commit 7 combined TO and one was a start with Dwight Howard resting, but it feels better. Clint Capela looks like he’s probably a hold as well, but just to make everything even more frustrating, now Donatas Motiejunas is back, and went a very rusty 0/1/0/0/0 on 0-4 shooting with 2 TO in his 6-minute debut. Still ranking them Tjones>Capela, with Tjones a must-own.
Patrick Beverley – It’s deja vu all over again! I feel like Slim and I are going to push for PBev just like the 2013-14 season… 14/3/1/2/0 and 14/3/2/1/0 in a mad-consistent set of back-to-back games, with a combined 7 treys. The Rockets have won 3 straight too! Yeah, it’s adios to Ty Lawson, be sure he hasn’t hit up the bar when he drives outta town…
Anthony Davis – Put the Pels on his back, as they pulled the biggest upset in sports history by beating the Cavs Friday night. I’ve literally, never, in my life, haven’t even thought about it – used a hyperbole.
Tyreke Evans – Going to start the next 8-10 games next to Eric Gordon, with Jrue Holiday coming off the bench. Not like it matters much for Jrue, with his minutes limited anyway. But this is Alvin Gentry, who couldn’t even coach a bunch of chipmunks. I bet he changes his mind by next week about something, and like starts Evans at C just to be awful.
Robert Covington – Lord Covington will save us all! 18/10/2/2/1 against the Nuggets, shooting 5-12 from downtown. Only took 13 shots overall! Wish he’d drive it a little more, something no one would ever tell Lindsay Lohan. Or I guess Lawson, but I kinda used that already…
Sixers PG – Tony Wroten returned on Saturday afternoon, going 4/0/3/0/0 and looked healthy in 13 minutes. Just to prove he was vintage Wroten, he shot 2-7 and committed 5 TO. Yikes. Philly started the combo of T.J. McConnell next to Isaiah Canaan, for the shortest starting backcourt since I played hoops in middle school. Canaan got a kankle sometime over the weekend, so he might sit, but as we all know, Philly is in no rush to win and have no reason to Wrush Wroten – who is on a 15-16 minute limit tonight – or play the gimpy Canaan. If Wroten were on the Pelicans, he’d play all 48 though… I still think Wroten is behind McConnell and Canaan by a good bit for fantasy-ownership, with McConnell probably the guy I’d own, but it’s needs based vs. Canaan.
Stephen Curry – Seems to always be dropping 40-burgers, and the Warriors always seem to win. Because they always do! 22-0, but a win against the Nets shouldn’t count, they should’ve had a handicap…
Klay Thompson – Nothing crazy, but 20+ Pts and 1+ Blk in each of the past 4. It’s starting to slowly turn around.
Kyle Lowry – Another 40-burgererererer, going 41/3/7/4/1 in a career-high scoring effort. But twas all for naught, with the Raps just falling short. Let’s hope this doesn’t make him start shame eating again…
Lucas Noguiera – Fear the Brazilian! That’s what I advise people every time I take them to my wax place… 14/4/3/1/0 against the Warriors “shooting” 7-9 from the field (several were dunks), and even though Bismack Biyombo had foul trouble, he had only 4 fouls and Noguiera played pivotal minutes down the stretch and had some great lobs from Lowry. Not in the 12er discussion yet, but deeper 14ers or any leagues bigger than that should probably nab him for the flier.
Joakim Noah – Even though Nikola Mirotic (concussion) didn’t end up missing a start, 3 straight 10+ board games and a usable big with the %s getting a little better. It was hilarious that Noah went 2-2 FT, while Niko missed both of his FT at a pivotal point late in the loss against the Hornets. Bench Niko for the better FT shooter from now on!
Rajon Rondo – Crazy renaissance. Just when you thought it might be cooling off (single-digit dimes in three straight), 13/3/19/4/0 at the Rockets. He’s got more dimebags than Seth Rogen at a Phish concert.
