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Is it sell high time for Ivica Zubac?

Ivica Zubac

Ivica Zubac

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

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For Pickup of the Day, choices are limited to players rostered in no more than 40% of Yahoo leagues. However, there are times when something else needs to be discussed. So let’s begin with Clippers center Ivica Zubac, who’s rostered in 85% of Yahoo leagues. While many of the available Clippers disappointing in a 108-94 defeat, Zubac flourished. In 35 minutes, he tallied 10 points, 14 rebounds, two assists, and a career-high seven blocked shots. For the season, Zubac is averaging 9.0 points, 11.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 3.3 blocks in 28.9 minutes per game, shooting 61.5% from the field and 66.7% from the foul line.

Those stats are good for top-40 per-game value in both 8- and 9-cat formats, top-30 value in 9-cat points, and top-25 value in 8-cat points leagues. With Zubac having never finished a season ranked within the top 100 in any of those formats, would this be a good time to sell high? An argument can be made for both sides. He hasn’t produced at this level for an entire season, but the Clippers’ lack of proven centers behind him and the unpredictable nature of load management for some of the team’s star players means that it would be logical to hold onto Zubac. I’m not sure what the answer is just four games into the season, but this is a good “problem” for Zubac managers to have.

Now, we get into the pickups of the day, with the Pelicans and Thunder both boasting low-rostered players who stepped up to help lead their teams to wins Tuesday night. And a few of these choices stand to have value beyond one night.

Jose Alvarado (8% Yahoo)

New Orleans was without Brandon Ingram (concussion), Herbert Jones (knee), and Zion Williamson (hip), with the absences opening up three spots in the starting lineup. Trey Murphy (46% rostered) was already on the radar of many fantasy managers, and his rostered percentage will only increase after his performance Tuesday night. But the focus here is Jose Alvarado, who’s rostered in just 8% of Yahoo leagues. In 26 minutes, he accounted for 13 points, three rebounds, three assists, two steals, and one 3-pointer, shooting 6-of-8 from the field.

“Grand Theft Alvarado” will be in the rotation when those starters return, but his fantasy value will take a significant hit. The Pelicans are off until Friday, so that’s something to consider with Alvarado. Larry Nance (23%) posted an underwhelming line (11 points, two rebounds, one assist, and one 3-pointer in 24 minutes), but he has more staying power (in fantasy hoops) than Alvarado when the Pelicans are whole.

Will Barton (32%)

After starting in Denver, Barton’s coming off the bench in Washington, which limits his fantasy value even more. He shot well Tuesday night, going 6-of-9 from the field and tallying 16 points, two rebounds, four assists, two steals, one block, and four 3-pointers. While he may not have been a pickup that managers targeted before Tuesday’s game, injuries may boost his rostered percentage over the next 24 hours. Bradley Beal missed a large chunk of Tuesday’s game due to tightness in his back (he took a hard fall late in Sunday’s loss in Cleveland), and Delon Wright departed during the fourth quarter due to tightness in his right hamstring. Washington doesn’t play again until Friday, so that should be considered. But Barton would be worth a look if Beal and/or Wright have to sit.

Tre Mann (20%)

Mann was already in the starting lineup, but his rostered percentage was low due to the presence of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (hip) and Josh Giddey (ankle). SGA was ultimately cleared for Tuesday’s game against the Clippers but Giddey wasn’t, which ensured that Mann would still see an increase in offensive opportunities. He finished with 25 points, four rebounds, four assists, two steals, and two 3-pointers in 36 minutes. Oklahoma City has two more games this week, and with there being no guarantee that Giddey will be healthy for Thursday’s rematch, those who picked up Mann should hold onto him. And he’ll likely be a hold once Giddey returns.

Luke Kennard (5%)

No Kawhi Leonard (knee) or Paul George (illness) meant an increased usage for Kennard, even if he was still coming off the bench. The line of 15 points, four rebounds, two assists, one steal, and three 3-pointers wasn’t eye-popping, but it was one of the best efforts from a Clippers player. Leonard is headed back to L.A. to undergo more treatment on his knee, so he’s already out for Thursday’s game. As for George, we’ll see. For the few who picked up Kennard, hold onto him. Because in addition to the status of the stars, Norman Powell (48% rostered) continues to struggle.

Mike Muscala (4%)

Is Muscala a potential fantasy factor? That’s where we are with the Thunder. He’s logging consistent rotation minutes, and that’s unlikely to change anytime soon due to Aleksej Pokusevski’s struggles. Muscala chipped in with eight points, 10 rebounds, two assists, and one block in 18 minutes off the bench in the win over the Clippers. He’s providing 6th-round per-game value in 9-cat formats despite averaging 13.9 minutes per game, so managers in very deep leagues should consider Muscala if they require help at the center position.

Aaron Wiggins (2%)

Sticking with the Thunder, Wiggins replaced Kenrich Williams in the starting lineup and tallied 11 points, 10 rebounds, three steals, and one block in 28 minutes (Wiggins’ first career double-double). His promotion into the starting lineup didn’t move the fantasy needle and rightfully so, as SGA and Giddey have been the only constants in Oklahoma City. So I wouldn’t lose any sleep over failing to add Wiggins ahead of Tuesday’s games.

Moses Moody (2%)

Moody’s minutes have increased by the game, with the hamstring injury suffered by Donte DiVincenzo opening up more minutes on the wing. Tuesday’s effort was his best yet, as Moody played 25 minutes and finished with 13 points, three rebounds, one steal, three blocks, and two 3-pointers. Similar to Wiggins, the fantasy needle really didn’t move ahead of Tuesday’s action. But with the Warriors playing three more games this week, including a Saturday/Sunday road back-to-back in Charlotte and Detroit, managers in very deep leagues should track Moody.

Dyson Daniels (1%)

Daniels made his second career appearance Wednesday night, with the above injuries being the reason why. The Pelicans rookie made the most of his 22 minutes, scoring 11 points with a full stat line (three rebounds, two assists, three steals, one block, and one 3-pointer). What works against Daniels, like Alvarado, is the schedule as the Pelicans don’t play again until Friday. And with those three starters due back at some point, Daniels’ minutes are certain to decrease.