There’s nothing like a 13-game Big Wednesday to sting the nostrils and I’m going to get right to it so I can start on the Bruski Breakdown. And if you hadn’t heard there’s some added pressure on me to kick ass now that I’m nominated for Fantasy Basketball Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association.
Our Evan Silva got a nomination for football, too, which I find fitting because his in-depth analysis is what motivated me to go deep with all this stuff. Anyway, that’s enough humble-bragging and we’re going to hit the high points here in the Dose, and keep an eye out later for a jam-packed Breakdown.
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Editor's Note: Rotoworld's partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $175,000 Fantasy Basketball league for Thursday's NBA games. It's just $25 to join and first prize is $15,000. Starts at 7:30pm ET on Thursday. Here's the FanDuel link.
THE BIG NUMBERS
|Klay Thompson||40||6||4||2||1||1||2||56.0%||First round value and no signs of slowing.|
|Chris Paul||24||4||2||11||3||0||1||60.0%||Quietly dominating this season.|
|Anthony Davis||32||0||12||1||0||4||1||62.5%||Just wait until the Pelicans figure out he's good.|
|Jeff Teague||25||3||3||6||2||1||3||64.3%||No. 14 player (per game) in fantasy hoops.|
|Greg Monroe||27||0||18||6||0||1||4||68.8%||Hey, we remember this guy. (Welcome Back)|
|Blake Griffin||27||0||9||8||3||0||0||69.2%||Big lines seemingly nightly, still below his ADP|
|Serge Ibaka||11||1||10||1||0||8||1||50.0%||Nearly triple-doubled with blocks.|
|Stephen Curry||21||4||3||15||4||0||5||47.1%||Makes this beastly line look like walk in park.|
|Mo Williams||23||4||3||11||1||1||3||50.0%||Rubio return on horizon and he hurt ankle late.|
|Kyrie Irving||38||4||2||3||1||0||4||57.7%||Did this against Patrick Beverley no less.|
|Trevor Ariza||13||3||6||3||5||0||0||38.5%||A great buy low guy I'll cover in the Breakdown|
|Isaiah Thomas||17||2||5||3||5||0||0||42.9%||IT quietly getting better at dictating tempo.|
|Rudy Gobert||11||0||14||0||2||5||2||62.5%||Now my 90/54 B150 rank (8/9 cat) looks low.|
|Derrick Favors||20||0||11||2||2||0||1||53.3%||The Favors+Gobert frontcourt looks great.|
|Darren Collison||24||5||1||7||2||0||3||47.4%||Taking advantage of his opportunity in Sacto.|
|Rudy Gay||28||3||9||1||1||0||2||47.4%||Implosion risks everywhere, he keeps truckin.|
|John Wall||18||1||5||8||3||0||3||55.6%||First and second-round value in 8/9 cat.|
|Victor Oladipo||17||0||1||6||3||0||0||53.8%||Top-24 returns last two weeks, Magic losing.|
|Marc Gasol||16||0||7||3||2||2||3||50.0%||Haven't heard about his knee in weeks.|
|Goran Dragic||25||0||3||4||1||0||2||68.8%||PHO guards predictably improving chemistry.|
|Ryan Anderson||6||0||3||0||1||0||0||25.0%||Don't get too high, don't get too low.|
|Kyle O'Quinn||5||0||3||1||1||0||2||40.0%||Will address in Breakdown. Spoiler: I'm holding.|
|Rajon Rondo||6||0||6||8||2||0||7||42.9%||Being asked to shoot a lot by Carlisle.|
|Kevin Love||17||0||16||4||0||0||1||36.8%||I called him 2014's worst acquisition in the cast.|
|Jeff Green||8||0||1||2||1||0||1||36.4%||Trade rumors seem to shake his production.|
|Jamal Crawford||4||0||3||3||0||1||1||16.7%||Crawford's been in the rumor mill, too.|
|Nick Young||11||1||5||2||1||0||2||26.7%||Like Anderson, don't get too high or low.|
|Arron Afflalo||17||0||6||3||0||0||2||53.8%||Been in the 'busted' section way too much.|
|Patrick Beverley||7||1||6||2||0||0||1||30.0%||Not his finest game. Kyrie busted him up, too.|
|Joakim Noah||1||0||7||3||0||3||3||0.0%||UTA frontcourt laid the wood on Chicago.|
|Dion Waiters||4||0||2||1||1||1||0||11.1%||He looked worse than advertised last night.|
|Dante Exum||2||0||0||3||0||0||0||33.3%||Not taking advantage of the open window.|
|Jared Sullinger||2||0||6||3||1||0||1||14.3%||Slipped to top 60-70 value on the year.|
|Brook Lopez||6||0||5||0||0||2||2||28.6%||Early round value lately so keep him in lineups.|
|Giannis Antetokounmpo||7||0||3||2||1||0||1||33.3%||Kidd messed with his minutes last night.|
Roy Hibbert (six minutes) went down to an ankle injury last night and it didn’t look great at the time. He’s only listed as day-to-day and that’s a small win, but it’s the same ankle that derailed his hot start and it’s wise to be skeptical here. Lavoy Allen got the big minutes (33) in Hibbert’s place, scoring 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting with nine rebounds, three assists and no steals or blocks. Both he and Luis Scola (14 points, six boards, one block, 22 minutes) would be low-end plays in 14-team leagues if there is an announcement Hibbert will miss games.