Kosta Koufos – After smoking all that herb with Seth Rogen, now I want a Big Yogurt! Kouf for 10/3/0/0/3, but only 15 minutes after 31 strong minutes against the Rox for 11/12/1/2/2 in a near rainbow. Willie-Cauley Stein‘s injury hasn’t solidified any roles yet, but Koufos is also in that Len, Leuer, Trevor Booker range of a rich, streamable big man mix on the wire right now in 10/12ers.
Trevor Booker – Tangent on Booker during these Kings guys, 10/14/0/1/1 playing through a viral infection on Saturday. When they told him to play like The Worm Dennis Rodman, they didn’t mean to get ringworm! Although this boarding certainly makes him The Bookworm!
Ben McLemore – Jusssssssstttttt when you thought you could pick him up again, 2/1/0/0/0 with a TO in an atrocious outing. I bet a lot of Sunday streamers got burned on this one!
Jamal Crawford – Went nuts against the Magic with J.J. Redick out (kankle) for 32/1/5 with 6 treys. If Redick remains out, J-Crawf certainly needs to be owned in all leagues.
Wesley Johnson – 21/7/2/2/1 in a crazy line for Wes J, shooting all 6-12 of his shots from three point land. Going from barely used, to trying to start him at SF, to forgotten again on the bench, to this 36 minute outburst off the bench… Who knows where this will go. Not reading too much into it, until we see a sustained run of minutes and production.
Blake Griffin –
LeBron James – Yawwwwwwwwwn! Might need to be in the MVP discussion, because he sat for the first time this season (rest), and the Cavs looked absolutely atrocious getting trounced by the Heat. LeBron couldn’t handle to pressure of going against his former talents! Seems like some foreshadowing for the fantasy playoffs, no?
Kevin Love – A chance to be “the guy”, and was absolutely atrocious. 5/8/2/0/0 with 3 TO and shot 3-11 against the Heat in only 22 minutes. Cavs made this a punt game… Ugly…
Tyler Johnson – The biggest Heat benefactor to it being a blowout, playing 30 minutes for 19/5/2/1/1. He looks soooooo good when he gets the run. That Miami depth is starting to look a little scary…
Hassan Whiteside – Got two fouls early, then didn’t play the 4th quarter as he wasn’t needed in the blowout. Still got you 7/9/0/1/5 in 21 minutes with no TO. The FT are still going to bog him down (went 2-2 his first trip, but ended up 3-7), but nice to see he doesn’t need 30 minutes every game to produce.
Our never-ending feud between C.J. McCollum and Andrew Wiggins – Our feuded players went against each other! CJ looked good against the Wolves for 17/5/6/2/1 with only 1 TO in one of his better games on the season. Wiggins didn’t look great going 17/5/0/0/1 in the loss, so I guess it’s “JB IS SO DUMB MCCOLLUM IS A GOOOOOOODDDDDDDD!” I’m not going to shave until McCollum shoots 50% from the field again. Oh, and I’m also auditioning to become a Geico caveman.
Ed Davis – Working his way into that fringe of 12-team must-ownership, but I was surprised he’s owned in 53% of leagues already. I guess that’s about right. His game is still a little limited by the role off the bench and bad FT shooting (Minnesota did a few hack-a-Davis in there), but he could help out a lot of squads up front.
Karl-Anthony Towns – What slump?!?!?! KAT finally got out of his bag for 27/12/2/0/2 in that loss against the Blazers, but certainly wasn’t his fault. First time playing over 30 minutes in 7 games as well. You still have to be a little concerned with the minutes being way down, but at least we know he’s still got it when utilized.
Ricky Rubio – 9/6/15 for a nice dimebag-and-a-half for Ricky, yet the Wolves lose despite the great games from their PG and C… Aha, Blazers shot over 50% from the field and 10-20 from deep. If only Ricky could shoot like that!
