Games Played Week 9
4 Games: BOS, DEN, HOU, LAL, MEM, NYK, OKC, POR, SAS
3 Games: ATL, BRK, CHA, CHI, CLE, DAL, DET, IND, LAC, MIA, MIN, NOP, ORL, PHI, PHX, SAC, UTA, WAS
2 Games: GSW, MIL, TOR
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Raymond Felton Mavericks 29 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues - Felton was cooking until Friday night when he had eight points on 3-of-10 shooting, but he also had six dimes, a steal and two 3-pointers in that game. He’s starting at shooting guard and averaging 12.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.8 3-pointers over his last five games. I’m a little surprised he’s not owned in more leagues.
Arron Afflalo Knicks 52% - Afflalo’s hot, scoring 22 and 29 points in his last two games, hitting 18-of-27 shots and six 3-pointers He should be one of the best offensive weapons on the Knicks and is finally starting to play like it.
Trey Burke Jazz 43% - Burke has scored in double digits in every December game and is averaging 12.2 points, 2.6 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.4 3-pointers in 24 minutes over his last five games. Those aren’t mind-blowing by any means, but he’s playing well enough to be owned in more leagues.
Courtney Lee Grizzlies 42% - Lee scored 15 points last Monday and 18 points on Wednesday, but hit just 2-of-8 shots in his last game for eight points. He’s averaging 34 minutes, 12.4 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.8 3-pointers over his last five games, and given all those minutes (Tony Allen’s been hurt), he’s worth a look in all leagues if available.
Jameer Nelson Nuggets 16% - Nelson has been starting over Emmanuel Mudiay (out with an ankle injury) and could keep the job once Mudiay is back. Nelson has played pretty well in four straight games and is averaging 12.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 1.4 steals and 2.2 3-pointers over his last five. And if he happens to keep the starting job, he’ll be a serviceable point guard.
Jeremy Lin Hornets 39% - Lin exploded for 35 points, five boards, four assists, two blocks and two 3-pointers on 13-of-22 shooting on Thursday, when Nicolas Batum was out with an illness. Batum is back, but the big game might have earned Lin more playing time. He also scored in double figures in two other games last week and is averaging 31 minutes over his last five, along with 15.6 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 1.6 blocks and 1.2 3-pointers.
Allen Crabbe Blazers 14% - Crabbe started off hot with seven straight games in double-figures scoring to start December, then struggled in two straight games. He bounced back with 14 points, four boards and two 3-pointers in 24 minutes on Friday and usually gets between 25 and 30 minutes a game. He’s averaging 13.0 points, 2.7 rebounds, 0.8 steals and 1.7 3-pointers on 49 percent shooting in December, and I like him as long as he’s getting solid minutes for the Blazers.
Evan Fournier Magic 46% - Fournier has gone from one of the best and hottest free agent pickups to the one of the most dropped players over the last week. Games of 5, 3 and 2 points in three of his last four games will do that. His minutes have dropped to less than 25 per game, he’s not making many shots, nor is he taking as many as he was during the good ol’ days. Scott Skiles like him and he should be able to produce in 25 minutes per game, meaning that just because someone dropped him doesn’t necessarily mean he’s not worth having. But I also understand why people are dumping him based on his recent play.
Bojan Bogdanovic Nets 35% - Bogdanovic has had some really nice games and some pretty boring ones, but is starting at shooting guard for the Nets. He’s averaging just 9.6 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.8 3-pointers over his last five games, but is also getting 35.4 minutes per game. He’s not a must-own player, but if his minutes stay in the mid-30s, you have to think he might become one at some point.
Wizards Gary Neal 8% & Ramon Sessions 4% - With Bradley Beal out with a leg injury, Neal, Sessions, Garrett Temple have all been getting a boost in minutes lately. Neal and Sessions are the two guys worth a look, and Neal is averaging 12.4 points, 2.2 rebounds, 1.6 3-pointers and nothing else on 41 percent shooting. Sessions has scored in double figures in four straight games and is averaging 12.8 points, 1.8 rebounds and 3.2 assists, but just 0.4 steals and 0.4 3-pointers on 57 percent shooting. Sessions is the player with the better numbers, so he’s the one I’d recommend grabbing if you’re in a deep league and need a guard.
Sixers Kendall Marshall & Isaiah Canaan 12% - Marshall is the Sixers’ choice at point guard but he’s really struggling, averaging just 4.0 points, 4.5 assists and 0.5 3-pointers over his last five games. Canaan has been starting at shooting guard and has scored 14 and 24 points in his last two games. Canaan, who is averaging 11.8 points, 2.2 assists and 2.6 3-pointers in his last five games, is the one I’d rather own for now.
