Shake Milton, Georges Niang step up
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Tuesday’s matchup between the Nets and 76ers was headlined by Ben Simmons returning to Philadelphia to play against his former team for the first time. And with the home team being without James Harden, Tyrese Maxey, and Joel Embiid, this felt like a game that Philadelphia had no business winning. But they did, thanks in part to the performances of some low-rostered players.
Shake Milton (49% rostered in Yahoo leagues) made his second start of the season, finishing with 16 points, six rebounds, five assists, and two 3-pointers on 7-of-14 shooting. He didn’t score as much as he did in Saturday’s loss to the Timberwolves (27 points), but Milton did a much better job of taking care of the basketball. After racking up six turnovers on Saturday, he had just one Tuesday night. With Harden only recently beginning to run on a treadmill and Maxey likely out for four weeks, Milton will have staying power within the starting lineup.
Two reserves came through with solid nights as well. Paul Reed (3% rostered) played 31 minutes, finishing with 19 points, 10 rebounds, three steals, and two blocks, while Georges Niang (10% rostered) added 16 points, five rebounds, two assists, one block, and four 3-pointers. Reed wasn’t Doc Rivers’ choice to replace the injured Embiid at center, but he was far superior to Montrezl Harrell. Even if Harrell continues to start, now is a good time to hop on the Reed bandwagon. As for Niang, the return of Tobias Harris resulted in his minutes decreasing, but he still hit double figures in shot attempts for the third straight game.
Niang is worth adding due to the player absences, along with the 76ers visiting Charlotte Wednesday night. Harris sprained his ankle during the third quarter and was able to return, but this could be used as a reason to give him a night off. And Tuesday’s game was Harris’ first after missing two with a hip ailment.
John Konchar (43%)
Konchar’s line of 10 points, nine rebounds, two assists, one steal, two blocks, and two 3-pointers in 31 minutes won’t necessarily jump off the page. But it’s good enough for fantasy managers to derive some value, especially with Desmond Bane still sidelined. Dealing with a toe injury, Bane isn’t expected back until early December, allowing Konchar to build some momentum. And he’s already providing 7th-round per-game value in 9-cat formats.
Torrey Craig (33%)
Craig is another spot starter who deserves more looks in fantasy. He’s a top 40 player in 9-cat formats over the last two weeks and finished Tuesday’s win over the Lakers with eight points, five rebounds, three steals, two blocks, and two 3-pointers in 30 minutes. Craig has played 22 minutes or more in 10 straight games, and the minutes will certainly be there as starter Cameron Johnson recovers from knee surgery.
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Malik Monk (33%)
Monk finished Sacramento’s win over the Grizzlies with 14 points, two rebounds, four assists, one steal, and two 3-pointers in 23 minutes. He’s ranked just outside the top 150 and has helped the Kings navigate rookie starter Keegan Murray‘s rough stretch. Murray shot 1-of-8 from the field Tuesday and is making less than 40% of his shots over the last two weeks. That’s another reason why fantasy managers should consider adding Monk.
Alec Burks (27%)
The Pistons ended their seven-game losing streak and picked up their first road win of the season in Denver, and Burks had a lot to do with that. In 21 minutes off the bench, he racked up 21 points, two assists, three steals, and two 3-pointers, shooting 7-of-13 from the field. No decision has been made regarding Cade Cunningham and the treatment of his shin injury, and Killian Hayes is already rostered in 47% of Yahoo leagues. Burks has scored 15 or more in five of his six games this season and is worth a long look in deeper fantasy leagues.