Utah Jazz vs. Washington Wizards
- Career night for Joe Ingles, who stepped in as a starter for the resting Mike Conley. Ingles went off for a career-high 34 points on just 17 shots, including eight connections from long distance. With so much scoring he only distributed two dimes but chipped in with a pair of steals as well. Conley’s return will cap Ingles’ value, but he’s still a borderline top-100 player off the bench contributing threes, assists, and good percentages.
- Donovan Mitchell also exploded for 42 against the Wiz on better than 50 percent shooting. That’s a good sign as Mitchell has shot under 40 percent over the past 30 days, dragging down his overall value despite elite counting stats. Mitchell added six helpers, four treys, and a couple of thefts to the cause.
- Efficiency has been Russell Westbrook‘s bugaboo this season, but not so on Thursday. He had one of his best games of the year, not because he put up a 35-15-13 line, but because he did it while shooting over 50 percent from the floor and 80 percent at the line. Toss in two steals, two triples, and a rejection, and you have a well-rounded stat line from Russ.
- It was a true backcourt shootout, as Bradley Beal was the fourth player in this game to pile up at least 34 points. He led all scorers with a 43-point outburst on a tidy 16-for-24 from the field (including four three-pointers). Business as usual for the league’s leading scorer.
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Atlanta Hawks
- Ty Jerome was feeling it from behind the three-point line, nailing six of his eight attempts from deep. That accounted for all 18 of his points. He didn’t do much else to help, but he didn’t do anything to hurt either. He’s a steady hand with the ball who can get some assists as well, and with the Thunder possibly unloading a few players at the deadline, he’s worth monitoring (three percent owned in Yahoo!) as OKC evaluates their young talent for the future. He’s scored in double figures in each of his past four, and six times in nine outings since being called up from the G League.
- Tough night for those of you riding the roller coaster that is Aleksej Pokusevski. In five appearances since getting the call up to the big club, he’s produced two gems and three absolute stinkers. Last night fell squarely in the latter category as he shot just 2-of-11 from the field for four points, with no threes or defensive stats. You’ve got to hold on to him (27 percent owned in Yahoo!) for the upside as long as the minutes continue to be there (and they should be).
- Possible breakout game for Bogdan Bogdanovic? Ehh. Has he retaken the top spot in the Bogdanovic power rankings? Most definitely. Bogey tied for game-high honors with 23 points on 9-of-14 shooting with five triples and six boards. Most importantly, he was second on the team with 29 minutes. De’Andre Hunter is due back soon, so the wing rotation is about to get real crowded in Atlanta. If you can convince someone that he’s rounding into form, get what you can for him now.
- Speaking of moving off of Hawks wings, see if you can get anything of value for Kevin Huerter. He’s been an asset through all the team’s injuries, providing top-70 value over the past month, but it remains to be seen if he’ll get enough playing time to sustain that type of production. He was solid in 25 minutes on Thursday, with a 10-6-4 line with a pair of threes and steals tacked on.
Orlando Magic vs. New York Knicks
- Chasson Randle has been getting minutes lately but hasn’t really done anything with them. It was more of the same last night in a spot start, where he managed just five points and three assists with one made field goal and three turnovers in 30 minutes. You can safely leave him on the wire (zero percent owned in Yahoo!).
- With so much roster turmoil in Orlando, you’d think there has to be someone on the wire worth adding, but nobody is really stepping up to the plate. If you squint really hard you can mayyybe see Al-Farouq Aminu (one percent owned in Yahoo!) being a low-end streamer like he was in the past? He’s at least starting and getting minutes in the mid-20s, which is…something. He recorded a three, a steal, and a block against the Knicks, which is as much as you can ask for from the homeless man’s Jonathan Isaac.
- Alec Burks entered the starting lineup for the Knicks and compiled 21 points and 10 boards on 9-for-18 shooting with three triples and a block. I had given up on Burks, but he’s had a resurgence of late, scoring in double digits for five consecutive games with minutes in the upper-20s. He’s a good streaming option if you need points (22 percent owned in Yahoo!).
