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  • SAC Power Forward #7
    Sasha Vezenkov (left thumb soreness) is questionable for Monday’s game against the Pelicans.
    Vezenkov is left-handed, so a sore thumb on that hand is an issue. However, even with Trey Lyles (calf) sidelined, the rookie hasn’t played the minutes needed to be of value in most fantasy leagues. Should Vezenkov be ruled out, Kessler Edwards could enter the rotation, but he would not be worth streaming.
  • DEN Small Forward #1
    Michael Porter Jr. accounted for 30 points (11-of-17 FGs, 1-of-3 FTs), 10 rebounds, five assists, one steal, and seven 3-pointers in 34 minutes in Wednesday’s 134-124 win over the Rockets.
    Looking to redeem himself after putting together a disappointing performance in Monday’s win over the Clippers, Porter went off against the Rockets. He put together his first game with at least 30 points and 10 rebounds this season, and he could have been even better from three. MPJ is providing close to top 50 per-game value in 9-cat formats this season, well ahead of his Yahoo ADP of 82. The return of Jamal Murray was a factor on Wednesday, with his presence leading to improved scoring opportunities for the rest of the rotation. More nights like this could be Porter’s future as Murray shakes off the rust after missing three-plus weeks with a strained hamstring.
  • HOU Shooting Guard #4
    Jalen Green shot 8-of-12 from the field and 5-of-6 from the foul line in Wednesday’s 134-124 loss to the Nuggets, scoring 26 points with six rebounds, nine assists, one block, and five 3-pointers in 34 minutes.
    Wednesday’s performance was one of Green’s best of the season, not just because of the numbers but also the efficiency. He committed just two turnovers on the night, falling one assist shy of his first double-double of the season. Green’s nine assists are the most he’s had in a game this season, but it happened on a night when starting point guard Fred VanVleet (thumb) didn’t play. Ranked outside the top 150 in 9-cat per-game value for the season, Green has been a 10th-round player over the last two weeks. If he can clean up the efficiency, as was the case on Wednesday, Green is capable of cracking the top 100 by season’s end, if not get close to his Yahoo ADP of 77.
  • HOU Center #28
    Alperen Sengun logged 28 minutes in Wednesday’s 134-124 loss to the Nuggets, accounting for 22 points (10-of-18 FGs), seven rebounds, four assists, one steal, and two 3-pointers.
    Sengun isn’t the first center to have been outclassed by Nikola Jokic, and he certainly won’t be the last. The third-year center played well in his 28 minutes on the floor; it isn’t as if he was flat-out dominated. This has been an excellent season for Sengun thus far, as he’s providing top 50 per-game value in 9-cat formats, one round ahead of his Yahoo ADP of 60. Saturday brings another tough matchup for Sengun as the Rockets end their week with a road game against the Lakers and Anthony Davis.
  • LAL Small Forward #23
    LeBron James shot 9-of-19 from the field in Wednesday’s win over the Detroit Pistons, scoring 25 points with eight rebounds, three assists, and two 3-pointers in 28 minutes.

    After a 44-point loss to the Sixers on Monday, the worst loss of LeBron James’ career, the Lakers looked to bounce back against the Pistons. James finished with 25 points in an impressive road win. D’Angelo Russell had a strong game and ended with 35 points. At 38 years old, LeBron is the oldest player in the NBA this season but remains in the top 20. James played an average of 52 games per season over the last three years, so managers should keep that in mind when receiving trade offers for him.

  • HOU Point Guard #0
    Aaron Holiday shot 4-of-10 from the field and 1-of-1 form the foul line in Wednesday’s 134-124 loss to the Nuggets, scoring nine points with three rebounds and five assists in 35 minutes.
    With Fred VanVleet (thumb) ruled out, Holiday made his first start of the season Wednesday night in Denver. While the overall field goal percentage could have been better, the issue was that he missed all five of his 3-point attempts. Rostered in two percent of Yahoo leagues, Holiday wasn’t widely streamed on Wednesday, but he dished out five assists without committing a turnover. VanVleet should be back for Saturday’s game against the Lakers, so fantasy managers do not need to add Holiday now.