Paul George – Another 40-burgerererererererererer, torching the Jazz for a career-high 48. Still a loss for the Pacers though… 48/8/3/3/0 on 15-27 shooting including a bananas 8-11 from deep. Just unbelievable…
Rodney Stuckey – Finished down the stretch with Monta Ellis struggling and banged up with shoulder and back issues for 23/3/3 in 32 minutes on 8-14 shooting. Ellis hasn’t been that good, but I’m not hitting the panic button like Slim is. I know the %s are down and TO are bad, but he’s durable and the steals haven’t fallen off. I still think he can be useful and hasn’t become a drop or anything.
Derrick Favors – D-Fave just won’t B-Have! Eh, best I had for this one, they’re not all winners! 35/13/1/1/1 in the OT win against the Pacers, shooting 14-24 from the field and 7-9 FT.
Evan Fournier – Gulp! 7/0/0/1/1 in only 17 minutes at the Clippers, and on a downward trend the last 6. Please don’t have the falloff you did last year, Virgin!
Aaron Gordon – After only 6 minutes Thursday, I cut him for streaming in all my RCLs… It was a sad, sad day. Got back up to 21 minutes against the Clip, but 10/7/1/1/0 wasn’t enough to make me regret it yet. I’m still pretty depressed… He can be cut if you’re in tough matchups in 12ers… Sob! Which could be either the word for crying or the acronym… Although the acronym is more for Skiles. SKIIIIIIIIILES!
The 7 Ahead
- 5-game week: n/a
- 2-game weeks: Cleveland Cavaliers, Denver Nuggets, Sacramento Kings
- Weekly League Streamers (by Y! ownership percent/games this week): Cory Joseph (10%/4), Tyler Johnson (3%/4), Lou Williams (47%/4), Trevor Booker (11%/4)
- Stream days: Thursday, Sunday
Overall Thoughts: Well, maybe that 5-game Minnesota week was just a crazy outlier since we haven’t had a 5-gamer in several weeks… Maybe I should highlight the 4-game weeks instead, but I’m lazy this week haha… More typical week than week 6, with Friday and Saturday heavy. But we have a lighter Thursday and Sunday than we’ve seen the past few weeks, which will be your heavy streaming days. Slim disagrees with me citing Luol Deng is about to come back from his hammy, but it seems iffy we see Deng at all this week and I like Tyler Johnson as a stream. The Heat play three of their four against heavy-pace teams that fit his game. The Bookworm is playing some good big-man ball with Rudy Gobert hurt, Sweet Lou as mentioned above is sweeter with Swaggy P peeing away his PT, then there’s my favorite of the week: it’s week 7 Mojo baby! TOR hosts the Lakers and their awful PG play, hosts the Spurs, then hosts the banged up PG of MIL and wraps up hosting the Sixers. All at home, all for his home country, and three super-saucy matchups. Playing him in all the weekly leagues I can.
Monday: We open week 7 with a pretty heavy Monday, with DAL, DET, LAL, PHO and WAS coming in on the second day of back-to-backs. Wall off that knee bruise mentioned above is a little scary, and we’ll see how Kobe’s food poisoning is going… If you’re streaming early, maybe Ramon Sessions gets a start. Only the Blazers head into a b2b, but there’s no real concerns to their main guys. We obviously wish Marcin Gortat the best, and if he’s still in Poland, it should be a monstrous Hassan Whiteside game with the Heat hosting the Wiz. Phoenix at Chicago should be a really fun, fast-paced game for your assets in that one. Of course you have to be a little worried with the Spurs going @PHI for some Pop-benchings.
Tuesday: Only six games on Tuesday, but in limited-moves leagues you’re still saving most of your streaming moves for Thurs/Sun. HOU, MEM, ORL and UTA head into back-to-backs. After getting cleared for b2bs, Dwight Howard still got a rest day last week, so you have to keep an eye there. I can’t imagine any other big concerns for those four squads though. GSW looks to go 23-0 at IND, and if PG13 stays as hot as he’s been, it could be a close one. Even though it’s the lowly Blazers, the Cavs looked awful without BronBron and it’s been a nice break for the Cavs since Saturday – he should play.
