Apr. 5 Box Score Analysis (7 Games)
Nets 114 Knicks 112
LaMarcus Aldridge (Pick Up): Aldridge has picked it up on the defensive end since joining the Nets. And that’s good news because when (if) this team ever gets healthy, his role on offense is going to be fairly limited. Since moving to Brooklyn, LMA has averaged a very solid 2.0 BPG to go along with 10.0 PPG on 42.9 FG%, 6.0 RPG, 3.0 APG, and 1.2 SPG. He’s not a high-upside option at this point, but as long as he continues to block at least a shot a night, he should flirt with the top-100.
Jeff Green (Pick Up in DL): Green was looking like a drop in deep settings with Durant coming back on Wednesday, but now that it looks like Harden is going to be out at least a couple of weeks, I would hold on in 16-team leagues. In 14-team leagues, he’s viable, but what to do with him depends on what is out there. Harden’s absence may keep Green’s minutes in the mid-20s, and as we’ve seen lately, Green can produce top-175 numbers with that much run when he’s playing well. Over the last two weeks, the Net has been a top-160 player in 25.9 MPG and has averaged 13.3 PPG on 44.4 FG%, 2.0 3PG, 3.7 RPG, and 1.0 BPG.
Reggie Bullock (Pick Up): Here is a sentence that I did not think I would be writing this year. Reggie Bullock should be owned in nine-category standard leagues. That may sound wild, but his recent play has been worthy of a spot on a 12-team roster. Over the last month, fewer than 65 players have been more valuable than Bullock in nine-category leagues. The Knick has done some exceptional work in the threes category (3.5 3PG) over that stretch and has done it without dragging down his owners FG% (48.6 FG%). Bullock has also chipped in low-end points (13.2 PPG) and steals (1.0 SPG) during that nice 30-day run. Will it last forever? Probably not. But I would be grabbing him until he cools down.
Nerlens Noel (Hold): If you’ve owned Noel this year, you know how he works. He’ll be quiet for three or four games and then explode for seven stocks. Don’t even think about dropping him. While the lack of scoring is annoying, Noel is the type of player that can swing a playoff matchup due to how explosive he can be in the defensive categories. You may think you are dead in steals and blocks and then he’ll rattle off a three-steal, four-block game and save you.
Mavericks 111 Jazz 103
Dorian Finney-Smith (Pick Up in DL): DFS has been a top-120 player this year, but that surprising ranking is mostly due to his extremely low turnover rate (0.6 TOPG), so he’s better viewed as a solid 14-team league option. The threes and rebounds are decent (1.8 3PG, 5.3 RPG), but he doesn’t do enough elsewhere to worth sacrificing a streaming spot for. The Maverick is a poor man’s Jae Crowder.
Jalen Brunson (Pick Up): Brunson has been playing great with and without Porzingis in the lineup. Over his last four, the combo guard has averaged a very enjoyable 18.8 PPG on 60.9 FG%, 1.8 3PG, 4.0 RPG, and 3.8 APG. I’m sure Carlisle will mess with his minutes again at some point because that is just what Carlisle does, but as long as Brunson is playing close to 30 a night, he’s worth owning. You just don’t find FG% impact like that from a waiver wire guard very often.
Joe Ingles (Hold): I’m holding Ingles for now. He’s been a little up and down lately, but given that he’s still ranked inside of the top-50 over the last month, I’m going to give him some leash. Despite this mega-dud and a couple of other mega-duds that he’s blessed his owners with over the last handful of games, Ingles has averaged a very helpful 12.4 PPG on 56.4 FG%, 3.2 3PG, 4.4 RPG, 3.5 APG, and 1.2 SPG over the last 30 days.
