While a large swath of America headed to the voting booth, your friendly neighbor to the north spent last night kickin’ back, feet up, drink in hand (technically it was multiple drinks), with the channel tuned to NBA basketball. I traded in polls for points, delegates for dimes, and rhetoric for rebounds.

You see, the beauty of basketball is that it’s pure. It’s honest. It’s 48 minutes of team competition, largely devoid of self interest. Positive results have a direct correlation to superior effort and ability – things that you just can’t fake. It’s refreshing. The best fantasy assets are those who are well-rounded and who contribute more than just the basic “popcorn” numbers that appeal to the casual observer. Fantasy studs have depth and consistency…as they should. So when you juxtapose a random Tuesday evening of professional basketball with one of the biggest nights in American politics, you really gain an appreciation for just how lucky we are to live in the time of NBA LeaguePass. It’s super duper. (Sorry, CNN.)

In a departure from the normal “good/bad/noteworthy” format, I’ve decided to simply take a “studs & duds” approach to breaking down the evening. Winners and losers is what it’s all about on Super Tuesday, so let’s roll with it. Without further adieu, here are your best lines from a six-game slate, along with some that left fantasy owners as angry and confused as a registered Republican…

 

TUESDAY’S TOPS

You are a happy camper if you rostered (and activated) any of the 10 following players:

  • D’Angelo Russell (39/6/3/1/0) – The line of the night award goes to young Mr. Russell who just narrowly missed a 40-burger while helping his team to a victory over the visiting Brooklyn Nets. D’Angelo poured in eight 3-pointers (on 12 attempts) and made 14-21 from the field overall. The rookie has averaged 27.7 points per game over his last three, a stretch in which he has also drained 13 treys and kept his turnovers down to just 1.7 per game. Russell’s owners should enjoy a nice final stretch from the youngster.
  • Hassan Whiteside (26/14/1/0/4) – It doesn’t matter whether he’s starting or coming off the bench, Whiteside is a beast if he’s healthy. Tuesday marked Hassan’s sixth straight double-double that included at least two blocks. He has been a boon to FG% all year at .617 but now that he’s shooting a modified jump shot on his free throws, he’s made 23 of his last 25 at the charity stripe. Whiteside obviously won’t continue at a 92% clip, but he’s clearly figured something out and he’s poised for a monster final six weeks of the season.
  • Joe Johnson (24/5/4/0/1) – The newest member of the Heat connected on 10-13 from the field, including a pair from beyond the arc. Iso Joe has looked quite comfortable operating within the framework of the Miami system and looks like his value gets a bump with his recent move to South Beach.
  • Kemba Walker (26/6/9/1/0) – In an altogether non-competitive game vs. the Suns, Kemba managed to see just enough court time (30 minutes) to post a stellar line. Contributing to his team-high 26 points were three 3-pointers and a perfect 5-5 mark from the foul line. Kemba only turned it over once and appears locked in as a top-25 ROS fantasy asset.
  • Damian Lillard (30/4/6/0/0) – Though he didn’t chip in any defensive goodies, Dame did bury four treys, connect on all 10 free throw attempts, and kept his turnovers to just one. He may not be the top-10 fantasy asset many were predicting at the start of the year (yours truly included), but he’s certainly not a total bust of a late-first round pick either. Look for him to continue producing lines like Tuesday’s as the Blazers remarkably continue to jockey for playoff position in the West.
  • Zaza Pachulia (17/10/2/1/1) – The four turnovers take a bit of shine off of this outing, but Zaza was a perfect 5-5 on his free throws and only missed two of his eight attempts from the field. David Lee will steal some minutes here and there, but Pachulia remains a strong hold in all fantasy formats through the end of the year.
  • Wesley Matthews (21/5/2/2/0) – Nice night from Wes as he didn’t turn the ball over a single time in his 32 minutes and shot 8-12 from the field. It really is remarkable that he has played as well as he has this season coming off Achilles surgery.
  • Paul Millsap (19/7/4/3/4) – The multi-cat monster was at it again, this time using his versatile game to help the visiting Hawks take the Warriors to overtime. Unfortunately Sapper only shot 5-17 from the field (1-6 from 3-point range) or this could have been a true gem.
  • Draymond Green (15/13/9/4/1) – Much like Millsap, Draymond’s across-the-board production is the stuff of legend in fantasy circles. As the lead dog on Tuesday night, he didn’t disappoint. His efficiency wasn’t great (6-15 FGs, five TOs), but he does far more good than harm for fantasy owners lucky enough to have him on their rosters.
  • Thaddeus Young (19/15/2/1/0) – A rock solid top-50 asset, Thad is locked into his role with the Nets (11 of his last 12 games he’s seen 34 or more minutes of floor time) and should continue to see increased opportunity following the buyout of Joe Johnson.

