You’d think a team decimated by injuries would throw in the towel. Not the case with the Bulls. Already missing Jimmy Butler (left knee strain), Nikola Mirotic (appendicitis), and Joakim Noah (shoulder surgery), Derrick Rose was a last-minute scratch due to right hamstring tendinitis. The Bulls won anyways, their third straight victory.
Playing alongside a makeshift lineup, Pau Gasol played through the flu, just missing a triple-double with 10 points, 15 rebounds, and 9 assists. While it wasn’t Michael Jordan’s flu game, it was a still a pretty strong line.
Even with the Bulls’ starters ailing, there is value to be had on the roster. Under-owned guys like Taj Gibson (17/7/7), E’Twaun Moore (17 points and 3 rebounds), and Doug McDermott (14/5/2), can and should be relied upon down the stretch for both the Bulls and your fantasy teams. McBuckets also had the dunk of the night.
They won’t win you a championship on their own, but don’t overlook lesser named (and owned) guys during your playoff push.
Tony Snell and Mike Dunleavy – Snell (15/4/3 and 4 threes) and Dunleavy (14 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 threes) also had strong games, but I’ll need to see more consistency before I invest in these two.
John Wall – The shooting woes continued for Wall. He made only 6 of his 15 shots, posting 16 points, 7 assists, 4 rebounds, and 3 steals. It was a big disappointment on the heels of Tuesday night’s triple-double.
Garrett Temple – Temple was feeling it from three, as he knocked down 4-8 from downtown to post 18 points. However, 8 of those 18 points came in the first 6 minutes of the game.
Bradley Beal – Beal posted 19/2/2 off the bench for the Wiz kids. It doesn’t matter if he’s starting or coming off the bench. He’ll still contribute.
Ramon Sessions – With Wall picking up 2 fouls early in the first quarter, Sessions attacked the basket early and often, on his way to 16 points, 3 assists, and 2 rebounds.
LeBron James – James shook off Monday’s 5-18 performance, to post 23 points (8-13 FG), 7 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals, and 2 threes. Even the King has a bad game every once in a while.
Kyrie Irving – Irving shot 10-17 from the field, on his way to 23 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists. Irving looks to be fine after leaving Sunday’s game early with an illness.
J.R. Smith – Like Irving and James, Smith shot well (6-11 FG, 2-3 3PT) on his way to 16 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 steals.
Channing Frye – The newly acquired Frye had his shooting touch going, as he knocked down 4 of his 8 attempts from long range. He contributed 15 points, 6 rebounds in 18 minutes off the bench. It’s only his second game for the Cavs, but I expect the minutes to settle around the high teens to mid-20s and maybe more, when Kevin Love (8 points, 4-11 shooting) isn’t shooting as well.
Kemba Walker – Walker continued his strong play with 20 points, 6 assists, 3 threes
Frank Kaminsky – Frank the Tank played admirably off the bench, finishing with 16 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 threes.
Al Jefferson – In his third game back from a torn meniscus, Jefferson posted 12 points and 6 rebounds off the bench. His minutes have stayed in the low 20s so far and I’m not sure that will change. He’s older and Cody Zeller (7 points, 6 rebounds) and Kaminsky have shown that they deserve more playing time.
Myles Turner – Turner continued to reward owners who were patient with the rookie big man. Against the Knicks, he scored 24 points and grabbed 6 rebounds.
Paul George – PG13 didn’t have his usual 3-pt shot going (0-7 3PT, 10-23 FG), but was still able to chip in 27 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists.
Monta Ellis – Known for his scoring more than anything, Ellis contributed across the board: 8 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals, and 2 threes.
Carmelo Anthony – Melo didn’t have his shot on Wednesday, as he made only 5-20 from the field and 1-4 from downtown. He added a useful 7 rebounds and 3 assists, but I still have concerns about his knee down the stretch. I would try and trade him while the Knicks still think they have a chance to make the playoffs.
Kristaps Porzingis – He posted 22 points, 2 steals, and 2 threes, but, along with Melo, missed 3-point shots in the final 10 seconds, as the Knicks lost their 9th game out of the last 10.
Jose Calderon – Calderon didn’t score in the previous game and then explodes for 20 points on a perfect 4-4 from downtown. Go figure. He also contributed 4 rebounds and 4 assists. In my opinion, Langston Galloway (17 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 threes) should be starting over Calderon, but I don’t run the Knicks.
