Regarding last week’s suggestions, I hope you followed the Desmond Bane one, as he shot the ball incredibly this week so the buy low window is shut. Meanwhile, Royce O’Neale had two good and one awful game but he remains an add until Kevin Durant returns, while Patrick Williams unfortunately couldn’t capitalize on DeMar DeRozan’s absence properly. Finally, on the “Sell” front, Jordan Clarkson continues to take advantage of absences in Utah and thus continues to be a good sell high target.

No Sell portion this week as it is a week with a tight schedule and lots of good streaming candidates to add.

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So after last night’s win over a strong Cavaliers team, I’d confidently say now that the Nets are around the Bucks and Celtics tier and a real contender… which means Kevin Durant (36 MIN, 10-18 FG, 5-8 3PT, 7-8 FT, 9 REB, 5 AST, 4 TO, +10, 32 PTS.) is a legit MVP candidate as well. That being said though, Nets fans can be a tad bit ridiculous. Seeing a lot non-ironic content throwing Steve Nash under the bus and sneakily laying shade on “distractions” no longer affecting the team and all the hate the team has been receiving over these “distractions”. My homies in Brooklyn, y’all ridiculous. Isn’t Steve Nash the type of player-soft coach that KD and Kyrie wanted and forced on the team? Then you have KD’s fragility from being rightly called a bus rider… and of course the anti-semetic and anti-vaccine stuff from Kyrie, as if that wasn’t the most egregious out of all of this… so yeah, Nets are a great team and are playing well and have triumphed over some adversity. And yes, Kyrie Irving is playing well too! (40 MIN, 11-19 FG, 7-11 3PT, 3-4 FT, 4 REB, 5 AST, 3 TO, +16, 32 PTS. Finished 7-out-of-11 from beyond the arc. Happy Hanukkah to him! But it was their own adversity that they so eagerly created by being emotional and/or hateful idiots, so do they really deserve a cookie? No. I want the cookies. It’s the holiday season and I’m in the camp that says Jews don’t have space lasers, so yeah, that deserves cookies I think. Here’s what else I saw during last night’s short slate of games:

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Regarding last week’s suggestions, Walker Kessler was already a hot add but Kelly Olynyk missing some time with an ankle injury makes him even more must add, while Jordan Goodwin had a good run and is still a steals specialist but with the Wizards healthier, he becomes more of a 16-team league player. Finally, Maxi Kleber got unlucky and injured his hamstring in practice, while the two “Sell” suggestions from last week, Jalen Smith and John Wall did nothing to change their status as players I don’t want in my fantasy team.

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Regarding last week’s suggestions, Mo Bamba had three good games in a row despite not starting and has more than merited a spot in your roster until Wendell Carter returns, while AJ Griffin was a very good streamer that might lose some appeal when the Hawks get back to full strength. Finally, Thomas Bryant had his moment to shine in the two games without Anthony Davis, but is a clear drop now that AD is active.

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The Nets are leaning more and more on Yuta Watanabe, and he’s rewarded them with hard-nosed defense and a sizzling start from beyond the arc. Watanabe has averaged 24 MPG over his last seven healthy outings (scoring in double figures in five of them), and was a key cog in 29 minutes last night after scoring 20 points, grabbing seven rebounds, and nailing five triples. With his 5-for-7 display from deep, he’s now up to a ridiculous (albeit unsustainable) 55.6 percent on his threes. A long, switchy wing who can keep defenses honest from distance is a good fit for Brooklyn, and Watanabe should stay in this prominent role as long as his jumper doesn’t go in the toilet. He’s a deep-league add who should be on the streaming radar in standard formats as well (three percent rostered in Yahoo! standard leagues).

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Darius Garland returned to the Cavaliers, putting up 29 points and 12 assists in a close victory over the Boston Celtics. In both games where Garland and Donovan Mitchell have played the Cavs bigs have struggled to score. Jarrett Allen had 15 points last night while Evan Mobley had 14, both were below regular season averages. As for the Celtics, it’s hard to win games when Jayson Tatum shoots 8-21 from the field. On a positive note his defensive numbers were quite solid last night: nine defensive rebounds and four blocks. 

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The starting small forward positional battle for Portland was fierce all offseason. Chauncey Billups would change the dial, start bobbing his head, then go to the next channel and start bobbing his head some more. He’d turn the dial to the right, but like Beyonce, would get to the left. And start bobbing his head some more. Nassir Little, Justise Winslow and Josh Hart were all viable candidates. Little is the most athletic of the bunch but he lacks the experience of the others. Winslow has the biggest frame and can do a variety of things on the court. Hart is small in stature but he plays much bigger than his frame and his experience and IQ are top level.

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Just like last season, we’re going to spend a lot of wasted energy trying to guess correctly which of the Bucks’ pupu platter of wings will be the most reliable source of fantasy goodness, especially with star swingman Khris Middleton (and also Pat Connaughton) on the shelf to begin the year. Jevon Carter replaced Middleton as a starter—not sure if that was purely match up with Tyrese Maxey on the other end or if that will stick. But it was Grayson Allen (16 percent rostered in Yahoo! leagues) who garnered the most minutes of the motley crew with 32, also leading them all with 10 field goal attempts, five free throw attempts, 12 points, four assists, and a pair of triples. Allen established himself as a fairly consistent source of points and triples at the beginning of last season, and should carry that momentum forward. Milwaukee also seemed surprisingly comfortable letting Allen create a little off of DHO actions, and the four helpers are a welcome boost to his value if he can keep that up.

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The path should be crystal clear now for your squad. If not, then it may be time to order those seppuku knives on Amazon. Don’t forget the sharpener. I kid, I kid. Drafts are fluid so pivoting and changing lanes are always within the range of outcomes, especially when there are snipers and ADP jumpers to your left, to your left, to your left. Then you have all those heathens to your right. This is why we must always adhere to the wise and venerable Bruce Lee:

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The NBA is BACK, baby! There have already been some highs and some lows for each and every NBA team, but at the end of the day, we have fantasy leagues to win. That’s what really matters, isn’t it?

We are NOT including any results from Sunday’s games, just so I can get this out to you guys quickly. It’s also important to note the small sample size here, so this stuff can change wildly. However, I’ll try to break it down for you all with my best takes.

So let’s dig in and see who is turning out to be an early usage monster and what that could mean for your NBA fantasy team.

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