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Roundball Stew

Ish Smith Assists

by Matt Stroup
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

With most of us in crunch time/panic mode in our respective leagues, we are going to waste no time with pleasantries and get right back to the exercise we did last week: a breakdown of players who might be available on waivers (or who were recently added to your roster), in hopes of answering the question of whether or not they should land in your lineup in the days immediately ahead:

Ish Smith

4 games next week / 12.8 ppg, 6.5 apg, 1.7 spg, 0.7 3s in his last six games

At 21 percent owned in Yahoo, Smith is probably already gone in a lot of competitive leagues. So the logical question becomes: Is it worth trusting him for four games next week? The short answer to that question, in my opinion, is yes. Sure, his shooting is a bit shaky (41.0 percent in his last six games), he turns the ball over too much (last six games: 4.0 per game) and he doesn’t hit a ton of 3s, but the points, assists, steals and four-game schedule are enough to make up for it. Having forced myself to watch the Sixers on multiple occasions recently, it’s easy to see what Smith offers as a passer over current No. 2 PG (and former starter) Isaiah Canaan, who’s a far more explosive shooter, but not nearly the same type of playmaker as Ish is.

Chase Budinger

3 games next week / 15.7 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.3 spg, 1.8 3s in his last six games

Budinger got a mention here last week, and has only continued to look impressive for the ridiculously depleted Timberwolves since, including 22 points in 40 minutes on Wednesday night – raising his average minutes over his last six games to 35 per game. And speaking of Minnesota’s injury situation, I think Budinger still looks like a worthwhile start even once Kevin Martin (hamstring) returns. In his last four games playing alongside Martin (before Martin missed the last two), Budinger’s minute totals went 26, 36, 43, 25 – an average of 33 minutes per game.

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Jason Terry

4 games next week / 12.1 ppg, 3.6 apg, 1.7 spg, 2.6 3s in seven games as a starter this year

This is not a drill. Thanks to an injury to Patrick Beverley, the 37-year-old Terry is in fact being summoned into relevance at the most important juncture of our fantasy season. Is he guaranteed to be useful? Of course not. He’s ancient, and did nothing in his first start since Beverley’s injury on Wednesday night (two points, three assists in 27 minutes). However, even including that Wednesday night dud, Terry has put up some exciting 3s / steals numbers when given the chance to start this year (see above), and he’s got games on Friday and Sunday to prove he’s ready heading into his four-game schedule next week.

For more on Terry, Budinger and Kings PG Ray McCallum, check out my conversation with Jenna Corrado below:

Justin Hamilton

3 games next week / 14.0 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 2.8 apg, 1.3 spg, 1.8 bpg, 0.5 3s in his last four games before a bout with migraines

Just a friendly reminder that Hamilton (9 percent owned in Yahoo leagues) returned after a four-game absence to play nine minutes on Wednesday night. There are certainly no guarantees as to how much he’ll play now, but we already know that the Minnesota rotation isn’t too crowded for another player – and Hamilton was posting flat-out dynamic numbers before missing time. To me, he’s an ideal stash heading into the weekend while we evaluate whether or not to give him a look next week.

Ryan Kelly

4 games next week / 13.5 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.5 spg, 1.0 bpg, 1.5 3s in his last two games (33 minutes per game)

Kelly’s game is not aesthetically pleasing, and he has yet to prove that he can produce consistently for any sort of prolonged stretch, but he has shown himself capable of the occasional explosive fantasy line, and I do think he’s worth watching closely on Friday and Sunday as he approaches a four-game schedule next week.

Warning: We are now heading for deep league territory. Proceed with caution to the section below…

Shane Larkin

3 games next week / 7.6 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 4.4 apg, 1.4 spg, 1.0 3s in his last five games

Larkin was flat-out bad on Wednesday night (two points, two assists in 30 minutes, prompting a Rotoworld news blurb that referred to him as “dreadful”), but overall there’s still some deep league appeal here. The drawbacks, of course, are clear: low point totals, just three games next week and the potential for complete duds like Wednesday night. However, the playing time is there (33 minutes per game in his last five), and he is actually helping in a few areas – and is solid in FG percentage (a low-volume 51.6 percent in his last five), and turnovers (1.8 during the same stretch). I certainly wouldn’t be sprinting to add him, but you can do worse if you’re desperate for PG stats in a deeper format.

Tarik Black

4 games next week / 8.0 ppg, 7.4 rpg, 1.0 bpg in his last seven games

Nothing remotely exciting here, but he has been starting lately for the Lakers, averaging 26 minutes per game in his last seven, and doing just enough to warrant a look in a deeper league.

Thomas Robinson

4 games next week / 9.1 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 0.6 spg, 1.0 bpg in his last eight games

Robinson can’t be trusted on a game-to-game basis (after all, he’s playing just 17 minutes per game during this eight-game stretch), but if you’re desperate for boards / blocks, he at least has a chance to throw up a random good line in his limited run.

Jabari Brown

4 games next week / 8.7 ppg, 2.7 apg, 1.3 3s in 28 minutes per game his last three games

The minutes here are what have my attention, but it would be reckless to consider Brown – who’s currently on his second 10-day contract – unless you’re playing in a grotesquely deep league. Speaking of which…

30-Deep Update

After winning the 30-Deep title last year, I’m back in the finals of that league, which is a best-of-three weekly matchup (first to win two weeks takes the title). I’m currently down 7-2 in Week 1, but a lot of categories are still pretty close, and my squad is very resilient. (And by that I mean I have Chris Paul.) I’ll have another update on this front next week. In the meantime, I’ll be scouting the aforementioned Jabari Brown to see if he deserves a lineup spot over the suddenly shaky Will Barton. Such are the challenges of a 30-team league. I sincerely hope no one out there has to deal with a lineup dilemma this ridiculous.