San Antonio Spurs vs. New Orleans Pelicans
- It was a career night across the board for Jeremy Sochan. The Spurs’ most recent lottery pick was inserted int0 the starting lineup and erupted for 23 points, nine rebounds, six assists, two treys and a swipe in 31 minutes. Normally an offensive bystander, Sochan was heavily involved in San Antonio’s attack, registering a 14 field goal attempts and 10 foul shots. With the Spurs firmly entered into the Wembanyama sweepstakes, they might as well let Sochan (seven percent rostered in Yahoo! standard leagues) try to spread his wings. In that case he may be worth an add, but I’d wait a game or two to see if this was just an anomaly.
- Speaking of getting an opportunity to spread wings, the Spurs handed their other rookie Malaki Branham (three percent rostered) more than 20 minutes for the third consecutive outing. Coming off his own career high, he managed nine points on 4-of-6 shooting and produced squadoosh in every other category, but he’s a name to monitor as San Antonio rolls out the tank.
- Man I wish Willy Hernangomez got moved to a team where he could get consistent minutes. Every time he does he produces an abundance of fantasy goodness. And it doesn’t even have to be the lion’s share of playing time—as evidenced by the superb line he compiled in 22 minutes last night. Willy notched 13 points, seven boards, five dimes, a steal and two swats while converting all seven of his freebies. He’s a solid streamer as long as New Orleans has frontcourt players out, but I’m still pining for a trade to open up playing time for Hernangomez (one percent rostered).
Washington Wizards vs. Utah Jazz
- With Deni Avdija sidelined last night, Corey Kispert moved into the starting lineup to provide Washington with an extra long-range threat. The Gonzaga product led the team with 37 minutes played, scoring 12 points while hitting half of his shots and threes, dishing out two assists, and picking up a steal. Kispert (four percent rostered) is basically just a threes specialist when he’s getting a pile of minutes, and fades into nothing when he’s in a reserve role, which is exactly what will happen when Avdija is back. He can be safely left on the wire.
- Speaking of Gonzaga, Rui Hachimura made his return after a long hiatus, scoring seven points and grabbing seven rebounds in 24 minutes. Hachimura (11 percent rostered) is a pure points play, whose utter lack of assists, stocks, and treys actually makes him a detriment to hold. I’m not biting.
- Utah is pretty much a known quantity fantasy wise—eight Jazz men are rostered in at least 60 percent of leagues. From there the next highest roster share nosedives to 11 percent with Nickeil Alexander-Walker. NAW also happens to be the only player outside that eight to receive significant playing time, but his roster share is right in line with what it should be. He’s the fourth-best sixth-man-type guard on this team, which is going to depress his numbers drastically. Utah has tried to get him to be a pure backup point guard, and to his credit his assist numbers have been steady (four of them last night to go with eight points and a pair of triples), but it doesn’t move the needle at all fantasy wise.