Game Played Week 14
4 Games: ATL, BOS, CHA, CLE, DAL, DEN, DET, GSW, HOU, LAC, LAL, MIA, MIN, NYK, ORL, PHX, SAC, WAS
3 Games: BRK, CHI, IND, MEM, MIL, NOP, OKC, PHI, POR, SAS, TOR, UTA
Chandler Parsons scored a season-high 31 points on 10-of-15 shooting (6-of-9 from the line) during Sunday’s loss to the Rockets, adding six rebounds, three assists, one steal, one block, five 3-pointers and just one turnover through 36 minutes of action. Parsons has shown steady signs of improvement all season long, with January’s averages of 15.3 points, 5.2 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.8 three-pointers, 0.8 steals and 1.4 turnovers per game being his best month thus far. He’s been a mid-round guy during that span, and he has the potential to finish his post-break run as a top-30 asset. Congrats if you bought low during his painfully slow start.
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Trevor Ariza scored a season-high 29 points during Sunday’s comeback victory over the Mavs, to go with three boards, two assists, three steals and six 3-pointers (also a season-high). He’s been thriving as the starting power forward for the Rockets with Dwight Howard (ankle) on the sidelines, but in general, Ariza has been awesome through January with averages of 13.6 points, 2.7 three-pointers, 1.8 steals and just 0.7 turnovers per game, which has been good enough for third-round in 9-cat leagues. Ariza tends to be a slow starter, but he was a top-30 player after the All-Star break last season, and that looks to be where he’s headed yet again.
James Harden notched his second triple-double on Sunday, tallying 23 points (7-of-18 FGs, 6-of-6 FTs), 10 assists, 15 rebounds, three 3-pointers, two blocks and just two turnovers through 36 minutes of floor time. The two turnovers were an unexpected reward for 9-cat owners, as Harden currently leads the league in turnovers with 207 on the season, but that’s kind of something you just have to accept for a guy that is so involved in the offense. Not only does Harden lead the league in isolation plays, but his usage rate of 32.8 ranks third only behind Russell Westbrook (32.9) and DeMarcus Cousins (35.1).
Speaking of Russell Westbrook, he went to work against the Nets on Sunday, nearly earning a triple-double of his own with 27 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists, one steal, one 3-pointer and three turnovers through 40 minutes of play. Kevin Durant joined the party, putting up 32 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists, two steals, two treys, one block and an unfortunate five turnovers through 41 minutes of action, however the Herculean effort from the guys in OKC ultimately wasn’t enough to secure a win over the Nets. Luckily, in fantasy hoops, team wins are irrelevant and Mr. Durant and Mr. Westbrook sit amongst the top-5 in any setting.
Brook Lopez was one of the main reasons the Nets were able to pullout an upset over the Thunder Sunday night, as he produced a team-high 31 points on 11-of-19 shooting (9-of-10 from the line) to go with 10 rebounds, two assists, three blocks and just one turnover in 32 minutes. Big Brook is currently producing top-30 value on the year behind solid averages of 19.8 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.9 blocks and 2.3 turnovers per game on 49.4 percent shooting from the field and 78.9 percent from the charity stripe. The coaching change in Brooklyn has had zero affect upon BroLo’s fantasy value, and as long as he can stay healthy, there are no indications that he won’t be able to continue to produce at this level. The Nets also don’t even have a draft pick next season, so while they’re well out of the playoff equation in the East with their 12-33 record, there really isn’t much incentive for them to “rest” Brook down the stretch in order to lose games. Lopez was one of the more annoying guys to own during his three-year stint of dealing with significant foot injuries, but he played in 72 games last year, and he’s only sat out one game this season. I feel like the injury-prone narrative has been a bit overblown with Brook, as the foot operation he underwent prior to the 2014-15 season has a very high success rate, and a lot of people forget that he didn’t miss a single game through the first three years of his career.
Chris Paul continued to his stat sheet stuffing ways during the Clippers loss to the Raptors on Sunday, tallying a team-high 23 points (9-of-17 FGs, 2-of-3 FTs), 11 assists, four rebounds, three 3-pointers, two steals, one block and four turnovers in 31 minutes. CP3 has been playing like a man possessed since Blake Griffin (quad) went down, owning a usage rate of 30.4 and an assist percentage of 55.1, and he’s been fantasy basketball’s No. 2 overall player through the month of January with averages of 21.3 points, 11.5 assists, 5.0 rebounds, 2.4 steals, 2.3 three-pointers and 3.2 turnovers per game on 48.1 percent shooting from the field and 82.9 percent from the line. Paul’s numbers will take a slight hit upon Griffin’s return,
Kyle Lowry led the Raptors to their eighth consecutive win on Sunday, scoring a team-high 21 points on 7-of-14 shooting to go with six assists, four rebounds, three trey-bombs and three turnovers through 36 minutes of action. There’s not much left to say about Skinny K. Low who is having himself a career-year and has yet to dip below his top-6 ranking in fantasy hoops. With a draft day ADP of 26.1, he’s easily exceeding expectations, and those that took a risk on Lowry on draft day are probably doing very well in their league standings.
Robert Covington was a lone bright spot for the 76ers on Sunday, busting loose for 25 points on 6-of-15 shooting (6-of-13 from beyond the arc), to go with eight rebounds, one assist, one steal and four turnovers in 34 minutes. Covington runs hot-and-cold, but when he’s hot he produces statistics worthy of early-round status (and when he’s not, he’s basically a late-round asset). He’s hot right now, and should be considered a must-start player until he inevitably cools off.
