Apr. 1 Box Score Analysis (7 Games)
Nets 111 Hornets 89
Jeff Green: Green will still be in the rotation on nights when both Durant and Griffin are active, but he won’t play enough to be more than an end-of-the-bench option in 16-team leagues. Despite that, he’ll be someone you will want to keep an eye on down the stretch, as both players will be getting plenty of nights off, and on those nights, Green can produce some juicy lines like the one he produced last night.
LaMarcus Aldridge (Pick Up): Pick him up and see what happens. If Aldridge is going to play 30 (a big if), he’ll be a standard-league player, even when the Nets are at close to full-strength. He likely won’t be a mid-round player when everyone is healthy, but 30 a night could allow him to flirt with the top-100. In 14-team leagues, he is a must-add, as there’s a good chance that he plays well above the streaming line there.
Nicolas Claxton (Drop): Fourteen minutes on a night when Jordan picked up a DNP-CD is not ideal. Claxton is a drop outside of very deep leagues. The per-minute numbers continue to be strong, but per-minute numbers don’t mean much when you are seeing minutes in the teens. Over the last two weeks, the second-year man hasn’t even been a top-200 player because he only played 20.9 MPG. It was a fun run, but it’s over.
P.J. Washington (Buy Low): Washington can’t buy a bucket right now, but the rest of his line continues to be solid. If he remembers how to shoot, he’ll go from the late rounds to the middle rounds overnight. Over the last two weeks, the Hornet has shot an unfortunate 30.8 percent from the floor and that poor shooting has killed his points (7.0 PPG) and threes (0.7 3PG). I’m buying in friendly builds like punt assists and punt FG%. In those builds, he has top-40 upside when he’s rolling.
Miles Bridges: This is a nice line due to the defensive contributions, but Bridges’ role on offense continues to be too small to get him out of the late rounds. I’m rostering him during weeks when the Hornets have a nice schedule and dropping him during weeks when the team has an extra rest day or two. Over the last 14 days, Bridges has averaged a helpful, but unremarkable, 10.6 PPG on 47.3 FG%, 1.7 3PG, 5.6 RPG, 2.0 APG, and 1.1 BPG. Those numbers have been good enough to rank him inside of the top-110 over that stretch.
Sixers 114 Cavaliers 94
Seth Curry: Curry is viable in 12-team leagues, but with Hill coming to town, I would value a streaming spot over him in standard leagues. Curry will likely lose a couple of minutes of playing time which will make the top-100 very unlikely. Curry hasn’t been that useful lately anyway. Over the last month, the sharpshooter has only been a top-125 nine-category player.
Shake Milton: Milton has been a decent points streamer lately. He’s hit double digits in eight straight games. Unfortunately, with Embiid’s return just around the corner and George Hill likely making an appearance over the next week or so, his run of usefulness is going to come to an end. Milton is very dependent on usage to generate value, so even if he plays decent minutes when Embiid is active, his line is not going to be pretty. When everyone is healthy, Shake will be more of a 16-team league option.
Dwight Howard: I wouldn’t be in a rush to drop Howard. Embiid is apparently going to be back this Saturday, but with Saturday’s game being part of a back-to-back set, Embiid is likely going to sit out Sunday. Another Embiid sit will likely lead to another big game from Howard. Since The Process went down, the former superstar has averaged a very useful 9.1 PPG on 55.0 FG%, 10.9 RPG, and 1.1 BPG. Those numbers would be even better if he didn’t get himself tossed early twice over that stretch.
Dean Wade (Pick Up): Wade has been producing mid-round numbers lately and is worth streaming until Allen or Nance is back. Due to all of the Cavaliers’ injuries, Wade has played 34.3 MPG over his last three and it’s led to solid numbers in points (12.0 PPG), threes (2.0 3PG), boards (6.0 RPG), and steals (1.0 SPG). Once the Cavaliers start to get some bodies back, his minutes will drop into the teens, and he’ll be a drop in most spots.
Kevin Love (Pick Up): Add him if you’d like, but only if this week’s and next week’s matchups don’t matter. Love is likely going to be brought along slowly and treated with kid gloves. Even a small ding is going to lead to a night off. Yes, there is mid-round potential here (on a per-game basis), but if he’s going to sit out during back-to-back sets, which is something that seems likely, Love won’t be a top-100 player on a totals-basis during the fantasy playoffs.
Isaiah Hartenstein: Hartenstein should have some short-term value with both Allen and Nance banged up. The big man is a very strong per-minute player and will be a nice streamer anytime he plays close to 20 minutes. On the year, Hartenstein is producing a very intriguing 13.7 PP35 on 49.5 FG%, 12.0 RP36, 1.2 SP36, and 2.6 BP36.