Jordan Clarkson: Clarkson has had a nice week and has now scored at least 15 points in his last four games. Over that stretch, he’s averaged a very solid 18.5 PPG, 3.0 3PG, and 1.0 SPG. Despite the strong recent play, I would not view Clarkson as a must-own player in 12-team leagues. If you are in a matchup where points or threes are not competitive, then he’s going to hurt you more than he helps you. Getting ready for the fantasy playoffs is all about taking a good, hard look at your team and figuring out what you actually need. We get used to having certain low-end players on our roster and often don’t notice when a player is no longer useful either due to our team build or due to an upcoming opponent. Ignore Clarkson’s borderline top-100 ranking. If he doesn’t help you get a win in week 1 of the fantasy playoffs, send him packing.
Suns 133 Rockets 130
Deandre Ayton: Ayton has taken it up a notch lately, but this big line was due to the matchup. The Rockets are hopeless upfront (and everywhere else) at the moment. His smaller-than-anticipated role has stopped us from getting the breakout season we were hoping for, but if you paired Ayton with one of his three best builds, you haven’t had much to complain about over the last month. Over the last 30 days, Ayton has been a top-30 player in punt assists, a top-30 player in punt steals, and a top-25 player in punt threes.
Jae Crowder (Pick Up): Crowder should be on a roster in standard leagues, but that doesn’t mean that your roster has to be the one he’s on. The veteran is only useful if you need a threes (2.4 3PG) and rebounds (4.8 RPG) boost. If you do not need help in either category, then Crowder is going to be fairly useless. Outside of threes and boards (and turnovers), his line is underwhelming (10.3 PPG on 40.8 FG%, 2.1 APG, 0.8 SPG, 0.4 BPG).
Jae’Sean Tate (Pick Up): Tate continues to look outstanding and could pick up a couple of extra minutes with Danuel House expected to miss at least 7-to-10 days. His ownership on Yahoo has finally snuck over 50 percent, but that ownership rate doesn’t do him justice. Tate needs to be owned in every league in existence. The rookie has been a top-60 player over the last month and has been producing a line a Roto-friendly line that fits any build. Over that stretch, Tate has done a little bit of everything and has averaged 13.0 PPG on 50.0 FG%, 1.3 3PG, 5.7 RPG, 2.7 APG, 1.4 SPG, 0.7 BPG, and only 1.2 TOPG.
Kelly Olynyk (Pick Up): So are Tate and Olynyk going to be the most valuable fantasy assets on the Rockets down the stretch? Because it sure looks that way. Porter’s line is too messy to allow him to crack the middle rounds, and Christian Wood has all of sudden turned into current Blake Griffin. A fitting finish to the wackiest fantasy season of all time. Olynyk needs to be owned in 100 percent of leagues at this point. Even in an eight-team setup, you will have a few players less valuable than Olynyk on your squad. Since joining the Rockets, the Canadian has been a top-30 player and has averaged a nasty 18.7 PPG on 61.9 FG%, 2.3 3PG, 5.2 RPG, 3.0 APG, 1.0 SPG, and 0.8 BPG. Once the shooting cools off, Olynyk should settle in as a mid-round player.
Wolves 116 Kings 106
Ricky Rubio (Pick Up): With Malik Beasley likely done for the year, Rubio should continue to produce back-end standard-league numbers. D’Angelo Russell will cap his upside, but top-100 numbers in friendly builds are still very possible thanks to his always solid numbers in dimes and steals. Over his last six, Rubio has averaged 7.0 APG and 1.8 SPG despite playing all six games beside Russell or Beasley.
Jaden McDaniels (Pick Up/Hold): The low minutes were due to foul trouble and Hernangomez getting hot. I wouldn’t read too much into this disappointing line because lately, the minutes and production have been there most nights. Despite this dud, McDaniels has been a top-65 player over the last two weeks and has averaged 11.6 PPG on 53.0 FG%, 2.0 3PG, 4.8 RPG, and 1.4 BPG. Hold him in all leagues and if someone makes a premature drop, scoop him up.
Delon Wright (Drop): The minutes just aren’t going to be there in Sacramento. What a shame because Wright was looking like a potential league-winner in Detroit with that tasty late-season schedule. Since joining the Kings, Delon has averaged only 8.2 PPG on 42.1 FG%, 0.8 3PG, 3.0 RPG, 2.3 APG, and 0.7 SPG. He is now just a low-end assists and steals streamer.
