Indiana Pacers vs. Detroit Pistons

Pacers Notes:

  • Jeremy Lamb went back to the bench, but it didn’t affect his game at all. Lamb still played the most minutes he has in the month of February and was ridiculously efficient, making six of his seven field-goal attempts, all three of his triples, and both of his freebies for 17 points. For the season, he’s shooting 51 percent from the floor, 52 percent from downtown, and 97 percent at the line. This level of accuracy is unsustainable so see if you can get anyone to bite while he’s on fire.
PTS REB AST  STL BLK 3PTM TOV FG FT
17 5 1 2 0 3 1 6-7 2-2
  • Doug McDermott got the start in Lamb’s place, but there’s no change to his outlook whether he remains a starter or comes off the pine. Dougie McBuckets will be a decent streaming source of treys, points, and FG%. He finished with nine points on 4-of-10 shooting on Thursday.
  • T.J. McConnell holds value as an assists and steals specialist. He’s been playing more of late as the Pacers have tightened up their rotation and Aaron Holiday has fallen out of favor a little bit. Pick him up (29 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues) if you need a boost in either category and don’t sweat the 22 percent (what is going on there??) free-throw shooting.

 

Pistons Notes:

  • Mason Plumlee was a last-second scratch, leading to Isaiah Stewart‘s first career start. The rookie center didn’t disappoint, making eight of his nine field goals, scoring 17 points, grabbing seven boards, and picking up two steals and a block in 31 minutes of action. If Plumlee misses more time, he’s a must-add (three percent owned in Yahoo!).
PTS REB AST  STL BLK 3PTM TOV FG FT
17 7 1 2 1 0 0 8-9 1-2
  • Dennis Smith Jr. made his Detroit debut with four points and two rebounds in 16 minutes. Delon Wright appears to be entrenched as the starting PG (as he should be), but it’s worth monitoring Smith. The Pistons will probably want to give him an extended look at some point to see what they have in the former lottery pick.

 

Toronto Raptors vs. Boston Celtics

Raptors Notes:

  • Pascal Siakam has turned his season around. The former MIP has been on a heater the past couple of weeks, ranking 12th overall in Yahoo! averaging nearly 26 PPG on over 50 percent shooting with elite defensive stats. He shot 8-for-14 on Thursday with a couple of treys for 23 points. The buy low window is probably closed.
PTS REB AST  STL BLK 3PTM TOV FG FT
23 4 2 1 0 2 1 8-14 5-7
  • The buy low opportunity for Chris Boucher has passed as well. After a dip in playing time, Boucher is back to seeing a steady diet of mid-20s minutes and is producing accordingly. He piled up 12 points, six rebounds, five blocks, a couple of threes, and a steal against the Celtics.

 

Celtics Notes:

  • Semi Ojeleye got a rare start as the Celtics decided to go with a small-ball look. Ojeleye responded favorably with a career-high 24 points on 8-of-12 shooting (including a scintillating 6-for-8 from beyond the arc), tossing in six rebounds to boot. It’s unlikely he’ll continue to play 30 minutes moving forward so I’ll leave him on the wire for now.
PTS REB AST  STL BLK 3PTM TOV FG FT
24 6 0 0 0 6 1 8-12 2-2
  • Payton Pritchard produced off the pine, as Jeff Teague was out of the rotation. The rookie matched Ojeleye’s marksmanship from deep, also making six of his eight long balls to score 20 points to go along with five rebounds. Pritchard (four percent owned in Yahoo!) is someone I’m willing to pick up if I’m in need of threes. He ought to get all of Teague’s minutes.

 

 

Miami Heat vs. Houston Rockets

Heat Notes:

  • Miami has been absolutely decimated by injury this season, leading to oodles of playing time for guys who wouldn’t normally be in the rotation, like Kendrick Nunn, who led the Heat with 41 minutes on Thursday. Nunn struggled shooting the rock with 16 points on 18 shots (including just 2-for-10 from behind the line) but did chip in five boards, three dimes, and four swipes. Keep him in your lineup as long as he’s in Erik Spoelstra’s.
  • Speaking of guys not used to being on the court, how about Max Strus, who popped off for a career-high 21 points off the bench with five threes. Strus (zero percent owned in Yahoo!) has seen some steady minutes of late and is a short-term flier for anyone in need of threes (and nothing else).
PTS REB AST  STL BLK 3PTM TOV FG FT
21 0 0 0 0 5 0 6-9 4-4

 

