Welcome to your midweek guidance for Week Two!  In this post, I identify widely-available players who can help you win your head-to-head matchup.  If this is your first brush with midweek guidance, check out the intro to last week’s post to get some insight on my groundbreaking methodology (it’s not groundbreaking).  The dust is settling on the initial rush to grab surprise successes like Santi Aldama, but there is still a lot of rotation churn in the NBA as teams try to find the best way to win (or lose).  Unsurprisingly, we’ve already seen multi-game injuries and/or load management issues with big names on the Pelicans, Cavaliers, Clippers, Thunder, and Hornets, so there are potential opportunities on those teams as we look for streaming candidates to cycle through with that final roster spot.

Schedule notes: The Mavericks and Warriors will play three more games this week, while the Blazers and Raptors only play one more contest.

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

Four Category Contributor

  • Tre Mann (Points, Threes, Assists, Steals): In the final 37 games of OKC’s 2021-22 tank-a-thon, Mann averaged 12.4 points, 2 threes, and a steal.  He went for 25+ points on multiple occasions in that span.  With Josh Giddey slated to miss another game tonight, he’s in position to follow up Tuesday’s performance (25 points, 2 threes, 4 assists, and 2 steals) with another solid scoring effort (Plays Thurs, Sat).

Three Category Contributors

  • Dennis Smith Jr. (Assists, Steals, Blocks): We can safely assume that Terry Rozier’s status for both ends of Charlotte’s weekend back-to-back is in question, so DSJ is likely in line for at least one more start.  A defensive stat specialist, he’s posted averages of 13.5 points, 1.3 threes, 6.3 assists, 2.5 steals, and 0.8 blocks in four games (Plays Fri, Sat).
  • Patrick Beverley (Assists, Steals, Blocks): I’ll keep beating the Beverley drum, especially now that Russell Westbrook is dealing with a hamstring issue that happens to coincide with the vast amount of scrutiny that he’s under.  Through four games, Beverley is averaging 2.8 assists, 2 steals, and a block.  He continues to be overlooked in the vast majority of 12-team leagues (Plays Fri, Sun).
  • John Konchar (Threes, Rebounds, FG%): Despite the return of Dillon Brooks, Konchar received 26 minutes on Monday.  Past performance indicates that he is capable of shooting better than 50% from the field, but only time will tell if he can sustain his current 52% mark with 5.3 three point attempts per game.  I’m relatively certain of one thing – the 1.8 steals per game won’t last (Plays Thurs, Sat).
  • Eric Gordon (Points, Threes, Assists): There is a risk that Gordon misses the front end of Houston’s Sunday/Monday back-to-back, so he may only be good for one day of streaming this week.  He’s providing 14.3 points, 1.5 threes and 3.3 assists in a starting role (Plays Fri, Sun).

Two Category Contributors

  • Maxi Kleber (Rebounds, Blocks): There’s nothing new or different with Kleber this season.  He’s the “shadow” starting center for the Mavs (the ceremonial role belongs to JaVale McGee).  With three more games on the slate for the Mavs this week, a triple, six boards, and one block per game can be a useful combination in close matchups (Plays Thurs, Sat, Sun).
  • Bol Bol (Rebounds, Blocks): His minutes eclipsed Chuma Okeke and Mo Bamba’s again on Wednesday night, so he’s becoming more of a safe add if you’re into block parties.  It’s difficult to find a better swat specialist who’s still available on most waiver wires at the moment (Plays Fri, Sun).
  • Robert Covington (Steals, Blocks): It feels strange to see RoCo slummin’ it here on midweek guidance, and it brings me no pleasure to say this, but… The Clippers are too deep on the wings to have him permanently on a 12-team league roster in most situations.  Thursday (and most likely Sunday), however, he will get some extra run with Kawhi Leonard out for knee maintenance (Plays Thurs, Sun).
  • Lonnie Walker IV (Points, Threes): Walker is playing big minutes and receiving the volume required to achieve fantasy relevance in the early going.  Maintaining 1.3 steals and 0.7 blocks per game seems far-fetched, but there is still some upside in his three-point production.  He’s only averaging one three per game through his first four outings, as opposed to the 1.6 he averaged while only playing 23 MPG last season in San Antonio (Plays Fri, Sun).
  • Caleb Martin (Rebounds, Steals): Martin finally flashed the upside that I’ve been waiting for on Wednesday against the Blazers.  The 88% shooting from Wednesday won’t continue, but the 16 points, 2 threes, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, and 4 steals are achievable on most nights now that he’s a starter.  Of the players that play on Thursday and Saturday to close out the week, Martin is a worthy add for most category league managers (Plays Thurs, Sat).
  • Josh Richardson (Threes, Steals): JRich no longer brings those beautiful blocks from the guard position on a regular basis.  Nonetheless, if Devin Vassell misses more games, Richardson should receive another start and an opportunity to follow up a solid performance on Wednesday in which he dropped 11 points, 3 threes, 10 assists, 2 steals, and a block (Plays Fri, Sun).
  • Jalen McDaniels (Threes, Rebounds): His minutes appear to be settling in the low twenties, but he’s supplying enough 2.3 threes and 5.3 rebounds so far.  I don’t trust the one block per game since he’s never averaged more than 0.4 blocks in a season, but ride that wave while it lasts (Plays Fri, Sat).
  • Jeremiah Robinson-Earl (Threes, Steals): A reshuffling of the Thunder starting frontcourt resulted in the benching of Aleksej Pokusevski and JRE’s insertion into the starting center role.  His minutes remain in the low twenties, but Robinson-Earl is making the most of the opportunity by bringing the 3 and D (Plays Thurs, Sat).
  • Talen Horton-Tucker (Points, Steals): A pair of solid games has THT back on our radar. The player to watch is Collin Sexton, who left Wednesday’s game with an abdominal injury. If the issue persists, we could see expanded minutes for THT in the short term (Plays Fri, Sat).
  • Jaylen Nowell (Points, Threes): Nowell has managed to carry over the efficient scoring he demonstrated last season. He’s averaging 16.2 points through 5 games on 47% shooting from the field (Plays Fri, Sun).

One Category Contributors

  • Cedi Osman (Threes): Osman likes to burn me when I promote him in this post, but I’m cautiously optimistic that we will see at least one more game of decent three-point and assist production from Cedi as the Cavs close ranks around Darius Garland’s injury.  Just don’t expect the 52% shooting from the field to continue (Plays Fri, Sun).
  • Aaron Wiggins (Rebounds): Wiggins’ unconvincing fantasy profile makes him difficult to trust, but he entered the starting lineup in OKC’s win over the Clippers and provided 10 boards with 3 steals.  I recommend using him as a streamer only in deeper leagues, as his contributions are tough to project (Plays Thurs, Sat).  

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