23/24 Mar. 6th Box Score Analysis (8 Games)

Magic 119 Wizards 109

Goga Bitadze/Moe Wagner: With Wendell Carter out with knee soreness, the Magic went back to the center rotation that got them through most of November and December. If Carter has to miss more time, Bitadze will be an elite blocks option who can also help out in boards and FG%. As a starter this year, Goga has averaged 7.5 PPG on 58.9 FG%, 7.3 RPG, and 1.7 BPG in just 23.9 MPG. Wagner is also a viable short-term add, although his line will look quite a bit different than Bitdaze’s. On nights when he’s seeing minutes in the low-20s, Franz’s brother will average points in the low-to-mid-teens and about six boards while helping you win both FG% (59.8 FG%) and FT% (80.7 FT%).

Guard Rotation: The only Magic guard worth rostering at the moment is Suggs. Fultz hasn’t shown any signs of life since moving to the bench and his minutes ceiling seems very low. Over his last five, in 18.1 MPG, he’s averaged a forgettable 8.8 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 1.4 APG, and 0.4 SPG. Even in 16-team leagues, you should be able to do better. Black got a spot start last night with Gary Harris out. He can be safely ignored in all leagues as well. He picks up the odd DNP-CD and rarely sees minutes in the mid-20s. He’s also a poor per-minute producer which limits his value on nights when he does have a shot at decent run. Anthony has struggled since putting together a nice stretch in December and is just a so-so 16-team league option. In anything shallower, he’s just a low-end points and dimes streamer. Over the last month, the combo guard has averaged just 10.4 PPG, 0.9 3PG, 4.2 RPG, 2.5 APG, and 0.9 SPG in 21.7 MPG.

 

Richaun Holmes (Watch): Decent stuff from Holmes. If he continues to play minutes in the mid-20s, he could be a solid streamer in 12-team setups and worth a roster spot in 14-team leagues. However, I’d hold off on adding for now. Kispert isn’t going to play 19 minutes too often and some of his minutes may come from Holmes. The two play different positions, but Kispert’s availability makes it easier for the Wizards to go small. Last night, the sharpshooter only played 19 because of foul trouble. We also want to be careful with Homes because we don’t know if he’s still decent. He hasn’t played significant minutes since 2021-2022 and didn’t get much run in Dallas earlier in the year despite the Mavericks not having any depth at the five.

Corey Kispert: If you need points and threes next week, Kispert will be one of your better options due to the Wizards’ four-game schedule. Foul trouble limited his last night, but as long as he continues to start, he should score in the mid-teens most nights while averaging about 2.5 3PG. That’s the range he’s been in this month. Over the last 30 days, the Wizard has managed 14.3 PPG and 2.4 3PG in 25.6 MPG. The rest of his line will be low-end.

 

Hawks 112 Cavaliers 101

Saddiq Bey (Pick Up): Bey needs to be rostered in 100 percent of leagues now that Jalen Johnson is slated to miss some time with an ankle sprain. As we saw last night, the forward’s minutes are likely going to go through the roof with Johnson down. We could see the Hawk play minutes in the high-30s until Johnson gets healthy. That much run could turn Bey into a mid-round player when championships are being decided. In a massive role, Bey should score in the high-teens while averaging over two threes and close to seven boards. He’ll also be a sneaky source of FT% impact. Over the last month, the former Piston has shot 92.0 FT% on his 3.8 FTA.

DeAndre Hunter (Pick Up): The unfortunate Johnson situation also puts Hunter back in the standard league conversation. His minutes didn’t jump as much as we thought they would with Trae out, but with the Hawks now thin at the forward spots, we should see Hunter’s minutes get into the 30s. In a role of that size, Hunter could give us points in the mid-to-high-teens and about 2.0 3PG while helping us win FT% (86.9 FT% on 3.6 FTA). Bey is the better option due to what he does on the boards, but Hunter is a nice consolation prize.

