The Internet didn’t break last night and it almost felt a bit quiet considering there were 13 games, but the injury bug did go around and it certainly wasn’t slow from a fantasy perspective. We have a lot of ground to cover and I’ll supplement that later with the Breakdown, so for now here are your highlights.
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THE BIG NUMBERS
|Brook Lopez||34||0||10||0||2||3||2||61.5%||Best fantasy play of the last week or two.|
|Trevor Ariza||22||3||9||5||3||0||2||69.2%||Life, death and Ariza's top-40 production.|
|John Wall||34||2||4||6||2||1||2||52.4%||Back on a roll and not a moment too soon.|
|Tony Parker||21||1||6||6||3||0||0||71.4%||Is SA the only team that can beat GSW?|
|Paul Millsap||25||2||11||3||1||4||1||45.0%||Shaving a game off per week a good idea.|
|Robert Covington||25||6||6||0||2||1||0||47.1%||The patient may come out on top here.|
|Andrew Wiggins||27||1||6||4||2||2||2||50.0%||The Wiggins breakout might be underway.|
|Nerlens Noel||14||0||15||2||4||4||2||62.5%||Not enough is being made out of his season.|
|Austin Rivers||21||1||0||3||2||0||0||90.0%||He lives for garbage-time moments like this.|
|DeAndre Jordan||14||0||10||1||1||5||0||100.0%||Just two missed FTs to cap off a solid night.|
|Tyreke Evans||28||4||2||7||2||1||6||62.5%||Grinding through an ankle injury quite well.|
|Kevin Love||22||2||10||4||1||2||5||76.9%||Old school Love Line but w/out the diseases.|
|Damian Lillard||23||1||8||12||1||0||2||37.5%||Efficiency slippage his only concern.|
|Kyle Korver||13||3||8||2||2||2||0||41.7%||Broken nose interrupted a pending hot streak.|
|Chris Paul||11||1||3||16||4||0||5||62.5%||All this in a blowout win, no less.|
|Anthony Morrow||6||0||1||0||0||0||0||75.0%||17 minutes in blowout loss. Seems smart (LOL).|
|Kenneth Faried||9||0||8||0||1||0||1||33.3%||Denver stinks again, front office meddling?|
|Bradley Beal||5||1||0||2||1||0||1||40.0%||The hits keep on coming, now an ankle injury.|
|Al Horford||10||0||6||2||0||1||2||41.7%||Discussed his declining stock in Fantasy Extra.|
|Danilo Gallinari||8||1||5||2||2||0||2||30.0%||"Minor" shoulder injury sidelined him for Q4.|
|Steven Adams||4||0||4||0||1||0||1||40.0%||Suffered hip injury, gets Gobert on Saturday.|
|LaMarcus Aldridge||19||0||9||0||0||1||4||38.9%||Just getting on the floor is a win for owners.|
|Evan Turner||4||0||4||5||0||0||1||20.0%||Thomas' return is going to hurt him.|
|Elfrid Payton||19||0||9||7||1||0||5||36.8%||Efficiency killer last night, those are the breaks.|
|Arron Afflalo||7||0||1||3||1||0||1||37.5%||I'm beginning to think the Blazers lost this trade.|
|Paul Pierce||4||1||5||1||0||0||0||25.0%||Put the old in old-man game last night.|
|Randy Foye||5||1||3||1||1||0||2||28.6%||Early round value in his last five games played.|
|Joe Johnson||5||1||6||5||0||0||0||22.2%||Been a regular in this space lately.|
|Robin Lopez||4||0||6||0||0||1||2||33.3%||Less hits than misses these days.|
|Tony Allen||7||1||8||1||1||0||3||27.3%||Been hot enough to hold through this.|
|Zach LaVine||18||1||6||5||0||0||4||27.8%||Popcorn numbers will be there, all else a ? Mark|
|Andrea Bargnani||6||0||1||0||0||0||0||28.6%||Hard to watch, but could still bounceback.|
Anthony Davis leads the league in heart attacks given, as had yet another in-game injury as his balky right shoulder acted up again. He played through it and logged 44 minutes, with typical numbers (24 points, 14 boards, three steals, three blocks) everywhere but the foul line (6-of-14 FTs). That could be a tell that he’s being held together by duct tape, but as long as the Pelicans are in the playoff chase he’ll take every reasonable measure to get on the floor.
