Week 11 Games Played
5 Games: UTA
4 Games: BRK, CHA, CLE, DEN, GSW, HOU, LAC, LAL, MEM, MIA, MIL, NYK, OKC, ORL, PHX, SAC, TOR, WAS
3 Games: ATL, BOS, CHI, DAL, DET, IND, MIN, NOP, PHI, POR, SAN
I wrote this after Friday night's games and prior to Saturday's games. The Jazz have five games this week, but the guys you want to use are already owned: George Hill, Rodney Hood, Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert. Thus, Josh Richardson, James Johnson, Montrezl Harrell, Malcolm Brogdon and Michael-Carter Williams are the guys you want to be looking at this weekend. Follow me on Twitter by clicking here.
Michael Carter-Williams Bulls 15% percent owned in Yahoo! leagues – Rajon Rondo was benched by coach Fred Hoiberg on Friday and didn’t seem to mind too much. Meanwhile, MCW, and not Jerian Grant, stepped up and had 12 points, eight rebounds, one assist, a block and a 3-pointer on 4-of-10 shooting in 27 minutes. I’m not calling him the pickup of the day, but if Rondo has fallen out of favor in Chicago, MCW might be ready to go on a run. Don’t cut anyone good for him, but if you’re desperate and want to take a flier on a guy who could possibly start at point guard the rest of the way, drop a bum and pick him up.
Malcolm Brogdon Bucks 21% – Matthew Dellavedova has a hamstring injury that kept him out on Friday and Brogdon, who was already playing well, got the start. He had 11 points, four boards, four assists, a steal and a 3-pointer in Friday’s loss to Minnesota and is averaging 10.6 points, 2.8 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.6 steals and 1.0 3-pointers on an incredible 71 percent shooting over his last five games. The return of Delly will hurt, but Brogdon is a hot pickup right now, either way.
Tony Parker Spurs 24% - Parker is hot, but keep in mind that Kawhi Leonard has missed the last two games with a stomach problem. Parker had 20 & 18 points in those games, but may have gained a confidence boost with the extra usage. He’s averaging 13.3 points and 4.5 assists on 44 percent shooting over his last five games, and if Gregg Popovich will play him, Parker might be ready to finally start playing.
Ty Lawson Kings 21% - Darren Collison has been an unmitigated disaster this season and Lawson is playing well, averaging 14.0 points, 3.0 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.4 steals and 0.6 3-pointers on 52 percent shooting over his last five games. Hang onto Collison if you can, but picking up Lawson in any league could pay dividends if this ends up being a lost season for Collison.
Raymond Felton Clippers 2% – Chris Paul has missed four of his last five games with a hamstring injury and Felton (and Austin Rivers) have done a nice job of filling in, although the Clippers have lost five straight games. Felton went off for 26 points, eight assists, a steal and four 3-pointers on Friday, and should continue to fare well any night CP3 is in street clothes. The problem is that I don’t think Paul’s injury will keep him out much longer. But if it does, Felton is probably the guy you want to play.
Josh Richardson Heat 45% – Ever since my man Mike Gallagher stopped mentioning Richardson’s name, he’s been on fire. He’s averaging 20.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 2.0 steals, 1.0 blocks and 1.3 3-pointers over his last three games, knocking down 25-of-47 shots in the process, good for 53 percent. I’ve been hyping him all year and while it took forever, he’s finally living up to it. And just as a public service announcement, Gallagher mentioned his name a ton in Friday’s podcast. So beware.
Tyler Johnson Heat 59% - With or without Goran Dragic (back), Johnson has been hot all year. And he’s still hot, averaging 15.4 points, 3.4 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.8 blocks and 2.0 3-pointers over his last five games, hitting 50 percent of his shots from the floor and playing 30 minutes a game. The only question is, why isn’t he owned in more leagues?
Tony Allen Grizzlies 29% - Allen has played very well in his last two games and is averaging 10 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.0 steals on 51 percent shooting over his last five games. He’s getting 29 minutes a night and his peripheral stats help make up for the fact that he’s not a dynamic scorer. And over his last two games those numbers jump to 12.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.0 steals.
