It was a slow Tuesday night with three blowout games and three games that you won’t write home about. So if you’re wondering that’s how Alexey Shved gets the cover. Still, there were enough fantasy nuggets to keep folks on their toes and you guys know how it works – a slow Tuesday makes for an even bigger Wednesday.
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THE BIG NUMBERS
|Rodney Stuckey||34||6||6||7||1||1||1||68.4%||He has to keep it up if Indy wants to make noise.|
|Kyle Lowry||32||5||4||5||2||0||1||52.6%||Looks like the rest did him a lot of good.|
|Kawhi Leonard||24||0||11||1||5||1||1||52.6%||Been the No. 2-4 play (9/8) the past two weeks.|
|Alexey Shved||21||4||10||7||1||2||2||50.0%||Lottery ticket potential during this 5-game week|
|LeBron James||27||4||7||8||1||1||2||71.4%||He got a handle on FG% problems last night.|
|Derrick Favors||29||0||12||0||2||0||1||64.7%||No Hayward helped boost the numbers here.|
|Iman Shumpert||7||1||4||6||6||0||1||33.3%||Sneaky valuable line for the waiver wire player.|
|JR Smith||21||5||8||2||1||0||0||57.1%||Nowhere near enough hype for his turnaround.|
|Andre Drummond||14||0||21||0||1||2||1||63.6%||Owners thought they'd get this on draft day.|
|Norris Cole||16||4||5||4||3||0||2||54.5%||Stepped into Tyreke's usage nicely last night.|
|Danny Green||19||5||6||2||0||1||1||71.4%||Don't you … forget about Green.|
|Cole Aldrich||17||0||13||0||1||1||0||58.3%||If healthy, he's capable of these every so often|
|Victor Oladipo||13||1||3||2||3||3||1||33.3%||His fantasy stock has plateaued but is strong.|
|Greg Monroe||24||0||9||2||2||2||1||71.4%||If only these DEF numbers came every night.|
|Rudy Gobert||10||0||14||1||3||4||1||50.0%||Beware, Gobzilla. Top-20ish play last two weeks|
|Kyrie Irving||22||1||5||5||2||0||3||46.2%||No. 6 & 10 (9/8 cat) counting games played.|
|Kevin Love||21||2||14||2||0||1||3||52.9%||Making late charge at ADP.|
|Rajon Rondo||4||0||1||3||1||0||2||33.3%||The Rondo deal looks worse + worse by the day.|
|Thaddeus Young||10||1||6||2||0||0||1||28.6%||Nets body language looked terrible last night.|
|Langston Galloway||4||0||0||4||0||0||3||20.0%||Don't drop him. Rook + bad team = this.|
|Reggie Jackson||2||0||2||3||0||0||5||11.1%||One of the more interesting FAs this summer.|
|Trey Burke||5||0||5||2||0||0||2||9.1%||Just hasn't panned out as late-round guy.|
Anthony Davis left last night’s blowout win after getting poked in the eye and the score nowhere close. All reports so far have indicated that the issue isn’t serious, but since it’s Davis I think I’m contractually obligated to report this.
Tim Duncan put a small scare into owners with a hyper-extended elbow suffered in last night’s game, but it sounds like he’ll be ready to go against the Cavs on Wednesday.
Kemba Walker (knee) did some 3-on-3 work during Tuesday’s practice and said he’s going to suit up for Wednesday’s game against the Kings. Walker is a fantasy warrior and he’ll probably have a minute limit, but I wouldn’t rule him out to be ready for next week’s weekly deadlines. Or sooner. I don’t think Mo Williams’ owners should consider a drop at all. He’s rolling too well right now and the Hornets still need his contributions, even if the injury risk is bound to take a 2-4 round hit whenever Walker is at full speed.
Kevin Durant (foot) is out for Wednesday’s game and I know the belief around the league is that the Thunder will eventually pull away from the Pelicans, and this writer is even considering picking them to win it all whenever I get around to doing that at the end of the regular season. Heck, even the local Pelicans writers don’t think they’ve got much of a chance of catching the Thunder.
But still, the fact Durant can’t get on the floor and help seal up this playoff spot is pretty revealing. They’re going to be uber-careful with him because they have their eye on a much larger future than even this season, and I don’t know which side of a coin flip I’d bet on for a return in time for Monday weekly lineup deadlines.
Hassan Whiteside was suspended for one-game for leveling Kelly Olynyk for no reason on Monday, and the only thing I can tell you is that the numerous Sacramento sources were not surprised in the slightest over the development. He has pretty major work to do in-between the ears but otherwise the sky is the limit if he can stay healthy. Goran Dragic (back) has a 75-percent chance of playing tonight and like his other injured veteran teammates I’m worried that the Heat are already tanking and they’ll have very short leashes.