Kyle Lowry (back) did not play last night and because the Raptors play the Lakers on Friday and the Rockets on Monday, that’s a pretty good spot to rest him for another game. As of the time of publishing late Wednesday night all we know is that he is out indefinitely. Greivis Vasquez still cracks me up now that he’s a shoot-first guard, and he turned in 22 points on 7-of-15 shooting with six treys, two boards, three assists and one steal in 31 minutes. He’s worth a short-term look and that’s it.
Thaddeus Young suffered a hyper-extended knee and the only good news there was that he was able to limp off the floor on his own. He’s getting an MRI today and if he can be day-to-day that’s probably a win for owners after seeing him go down the way that he did.
Gordon Hayward (shoulder) did not play and a story was released by the Salt Lake Tribune saying they wouldn’t push him back, but reading it I thought it might have been a generalized statement. Either way, it’s unsettling for owners because more absences could be coming down the pipeline. Elijah Millsap (nine points, eight boards, three steals, one three, 33 minutes) and Joe Ingles (10 points, four rebounds, two assists, three steals, one three, 30 minutes) both played at the top of their statistical ranges and if that gets your motor going give them a look.
Nicolas Batum (back) may have been closer to playing on somebody’s misinformed sheet of paper than he was in reality. Reports had him starting, then coming off the bench but possibly playing, and then finally it was clear he wasn’t going to play. He’ll be in play for Friday’s road game against the Suns, and if he doesn’t go then look at Dorell Wright (15 points, five boards, one steal, three treys) in a one-game stint for your squad. My biggest concern there is that Wright would have to string together three good games in a row to make it work out for owners and that’s not historically what happens.
Alexey Shved got the verdict back from doctors apparently, and that was that he suffered an “incomplete fractured rib” and he’ll be re-evaluated in 2-3 weeks. The kick from Patrick Patterson that did it looked benign, but in any event this is a kick in the Shveds for owners. Ricky Ledo scored 12 points on 5-of-14 shooting with two threes, three boards, one steal and seven turnovers in 26 minutes, and it’s probably not fair to peg all of the Knicks’ terribleness on him but he has his work cut out for him rising above the fray.
As I mentioned in various places including Fantasy Extra, Ledo’s sweet spot is going to be next week or probably the week after that, and both of those are three-gamers. Really, you’re gambling that he thrives in a garbage-time environment and piles up random stats everywhere, offsetting the likely hits to your team’s efficiency. Otherwise, the metrics say don’t make the add.
Terrence Jones (ribs, lung) is “feeling better” and will play “as soon as the pain subsides,” but Kevin McHale said he doesn’t know when that will be. I don’t know if I’m as bearish as our blurb was stating he might miss the rest of the regular season, but it’s certainly possible. Owners have a tough cut decision because he can be useful in low minutes and Dwight Howard (16 minutes) might take the duration of the season to ramp his minutes up. If he plays in the season’s last five games, it should be viewed as a win. As for Howard, he’s going to be a mess any way you slice it, but last night’s four points, seven boards and one block are at least working on a per-minute basis.
Patrick Beverley news hit yesterday and the verdict is that he suffered a torn ligament and he’ll be reevaluated in 7-10 days, and that keeps him in play for the reality playoffs but fantasy owners can move on. Jason Terry logged 27 minutes last night and finished with just two points, two boards, three assists and four turnovers. We’ve seen him get hot at times this season but the only allure here is if you need threes, points and a trickle of steals.
Brandon Knight (ankle) tried to get it going but couldn’t play last night in a game the Suns desperately needed to win, and he’ll probably get back on the floor at less than 100 percent at some point soon. He’s worth holding but the next 5-10 days are bound to be shaky. If anything, the Suns showed how desperately they need him as they mailed in a loss to the Kings.
Dwyane Wade (knee) and Chris Andersen (calf) took the night off with the Heat in the thick of a playoff chase (and they still won), speaking to the durability issues both of them have. Hassan Whiteside (hand) did not play, as expected, and he’s day-to-day going forward.
As usual there is no clear beneficiary in fantasy, with non-factor Udonis Haslem going for 12 and 12 with three steals, one-trick pony Henry Walker hitting four threes for 12 points, Michael Beasley posting six points, one steal and two blocks, and Tyler Johnson putting up 12 points, four boards, one three, two steals and one block in 20 minutes.