Pistons 120 Wizards 91
Josh Jackson: A monster line from Jackson that we should ignore for now. Diallo was out due to this game being the second game of a back-to-back set. When Diallo is active, Jackson is only a minor part of the rotation. In the two games that Diallo has played for the Pistons, Jackson has played a total of 19 minutes.
Saddiq Bey (Drop): Bey is a drop in 10- and 12-team leagues. He’s not doing anything right now that makes him more useful than the handful of three-point streamers that will always be available in leagues of that size. Over the last two weeks, the rookie has averaged only 11.5 PPG on 36.1 FG%, 2.2 3PG, 4.4 RPG, and 0.6 SPG.
Cory Joseph (Pick Up): I think I’ve hyped up Joseph more over the last week than I have over his entire career. He’s rolling right now and is a solid add for those in need of point guard stats. I may wait one more game, however, as Hayes is back tomorrow, and his return may eat into Joseph’s minutes. If the veteran continues to see minutes in the mid-20s as he has since the trade, he’ll be a nice source of dimes and steals (5.4 APG and 2.0 SPG in Detroit).
Deni Avdija: The minutes and the double-double are nice, but this is still a pretty rough line due to the inefficiency and lack of supporting stats. Avdija is not going to be relevant in fantasy leagues this year. His game is just not developed enough at this point. It’s not about minutes. He could play 33 a night and still be useless. It’s about production. The rookie has only been a top-350 per-minute player this year, and his per-minute numbers have not trended up as the year has gone along. Ignore him outside of the deepest of leagues.
Rui Hachimura (Hold): The low minutes and mediocre line were due to the score. Hachimura is not a high-upside player due to all of the holes in his line, but as long as he’s seeing minutes in the upper-30s on nights when the Wizards are competitive, he needs to owned. Ideally, you’ll pair him with a friendly build, because if you don’t, he’ll only be a low-end option. Despite averaging 20.0 PPG on 48.6 FG% and 90.0 FT% and 5.0 RPG over the last week, Hachimura has only been a back-end player because his numbers in the other five categories have been horrendous.
Alex Len (Pick Up in DL): Len is a little more interesting than usual with the Wizards down to two centers. With Gafford sidelined, Len is going to get into the 20s every night, and that is going to be enough run to make the Wizard a solid 16-team pickup and a helpful streamer in shallower settings for those in need of big-man numbers. Until Gafford is back, expect five or so boards, just over a block, and very strong FG% impact from Len.
Nuggets 101 Clippers 94
Nikola Jokic: Is Gordon joining the team and the Nuggets all of a sudden looking dangerous going to bring Jokic back to the pack? If you don’t own Big Honey, you should hope that it does. Because so far, owning Jokic has been like owning Damian Lillard plus another top-15 player. That’s how valuable (and unfair) Jokic has been. He’s still going to be elite, but this is something to keep an eye on. Since Gordon joined the team, Jokic has averaged only 17.0 PPG, 1.0 3PG, 9.0 RPG, 6.7 APG, and 0.5 BPG.
Aaron Gordon: There we go. Gordon was very quiet in his first two games with the Nuggets, but we got a big line last night. Despite the nice line, I still view him as just a back-end option and not a must-own in 12-team leagues. Gordon isn’t going to have too many games like this on the defensive end (0.8 SPG, 0.8 BPG), and his usage rate has plummeted to 16.7 percent in Denver after being over 23.0 percent in Orlando. The hope is that the efficiency improvement that comes from joining a better offense and playing a smaller role offsets the usage rate drop. That is definitely possible, but the jump would have to be significant for Gordon to get out of the streamer zone in standard leagues. Even if he jumps 50 spots in the rankings, he’d still only be a top-150ish player in nine-category leagues.
Michael Porter Jr.: It should be a fun April for MPJ owners. Coach Malone was throwing around the words “35 minutes” when he was asked about Porter and his role. The Nuggets know that their path from pretender to legit contender goes through Porter, and it looks like getting him ready to play big minutes in the playoffs is going to be a focus down the stretch. Since Gordon joined the squad, Porter has averaged 20.7 PPG, 2.7 3PG, 8.7 RPG, and 1.0 BPG.
Paul George (Sell High): This is a bad line, but we’ll take it. George’s owners are just happy he played. It’s hard to say for sure what is going on with his foot. After sitting out both ends of the back-to-back set, a lot of us were assuming the worst. It looks like we dodged a bullet, but I’m still selling for a couple of reasons. The first is that I don’t trust this foot/toe injury to go away. If he gets a couple of days off at the end of April, that will torpedo your championship aspirations. The second is the Clippers’ playoff schedule. It is terrible in every setup. I would start by offering PG for top-25 players, and if you don’t get any bites, start moving down the list. If you can’t get at least a safe top-40 player for him, I would probably stay put.
