Toronto Raptors vs. Philadelphia 76ers
- HE’S BACK!!! Or is he…?? After having essentially zero impact thus far (he hadn’t played 20 minutes in any game and only scored in double figures once), Chris Boucher broke out with 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting in 24 minutes. He tossed in a trey, steal, and pair of swats to boot. His lack of playing time has been extremely concerning to fantasy managers. Coach Nick Nurse has played his starters heavy minutes all season, leaving little room for fantasy viability off the bench. And this may just be a blip given the absences of both Pascal Siakam and Khem Birch. I still can’t trust him at this point, and I wouldn’t be one of the 55 percent of Yahoo! managers still holding him if there was anything interesting on the wire.
- With the Sixers getting some of their perimeter depth back in the lineup, it was disheartening to see Shake Milton get less than 20 minutes of action. Milton had been playing well, reaching double figures in scoring in eight of his nine appearances on solid shooting thus far after 12 points on 5-for-6 from the floor on Thursday. I’d give him another game or two just to see if the minutes creep back up because the skills are there. But if his playing time lingers in the teens, don’t hesitate to cut him (41 percent rostered).
- One of the players benefitting from Milton’s suppression of minutes is Furkan Korkmaz, who received 27 of them despite heading back to the bench. Korkmaz didn’t light it up, but it was still a useful night, as he hit three triples to account for all nine of his points, grabbed five boards, and dished five assists. If you need a three-point specialist, he’ll do the trick (39 percent rostered).
Indiana Pacers vs. Utah Jazz
- T.J. McConnell is on fire right now. The little guard who could has averaged 18.5 PPG over his last four games, after going for 21 off the bench last night. He’s shooting a scintillating 67 percent from the field, and though he isn’t getting to the line or taking many threes, he’s also averaged six rebounds and five assists per contest. McConnell had value all of last season in a similar, so while he won’t stay this hot, he is worthy of being rostered in 12-team leagues (up to 61 percent right now).
- Kelan Martin had a nice game off the bench, with 14 points, four boards, two helpers, and two treys in 20 minutes. He’s not someone to really pay attention to—especially with Caris LeVert due back soon—but of note is that Jeremy Lamb, who was a fantasy-relevant player even recently, is now buried on the depth chart and can be forgotten.
- As usual, when fully healthy the Jazz stick to their predictable rotation, so there’s not too much to take away here. Eric Paschall played well, hitting all four of his field-goal attempts, including a three, but he did nothing else and played just 12 minutes as Utah’s ninth man. Rudy Gay will probably take his spot after his return, but it remains to be seen whether that will move the needle at all in fantasy.
Miami Heat vs. Los Angeles Clippers
- After a slow start to the season, Kyle Lowry has found his stride of late. The Heat’s new addition scored 25 points on 9-of-17 shooting, with five assists, four treys, and a pair of swipes. The 35-year old didn’t really show signs of fatigue, despite playing 38 minutes a day after playing 47 in an OT thriller. Over his past seven outings, Lowry is averaging 15.1 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 7.4 APG, 3.0 3PTM, and 1.6 SPG. The time to buy low is coming to an end.
- Duncan Robinson, meanwhile, is still struggling with his shot after shooting just 2-for-13 from the field. At least he salvaged his night by contributing in other categories, with nine boards, three assists, a steal, and two blocks. Robinson is shooting an atrocious 32.5 percent on the year, including just 31.2 percent from downtown. I still think he turns it around and shoots over 40 percent the rest of the season on high volume. He’s down to 56 percent rostered, so there’s a chance he’s available in your league.
- Since a good opening-night performance, Eric Bledsoe had been really quiet. That is until last night when he somehow saw the court for 40 minutes—after having reached 30 just once since opening night. He went for 21 points and shot 9-for-16 from the floor, with a couple of threes and three blocked shots. I’m on record as not trusting Bledsoe at all, but as long as he’s starting he’s worth streaming consideration on a light night like Thursday (35 percent rostered).
- Nic Batum has continued the resurgence he displayed last year once he got to sunny Southern California. Batum entered last night as a top-50 player, and though he only took four shots, he still made a fantasy impact with two treys, two thefts, and three swats. Over his last six contests, the Frenchman has posted an average of 15.0 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 4.0 3PTM, 1.7 SPG, and 1.0 BPG while shooting a scintillating 62.7 percent from the field—good enough to rank in the top 20 over the past seven days. He should be rostered in every league, not just 64 percent of them.