Games Played Week 18
4 Games: CLE, DET, GSW, IND, MIA, MIN, NYK, ORL, PHI, POR, TOR, WAS
3 Games: ATL, BOS, BRK, CHA, CHI, DAL, DEN, HOU, LAC, LAL, MEM, MIL, NOP, OKC, PHX, SAC, SAN, UTA
Line of the Night
Anthony Davis showed everyone why he was fantasy basketball’s consensus No. 1 overall pick on draft day during Sunday’s 111-106 win over the Pistons, as he erupted for a career-high 59 points on 24-of-35 shooting (9-of-10 from the line) to go with 20 reBrownds, four assists, two 3-pointers, one block and two turnovers through 43 minutes of work. Davis’ 50+ point, 20-board performance was the first such performance since Chris Webber’s 51-point, 26-rebound gem back in 2001; and his 59 points were the most points scored by anyone this season. Probably one of the more important parts of this stat line for Davis was the fact that the Pelicans got the W, which improved their record to 22-33 on the season. New Orleans now sits just six games out of the No. 8 seed out West, which is great news for Brow owners, as he’s much less likely to sit out random games down the stretch as long as the Pelicans are within striking distance of a playoff berth.
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For the advanced stats lovers, Brow finished the game with a true shooting percentage of 76.8 to accompany his 38.8 usage rate, and through the fourth-quarter he posted video games stats with a 98.5 true shooting percentage and an ungodly 45.9 usage rate. Here’s a look at his ridiculous shot chart:
Archie Goodwin was replaced by Ronnie Price in the starting lineup for Sunday’s game vs. the Spurs, but he still finished with 14 points (5-of-14 FGs, 3-of-4 FTs), seven rebounds, one assist, one 3-pointer and two turnovers in his 24 minutes of action. He had been producing as Phoenix’s starting point guard, but his effectiveness in that role was questionable at best (1.3 assist-to-turnover ratio). He didn’t log a single minute at the point on Sunday, and it looks like he may be confined to a 20-minute role moving forward as Devin Booker’s backup. That’s not a great sign for his fantasy value, but given how good he was as a starter, it’s worth waiting out a few more games before making the cut.
Price fouled out in 20 minutes, finishing the game with 11 points on 5-of-8 shooting, three assists, one 3-pointer, one board and one block. Foul trouble and consistency are major issues for Price, so he’s not worth picking up in most leagues despite the starter-tag.
Tobias Harris started the second-half of Sunday’s loss to the Pelicans with Anthony Tolliver going down with a knee injury, and I would be shocked if Harris didn’t make his first start in a Pistons’ uniform Monday vs. the Cavs. With Harris in the starting five, there’s going to be fewer touches on offense for Marcus Morris, and Stanley Johnson is going to struggle to get much more than 20 minutes a game. Both Morris and Johnson are trending in the wrong direction with the arrival of Tobias.
Jon Leuer came off the bench behind Kris Humphries on Sunday, although he still managed to put up a relevant line with 13 points, seven boards, two assists, one 3-pointer, one steal and one block in 18 minutes. While Leuer was able to get it done in limited minutes vs. San Antonio, it’s unlikely he’ll be able to consistently produce relevant stat lines while coming off the bench in Phoenix, so he’s far from being a must-own guy in standard leagues. Humphries wasn’t great in the start, producing just seven points, three boards, one 3-pointer, four assists, one steal and one turnover during his 24 minutes on the court. He did have a nice double-double on Friday, but Humphries is just too inconsistent to get excited about in standard leagues.
Courtney Lee made his Hornets’ debut as the team’s starting two-guard, and finished the game with five points, one 3-pointer, one rebound and one assist in 21 minutes. The line wasn’t very impressive at all, but Steve Clifford is a big fan of Lee and his minutes should start creeping up as he gets more familiar with Charlotte’s system. If you swooped up Lee after the trade, it makes sense to give him a few more games before making the cut. Frank Kaminsky returned to the bench with Lee in the starting five and did nothing of note during his 17 minutes of floor time.
D’Angelo Russell finally replaced Lou Williams in the starting lineup, and he finished Sunday’s loss to the Bulls with 15 points, six assists, two rebounds, two 3-pointers, one steal and two turnovers in 34 minutes. Lou Williams struggled in the return to the bench, tallying 11 points on 3-of-6 shooting, with two boards, one assist, one 3-pointer, one steal and one turnover in just 25 minutes of floor time. Byron Scott said after that game that Russell will be the Lakers’ starting point guard moving forward, so while Russell is trending up, Sweet Lou’s fantasy arrow is pointing down. Williams might not be much more than a late-round guy operating as Los Angeles’ sixth man.