Seth Curry Mavericks 29% - Curry doesn’t do anything amazing, even with J.J. Barea out with an Achilles injury, but he plays 26 minutes a night and is averaging 9.6 points, 4.6 assists, 1.8 steals and 1.6 3-pointers on 46 percent shooting over his last five. You could do worse, and the Mavericks are going to have to fully turn him loose at some points, after managing just 10 wins thus far (and 24 losses)
Kyle Korver Hawks 54% - Am I on the Korver bandwagon? Absolutely not. But he’s played well in two straight games and had his best game of the season on Friday with 22 points, three boards, two assists and three 3-pointers on 7-of-13 shooting in 29 minutes. Over his last four, he’s averaging 12.8 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.0 blocks and 2.5 3-pointers on 43 percent shooting, and after predicting a great season from himself, he is finally showing signs that he might start producing.
James Johnson Heat 27% – Johnson had a six-point dud in just 18 minutes on Thursday, but has otherwise been rock solid for weeks now. He bounced back in a big way on Friday with 22 points, three boards, six assists, two steals, two blocks and four 3-pointers, which is the epitome of what he’s capable of. And my hope is that he keeps it going the rest of the way. He’s averaging 14.8 points, 6.0 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.0 steals, 1.0 blocks and 1.8 3-pointers over his last five games, and I couldn’t be prouder of him, as he’s in this column nearly every week, as well as on most of my season-long teams.
Nick Young Lakers 60% - The Lakers are tricky right now as Young, Lou Williams, D’Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson and Luol Deng might all be stepping on each other’s toes. While none of them are full trustworthy right now, Young is getting nearly 30 minutes a game and averaging 13 points, 1.6 steals and 3.2 3-pointers over his last five games. He had 17 points and five triples on Friday, and while I don’t know that he’s a must-start player every week, he’s certainly worth owning.
Robert Covington Sixers 64% - Call him RoCo, or call him NoCo, as we did in Friday’s podcast after his 0-for-11 performance on Thursday. But the guy bounced back with 19 points, six rebounds, a steal, a block and three 3-pointers in 28 minutes on Friday. Owning him has been the equivalent of riding a really scary roller coaster this season, but he’s still averaging 10.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.0 steals, 1.2 blocks and 1.2 3-pointers over his last five games. Along with (cough) 35 percent shooting from the field. And that’s after he hit 6-of-12 shots on Friday. I still kind of love RoCo, or NoCo, if you prefer.
Tyreke Evans Pelicans 58% – I’m really not into Evans and hesitated even putting him on this list. But the numbers don’t lie and he’s averaging 14 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.0 3-pointers over his last two games, despite playing fewer than 19 minutes in each of them. I think it’s going to be a long road back for Evans and the chances are better than he’ll get hurt again than they are of him becoming fantasy goodness. But if you’re desperate, he’s been great for two games. So there’s that.
Thabo Sefolosha Hawks 32% - Thabo was a total dud on Friday with four points and five rebounds, but has been playing pretty well. Even with the dud, he’s averaging 8.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.0 steals, 0.8 blocks and 1.2 3-pointers over his last five games. He’s getting 27 minutes a night and while you might be able to do better off the wire than Thabo, small forwards are not easy to come by. I kind of like owning him right now.
Ersan Ilyasova Sixers 65% – Ghostface Ilya is this season’s version of last season’s Marvin Williams. He looks like a fluke at every possible turn, but then just keeps producing, and producing. Ilyasova is now starting again for the Sixers and has been on a tear, averaging 16.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.8 3-pointers on 53 percent shooting over his last five. He’s also good for the occasional steal and block, and is showing no signs of letting up. He should be owned in more leagues, period.
