Chicago Bulls vs. Toronto Raptors
- Lauri Markkanen shot the ball exceedingly well, making eight out of 10 attempts for 18 points. Everything else about his night was concerning though, especially the minutes, which also topped out at just 18. Markkanen’s playing time has taken a hit—he’s been under 24 minutes in five of his past six outings. In those limited runs, he’s failed to corral more than six rebounds in a game, and totaled just two assists, one steal, and one block. With fantasy playoffs looming, he could be a cut candidate. Chicago just embarked upon a four-in-five-nights set, so let’s see if he can slingshot his hot shooting from last night into some real momentum.
- Tomas Satoransky has continued to start even with Coby White back in the lineup. That’s probably best for the Bulls, and a good sign for those who picked up Sato. The veteran point guard contributes assists and not a whole lot else, but he’s efficient in low volume and can hit some threes. He’s been a popular pickup of late (up to 37 percent owned in Yahoo!) and put up nine points and seven assists on 4-of-5 shooting on Thursday.
- Anytime Chris Boucher scratches his nose it’s worth a mention, so you can be damn sure we’re going to talk about how he came within a hair of a 40-20 (!!!) performance. Boucher scored a career-best 38 points on 14-for-24 from the field and 7-for-8 at the line, with 19 boards, three triples, a steal, and a block. With the injuries piling up and the Raps fading fast from playoff contention, Boucher might finally play enough to be a top-10 player the rest of the way.
- The biggest beneficiary of the aforementioned injuries has been Malachi Flynn. The rookie has played at least 30 minutes in four straight, and though he had his consecutive double-digit scoring streak broken last night, he was still a plus for fantasy owners with eight assists, three treys, and a pair of swipes. Since seeing his playing time explode, Flynn is averaging a 13-5-5 with 2 threes, 2.5 steals, and a block per night. Ride him while he’s hot (32 percent owned in Yahoo!).
Los Angeles Lakers vs. Miami Heat
- Andre Drummond got his first proper game as a Laker, putting up an efficient 15-12 line with a couple of steals. The 5-for-6 from the charity stripe was a welcome sight. He’ll get plenty of chances to do stuff with the ball in his hands while LA remains banged up.
- Ben McLemore made his Lakers debut, missing all three of his triple tries but making all four of his foul shots in 17 minutes. His long-term role is undefined given all the absences, but even at best he’s just a streaming option if you need a three-point specialist. Leave him on the wire for now (one percent owned in Yahoo!).
- Victor Oladipo had his first good game as a member of the Heat. The former All-Star tallied 18 points on only eight shots, sinking all six of his free throws, and recording two threes, three steals, and a blocked shot. That kind of versatility is good for Miami and for his fantasy owners.
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
- If you’re like me, you probably forgot that Taurean Prince was even on the Cavs. But over his past three games, Prince has reminded people that he still has potential. He scored 22 points off the bench on Thursday, adding six assists and three triples to the cause. He’s averaging an 18-5-4 over the last three, with 2.3 3PTM and nary a turnover. He’s a good pickup for Cleveland’s weekend back-to-back (three percent owned in Yahoo!).
- After a couple of duds, Dean Wade showed up again with an all-around stat line of 12 points, four rebounds, and three assists, along with two each of threes, steals, and blocks. Wade hasn’t shown consistency and is a bit of a Hail Mary as a streamer this weekend. If you need a miracle to make the playoffs, well, I hope you have better options, but Wade is probably available (four percent owned in Yahoo!).
- Kenrich Williams, Point Forward? Oklahoma City has gotten very creative in its race for the bottom, and it’s created some interesting opportunities for fantasy players. Exhibit A is Williams, who racked up nine dimes for the second consecutive evening. Kenny Hustle also added 12 points, seven boards, and a pair of treys and thefts. I guess if you need assists he’s a solid option? Or maybe next time out he’ll attempt 15 threes? Or maybe they’ll start him at center and he’ll notch 20 rebounds and five blocks? Who knows, just pick him up and see what happens (seven percent owned in Yahoo!).
- Ty Jerome shook off an oh-fer shooting night to score 23 points off the bench, with five triples and three dimes. He’s been inconsistent for the Thunder, but has some upside for threes and assists if you’re desperate (three percent owned in Yahoo!).