Rockets Notes:

  • Both Victor Oladipo and P.J. Tucker left this one early. If those two miss time, it opens up a bundle of minutes for some potential diamonds in the rough in Houston. The top pickup here is Jae’Sean Tate (10 percent owned in Yahoo!). The rookie has been starting of late, and his versatile skill set will be even more valuable as Houston looks to plug several gaps. Tate put up 16 points and seven rebounds against Miami, and was the only Rocket to make a basket in the third quarter.
PTS REB AST  STL BLK 3PTM TOV FG FT
16 7 2 1 0 0 0 7-11 2-2
  • Sterling Brown was the replacement wing of choice down the stretch, making him a waiver wire target if Oladipo and Tucker are out. Brown (three percent owned in Yahoo!) didn’t do much on Thursday, making just one of six shots for three points, but he did come down with seven rebounds and dish out three assists. David Nwaba (three percent owned in Yahoo!) only played nine minutes in this one but is a name to monitor as well.

 

Orlando Magic vs. Golden State Warriors

Magic Notes:

  • James Ennis III has taken advantage of a newfound starting role with the injury-depleted Magic. Ennis has now scored in double figures in four of his past five games and notched his first double-double of the season with 17 points and 10 boards. He recorded three triples and a pair of thefts as well. If you have a streaming spot available, Ennis (10 percent owned in Yahoo!) will have a sizable workload in the near future.
PTS REB AST  STL BLK 3PTM TOV FG FT
17 10 1 2 0 3 3 7-12 0-0
  • Dwyane Bacon is another Magic member with an increase in opportunity. He’s an inefficient volume scorer, but if you need points and threes he’ll have plenty of chances to accrue both. He scored 20 points and dropped four threes on Thursday, with three steals to boot.

 

Warriors Notes:

  • It’s so fun to watch Stephen Curry carry this squad. He had yet another 40-piece against Orlando, canning 10 triples in the process while grabbing eight boards, dishing five assists, and procuring four steals. We can forgive him the six turnovers with the rest of the line as is.
PTS REB AST  STL BLK 3PTM TOV FG FT
40 8 5 4 0 10 6 14-26 2-2
  • Andrew Wiggins has been an overrated fantasy asset for years with empty points bolstering his reputation, but he’s mined quite a bit of value this season through his blocks. Wiggins picked up three rejections last night and is averaging close to 1.4 a game this season and since becoming a Warrior, more than double what he averaged in Minnesota. Couple that with 2 threes per game and low turnovers and you’ve got yourself a top-100 player.

 

Philadelphia 76ers vs. Portland Trailblazers

Sixers Notes:

  • No production from the supporting cast in this one. Joel Embiid (35 points, nine rebounds) and Ben Simmons (23-11-9) were outstanding, Tobias Harris (17 points, 9-for-9 at the line) and Seth Curry (15 points, three triples) were pretty good, and no one else did anything. Move along, nothing to see here.

 

Blazers Notes:

  • Carmelo Anthony got in the time machine in the 4th quarter, scoring 17 of his 24 points (including a couple of heat check threes and the game-winning free-throws) in the period. That marks the fourth time in his last five outings Melo has crossed the 20-point threshold. Even though the Blazers got a couple of their bigger wings back, Melo (42 percent owned in Yahoo!) is still good for points and threes (and has even recorded multiple blocks in three of his last five).
PTS REB AST  STL BLK 3PTM TOV FG FT
24 2 0 0 0 4 1 9-15 2-2
  • Derrick Jones Jr. is one of those returning wings. He’s back to his regular allotment of minutes and is an option for those looking for some defensive stats with some threes and rebounds thrown in. Jones (six percent owned in Yahoo!) finished with nine points, seven rebounds, a couple of threes, and a swat.
  1. Jon says:
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    12 teams, h2h 11 cats – std 9 plus off reb and def reb, keep 5 by rounds

    I was offered Markkanen and his 7th for Wiseman and my 5th? Markk is a keeper in the 10th and Wiseman is a keeper in the 3rd.

    Do you trust Markk’s health? My only hesitation is that Wiseman could be an absolute monster on the glass, as Kerr gives him more minutes and trust. Thoughts? Thanks!

    • EZ

      EZ says:
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      It’s hard to trust Markkanen’s health at this point, but I can’t quit his talent and he has a really fantasy friendly game. Wiseman may develop into a stud, but it may take a couple of years and it’s tough to keep him in the third at this point, whereas Markk in the 10th is great value. I’d do it if it were me.