Rodney Stuckey missed last night’s game with a groin injury and George Hill is day-to-day at best with his groin injury, and along with C.J. Watson’s (foot) return this is an extremely fluid backcourt situation. Solomon Hill scored 21 points with two threes and not much else to write home about, C.J. Miles cooled off with 13 points on 4-of-15 shooting and three treys, and Donald Sloan put up a typical popcorn line of 14 points, five boards, five assists and one steal. Outside of George Hill there’s not a real asset to speak of, and speaking of Hill I like him as a gambler’s buy low value. That value couldn’t be any lower and at the same time if he can get to full strength he could be heavily utilized.
Deron Williams’ side or hip injury or whatever it may be has been a strange little subplot in my world because sources close to the Kings continue to indicate there is interest there in a trade. If the Nets included Mason Plumlee in this theoretic trade about two weeks ago I think you might have seen the trigger pulled on a deal sending Darren Collison, Ben McLemore, Jason Thompson and Derrick Williams to the Nets. But with Williams’ production slipping in the teams’ head-to-head meeting and Williams not being able to stay on the floor, along with the major internal drama playing out in Kings land, the deal appears to be cooling off as a potential solution to be sold to angry fans.
Williams logged just four minutes last night before giving way and that means Jarrett Jack ran the show yet again, scoring 15 points with four rebounds, four assists and one trey in 39 minutes. I wouldn’t be shocked if he ran the point for the rest of the year, provided a team like the Kings is crazy enough to take on Williams’ contract.
New Byron Scott favorite Ronnie Price did not play last night due to a broken nose, so Jeremy Lin got the start and finished with 12 points, three assists and two treys in 26 minutes. Lin has been productive lately but consistency is going to be a problem and the mantra all season has been to ride his low-end contributions into some mid-round value. Hopefully. At least that’s what I said at the beginning of the year, and along with Lin's sub-par play the fact Price has a tougher style that Scott likes isn’t helping matters. To be clear, Lin should be owned in 12-team formats and Price is worth a hard look too.
As mentioned, Mo Williams sprained his ankle in the final moments of last night’s game and that means Zach LaVine could have a puncher’s chance at some value. Ricky Rubio’s eventual return throws salt on both guys’ fantasy games.
For more injury news check out our injury page.
Andrew Bogut returned a week ahead of schedule due to his various ailments, logging 15 minutes with four points and eight boards. If he can stay healthy he’ll probably start to put up some useful numbers but you guys know the drill by now. The Warriors are wisely going to keep him in game shape while treating any sign of injury with ultimate caution. That means you can pick him up, but if you have to drop somebody with top-100 value it’s probably not worth it.
I’ll touch on yesterday’s trades more in the Bruski Breakdown, but the big winner from a fantasy perspective was Jusuf Nurkic, who has steadily improved as the season has gone on and now has the starting job in his hands with Timofey Mozgov dealt to Cleveland. Nurkic might have bummed some folks out with his eight points, four rebounds, three assists, one steal and two blocks in 22 minutes, but those are the folks you will regularly take money from in fantasy leagues. He has been a near top-100 value over the last 15 games and a solid mid-round value over the past two weeks, meaning he should have been owned before this trade development. And now that the Nuggets made the trade with Nurkic’s development at the top of their list, he’s a must-add player and it’s that simple.
While we’re on the topic I’m not going to break my neck to add J.J. Hickson (11 points, 10 boards, two steals, one block, 30 minutes), because JaVale McGee could return in the next week or so and his development was also key here. The Nuggets want to know what they have in their big money investment and the only way they could realistically figure that out was if they dealt one of their bigs. I’m not sure that McGee can stay on the floor, and if he can’t then Hickson will probably be a late-round guy, but McGee is also worth a look as a flier pickup if you need a big man.
If McGee does stay healthy I like Darrell Arthur (seven points, four turnovers, one three) as a sleeper ahead of Hickson. Arthur has a much more fantasy friendly stat set as a very poor man’s Draymond Green.
Alex Len went for nine and eight with five blocks in 27 minutes last night, and while I see him do at least one or two truly dumb things per game I don’t mind that he has the courage to make plays. He’s going to be up and down in his platoon with Miles Plumlee, but he already has enough standalone value to be owned in 12-team leagues and when you factor in the upside he’s a must-own player in standard formats.