Norris Cole started in place of Tyreke Evans (ankle) on Tuesday, with Evans being day-to-day for a franchise that does not like to provide injury updates. Cole scored 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting with five boards, four assists, three steals and four treys in 29 minutes, which highlights what happens when a low usage player steps into a hole created by the absence of a high-usage counterpart. Only the New Orleans press is going to be able to help us prognosticate here, but while Evans is out I wouldn’t be surprised if Cole sees similar usage.
Gordon Hayward was a late scratch due to his back issues and it set the stage for Derrick Favors (29 points, 12 boards, two steals) to pick up the slack in a big way. The beneficiaries actually resided on the bench last night, with Joe Ingles putting up 12 points, three rebounds, five assists, one steal and one three in 36 minutes, and Rodney Hood scoring 17 points on 6-of-16 shooting with three treys and an otherwise light line in 25 minutes.
Trey Burke went cold with five points on 1-of-11 shooting and while we’re in Utah the Gobert Report checks in at 10 and 14 with three steals and four blocks. I’d expect some of that bench production to swing toward Burke if Hayward misses Thursday’s game against the Rockets.
C.J. Miles missed last night’s game due to foot issues that apparently became issues when the training staff was trying to fix his calf issues. Miles is known for his injury risk and he has slowed down a little bit lately, so I can’t in good faith call him a must-own player. It’s probably best to consider him a higher-upside flier because he can go on a tear and touch middle-round value. His absence has opened the flood gates for Rodney Stuckey, who went nuts with 34 points on 13-of-19 shooting, six threes, six rebounds, seven assists, one steal and one block in 31 minutes.
The Stuckey surge has been so uncharacteristic that I think we have to take a step back and ask if he’s found a perfect fit under Frank Vogel in Indy. Yes, his field goal percentage is bound to plummet and he is also an injury risk, but these Pacers are thinking playoffs and I’m not sure I part with him in a late trade deadline deal without recognizing him at a top 50-60 value. He’s currently returning top-20 values with numbers so far over his head it’s silly.
Sergey Karasev (knee) and Markel Brown (ankle) put a damper on an already somber night for the Nets as they got wiped up on their home floor. Both suffered serious looking injuries and had to be helped off the floor, though Brown might have gotten a reprieve with good news after the game. Al Anderson missed last night’s game with a tailbone bruise but he’s traveling with the team and should be considered day-to-day.
The only fantasy takeaway here is that Jarrett Jack deserves more leash from owners. Jack’s output looks like another swing and miss to box score watchers, with 15 points, one three, one board and just three assists to go with the normal empty defensive stats. But the game itself was as telling as I’ve seen in a while. Deron Williams lumbered around the floor and finished with 10 points on 3-of-10 shooting, one rebound, four assists and two steals in 26 minutes, and I can speculate why Lionel Hollins is keeping him in a lead role but there’s no real justification for it.
Jack still has some punch left in his game and though my confidence in Hollins has waned this season, with weird rotations and players taking steps back, I think Williams can get so bad that his hand is forced. As for Williams, he’s simply not a must-own player. He’s a flier type stash that you hope gets hot when you need a little luck.
Al-Farouq Aminu got knocked out of Tuesday’s game due to a left shoulder injury and almost returned before the blowout nature of the game ended his night early. I mentioned in the fantasy section of my podcast that his production isn’t really tied to the presence of guys like Chandler Parsons, but rather is he going to get the energy numbers that have been driving his value in his nightly 20-25 minute role.
Over the last month or two the answer has been yes and good enough to be in lineups, with numbers that have sometimes looked like must-start numbers. So with this injury I’d say if there are no red flags, consider him a top 80-120 guy with a bad fantasy schedule and go from there.
For more injury news check out our injury page.
Nikola Vucevic got back on the floor after a two-game absence due to his ankle injury, and he was a bit rusty with just 13 points on 6-of-10 shooting with five rebounds, two assists and two steals in 28 minutes. His minutes were limited more by the score than they were by any limit, so all-in-all it was a good night for his owners.
Devin Harris (hand) scored seven points in 21 minutes last night after missing a pair of games. He is worth a look in deep leagues as he fits the Mavs better than his starting counterpart in Rajon Rondo does.
The Knicks are in the midst of a five-game week and had their second contest last night, which means they deserve a bit of added attention. Lance Galloway was awful with four points on 2-of-10, zero rebounds, four assists and three turnovers, but he’s the safest and best asset on the team so don’t drop him. Alexey Shved (21 points, four threes, 6-of-12 FGs, 5-of-5 FTs, 10 boards, seven assists, one steal, two blocks, 41 minutes) and Andrea Bargnani (20 points, three rebounds, 33 minutes) are your sexy names right now in the John Candy wears a unitard sense.
