Derrick Williams, F Miami Heat (2%)
Given the alternative options Miami has to roll out at power forward, it was quite surprising to see the Heat open up their season without Derrick Williams in the rotation. And given how those other choices have predictably performed heretofore in the campaign, it’s not at all shocking to see Williams now in the starting four spot.
After starting the second half in place of Luke Babbitt—I know, I can’t believe that’s a real thing either—on Saturday, Erik Spoelstra showed no hesitation in plugging the more athletic Williams directly into the first unit. And while “the other D-Will” has had a roller coaster ride of a career with fewer ups than downs, he might be worth a look in deep formats if you need someone at the forward spot capable of posting roto-friendly lines. Just keep your expectations heavily in check and remember that this situation is very fluid. At the moment, you shouldn’t even be considering this if your league has fewer than 14 teams.
Tomas Satoransky, G Washington Wizards (1%)
The Wizards’ depth is laughable at best and their bench is easily one of the NBA’s worst, but a lot of people are starting to learn one thing about they may not have known: Satoransky can play. There is a reason Washington stayed so adamant about getting this player to come stateside and he’s started to show some nice things now that he’s finally here.
The former second-round pick had his best game of the season (12 points, nine dimes, one steal, one triple) in his previous spot start for John Wall (rest), and there’s little doubt that he’s earned a larger role moving forward. Satoransky is capable of playing and defending three positions (one through three) with his good size (6’7”) and he doesn’t have a lot of players to maneuver past as he plows his path to minutes. Just keep an eye on him for now, but don’t forget about his streaming or DFS potential when the right situation presents itself.
Allen Crabbe, G/F Portland Trail Blazers (32%)
Let’s start with the good news: The minutes have been there all season for Crabbe, and Al-Farouq Aminu’s (calf) absence has created a bigger need for the $75M man’s versatility on both ends of the court. On paper, that should lead to an increased chance at production and improved fantasy relevance.
Unfortunately, that has not really been the case. Outside of his 18-point showing on opening night as well as a recent well-rounded line on November 11 (16 points, seven boards, four assists, one steal, two 3PM), Crabbe hasn’t done much to prove he’s worthy of an investment on fantasy rosters. That makes “Slater”—an appropriate nickname given his initials are AC, right?—more of a stash than anything else, and it’s hard to see that evolving unless the situation changes dramatically.
Seth Curry, G Dallas Mavericks (25%)
Almost everyone who took the Curry suggestion was ready to drop him less than 10 games into the season, but if you’re going to exercise that kind of impatience then why invest in a longer-term stock anyway? It simply makes no sense, and an immediate ROI is not necessarily what we’re always in search of when surveying the landscape and making our decisions.
Deron Williams (perennially injured) has already spent a significant amount of time on the sidelines to begin the new season and it’s not hard to see where this Mavs season is once again going: in the toilet. That should leave plenty of leeway for Curry to gain more minutes, have a greater opportunity to produce and prove he was worthy of drafting. Prior to Monday’s game vs. the Knicks, Curry had averaged 16.5 points, 6.5 assists, 4.0 steals, 3.0 3-pointers and a block in his previous two contests.
And even with his slow start, Curry’s per-36 numbers (entering Monday’s game) were sitting at 12.9 points, 3.9 assists, 2.3 steals, 0.6 blocks and 2.1 triples.
Brandon Ingram, F Los Angeles Lakers (50%)
With his confidence steadily rising, his aggression improving nightly and his playing time moving in the right direction, It’s time to pick up Ingram if he was dropped in your league.
The No. 2 overall pick in the 2016 draft has played 25-plus minutes in five of his last six games—the exception being a blowout win at New Orleans in which he tweaked his ankle—and has scored 10 points in back-to-back showings. You can see the makings of his fantasy friendly game with his modest November averages of 6.9 points, 3.1 boards, 1.9 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.5 blocks and 0.5 3-pointers, and there is no doubt those numbers will continue to rise once the rookie gets more comfortable in the league and gets his smooth shot to consistently find the twine. It’s better to be too early than too late; just don’t expect instant gratification.