If you’ve made it this far, you’re either in a season-long Roto league or you’re in the last week of a playoff format. Each are equally excruciating at this time of the year and with the one-game Monday and six-game Tuesday, we’re only seven games deep as we cruise into an insane 13-game Big Wednesday.
We’ll shoot out of tomorrow night’s games with a lot of clarity on a lot of different situations around the league, and I’ll save my rant on the whole DNP-CD thing for the injury section below.
For now, it’s all about staying glued to our Player News Page because it’s truly the only place to focus your attention right now. Strategy-wise, your category math should have been done weeks ago but as the potential ranges of outcome have slimmed down in size, don’t be scared to drop a huge name to accomplish a goal.
I almost benched Russell Westbrook this week, because if he shot anything like he has shot for the past two weeks he would actually not be worth starting in my situation. I opted against it because I think he has to regress positively shooting the ball and his upside is obviously through the roof. It’s just that some of his proficient areas aren’t valuable to me anymore. So that’s the game you’re playing right now. Cut-throat, end-season fantasy basketball.
So let’s get the important stuff on the table for you guys real quick.
Also, for anybody that cares or keeps track of this stuff, I’ve taken two big money teams from last to contention once Russell Westbrook and Kawhi Leonard got back on track. In the National Fantasy Basketball Championship I’m competing for the whole enchilada in their most expensive contest, and in a spin-off league including the same guys I’m hoping the hottest of all hot streaks gets me from fourth to third place so I can get some coin. In both leagues, I did well enough to grab guys like Jimmy Butler, Rudy Gobert and Gorgui Dieng to make up for bust picks in Nicolas Batum and Kenneth Faried. If you believe in the positive vibes, I’ll take whatever you got this week as I pull all of my remaining hairs out.
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THE BIG NUMBERS
|Mike Muscala||16||0||7||0||4||1||0||87.5%||Fluky line, but worth a late-season look.|
|Kawhi Leonard||26||4||2||2||3||1||3||66.7%||I hope nobody's surprised by all this noise.|
|JJ Redick||27||4||0||2||2||1||0||64.3%||The party will end whenever JC is up to speed.|
|Anthony Davis||29||0||10||2||2||4||0||47.6%||Pelicans beat their potential R1 opponent (GSW)|
|Goran Dragic||28||0||4||5||2||0||2||62.5%||Miami, Dragic held together by duct tape.|
|Chris Paul||19||0||5||10||2||0||0||45.5%||Can CP3 and Blake make any playoff noise?|
|Andrew Bogut||8||0||8||3||1||9||3||50.0%||Two more games to reach GP contract incentive.|
|Draymond Green||24||3||14||4||1||1||1||55.6%||Get it while you can, eventually GSW will rest.|
|Stephen Curry||25||5||6||9||1||0||2||50.0%||New Nickname Alert: The Human Joystick|
|Rudy Gay||33||2||7||5||1||2||5||52.9%||If he plays, he gets stats. It's as simple as that.|
|Bismack Biyombo||12||0||12||2||2||4||1||66.7%||A must-own player right now.|
|Omri Casspi||31||4||5||1||1||0||0||60.0%||Don't get carried away, this was a garbage-fest.|
|Kevin Martin||37||3||5||8||1||0||1||41.9%||Boom-or-bust asset the rest of the year.|
|Enes Kanter||9||0||5||0||1||0||1||33.3%||Blowout blues.|
|Steven Adams||5||0||4||0||0||2||1||33.3%||Blowout blues and banged up.|
|PJ Tucker||5||0||4||1||1||0||0||20.0%||Things coming apart at the seams in PHO.|
|Andre Iguodala||7||0||7||1||0||0||0||30.0%||Now a boom-or-bust guy at this stage of year.|
|Klay Thompson||7||1||3||1||1||1||4||20.0%||Look for the Warriors to get him going soon.|
|Eric Bledsoe||9||0||2||5||0||0||5||44.4%||Post playoff-race letdown a real possibility.|
|Dwyane Wade||19||0||3||5||1||0||7||35.3%||Peripherals may drag him down. Boom or bust.|
So much of the injury report relies on scheduling, seeding, tanking and the like at this time of the year. It’s why I’m growing to hate playoff leagues, and hopefully the industry takes the issue seriously before people get fed up with it and lose interest. Daily leagues aren’t the answer, but some sort of daily component for season-long weekly roto leagues in the final weeks is the best answer I’ve heard of so far. I just can’t see ending a playoff league right after the trade deadline just so you’re not holding the best hand all year long only to see it fold because you’ve got a bunch of DNP-CDs.
LeBron James – Says he will take game(s) off for rest. Good luck with that.
DeMarcus Cousins (foot) – Now doubtful for tonight, perhaps doubtful for the year. Total crap shoot.
Al Jefferson (knee) – Intends to play again this season, last night’s loss a nail in CHA’s coffin though.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (ankle) – Not likely to return this season.
Cody Zeller (shoulder) – Did not play last night and soon there won’t be any reason to push him.
Tony Parker (Achilles) – Last night’s exit seemed precautionary, but it won’t take much for him to sit.
Rudy Gay (headache) – Was non-committal about playing tonight after last night’s game.
Luol Deng (knee) – Played 41 minutes last night, looked spry.
Chris Andersen (foot) – Limped through 13 minutes of action. Leave him on the wire.
Hassan Whiteside (hand) – Scored 12 points with eight rebounds and one block, stitches survived.