Elfrid Payton looks to be locked into a timeshare with Brandon Jennings, as he played just 23 minutes on Sunday on his way to four points (1-of-5 FGs, 2-of-2 FTs), four assists, two rebounds, two steals and three turnovers. Meanwhile, Jennings earned 25 minutes off the bench and produced 12 points, seven assists, four boards, two 3-pointers, two steals and five turnovers. Payton really hasn’t been worth owning in standard leagues this season, and now with his upside capped by a timeshare, it’s probably time to move on in most leagues. Swapping out Payton for Jennings makes sense to me.
On the Radar
Alex Len (right ankle) returned to the starting lineup following a one-game absence, and double-doubled with 23 points, 13 rebounds and three turnovers in just 24 minutes of action. Earl Watson made it a point to feed Len in the post, and with Phoenix playing for absolutely nothing, it would make sense for Watson to start making Len’s development a priority. If you’re seeking some production in boards and blocks, Len is worth a look.
Mirza Teletovic played 29 minutes off the bench, and put up 14 points on 5-of-13 shooting to go with four boards, three assists, one steal, one turnover and three more trey-bombs. Mirza should have no trouble seeing at least 25 minutes a night as Phoenix’s sixth man with Markieff Morris no longer a part of the equation, and as a power forward that can give two-plus treys a night, Teletovic is worth a look in most leagues. In the two games since the Morris-trade, Teletovic has produced averages of 19.5 points, 6.0 boards, 2.5 assists and an elite 3.0 three-pointers per game on 48.0 percent shooting, which has been good enough for top-60 value in standard leagues.
Shelvin Mack separated himself from the point guard pack during his Jazz debut on Sunday, compiling 16 points, six assists, three rebounds, one 3-pointer, one block and just one turnover in 25 minutes. The Utah front office has done nothing but praise Mack since his arrival and head coach Quin Snyder praised his effort after the game saying: “We traded for him to help us — and he is different than the other guys, so he’s going to play.” With Mack’s only competition for playing time going by the names of Raul Neto and Trey Burke, Shelvin should soon find himself logging major minutes for the Jazz, and likely starting. If you need a point guard, Mack is someone to strongly consider grabbing.
Moe Harkless continued his strong play as of late despite again coming off the bench on Sunday, tallying 17 points, seven boards, one assist, one steal, one 3-pointer and zero turnovers in his 25 minutes of action. Since becoming a regular part of the rotation, Harkless has produced fifth-round value in standard 9-cat leagues behind averages of 14.4 points (63.0 percent shooting), 7.2 boards, 1.2 steals, 1.2 three-pointers and just 0.4 turnovers per game in 26.5 minutes per contest (which has also coincided with a five-game winning streak for Portland). While the 63.0 percent shooting clip is obviously unsustainable, Harkless has clearly established himself in the rotation, and he’s looking like a must-add guy in deep leagues. If you have someone to cut in standard leagues, I think picking up Moe would be a wise move.
Patty Mills had yet another productive game off the Spurs' bench on Sunday, registering 21 points, three boards, five assists, six trey-bombs and just one turnover in 23 minutes of action. Mills has been operating as San Antonio’s sixth man since Manu Ginobili (testicular surgery) went down, and during that seven game span Mills has been producing seventh (9-cat) and eighth-round (8-cat) value behind averages of 14.1 points, 3.7 assists, 2.9 three-pointers and just 0.9 turnovers per game on 47.4 percent shooting from the field. He’s well worth owning as a 3-point specialist in deep leagues.
E’Twaun Moore matched his career-high in scoring during Sunday’s win over the Lakers with 24 points on 10-of-14 shooting, adding four boards, four treys, one assist, one steal, one block and one turnover in 41 minutes. He’s going to be getting some heavy run with Jimmy Butler (knee) out at least another 2-3 weeks, so he’s certainly worth an add if you’ve got some dead weight on your roster.
Doug McDermott followed up Friday’s career-high 30-point explosion with a solid 16-point performance on 6-of-9 shooting to go with three more treys. He too will be a more consistent part of the rotation with Jimmy Buckets out, and is worth a look in deep leagues for those seeking a 3-point specialist.
Lance Stephenson was superb in his Memphis debut, tallying 16 points, three boards, two assists, one steal and just one turnover in 22 minutes off the bench. He also shot 6-of-10 from the field and was a perfect 4-of-4 from the charity stripe, and it’ll be interesting to see what kind of role he has with Memphis moving forward. It needs to be said that Stephenson got some extended run in the rotation due to Tony Allen (knee) taking an early exit, and with how bad Born Ready has been over the past two seasons, I’m going to need to see more than a couple repeat performances before recommending him as a pickup in most leagues.
