Miami Heat vs. Philadelphia 76ers
- Shouts to Gabe Vincent on a 20-point, 8-assist outing in a rare start, but not much to take away for Miami with several players out due to “Health & Safety Protocols” (replacing “Load Management” as the hot new phrase in DNP lingo). It might be time to re-evaluate Tyler Herro. He’s been…fine (and he was again on Thursday), but he hasn’t had the anticipated breakout that made him a top-80 selection in drafts (currently ranked No. 160 in Yahoo! leagues). It isn’t due to a lack of playing time or touches. Maybe “The Leap” is still coming this season, but if I could get draft-day value for him in a trade I’d do it.
- Shake Milton returned from the good ol’ HSPs to pick up right where he left off last week, putting up a season-high 31 points and seven assists on super-efficient 11-of-15 shooting (including 3-of-4 from beyond the arc). As long as Seth Curry remains sidelined he’s a play (still just 32% owned in Yahoo! leagues.).
- Ben Simmons has failed to reach double-digit field goal attempts in 5 of his past 7 contests (just eight shots last night). He hasn’t scored more than 17 points in a game yet this season and his seasonal usage rate is below 20% for the first time in his career. This is a concerning trend.
Charlotte Hornets vs. Toronto Raptors
- Another double-double for LaMelo Ball. He’s going to be super valuable as long as his percentages hover in the “poor” range and don’t dip to “catastrophically team killing”.
- Nice to see Malik Monk getting some burn! In 23 minutes, the Kentucky product hit 3 of his 5 triples to score 10 points and dished out three assists. He’s not a fantasy consideration yet, but I think there’s something here, and would like to see him get some more opportunity.
- Pretty stable rotation in Toronto. Their top four guys play a ton and reliably put up their numbers. We’ve all been waiting a couple of years for Nick Nurse to unleash Chris Boucher, and now that he’s playing big minutes he’s been every bit the fantasy stud he’s teased us with. Playing 30 minutes off the bench, Boucher parlayed efficient shooting into a 25-point double-double with a pair of treys and blocks. He’s the No. 7 overall player in Yahoo! leagues over the past 14 days. It’s probably too late to trade for him, but if his owner is still not a long-term believer, do what you must to get him on your squad.
Houston Rockets vs. San Antonio Spurs
- Turns out Christian Wood can be plenty effective even without elite guards to play off of. The Crucifix dropped 27 points while nailing five treys, grabbed 15 boards, and added three rejections for good measure (though the turnovers and free-throws were an eyesore). James Harden’s departure should only boost his volume. Who couldn’t use some more Wood?
- Jae’Sean Tate took advantage of his first start to post a double-double with 13 points and 10 assists (and even a couple of blocks). He’d been getting steady minutes even before the trade and could be in line for more work depending on how the new rotation shakes out (or if P.J. Tucker is also dealt down the road). He’s rostered in just 2% of Yahoo! leagues.
- Sterling Brown (2% owned in Yahoo! leagues) popped for 23 points on 9-for-17 shooting with three triples and a pair of swipes. He’s a streaming play when one or more of Houston’s featured perimeter players (John Wall, Victor Oladipo, Eric Gordon) are sitting, as they were on Thursday.
- Keldon Johnson has been one of the best values in fantasy thus far after going undrafted in the most (all??) leagues. The sophomore Spur showed out again last night with 29 points on 12-for-16 from the field and is hovering around the top-50 overall players.
- Lonnie Walker IV stayed hot from deep, draining 4 of his 7 triple tries en route to 16 points, though he didn’t contribute much else. The window for picking him up is likely closed as he’s up to 40% owned in Yahoo! leagues.
Golden State Warriors vs. Denver Nuggets
- Stephen Curry tossing in 11 rebounds to go along with his 35 points, five treys, and 14-of-23 shooting is a welcome bonus.
- An awful night for Draymond Green, who mustered just a single point on terrible shooting and turned it over five times. He’s been putrid so far this season, shooting 28% from the field and averaging just four points and five boards a night. His defensive stats have plummeted as well. He may recover some value over the course of the season, but I have no issue with cutting bait.
- Will we ever see the Jamal Murray who went bananas in the Bubble?? Currently sitting outside the top-100 in Yahoo! leagues after a lackluster 6-for-18 shooting night (the nine boards and six dimes were a positive though). Dangle him in front of any owner who’s still convinced he’s a budding superstar.
- JaMychal Green is shooting a ridiculous (and dare I say, unsustainable) 53% from distance this season after going 3-for-4 on Thursday to pick up 15 points and nine rebounds. It would be nice if he could block a shot every now and then (grand total of ZERO on the season).
- Not buying Bol Bol in the starting lineup.
Indiana Pacers vs. Portland Trailblazers
- Myles Turner is still averaging over four blocks per game after four more swats last night. His dominance in the category has him flirting with top-10 overall value on the season. Nice to see him haul in 10 boards as well, and the 14 shot attempts are encouraging, even if only four of them found the net.
- Justin Holiday is one of my favorite end-of-bench guys to hold. He’s a 10th round value so far, with a bit of upside to crack the top-100 overall if his defensive stats creep up to where they usually are. Solid evening going 4-for-6 with three triples and picking up a block.
- If you’re ever streaming for steals in your weekly matchup, T.J. McConnell is your man (2% owned in Yahoo! leagues). He’s averaging 1.7 thefts per game in just 17 minutes recording three more on Thursday. He’s usually good for a handful of assists as well.
- After attempting 10 or more treys in a game 13 times last season, C.J. McCollum has already done so nine times in 12 outings this season (and hasn’t tried fewer than eight in any game). The massive increase in threes (nearly five makes a night!) is fueling his leap in scoring. Couple that with a career-best assist rate (and an absurdly low turnover ratio) and one of the most overrated fantasy players in recent years is a legit first-round value.
- Jusuf Nurkic continues to frustrate fantasy owners, leaving early for the second straight game after amassing just five points on 2-of-8 shooting. The door is open for Carmelo Anthony (41% owned in Yahoo! leagues) to hold some low-end value. The original Melo has been getting more run as Portland has gone smaller without Nurk, and will contribute in points, threes, and FT%. He even added a couple of steals to his line on Thursday.