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Alperen Sengun comes back in style

Alperen Sengun

Alperen Sengun

Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

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After Friday’s 14-game bonanza, Saturday’s slate consisted of just four, including the Rockets hosting the Thunder. Houston got a big night from Jalen Green, but Alperen Şengün and Jabari Smith produced the more important stat lines. Back in action after missing Friday’s win over the Hawks with a strained groin, Sengun went for 21 points, 19 rebounds (career-high), seven assists, three steals, and two blocks in 35 minutes. Rostered in 92% of Yahoo leagues, Sengun obviously isn’t going to be available at this point. But Saturday’s effort should have gone a long way towards protecting him from being moved back to the bench, as Bruno Fernando made his return Friday (and sat out Saturday’s win for injury management reasons). There may not be anyone who would argue that Fernando should start ahead of Sengun, but that’s what we all said entering the season, only for that to be the case in Houston’s first two games.

As for Smith, while his field goal percentage remains an issue, he’s in a better spot than he was at the beginning of the season. He finished Saturday’s win with 15 points, 13 rebounds, one block, and three 3-pointers in 31 minutes, recording his third double-double of the season. He’s providing 5th-round per-game value over the last two weeks, and the rostered percentage (83% Yahoo) clearly shows that more fantasy managers remained committed to Smith than not. Obviously, the hope is that Smith’s shooting will come around (34.2% through Saturday), but the rookie has contributed in other areas, which is good to see.

Now, let’s get into a few low-rostered players of note from Saturday’s games:

Dennis Schröder (14%)

Schroder started both of the Lakers’ games in San Antonio, and he was excellent Saturday night. Playing 31 minutes, he finished the 143-138 win over the Spurs with 21 points, three rebounds, six assists, and three 3-pointers. No Anthony Davis (more on that below) certainly helped usage-wise, but five Schroder credit for taking advantage. With Patrick Beverley suspended for one more game, Schroder should start Monday’s game against the Pacers, the first of four games the Lakers play in Week 7.

Thomas Bryant (14%)

With Davis sidelined by a calf contusion, Bryant was thrust into the starting lineup for the first time this season. He didn’t play on Friday, likely for injury management reasons, and Bryant didn’t have the best night on Saturday. In 18 minutes, he accounted for nine points, four rebounds, one assist, and three blocked shots. Meanwhile, Wenyen Gabriel (1% rostered) came off the bench and posted a line of 15 points, four rebounds, one assist, one steal, two blocks, and two 3-pointers in 22 minutes. Davis should be available Monday night, so neither Bryant nor Gabriel is worth adding after Saturday’s action.

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Zach Collins (6%)

Collins was only on the court for 19 minutes, as he was ejected for a flagrant 2 foul on Russell Westbrook, but he made the most of his time. Collins finished with 12 points, eight rebounds, two assists, one steals, two blocks, and two 3-pointers, experiencing a boost in minutes after Jakob Poeltl was ruled out with a quad contusion. Collins is providing 11th-round value for the season, but the availability has been problematic. And with the Spurs not playing again until Wednesday, there’s no reason for adding Collins.

Dorian Finney-Smith (39%)

Good luck making sense of the Mavericks’ frontcourt rotation, but Finney-Smith appears to be the most trustworthy option. He played 32 minutes, recording a line of 16 points, four rebounds, two assists, two steals, one block, and three 3-pointers in Saturday’s loss to the Raptors. Christian Wood (10/6/0/1/3 with two 3-pointers) is rostered in most competitive leagues, but he’s been a disappointment thus far. The question there: will continuing to come off the bench remain an issue for Wood, or can he play well enough to boost his value in the reserve role? Finney-Smith hasn’t been great, either, but we know he will be in the starting lineup if he is healthy.

Nickeil Alexander-Walker (1%)

Alexander-Walker really hasn’t been on anyone’s fantasy radar, but Utah’s search for point guard play with Mike Conley (sidelined) has given him a shot. He played 16 minutes in a one-point loss to the Suns, scoring 12 points (4-of-4 3-pointers) but not producing anything else. Spot starter Collin Sexton played well in the loss, while Talen Horton-Tucker had a solid night off the bench. Sexton’s already rostered in competitive leagues, as he was a popular draft target after the Donovan Mitchell trade was made. Alexander-Walker’s Saturday in Phoenix isn’t enough to make him an “add,” but it does make him someone to watch since Conley is without a timeline for return.