 

Isaac Okoro (Pick Up): Okoro is a strong short-term add with the Cavaliers now down Donovan Mitchell and Evan Mobley for at least the rest of the week and likely a bit longer. Max Strus should also be considered questionable for the rest of Week 19. Okoro doesn’t have the most category league-friendly game in the world, but with minutes in the mid-30s on the table and plenty of usage available, he could give us a bunch of top-100 lines until the Cavaliers get healthy. Since his minutes jumped three games ago, Okoro has averaged a very helpful 16.7 PPG on 51.4 FG%, 2.7 3PG, 3.7 RPG, 2.3 APG, 1.3 SPG, and 1.3 BPG in 33.6 MPG. Cleveland starts a stretch of three games in four nights on Friday.

Caris LeVert (Pick Up): LeVert becomes an add again with the Cavaliers running out of healthy bodies. He probably won’t be useful for the duration of the fantasy playoffs, but he could be a top-100 option for the next few games. The efficiency usually isn’t pretty, but anytime LeVert plays 30+ MPG, the counting stats are going to be there. In a 30+ MPG role, he can produce decent numbers in every counting category except blocks. So far this year, he’s managed 14.0 PPG, 1.7 3PG, 3.8 RPG, .47 APG, and 0.9 SPG in 27.9 PG. Pick up someone else if FG% looks like it could decide the matchup. In an expanded role, LeVert has the potential to be a major drag on the category (41.5 FG%). In points leagues, where his FG% matters less, the Cavalier is a very strong pickup.

 

Grizzlies 115 Sixers 109

 

 

Clippers 122 Rockets 116

Center Rotation: All three centers got run in this one because Ivica Zubac was pulled early after the Clippers bench thought he wasn’t moving well. He is coming off an illness, so that could be the cause, but we should also keep an eye out for injury news. It’s a poorly-timed illness/injury for Zubac because the Clippers’ schedule is about to get pretty tasty. Starting on Saturday, the Clippers will play five games in seven days. If Zubac is listed as probable for Saturday’s game against the Bulls, I would add, assuming you need big man numbers. If he’s questionable, I would look elsewhere since that Q tag would make playing in both ends of this weekend’s back-to-back set unlikely. If Zubac has to miss time, Plumlee will become a deep league FG% impact and rebounds streamer. Theis will also get into the rotation, but likely won’t play enough to be useful.

Norman Powell: Powell will be a pickup in most leagues starting on Saturday due to the Clippers’ elite upcoming schedule. If you need a points and threes bump, it will be hard to do better than Norm during the Clippers’ upcoming five-games-in-seven-nights stretch. The shooting guard has seen his mintues jump since Westbrook went down and could be one of the team’s top options for a night or two during the upcoming five-games-in-seven-nights stretch if the Clippers decide to give one of their stars a night off. Over his last seven, in 30.0 MPG, Powell has averaged 15.0 PPG and 3.1 3PG while shooting 47.1 percent from the field. If you don’t need help in the scoring categories, ignore him.

 

Amen Thompson (Drop): Thompson will be just a steals streamer as long the Rockets’ starting five is healthy. There is obviously quite a bit of potential here, but with Houston not showing any signs that they are about to shut down their regulars, it could be a while longer before Thompson gets back into a big minute role. In fact, it’s possible the Rockets roll with their regulars the rest of the way since Brooklyn owns their 2024 first-round pick. Since moving back to the bench eight games ago, Amen has managed 7.8 PPG, 0.1 3PG, 5.9 RPG, 1.5 APG, 1.4 SPG, and 1.4 BPG in 20.8 MPG. Those steals are real, but the blocks are not.

Cam Whitmore (Drop): A nice night for the rookie who remains just a points streamer in all leagues. He’s got a little too much G.G. Jackson in him to be useful in category leagues. We know Whitmore can score (12.9 PPG over the last month in just 19.7 MPG), but until he starts showing an all-around game, he’s not a hold in even 16-team leagues. Due to his non-existent contributions in the non-scoring categories, Whitmore is ranked outside of the top-250 over the last month. Over that stretch, he’s averaged just 3.7 RPG, 0.7 APG, 0.4 SPG, and 0.4 BPG while shooting 44.1 percent from the field and 70.8 percent from the line. The Rockets’ schedule is also a problem. Houston only plays three games in both Week 21 and Week 22.

