Thomas Bryant comes through on Sunday
We’ve seen it happen before. A player who appears well-positioned to be a valuable fantasy add goes out and lays an egg when given extended minutes. Lakers center Thomas Bryant was in the spotlight Sunday night, filling the massive void left by the injured Anthony Davis. So, what did Bryant do? He played 33 minutes in the 119-117 victory, scoring 16 points (7-of-13 FGs) with 10 rebounds, two assists, and two 3-pointers, and his dunk with 7.4 seconds remaining proved to be the difference. While his rostered percentage has increased substantially over the last 48 hours, Bryant is still at 37% in Yahoo leagues. And with the Lakers facing a 4-3-4-3 schedule over the next four weeks (Davis will miss at least one month), Bryant’s rostered percentage should be over 50% ahead of Monday’s game in Phoenix.
Another Laker who proved to be a solid add was Austin Reaves, who filled in for late scratch Patrick Beverley (calf) and chipped in with 12 points, four rebounds, two assists, one steal, one block, and two 3-pointers in 34 minutes. However, Reaves did have to exit Sunday’s game on two separate occasions after spraining his right ankle. He was on the court to finish the game (Lonnie Walker IV tweaked his left leg late and did not return), but that back-to-back is a bit concerning, especially with the Lakers traveling to Phoenix. Reaves is rostered in 19% of Yahoo leagues, and he’ll be worth a look if cleared to play on Monday.
Jalen McDaniels (35%)
With P.J. Washington (personal reasons) back in the Charlotte starting lineup, McDaniels returned to the bench, and his time as an effective streamer appeared to be finished. But Terry Rozier exited Sunday’s loss in Denver after playing 14 first-half minutes with a right hip contusion, which freed up additional minutes for McDaniels and Kelly Oubre. McDaniels played 20 minutes, scoring 14 points with five rebounds, two assists, one steal, one block, and two 3-pointers. A player who appeared to be an automatic drop ahead of Sunday’s game may have a new lease on life as the Hornets play in Sacramento Monday night. If Rozier sits, McDaniels will be worth a roll of the dice in deep leagues. And yes, it would be a gamble.
Kevon Looney (34%)
With Stephen Curry and Andrew Wiggins sidelined, much of the focus for fantasy pickups has been on the perimeter, and rightfully so. But Looney has emerged as another solid pickup based on his play in the Warriors’ last two games. Two nights after finishing one assist shy of his first triple-double, Looney finished Sunday’s win over the Raptors with 11 points, 11 rebounds, two assists, and one blocked shot in 28 minutes. With that, he had another career first: double-doubles in consecutive games. But next week’s schedule isn’t great, which will limit how high Looney’s rostered percentage will climb. The Warriors finish their road trip with a Tuesday/Wednesday back-to-back against the Knicks and Nets, then host the Grizzlies on Christmas Day.
Grant Williams (28%)
Boston played without Jayson Tatum on Sunday, as he was away from the team for personal reasons. As a result, Williams was back in the starting lineup for the first time in four games. Like many of his teammates, Williams didn’t shoot well, going 4-of-11 from the field and 5-of-7 from the foul line, and he finished with 14 points, six rebounds, three assists, one steal, and one 3-pointer in 31 minutes. Worth streaming when given a spot start, Williams is only a deep-league option when coming off the bench. And he won’t have much value in Week 10, as the Celtics have a three-game week, and Tatum is expected back for Wednesday’s game against the Pacers.
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Aaron Nesmith (4%)
Rick Carlisle changed his starting lineup on Sunday, replacing the struggling Jalen Smith with Aaron Nesmith. And that adjustment may stick for a while, even though the Pacers lost to the Knicks. Not only did Nesmith score a career-high 23 points, but he also recorded his first career double-double (10 rebounds, one steal, and four 3-pointers) and played 31 minutes. Smith only played 11 minutes, accounting for nine points, two rebounds, one steal, and one blocked shot. However, similar to Looney and Williams, the upcoming schedule will impact how Nesmith is viewed in fantasy circles. The Pacers only play two games in Week 10 (at Boston on Wednesday and at Miami on Friday), limiting Nesmith’s opportunities to build on Sunday’s performance. Also, Chris Duarte returned from a sprained ankle and played 15 minutes, scoring six points and grabbing two rebounds. Nesmith’s performance was great, but there isn’t much to be gained from adding him now.
Austin Rivers (2%)
Timberwolves guard D’Angelo Russell was back after a two-game absence, meaning a demotion to the bench for Rivers. While he should have been dropped, the few holdouts must have been pleased with Rivers’ night. He played 26 minutes off the bench, scoring 14 points with four rebounds, one assist, and four 3-pointers as part of Minnesota’s 150-126 win over the Bulls. With Russell back and Minnesota only playing three games next week, there isn’t much value to be gained from adding Rivers now. However, the Timberwolves have the second game of their back-to-back to consider (Monday vs. Dallas). If Russell sits, Rivers will again have streaming appeal.
Malachi Flynn (1%)
Gary Trent Jr. missed his second straight game on Sunday, meaning another start for Juancho Hernangómez. But this also meant more minutes off the bench for Malachi Flynn, who finished the 16-point loss to the Warriors with 16 points, six rebounds, two assists, one steals, and four 3-pointers in 37 minutes. But those minutes were boosted by the fact that the Raptors were on the wrong end of a blowout (the final margin was a bit flattering). Hernangomez recorded a stat line of three points, four rebounds, one block, and one 3-pointer, and he hasn’t been worth the trouble as a streamer. The Raptors will only play three games in Week 10, with the first scheduled for Monday night in Philadelphia, and O.G. Anunoby (hip, hand) is expected to return during one of those games. While Flynn would be worth considering in deep leagues for Monday, that may be it for him.
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Nathan Knight (1%)
With Rudy Gobert (ankle) ruled out, Naz Reid was again the streamer of choice on the Timberwolves roster. But he only played 12 minutes in the first half of Minnesota’s win due to tightness in his trapezius muscle. This meant a promotion for Knight, who, in 26 minutes off the bench, scored 16 points, with two rebounds, three assists, and one 3-pointer. As noted in the Rivers section, there’s the second game of Minnesota’s back-to-back to consider. If Gobert and Reid are available, there’s no need to add Knight. But if one or both sit, that all changes. Keep an eye out for the Monday afternoon injury report.