Jon Leuer Pistons 51% - Leuer finally had the game we’ve been waiting for as a starter on Friday when he had his first 20-point game of the season (22) to go along with six rebounds, two steals and two 3-pointers in a season-high 37 minutes. Keep in mind that Marcus Morris missed this game with a sore knee. Dropping Marcus for Leuer makes a lot of sense at this point. Leuer has been a borderline player to own all season (see his 51% ownership), but his new starting gig and Morris’ injury push him over the top. He’s averaging 14 points, 6.0 rebounds 1.0 steals and 1.2 3-pointers on 48 percent shooting over his last five.
Justise Winslow Heat 61% - Friday must be Winslow’s play-day, as he went off for 23 points, 13 boards and four steals on 10-of-16 shooting on Friday, Dec. 22, and then had 11 points, nine rebounds, six assists and a block this Friday. He wasn’t great in between those games, but the minutes and talent are there. He’s averaging 10.8 points, 7.4 rebounds, 4.4 assists and 1.2 steals over his last five games, despite shooting just 36 percent from the floor. If you have him on nights when his shot is actually going in, he’s a mini beast.
Thomas Robinson Lakers 2% - T-Rob went from not playing at all to being a focal point for the Lakers. Sure, injuries to Tarik Black and Larry Nance Jr. will do that, but Robinson has been an effective DFS punt play for the last several games. He’s averaging just 7.4 points, but also 9.0 rebounds and 0.6 blocks on 74 percent shooting over his last five games. He might be able to help if you’re in a deep league and need a big man.
Dragan Bender Suns 8% - Bender played very well in back-to-back games earlier in the week and then played just 11 minutes on Friday, finishing with three points, three rebounds and a 3-pointer. But in his previous two games, he averaged 10.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.0 steals, 1.5 blocks and 1.5 3-pointers in 27 minutes. The Suns will be out of the playoff hunt soon enough, so Bender looks like an ultimate stash in deep leagues, assuming the Suns eventually turn him loose and let him play.
Montrezl Harrell Rockets 19% – My boy, my man, whatever. I love Harrell and he exploded for a career-high 29 points on Friday, hitting 10-of-14 shots with three rebounds, a steal and a block against DeAndre Jordan. Of course I didn’t play him in DFS that night for the first time in a week (slump), but that’s beside the point. Clint Capela isn’t coming back any time soon, Nene is not the answer, and Harrell is averaging 16.6 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks on 67 percent shooting over his last five games. He should be owned in a whole lot more leagues. I don’t get it.
Cody Zeller Hornets 54% – Zeller checks in with 11.6 points, 6.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.2 steals and 0.6 blocks in 29 minutes a game over his last five. Roy Hibbert is not a threat to his job and he might only get better from here on in. He should be owned in all leagues at this point.
Marreese Speights Clippers 20% - Speights had 15 points, seven boards, two blocks and two 3-pointers on Friday and is going to see at least 19 minutes a game for another month, as Blake Griffin recovers from minor knee surgery. He’s averaging 12 points, 4.2 boards, 1.0 blocks and 2.2 3-pointers in just 17.6 minutes over his last five games, and it’s time to pick him up.
Dwight Powell Mavericks 17% – I was about ready to give up on Powell after he played just 14 minutes on Thursday, but he saw 26 minutes with 10 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks on Friday. And that was with Dirk Nowitzki getting 23 minutes. Andrew Bogut is constantly banged up and the Mavs are not yet ready to turn Salah Mejri loose. Powell’s far from a must-own player, but is averaging 9.4 points, 6.0 rebounds, 0.8 steals and 0.4 blocks over his last five games. If you already own him, just hang on a bit longer.
Alex Len Suns 44% - Len is averaging just 6.8 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.4 blocks over his last five games, getting 21 minutes per night. But the Suns are just 10-23 on the season and have no shot at the playoffs. It makes sense that at some point they’ll bench Tyson ‘ol man’ Chandler and let Len play. So now looks like as good a time as any to take a flier on him. He’s not going to help you much right now, but if the Suns ever throw him into the starting lineup, you’ll be glad you own him. If you have room to stash him, do it.