 

Bulls 119 Jazz 117

Andre Drummond: Chicago’s schedule goes 4/3/4 over the next three weeks, so Drummond is still a viable hold if he fits your matchup well. If boards aren’t on the table, then I’d drop, but if there are, then I’d hold and see if we get an injury to one of the starters of the next bit. Those with byes should hold Drummond as well. They should also pick him up during their bye week if one of the quarterfinal teams sends him packing. Drummond has league-winning potential, but as long as the starters are healthy, his minutes will likely be stuck around 20 per night where he’ll give us about 10 and 10 with a steal and not much else.

Ayo Dosunmu/Alex Caruso: Besides Drummond, there isn’t much to talk about here, so instead we’ll go with a quick reminder that neither Dosunmu nor Caruso are expendable. Both are mid-round players with strong playoff schedules. They should be held throughout the fantasy playoffs in leagues with eight+ teams.

 

Brice Sensabaugh: Solid stuff from the 2023 draft’s 28th-overall pick in the first big minute game of his career. Keep an eye on Sensabaugh, but unless you play in an extremely deep Roto league, there is no point in adding just yet. Even if Lauri Markkanen and Taylor Hendricks continue to sit, you will get very little out of the forward in the short term. Over the next eight days, Utah has only two games. If Sensabaugh does find himself in a significant role down the stretch, he could end up as a decent points, threes, and boards option. During his lone year at OSU, Sensabaugh managed 16.3 PPG on 48.0 FG%, 1.8 3PG on 40.5 FG%, and 5.4 RPG in just 24.5 MPG. The rest of his line would likely be forgettable (1.2 APG, 0.5 SPG, 0.4 BPG at OSU).

Jazz’s schedule: Due to the Jazz’s upcoming two-game-in-eight-nights stretch, everyone on the roster besides Lauri Markkanen is droppable if you are in the playoffs, and Markkanen will be expendable as well if he is forcing you to play a man-down. I would try to avoid dropping Collins and Sexton, but if you are on pace to lose your playoff matchup, do what you have to do and figure out the later rounds once you get there. Dunn, George, and Clarkson are all drops unless you play in a deep league.

 

Warriors 125 Bucks 90

Andrew Wiggins: For at least the next week and a half, Wiggins is just a streamer. It’s hard to read too much into last night’s game due to the score, but it should make us a little nervous. We’ve seen Wiggins struggle coming off absences in the past and there may be a short ramp-up period. If Golden State had four games next week, then it would be worth rolling the dice on the Canadian. However, with only three on the schedule for the Warriors in Week 20, there isn’t much upside here and there is a fair amount of downside. From Week 21 until the end of the season, Wiggins should be a 12-team player due to the Warriors’ schedule. After next week, the Golden State has nothing but four-game weeks the rest of the way.

Klay Thompson: Thompson is now extremely expendable. If threes isn’t competitive during next week’s playoff matchup, he’s a drop. In that scenario, rolling with Klay is almost like playing a man down. Thompson is not a top-200 player when his threes don’t matter and next week’s three-game schedule will drop him even further down the Week 20 rankings. After that, he’ll be an add in most leagues due to the Warriors’ 4/4/4/4 schedule from Week 21 on.

 

Malik Beasley (Drop): Back to the ugly stuff after a huge stretch a couple of weeks ago. With Beasley struggling and the Bucks’ upcoming schedule very poor, we should look for better options in 12-team leagues. Even in 14-team leagues, Beasley is iffy due to the schedule. Over the next three weeks, the Bucks go 3/3/3. If you need to replace Beasley’s triples, look at Simone Fontecchio, Corey Kispert, and Gradey Dick. All three sharpshooters should average 2.0+ 3PG over their four games in Week 20.

Bobby Portis: What to do with Portis next week comes down to what your toss-up categories are. With the Bucks only having three games, Portis is going to struggle to be more than a top-150 option next week. You should only hold if rebounds is a deciding category, and even then, you should only hold for the first two games of the week. Next week, Milwaukee plays on both Tuesday and Thursday and then is off until Sunday. If boards isn’t in play, I’d look elsewhere. Portis can help in points and threes as well, but you should have better four-game options available to you if those are your deciding categories.

