Surprise, I’ve swapped to Wednesday night! Surprise, it’s just as jam-packed as Monday nights. Last night we had defensive players step it up big on offense, players with promising starts taper off, and a whole ton of teams dealing with injuries. Let’s get into last night’s biggest winners and losers.
Want the best tools and projections to help dominate your league? Check out the Stocktonator, the byproduct of Rudy and machine making love. Click HERE for a FREE 3-day trial.
Rockets vs Cavs
Alperen Sengu is the hot waiver wire pick-up that’s gonna win you the next three weeks. This man is electric, exploding last night for 19 points and 11 rebounds. At only 12% rostered across ESPN leagues, I would recommend him as a flyer for even a 10-man league. What gives me such a high opinion of Sengun is the Rockets themselves. A bad team trying to tank, with their best player being a PF? Loads of opportunities for a rookie center to get both starting minutes and garbage time minutes.
Isaac Okoro is my pick for shock of the night. A defensive player who has averaged under ten points his whole career putting up 20 is worth noting. He continues to get starting minutes with few players posing serious competition to take that spot. Sometimes nights like these are gonna happen. Speaking of minutes, rotation player Dean Wade has been averaging a career-high 20 this year. For managers in deeper leagues, he’s worth a gamble just for nights like these.
Hawks vs Magic
Nothing much to say for the Hawks yet again, Trae Young and John Collins are the pistons that run the engine on the offensive side of the ball. Any managers who own Cam Reddish should be cheering for his departure as he isn’t getting the touches he deserves in this deep rotation.
Experiencing the exact opposite effect of Cam Reddish is Terrence Ross of the Orlando Magic. His minutes and touches are being artificially elevated to inflate his trade value. Only on watch for 15-30 man leagues, but the moment that trade deadline passes and he gets moved to a contender drop him immediately.
Heat vs 76ers
No Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo or Tyler Herro is how sophomore Gabe Vincent gets 35 minutes of playing time, a starting role and scoring 26 points against a playoff team. While role players’ stat lines are inflated due to injuries, the one stat line you should be paying attention to is Kyle Lowry. 39 minutes of playing time as the number one option and he puts up 14 points, six assists and six blocks. Not terrible but for the third option on a contender you would expect a lot more from him.
Joel Embiid’s been back for a good while now and with stats like 14 rebounds and 17 points it’s safe to say Philly isn’t relying upon Andre Drummond anymore. Only seeing 11 minutes of playing time it’s safe to drop him if you still had him in any league.
Lakers vs Mavericks
See this is what everyone was expecting the Lakers to be coming into the year. An unstoppable Big Three all putting up 20+ points. Was that too much to ask for? Add in an Anthony Davis and Russel Westbrook double-double just to be safe. The real story of last night’s game was rookie Austin Reaves sinking a game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer in overtime. With the Lakers having very poor shooting depth, we might see more of this kid in future, definitely worth a flag.
Jalen Brunson belongs to an elite group of fantasy players I call the Casino. Players such as Gary Trent Jr, Clint Capela, and most of the Charlotte Hornets starting five belong to this group of talented players who are either dominating or invisible on a nightly basis. You don’t get a mediocre night from Brunson, as he either scores 20+ like he did last night, or he scores seven with 30 minutes of playing time.
Bucks vs Pacers
The Pacers faced a Milwaukee team without their MVP and second best player and still lost by double digits. Now, since I last posted, Indiana has started transitioning towards a rebuild and are willing to trade one of their Big Three. I still believe they should keep Domantas Sabonis and retool everything around him. A star is the hardest thing to acquire in the NBA, and what the Pacers have is a star player. Try at least one major overhaul around Sabonis before trading him away for nothing.
As for the Bucks, look to grab Grayson Allen off of waivers if you can. With Giannis Antetokounmpo out due to Covid health and safety protocols, Grayson should look to carry much more of the offensive load. Think of how fellow shooter Duncan Robinson’s numbers have improved with the Heat’s stars being sidelined.
