22/23 Christmas Day Box Score Analysis (5 Games)
Celtics 139 Bucks 118
Robert Williams: Time Lord lost some playing time to garbage time, but it was going to be a low-minute night either way. The lack of minutes is nothing to worry about and likely tied to the illness that cost him a game earlier in the week. There was no need to push him yesterday with the Celtics in a good spot for most of the game. It’s been an encouraging start to the year for Williams. He’s been a top-25 per-minute player up to this point and looks completely healthy. There is no reason to be concerned about his per-game numbers. Once his minutes get into the 26+ MPG range, he’ll be an early-round player in all friendly builds. Missed games are the main concern. Back-to-back sets are likely going to be an issue and he’s always been fragile. In Roto, he is a great buy-low target. In that setting, the rest days are easy to work around. In H2H, he should be valued below his per-game numbers by a couple of rounds.
Malcolm Brogdon (Hold): Brogdon got the short end of the stick with the Celtics’ starting lineup having a fairly easy time with the Bucks. The last two games have been rough, but for now, we should be holding in 12-team leagues. We still don’t have a clear picture of what the Celtics’ rotation is going to look like at full strength. We can’t go off one or two-game samples because they are going to be heavily influenced by the matchup. Brogdon deserves a little leash due to his upside. The combo guard is posting some big per-minute numbers in points, threes, and assists while being super efficient from both the floor and the field. He will have mid-round potential if one of the top two go down.
Pat Connaughton: It doesn’t sound like Middleton is that far off, so I would not be viewing Connaughton as more than a one-game streamer, even in deep leagues. When Middleton is healthy, Connaughton’s minutes are going to fall into the low-20s where he’ll give you two threes and not much else. The Buck has the potential to be a 16-team league hold, but he’ll need to shoot significantly better to get into that range. Connaughton is in the midst of a down year and is currently shooting 35.5 percent from the field.
Bobby Portis: The minutes have been fine lately, he’s just playing terribly. Over the last two weeks, Portis has played 25.0 MPG which is pretty close to his season average of 26.0 MPG. As long as the minutes remain in that range, Portis will be a clear 12-team piece and a potential top-60 option on teams punting a defensive category (0.3 SPG, 0.3 BPG). In 10-team leagues, he could become a borderline player, but we are not there yet.
Mavericks 124 Lakers 115
Tim Hardaway Jr. (Pick Up): A great night for Hardaway who took advantage of the Lakers’ defensive strategy of giving the Mavericks open threes and praying that they miss. It worked for the first half and then things got ugly quickly. The three-point specialist will likely end up settling in as more of a 14-team league piece, but for now, he should be rostered in shallower settings. He’s playing a ton and the non-scoring numbers have been respectable enough to get him comfortable inside of the top 150. Over the last two weeks, in 34.0 MPG, Hardaway has averaged 15.3 PPG, 2.9 3PG, 4.4 RPG, and 1.0 SPG.
Reggie Bullock: Bullock is safe to ignore in all leagues. Last night’s line was nothing special, but it was still much better than what Bullock usually gives us. The Maverick has declined this year and isn’t even much of a three-point streamer at this point. As a starter, in 30.1 MPG, Bullock has averaged only 5.4 PPG, 1.4 3PG, 3.5 RPG, and 0.8 SPG.
LeBron James: Awesome stuff from LeBron who has taken it to another level with Davis out. This should be a fun stretch for teams with the King. We’re getting lots of LeBron at the five lineups which as we saw last year boosts his offensive numbers and his block rate. James’ value is heavily tied to what happens with Davis. If Davis is only out another two-to-three weeks, then the Lakers could stay in the play-in conversation throughout the fantasy playoffs. If Davis’ timeline ends up being a little uglier, then LeBron managers could be in trouble. The Lakers are not going to be winning many games without Davis and an ugly timeline would likely lead to James having little reason to play late in the season. He is chasing the scoring record, but he’s going to get there in the next 20-25 games, so it won’t be a factor during the fantasy playoffs.
Thomas Bryant (Hold): You can blame Ham for this one. The Lakers had a tough start to the third quarter and Ham responded with some LeBron at the five lineups and a five-guard lineup that had either Patrick Beverley or Austin Reaves playing center. Shockingly, neither lineup worked. Bryant is not a world-beater, but if the Lakers want to win, they need him play decent minutes. Their next best option is Wenyen Gabriel. I don’t think we’re getting 30 MPG, but minutes in the mid-to-high-20s is still likely. With that much run, Bryant can be a mid-round player. Since entering the starting lineup five games ago, the Laker has averaged 13.0 PPG, 1.6 3PG, and 8.2 RPG in 28.0 MPG.
Nuggets 128 Suns 125
Bruce Brown (Hold): With the Nuggets’ starting lineup healthy, we are entering what should be a cold stretch for Brown. He’s clearly ahead of Bones Hyland in the rotation at this point, but we’re likely going to see his minutes dip into the mid-to-high-20s until one of the starters picks up an injury. Try to hold. Brown is the handcuff to all of the Nuggets’ non-Jokic starters, so we don’t need anyone specific to go down. The Nugget shouldn’t be that painful of a stash. In the 14 games in which he’s come off of the bench this year, Brown has produced a low-end, but useful line that includes averages of 8.7 PPG, 0.9 3PG, 3.9 RPG, 4.0 APG, 0.9 SPG, and 0.7 BPG.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (Pick Up): KCP is going to be one of those players that is on and off of your wire all year long. He has limited upside, but when he’s playing well like he is now, he can be a top-100 option. Over the last two weeks, the Nugget has gotten in that range by averaging 13.5 PPG on 48.3 FG%, 2.2 3PG, and 1.2 SPG. In 14-team leagues, he will be a full-year hold. He’s still useful in a league that deep during his cold stretches where he turns into more of a top-150 option.