 

Thunder 128 Blazers 120

Josh Giddey (Watch): Back-to-back big minutes games for Giddey. That’s a big surprise since his minutes were stuck in the 21 MPG range in the three weeks leading up to those two games. If the Thunder’s schedule was better, I would say he’s worth a flier. However, with the Thunder having only three games on the schedule in both Week 20 and Week 21, he remains just a one- or two-game streamer unless you play in a deep league. Even if Giddey does continue to play close to 30 MPG, he’s not going to be more than a back-end option in standard setups during weeks where he doesn’t play four games.

Lu Dort: Similar deal to Giddey. Dort has been somewhat valuable lately, but the Thunder’s schedule makes it hard for him to be more than a streamer outside of deep leagues. During a four-game week, he could produce borderline top-100 numbers. That’s the range he’s been in over the last month thanks to averages of 10.8 PPG, 2.5 3PG, and 1.3 SPG. However, during three-game weeks, Dort will struggle to produce even top-150 total value.

 

Dalano Banton (Watch): Another big minute night for Banton. If Scoot weren’t possibly returning this week, the combo guard would be worth considering in most leagues. The combo guard has a fantasy-friendly game and could put up solid numbers in rebounds, dimes, and the defensive categories in an expanded role. The role likely isn’t coming just yet, but the odds of it being there late are fairly good, so we need to watch him closely. All of the Blazers’ regular starters will be one minor injury away from a potential shutdown as we get further into March.

Matisse Thybulle (Pick Up): If steals is projected to be a deciding factor in your playoff matchup next week, grab Thybulle now. Don’t wait until the weekend because you are likely not the only one in your league eyeing the Blazer. He is going to be a very popular pickup this week because he projects to be the top Week 20 steals streamer. With Portland having four games, Thybulle will be a good bet for close to eight steals. That is a big number and one that could swing your matchup.

Jabari Walker: Walker will be a decent option next week for those in need of boards. He’s not going to play major minutes when Jerami Grant is healthy, but he should get into the mid-20s most nights where he’s proven that he can be close to a 8.0 RPG player. Over his last seven, in just 21.7 MPG, Walker has produced 7.0 RPG. The rest of his line will be low-end until the inevitable Grant shutdown happens.

 

Kings 130 Lakers 120

Trey Lyles: I wouldn’t read too much into the big minutes. The Kings’ bench destroyed the Lakers and that led to some extra run for both Lyles and Monk. Monk is a 12-team option, but Lyles is safe to ignore even in all leagues. Most nights, he’s playing around 20 MPG. In that role, he’s just a top-275 player and a low-end streamer in deep settings for those who need a handful of boards (4.5 RPG) and a three or two (1.5 3PG).

Harrison Barnes/Kevin Huerter (Drop): Both Barnes’ and Huerter’s minutes have been all over the place lately. Sometimes they play 30, sometimes they don’t even hit the 20-minute mark. Because of the inconsistency, both players are just 16-team league options. Both have stretches where they are much more than that, especially Huerter, but at this point in the season, we want to opt for more predictable options. Over the last month, Barnes has been a top-175 nine-category asset and Huerter has been a borderline top-200 option.

 

Spencer Dinwiddie (Drop): LeBron left late in the fourth due to his ankle acting up. James says it’s just a minor issue, but it’s possible we see the all-timer get a game or two off. If LeBron sits, Dinwiddie’s minutes will probably jump into the high-20s. However, given his form since moving to Los Angeles, I would opt for a safer streamer. Last night’s 8/2/1 outing was actually one of his better performances with the Lakers. Dinwiddie has been that bad. At this point, I wouldn’t be holding in 14- or 16-team leagues.

Rui Hachimura: Hachimura becomes a high-upside points streamer if James sits for a couple of games. When LeBron is healthy, Rui is more of a 14 PPG option, but when The King is out, Hachimura’s usage will spike and 20+ points will be in play. If you don’t need points, ignore him. Even on a no-LeBron night, Hachimura is going to give us very little outside of the scoring categories. As a starter, Rui is managing just 3.9 RPG, 0.9 APG, 0.8 SPG, and 0.4 BPG in 29.1 MPG.

 

immediate core