Connaughton, Duarte & Achiuwa demand attention
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Pat Connaughton (19%): Connaughton has averaged 11.3 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 2.9 triples across his last nine games, getting a bump in playing time and usage with Khris Middleton either out or coming off the bench in a limited capacity. Connaughton has posted top-75 value over the last two weeks, and he should continue to see quality minutes, especially now that Bobby Portis is sidelined.
Chris Duarte (16%): He posted a 17/4/6/1 line Friday in his third straight start, remaining with the first unit despite Andrew Nembhard being available. In his three-game run in the starting five, Duarte has averaged 14.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 2.7 steals and 2.0 triples. Has he done enough to remain a starter until Tyrese Haliburton returns? He most certainly has, so let’s hope his coach agrees and keeps him there. Fantasy managers should pick him up wherever he’s available.
Precious Achiuwa (35%): Achiuwa shifted back to the bench Wednesday after two straight starts, but he still contributed 19 points in the win. In five games prior to Friday, the big man averaged 14.0 points, 7.6 rebounds, 1.0 blocks and 1.0 triples. He posted his third double-double in four games Friday and took advantage of O.G. Anunoby‘s early exit due to a wrist sprain, starting the second half in his place. Make sure Achiuwa is on your roster in case Anunoby is forced to miss time moving forward. He averaged 14.5 points, 11.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.0 blocks in his two most recent starts.
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Chris Boucher (27%): Don’t look now, but Boucher has been a top-70 player over the last two weeks. That’s thanks to his 9.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.2 steals, 1.2 blocks and 1.0 triples on better than 50% shooting over his last six games. Anunoby’s injury frees up some extra playing time.
Brandon Clarke (62%): Clarke finished Friday’s loss with a 15/7/3/3 line over 28 minutes, starting for the second straight game and easily seeing more minutes than Xavier Tillman. Clarke has averaged 17.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.0 steals over his last two outings, and he looks primed to command a healthy allotment of minutes while Steven Adams is out, which will be at least two more weeks. Tillman (14%) is still worth a look in deeper leagues, but Clarke is the better add and should be picked up in leagues of all sizes.
Jalen Williams (55%): Jay Dub has been solid for Oklahoma City as of late. Across six games prior to Friday, he went for 12.5 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.2 steals while shooting 50.0% from the floor and 81.8% from the charity stripe. He’s a top-60 player over the last two weeks. Kenrich Williams (8%) has also taken on an expanded workload over the last week, logging 25.8 minutes per game across his last four contests. In that span, Kenny Hustle averaged 8.8 points, 6.0 rebounds, 6.0 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.5 blocks and 1.8 triples. The FG% hurts, but otherwise, he’s been a fine play for managers in most leagues.
Kyle Anderson (53%): Slow Mo scored a season-high 23 points Friday, but he remains one of the most boring players in the NBA. We don’t care about the excitement factor in fantasy hoops. He’s averaged 9.0 points, 6.1 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 1.5 steals and 1.5 blocks over the last two weeks and ranks 65th in per-game fantasy value over that span. There’s still no timetable for Karl-Anthony Towns to return, so Anderson should continue to put up valuable numbers until he returns.