Tari Eason Season is around the corner
Some leagues started the playoffs this week, while others will start over the next few. Regardless of where your league is, this is a critical point of the season for everyone. With 10 games on Tuesday, there were plenty of players that showcased their ability to help you win a championship this season. Some will be short-term contributors that are benefiting from an injury, while others can be rostered for the rest of the season. One thing to note for Wednesday is that eight teams are playing the second night of a back-to-back (Bulls, Nets, Grizzlies, Rockets, Bucks, Lakers, Thunder, Blazers). That could affect availability for plenty of players, so keep an eye out for the injury report tomorrow afternoon.
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Tari Eason (24% rostered in Yahoo leagues)
We’re still waiting for Houston to fully let Eason loose, but they’ve been committed to starting Jabari Smith and Jae’Sean Tate in the frontcourt. Even though he’s coming off the bench, Eason has recorded two straight double-doubles. As the end of the season approaches, Eason should only see his role increase. When that happens, he’ll contribute value across the board in a big way.
With Kristaps Porzingis out for a second straight game due to left knee soreness, Gafford and Avdija held down the starting frontcourt spots alongside Kyle Kuzma. Gafford has been a consistent starter, but he elevates his play when Porzingis is sidelined. Over his last three starts without Porzingis, Gafford has averaged 16.3 points, 11.7 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 3.0 blocks while shooting 76.9% from the floor. He is a solid option when Porzingis is healthy, but he’s a stud when he’s the only big. Avdija didn’t provide a ton in this game, but he was able to dominate the glass with a team-high 13 rebounds. As long as he’s starting, he’s worth streaming and can provide all-around value.
Matisse Thybulle (21%)
Damian Lillard must have passed his shot to Thybulle on Tuesday as he tied his career-high with five 3-pointers. In his five games with Portland, Thybulle has 12 triples, 10 steals and six blocks. He has been a top-40 player in 9-cat leagues since the trade. He’s a guy that can certainly be a league-winner.
Talen Horton-Tucker (33%)
THT has been starting in place of Collin Sexton, who should miss at least a few more games. Jordan Clarkson missed Tuesday’s game with a thumb injury, which forced THT to play point guard. That yielded mixed results, as he posted a 16/3/3/1/3 line with two 3-pointers and seven turnovers in Utah’s lowest-scoring game of the season. He’ll be a better option in points leagues, but if you can deal with the turnovers, he can provide plenty of value in category leagues.
Malaki Branham exited Tuesday’s game early due to back soreness. With Tre Jones having missed nine of their last 10 games, point guard minutes have opened up in San Antonio. Devonte’ Graham is the logical choice and should provide plenty of buckets and threes if Branham and Jones remain sidelined. However, Wesley is certainly a target in deeper leagues, as he contributed nine points, six rebounds, two assists, three steals and two 3-pointers in 21 minutes off the bench.
With LeBron James set to be re-evaluated in two weeks, the Lakers need to make up for a lot of offense. Troy Brown Jr. (2%) got the start on Tuesday, but he didn’t provide much for fantasy managers. Reaves ended up posting a 17/2/7/1/1 line with four 3-pointers while Walker scored 21 points with five triples. Both guys should be solid options in place of LeBron.
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Xavier Tillman (9%)
Steven Adams should be back soon, so take advantage of Tillman’s production while it lasts. He played well against Nikola Jokić on Saturday and posted an 18/11/2/2/1 line against Anthony Davis on Tuesday.
Jordan Nwora (1%)
Over their last two games, Nwora has scored 18 and 16 points while playing over 20 minutes in both. He has played a larger role for the Pacers and should provide some value in deeper leagues.