The #HellaStorm is about to hit Northern California so I’m going to keep this quick while power is on, especially since I’ll be expanding on last night’s 10-game slate in the Bruski Breakdown later today. I will say this, though, last night’s action won’t be remembered for a bunch of big plays or big moments, but there is actually a lot going on in fantasy leagues and by the end of the day we’ll have it all hashed out.
For real-time NBA updates and fantasy information, you can click here to follow me on Twitter.
THE BIG NUMBERS
|James Harden||34||3||8||4||4||0||5||51.90%||He just knocked off Steph for No. 2 in 8-cat.|
|Jrue Holiday||30||5||1||10||3||0||2||54.50%||Maybe he won't be the quietest early rounder.|
|Corey Brewer||19||1||8||5||5||0||4||36.40%||Starting to roll. Must-own player.|
|Anthony Davis||31||0||11||2||0||2||1||55.00%||Played thru a toe injury, has looked a bit slow.|
|Harrison Barnes||20||3||7||2||2||0||2||77.80%||Who's happy about his new role?|
|Pau Gasol||16||0||16||2||0||4||4||55.60%||Durability the only concern and I mean only.|
|Kyle Korver||17||5||2||2||3||1||2||54.50%||Korver having historic shooting season.|
|Chris Paul||17||0||8||15||3||0||4||43.80%||Yesterday's news still getting it done today.|
|Al Jefferson||23||0||14||3||1||1||2||60.00%||I point out his low rank but he's a solid buy low.|
|Marco Belinelli||22||3||4||3||2||0||1||46.20%||Always look his way when folks are Popped.|
|Monta Ellis||26||2||4||5||1||1||2||57.90%||Monta has a representative portion of it all.|
|DeAndre Jordan||12||0||19||0||1||3||1||62.50%||Teams still aren't putting him on the line.|
|Taj Gibson||11||0||10||3||0||6||1||55.60%||Six blocks pushes him to top 70-80 per-game.|
|Draymond Green||11||1||8||1||4||0||2||50.00%||What are days that end in the letter Y, Alex?|
|Chandler Parsons||20||3||2||2||1||1||1||61.50%||Hopefully you bought low on the FG% info.|
|Damian Lillard||23||2||7||5||3||0||1||37.50%||Cause this is Thrillard, Thrillard night.|
|John Wall||21||1||6||11||1||0||58.80%||Colin Coward getting roasted this week.|
|DeMarre Carroll||14||2||11||3||3||0||0||66.70%||A must-own player all year in most standards.|
|Dwyane Wade||10||0||3||5||0||0||3||0.267||Dwyane, if you're playing you gotta go big.|
|LaMarcus Aldridge||10||1||9||1||0||2||5||0.214||Has slid to top 20-30 (9/8 cat).|
|David West||2||0||3||3||0||0||0||0.143||The Pacers are going to be prone to blowouts.|
|Kelly Olynyk||8||0||4||2||1||0||3||0.571||Good with the bad folks. Still top 80-85.|
|Roy Hibbert||4||0||3||1||0||0||1||0.5||Putting the mid in mid-round value now.|
|Jose Calderon||2||0||4||3||0||0||0||0.25||Like the Pacers, but with more gore.|
|Tyreke Evans||8||0||2||1||1||1||2||0.364||He can't be doing this with the %s he has.|
|Chris Bosh||14||1||2||1||0||1||1||0.417||I guess we'll blame the SEGABABA in Denver.|
|Michael Carter-Williams||8||0||10||9||0||2||9||0.571||/looks up NBA record for turnovers.|
|Jared Sullinger||5||1||7||4||0||1||0||0.2||Chopped a leg off his value - now top 50-60.|
Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $125,000 Fantasy Basketball league for Thursday's NBA games. It's $25 to join and first prize is $15,000. Starts at 8pm ET on Thursday. Here's the FanDuel link.
