Last night was pretty mellow as far as fantasy nights go with very few standout adds and drops. There were some big names that got hit with minor injuries – and shooting wrist issues appear to be on the rise – but there weren’t any huge game-changers for owners to deal with.
Still, the Lakers gave fantasy owners plenty of questions to answer and the late game between the Warriors and Bulls was worth staying up for.
And as it usually goes, an 11-game night following a quiet Tuesday night usually leads to an extra large Big Wednesday. So we’ll blaze through an appetizer real quick here and I’ll see you tomorrow with the Dose and a Bruski Breakdown to top everybody off.
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THE BIG NUMBERS
|Kyrie Irving||38||6||3||6||3||1||3||56.5%||Has pushed his way into 1st round returns.|
|Pau Gasol||18||0||16||8||0||4||3||58.3%||Neck and neck with Irving in standards.|
|Wayne Ellington||28||3||3||3||3||0||2||60.0%||Got the minutes tonight, will cover below.|
|Joakim Noah||18||0||15||6||2||0||2||58.3%||He says he's feeling great. Looked like it.|
|David Lee||24||0||9||6||0||0||0||58.8%||Don't get too comfortable with this output.|
|Solomon Hill||15||3||3||1||2||0||0||55.6%||Too little too late in most leagues.|
|Patrick Patterson||13||2||3||3||2||1||0||57.1%||He's back to producing shooting guard lines.|
|Ed Davis||14||0||4||0||1||1||0||85.7%||I'll be breaking down the Lakers mess later.|
|Marcin Gortat||11||0||7||0||1||2||0||71.4%||Efficiency rules in fantasy leagues.|
|Danny Granger||14||3||6||2||1||0||0||55.6%||Not a fantasy asset, but hit 1,000th career 3PT.|
|LeBron James||32||0||6||7||1||0||4||45.8%||He needs his field goal percentage to improve.|
|Hassan Whiteside||16||0||16||1||1||0||2||50.0%||Decisive action paying off for believers.|
|DJ Augustin||19||3||4||9||2||0||5||53.3%||DJA being used heavily. Mid-rounder w/ upside|
|Brandon Knight||17||3||2||6||3||0||4||38.5%||Amazingly consistent this season.|
|Stephen Curry||21||2||4||9||3||0||3||39.1%||A bad night for Curry looks like this.|
|Kyle Lowry||19||3||7||8||0||0||1||47.1%||Has slid down into the second round.|
|Khris Middleton||17||3||3||1||1||0||1||77.8%||Playing so well he's now a yr-long top-75 play|
|JR Smith||5||1||1||1||1||0||0||18.2%||Slowing down, but has earned a few duds.|
|Derrick Rose||30||4||7||1||0||1||11||39.4%||Three good cats, six bad cats. Don't be fooled.|
FIRST … ABOUT THOSE LAKERS
Nick Young had an MRI taken last night and it confirmed a moderate ankle sprain, which is interesting because a mild ankle sprain doesn’t always need an MRI – though plenty of teams go the precautionary route. He’s questionable for Thursday’s game against the Bulls, but the Lakers’ situation is a broad, jumbled mess as Gallagher and I discussed on the cast yesterday.
The Lakers were able to give the Wizards more than the Wizards wanted last night, finally giving way late in a six-point loss. Ronnie Price was the odd-man out of the point guard rotation, and if we go back to Sunday night’s comments by Byron Scott he’s going to mess with his rotations liberally. If there is a saving grace for fantasy owners it’s that he likes to commit to starting lineups for chunks of time, and in this case about 10-15 games.
This leaves Jeremy Lin (seven points, eight assists, 1-of-5 FGs, one three, one block, 4-of-4 FTs) and Young as potential casualties on any given night. It also threatens the minutes of Ed Davis (14 points, four rebounds, one steal, one block) and Carlos Boozer (four points, four boards, 19 minutes), with Davis being a risky stash in hopes he can somehow come out ahead in Scott’s wacky lineups.
