Washington Wizards vs. Brooklyn Nets
- It was a true team effort for the Wiz, with four guys off the bench scoring in double figures. One of those four was Deni Avdija, who has really been playing well since the trade deadline. He finished up with 13 points, eight rebounds, a triple, two steals and a block. It was his fifth straight game scoring double-digit points. Over that stretch he’s been playing 30 minutes a night despite coming off the bench, with averages of 12.4 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 1.4 3PTM, 1.0 SPG, and 0.8 BPG. He should be entrenched in this role the rest of the season, meaning he’ll have plenty of opportunity to produce (17 percent rostered in Yahoo! leagues).
- Cameron Thomas has been on a tear. With KD out, he’s been tasked with the heavy lifting on offense for Brooklyn. The rookie has risen to the occasion, going for 20-plus in six of his past eight, including last night when he scored 20 on 7-for-17 from the field, with three four boards, three treys, and a theft. Thomas is averaging a robust 21.3 PPG over his past eight, with just 1.1 TO per contest. Pick him up if you’re looking for points (37 percent rostered).
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Miami Heat vs. Charlotte Hornets
- On a night where Miami really struggled shooting the ball, Duncan Robinson was a bright spot, connecting on six of his 13 triple tries and staying true on all three of his attempts from the line to score 21 points to go along with four rebounds and five dimes. We all know what a great shooter Robinson can be, but he’s been maddeningly inconsistent this season. Case-in-point—he’s made four or more threes in four of his past seven outings, but he’s also scored six or fewer points in five of his past 10. He’s got more of a pedigree than others, but I believe there are more valuable shooting specialists available in most leagues (50 percent rostered).
- PJ Washington has entered the starting lineup for Charlotte, and that’s an interesting development. Washington has a very fantasy-friendly game—he’s an established 1/1/1 guy who can score and board. However, he’s been a disappointment this season, not playing as much as anticipated and getting absolutely lapped in the pecking order by the meteoric rise of Miles Bridges. Last night offered a glimpse of what he can do, with 15 points, 14 rebounds, a steal and a block. If he hangs onto the starting role, he could return top-75 value (66 percent rostered).
Dallas Mavericks vs. New Orleans Pelicans
- Last week in this space we talked about Maxi Kleber‘s potential to be a fantasy factor down the stretch. He’s certainly living up to that in his past couple games. Against the Pels, Kleber dropped 20 points on 7-of-10 shooting, with three triples, a steal, and a swat. That came on the heels of a sublime 19-point, three-trey, five-block outing. He should be picked up in more leagues (31 percent rostered).
- The Pelicans have placed an emphasis on getting Jaxson Hayes into the lineup and getting him involved of late. He’s played 20-plus minutes in nine of his last 10 appearances, and at least 26 minutes in seven of those outings. In a start last night, he scored 18 points on 6-of-9 from the floor, and 6-of-7 from the stripe, with six boards and a steal. Over the 10-game span mentioned before, Hayes is averaging 13.5 PPG, on a scintillating 78 percent shooting from the field and 81 percent from the line, with 5.5 RPG, and 1.0 BPG. He’s worth a flier to see if New Orleans keeps trying to feature him more (23 percent rostered).
Philadelphia 76ers vs. Milwaukee Bucks
- Georges Niang got the start and played a whopping 40 minutes, scoring 18 points, knocking down five triples, and grabbing six rebounds. The Sixers tried to put as much shooting on the floor as possible, with Furkan Korkmaz playing a significant role off the bench, and Matisse Thybulle exiting the rotation in the second half. Niang is a very good shooter, but doesn’t do much outside of that, and will not be playing 40 minutes in too many games moving forward. You can leave him on the wire (three percent rostered).
- With Grayson Allen on the shelf, Jordan Nwora saw a large bump in playing time, receiving 35 minutes in a spot start. Nwora took advantage of the opportunity, scoring 18 points and drilling four from distance. Points and threes are his bread and butter, and with Milwaukee’s wing rotation suddenly lacking, he’s a name to monitor for streaming purposes. That said, once he returns to a smaller bench role he won’t be worth holding on to (two percent rostered).
Houston Rockets vs. Los Angeles Clippers
- Dennis Schroder received his second consecutive start, and while it wasn’t as electric as his debut, he was useful in a couple of categories, totaling nine dimes and two steals to complement nine points and a trey. The Rockets have been committed to starting youngster Kevin Porter Jr. at the point all season, and given where Houston is in their rebuilding timeline, they’ll likely favor Porter over Schroder going forward. In fact, Schroder may not even be on the Rockets for long, so we’re in a holding pattern to figure out his rest-of-season value. I wouldn’t hesitate to cut him for something more interesting (59 percent rostered).
- Isaiah Hartenstein raised some eyebrows with a savory stat line on Thursday night. LA’s backup center amassed 13 points on 6-for-8 shooting to go along with eight boards, two helpers, three steals and five rejections in 25 action-packed minutes. Hartenstein has produced when he’s gotten the opportunity this season, but he hasn’t really stepped into a larger role even with Serge Ibaka being dealt at the deadline. Last night’s eruption was a byproduct of garbage time in a blowout victory, but Hartenstein would be an interesting prospect if circumstances had him playing 25 minutes a night (six percent rostered).