      • Jon says:
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        My love for Markk is deep, too. I wish he would rebound more and stay healthy to make this decision easier…LOL

        The pick difference does offer a cushion. Do you think Markk will be move or WCJ? I am just wondering if he could average double-digit boards? The prolific 3-point ability is always a draw to me, so I am leaning towards accepting…just want to be over-the-top for it! 😛

        • EZ

          EZ says:
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          Oh man, it’s a fascinating scenario to think about whether they’ll be moved, but tough to speculate haha. There are so many pieces on that team and it’s a new front office in Chicago that wants to mold the roster their way. They didn’t draft either so they’re not tied to them. I know I personally think they can succeed in the front court together and would like to see them play together for a long stretch to get an idea of the fit. I would hope the front office things along the same lines. I don’t think either will be moved till after they sign extensions (so not till next season at least) when they can get back bigger contracts in return, but I’m not confident in that haha.

          To me, Markkanen doesn’t project as a double-digit rebounder but I don’t think it matters. The Dirk comparison is so unfair, but they kind of have a similar fantasy profile and Dirk didn’t have to average 10 boards to be a top-10ish player. I think Markk can be comfortably in the top 50 even at 7-8 RPG.

          • Jon says:
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            I really appreciate the dialogue on thinking this one through…I think they can co-exist – inside/outside ability at a high-level a la Dirk/TC?

            My thought on Markkanen/Dirk – are they top-10 for this format? Where three of the eleven CATs are rebounds, can a big be that dominate? Like this is a league where Drummond is a top-5 player, and guys like Dame aren’t kept (granted part of that is being a first rounder) because of the dirth of boards and bigs, especially young/upside bigs, in our league.

            • EZ

              EZ says:
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              Ahh, yeah, the weight that rebounding gets in this league is a factor. When you break it down to that granular level then Markkanen will probably never help that much in offensive rebs since he’s mostly a perimeter guy. Because of that I don’t know if he gets to top-10 status even in this format, but he would still get a boost even at his current rebounding level.

              • Jon says:
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                Definitely – it doesn’t negate that Markk in the 10th is a great keeper, but gives a tad more perspective on why it’s not a slam dunk trade (and why the guy would offer it).

                The funny thing is, I might not even keeper Wiseman because I have LaVine in the 4th…

                • EZ

                  EZ says:
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                  Yeah that’s ultimately what does it for me. Wiseman has tantalizing appeal in this format, but a 3rd round keep is too steep for me. It might be 2-3 years before he returns that kind of value. Markkanen in the 10th could be a big help in competing for titles for those 2-3 years.

                  • Jon says:
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                    That’s a solid point. I have a tangential question to all this discussion:

                    What do you project Boucher to be long-term? I have him stashed late, but I worry that Nurse being a jerk-face with his minutes…or his frail body…limits the upside.

                    I bet right on Christian Wood last year (I have him as a 14 round keeper next year). Same deal on Jokic a few years ago.

                    I traded Ayton in the 1st to get Boucher in the 12th…he has SO MUCH UPSIDE. The Per 36 makes me blush…

                    …but I’ll stop, please tell me your thoughts on the Water Boy!

                    • EZ

                      EZ says:
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                      I have basically the exact same thoughts. I’ve been waiting for years for him to get the minutes. It’s a great sign that his numbers are just as good when he does play a lot, but I don’t know what it will take for Nurse to just play him 30 mins a night. I’m a believer in the talent and upside so I’m all in. I’d take him in the 12th over Ayton in the first also.

  2. PVR says:
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    Hi EZ,

    1) Would you trade Sexton, Ayton and Mikal Bridges for Vucevic and SGA?

    2) Do you see KAT as a shutdown candidate? would you try to move from him?

    • EZ

      EZ says:
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      Hi PVR!

      1) Wow, that’s a blockbuster trade! I think it’s a great deal because Vucevic and SGA are the two best players in the trade. I’d be slightly worried in a redraft league because both those teams might tank at the end of the season and sit those guys, but I’ll take that risk to secure elite talent like that.

      2) Not gonna say it’s out of the question, but I’m leaning towards no. The way I see it, Minnesota owes their first round pick to the Warriors so they have no incentive to tank. Plus, they should want to get an extended look at how KAT and DLo fit together since they’re the cornerstones of the franchise and basically haven’t played together yet. I’m trying to buy low on KAT right now if I can.

      • PVR says:
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        Thanks for the Help!

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