Dwyane Wade (knee) – Survived last night’s win, which keeps Miami in the playoff hunt.
Michael Beasley (knee) – Did not play last night.
Ty Lawson (forearm) – Expected to play tonight after missing Saturday’s game.
Jameer Nelson (hip) – Ruled out for tonight.
Derrick Rose (knee) – Questionable for tonight, you almost have to be punting FG% and TOs to care.
Gorgui Dieng (concussion) – The two home games next week look like owners’ best hope.
Donatas Motiejunas (back) – Out tonight against the Spurs.
Rodney Stuckey (wrist) – Expects to play tonight with the Pacers in the thick of the chase.
C.J. Watson (elbow) – Questionable for tonight. I’d guess he gives it a go but proceed with caution.
Trey Burke (back) – Probable for tonight’s likely easy win over the Kings.
Chandler Parsons (knee) – Did not practice yesterday, questionable for tonight. Mavs locked at No. 7.
Rajon Rondo (hyperextended knee) – Full participant in practice yesterday, questionable tonight.
Isaiah Canaan (foot) – Ruled out for the rest of the season.
Kyle Lowry (back) – Unlikely to play tonight, luckily for owners seeding is still an issue for TOR.
Jrue Holiday (leg) – Still experiencing soreness, I’m guessing he’s questionable for the playoffs.
For more injury news check out our injury page.
Jamal Crawford (calf) got back on the floor after missing a month of action, scoring seven points with two rebounds and two assists in 17 minutes against the Lakers. He probably needs 1-3 games to get his legs underneath him and at any point the Clippers could decide to tap the brakes. If you can dodge all of that risk to squeeze some value out of him at least there’s some mid-round upside on the table. On the other hand, look for Matt Barnes (five points, five boards, three assists, two steals, one block, one three) and J.J. Redick (27 points, two steals, four threes) to lose 2-3 rounds of value whenever Crawford gets back to 100 percent.
As noted above, Rudy Gay is dealing with a concussion but he got on the floor last night to post an unsurprising 33 points on 9-of-17 shooting, 13-of-15 FTs, two threes, seven boards, five assists, one steal and two blocks in 38 minutes. Nobody has played the Kings tight this season so needless to say at this point in time Gay is going to cruise to a big line anytime he’s in the lineup. Again, he’s very questionable for tonight based on last night’s comments. Omri Casspi joins Ray McCallum as your preferred Sacto plays if Gay and Cousins are out.
Dennis Schroder (toe) got back on the floor and played 15 minutes with six points, two boards, four assists and three turnovers in 15 minutes. Next week would be his sweet spot for any potential value.
Bismack Biyombo is sporting a broken nose and there is talk of Al Jefferson coming back, but the Hornets are effectively out of the playoffs and Biyombo is practically the last big man standing. He’s going to be in the ballpark of last night’s 12 points and 12 rebounds and two steals with four blocks isn’t exactly shocking. You know he can’t shoot free throws but unless that’s a super sensitive area for your team this is an easy pickup.
Tarik Black isn’t a great fantasy option, but he has been getting it done lately with averages of 13.0 points, 6.3 boards and 67.6 percent shooting over his last four games. He tied a season-high with 16 points and nine boards in 22 minutes last night, and the Lakers have five more games this season. Byron Scott seems to like him and you could do worse on a pickup.
Justin Hamilton is still probably flying under radars and last night he had four points, four rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks in just 25 minutes. Pick him up.
Omri Casspi took advantage of a lightly contested game with DeMarcus Cousins on the sidelines, scoring a career-high 31 points with four treys, five boards and one steal. Rudy Gay’s status for tonight is in question, and Casspi has no problem pushing the issue right now. Just keep in mind that his knee has been an issue all year and he is prone to disappearing. But as it stands in Sacto, he’s the third or fourth best fantasy asset behind the Big Two.
Ryan Kelly shot the ball 17 times in last night’s loss to the Clippers, and that would theoretically be cause for celebration but he only made three of them. He did finish with eight points, two boards, five assists and two steals, and the Lakers roll the ball out there five more times this year – so I’m not dropping him just yet. If his proficient areas can’t help you then you may want to pass on this action, but likewise he has the potential to run real hot for you if you’re punting his deficient areas.
Quincy Pondexter scored 20 points on 6-of-7 shooting with four treys and he’s not 13-of-19 from beyond the arc in April. I’m less worried about a minute-decrease now that Jrue Holiday seems a ways off from returning, but look for Ryan Anderson’s minutes to slowly increase and somebody will have to take the hit for that. More worrying is the fact that he has to cool off at some point and chances are that’s going to happen sooner rather than later. Obviously, the appeal here is if you can ride a hot streak through the team’s next five games.
Harrison Barnes should be listed in the drops because he simply doesn’t get it done for owners the vast majority of the time. He scored seven points with one steal and one block in 23 minutes last night, and the only reason I’m not listing him in the drop section is because the Warriors need to rest guys at some point. I don’t want to tell you this guy is a drop when he’s scoring 22 points with six rebounds and a couple of threes and steals in a game next week. He’s more of a watch-and-be-ready to grab guy.
It’s hard to say what the Morris twins’ legal situation is going to do to their on-court personas, but Markieff Morris got his 15th technical foul last night and is one away from a suspension, and Marcus Morris struggled to the tune of eight points, four boards, one three and one steal in 24 minutes. With the way the Suns look like they’re about to mail in the rest of the season, the lesser Morris is somebody owners can part with at relatively low risk.