Jeff Teague said that he’ll be “okay” after suffering a wrist injury during Saturday’s game, and owners can expect to get an update on his status for Monday’s game vs. the Warriors following Monday morning’s shootaround.
Alan Anderson (ankle) said that he plans on making his season debut Tuesday vs. New Orleans or Wednesday in Chicago. He’s not a fantasy option.
Tyson Chandler (bruised right shoulder) sat out Sunday’s game vs. the Spurs, and he should be considered questionable for Monday’s game vs. the Clippers. Alex Len and Mirza Teletovic will benefit most in his absence.
Manu Ginobili (testicular surgery) will likely be sidelined longer than a month. He should be dropped everywhere.
Terrence Jones (concussion) returned to practice on Sunday, but he’s the odd man out in Houston’s loaded frontcourt and belongs on the waiver wire in all leagues.
Iman Shumpert (shoulder) missed Sunday’s game vs. OKC, and should be considered questionable for Monday’s showdown vs. the Pistons.
Anthony Tolliver exited Sunday’s game vs. the Pelicans with a knee injury and did not return. He’s already been ruled out for Monday’s game vs. Cleveland, meaning that Tobias Harris should be Detroit’s starting power forward moving forward.
Andre Roberson (knee) was available to play Sunday vs. the Cavs, but he did not leave the bench. He’ll be brought along slowly in OKC after spending a month on the sidelines, but once he’s fully up to speed, Dion Waiters’ job in the starting five will be in serious jeopardy. Roberson belongs on the waiver wire in all leagues.
Chris Bosh (blood clots) has been ruled out for Monday’s game vs. the Pacers. He’s out indefinitely and is in danger of missing the remainder of the 2015-16 season. Dwyane Wade (knee) is being listed as questionable for Monday’s game, and if he’s not able to give it a go, look for Luol Deng, Goran Dragic and Hassan Whiteside to do the heavy lifting on offense. Gerald Green would likely start sans Dwyane, but he’s too unreliable to use in standard settings.
Kawhi Leonard (calf) sat out Sunday’s blowout win over the Suns as a precaution. It was his third straight game on the sidelines, but the second two absences can probably be attributed to San Antonio’s opponents: the Suns and the Lakers. He’s not dealing with a major injury and I expect him to return to action Wednesday in Sacramento.
Kyrie Irving was forced out of Sunday’s game vs. the Thunder after just nine minutes of play with a stomach bug and did not return. Consider him questionable for Monday’s game vs. the Pistons.
Mo Williams did not play on Sunday and is seeking a second opinion with surgeon Dr. James Andrews regarding his sore left knee. It sounds like Williams is looking at a potentially lengthy absence, and with Kyrie’s status up in the air for Monday, Matthew Dellavedova could be forced into heavy minutes for Cleveland.
Jameer Nelson, who has played just two games in the past month with a wrist injury, again sat out Sunday’s game vs. the Celtics. D.J. Augustin has been playing very well as Denver’s backup point guard, so Nelson will likely have a very diminished role upon his eventual return. He belongs on the waiver wire in all formats.
Tony Allen (sore left knee) did not play Sunday vs. the Raptors, and P.J. Hairston drew the start in his place. However, Hairston predictably did a whole lot of nothing in his 16 minutes as a starter, while Vince Carter and Mario Chalmers played very well off the bench. The Grizzlies are off until Wednesday’s game vs. the Lakers, so there’s a chance the knee injury results in just a one-game absence for The Grindfather.
Bryce Dejean-Jones (right wrist) labored through his 21 minutes of play, scoring just five points with three boards, two assists, one steal and a 3-pointer. He didn’t look right, and might sit out Tuesday’s game vs. the Wizards, which would likely result in Alonzo Gee (who is not a fantasy option) returning to the starting five.
Nikola Mirotic (hematoma) will remain sidelined at least another 2-3 weeks, which means Taj Gibson has another 2-3 weeks as the unquestioned starting power forward in Chicago, and Bobby Portis won’t have to battle anyone for reserve minutes. Mirotic has been incredibly frustrating to own this season, and it’s hard to justify holding onto him if you’re fighting for a playoff spot and without an IR-slot.
Kenneth Faried (illness) lasted just 13 minutes on Sunday before asking out, and he should be considered questionable for Tuesday’s game against the Kings.
C.J. Miles exited Sunday’s game vs. the Magic with a strained left calf and did not return. Consider him questionable for Monday’s game in Miami.