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  • MIN Power Forward #3
    Jaden McDaniels (left index finger sprain) is questionable for Monday’s game against the Clippers.
    Due to the finger injury, McDaniels had to prematurely exit Thursday’s win over the Bucks. If he cannot play on Monday, Nickeil Alexander-Walker and Kyle Anderson are the players most likely to take on additional minutes.
  • LAC Small Forward #2
    Kawhi Leonard compiled 20 points, eight rebounds, three assists, four steals and a blocked shot across 36 minutes in Sunday’s 123-107 loss to the Kings.
    Ho-hum. Yawn. Just another boring effort from Leonard, whose production Sunday looks almost identical to the 20/8/4/3/1 line he posted against Memphis on Friday. Leonard’s elite stat lines have become so commonplace that we take them for granted. He’s been a top-6 player in fantasy hoops for the 2023-24 campaign, but there are rarely any peaks or valleys for this guy. It’s tough to point to a more consistent option among fantasy’s top 10, and those who were able to snag Leonard at a discount on draft day are laughing all the way to the bank.
  • LAC Small Forward #24
    Norman Powell started Sunday’s loss to the Kings and finished the contest with 21 points, two rebounds, two assists, a steal and five triples across 37 minutes.
    Powell returned from a one-game injury and logged his first start of the season. It was a productive night, as he paced Los Angeles in scoring and finished as one of three Clippers starters with 20 points. Powell has been a great microwave scorer off the bench this season, but he’s never been the model of consistency, and he does very little outside of scoring and hitting three-pointers. He’s not worth a roster spot in 12-team leagues due to his one-dimensional game. Paul George had the night off, so don’t expect Powell to remain with the first unit when he returns.
  • SAC Point Guard #5
    De’Aaron Fox finished Sunday’s win over Los Angeles with 33 points, six rebounds, seven assists and three triples.
    Fox was electric as a scorer once again, hitting for at least 28 points in his fourth straight outing. In those four games, he’s averaged 32.8 points, 7.0 boards, 7.5 dimes and 2.5 steals. He was an efficient 12-of-22 from the floor in this one, but he went 0-of-4 from downtown, marking his first game without a made three since January 22. Fox and the Kings earned a third straight victory, and they’ll look to extend that win streak to four on Monday against a Heat team that will be without the suspended Jimmy Butler.
  • SAC Power Forward #10
    Domantas Sabonis finished Sunday’s win over the Clippers with 17 points, 15 rebounds, 12 assists and three steals across 36 minutes.
    Sabonis recorded his 20th triple-double of the season, and he joins the elite ranks of Oscar Robertson, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Wilt Chamberlain and Nikola Jokic as the only players in NBA history with 20 or more triple-doubles in a single season. Jokic is currently the betting favorite to win MVP, but for as brilliant as he’s been, Sabonis leads Joker in triple-doubles this season, and the Kings are 3-0 against the Nuggets head-to-head. With averages of 20.2 points, 13.2 rebounds and 8.4 assists, Sabonis is on pace to become only the second player in league history with a 20/13/8 line for a full season. If Sabonis’ averages hold for the final stretch of the season, he would join Wilt Chamberlain, who accomplished the feat in the 1967-68 season. Sabonis’ All-Star snub is shaping up to be an all-time blunder by NBA voters.
  • POR Power Forward #9
    Jerami Grant tallied 15 points (6-of-18 FGs, 2-of-2 FTs), two rebounds, five assists, two steals, and one 3-pointer in 32 minutes in Sunday’s 93-80 loss to Charlotte.
    Portland shot 34.7% from the field and 3-of-32 from three on Sunday, and the numbers are even worse if you remove Deandre Ayton’s 11-of-16 night. Grant was inefficient, shooting 33.3% from the field while finishing with more turnovers (five) than rebounds (two). While he continues to hover just outside the top 100 in 8- and 9-cat formats, the lack of production outside points and 3-pointers has been disappointing. Grant will look to bounce back when Portland hosts Miami on Tuesday.
  • POR Shooting Guard #1
    Anfernee Simons shot 4-of-21 from the field and 2-of-2 from the foul line in Sunday’s loss to the Hornets, finishing with 10 points, four rebounds, and four turnovers in 35 minutes.
    On Sunday, Simons had one of his worst games of the season, missing all eight 3-point attempts while not shooting much better from inside the arc. Another negative was the lack of assists, with Simons failing to record one in a game for the first time this season. Ranked just inside the top 200 in 9-cat formats over the past month, his season-long value has slipped outside the top 100. Simons remains a top 75 player in 8-cat formats, but this is the concern regarding talented players on bad teams. Simons certainly should not be dropped, but now would be a good time to look into trade possibilities with the fantasy deadline on the horizon in some leagues.
  • POR Small Forward #4
    Matisse Thybulle played 31 minutes in Sunday’s 93-80 loss to Charlotte, going scoreless (0-of-3 FGs) while accumulating four rebounds, six steals, and two blocked shots.
    By now, fantasy managers know not to count on Thybulle for offensive production. He’s undoubtedly capable of nights like Sunday when elite defensive numbers counter the lack of offense. Having accumulated at least three steals in consecutive games, Thybulle matched his career-high with six steals while blocking two shots. Unless you desperately need “stocks,” there is no reason to consider rostering Thybulle outside deep leagues.
  • CHA Small Forward #24
    Brandon Miller played 38 minutes in Sunday’s win over Portland, posting a line of 17 points (8-of-18 FGs), four rebounds, one assist, two steals, and one 3-pointer.
    Miller didn’t have his best night shooting the basketball, but that was the norm in Portland (outside of Nick Richards and Deandre Ayton) on Sunday. The second-overall pick has found his groove over the last month, providing 4th-round per-game value in 9-cat formats. With LaMelo Ball (ankle) and Mark Williams (back) sidelined, most Charlotte’s offense has been run through Miller and Miles Bridges, who have taken advantage of their opportunities. Miller and the Hornets play three games during Week 18, beginning with the Bucks on Tuesday.
  • CHA Small Forward #0
    Miles Bridges amassed 18 points (8-of-18 FGs, 0-of-1 FTs), 10 rebounds, one assist, one steal, and two 3-pointers in 39 minutes in Sunday’s win over Portland.
    Bridges has recorded a double-double in three straight and four of his last five games and has been an elite fantasy option over the past month. Averaging 23.0 points, 8.1 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1.1 steals, 0.7 blocks, and 2.9 3-pointers in 38.0 minutes, he has provided top 25 per-game value in 9-cat formats. With the Hornets boasting a 5-1 record since the trade deadline, Bridges may be safe from a potential shutdown, which would be a favorable situation for those who have him rostered with the fantasy playoffs on the horizon.
  • POR Center #2
    Deandre Ayton accounted for 26 points (11-of-16 FGs, 4-of-4 FTs), 19 rebounds, two assists, one steal, and one blocked shot in 37 minutes in Sunday’s 93-80 loss to the Hornets.
    While capable of throwing up the occasional dud of a stat line, Ayton has been an elite fantasy center over the past month. Averaging 18.5 points, 10.7 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 0.9 steals, and 1.0 blocks while shooting 64% from the field and 100% from the foul line, he has provided top 15 per-game value over his last 10 games. Overall, Ayton is an excellent center to have rostered in fantasy basketball. The concern is his potential to be shut down later in the season. For the sake of those who have Ayton rostered, hopefully, that will not happen. Portland plays three games during Week 18, beginning with the Heat on Tuesday.