The Washington Wizards announced some bad news Thursday afternoon, revealing that Monte Morris received an epidural shot to address an ongoing back issue. With their starting point guard now considered to be week-to-week, the door has been kicked open for Delon Wright (28% rostered in Yahoo leagues) to be of increased fantasy relevance. Over the last two weeks, he’s been a 3rd-round player in 9-cat formats, averaging 11.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.8 blocks, and 2.0 3-pointers in 28.3 minutes per game. The offense wasn’t there in Thursday’s 119-108 win over the Raptors, but the rebounds, assists, and steals were.
Playing 33 minutes, Wright finished with seven points, six rebounds, 11 assists, three steals, and one 3-pointer, shooting 3-of-7 from the field. With the Wizards playing two more games this week and four in Week 20, Wright’s rostered percentage should increase substantially due to the Morris injury update. And he has been playing both ends of back-to-backs since returning just before Christmas from a hamstring injury that sidelined him for two months, so injury management nights should not be an issue. Morris’ absence also means that Jordan Goodwin is back in the rotation, but he’s unlikely to get the minutes needed for fantasy relevance unless Wright were to go down with an injury.
With just four games on the slate, Thursday’s pickup options were a bit light and lacking in long-term value. But there were a few names worth mentioning.
Jeremy Sochan (38%)
While Tre Jones (foot) and Devin Vassell (knee) were back in action, they came off the bench for San Antonio, and Keldon Johnson (foot) had been ruled out. Add in Doug McDermott exiting with a thumb injury, and Sochan was in a very good spot fantasy-wise. He put up a season-high 26 shots in the Spurs’ 110-99 win over the Pacers, finishing with 22 points, 13 rebounds, three assists, and two steals in 31 minutes. Sochan should not be at risk of a late-season shutdown, and Charles Bassey (12%) is also an intriguing fantasy option.
He played 17 minutes off the bench and posted a line of six points, five rebounds, two assists, and two blocks. Ranked just outside the top 100 in 9-cat over the last two weeks, Bassey’s worth a look in deep leagues for the Spurs’ weekend back-to-back against the Rockets. At that point, fantasy managers can drop him, as San Antonio only plays two games in Week 20, with the first scheduled for March 10 (Friday).
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Devonte’ Graham (16%)
As noted above, Jones came off the bench in his first game back for the Spurs. Graham was back in the starting lineup, finishing with 18 points, six rebounds, four assists, one steal, and five 3-pointers in 32 minutes. As a starter, he’s worth streaming for the points and triples potential, but the run will be coming to an end, likely this weekend. Graham’s saving grace in fantasy may be that the Spurs finish the week with a back-to-back, as there could be a chance that Jones sits out one of those games. But after that, he’ll be in a position similar to Bassey, with the Week 20 schedule being too meager to keep Graham rostered.
T.J. McConnell (13%) and Chris Duarte (8%)
Also of note in the Pacers/Spurs game was the absence of Tyrese Haliburton, who was ruled out due to tightness in his calf. George Hill received the starting nod, but that did not change the fact that McConnell was the best streaming option. And that’s how things played out. Hill (7/1/0/1/1 with one 3-pointer) only played 15 minutes, while McConnell (10/6/5/4) logged 31. The Pacers don’t play again until Sunday, so Haliburton could be back for that one. But they now trail 10th-place Washington by four games in the loss column (and 11th-place Chicago by two), so those play-in tournament dreams may be slipping away. If Haliburton misses more games, McConnell is the clear pickup.
As for Duarte, he took advantage of starters Aaron Nesmith and Andrew Nembhard having brutal nights. While they combined to score four points on 0-of-12 shooting from the field (Nembhard made four free throws), Duarte played 34 minutes off the bench and tallied 19 points, nine rebounds, two assists, and two 3-pointers. Jordan Nwora (6%) also hit double figures in a reserve role, scoring 10 points with three rebounds, four assists, one steal, one block, and one 3-pointer. Neither Duarte nor Nwora is worth adding after Thursday’s game, but they’re worth tracking for now, especially with Nesmith and Nembhard offering little production recently.
Jonathan Kuminga (19%)
Kuminga is in a tough spot fantasy-wise due to the Warriors’ veteran rotation and the fact that he isn’t the most efficient scorer. But he’s hit double digits in five of his last six games, including Thursday’s win over the Clippers. In 29 minutes off the bench, Kuminga scored 19 points with seven rebounds, two assists, two steals, one block, and three 3-pointers, shooting 7-of-12 from the field. Kuminga’s fantasy potential for Friday’s game against the Pelicans will depend on whether or not the Warriors decide to rest any of their stars.
Reggie Bullock (8%)
Dallas tied its franchise record with 25 3-pointers in a 133-126 win over the 76ers, and Bullock was one of three Mavericks who made at least five (Luka Dončić and Kyrie Irving were the other two). Shooting 5-of-10 from deep, Bullock finished with 15 points, three rebounds, and one assist in 39 minutes. Is he worth picking up after this performance? No, especially when considering how inconsistent he’s been this season. Dallas plays one more game this week (Phoenix on Sunday) and three in Week 20, so there isn’t a need to overreact to Bullock’s performance on Thursday.