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Dallas Mavericks
- With the two-time reigning MVP out, Bobby Portis has entered the starting lineup and put up back-to-back double-doubles. Against the Mavs, he went for 20 and 14, albeit on subpar shooting (8-for-19). Even when he moves back to the bench, Portis has some low-end value for points, boards, and treys (44 percent owned in Yahoo!).
- Dorian Finney-Smith has been sneaky good of late and kept it going against the Bucks with nine points, 10 rebounds, three rejections, and two long balls. He’s canned multiple threes in seven straight contests and is averaging 7.5 RPG over his last six. DFS has been a borderline top-100 player over the past 14 days and is a nice pickup to round out your roster (20 percent owned in Yahoo!).
- Rare off night for Jalen Brunson, who’s been a lock for efficient double-figure scoring recently. In fact, he snapped a five-game streak of scoring at least 14 points on at least 50 percent shooting from the field with a dismal 1-for-8 performance on Thursday. That said, Brunson is still a reliable option for efficient scoring with a smattering of assists and threes (39 percent owned in Yahoo!).
Portland Trailblazers vs. Utah Jazz
- Stop me when this sounds familiar—it’s been a tough season for Jusuf Nurkic. The Bosnian Bear just hasn’t been able to gain any traction. He’s been back on the court for a couple of weeks, but not only have his minutes been limited, he simply hasn’t produced much when on the floor. Last night’s outing against Utah was probably his best since returning from his wrist injury, and it was just a modest 10 points, six boards, and four helpers with a three, a steal, and a block. If you need to make moves for the fantasy postseason, it’s getting harder and harder to keep holding on to Nurkic. At the same time, you’d just hate to have him picked up and used against you if he does get it together down the stretch.
- With Jordan Clarkson picking up an ankle injury, Joe Ingles got a full complement of minutes, leading the Jazz with 35. While he didn’t shoot particularly well, he still compiled a well-rounded stat line with 13 points, five rebounds, six assists, two treys, two swipes, and no errors. As long as Clarkson is out, Ingles (56 percent owned in Yahoo!) is a star.
- Even though Royce O’Neale continues to start and see a heavy dose of playing time, his fantasy value has cratered. He’s scored a paltry 13 points over his past five games combined and hasn’t supplemented it with threes or defensive stats. Cut him if you’re still holding (23 percent owned in Yahoo!).
Phoenix Suns vs. Los Angeles Clippers
- It’s hard to trust anyone coming off the Suns bench right now. Cameron Johnson is probably your best bet as a three-point specialist who can score in double figures from time to time. He didn’t shoot enough in this one to matter, making two of his five triple tries for six points. Not many streaming options here.
- Welcome back, Rajon Rondo. After hibernating in Atlanta over the winter, National TV Rondo emerged for the Clippers last night, scoring 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting, dropping nine dimes, and burying three deep balls. With Reggie Jackson picking up a knock and Pat Beverley working his way back from injury, Rondo (three percent owned in Yahoo!) may find himself with a nice role to fill before we even get to the final stage of his evolution come the postseason. I still won’t trust him unless it’s a big game though.
- It seemed like Terance Mann had carved out a place in Ty Lue’s rotation, but he’s seen his minutes drop precipitously, all the way down to five last night, where a solitary assist was his only mark on the stat sheet. He’s off the radar again in fantasy (six percent owned in Yahoo!).
Detroit Pistons vs. Sacramento Kings
- Cory Joseph entered the starting lineup and let his former team have it, scoring a game-high 24 points on sizzling 10-for-14 shooting with seven assists. Detroit has several young point guards on the roster, who I’d assume they would bench Joseph (seven percent owned in Yahoo!) in favor of down the stretch, but the veteran made the most of this opportunity at least.
- One of those young point guards is Killian Hayes, who recently returned from a long hiatus. The rookie got into double digits on the score sheet by making five of his seven attempts from the field, adding three boards, a couple of helpers, and a block to the cause. As he gets his conditioning back, expect the Pistons to really boost his playing time as the season winds down (26 percent owned in Yahoo!).
- Don’t be swayed by Moe Harkless‘s insertion into Sacramento’s starting five—the veteran wing is still irrelevant for fantasy purposes. He managed just four points, one rebound, and one steal in 20 minutes on Thursday.
- Delon Wright showed some signs of life last week, but he’s back to riding the struggle bus. He was unable to get going even against his former team, scoring just five points on 2-for-7 shooting, and passing out just one assist in 22 minutes. Wright (42 percent owned in Yahoo!) is no longer a must-own player.