Welcome to your midweek guidance for Week Four!  In this post, you’ll find widely-available players who can help you win your head-to-head matchup.

The past few days have provided plenty of intrigue, with Kyrie Irving and the Nets taking center stage.  After Brooklyn handed Kyrie a minimum five-game suspension, Jaylen Brown told media outlets that senior members of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) viewed the punishment as too severe.  Their objection is based on the lack of guidance governing social media conduct in the league’s collective-bargaining agreement.  Though Brown indicated that the NBPA would seek to appeal the suspension, no appeal is filed as of this writing.  Brown mentioned that the outcome of a Tuesday meeting between Irving and Adam Silver would influence the NBPA’s decision to move forward with the appeal, so it’s possible that the reportedly positive meeting compelled the union to stand down.  Inaction on the part of the NBPA suggests that Kyrie’s suspension will not greatly exceed the five-game minimum, but it’s equally possible that I have no idea what I’m talking about.  Either way, Brooklyn players who have picked up the slack over the past four outings are due for at least one more game of elevated run.

Schedule notes: The Sixers and Wizards play three more games this week, while the Bulls, Rockets, Pacers, Clippers, Bucks, Magic, Suns, and Spurs play only one more time.  After a one-week hiatus, there are three Saturday/Sunday back-to-backs on the schedule, played by the Nets, Sixers, Jazz, and Wizards.

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

Three Category Contributors

  • Gabe Vincent (Threes, Assists, Steals): Miami has been without either Jimmy Butler or Tyler Herro for its last 3 games, and Vincent took advantage of the increased run to average 13.3 points, 2.3 threes, 2.3, assists, and 2 steals in that span.  With Herro currently questionable for Thursday’s contest, Vincent is one to watch (Plays Thurs, Sat).
  • Aleksej Pokusevski (Rebounds, Threes, Blocks): Another plug for the big man, who often brings a side of threes with the usual big-man entree of boards and blocks.  Wednesday’s 39-minute performance was an aberration that can be partially blamed on double OT (17 points, 4 threes, 10 boards, 2 steals, 2 blocks), but Poku seems to be solidifying his role in what has been a tumultuous Thunder lineup (Plays Fri, Sun).
  • Mason Plumlee (FG%, Rebounds, Assists): He continues to start over and play more minutes than Nick Richards, so maintenance of the status quo at center appears to be the way forward for Charlotte.  The good: FG%, boards, and dimes.  The bad: Points, Steals, and Blocks.  The ugly: Threes and FT%.  He’s not for everyone (Plays Thurs, Sat).
  • Cam Thomas (Points, Assists, Steals): I think news of Kyrie Irving’s suspension dropped about 0.03 seconds after my last post published, so I missed the boat on Thomas (hopefully you were at least able to benefit from a Royce O’Neale pickup).  Playing 28 MPG over Kyrie’s suspension, Thomas is averaging 15.8 points, 1.2 threes, 3.5 assists, and 1.3 steals.  It’s tough to say whether Irving will be sidelined longer than the five-game minimum, so Thomas is a good add for the weekend back-to-back (Plays Sat, Sun).
  • Cam Payne (Threes, Assists, Steals): Chris Paul’s first missed game came on Wednesday, with Payne stepping in to provide 23 points, 4 treys, 8 assists, and a steal.  Phoenix only has one game remaining this week, so adding Payne purely for Friday streaming purposes is a dice roll at this point.  Needless to say, there will be a lot of attention on CP3’s status heading into Friday (Plays Fri).
  • Obi Toppin (Threes, Rebounds, FG%): Despite uneven playing time, Toppin is managing to put up solid production in Mitchell Robinson’s absence.  MRob is set to miss a few more games, so we could see more of the 15 points, 3 threes, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, and 4 steals he provided against the Wolves on Monday.  If you add him, do so with the knowledge that coach Thibs may throw a curveball and reduce Obi’s minutes, as was the case on Wednesday (Plays Fri, Sun).

Two Category Contributors

  • Malik Monk (Threes, Assists): The dimes are a welcome addition to Monk’s repertoire over the last two campaigns.  He’s averaging 4.4 this season and currently on an offensive heater as well.  Ride the lightning! (Plays Fri, Sun).
  • Will Barton (Threes, Assists): On this throwback Thursday, we remember a time when Will was a top-50 player in 9-category formats… Snapping back to reality, Will is outside the top-200 this season, scraping by on 24 MPG off the bench for the Wizards.  Even so, you can get a few more counting stats from Barton with the three remaining games (Plays Thurs, Sat, Sun).
  • Troy Brown Jr. (Threes, Rebounds): With the obvious exception of Anthony Davis and an underperforming Lebron James (25/8/7 ain’t bad, I have to say), the Lakers franchise is void of consistent value this season.  Even my boy, Pat Beverley, is struggling!  If you want to find an unlikely bright spot, however, look no further than TBJ.  In 7 consecutive starts, he averaged 12 points, 1.9 threes, and 5.7 rebounds.  With Russell Westbrook coming off the bench, Brown’s starting role appears secure in the short term (Plays Fri, Sun).
  • Bruce Brown (Threes, Assists): The Nets are reportedly bummed out that they lost Brown in free agency.  He’s demonstrating his value in Denver, averaging 1.3 threes and 3.8 assists so far in a 27 MPG role.  After two down games, it may be wise to see if he bounces back on Friday before adding him for Sunday (Plays Fri, Sun).
  • Kenyon Martin Jr. (Threes, Rebounds): Aside from a two-point dud against the Clippers, Martin is putting up strong numbers in Jae’Sean Tate’s absence.  Tate is likely to miss time beyond Saturday, so adding Martin for a single game this week can pay dividends in the future if you have a cushion in your current matchup (Plays Sat).
  • Andrew Nembhard (Threes, Assists): With Chris Duarte slated to miss significant time, Nembhard may be the Pacers’ starting two-guard for the foreseeable future.  In his first two starts, he posted averages of 11.5 points, 2 triples, 5 assists, and 2 steals in 31.5 MPG (Plays Sat).
  • Damion Lee (Threes, FT%): Cam Johnson’s knee injury sparked a lineup shuffle that had benefitted Lee up until a 15 minute no-show on Wednesday.  A career 87% shooter from the line, he is adept at drawing fouls and can give you a slight boost in a category that’s otherwise difficult to increase off the waiver wire (Plays Fri).

Single Category Contributors

  • Georges Niang (Threes): I wish I had better prospects to report on from the Sixers and Wizards, but most of the back-end players on each team are prone to inconsistency and/or one-dimensional production.  That being said, Niang’s three-point output is the closest thing you’ll get to a sure thing among the widely-available players on either squad.  Even after James Harden injured his foot, Niang’s minutes have ebbed and flowed.  However, he’s still managed to average 2.5 threes in just 17.8 MPG this season (Plays Thurs, Sat, Sun).
  • Jordan Goodwin (Assists): With Bradley Beal pending release from COVID-19 protocols, Goodwin is stepping into the void and providing dimes in an enhanced role – five in each of Beal’s absences.  Word to the wise: confirming Beal’s status for Saturday is a must if you wait until then to add Goodwin (Plays Thurs, Sat, Sun).
  • Walker Kessler (Blocks): Though the starting role hasn’t materialized – he’s only playing 15 minutes per night – Kessler is bringing the big man stats.  You can do much worse than 5 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game with a Saturday/Sunday back-to-back on deck (Plays Sat, Sun).

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