Bradley Beal (11 minutes) left the arena under his own power, but an ankle injury leaves him with a day-to-day status after last night. With the assortment of injuries he has accumulated by playing through too many injuries, it’s entirely possible the Wizards play it overly safe here. Martell Webster logged 28 minutes but managed just six points on 1-of-6 shooting, six rebounds and two steals, but the workload puts him at the head of an unimpressive line for potential beneficiaries.
Danilo Gallinari (shoulder) did not play the fourth quarter of last night’s home loss to the Sixers, finishing with just eight points on 3-of-10 shooting, one three, five boards and two steals. Apparently the injury isn’t serious but it speaks to some of the risk in Denver right now. I’ll get further into depth later in the Breakdown, but Gallo’s owners simply need to dust themselves off and move on.
Kevin Martin (hamstring) didn’t make it onto the court once again, and owners know where this could be heading. We’ll keep you updated on his status but there aren’t a lot of reasons to push him onto the floor. Chase Budinger (22 points, six rebounds, one steal, one block, three treys) is worth a look knowing that he could be marginalized if the cavalry returns, with the key word there being ‘if.’
Rodney Stuckey (calf) did not play last night and the ride is probably over for owners. Even if we set aside a potential Paul George return, he was shooting very far over his head and held off his injury risk for way too long. His minutes will be absorbed by the rotation with no outright beneficiary.
Ryan Anderson’s Instagram page, or rather my interpretation of it yesterday, turned out to be overoptimistic as he said he wasn’t sure if he’d be able to return within the next week. Hold off on that pickup until the news gets better.
For more injury news check out our injury page.
LaMarcus Aldridge (finger) got back on the floor and put up 19 points with nine rebounds and a block, getting his team a much-needed win in a tight Western Conference playoff picture. His fantasy owners have dodged more bullets than Neo this season.
Isaiah Thomas (back) returned after an eight-game absence after being clobbered by Dwyane Wade, and it looked like he needed more time off on a 2-of-7 shooting night. He logged 20 minutes with four points, three turnovers and that was it, as his legs just weren’t there. The good news for the Celtics and owners is that they get the Knicks on Friday, and tonight’s low minutes will probably help him get closer to 100 percent. This is an obvious hold for owners.
Courtney Lee (hand) got back on the floor but missed all three of his shots and did not score. The Grizzlies are really banged up and Mike Conley (10 points, five dimes, 26 minutes) was actually able to get some rest in the blowout loss, and it goes without saying that this team needs some rest before heading into the playoffs. They might not get that rest though as they’ve fallen back to the pack in the race for the No. 2 seed, which gets the Mavs as of right now. Lee is waiver wire fodder right now and Conley’s owners have to hope he somehow gets healthy without taking time off, which usually isn’t a likely mix.
Joakim Noah (rest) got back on the floor and scored nine points with five boards, five assists, one steal and one block. Owners will have to watch the news wire closely down the stretch and it’s as simple as that.
Tobias Harris (ankle) got back on the floor and did well enough to score 14 points on 6-of-14 shooting with one three, two boards, two assists and one steal in his 36 minutes. The Magic play just one more time this week and another step forward would solidify his spot in lineups.
Cleanthony Early (ankle) returned to action and jumped right into an 18-point night, hitting 5-of-12 shots with four rebounds, one steal and two treys in 25 minutes. Anybody with a pulse could quickly rise to the top in New York – I think – but given all of his duds this year only the most optimistic stashers are running head first into this.
Justin Hamilton returned from what I am calling a concussion even if nobody in Minnesota will, and we just learned about this before gametime yesterday despite him getting the clearance on Monday. He really got his bell rung about 10 days ago so the low-minute outing isn’t too surprising. He can’t be called a must-own player at this time of the year, but he was red hot before the injury and there isn’t a whole lot of competition for minutes.
Alex Len looks relatively healthy again and last night he had six points, nine boards, two assists, one steal and four blocks in 25 minutes. Even if the Suns fall out of playoff contention he’ll be a guy they want on the floor, so health is really the only issue here. Especially if you need blocks, he’s worth a pickup.
Robert Covington has been dropped in a lot of leagues despite the fact he had been maintaining late-round value, and after his 25 points, six rebounds, two steals, one block and six threes this shows why that was a mistake. I don’t want to lift his floor from that same late-round level, but the mid-round upside makes this an easy call.
