Welcome to your midweek guidance for Week 14!  In this post, I identify widely-available players who can help you win your head-to-head matchup.  We’re now at the point in many fantasy leagues when the playoff race and its participants are well defined.  For struggling managers, you have to adopt a more aggressive mindset that prioritizes streaming over holding long-term injuries and/or stashing guys who might benefit from a trade.  As an example, if you’re in a battle for one of your league’s final playoff spots in a tournament that starts February 27th (Week 19), there’s not much use in holding Devin Vassell when he might be ready to play after the All-Star Break.  He’ll hurt you in the interim by occupying a valuable IL slot, and will likely miss games even after he returns as the Spurs adopt a cautious (tanking) mindset.  I’ll give one more example: Isaiah Jackson.  Is it worth holding him just in case Myles Turner gets traded if you’re taking L’s in the meantime?  Probably not.  Time to move on and free up that spot for guys that can help you right now.

Disclaimer: Obviously, every situation is different, and there may be instances in which holding on for a few more days makes sense.  More than anything, I don’t want you to fall victim to that voice in your head that says ‘I’ve held on this long. If I drop him now, all the frustration will have been for nought!’  Don’t buy into the sunk cost fallacy!

Schedule Notes: The Hornets, Bulls, Pistons, Rockets, Bucks, Spurs, Jazz, and Wizards only compete one more time this week, while the Nets, Warriors, Suns, and Raptors have three more games.

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

Four Category Contributors

  • Naji Marshall (Points, Threes, Rebounds, Assists): The Marshall Plan proceeds apace with Zion Williamson and Brandon Ingram out.  He’s playing 35 minutes per game in the 8 contests since Zion started his recovery, averaging 17.8 points, 1.5 threes, 5.3 rebounds, and 3.4 assists.  Don’t count on him to rebuild your percentages or turnovers if they’ve been bombed into oblivion, but he’s helpful for counting stats (Plays Fri, Sun).
  • Donte DiVincenzo (Threes, Rebounds, Assists, Steals): The reports of his fantasy death are greatly exaggerated.  Rather than falling off after Stephen Curry re-entered the lineup, Divincenzo put up top-80 category-league value in 4 ensuing games (24 MPG). He has at least one more opportunity to put up big numbers this week with Klay Thompson likely to miss one end of the Warriors’ upcoming back-to-back (Plays Thurs, Fri, Sun).

Three Category Contributors

  • Naz Reid (Rebounds, Blocks, FG%): Rudy Gobert: Will he or won’t he?  Minnesota is playing it coy with Gobert’s injury status for Thursday, but after he left two consecutive games with a groin injury, it’s not a stretch to think that he will probably miss additional time.  If that’s the case, Naz is a priority add (Plays Thurs, Sat).
  • Gabe Vincent (Threes, Assists, Steals): My bearish outlook on Kyle Lowry took almost two thirds of the fantasy season to come to fruition, but come to fruition it has.  Vincent feasted when both Lowry and Tyler Herro were out, but the production is predictably more modest when at least one of them is in the lineup.  With Lowry and Herro both back on Wednesday, Vincent still garnered 25 minutes enroute to 16 points, 4 threes, 3 assists, but his future production will fluctuate as long as those two are healthy (Plays Fri, Sun).
  • Wenyen Gabriel (Rebounds, Blocks, FG%): From a 9-category perspective, Gabriel outperformed Thomas Bryant in the Lakers’ last 4 outings on the strength of 13 points (66% from the field), 5.8 rebounds, 1 steal, and 1.8 blocks.  This season’s shooting is well above his career average, but with Anthony Davis likely out for a few more weeks, we’ll ride the hot streak while it lasts (Plays Fri, Sun).

Two Category Contributors

  • Terance Mann (Assists, FG%): Mann’s mushy fantasy profile requires him to get big minutes in order to be useful.  While Wednesday’s blowout loss to the Jazz, in which he played just 25, doesn’t necessarily portend doom for his fantasy prospects, the impact of Paul George and Kawhi Leonard’s reinsertion into the lineup is something to watch.  Even if he gets significant playing time as the Clippers’ starting PG, he may only have streaming value if offensive looks evade him (Plays Fri, Sun).
  • Isaac Okoro (Threes, Steals): Promoting Okoro as a streamer in this post is usually a kiss of death for his actual quality of play, so keep that in mind.  He turned a good week into a great one – by Okoro standards – when he dropped 17 points, 4 threes, and 2 blocks against the Grizzlies on Wednesday.  His value is helped as long as Donovan Mitchell remains out (Plays Fri, Sat).
  • Damion Lee (Threes, FT%): The long-awaited return of Cam Johnson, combined with Chris Paul’s questionable tag for Thursday’s matchup, may spell an end to Lee’s nice run of 12-team productivity.  However, with three games on low-volume days and a high likelihood of the aforementioned Phoenix starters missing at least one of those contests each, Lee is still relevant.  He can boost your triples (1.8 / game on the season) and free throw percentage (95%) while potentially accessing some upside in the dimes department (Plays Thurs, Sat, Sun).
  • Dennis Smith Jr. (Assists, Steals): A potential long-term opportunity is about to re-open for Smith, as LaMelo Ball left Wednesday’s game with another left ankle sprain.  We saw what he could do in this situation earlier in the season, when he averaged 6.2 assists, 2 steals, and 0.6 blocks in a 13-game stretch without Ball (Plays Sat).
  • Seth Curry (Points, Threes): You come for the points and threes, you stay for the above average shooting from a guard and three remaining games this week.  The 4 games without Kevin Durant have been kind to Curry, as evidenced by averages of 16 points and 1.5 threes on 51% shooting (Plays Thurs, Fri, Sun).
  • Quentin Grimes (Threes, Steals): Though he started and played 34 MPG over the past two weeks, Grimes’ production decreased significantly over that span.  The threes and steals are still there, as he averaged 2.3 and 1 per game respectively in his past 7 games (Plays Fri, Sun).
  • T.J. Warren (Points, FG%): Similar to Curry, Warren is playing additional minutes with Durant out of the lineup, which enabled him to put up 14.5 points and 1.5 threes on 48% shooting over the last week.  If he can return to his former thieving glory (1.2 steals/game in 2019-20), he can return significant value in the weeks ahead (Plays Thurs, Fri, Sun).

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

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J C
J C
14 days ago

Here are some trade options I am exploring. I like FVV and can handle the FG% but trade rumors abound. Beal not a sure thing either. The Team is getting healthier and playing well so there is no panic. If your focus was strictly on the playoffs and not the next six weeks, which ones would you do? Please give a yes or no to each. Team below for context if helpful (although you likely have the core memorized by now lol).

1. His Beal and Jalen Williams for FVV and Tyus.
2. His Beal, Gobert and J Williams for my FVV, Maxey and Tyus.
3. Beal for FVV
4. J Williams for Slo Mo (been great but Towns, Gobert lurking?)

Jokic, Embiid, Kessler
PJ Wash, Portis, Ingram
Middleton, Slo Mo
Maxey, McCollum, B Brown
Jrue, FVV, Tyus, D Smith (who knows what is up with Ball?)

J C
J C
12 days ago
Reply to  PB

Moved into fourth place this week…4 games out a first. So patience is starting to pay off. Kinda a miracle without Ingram and Middleton forever. Part of the game.

1. Smith did not exactly light it up tonight. Have not heard on Ball. You? Hold him or grab Cam Johnson?

2. Lowry hit the WW. Despite fewer minutes and bad shooting, he will get snapped up for sure on name recognition! I guess I could make a run at him instead of Smith or CamJo

WDT?