Andrew Wiggins is absolutely on fire with elite fantasy value over his past four games, averaging 23.0 points with 1.5 treys, 6.0 boards, 2.5 assists and 2.3 steals per game. His defense and effort have been problems at times but in fantasy leagues that’s not the takeaway, which is that he’s finally addressing his efficiency issues and that makes a world of difference in his overall value in standard leagues.
Rather than toiling near the bottom of the top-300 because he was hurting more than helping, he has rehabilitated his season-long value into the top 160-200 range. Wiggins will probably cool off one more time, perhaps severely, but from here on out he probably has a late-round floor and some mid-round upside. He’s still not a good bet to meet his ADP, but owners weathering the storm can now have some fun.
Kelly Olynyk struggled with just six points, two rebounds and one steal in 21 minutes while Tyler Zeller (18 points, six boards, four assists, one steal, one block) went off. We’ve seen this movie before and each time it has ended well, as Olynyk has survived a handful of slumps to produce top-90 value on the year. This is a case where fantasy does not reflect reality because Olynyk isn’t playing great ball, but if he gets dropped owners will want to strongly consider an add.
Josh Smith had a nice statistical night with 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting, one three, five boards, two assists and two blocks against the Cavs. That’s the good news. The bad news is that he has practically no 9-cat value since the trade unless you’re punting, and his production hasn’t returned must-own value in 8-cat formats. He has mixed good and bad games and I think he could be an asset if he focused on high-efficiency plays and defense, but the problem is that I can’t write that sentence without laughing hysterically and you know where this is heading.
Ed Davis managed just four points, three rebounds and one block in 23 minutes as his up and (mostly) down season continues. He probably belongs in the drop category, and for certain if you’re looking at any low-end free agent that can produce consistent late-round value. But if you have some time to wait it out Davis theoretically fits the profile of a guy that should play for a tanking team.
Wayne Ellington profiles much better in the short-term with Wes Johnson out for a little while. Ellington played 40 minutes last night and scored 13 points with three rebounds, three assists and two threes, and he also profiles as a guy that could get big minutes with the Lakers playing for ping pong balls this year.
Marreese Speights posted a dud on Monday but got back on track last night with 18 points and three boards in 26 minutes, which is more or less in his wheelhouse as a stat-set. Andrew Bogut’s return could scare off the folks that added him for late-round value, along with David Lee’s return, but I think his role is more or less going to stay the same. If you’re relying on this low-end value, I’d see this situation out for a few more games.
Reggie Jackson put up some decent numbers with 14 points, five rebounds, four assists and two threes in his 22 minutes last night, but he took some terrible shots and you can almost feel Scott Brooks’ distaste for him through the TV screen. Dion Waiters (1-of-9 FGs, 22 minutes) made his debut and yes it’s ridiculously early to assess the trade, but I’m not afraid to say that last night I saw a disaster in the making. Waiters wasted no time jacking up bad shots and it’s Day 1. Jackson was sliding without Waiters in the lineup, and he bought some time with owners last night, but it’s going to be a long road to hoe for him the rest of the year.
D.J. Augustin made some more noise last night with 26 points and four threes but just two assists and a steal in his 22 minutes. He’s returning late-round value since the Josh Smith trade on some shooting numbers that are a bit high, so he’s probably going to settle into some borderline late-round value. That’s not enough upside to justify an add typically, but Augustin gets a smidge of extra consideration because he was brought in by Stan Van Gundy and is viewed as a positive piece of the puzzle in Detroit.
Nikola Mirotic (two points, one rebound, one block) hit just 1-of-7 shots and really hurt anybody starting him last night. He still qualifies as a stash with plenty of upside, boosted by the chance the Bulls frontcourt is dealing with at least one injured guy on a third-to-half of their games.
Channing Frye has been non-existent lately and he played through an elbow injury last night, missing all five of his shots in 19 minutes. He’s actually a top 125-150 value when on the floor this season despite this extreme slump, speaking to the strength of his fantasy stat set, but the injury and Orlando’s struggles make this a potential drop situation. Just don’t be surprised if he turns it around at some point.
Henry Sims had made a little bit of noise over the last two weeks but last night showed why he hasn’t gotten anything done this year, scoring just three points with five rebounds on 1-of-8 shooting. Drop away.
J.R. Smith missed all six of his shots in his Cleveland debut and there’s very little chance he gets enough volume to matter in most standard leagues. Tristan Thompson was a slump away from losing his late-round value after the Anderson Varejao injury, and with Timofey Mozgov coming to town I have no problem recommending a Thompson drop. Conversely, I like Mozgov to have a decent or even good chance of retaining his value in Cleveland. They have every reason to play him after parting with two first round draft picks, and his plodding game doesn’t have a lot of variance from night to night.
Dante Exum had a decent chance at fantasy value given the litany of injuries to wings in Utah, but after a two-point, three-assist outing in 24 minutes off the bench it’s somewhat clear that this isn’t his window.