 

TUESDAY’S FLOPS

Your 10 most disappointing fantasy lines from the first day of March belonged to:

  • P.J. Tucker (3/7/0/2/0) – The Suns may have just not made the trip to Charlotte as they got absolutely creamed (at one point down by over 40). Tucker still managed to see 34 minutes, but did nothing with them as he went 1-6 from the field and was a complete non-factor in the game.
  • Devin Booker (13/2/1/1/0) – The rookie may have hit the proverbial wall as he’s really struggling of late. Booker hasn’t hit even 40% from the field in any of his last six games and he’s taking double-digit shots per game, so the weighted average is a major bugaboo. With modest to non-existent contributions in complementary categories, Booker should be on your bench until he gets his legs back under him. I don’t recommend dropping him as the Suns have no choice but to give him opportunity through to the end of this lost season, but you might not want him active if you’re trying to compete in the FG% category.
  • Jose Calderon (5/2/2/0/0) – 25 minutes of forgettable basketball for Calderon who looks like his time as an NBA player is quickly fading. He has never been able to defend and his offensive contributions are sporadic at best, so he’s not a must-own player as the Knicks tumble down the Eastern Conference standings.
  • Robin Lopez (8/2/1/0/0) – Sideshow Bob had a nice little run there in February but it’s lines like this that remind fantasy owners just how low his floor can be. He was posting consistent duds at the start of the year and it’s fair to wonder if he’ll close out this season the same way. He’s still a hold in hopes that this was just one off night.
  • Langston Galloway (0/2/0/0/0) – This was the stinker-du-jour for sure on Tuesday. Missing all seven shots and having more fouls (3) than all other box score contributions total (2) in 21 minutes is next level awful. There’s just too much uncertainty in the Knicks backcourt right now to trust a guy like Galloway. There are likely better options floating around in the free agent pool.
  • Victor Oladipo (6/4/2/0/0) – A forgettable night for most of the Magic starting five. ‘Dipo rode the pine for as many minutes as he was on the court (24) and just couldn’t get it going. He’ll be better than this his next time out.
  • Aaron Gordon (7/5/4/1/0) – Foul trouble was the main culprit as AG just couldn’t stop hacking people and was held to only 19 minutes. He was cooking coming into this one so expect him to bounce back with a double-double tonight versus the Bulls.
  • Deron Williams (7/4/6/1/0) – D-Will just didn’t have it on Tuesday as the rest of the starting five all scored in double-figures and carried the Mavs to an easy win. Williams is a solid hold and I’d expect a big game from him is just around the corner.
  • Jeff Teague (7/1/6/0/0) – Didn’t close out the game as Coach Bud decided to go with Dennis Schroder. Teague had a couple bad turnovers in the second half that may have led to his benching, and this is the type of short leash situation when there’s a very capable backup option.
  • Lou Williams (6/0/0/0/0) – Sweet Lou blew a hammy after only 10 minutes on the court and with the Lakers looking to develop their young backcourt combo of Jordan Clarkson and D’Angelo Russell, I wouldn’t expect Williams to rush back. I would wait to officially hear word of a recovery timeline, but with his recent demotion to the bench, Lou was a cut candidate already.

 

M.I.A.

Failing to take the court on Tuesday night were:

  • Jimmy Butler (knee) – Jimmy Buckets is closing in on a return, perhaps as early as this weekend. Hopefully he doesn’t push it and come back at only 90% as his style of play leaves him open to re-aggravation. As a Butler fantasy owner, I want him 100% for that final stretch of games during the fantasy playoffs where he has a 5/4/4 schedule.
  • Gerald Green (DNP-CD) – The nine-fingered assassin was nailed to the bench on Tuesday as the arrival of Joe Johnson and emergence of Josh Richardson have made Green’s services unnecessary. If you haven’t already, cut him loose.
  • Kris Humphries (new team) – The former Mr. Kardashian just arrived in Atlanta and should be ready to see a small bench role going forward. I wouldn’t expect any more than 10-12 minutes a night so long as Millsap and Al Horford are healthy.
  • Steph Curry (ankle) – The Chef will be back in the kitchen for the next game out. Tuesday’s absence was more of the precautionary variety after an ankle tweak his last game out.
  • Andre Iguodala (hamstring) – Details on Iggy’s ailment are a bit sketchy so there is the potential that he misses more time going forward. Theoretically that means a few more minutes for Harrison Barnes, but he didn’t do anything exciting on Tuesday so it’s wise to keep your expectations fairly low.
  • Kobe Bryant (rest) – The Mamba should be back for the Lakers next game out, especially if Lou Williams is forced to miss time with his bum hammy. Enjoy and appreciate the last few games where Kobe is able to suit up.