Shved is a mess in so many ways, most notably his shooting percentage for fantasy leagues, but also with his defense and the list goes on and on. But if Derek Fisher decides (or is forced to) take a blind eye to those deficiencies, he can actually fill up a stat sheet and for that reason he’s worth a hard look with an eye beyond this week (Shved and other sleepers are also covered in the fantasy extra portion of my podcast). The small bonus here is that there are three games left this week to crash and burn on, too.
Bargnani has similar issues when you package up all the negatives, but he has been rolling as one of the team’s go-to contributors and is considerably safer than Shved as a pickup.
Cole Aldrich (17 & 13, one steal, one block, 29 minutes) was a big winner and he is a nice player (within reason) when his body cooperates, which isn’t often. Give him a look with the hopes he does well until the wheels fall off. Shane Larkin (four points, four rebounds, one assist, one steal, 23 minutes) is too ineffective in this system to take chances on right now. Lou Amundson (eight points, three boards) got back on the floor and along with Jason Smith (two points, 0-for-6 FGs) they both lost whatever momentum they had from a week or two ago. Yes, we’re using the term ‘momentum’ lightly.
Cleanthony Early was doubtful to play last night with a knee injury but actually got on the floor, scoring five points on 2-of-4 shooting with one three, three boards and one assist in 15 minutes. Those aren’t great numbers but it’s hard to hold a ‘doubtful’ game against him and Monday’s 10-7-5 game in 32 minutes was a good look. He’s been disappointing all year and it’s impossible to trust him, but keep a close eye on him down the stretch.
Lance Thomas (one point, one rebound, 24 minutes) isn’t an option under any circumstance and Tim Hardaway Jr. missed last night’s game due to his back injury, but had a chance of playing and he’s day-to-day. The carrot in holding him was this five-game week, though, so he’ll need to come back with a vengeance to deserve any real fantasy attention.
Alexis Ajinca dropped 17 points with five boards, four assists and three steals onto the lowly Nets last night in his typical 23 minutes. This game had practically no intensity but he still played very well, and though he has been very shaky lately he’s still a low-end value for 12-team leagues during this down week. Going back as far as the last 25 games he has been a top 100-120 play, with a mid-round stretch over the last month or so that was difference-making for owners. With all the injuries in New Orleans, I’d evaluate him as a top 100-120 guy with upside when looking at add/drop decisions.
When things go bad for Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in fantasy leagues they go real bad – like bottom of the top-300 bad. But shooters are going to shoot and when that’s the only real bankable asset he brings to the table the swings in value aren’t a surprise. He continued to slump and hit just 5-of-14 shots last night but four of them were 3-pointers on a 15-point night. The only play here is to try and catch him on the upswing if you need 3-pointers.
Amir Johnson has been a top 150-200 slump for the past month or so and he finally got hot with 16 points, 14 rebounds and one block over 33 minutes last night. He’s a top-125 guy in a very large sample size on the season and when you factor in the fact that he plays through injury (perhaps to a fault), he’s actually ranking in the top-90 on the year. The concerns are that injuries have sapped his effectiveness, but if he’s fine and regresses toward normal levels of production he could be ready to rebound for owners. Adding him as a low-end play could make some sense.
Trey Burke just hasn’t panned out as a late-round guy. He hit just 1-of-11 shots for five points, five boards and two assists in 28 minutes last night with Gordon Hayward (back) out. He has plenty of opportunity, but he’s been well below the cut line 12- and even 14-team leagues for weeks now so he’s only a stash-type guy for those with the freedom to hold a guy like that. Even then his upside doesn’t really crack the top-100.
Terrence Ross started again last night but managed just five points on 2-of-9 shooting with two rebounds, one steal and one block in 25 minutes. He could get hot and return late-round value but I’m not holding my breath over here to see it. If you want to drop James Johnson (five minutes) I won’t argue with you, but if you have the roster space and want a boom-or-bust guy to break out in case of emergency – he fits the bill.
Mason Plumlee played just 17 minutes and was non-existent in the box score, and I’m wondering does Coach K get all the credit for his busty season too? That’s a tongue-in-cheek shot at the media that gives him all the credit when DeMarcus Cousins becomes a top-tier player, but scores of Team USA players fail to meet expectations later on in the year. Also busty here has been my analysis of Plumlee’s value (late-round guy with mid-round upside) a month or two ago and if you somehow held on it’s well past time to drop him.