  • NOP Point Guard #15
    Jose Alvarado (right ankle) finished Wednesday’s 124-114 win over the 76ers with five points (2-of-5 FGs), two rebounds, one assist, one steal, and one 3-pointer in nine minutes.
    In his sixth game back from the right ankle injury he suffered during the offseason, Alvarado tweaked that same ankle during the first quarter of Wednesday’s game. While he didn’t play again in the first half, the good news is that “Grand Theft Alvarado” was able to return in the third quarter. Alvarado may not get the minutes he needs to be of value to fantasy managers, especially with CJ McCollum back in the fold. But his defensive prowess will keep him in the rotation.
  • PHI Power Forward #5
    Marcus Morris Sr. finished Wednesday’s 124-114 loss to the Pelicans with seven points (3-of-7 FGs), three rebounds, two assists, one steal, one block, and one 3-pointer in 17 minutes.
    Anyone who knows a fantasy manager that has Paul Reed rostered should give that person a hug. With Joel Embiid being a late scratch due to illness, 76ers coach Nick Nurse decided to roll with Morris as his starting “center.” Morris may have recorded a full line, but the production was meager. And if that wasn’t enough, Mo Bamba (six points, four rebounds, and four blocks in 14 minutes) was the first big off the bench. To his credit, Bamba provided reputable rim protection, but the Reed breakout many hoped to see hasn’t happened. Reed finished with nine points, four rebounds, five assists, and one steal in 27 minutes. If Embiid is available for Friday’s game in Boston, none of this will matter. But it’s become quite clear that Morris will be the next man up on nights when the MVP sits.
  • PHI Shooting Guard #8
    De’Anthony Melton played 30 minutes in Wednesday’s 124-114 loss to the Pelicans, accumulating 17 points (5-of-14 FGs, 3-of-4 FTs), three rebounds, six assists, three steals, one block, and four 3-pointers.
    After scoring nine points in Monday’s rout of the Lakers, Melton was back in double figures in New Orleans. He’s scored 13 or more in eight of his last nine games, a reason why he’s ranked just outside the top 50 in 9-cat per-game value over the last three weeks. Rostered in 76% of Yahoo leagues, Melton’s ranked within the top 100, well above his ADP of 120. While it remains to be seen how the eventual return of Kelly Oubre (ribs) will impact Melton’s usage, he does enough across the board to preserve his fantasy value, even if the touches decrease.
  • PHI Point Guard #0
    Tyrese Maxey shot 13-of-25 from the field and 4-of-4 from the foul line in Wednesday’s 124-114 loss to the Pelicans, scoring 33 points with one rebound, three assists, two steals, and three 3-pointers in 38 minutes.
    With Joel Embiid (illness) sidelined, Maxey was unquestionably the 76ers’ top offensive option in New Orleans. While he did shoot a good percentage from the field, Maxey finished the game with more turnovers (four) than assists (three). That isn’t something fantasy managers should be concerned with, as he’s only averaging 1.9 turnovers per game on the season. Maxey’s providing top 10 per-game value in 9-cat formats, making him worthy of mention among the fantasy MVPs through the first month of the season. Philadelphia will play one more game in Week 6, Friday night in Boston.
  • NOP Center #17
    Jonas Valanciunas played 32 minutes in Wednesday’s 124-114 win over the 76ers, accounting for 19 points (8-of-9 FGs, 3-of-3 FTs), six rebounds, and three assists.
    With Joel Embiid (illness) being a late scratch, the Pelicans’ interior starters feasted on Wednesday. Valanciunas and Zion Williamson combined to shoot 19-of-21 from the field and 14-of-15 from the foul line, scoring 52 points. JV has been a top 50 player in 9-cat formats over the last two weeks and sits just outside that threshold for the season, according to Basketball Monster. While he can still be targeted in ball-screen scenarios, Valanciunas is averaging a career-high 1.3 blocks per game. If he can continue to produce at that level, a top 50 season would not be out of the realm of possibility.