 

That wraps up another Tuesday evening in the Association. As always, if you want to chat waiver pickups, DFS plays, or anything else fantasy hoops, drop me a line on Twitter @moneyballmatty. Cheers.

Also, if you haven’t already, I strongly encourage you to check out John Oliver’s rant from this past weekend. Regardless of your political bend, I guarantee you it’ll be 22 of the best minutes you’ll spend this year. #MakeDonaldDrumpfAgain

  1. Tyler says:
    (link)

    Deep league. Playoffs start Mar14.
    Do I drop Blake or Mirotic for Tony Allen, Kyle Anderson, Kevin Martin, David West or Amare?

    • Matty

      Matty says:
      (link)

      @Tyler: Man, those are two tough guys to hang onto. The last we’ve heard of Blake is that he’s still “a ways away” plus he has to serve a suspension once he’s cleared to return to action. So in a best-case scenario you’re only going to get maybe 3-4 weeks out of him. With Mirotic, I would lean towards holding him only because the Bulls’ frontcourt is thinning out and he’ll have a clear path to minutes & shots once he gets back on the court. Plus, he has a dynamite playoff schedule, so if you can get him back in two weeks or less, you’re looking at a potentially very valuable asset. None of Allen/SloMo/KMart/West/Amare are exciting enough or have high enough ceilings to dump Blake or Miro for. I’d hold and cross your fingers they both get cleared in the next 10 days or so.

      • Tyler says:
        (link)

        @Matty: im just worried that if Blake doesnt get cleared by March9 then he wont be useable during first week of playoffs (March14) and I cant afford to stash him during that time since we have no byes.
        With Mirotic, coachs says he’s still feeling pain and workout aint helpijg him. Also McDermots been killing it so Miro might not have enough mins during the 1st week of POs?

        What do you think?

        • Matty

          Matty says:
          (link)

          @Tyler: Well they just came out and said Miro is 1-2 weeks away, so looks like it’ll be that March 14th date that he’ll be back for. You’re right about Blake – if he’s not cleared very soon and starts serving out his suspension he won’t be usable. McDermott will lose a lot of value once Jimmy Buckets comes back, which is looking like it’ll be this weekend, so I wouldn’t want to count on Dougie.

  2. Tim says:
    (link)

    I need some help for next year (I am not going to do it this year in a keeper 12 team 9 cat roto).

    Our league works that you keep for up to three years with the round you picked minus one (i.e. you picked a guy in the 10th and keep you use a 9th round pick next year and an 8th round pick the next year and so on).

    My keepers for next year are:

    Averly Bradley (keep with a 11th round next year)
    Rickey Rubio (keep with a 10th round next year)
    Draymond Green (keep with a 7th round pick).

    I have Hassan Whiteside as a keeper with a 5th round pick.

    I have been offered Paul George (who would also be kept with a 5th round pick next year by someone who needs blocks to win the league.

    Do I do it? Essentially given that i have Draymond Green, Ricky Rubio and Averly Bradley would you rather have Paul George or Hassan Whiteside NEXT YEAR (THIS YEAR IS MEANINGLESS). I am worried that Hassan may have lesser value next depending on where he goes whereas Paul george will be pretty much the same.

    Any thoughts would be great.

    • Matty

      Matty says:
      (link)

      @Tim: Yeah, I think I’d rather have Paul George going forward. I’m no fan of his (even though I own him in my “big” league) but he should be a top-20 guy who helps you in more categories than Hassan does. I’m really, really worried about Whiteside once he cashes in on a big contract this offseason. Given his history of maturity/character issues, he is a PRIME candidate to take the max money and fail to live up to the contract. Also, we don’t know where he’ll be playing or what type of minutes/role he’s going to. What happens if he goes to a situation where the coach isn’t as forgiving as Spo?