Wednesday: Our typical big Wednesday, with ATL, CHI, LAC and NYK going to back-to-backs. The Bulls play @BOS then against the Clippers Thursday, so I doubt they’d rest anyone. Clippers do have 3 games in 4 days and 4 in 6, so maybe they sit someone, especially if Chris Paul is still sore in the ribs. [email protected] should be a great game for high-scoring, a fun DFS game for sure. Lakers go to the Wolves, should be a nice game for Rubio. Be wary of your fringy Knicks going @UTA in a tough matchup. Not benching the Poison Goose though!
Thursday: Only 4 games Thursday, so start ramping up your streaming! OKC and PHI go into back-to-backs, so be careful if any of your stream options from those two squads have any bumps and bruises and might get a rest day. [email protected] has a few options – Dennis Schroder has become pretty low-end, but you can count on a few PTS and AST. Kent Bazemore dropped to under 50% owned (as he should be) and Thabo Sefolosha is out there in a ton of leagues, both could be options for wing stats. Steven Adams will likely be leaned on to guard Al Horford so he should get run for big man stats, and I seem to frequently stream Dion Waiters this year. [email protected] is an awful game – as mentioned above, Wroten is really going to squeeze G minutes, but Canaan/Stauskas are nice ThrAGNOF streams, with McConnell able to contribute. The big one I have my eye on is Shane Larkin – as mentioned above he’s not quite in the “must-own” realm, but getting close. In such a garbage matchup, he’s a “must-play” in this one though! [email protected] doesn’t have quite as many options, if CP3 is still out, Austin Rivers is streamable. If Redick is still on a kankle, maybe Jamal Crawford for some scoring. If Joakim Noah is still out there in your league, he could be worth a shot. Finally we have [email protected] – Kosta Koufos continues to be a nice stream play if available. Langston Galloway HAS to get out of this slump at some point, maybe it’s against the Kings.
Friday: Again more like a typical week, we have a full Friday. Lots of b2b teams – BOS, CHA, GSW, IND, LAL, MIL, NO, POR, SAS and WAS all with a Fri/Sat slate. Keep an eye on all your vets in those games. [email protected] should be a lot of fun with the pace and great G play, and gotta love your Pistons going @PHI with the Sixers off a back-to-back. Yet another game to be worried about your Spurs, as they host the Lakers. Weekly league owners of Spurs vets might get annoyed…
Saturday: Saturday remains full as well, with the above mentioned teams finishing out b2bs, but no teams heading into a b2b. NYK goes @POR who will be off playing the Suns the night before, if Galloway shows any sort of improvement, I’d love him in this one too. Really any hot Knick should get a look there. HOU gets two days off before hosting the Lakers, who will be off playing @ the Spurts the night before, gotta love PBev in that one. I could even see Ty Lawson being usable.
Sunday: So I will be hoping to save 1-2 moves on all my RCL teams for heavy Sunday streaming. 4 games wrap up the week – [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] and [email protected] Of those squads, only MIN has Monday off, the rest go into back-to-backs, so be leery of streaming any banged up vets that could need rest. Mario Chalmers jumps off the page to me – the Grizz will be playing their 4th game in 6 days and likely need a youthful spark off the bench in a “revenge” game, if that means anything… I obviously love me some TyJo as he’s a weekly play. We’ll see how Jon Leuer’s role progresses with the Kieff drama, but he could be worth a look, and I think Zach LaVine gets some good run. Should be a big blowout for the Raps, I’d be looking for some bench options in that one as they head into a b2b. Nogueira, Patrick Patterson, Terrence Ross, and as mentioned above Cojo are all options. Tough to see any great plays in the OKC game, Waiters could be ThrAGNOFfy, but I doubt Adams plays too much with the Jazz playing smaller withoutGobert.
I hope everyone had a strong week 6 and a great weekend! Let’s all hope for some early Christmas gifts from our squads in week 7!