Kyle O’Quinn – O’Quinn exploded for 19 points and 6 rebounds off the bench. Don’t worry about this line, as he’s seen single digit minutes in the previous three games.
Tobias Harris – Harris has looked like a great trade for the Pistons so far. He had his second 20-point game for the Pistons with 22 points and 8 rebounds on 9-12 shooting. With Stanley Johnson (right shoulder sprain) and Anthony Tolliver (right knee sprain) hurt, Harris and Marcus Morris (13 points, 8 assists, 4 rebounds, and 3 steals) will be relied upon even more than usual. Even when Johnson returns in a week, I don’t expect Harris or Morris to lose much value.
Hollis Thompson – Thompson used the blowout to post 19 points, 4 rebounds and 3 threes off the bench. Other than Thompson, it was pretty ugly for the 76ers, as they lost by 20. Jahlil Okafor was the only starter to reach double figures (13 points and 2 rebounds on 6-10 shooting).
Steph Curry and Klay Thompson – The Splash Brothers weren’t about to lose to a Heat team without Chris Bosh (blood clot). After getting down early, the Warriors regained the lead in the 4th thanks to Curry’s 42 points (14-29 FG, 6-12 3PT, and 8-8 FT), 7 rebounds, and 7 assists and Thompson’s 33 points (13-25 FG, 4-8 3PT), 3 rebounds, and 4 steals. 73 wins is still in sight!
Dwyane Wade – Wade almost led the Heat to a shocking victory over the Warriors, but his 32 points and 7 assists just weren’t enough.
Luol Deng – Deng continued to play well in the absence of Bosh. He posted 16 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 assists, his fourth straight double-double since the All-Star break.
Justise Winslow – He may not contribute much outside points and rebounds usually, but he had a very fantasy friendly line on Wednesday with 8 points, 10 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, and 2 blocks.
Hassan Whiteside – It doesn’t matter if he’s coming off the bench or starting. Whiteside has been cleaning up the glass. He contributed 21 points, 13 rebounds, and 2 blocks on Wednesday.
DeMar DeRozan – DeRozan led the Raptors in scoring, with 31 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists. He even knocked down both of his 3-point attempts.
Kyle Lowry – The Robin to DeRozan’s Batman, Lowry posted 21 points and 6 assists with 3 threes. Lowry has now scored 20+ points in 3 of the last 4 games.
Cory Joseph – Coming off the bench, Joseph scored 18 points and dished out 6 assists. That’s now 4 straight double-digit scoring games for Joseph.
Gorgui Dieng – Dang, Dieng just continues to play well. 21 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, and 2 blocks on Wednesday.
Ricky Rubio – Rubio was very efficient on Wednesday, scoring 12 points and handing out 12 dimes, on 2-3 FG, 2-2 3-pt, and 6-6 FT.
Andrew Wiggins – Leading the T-Wolves in scoring, Wiggins went for a 26/4/3 line.
Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook – Who is the better player right now? KD or Westbrook? KD posted 24 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals, and 1 block, while Westbrook went for 24 points, 13 assists, and 7 rebounds. An argument could be made for either one, but you have to be very happy if you’re lucky enough to own either.
Dion Waiters – DION WAITERS MADE A BASKET!!! After this sad performance on Sunday, Waiters scored 14 points and 4-6 from downtown off the bench. Whoever edited that lowlight reel of Waiters together is a genius. Give that person an Oscar.
Steven Adams – Known more for his defense, Adams knocked down 7-9 from the field for 15 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 blocks. That’s 4 straight games with 2 blocks, for owners in need of blocks.
Enes Kanter – Playing behind Adams, Kanter posted 14 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals off the bench.
Dirk Nowitzki – At 37, Nowitzki can still light it up. He scored 33 points (10-16 FG, 2-4 3PT, and 11-12 FT) with 6 rebounds and 2 steals, but it wasn’t enough against the Thunder.
Raymond Felton – It doesn’t stand out too much, but Felton has produced decent all-around numbers throughout the season. He posted 10 points, 9 assists, and 6 rebounds off the bench on Wednesday. Deron Williams (14/3/6) still started, but both have shown they can be valuable.