I’m not going to lie the Kawhi Leonard hand injury sent a nice little shock through my heart. So far the reports have trended toward ‘less serious,’ and beat writer Jeff McDonald pointed out that the Spurs do MRIs for practically every injury. So we’ll be waiting on the results of that MRI and hope he isn’t the latest in a long line of players dropped by hand injuries, including himself. While we’re talking about the Spurs, it was a rest night so Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Tim Duncan did not play. Check our Spurs page for a rundown on how everybody else did in their absence.
In the same vein the Nets rested a ton of guys and that will be detailed in the Bruski Breakdown later today. The whole team is on the trade block and Joe Johnson (flu), Mirza Teletovic (hip) and Brook Lopez (back) did not play, with the bread in that sandwich on the trade block along with Deron Williams according to an ESPN report. X-rays came back negative on Kevin Garnett’s foot and he played last night with 13 and seven to go with two steals in 26 minutes.
With the team trying to get its financial business in order there’s a lot of smoke here. Jarrett Jack (seven points, 1-of-8 FGs, six boards, four assists) and Mason Plumlee (eight points, eight boards, three blocks, 28 minutes) are the first guys that come to mind as beneficiaries, but there’s a lot to tackle there.
Carmelo Anthony tried to tamp down reports that he may need surgery on his knee with Tina Cervasio reporting that he says it will be a last resort. If owners want to turn on some Papa Roach and wig out to some teenage angst-rock I wouldn’t blame them. I’ve been in Iman Shumpert’s corner through his recent frigid spell and he added right index finger injury to the mix last night (X-rays negative). He’s been terrible and I’m still going to tell you guys to hold him in 12-team leagues for now. The Melo news and Knicks record are enough to put Shump in a solid position as we go here, assuming he can stay healthy himself. As usual I’m hunting upside here.
Tim Hardaway would need to put up last night’s 23 points, four threes and a steal at least twice a week to hold standard league value because of all his deficiencies. So no I’m not running to the wire for him. J.R. Smith complicated matters by missing the game due to a sore left heel, and he needs to truly fall on his face to not take advantage of this Melo situation long-term. Unfortunately that’s the direction he’s trending, but things can’t get much worse for the Knicks and any upward movement for Smith and/or the team could look good for him in a month or two. That is unless Derek Fisher and Phil Jackson don’t excommunicate him before that.
Anthony Davis played through a toe injury last night and had 31 points, 11 boards, zero steals and two blocks. No problem, right? Probably, but I’ve seen him look a step slower than usual for about a week and it’s something to watch when dealing with such a valuable and sometimes brittle asset.
Andrew Bogut (knee) did not play and I’m thinking the Dubs are reading up on my proposed plan to hold him out until February. Half-kidding aside, they’re just going to be extra careful with him and owners will want to factor a handful of missed games into their equations at a minimum.
Nikola Vucevic (back) missed another game and Orlando injury news is at it again, so who knows when he’ll be back. Our blurbers disagree but I don’t particularly care about Vucevic’s status knowing Kyle O’Quinn has a long history of productivity at low minutes, and KOQ should be owned in all standards until further notice.
Nene played through his sore knee and had 12 points, six rebounds and a block in 21 minutes off the bench. Kris Humphries started and posted a tepid 11 points with three rebounds and no blocks in 28 minutes, but he has been pretty good lately and is the player to own between the two. Nene has to play his way into shape and keep from getting injured again. The Wizards may just decide he’s better in a bench role, but it’s important for the team to figure this out because they were so much better with Nene on the floor last year. His presence may not be as crucial with Paul Pierce around and everybody else improving.
For more injury news check out our injury page.
Kenneth Faried returned from a back injury in the Nuggets’ easy win over the Heat and I’m going to expand on this in the Bruski Breakdown later today. He scored 13 points with eight rebounds in 22 minutes off the bench against a shallow Heat team that had already thrown the towel in for much of that line. The bottom line is that Faried didn’t magically start sucking between now and this summer and there’s a whole lot more going on than what’s on the surface. He’s a classic hold and bench play and for the relatively bold he’s a nice buy low player. His contract demands a big role wherever he plays and this charade between he and management will eventually come to a head.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist returned from his stress fracture and played 19 minutes with nine points and six boards. Owners will want to watch him for the next 2-3 games and be ready to move if he starts showing signs of life. The Bobcats’ defense could desperately use what he brings and he had a decent enough start before going down.
