Philadelphia 76ers vs. Detroit Pistons
- If you need defensive stats to win your finals matchup, streaming Matisse Thybulle is an absolute must. He doesn’t really offer anything else, evidenced by the four points and three rebounds he produced on Thursday, but he racked up three swipes and two swats in 32 minutes, and even added four dimes. The last eight times he’s played at least 20 minutes (covering all but two of his last 10 appearances), Thybulle is averaging 2.6 SPG and 1.5 BPG. He has the potential to swing both categories (42 percent rostered in Yahoo! leagues).
- You’ve got to maximize your streaming opportunities to claim a fantasy title, and there’s an opportunity to dig up some gold with Kelly Olynyk. With Marvin Bagley exiting last night’s game with injury, Olynyk shined in his 21 minutes, going a perfect 5-for-5 from the field for 12 points, to go along with five boards, three assists, two steals and a block. He’s been a fantasy asset whenever he’s gotten the minutes, and with Bagley out he could be in line for 25-30 for the next few games. Detroit plays twice over the weekend so he can rack up some numbers (34 percent rostered).
Milwaukee Bucks vs. Brooklyn Nets
- Part of going for the chip is knowing when to let someone go, even if he’s been a huge help all year long. That time is now for Bobby Portis, who finished with nine points and nine rebounds in 31 minutes against the Nets. Portis played crunch time, but that was likely due to Khris Middleton’s early exit. Portis has seen his value dry up since the return of Brook Lopez. He’s scored in double figures just once over his past six outings, while recording only four threes, three steals, and two blocks total over that span. Cut bait for someone who can spur you to victory (74 percent rostered).
- Bruce Brown was trending down after a drop in minutes in each of his past three games, but he was back with a vengeance last night. The swiss army knife scored a season-best 23 points with five rebounds, three assists, three treys, and three rejections in 34 minutes. Brown has been on a tear over the past few weeks, but his recent reduction in playing time has seen him being dropped in more leagues. Scoop him up if he’s now available (61 percent rostered).
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Atlanta Hawks
- Could Moses Brown be the guy who swings your league?? Stranger things have happened, but Brown suddenly finds himself starting at center for the banged up Cavs. He’s got a ton of bounce and energy, and showed at the end of last season that he can put up big fantasy numbers when given the time. He double-doubled last night with 15 and 13 in 26 minutes, adding a block to go with it. For traditional big man stats he’s a must-add, and the Cavs still play twice over the weekend (eight percent rostered).
- Kevin Huerter has been on fire recently, and it’s starting to get noticed by fantasy managers. However, there may still be an opportunity to capitalize on Red Velvet’s availability. The smooth-shooting guard dropped 23 points, while knocking down five treys and picking up two steals against the Cavs, It marked his fourth consecutive outing with 20-plus points. He’s averaging a delicious 5.0 3PTM in that stretch as well. Don’t let him linger on the wire if he’s still out there (47 percent rostered).
LA Clippers vs. Chicago Bulls
- After being a major fantasy surprise early in the season, Nic Batum faded away into obscurity. He bounced back in a big way last night, contributing across the board as he is capable of with 17 points, five rebounds, four triples, two assists, two steals, and three blocks. Unfortunately, there was no reason to have him on your roster and I still wouldn’t trust him to repeat this performance the rest of the season. That said, the Clippers do play twice more this week, so he’s not the worst dice roll out there (13 percent rostered).
- The Bulls appear to have scrapped the ramp-up plan with Patrick Williams, who saw his minutes jump all the way up to 37 last night. He responded with by far his best game since returning from injury, notching a double-double with 10 points and 12 boards, while knocking down all four of his shots—including a pair of threes—to go along with a steal and two swats. Williams started the second half which could portend a return to the starting lineup moving forward. He should be an integral part of the team and get a lot of minutes, but offensive passivity has always been his stumbling block. Still, he has an okay floor with boards and defensive stats, with upside for points and treys as well if he’s willing to take them (16 percent rostered).
LA Lakers vs. Utah Jazz
- Dwight Howard had a throwback performance on Thursday night, finishing with 21 points and 12 rebounds on 9-of-13 shooting, tossing in a steal and even a three-pointer for good measure. It was the second time in four games that Howard crossed the 20-point threshold, as well as the second time in that frame he amassed double-digit rebounds. However, with Anthony Davis and LeBron James both rumored to be returning imminently, Howard should probably be left on the wire (nine percent rostered).
- The rebirth of Juancho Hernangomez looks to be in its twilight stages, as he receded into a sub-20-minute role after three straight starts approaching 30 MPG. He came off the bench to tally nine points, three rebounds, three assists, and a pair of treys. With Utah more or less back at full strength, there’s no value to mine on their depth chart as the season draws to a close.