Anthony Morrow got the cold shoulder from Scott Brooks and played just 17 minutes last night, hitting 3-of-4 shots for six points and not much else. It was a blowout game and though I don’t think that was the reason he didn’t play much, I do think there’s too much upside to drop him after this one. Mitch McGary was a sleeper pickup in Fantasy Extra this week, and he put up eight points with seven rebounds, three steals and a block in 23 minutes and that’s where he should be on most nights, notwithstanding the big steals number. I never really sanctioned an add for Dion Waiters and he moved back toward normality with 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting, two threes and one steal in 22 minutes.
Boris Diaw re-engaged like Maverick in last night’s blowout win, scoring 19 points with six rebounds and one three in 25 minutes off the bench. The Spurs rock two more four-game weeks after this and he’s more or less on track for late-round value when you iron out the wrinkles. Tiago Splitter (nine points, four rebounds, one block) probably falls in the same boat, though his top-75 value over the last two weeks shows a really strong upside when you factor in their favorable schedule.
Trey Burke started at shooting guard and scored 22 points on 9-of-19 shooting with four rebounds, three assists and two steals in 39 minutes. He had a weird neck issue during the game and that should be watched, and the takeaway here is that if Gordon Hayward (shoulder) misses more time then Burke is obviously needed for his offensive punch.
Will Barton has slid as the Nuggets lost their positive momentum this week, and last night he had just six points, five boards and one block in 22 minutes. His two-week splits aren’t bad but this past week he has been terrible in fantasy leagues, but he still fits the profile of a guy that could fill it up down the stretch and I’m always hunting upside. Unless I’m in a do-or-die situation I like the hold. The same probably goes for Jusuf Nurkic (seven minutes, two points, three boards, one assist, one block) because of his high ceiling, but in the interest of full disclosure I dropped him in a league where I had good depth at center. The Nuggets’ unfavorable schedule played a role in that, too.
Jerami Grant started at power forward and had a patented mini-explosion with six points, four rebounds, three assists, one trey and five blocks in 32 minutes. His percentages suck and that caps his upside in standard leagues, but as we minimize the sample size those issues become a bit less relevant. He has disappeared plenty of times after said explosions, but he’s worth a look in case he can finally break through.
Josh Smith played just 24 minutes with nine points, four rebounds, one block and one three and folks might be panicking with Dwight Howard (16 minutes) returning, but with Terrence Jones out indefinitely he stands a fine chance of returning late-round value. He has four games next week, too. This isn’t an all-out drop situation.
Ryan Kelly wasn’t as good as he was on Tuesday, but 11 points with eight rebounds, one steal and one block isn’t a bad look. As I said yesterday, he might have a five-game window before Byron Scott pivots for one last coaching move. Factor in the good schedule and he’s certainly worth a look, but still carries plenty of risk.
Kelly Olynyk may have been a casualty of the opposing Heat having no center last night, but the 17 minutes with four points and one rebound were a damaging blow to his value, nonetheless. He has upside and has been streaky all year, so watch him closely but he can’t be a must-own player after his struggles.
Marcus Morris has gotten it done as a top-100 play over the last six games and had another outing along those lines with 19 points, three boards, one steal and three treys. But with Brandon Knight (ankle) coming back soon owners might want to get a jump on a replacement. The Suns play three games next week but do get four the following week.
Wayne Ellington hit just 3-of-19 shots for seven points, seven boards, three assists, one steal and one three in 39 minutes, and the Lakers have a solid schedule down the stretch, but his efficiency could go in the trash. I’d only advise dealing with this if you’re selling out for treys.
Taj Gibson played just 14 minutes and as some in Chicago have speculated he looks like he has lost some minutes to Nikola Mirotic. He wasn’t producing with a much larger workload and there’s no reason to think twice about cutting him.
Jarrett Jack managed just six points with three rebounds, three assists and two steals last night, and Deron Williams’ pseudo push has made him an afterthought in Brooklyn. Of course, there’s also the fact that none of these guys look like they want to be on the court, and the only silver lining is that he has another four-game week next time out. I think you have to be chasing in Jack’s proficient areas to make this work. Joe Johnson (five points, six boards, five assists) is the rich man’s version of Jack, if only because he doesn’t have anybody else to compete with at his position.