As for Lin and Young, both guys can be owned in standard leagues and in Young’s case I feel he’s a must-own player. If we assume for a second the ankle injury isn’t serious, the benching for Young from Sunday felt like Scott simply sending a message early on. Of course, that message is that he can’t just walk into Kobe Bryant’s leftover shots without some semblance of respect for the other principles of the game.
The Lakers need his scoring if they don’t want to be a laughingstock, and though there is risk that they want to tank hard rendering that notion useless, I think there’s enough bad to go around to accommodate both Swaggy’s production and the nosedive they theoretically want.
Lin’s situation is more precarious, since he is an injury risk that has been hobbling around the court lately, and whether it’s the chicken or the egg with Scott the two just haven’t been a good pairing. Lin’s play has steadily worsened and Scott hasn’t done much to help his game or give him confidence. Still, he can put up numbers in a hurry and on a crappy team with no depth this should theoretically be worth something. Consider him a low-level stash with some low-end value as long as he’s not riding the pine.
On down the line the Lakers’ situation doesn’t get much clearer. Wesley Johnson’s move to the bench puts him in the aforementioned DNP risk zone, and last night’s six points on 1-of-7 shooting with three rebounds and one assist in 28 minutes didn’t help make his case. He has a somewhat fantasy friendly game that bears watching, but he hasn’t shown much upside this season and that’s enough reason to avoid him in 12-team leagues. Just keep in mind that he’s been a late-round value in 29.2 mpg on the year, with a three-round bump in 9-cat leagues.
Jordan Clarkson could have headlined this section, and last night he paid off owners that paid a fairly steep price in FAAB leagues with 18 points on 8-of-18 shooting, one three, three boards, three assists and one steal. He hadn’t hit a 3-pointer in six weeks and his fantasy game is lacking due to deficiencies in money counting stats (3PTs, STLs, BLKs) and efficiency in general. This has been a trend wherever he has played and his only hope for late-round value is that he goes big with the popcorn stats, and last night’s line probably isn’t enough to do it. In a points league he may have decent value, depending on your format.
To fully bury the lede, Wayne Ellington scored a season-high 28 points on 12-of-20 shooting (including three treys) with three rebounds, three assists and three steals in his 36-minute start. If he’s going to get 25 mpg and he can continue along at similar levels of efficiency as he has shown this season, then he has a great shot at late-round value. I think the Lakers would be wise to play him significant minutes, but a crowded and ever-changing rotation might make it wiser to treat him like a 25-minute player until he proves otherwise.
Kevin Durant missed last night’s game due to a toe injury and he’s questionable for tonight’s game against the Knicks. The Thunder should be able to dispatch the Knicks without Durant, I think, but they generally beat to their own drum when it comes to injuries. That is to say that Durant is going to play if Durant wants to play. So far nothing has hit the radar to make the injury seem serious and it’s not to his surgically-repaired right foot, but owners are going to panic anytime he has a red cross next to his name.
LeBron James tweaked his right (shooting) wrist last night and stayed in the game, but longtime readers know how I feel about shooting wrist injuries so stay alert. That said, I wouldn’t discount his value by any amount at this time.
John Wall (21 points, nine boards, 13 assists) wasn’t efficient enough to make it into the Big Numbers, and perhaps his sore Achilles’ had something to do with that. Reports out of Washington indicate the injury isn’t serious, but it’s something worth watching.
Luol Deng (calf) did not play last night and Dwyane Wade injured his other hamstring and couldn’t finish out last night’s game against the Bucks. This is just the most recent sign that the Heat are heading toward the lottery and not the playoffs. I say that knowing full well somebody in the group of Brooklyn, Boston, Detroit, Indiana and Orlando is going to have to stop being terrible and take their spot. But amidst the eventual breakdowns amongst their core group it’s going to be hard for the Heat to fend off any charges. If there’s any silver lining for the Heat it’s that Detroit lost Brandon Jennings for the year.