Nicolas Batum: With George and Morris back, Batum can be dropped in most situations. He’s still useful in punt points, but outside of that build, he’s more of a streamer in 12-team leagues. Over the last month, Batum has been a borderline top-100 player in punt points and a top-150 player outside of it.
Terance Mann (Pick Up in DL): Mann is posting some useful numbers in points, boards, and FG% right now, but I wouldn’t view him as more than a streamer outside of very deep leagues with Rondo and Beverley eventually joining the rotation. Over the last two weeks, the sophomore has produced a respectable 14.8 PPG on 54.5 FG% and 6.9 RPG. The rest of his line is very limited.
Heat 116 Warriors 109
Duncan Robinson (Pick Up): Robinson continues to play well right now, but as I’ve said before, since his value is mostly in one category, whether or not to roster him comes down to whether or not threes are competitive. If they are not, then Robinson is a waste of a roster spot and will drag down your team. When threes don’t matter, Robinson becomes only a top-250 player.
Victor Oladipo: Gross. The move to Miami is not good news for Oladipo’s already mediocre per-game numbers. There are more mouths to feed in Miami and the Heat play at a bottom-three pace (Houston plays at a top-five pace). Oladipo is going to struggle to be more than a top-100 option in South Beach, so if he continues to sit during back-to-back sets, he’ll be droppable when the fantasy playoffs roll around. If your trade deadline hasn’t passed yet, try to move Oladipo for a top-100 option. That may not seem like an amazing return, but it would likely end up as a move that helps your squad.
Tyler Herro (Sell High): From a fantasy standpoint, this was Herro’s best game of the year. While he will still provide useful points and threes numbers down the stretch, he’s probably not going to be more than a top-150 player at best, and that makes him droppable. Herro has only been a top-150 player on the year, and things are unlikely to get better with Oladipo around. The Heat’s upcoming schedule also hurts Herro’s value. We will only see Miami three times over the next nine days.
Andrew Wiggins (Sell High): Wiggins is having his best stretch of the season right now. He’s been a top-30 player over the last couple of weeks thanks to some extra usage with Steph in and out of the lineup and some wild shooting from deep (53.2 3P% over the last two weeks). This is obviously not who he is, so if you can still make trades, I would try to dump Wiggins for a safe mid-round player. The Canadian could be a mid-round player down the stretch, but as we’ve seen, he could also fall off of a cliff and turn into a top-200 player at any moment.
Kelly Oubre: If you are in the playoffs right now, Oubre is cuttable. Does he have mid-round potential? Definitely. But right now, he’s not playing at a top-200 level and we can’t afford to be rostering a player like that in a win-or-go-home week. Over the last month, Oubre is ranked outside of the top-230 and has averaged only 13.8 PPG on 43.3 FG%, 0.9 3PG, 5.8 RPG, 0.8 SPG, and 0.7 BPG. If your playoffs are still a couple of weeks away, and you are a lock to make the playoffs, I would hold him to see if he can get it rolling again.
James Wiseman (Drop): Wiseman is going to have too many nights like this to be a 12-team hold. When he’s not rolling on the offensive end, his value is going to be very limited due to his nonexistent contributions in the guard categories. When a player produces as little as Wiseman does in the guard categories (0.3 3PG, 0.6 APG, 0.3 SPG, 63.9 FT%) there is zero room for error anywhere else. Since reentering the starting lineup, the rookie has only been a top-300 player and has averaged a fairly useless 10.2 PPG on 46.8 FG%, 0.0 3PG, 5.2 RPG, 0.6 APG, 0.2 SPG, and 1.0 BPG.
Magic 115 Pelicans 110 (OT)
Chuma Okeke (Pick Up/Hold): This is actually a pretty nice line despite the rough night on offense. It’s also a line that is more in line with what we should expect from Okeke going forward. The rookie’s defense is ahead of his offense at this point, and he’s more likely to derive his value from the defensive categories and boards down the stretch than he is from points and threes. Chuma has looked solid on offense lately because he’s shot 54.1 percent from the field over the last two weeks. That’s not who he is. On the year, he’s only shot 42.8 percent from the field, and at Auburn, he was not a major piece of the offense (12.0 PPG in his final year at college). I’m confident that the boards and defensive numbers will be very helpful down the stretch because his per-minute numbers in those categories have been decent all year long (6.1 RP36, 1.3 SP36, 0.6 BP36) and because he posted nice numbers in all three categories in his final season with the Tigers (6.8 RPG, 1.8 SPG, 1.2 BPG in 29.1 MPG).