Pelicans vs Thunder
Fantasy aside here but damn, was that a wild finish. Shoutout to Devonte’ Graham for nailing that 61-footer off the backboard for the win. Other than that the Pelicans two stars showed up tonight, 16 rebounds for Jonas Valanciunas and 34 points for Brandon Ingram.
Josh Giddey may be a long shot for ROTY but he should be the rookie to draft in every dynasty league. This Australian phenom is only three rebounds and four assists away from averaging a triple-double in his rookie year. That’s absolutely insane, and as the Thunder transition out of their rebuild he’ll be the one at the forefront, facilitating Shai Gilgeous-Alexander.
Hornets vs Spurs
Well, it was Gordon Hayward’s turn to go off last night, putting up a season-high 41 points on efficient shooting (15-19). Jalen Mcdaniels off the bench achieved a double-double as well putting up 10 rebounds and 15 points. Most importantly however, it’s Wednesday so Miles Bridges was allowed to be good putting up 19 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.
I have absolutely nothing to say about the Spurs. Role player Bryn Forbes went off for 25 points in 19 minutes and Dejounte Murray had a bad night (10 points, 4-11 shooting). A rebuilding team lost to a playoff contender, moving on.
Timberwolves vs Nuggets
The usual for the T-Wolves with Anthony Edwards and Karl-Anthony Towns carrying everyone to a sub 500 record. Worth noting that Ant-Man attempted 14 threes last night. He made 10 of them so it wasn’t a bad decision but this high volume of threes may be something that could bite him. He’s averaging 33% so below league average of 35%, but not bad enough to justify him never taking them.
Nikola Jokic is the new Karl-Anthony Towns of fantasy basketball. A versatile center you always draft number one overall, in any league format. Dynasty, points, CAT doesn’t matter, the Joker rules all baby. By the way, in case you were wondering, he put up another triple-double. If you drafted him, feel safe knowing you have one player that shows up every night.
Clippers vs Jazz
Sprained right elbow kept Paul George out for a fourth-straight game, allowing Eric Bledsoe to put up 21 points. The early disappointing player of the year award in my opinion would go to Terrence Mann. Averaging 10 points, six rebounds, and three assists is severely disappointing for a player with as many opportunities as Mann, and for someone who was expected to take that next big step.
The Jazz have such a defined system that it’s funny looking at it while filtering through the box score. Rudy Gobert, Bojan Bogdanovic, and Donovan Mitchell all had at least 20 points tonight. Bogdanovic shot seven threes and no free throws, Gobert shot 10 field goals, seven free throws and no three-pointers, and Mitchell shot 15 field goals, seven three-pointers, and six free throws. Balanced as all things should be.
Grizzlies vs Trail Blazers
I am super impressed by the Grizzlies as of late, without their MVP and MIP Ja Morant I expected them to fall but they’ve kept on winning like nothing happened. It was a balanced effort but worth highlighting Steven Adams had 14 rebounds, Kyle Anderson had 11 rebounds and 14 points, and Dillon Brooks had 22 points to lead the team.
Damian Lillard continues to play through an injury and put up an abysmal statline of 21 points on 21 shots with four free throws. Dame’s woes this year can be attributed mostly to injury, however, do watch for any big moves the Trail Blazers make. If I were a gambling man I would predict Jusuf Nurkic ending up on the Hornets for a return package centered around PJ Washington.
Wizards vs Kings
Kyle Kuzma is still in the midst of a midseason slump. It’s sad to see, I pushed him so hard early in the season now he’s borderline unrosterable. In good news, Deni Avdija got a lot of looks last night and they weren’t just three-pointers. The Wizards might finally be tapping into the potential he had when he was drafted.
Finally, we get the Kings and De’Aaron Fox finally found his 2020 form and exploded for 28 points. In his last 10 he’s been averaging 23 a night so definitely look to see if he’s available on anyone’s trading block.