On the Radar
Josh Smith had his second consecutive productive game while wearing a Rockets jersey on Sunday, registering 16 points, three rebounds, two assists, two steals, two swats, two treys and just one turnover through 23 minutes off the bench. His minutes have been helped out by the fact that Dwight Howard has spent these past two games on the sidelines with an ankle injury, however, J.B. Bickerstaff praised Smith after the game and credited him for his role in Houston’s comeback win. Based on the previous two games, it looks like Smoove has carved out a steady 20-minute role with the Rockets, which is bad news for Terrence Jones owners, as Jones only managed to get on the court for 10 minutes on Sunday. So what does a 20-plus minute bench role look like for Smith fantasy wise? Well, after the All-Star break last season (29 games), Smith posted averages of 12.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.3 three-pointers, 0.8 steals, 1.3 blocks and 2.4 turnovers per game on 43.2 percent shooting from the field, which was good enough for top-100 value in standard leagues when punting away free throws (54.8 percent from the charity stripe). Smith’s inability to determine what is and isn’t a good shot will weigh down his fantasy value, but given his ability to bring a little bit of everything to the stat sheet, I’d consider J. Smoove very worthy of a speculative add in deep leagues given what he’s done for the Rockets over the past two games (both wins). He’s also pretty much a must-own guy in points formats at this point, however, he’s not all that alluring in standard formats, particularly if you aren’t punting free throws.
The good Bojan Bogdanovic showed up to play Sunday, and he dropped 18 points and four trey-bombs in 29 minutes off the bench to go with three assists, three boards and two turnovers. Consistency is the primary issue with Bojan, so he’s not much more than a 3-point specialist in deep leagues.
Terrence Ross got hot during Sunday’s win over the Clippers, draining five 3-pointers through 33 minutes off the bench on his way to 18 points, four boards, two assists, two turnovers and a season-high four steals. The steals were a pleasant surprise for a guy averaging just 0.8 steals per game on the season, but the treys and points were pretty much par for the course for the combustible Raptor. Ross is about as hit-or-miss as they come, but he’s going to continue to see steady playing time while DeMarre Carroll (knee) recovers from knee surgery, so if you’re seeking some production in 3-pointers and points; Ross is well worth.
Tim Duncan (right knee soreness, Gregg Popovich for a coach) will not play Monday vs. the Warriors. David West is likely to start in his place, and there will be more minutes available for Boris Diaw and hopefully Boban Marjanovic.
Kenneth Faried said on Sunday that the groin injury he’s dealing with is currently preventing him from being able to run or jump and that he believes it’s a “significant” injury. The Nuggets are currently listing him as questionable for Monday’s game vs. the Hawks, but with a quote like this, he seems a lot closer to doubtful. Look for Darrell Arthur and Nikola Jokic to pick up some extra minutes in his absence.
Patrick Beverley returned to the starting lineup following a two-game stint on the sidelines with a sprained ankle, and put up seven points, nine boards, four assists, one block, one 3-pointer and one turnover through 31 minutes of floor time.
Lance Thomas (knee) was held out of Saturday’s game as a precaution, but said on Sunday he fully intends to play Tuesday vs. the Thunder.
Hassan Whiteside (hip), Luol Deng (eye) and Gerald Green (knee, abdomen) are all being listed as questionable for Monday’s game vs. the Bulls. Whiteside said on Sunday that he felt pain when shooting or twisting his torso, so he’s probably a lot closer to doubtful. McRoberts (knee) is doubtful, and Goran Dragic (calf) has already been ruled out. However, Dwyane Wade (shoulders) and Beno Udrih (neck) said that they intend to play Monday. Dragic is hopeful to get back on the court Friday vs. Milwaukee.
Kevin Garnett (sore right knee) is questionable to play Monday vs. Cleveland.
Dwight Howard missed his second consecutive game on Sunday with an ankle injury, and he’s doubtful to play Monday vs. New Orleans. With D-12 on the sidelines, there will be more minutes available for guys like Clint Capela, Terrence Jones and Josh Smith.
Devin Harris exited Sunday’s game vs. the Rockets with a sprained big toe on his left foot and did not return. It’s always something with Harris, and usually that something has to do with his left foot. Consider him questionable for Tuesday’s game vs. the Lakers, and expect Raymond Felton and J.J. Barea to play more if Harris can’t.
James Michael McAdoo (toe) will not play Monday vs. the Spurs, which doesn’t matter at all in fantasy hoops.
Nik Stauskas (shoulder) returned from a three-game stint on the sidelines, scoring two points on 1-of-6 shooting through 15 minutes off the bench. His nickname is cool, but his fantasy game is non-existent.
Amir Johnson (personal) returned from a one-game absence on Sunday, and produced 12 rebounds, five assists, two steals, one block and three points through 20 minutes of floor time. His return sent Kelly Olynyk back to the bench, and Olynyk only managed to put up five points, one steal, one assist and two turnovers through 16 foul-plagued minutes.
Andre Roberson left Sunday’s game vs. the Nets with a sprained right knee, and did not return; which allowed Dion Waiters to earn 33 minutes off the bench. It’s unclear if Roberson will be forced into an extended absence here, but there isn’t a clear winner with this injury as Waiters only managed to put up nine points, two steals and two 3-pointers during his time on the court.