Harrison Barnes: It looks like Barnes is back after a very rough stretch to end March. At the moment, it doesn’t look like he’s going to be a droppable player in most scenarios in the playoffs. Barnes has been a mid-round player all season long, and as we’ve seen over his last three, he is capable of posting early-round numbers due to how much run he gets. Over his lastest big three-game stretch, Barnes averaged 18.7 PPG on 63.6 FG%, 1.3 3PG, 7.0 RPG, 4.0 APG, and 2.0 SPG while shooting 90.9 percent on his 3.7 FTA. The King is an especially potent force in punt threes as he gains value there (1.5 3PG) and brings the points (15.7 PPG) and FT% impact (82.8 FT% on 4.2 FTA) that the build struggles to find enough of.
Pistons 132 Thunder 108
Isaiah Stewart (Pick Up): The line is nice, but what gets me pumped is that Plumlee sat. The veteran will be back tonight, but it does look like Stewart is going to get a bunch of starts down the stretch. I wouldn’t call the rookie an absolute must-own, but he can flirt with the top-100 in friendly builds and would likely sneak into the middle rounds in those friendly builds if the Pistons were to shut down Plumlee (unlikely at this point). Over the last month, in only 21.3 MPG, Stewart has been a top-135 player and has averaged 8.9 PPG on 56.0 FG%, 0.6 3PG, 5.8 RPG, 0.9 APG, 0.5 SPG, and 1.2 BPG.
Killian Hayes (Pick Up in DL): I’d pick up Hayes in 16-team leagues and see what happens. I’m not ready to use a pickup on him in shallower settings because of how he looked before the injury, who the opponent was last night, and because moves are very valuable at this time of the year. There are likely two or three players on your roster that you would like to upgrade before the playoffs, and moves are better used on finding those upgrades. I don’t have high hopes for Hayes in most categories (especially FG%), but if he plays big minutes, he should be a nice source of dimes and steals. His assist and steal rates were strong in Europe and as a rookie, he’s produced a respectable 6.5 AP36 and 1.1 SP36.
Aleksej Pokusevski (Pick Up): Poku is giving big man Kevin Porter Jr. vibes these days. There’s usually something to like in there but a good chunk of the line is going to make you cringe, and at the end of the day, the ranking is going to be ugly. My stance on Poku hasn’t changed. I’m fine with him as a back-end option in punt FG%, but outside of that build, or outside of weeks where FG% is not competitive, I’m just viewing him as a streamer. Over the last two weeks, Poku has only been a top-220 nine-category player despite playing 32.1 MPG. He’s been more useful than that in eight-category leagues (3.3 TOPG over the last two weeks), but he’s just borderline there as well. He is worth streaming if you need points, threes, and a block a night (14.8 PPG, 2.0 3PG, 1.0 BPG over the last two weeks).
Moses Brown: Brown is going to be droppable in the playoffs if boards are not a swing category in your matchup. If boards don’t matter, then Brown is going to be a major drag on your chances of advancing. His FG% impact has slipped as of late (50.0 FG% over the last week) and so have his blocks (1.0 BPG). He doesn’t have much room for error in those categories because his contributions in the guard categories are horrendous. Most bigs struggle to produce useful numbers in threes, assists, steals, and FT%, but Moses is next-level bad in those categories. Since getting called up, Brown has averaged 0.0 3PG, 0.1 APG (not a typo, he has one assist since getting called up…one), and 0.7 SPG while shooting 62.5 percent from the line.
Cavaliers 125 Spurs 101
Darius Garland: It’s a shame that this career night came after most leagues’ trade deadlines because this would be the perfect sell-high moment. Garland has been a standard-league player all year but there haven’t been too many nights like this. Most of the time, he’s just a top-150 nine-category league option due to his horrendous numbers in rebounds (2.4 RPG) and blocks (0.1 BPG), low threes (1.8 3PG), and awful turnover rate (3.0 TOPG). In eight-category leagues, he is not a borderline player and should produce top-100ish numbers down the stretch.