- Moving to the bench didn’t hurt Reggie Bullock, as he still played 36 minutes and buried six treys to reach 20 points, throwing in three steals for good measure. Bullock has been hot of late, averaging better than 16 PPG and 4.5 3PTM over his last four contests. Pick him up if you need threes (four percent owned in Yahoo!).
- It might be time to cut bait on Nerlens Noel, who’s seen his playing time drop to around 22 MPG (including just 17 last night) over his last five, after hovering around 40 MPG in the four games before that. He hasn’t recorded double-digit points or boards over this latest swoon and has amassed just 12 points total in that span. Not sure while he’s fallen out of favor with Coach Thibs, but with Mitchell Robinson also nearing a return, it’s probably time to dump Noel (49 percent owned in Yahoo!).
Minnesota Timberwolves vs. Phoenix Suns
- Anthony Edwards has been balling lately. Since the All-Star break, he’s averaging a whopping 30.6 PPG after pouring in a career-high 42 last night. The rookie added seven boards, four treys, three assists, and two steals to his line as well. He’s an inefficient volume scorer (what you’d expect from a first-year wing), but the volume is so crazy high right now it doesn’t matter. I’d still rather sell than buy even after the tear he’s been on, but it’s hard to move on when it appears the ceiling has been blown off.
- Jaden McDaniels or Jarred Vanderbilt? It would be nice if it were one or the other. Heck, it would be nice if they just took turns being good! Unfortunately, they’re so maddeningly inconsistent that the most likely outcome is that both are bad, like last night when the two combined to score a grand total of two points and Vanderbilt played just eight minutes. There are useful fantasy numbers lurking in both, but I’m done chasing after the dragon until…well, probably until it’s too late to pick up either.
- The Suns have unearthed Langston Galloway (zero percent owned in Yahoo!) after he hadn’t played in about three weeks. He had a decent game in 15 minutes, scoring 10 points and hitting a couple of threes, but there’s really nothing to see here. It seems Phoenix keeps cycling through their backup guards hoping someone breaks out, but none are fantasy-worthy. Maybe you hope Cam Payne plays enough to give you a couple of threes and some assists.
New Orleans Pelicans vs. Portland Trailblazers
- Really nothing to note here. After a nice stretch, Nickeil Alexander-Walker struggled in 19 minutes, scoring six points on 2-of-10 shooting. Luckily both baskets were threes, and he did contribute two steals and a block as well. Keep an eye on him, but he’s not a must-add.
- A lot of people have jumped off of Derrick Jones Jr. after his minutes had declined in five straight games, but he played 32 last night—his most in three weeks. Jones rewarded anyone using him in Portland’s back-to-back set with two steals and four blocks. He’s a streaming play if you need swats (13 percent owned in Yahoo!).
- So odd to see Damian Lillard not record a single assist in 38 minutes of action, especially jarring considering he had seven turnovers. He was still phenomenal elsewhere though, with 36 points, six threes, and pristine shooting.
Charlotte Hornets vs. LA Lakers
- PJ Washington had seen reduced minutes in his past three outings but bounced all the way back up to 39 minutes against the Lakers. He was stellar with 18 points on great shooting, with eight rebounds, three triples, a steal, and four blocks. His season-long numbers look modest, but his across-the-board production add up to fantasy goodness. I’d love to poach him off another roster.
- Okay, this is getting a little weird. It’s now been three times in his past four games that Gordon Hayward has taken eight or fewer shots. The last two times he also played just 26 minutes, but he only hoisted seven times last night in 36 minutes. He is averaging seven rebounds, six assists, and almost two steals in that span, so all has not been lost, but if he’s not going to be a 20-plus point scorer with two treys on impactful efficiency then his status as a top-30 player is in serious jeopardy. I’m not skittish enough to sell, but color me just a little concerned.
- Talen Horton-Tucker has now scored in double figures in three straight and five of his last seven. He put in 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting with a couple of assists. However, with Alex Caruso back in the lineup, THT’s minutes dipped below 20 again, and that’s enough for me to drop him (13 percent owned in Yahoo!) for the new flavor of the week.
- Speaking of Alex Caruso, he played a healthy 24 minutes in his return, notching five points, five boards, three dimes, and two swipes. If you need some steals, with an upside of assists and (hopefully) a triple or two, he’s a decent option (three percent owned in Yahoo!).