Welcome to your midweek guidance for Week 15!  In this post, I identify widely available players who can help you win your head-to-head matchup.  Depending on who’s on your roster, this week has offered its fair share of ups and downs so far.  We witnessed the long-awaited return of Anthony Davis, Brandon Ingram, and Khris Middleton, while lamenting fresh injuries to Kristaps Porzingis, Bobby Portis, and Steven Adams.  In Adams’ case, we were left wondering who would gain the most minutes between Xavier Tillman, Santi Aldama, and Brandon Clarke.  After a promising showing on Monday, Tillman’s minutes fell off a cliff on Wednesday, as Clarke and Aldama gobbled up the lion’s share of time at the five.  Suffice it to say, that situation is still developing…

Schedule Notes: The Hawks, Nuggets, Warriors, Lakers, Thunder, Sixers, Blazers, Kings, Jazz, and Wizards are the ten teams that only play one more game this week, while the Clippers and Cavaliers play three.  Saturday is the only high-volume game day with 11 matchups.

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

Three Category Contributors

  • Daniel Gafford (Rebounds, Blocks, FG%) / Deni Avdija (Rebounds, Assists, Steals): A trio of Wizards make this week’s post, with Gafford and Avdija being the most direct beneficiaries of Kristaps Porzingis’s multi-game absence.  Gafford only needs 20 minutes to be productive, and Avdija is a 30 MPG player with Porzingis out of the lineup.  If you’re sitting pretty in your matchup or need big man value beyond Saturday, look no further than these two (Play Sat).
  • Jose Alvarado (Threes, Assists, Steals): If you have a player to drop after Friday and find yourself hard up for adds, the Pelicans and Clippers are the teams to look to with a Saturday/Sunday back-to-back.  Though he’s a drain on FG%, Alvarado has consistently shown that he can deliver in the traditional guard categories despite playing only 22 MPG on the season.  In his last 7 games, that number rose to 27 MPG, enabling Jose to increase his three-point production to 1.7 per game in addition to averaging 3 assists and 0.9 steals over that span (Plays Sat, Sun).
  • Drew Eubanks (Rebounds, Blocks, FG%): Even before Jusuf Nurkic left Wednesday’s game with calf soreness, Eubanks was putting up awesome per-minute numbers in the Blazers previous eight games (6 boards and 2 blocks in 20 minutes).  It’s unclear whether Nurkic’s early exit was purely precautionary or not, but you could do far worse than Eubanks in using a speculative add (Plays Sat).

Two Category Contributors

  • Delon Wright (Assists, Steals): Monte Morris sat out Wednesday with a sore hamstring, paving the way for Wright to start and play 26 minutes.  I’ll invoke a cliche in saying that hamstring injuries are tricky, and with Wright already putting up 12-team value in his last six games (9.3 points, 1.5 threes, 5 assists, 2.2 steals), he’s well worth an add if available (Plays Sat).
  • Kenyon Martin Jr. (Rebounds, FG%): Martin continues to start with Kevin Porter Jr. sidelined, producing 13.3 points on 51% shooting, 1 triple, and 8 rebounds in 7 consecutive games with the first unit.  KPJ is set to be reevaluated over the weekend, which means we should get at least two more Martin appearances in which he plays 30+ minutes (Plays Thurs, Sat).
  • Pat Connaughton (Threes, Rebounds): Normally, I’m hesitant to recommend Patty C due to inconsistent minutes and production, but Bobby Portis is set to miss a few weeks and Khris Middleton is in a very deliberate ramp up phase in the wake of his mystery knee soreness.  This makes Connaughton a candidate to play big minutes, at least until Middleton is fully ready to go.  Wednesday’s 88% from the field was an aberration, but solid three-point shooting and rebounding is definitely in the cards going forward.  Grayson Allen also gets an honorable mention as a three point and free throw streamer (Plays Fri, Sun).
  • Isaac Okoro (Steals, FG%): After emerging relatively unscathed from last week’s mention in this post, Okoro possesses an enticing three game slate on low-volume days to end the week.  With Donovan Mitchell likely to miss at least one of those contests, Okoro should get significant run in the days ahead.  When the Cavs were last without Mitchell, Okoro went for 9 points, 1 trey, 3 boards, 2 assists, and 2 steals in 24 minutes.  That kind of output, multiplied by three games, can be more useful than one or two games from most other streamers (Plays Thurs, Fri, Sun).
  • Nassir Little (Threes, Rebounds): Josh Hart made an early exit on Wednesday after suffering a hamstring strain, and Little stepped in to play 32 minutes in a winning effort over the Jazz.  You know what they say about hamstring injuries, so expect Hart to remain out for Saturday.  A series of injuries have neutralized Little’s value over the past two years, but he’s shown himself capable of solid rebounding on a nightly basis and occasional scoring outbursts (Plays Sat).

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