Thursday’s five-game slate was a bit meager as far as streaming options were concerned. The matchup between the Bulls and Pistons in Paris was the lone game of the week for both teams, so fantasy managers were wise to avoid them. But the return of Cameron Johnson to the Suns’ rotation after more than two months on the sideline was a significant event due to what he brings to the table and how his return will impact the minutes of multiple players.
Johnson was on a minutes restriction, which was no surprise since he’d been out since November 4. He logged 22 minutes off the bench, scoring 18 points with six rebounds, two assists, one steal, two blocks, and two 3-pointers. Johnson was still rostered in 67% of Yahoo leagues, so more than a few fantasy managers saw their patience rewarded. His return means it’s time to bid farewell to Torrey Craig (15%), who accounted for two points, six rebounds, and two assists in 25 minutes. Even if we aren’t at the point where Johnson will be cleared to take on a full workload, there isn’t much to be gained from keeping Craig on your roster.
The point guard situation in Phoenix also jumps out due to the absences of Chris Paul and Landry Shamet. Damion Lee (16%) started and played 37 minutes, finishing with 16 points, three rebounds, two assists, and three 3-pointers. Given his performance, and Mikal Bridges taking on more playmaking responsibilities and dishing out nine assists, Lee will have some short-term value if CP3 and Shamet remain sidelined. Duane Washington Jr. has played a total of six minutes in the Suns’ last two games, so he’s off the streaming radar.
Saben Lee (1%), who’s on a 10-day contract, has hit double figures in three straight games and finished Thursday’s win with 15 points, three rebounds, six assists, one steal, and two 3-pointers in 29 minutes off the bench. His deal will expire on January 21, but Lee’s play may earn him a second 10-day. For that reason, he isn’t someone to add, but deep-league managers should keep an eye on that situation.
Figuring out which Nets deserve to be rostered with Kevin Durant sidelined hasn’t been an easy process recently. Kyrie Irving‘s return certainly helped offensively as the Nets struggled in Tuesday’s loss to the Spurs, which meant Curry would be back on the bench. Curry is still worth holding, as he’ll play more than 30 minutes most nights, and he finished Thursday’s loss with 16 points, two rebounds, two assists, one steal, and four 3-pointers. And he may be the most dependable of the Nets’ streaming possibilities.
Harris continues to start, and he had a good night in Phoenix, making all six of his shot attempts and finishing with 16 points, three rebounds, four assists, and four 3-pointers. His limited production since returning from a sore left knee in early January made Harris a tough sell in fantasy, but he may be turning things around. But Brooklyn is back in action Friday night against the Jazz, so there’s no guarantee he’ll be available to play. That could give Thomas a shot at fantasy relevance, but the lack of production outside of points makes him a non-starter in category leagues. Thomas scored 15 points with nothing else on his stat line Thursday night.
Precious Achiuwa (17%)
With the Raptors playing five games in Week 14, Achiuwa and Chris Boucher appeared to be worth the gamble as fantasy pickups. Unfortunately, Boucher hasn’t come through, and his poor play in Tuesday’s loss to the Bucks factored into the decision to give him a DNP-CD Thursday night. Achiuwa was in the rotation, playing 21 minutes off the bench and finishing with 11 points, four rebounds, one assist, two blocks, and one 3-pointer. While he’s ranked well behind Boucher in 9-cat formats, Achiuwa’s played 20 minutes or more in four straight games. Toronto finishes the week with another back-to-back (Saturday vs. Boston, Sunday vs. New York), so there’s still time to roll the dice on Achiuwa.
Jaylen Nowell (10%)
The absence of Austin Rivers (knee) meant that the Timberwolves would need more production from fellow reserve Nowell, who’s scored 13 or more in three of his last four games. He finished Thursday’s win over the Raptors with 13 points, one rebound, three assists, two steals, and one 3-pointer in 18 minutes off the bench. Nowell’s fantasy value remains low, but he could be worth a roll of the dice ahead of Saturday’s game against the Rockets if Rivers remains sidelined. That has the feel of a game where some unheralded guys can potentially go off.