Kevin Love (Pick Up): Twenty-six minutes in only his third game back is interesting. I would call Love a clear add if he was a lock to play during back-to-back sets. Since that feels unlikely, he’s more of a luxury stash for teams at the top of the standings who won’t have a meaningful matchup for two or three weeks. Love has been very productive on a per-minute basis since returning and has produced low-end standard-league numbers in only 23.3 MPG (10.7 PPG, 2.0 3PG, 7.3 RPG, 3.0 APG). He will likely crack the top-100 and flirt with the middle rounds on a per-game basis once he gets up to speed and starts playing close to 30 a night.
Keldon Johnson (Drop): Don’t let the double-double fool you. This is a terrible line. Johnson is a drop in both 12- and 14-team leagues, and in 16-team leagues, he’s just a back-end option. That may sound harsh, but the numbers back it up. Over the last two months, Johnson has only been a top-250 player and over the last month, he’s only been a top-225 player. There is no upside here due to his lack of useful contributions outside of the points (13.2 PPG) and rebounds (6.5 RPG) categories. Stop living in the past and drop him.
Rudy Gay (Pick Up): Gay has been playing like a standard-league option for a while now and is worth grabbing in friendly builds like FG%. In punt FG%, the veteran has been a top-90 player over the last month in only 21.7 MPG. He’s been better than that lately because his minutes have been on the rise. Over his last four games, Gay has produced top-75 numbers in nine-category leagues with averages of 15.5 PPG, 2.5 3PG, 4.8 RPG, 0.8 SPG, and 0.8 BPG. In 14-team leagues, Rudy is a must-own player.
Raptors 103 Wizards 101
Gary Trent Jr. (Pick Up): I don’t think his standard-league relevancy will last all season long, but until the Raptors get their point guards back, Trent is going to play enough and get enough shots to flirt with the top-100. He is only for teams in need of a points and threes boost. If you are in great shape in either category (or are punting one), he is going to be almost useless because he contributes nothing outside of those two categories. On the year, Trent is averaging only 2.4 RPG, 1.4 APG, and 0.9 SPG.
Malachi Flynn (Pick Up): Flynn is a must-stream until either Lowry or FVV is back. Neither player’s timeline is very clear, and it’s possible that Flynn is useful for the rest of the Raptors’ five-game week. The rookie’s best categories are going to be points, dimes, and steals. Points because the Raptors need him to score. I mean, look at that bench. His per-minute assist numbers don’t jump off of the page (4.6 AP36), but he should be more productive in the category than the numbers suggest due to the Raptors’ lacking another healthy point guard. Flynn steals are a lock to be a solid. He’s produced 1.5 SP36 as a pro and in his final season in college, he averaged 1.8 SPG. Last night’s thee swats are a fluke. Flynn is producing only 0.4 BP36 on the year.
Alex Len (Pick Up): Robin Lopez went down with a quad issue, so it’s possible that Len has the Wizards’ center spot all to himself for the next few games. The journeyman is not an interesting player in his usual low-20s role, but if he’s going to play close to 30 a night, the big-man numbers are going to be pretty juicy. Len is currently producing a very solid 8.7 RP36 and 2.7 BP36 while shooting 63.2 percent from the floor. The Wizards’ upcoming schedule adds to his streaming appeal. Starting on Wednesday, the Wizards play three games in four nights.
Davis Bertans (Pick Up in DL): It’s a nice line, but not something to get excited about. Only 24 minutes and eight shots on a night when Rui and Beal are out doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. I would add Bertans in 14-team leagues. In that setup, he can play above the streamer line. In shallower settings, I would only view him as a streamer. For every five-three night that he’s had this year, he’s had about three or four duds. On the year, in 24.6 MPG, Bertans is posting top-170 numbers that include averages of 11.0 PPG on 39.7 FG%, 2.8 3PG, 2.9 RPG, 0.9 APG, 0.6 SPG, and 0.3 BPG.