Torrey Craig (Pick Up): Great stuff from Craig who continues to do enough to be worth rostering in 12-team leagues. He’s been a punt points stud as of late. Over the last two weeks, he’s averaged 8.6 PPG, 1.6 3PG, 6.3 RPG, and 1.6 SPG. Those numbers have been good enough to get him inside of the top 65 in nine-category leagues and inside of the third round in nine-category punt points. Craig is a must in even shallower leagues this week due to the Suns’ schedule. Starting tomorrow, Phoenix plays three games in four nights.
Landry Shamet (Pick Up): Shamet is also a must in most leagues this week with Devin Booker reinjuring his groin four minutes into the game. We should expect Booker to miss some time. It looks like he rushed back for the Christmas Day game and paid the price. Shamet has been the Suns’ top option on the perimeter as of late and has averaged a nasty 25.7 PPG, 6.3 3PG, and 4.7 APG over his last three. Once Booker is back, Shamet will be just a threes streamer.
Warriors 123 Grizzlies 109
James Wiseman (Drop): And there goes any interest we had in Wiseman. We finally got a tight game involving the Warriors and it led to minimal minutes for the big man. The Warriors decided to go with small-ball lines over Wiseman when Looney was sitting. The big man is now just a low-floor points and big man categories streamer. Since re-entering the rotation five games ago, Wiseman has one 30-point game and four games of six points or less.
Donte DiVincenzo: Give DiVincenzo a little leash once Wiggins is back. The Canadian returning is going to take a bit out of DiVincenzo’s value, but it may not be enough to knock the shooting guard out of the standard league conversation. It’s possible that DiVincenzo’s minutes stay in the mid-to-high-20s with Wiggins active. The Warrior has played like a mid-round player since joining the starting lineup four games ago. Since the promotion, he’s been a mid-round player with averages of 14.0 PPG, 3.5 3PG, 5.5 RPG, 4.5 APG, and 1.3 SPG.
Ja Morant: Morant has quietly been a bust this year. He’s been a Randle-like asset and is now ranked outside of the top 100 in nine-category leagues and the top 50 in eight-category leagues. He’s taken a step back from last year and the holes in his line that have limited his value in the past are still there. He’s been very inefficient this season (45.3 FG%, 73.0 FT%, 3.8 TOPG). His FG% doesn’t look terrible, but it’s weak given that he’s not a high-volume three-point shooter (1.7 3PG). His steal rate has also regressed (1.0 SPG) and he’s now only producing above-average numbers for his position in three categories. I would be looking to move Morant in most cases. He tends to be badly overrated by inexperienced players and getting a true early-round player for him is likely doable. In Roto, he is a must-trade since it’s much harder to offset his weaknesses in that setting. He’s not going to come close to matching his ADP there.
Dillon Brooks (Drop): Brooks can be dropped now that Bane is back. He wasn’t a standard league option when Bane was healthy earlier in the year and is very unlikely to be one going forward. All of his value is tied to usage and his usage is about to take a big hit once Bane gets up to full speed. Since Bane returned two games ago, Brooks’ usage rate has been around 21 percent which is well below his season mark of 25.6 percent. In 14-team leagues, he’s viable as a long-term hold, but only in punt FG% (41.1 FG%). Despite the extra opportunities afforded to him by the Bane injury, Brooks is ranked just outside of the top 180 on the year in nine-category leagues.
Sixers 119 Knicks 112
Tobias Harris (Sell High): You don’t want to do it after this game, but after Harris’ next big line, you should be shopping him. Harris is not going to fall off of a cliff once Maxey is back, but he is likely to lose a couple rounds of value. His current borderline top-30 numbers are not sustainable. Maxey will hurt his usage and Harris is currently well above his previous career-best mark in steals (1.2 SPG). I would be aiming for a top-40 player. Try not to go lower than that. Harris is capable of being a top-50ish option when the Sixers are healthy.
De’Anthony Melton: Melton is a must-hold when Maxey comes back. It’s possible that he ends up in the streamer zone, but we want to give him plenty of opportunities to prove that he is better than that. It’s possible that his strong play has earned him a long-term mid-20s role where he can be a top-100 player. You can try to sell high on Melton for a long-term mid-round player, but I doubt thatyou can do it unless you play in a league with rookies. The Sixer is ranked inside of the top 45 on the year and is averaging 12.1 PPG on 42.5 FG%, 2.4 3PG, 4.7 RPG, 3.2 APG, and 2.1 SPG.
Immanuel Quickley (Pick Up): Quickley is worth a flier in all leagues with Brunson picking up a hip injury that knocked him out of crunch time. We don’t have a clear idea of the severity of the injury, but if Brunson does have to miss time, Quickley should turn into a top-100 option who can be a lot more than that in punt FG% (41.4 FG%). Big minutes for Quickley would mean solid numbers in points, threes, rebounds, assists, and FT%. The Knick is currently producing 15.9 PP36, 2.2 3P36, 5.8 RP36, 4.3 AP36, and 1.5 SP36.
R.J. Barrett: Back to the ugly stuff for Barrett. The popcorn stats were decent once again, but the efficiency was hideous. He can work in builds punting a percentage or two and/or steals, but on most teams, he’s going to hurt much more than he’ll help. I wouldn’t want Barrett on my squad in a vanilla punt assists or punt threes setup, for example. Try to trade Barrett before dropping him. His 20.3 PPG and recent bump in usage could get someone to make a mistake. Despite playing a little better recently, the Knick is still ranked outside of the top 200 in nine-category leagues. In Roto, he remains as useless as ever.