      In the offseason I’m really hoping PG13 takes a look back at this year’s tape and sees what the rest of the basketball world sees – his shot selection is AWFUL and he has single-handedly lost the Pacers games with his inability to make in-game adjustments. He’s been criticizing his teammates for a lack of toughness, but George has taken a step back defensively and settles for jumpers far too often…which some may define as “soft.” He needs to change these things if he wants to take the next step and I think he will.

      George feels like a guy who will be better next year than he was this year. Hassan feels like the polar opposite. I’d make the deal.

  3. lb. sand says:
    (link)

    10 team h2h – drop jokic or m turner to stash griffin?

    • Matty

      Matty says:
      (link)

      @lb. sand: No. I’d prefer 22 games from both Jokic and Turner to maybe only 10-15 games out of Blake. Even though Griffin himself said he’s “close,” Doc said he’s not…PLUS, he has a four-game suspension he needs to serve.

      Jokic has been a bit frustrating to own since Malone is jerking his minutes around despite Nurkic not being part of the rotation, but when he gets his high-20s/low-30s minutes, he’s beasting. When it all averages out, he’s a pretty nice player to own.

      And I know Turner has thrown up a couple duds lately but he’s too talented to continue struggling and I’d expect him to bounce back to the 14 & 8 type lines with some blocks.

  4. Joe says:
    (link)

    Would you trade Teague for Tobias straight up? What about Zingis, whom I can keep next year at the cost of my 11th round pick, for LeBron in a win now move (the Lebron owner is out of the playoff hunt)?

    My team in a 10-team, 9-cat, h2h: Wall, Teague, Clarkson, A.Bradley, Redick, Middleton, Batum, Durant, Zingis, Gortat, Gobert

    • Joe says:
      (link)

      @Joe:

      I asked both trade questions together in case your response to one affects your response in another.

    • Matty

      Matty says:
      (link)

      @Joe: Tough call. Detroit is so thin that Tobias looks like he’s in line for a really nice ROS run. In his current situation he’s probably going to average about 16/7/2 with a steal and more than a 3 per game.

      Teague, on the other hand, just got benched in a big game that went to OT in favor of Dennis Schroder. His assists have been nice though with between 5 and 9 in each of his last nine games. Last night was the first time in 18 games that he failed to record a steal and only the second time in 16 games that he’s failed to hit double-digits in scoring…so Teague has been pretty good lately.

      They’re close, but I think I’d still prefer Teague because assists are a hard category to chase while the numbers that Tobias gets you are more commonly found in other players (i.e. by platoon if you play the waiver wire/schedule game well).

      For the Zinger/LeBron one – no, hold Zinger. LeBron is going to rest a bunch down the stretch as I don’t think the Cavs really care if they’re the top seed or the 2nd seed. They’ll still come out of the East if they’re healthy during the playoffs and they know it. They have 23 games left on the schedule and I bet you LBJ sits five of ’em. Hold Zinger as he could have a big final month+ of the season if the Knicks shut down Melo.

  5. jcg says:
    (link)

    Which two would you want to roster for playoffs out of

    Mack, Bayless, Beverly, Bogdanovic, Gary Harris, Chalmers, Sloan, Demarre Carroll

    looking for overall value, thanks!

    • Matty

      Matty says:
      (link)

      @jcg: If possible, play the schedule game. Sloan & Bojan have a 5-gamer starting on March 28th, so you’ll want them for that. Unfortunately they have three straight 3-gamers leading up to it, so they’re tough to hold through those soft weeks.

      Likewise, Toronto has a 5-gamer starting March 14th, but it remains to be seen whether Carroll will be fully healthy and re-integrated into the rotation by then. It’s gonna be close and my bet is he comes back at darn near 100% with maybe just a little rust getting back into “game shape.” He’s a guy I’d want out of that group though since Toronto finishes the season with weeks of 5/3/4/4 games.

      Gary Harris has been playing some nice ball and Denver doesn’t have many healthy bodies left, so he’s going to get all the minutes he can handle. The have three consecutive 4-game weeks starting March 14th, so you may want him for that stretch.

      Mack might be the best guy currently as he is in the middle of a 4-gamer and has two more in a row after this. If he gets 30 minutes a night I think he’ll be a very solid asset.

      Beverley is solid, but unspectacular and has no outstanding stretches of schedule left.

      I’d pass on Chalmers and Bayless. Too inconsistent given that Chalmers is a bench guy and Bayless is hurt every other week and may or may not start over MCW on any given night.