Marcus Smart Celtics 45% - Smart is nearing a return and it’s probably time for deep leaguers in need of a point guard to think about stashing him. In his nine games this season he averaged just under 10 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.1 3-pointers. Avery Bradley and Isaiah Thomas should be locked into the starting lineup, but Smart might be worth using even if coming off the Celtics bench.
Terrence Jones Rockets 62% - Jones finally came to life on Thursday against the (of course) Lakers with 16 points, four boards, a block and a 3-pointer. He’s the king of weird injuries and has not been trustworthy all season, but Thursday’s game gives him a little hope, and he’s just too talented to stink this badly all season.
Matt Barnes Grizzlies 43% - Barnes is now starting for the Grizzlies and while he hasn’t exactly blown up, he is playing pretty well. Barnes does a little bit of everything and is averaging 12.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 2.0 steals, 1.4 blocks and 2.2 3-pointers on 46 percent shooting. He’s getting 30 minutes over his last five games and the steals, blocks and threes, along with everything else, makes him look like a must-own player right now.
Terrence Ross Raptors 8% - Ross is getting nice run with DeMarre Carroll out with a knee injury and has scored in double figures in three straight games. He’s averaging 14.7 points, 2.0 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.0 blocks over his last three games, and he’s also drained 12 3-pointers in those games. He’s hit 16-of-32 shots in those three games, so as long as Carroll’s out, Ross looks like a pretty decent fantasy option.
Suns T.J. Warren 20% & Mirza Teletovic 21% - Warren’s hit double figures in three straight games and his minutes have really been up in his last two. He’s averaging 13 points, 4.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.0 blocks over his last three games. His minutes have been up at 28 and 36 in his last two games, but his lack of threes is a bit disturbing. Teletovic has big-game potential, but also struggles with consistency off the Suns’ bench. He’s scored 2, 24, 0, 8 and 15 points in each of his last five games, hitting three 3-pointers in one of those, and four in another. He’s probably too inconsistent to own right now, but if he gets hot, get ready to pick him up if you need threes.
Lance Thomas Knicks 2% - Thomas has quietly scored in double digits in four straight games and is averaging 11.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, 0.8 steals and 1.2 3-pointers on 50 percent shooting over his last five games. Someone has to score for the Knicks and it looks like Thomas is now officially a part of that equation.
Doug McDermott Bulls 6% - McBuckets scored in double figures in three straight games before falling off a cliff with two points on Friday against the Pistons. He’s averaging 8.8 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.4 3-pointers over his last five games, but doesn’t have a steal, has blocked just one shot, and is shooting just 39 percent over that stretch.
Bismack Biyombo Raptors 25% - Biyombo’s been on a rebounding tear lately and is averaging 12.8 boards over his last five games, along with 2.4 blocks and 0.8 steals. He’s also scoring just 6.4 points a game, which is a problem, but he should be owned until Jonas Valanciunas returns from his finger injury, and possibly thereafter.
Jordan Hill Pacers 22% - Hill is making some noise in Indy, averaging 10.4 points, 7.8 rebounds, 0.8 steals, but just 0.4 blocks over his last five. He’s shooting 57 percent and is currently outplaying teammate Ian Mahinmi. Mahinmi’s at 8.8 points, 7.0 rebounds and just 0.6 blocks over his last five, so flipping him for Hill makes sense right now.
Festus Ezeli Warriors 18% - Ezeli is quietly averaging 11.6 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.0 steals and 0.2 blocks over his last five games. He’s getting about 22 minutes a game and while more blocks would be nice, the points and boards have been a pleasant surprise of late. Andrew Bogut left Friday’s game with a back injury and Ezeli looks even better if he’s going to miss time.
Clint Capela Rockets 25% - Capela has bounced back and played well in his last four games, averaging 8.8 points, 9.0 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.5 blocks over his last five games. If Terrence Jones finally stays hot, Capela would take a hit, but the numbers were nice last week and Capela should be a guy who’s being picked up right now.
Joffrey Lauvergne Nuggets 12% - Lauvergne is quietly rolling for the Nuggets, scoring in double digits in three straight and double-doubling in two of those. He’s averaging 11.3 points, 8.5 rebounds and zero blocks over his last five games on 59 percent shooting. Centers who don’t block shots aren’t one of my favorite things, but Lauvergne’s doing enough to be owned right now. Just don’t expect much from any of the Denver centers once Jusuf Nurkic is finally ready to play through his knee injury.
Luis Scola Raptors 19% - Scola was playing well, disappeared for two games last week, and then bounced back with 20 points, three boards, a block and a 3-pointer on Friday against the Heat. Inconsistency and a lack of blocks are both concerns with Scola, but like Biyombo, he should continue to get plenty of opportunities as long as Valanciunas is out.