That’s important because if the Heat fall out of contention they’ll be quicker to shut their older guys down, and even without said shutdowns the various injury risks have been a key reason why I simply won’t drop Mario Chalmers. He’s been bad for the past month but he flashed his upside last night, scoring 21 points on 6-of-9 shooting with two rebounds, eight assists, one block, one three and 8-of-12 makes from the foul line. Beyond that, nobody outside of Danny Granger (14 points, six rebounds, one steal, three treys) stepped up and I can’t imagine gambling much that he’ll keep it up.
Nic Batum said that his injured shooting wrist is “mostly pain free” and LaMarcus Aldridge (thumb) said he isn’t planning on taking any time off. The All Star break couldn’t come at a better time for both guys and believe it or not I still like Batum as a buy-low guy -- just with a lot more discretion now that we know the injury is much more serious than it appeared a few weeks ago. Batum is still questionable for tonight’s game against the Cavs.
Add Mike Conley to the seemingly never-ending list of guys with shooting wrist injuries. He didn’t play last night and neither did Tony Allen (ankle), and when you add the wrist injury to his ongoing ankle issues he’s all of a sudden a durability risk. While that’s weird to type, the ankle injury is much more concerning right now on a long-term scale and I think we can treat the wrist injury as minor since this is his first go-around with it.
Nick Calathes (13 points, five rebounds, two threes, two assists, two steals, 27 minutes) beat out Beno Udrih (eight points, two boards, five assists, 21 minutes) for replacement value. Given their likelihood of taking turns producing anytime Conley is out, they’re both risky spot plays when that’s the case.
Chris Andersen (elbow) didn’t play last night and even if he did there’s not much that can stop Hassan Whiteside these days. Whiteside went for 16 and 16 with one steal and zero blocks, so hopefully you guys didn’t downgrade him below the early round grade I gave him a few games into this grand experiment.
Ersan Ilyasova checked out of last night’s game early and apparently starting feeling the effects of a groin injury on Sunday. This could be garden variety soreness due to all the time off, but it’s also yet another stumble for a player that has been known for exactly that for a long time now. Ilyasova has a nice chance to produce now that the Bucks frontcourt has thinned out a bit, but he’s a risky stash best suited for deeper leagues until he can turn the corner.
Jared Dudley started the second half once Ilyasova exited and notched 11 points with one three, two boards and three assists. The chance he gets a bit more run makes him a desperation add in 12-14 team leagues.
For more injury news check out our injury page.
Last night was a slow night for pickups unless you consider Hassan Whiteside somebody that shouldn’t have been a must-own player for the last two weeks. Outside of the aforementioned players from the injury section, George Hill is a guy that shouldn’t be floating around on wires despite his minute restriction. Nikola Mirotic (31 minutes, 12 points, seven rebounds, two threes) reignited some of his lost ‘stash’ credentials, but outside of that there wasn’t a real breakout pickup in the bunch.
Marreese Speights (10 points, eight boards, 21 minutes) isn’t a must-add character or anything but a good playoff schedule mixed with the likelihood the Warriors have home court sewn up are reasons to pick him up. Andrew Bogut (illness) did not play last night and if the Warriors are cruising that will probably be the case down the stretch, too.
Unsurprisingly, I’m not going overboard about David Lee’s season-high 24 points last night. He added nine rebounds and six assists in 30 overtime-aided minutes with Bogut out. The opposing Bulls squad has good size and that supplemented his minutes, making him a very low-end add in 12-team leagues after the solid outing. At best.
Nene had just six points, six boards, two assists and a steal in 26 minutes of action against the Lakers last night. Given his injury history and pedestrian top-150 value on the season that could signal that it’s time to drop, but he’s been closer to the top-100 lately and let’s face it – if you’re relying on Nene you’re on the lookout for this type of production. I’d probably wait another game or two before trying something else.
Jeff Green had a slow night with eight points, five rebounds, two assists and no money counting stats in his 31 minutes last night. He’s shown enough goodwill to buy him at least a couple of games like this before owners should consider a drop.
I mentioned that the Raptors’ wings not named Lou Williams could all be dropped last week, but if you were in a deeper league and holding onto James Johnson he was a healthy DNP last night. It’s time to move on.