J.J. Redick scored 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting with two threes and not much else last night, and that qualifies as a productive night for him. The good news is that he has been productive lately and last night he checked the box that was asking if he could do that while Jamal Crawford (18 points, 7-of-12 FGs) was good. He’s looking like he has a good chance of sustaining bankable late-round value. The same can be said for Matt Barnes (11 points, five boards, one block, one three), at least in terms of profiling as a late-round value.
Luc Richard Mbah a Moute scored 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting with two threes, two boards, five steals and one block in 29 minutes. He’s been a top-100 play for two weeks now in a six-game sample, and he’s being relied upon by Brett Brown to bring some semblance of sanity to the Sixers’ attack. I’d still consider him a very low-level add because he lacks upside and his season-long numbers aren’t great, but in a competitive 12-14 team league he could do the trick.
Devin Harris doesn’t get much love because of his bench role, injury history and the Mavs’ gaggle of point guards to complicate things. I think owners need to ignore a lot of that noise and just look at the numbers, as he has been a top 110-130 value on the season in 25 mpg and that’s not likely to change. He scored 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting with three treys, three assists and a steal in 26 minutes last night, and he should be owned in all standard 12-team leagues unless you want to nitpick about his lower 9-cat ranking. Regardless of what happens around him with injury prone Jameer Nelson and unwanted Raymond Felton, he’s going to get his 25 mpg.
Andrew Wiggins went off last night for 23 points, 10 boards, 9-of-16 field goals, four assists and two steals in a win over the Blazers. And after scoring 21 points on Monday he deserves a golf clap at a minimum. But let’s be clear – he has been one of the worst values in fantasy leagues this season at a top 225-300 return prior to last night. As I said yesterday he’ll fly up those ranks as his awkward blend of production stops hurting more than it helps, and last night he really looked like a superstar in the making.
But right now the Wolves are probably as depleted as they can reasonably get without having the OKC thing happen all over again. There are a lot of ways this can spin sideways for owners, so keep that in mind as you ponder adds or holds, and no you should not feel bad if you dropped him – nor should you stick your head in the sand and refuse to add him because a step forward could threaten mid-round upside. Right now I think solid late-round value starting from now to the end of the year is a good goal.
Donatas Motiejunas has played well so don’t get me wrong, and last night’s 18 points with six rebounds and one block had some popcorn appeal. But for all of his good play and well-above average usage he is barely a late-round value in 8-cat leagues over the past two weeks and in 9-cat leagues he’s below the cut line in 14-team formats. Some guys just aren’t built for standard fantasy leagues and he’s one of them. Feel free to get out in front of the curve with Dwight Howard (knee) hoping to return Saturday.
Nikola Mirotic scored 10 points with six rebounds, one block and one three in 21 minutes off the bench. It’s possible that the Bulls frontcourt has at least one guy hurt for enough games to keep Mirotic on the radar or even owned in standard formats. It’s just not a very good bet if you’re looking at a somewhat promising late-round add.
Solomon Hill has scraped by on late-round value with a heavy workload and with guys returning the good times are mostly over. He played 17 minutes last night and had just four points with three assists on 1-of-7 shooting. If you haven’t dropped him yet, there’s your sign.
Evan Fournier has steadily declined over the last two weeks and last night he logged just 21 minutes for seven points and one triple. His fantasy game has holes so he can’t really come close to this type of production and survive in 12-14 team formats. Elfrid Payton (12 points, 6-of-15 FGs, six boards, four assists, one steal) still has deficiencies that will limit his standard league value to deep leagues, but he’s been improving a bit lately and has taken the predominant role between the two.