Terrence Ross (Pick Up): Ross is an obvious must-grab. He’s going to be the team’s first option down the stretch. That could lead to some rough nights for your FG% (40.9 FG%), but it’s also going to lead to some pretty nasty numbers in points and threes. Over his last four, the Magic’s new go-to guy has averaged 23.3 PPG, 3.5 3PG, 3.3 APG, and 1.0 SPG. In punt FG%, there is top-50 potential here.
Wendell Carter Jr. (Pick Up): Thirty minutes is good to see, and not a shocker at all, but Birch did leave early with an illness, so we might not see 30+ consistently for a little while longer. I do think we’ll get there eventually, and once we do, expect Carter to average close to a double-double with (hopefully) a block per game. That makes him worth grabbing in standard leagues. However, Carter is unlikely to be more than a top-100ish player down the stretch due to his so-so block rate (1.3 BP36), weak numbers in the guard categories, and struggles at the line (74.4 FT%).
Josh Hart (Pick Up): Hart should be grabbed in 12-team leagues, but not because of this game. This explosion was due to Ingram and Zion being out. Hart should be owned because he’s been producing mid-round numbers for a couple of weeks now. Over the last two weeks, Hart has been a top-65 player and has provided his owners with 9.2 PPG, 1.3 3PG, a ridiculous 12.3 RPG, 4.0 APG, and 1.2 SPG.
EDIT: Hart is expected to miss a significant amount of time with his thumb injury. He’s a drop.
Eric Bledsoe (Pick Up): Grab Bledsoe, but only until Zion and Ingram are back. As we saw last night, he can be useful on a depleted team. Of course, after either guy is back, you should send Bledsoe back to the wire. The veteran has barely been a top-300 player over the last month, but over the last week, he has flirted with the top-100 thanks to all of the Pelicans’ injuries.
Nickeil Alexander-Walker (Pick Up): We don’t know what his role is going to be like when the Pelicans are at full strength, but until then, you absolutely have to hold. NAW has proven that when you give him minutes in the low-30s, he’ll give you mid-round numbers. That is what he’s done since getting the promotion to the starting lineup six games ago. Since getting the bump, NAW has been a top-60 asset and has averaged an excellent 20.0 PPG on 48.0 FG%, 3.8 3PG, 5.8 RPG, 2.7 APG, 0.8 SPG, and 1.0 BPG.
Hawks 134 Spurs 129 (OT)
Bogdan Bogdanovic (Pick Up): Everything seems to be coming up Bogdanovic these days. He got a promotion to the starting lineup, then Collins went down, and now Trae is out with a knee injury and Gallo is out with an Achilles issue. That makes Bogdanovic the Hawks’ top-option and also makes him a must-own in all leagues. It will also make him a sell high in a week (if you can still make trades) when all of those guys get back. When the Hawks are at full strength, Bogdanovic will be more of a top-100 to top-125 player.
Lou Williams: Lou is just going to be a deep-league player when Young is healthy, but since he isn’t, stream Williams and enjoy the big numbers in points, threes, assists, and FT%. The Hawks are very low on offensive threats all of a sudden, and Lou should see quite a bit of usage over the next couple of games despite just joining the team.
Kevin Huerter: Like Lou, Huerter is just a short-term add with the Hawks down so many bodies. It looks like he’ll be behind Williams in the rotation, but with Young, Gallo, and Collins out, he’s going to get a lot of run and touches. We know that Huerter will be productive when given minutes, so stream him if you need threes, assists, and steals. Once the Hawks are healthy, he’ll be a drop, even in deeper settings.
Derrick White (Pick Up): White is only owned in 70 percent of Yahoo leagues, so double-check to see if he is available in your league. As I mentioned in my pod yesterday, the shooting is going to come around. Players who routinely shoot in the mid-to-high 40s rarely go full seasons shooting in the 30s. The rest of his line has been very nice all season long, so if he can shoot even 43 or 44 percent going forward, he will end up as a top-70 player.
Jakob Poeltl (Pick Up): I get a lot of add/drop questions where Poeltl is the drop candidate. Unless you play in a very shallow league, my answer is never going to be Poeltl. He’s not a borderline player, and you almost certainly have a less valuable option on your team. Despite shooting an unfortunate 45.8 percent from the line over the last two months, Poeltl has been a top-80 player over that stretch. In punt FT%, he could be an early-round asset during the fantasy playoffs.
Keldon Johnson (Drop): If you still have Johnson on your roster, I have one question for you. Why? The Spur isn’t even a borderline player at the moment, and I would be moving on from him in 14-team leagues as well. Even in 16-team leagues, he’s not a must-hold since he’s only produced top-225 numbers over the last two months.