Portland Trail Blazers vs. Miami Heat
- Carmelo Anthony has been a reliable source of points and treys on good efficiency, and stayed on brand Thursday night with 20 points and four triples, while hitting all four of his freebies and turning the ball over just once. Adding Norman Powell to the mix shouldn’t have too much of an impact on Melo, who should continue to get minutes in the mid-20s and put up enough shots to retain value.
- The imminent return of Jusuf Nurkic will put the squeeze on Enes Kanter. He went out with one last hurrah against the Heat, notching 18 points and 16 boards on 8-of-11 from the field, even throwing in a welcome steal and a block as he bows out of the starting lineup and most fantasy rosters as well. Hold him for the time being as Portland may opt to bring Nurk along slowly, and also hold on to the fond memories of all the double-doubles Kanter has recorded this season.
- Tyler Herro broke through with his best performance of the season, scoring 29 points, sinking five treys, and dishing out eight helpers. Herro has struggled mightily shooting the ball this season but should see his efficiency rise with the addition of Victor Oladipo unburdening Herro from being overstretched as a shot creator. Sometimes less is more, ya know?
- Kendrick Nunn won’t be banished to the shadow realm but should lose almost all of his value upon Oladipo’s arrival, especially after Goran Dragic gets back in the lineup. Nunn acquitted himself quite well on what was possibly his final turn as a starter, connecting on nine of his 13 attempts from the field (including three from long-distance) for 22 points to go along with five boards and five dimes.
Washington Wizards vs. New York Knicks
- Garrison Mathews has been a token starter for Washington of late but got some real opportunity against New York. Mathews was on the court for 35 minutes and responded by scoring 16 points on 5-for-6 shooting with three triples and three assists. The Wizards don’t have too many options on the wing, so Mathews (zero percent owned in Yahoo!) could be worth a pickup if he keeps getting minutes.
- Center minutes have been split fairly evenly between Alex Len and Robin Lopez, canceling each other’s fantasy value out. Neither is part of Washington’s long-term plans, so be ready to pounce on the newly acquired Daniel Gafford if the Wiz decide to pack it in for the season and look to the future.
- You likely missed your window to pick up Alec Burks (46 percent owned in Yahoo!, up from 25 percent yesterday), who reached the 20-point plateau for the fourth straight game (and just one point off of five in a row). It looks like he’s staying in New York and is entrenched in the classic sixth-man gunner role. Burks got up 18 shots and 11 free throws on Thursday to pile up 27 points. He can score in bunches and occasionally help out in another category or two.
- Taj Gibson saw a lot of action (27 minutes), and was instrumental in the Knicks’ comeback win, scoring 10 points, grabbing eight boards, and swatting two shots. Even if Nerlens Noel remains sidelined, Gibson (zero percent owned in Yahoo!) can be left on the wire.
LA Clippers vs. San Antonio Spurs
- Terance Mann has seen an uptick in minutes lately, culminating in 32 last night in the wake of injuries and trades. Mann didn’t shoot that well from the field (3-of-10, missing all three of his triple tries), but hit all four of his free-throws and grabbed 12 rebounds. He’s someone to watch as a possible sixth-man candidate for the Clips even after they return to full strength (two percent owned in Yahoo!).
- Reggie Jackson had himself a night, popping off for a game-high 28 points on just 16 shots, hitting five threes, nailing all seven of his free-throws, and passing out four assists. He’s probably not worth a pickup due to inconsistent play and the fact that when Pat Beverley and Rajon Rondo enter the fold, Jackson’s utility will also…well…fold.
- San Antonio was quiet at the deadline, meaning there won’t be any shakeup to anyone’s fantasy value. Personally, I’d like to get a little more Devin Vassell action. The rookie had a modest seven points and four boards in 21 minutes against the Clips, but he can stroke it from deep (41 percent) and averages two steals per 36 minutes.
Philadelphia 76ers vs. LA Lakers
- Danny Green absolutely lit up his former team to the tune of 28 points on 9-of-14 shooting from the floor, including eight triples, plus a steal and two blocks. Green has scored in double figures in seven of his last eight games and is the No. 16 (!) overall player in fantasy over the past 14 days. He should be owned in more than 37 percent of Yahoo! leagues.
- With Seth Curry back in action, it signals the end of Furkan Korkmaz as a viable fantasy option, especially with George Hill due to arrive in Philly soon. The Kork-man played just 16 minutes, scoring five points and making a solitary trey.
- Kentavious Caldwell-Pope broke out of a slump, tallying more points (19) against the Sixers than he had in his previous four outings combined. He also chipped in three triples, three dimes, and two swipes. As long as Lebron James and Anthony Davis are out, the Lakers are going to lean more heavily on KCP on offense. There will be some rough shooting nights, but the volume makes him a viable short-term pickup (10 percent owned in Yahoo!).
- Marc Gasol returned to the lineup, but played just 15 minutes, notching five points, two rebounds, and two assists. Despite his career accomplishments, Gasol will not be picking up any of the offensive slack while LA’s stars are out, so you don’t have to rush out and snap him up.
Golden State Warriors vs. Sacramento Kings
- It’s probably too late to pick up Jordan Poole (up to 52 percent owned in Yahoo!), but if you’re one of the smart owners who got in on him early, I wouldn’t drop him even after Stephen Curry comes back. Poole has been a top-50 player over the past month, averaging 20 PPG with 3.0 3PTM on 50 percent shooting from the field and 93 percent from the line. Most of that came with Steph on the court. Poole had 17 points and five assists on Thursday in 30 minutes of action.
- It’s official—now that Brad Wanamaker has been sent packing, Nico Mannion will get a look as the full-time backup PG. He’s got even more of an opportunity now with Curry out, and he took advantage against the Kings, with 19 points and five treys in 29 minutes. I’m not picking him up after one good game, but he’s worth monitoring (zero percent owned in Yahoo!) in deeper leagues.
- It’s the Kings, so not that many people have noticed, but De’Aaron Fox has leveled up lately. He’s scored 28 or more in nine of his past 10 outings, including a 44-point explosion against the Warriors. Over the past 14 days, he’s averaging north of 30 PPG, while shooting 53 percent from the field and shoring up his one weak spot (foul shots) to a respectable 78 percent. Throw in 6.0 APG and just about two steals and two treys a night, and you’ve got yourself a top-25 player since the All-Star break.
- With the Kings busy at the deadline nibbling on the fringes of their roster, Kyle Guy was the…er…guy off the bench last night, hitting six of his nine shots (including four threes) to notch 17 points. He also chipped in six boards, four dimes, and nary a turnover. Once my…er…guy Delon Wright gets to town, though, you can forget about the other Guy…Kyle, I mean.