      Best bet as I see it is to hold DeMarre Carroll and reap the benefits once he’s back in a week or two. And then roll Mack out there for the next few weeks and dump him in late-March for either Sloan or Bojan when their 5-gamer hits. (And if you don’t want to play the waiting game on Carroll, Gary Harris is your man.)

  6. miles proudfoot says:
    (link)

    Ahhh. So many Knicks on the duds list. Sad but true.

    How do you like Rubio and Dieng for Vuc? I’m going to try Rubio and Al Jeff first but prob won’t take. I’m good on assists, could use big man stats.

    Thanks!

    • Matty

      Matty says:
      (link)

      @miles proudfoot: Yeah, when you’re only able to put up 85 points on your home court to a team that gives up over 102/game, you know there were some guys who failed to show up.

      I love me some Vuc, but that’s a steep price. Dieng is getting so much run with Pek, KG and Bjelica all out and has actually been outperforming Vuc over the last month. (GD is 34th since Feb 1st, NV is 38th). If you’re going to give up both Minnesota guys, you need to get another player back in addition to Vuc. And not just any scrub – somebody well inside the top-100.

      • miles proudfoot says:
        (link)

        @Matty: cool thanks! If I’m hearing right then I’ll just go with Rubio and al Jeff.

        • miles proudfoot says:
          (link)

          @miles proudfoot: also may throw out Rubio and al Jeff for Porzingas, and Rubio and Dieng for favors.

  7. Ryan says:
    (link)

    Great write-up. And wow, I didn’t know that Whiteside changed his shooting form until now. That would be huge for his value if the improvement holds.

    I’m not buying the jump to 90+% either, but it’d be pretty big if he can even become a high 60’s-low 70’s guy. I’d probably even take him in the first-mid second round despite the injury concerns next year. He’s already well within that range for per game value, and has been pure gold in my keeper leagues where I managed to nab him off the wire last season.

    • Matty

      Matty says:
      (link)

      @Ryan: Thanks, Ryan. Appreciate it.

      Yeah, it’s really interesting to watch. Looks like he’s just out there in pre-game warmups shooting foul line jumpers. But he’s swishing them. I watched the game and it looks PURE. I don’t know who worked with him on it, but that guy deserves a bonus at the end of the year. Totally changes things for the Heat as teams now can’t employ the “hack-a” strategy if Hassan is consistently able to knock down both freebies any time they try it.

      There will be regression, no doubt. But those 2-9 outings like he had early in the year look to be done for good.

  8. sliimbo says:
    (link)

    would you be dropping marucs morris for schroder?

    • Matty

      Matty says:
      (link)

      @sliimbo: Nah, I don’t think so. Morris is pretty much set in his situation, even once Stanley Johnson is ready to come back. He’ll be seeing minutes safely in the 30s and likely will post something in the area of 14/5/3 with a three and a steal. I don’t see any way Schroder can match that output on a consistent/reliable basis without Teague getting hurt. He could get close (he’s currently around 11/3/5 with a steal and a three), but I think it’s still Morris by a hair.

  9. Melo says:
    (link)

    Hey Matty, good read.

    What do you think, Mahinmi or Zaza ROS?

    • Matty

      Matty says:
      (link)

      @Melo: Thanks, Melo.

      Gotta think it’s gonna be Zaza, even with Lee in town now. You might see 3 or 4 fewer minutes a night on average, but he’s still capable of double-doubling most nights in ~26 MPG.

      Mahinmi has scored or boarded in double figures in four straight, so it’s tough to be bullish on his ROS prospects.

  10. Threekola says:
    (link)

    Are you dropping Darren Collison for Zach Lavine?

    Thanks Matty!

    • Matty

      Matty says:
      (link)

      @Threekola: It’s really close but I think I’d lean Collison over Lavine due to schedule density. Sacto has four-game weeks each of the next five (including this week) while Minny has only two such weeks the rest of the season. Collison is getting big minutes lately and has been shooting the three ball well (nine makes in last three games). Plus, Rondo is starting to accumulate more nicks & bruises so the opportunity for a major role is right around the corner for Colly. Lavine is no joke when given 30 minutes, but I like Darren a bit more.

  11. Tyler says:
    (link)

    Avery Bradley or Monta Ellis?

    • Matty

      Matty says:
      (link)

      @Tyler: Bradley. He’s about 30 ranking spots higher since Feb 1st and he’s not prone to those FG% crushing outings like Monta is (i.e. Ellis’ 2-17 game on Feb 22, 4-13 on Feb 26, 6-17 on Feb 28).

Comments are closed.