Welcome to your midweek guidance for Week Six!  In this post, I identify widely-available players who can help you win your head-to-head matchups.  While everyone else is watching the Lions lose, arguing, and deciding how many Breaking Bad box sets they’re going to buy on Black Friday, you can be poring over stat lines and analyzing team builds with me.

The schedule hamstrings us quite a bit this week.  We are all free to lapse into a tryptophan-induced food coma today, as there are no games on.  The Hornets, Bulls, Nuggets, Pelicans, and Kings play their only remaining game of the week on Friday.  With 14 contests that evening, your starting roster is likely at capacity by default.

That leaves us Saturday and Sunday for streaming.  I’m particularly interested in players on the Rockets, Lakers, Thunder, Suns, Spurs, Raptors and Jazz for Saturday’s low-volume slate.  Of all the teams in The Association, the Mavericks are the only one that plays a Saturday/Sunday back-to-back.  Unfortunately, Dallas is one of the least hospitable fantasy hoops environments, thanks to the team’s plodding pace and top-heavy production.  Dorian Finney-Smith and Tim Hardaway Jr. headline the list of (bad) streaming candidates who are likely available in your league.  If you have several player additions to use up and can avoid the Mavs, I’d do so.

Here are the players I’m watching and adding to close out the week.

Four Category Contributor

  • Paul Reed (Rebounds, Steals, Blocks, FG%): A two-game sample size demonstrates that Reed is the center you want to stream while Joel Embiid remains out – and I do expect Embiid to miss more games.  The juiciest offering from Reed comes on the defensive end, as he’s put up a total of five blocks and five steals in the two games that Embiid’s been out (Plays Fri, Sun).
  • Jalen Williams (Assists, Steals, FG%, FT%): Williams passed a key playing time test by continuing to log close to 30 MPG despite the Thunder returning most of its injured players this week.  The increase in shots has dropped his FG%, but it still stands at a robust 51% on the season.  What’s most encouraging is his aggressiveness in getting to the line – he averaged 4 attempts in his last 3 games and made 92% of them (Plays Fri, Sat).

Three Category Contributors

  • Thaddeus Young (Rebounds, Steals, FG%): Multiple injuries in the Raptor frontcourt make Young a no brainer for Saturday if he’s still on your wire.  We’re even seeing a return of the healthy dose of dimes that he contributed in San Antonio and Chicago.  He is averaging 12.6 points on 64% from the field, 7.2 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 2.2 steals in five consecutive starts (Plays Sat).
  • Alec Burks (Threes, Steals, FT%): I’ve never known Burks to be a per-minute beast, so I’m somewhat wary of the 16.6 points he’s averaging in 21 minutes.  However, his free throw shooting is a factor in fantasy almost every season.  So long as you’re not in a punt FT% build, 82% on 6.4 attempts per game is a difference maker (Plays Fri, Sun).
  • Austin Reaves (Threes, Assists, FT%): He is benefitting from LeBron James’ absence, but even before The King went out, Reaves was earning minutes in the mid-20s and beginning to establish himself as a streamer for threes and assists.  As long as James is absent, points are also in the cards for Reaves.  He is shooting 62% over his last five games, so I expect a downturn there, but 1.6 threes, 3.4 assists, and lights-out free throw shooting can endure (Plays Fri, Sat).
  • John Konchar (Threes, Rebounds, Steals): Desmond Bane will be out through at least the end of the month, and Konchar is doing his best impersonation as the Grizzlies’ interim starting SG.  He’s a top-50 9-category player in his 5 most recent starts, putting up 12.2 points on 48% from the field and 100% from the line (8 total attempts), 2 triples, 9 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1 steal, 0.6 blocks.  He only needs a handful of looks to be effective in his current role, so Dillon Brooks’ chucking and Ja Morant’s return shouldn’t negatively impact him (Plays Fri, Sun).
  • Jalen Duren (Rebounds, Blocks, FG%): Duren’s star faded after a promising start gave way to several sub-20 minute outings.  With injuries in the Piston frontcourt, he’s getting run again and posting solid big man numbers: 8 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1 steal, and 0.8 blocks in 25 MPG over his last 5 games (Plays Fri, Sun).

Two Category Contributor

  • Deni Avdija (Rebounds, Blocks): With the exception of a foul-plagued game against the Heat last Friday, Avdija is earning minutes in the low-30s on a consistent basis.  In his last 9 starts (including Friday’s dud), he posted 10.6 points, 1.1 threes, 6.7 rebounds, and 0.7 blocks.  A near miss on a triple-double in a rematch with the Heat last night is elevating his profile (Plays Fri, Sun).

Hit me up in the comments with any questions or feedback.  Good luck!

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J C
J C
9 days ago

Which pair would you rather have given my team below (9 cats):
Middleton and Bagley
Rozier and Schroeder

Jokic, Embiid,
Washington, O’Neale, Portis
Ingram, Wiggins
Rozier, McCollum
Holiday, Suggs, Milton, Schroeder
Streamer: Z Collins until Poeltl back
IR: Maxey

J C
J C
8 days ago
Reply to  PB

I did go for it. Higher ceiling, lower floor if Middleton’s injury is not fully healed. I am good with those gambles. What is so great is that you and Son are almost always on opposite sides on my trade questions. Which is good cuz I chalk that up to the trade being fair and/or depending upon the owner’s biases and preferences.

J C
J C
8 days ago
Reply to  PB

Agree.
One of PBev or Dennis is going away I think. Not sure why Lakers need both. If Dennis stays, LeBron is going to eat up his counting stats. If he gets shipped to a tanking team, then he should be fine.
Not a Bagley fan…what is it with #2 picks? But he may have trade value as a sweetener in a bigger deal whereas Dennis does not.