Matt Barnes – Just like the Bulls, there’s value to be had on the Grizzlies with Marc Gasol out for the year and Jeff Green traded to the Clippers. Enter Matt Barnes. He scored a season high 25 points with 8 rebounds, 5 threes, and 1 steal/block each. He won’t do this every night, but has shown he can be a fantasy worthy player with starters’ minutes.
JaMychal Green – Exit Jeff Green, enter JaMychal Green. The consistency isn’t quite there, but he should continue to start for the remainder of the season. On Wednesday, he scored 12 points and grabbed 9 rebounds with 1 steal and 1 block. His only competition is Brandan Wright (15 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 blocks), who is coming back from knee surgery.
Zach Randolph – Randolph has picked up his passing a little with Gasol out, dishing out 3 assists, along with 14 points and 9 rebounds. He’s averaging 3+ assists a game over the last 5, much higher than his season average of 1.6. Hopefully he keeps it up because the rebounds and points aren’t enough by themselves.
Mike Conley – He’s often overlooked, but is still one of the better fantasy point guards in the league. He contributed 24 points, 8 assists, and 6 rebounds on Wednesday.
P.J. Hairston – Acquired in a trade with the Hornets, Hairston scored 17 points for the Grizzlies on 4-7 from deep. Someone has to play for the injured Tony Allen (sore left knee), but Hairston started before in Charlotte and did very little with the minutes.
Kobe Bryant – This game was supposed to be about Bryant’s last game in Memphis. He may have helped fill the seats (13 points on 5-14 shooting), but it was his teammates who did the damage for the Lakers. Jordan Clarkson dropped 28 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 threes, while D’Angelo Russell contributed 22/4/8, and Louis Williams chipped in 22 points and 4 threes off the bench. Again, trust the lesser-known guys. Bryant’s days as a consistent fantasy contributor are over.
Julius Randle – He double-doubled with 11 points and 14 rebounds, his 3rd in the last 4 games. Randle can handle the boards and scoring, but he needs to contribute more across the board to be valuable in fantasy.
Chris Paul – CP3 did his usual thing, scoring 17 points and dishing out 10 assists with 6 rebounds and 4 steals.
J.J. Redick and Jamal Crawford – The Clippers trailed for most of the game and attempted a franchise-high 46 3-pointers, making only 13 of them. Most of the makes came from Redick and Crawford. Redick finished with 20 points on 6-12 shooting from downtown and 7-16 overall, while Crawford posted 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 threes off the bench.
Gary Harris – Harris hit 3 threes of his own, on his way to 17 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 steals.
Kenneth Faried – Faried scored 9 points in a Nuggets 14-0 run to end the second quarter and never looked back. He finished the game with 21 points and 11 rebounds.
Danilo Gallinari – Gallo couldn’t quite find his shooting stroke (6-15 FG, 1-4 3PT, and 3-6 FT), but still managed to finish with 16 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 assists.
Kawhi Leonard – Questionable coming into the game, Leonard was able to suit up and post 18 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 steals. The Spurs play again on Thursday so we’ll see if Coach Popovich will let Leonard play in the back-to-back.
Tony Parker – Parker scored 10 of his team high 23 points in the 4th quarter, as the Spurs finished off the Kings. He also contributed 6 assists and 3 rebounds.
Danny Green – Green knocked down 4 of 7 from downtown, adding 16 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 steals.
David West and Kyle Anderson – On a night when LaMarcus Aldridge (2-11, 7 points) and Tim Duncan (0-2, 0 points) couldn’t get going on offense, the Spurs relied on West and Anderson to score off the bench. West finished with 10 points, 8 rebounds and 2 steals on 5-8 shooting, while Anderson contributed 14 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals on 7-8 shooting. Feel free to leave both on the wire.
DeMarcus Cousins – He may have started slow, but finished the game with 22 points (8-23 FG, 2-4 3PT, 4-9 FT), 10 rebounds, and 2 assists. He was bound to have a quieter night against the defensive minded Spurs.
Rajon Rondo – Rondo tore up the passing lanes, handing out 18 assists to go along with 7 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 steals.
Darren Collison – Rondo wasn’t traded at the deadline, but Collison can still have value off the bench for the Kings. He finished Wednesday’s game with 15 points, 6 assists, and 3 rebounds.