Apr. 6 Box Score Analysis (8 Games)
Hawks 123 Pelicans 107
Kevin Huerter (Pick Up): Huerter is worth streaming with Hunter out and Gallo picking up an ankle injury last night. Since re-entering the starting lineup three games ago, Huerter has averaged a very useful 17.0 PPG, 2.3 3PG, 3.0 APG, and 1.0 SPG. Once the Hawks get healthy, Huerter will likely go back to being just a 16-team league option.
Danilo Gallinari (Pick Up): Gallinari picked up an ankle injury late that is going to lead to him sitting tonight. That’s unfortunate, but not enough to get me to drop him in standard leagues with John Collins still at least a week away from returning. As long as Collins is out, Gallo has a solid shot at producing mid-round numbers because his minutes will be in the mid-to-high 20s and because his per-minute numbers in points, threes, and FT% remain top-end. Over the last month, in 27.1 MPG, the forward has been a top-70 player and has averaged 15.9 PPG on 47.9 FG%, 2.3 3PG, and 5.1 RPG while shooting 92.6 percent on his 3.9 FTA.
James Johnson (Pick Up): Not a bad line from Johnson considering that Zion was back. It looks like he’ll continue to be relevant until Ingram is healthy. I would not be dropping Johnson until we see that Ingram is active as anytime Johnson is playing big minutes, he’s a threat to post an early-round line due to his extremely fantasy-friendly game. In his four games with the Pelicans, the veteran has been a top-65 player and has averaged 14.8 PPG on 53.7 FG%, 1.8 3PG, 4.0 RPG, 2.8 APG, 1.0 SPG, and 2.5 BPG. In punt FT% (61.5 FT% on 3.3 FTA), he’s flirted with the early rounds over that stretch.
Isaiah Thomas: Thomas actually has a fairly clear path to minutes until Kira Lewis is back. After that, he’ll be a DNP-CD candidate. I wouldn’t view him as a long-term option in any league, but in the short-term, he could be a decent points and threes streamer due to the Pelicans’ upcoming schedule – assuming Lewis is still a few games away. The Pelicans play tonight, and then start a stretch of three games in four nights on Friday.
Sixers 106 Celtics 96
Seth Curry (Drop): Curry isn’t a must-drop, but if you are in a 12-team league, opening up a streaming spot is going to be more valuable than the sharpshooter. Despite his borderline top-50 play before picking up COVID, Curry is now ranked just inside of the top-150 on the year. That tells you how bad he’s been since returning from his bout with the virus. Curry is still producing decent numbers in points and threes, but as long as he continues to shoot in the low-20s, there isn’t anything that separates him from the threes streamers that are always available in standard leagues. Over the last month, Curry has averaged only 12.9 PPG on 42.8 FG%, 2.2 3PG, 3.0 APG, and 0.8 SPG. In 14-team leagues, he’s expendable as well.
Shake Milton (Drop): With Embiid back, the Sixers don’t need Milton’s scoring as much, so we should see his minutes drop back down to about 20 a night. It could actually get even worse than that once George Hill is active, but that doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen anytime soon, so for the immediate future, 20 MPG is a reasonable expectation. I would only hold onto Milton in 16-team leagues, and even there he is borderline. On the season, Shake is ranked just outside of the top-200 with averages of 13.9 PPG, 1.0 3PG, 2.3 RPG, 3.0 APG, 0.7 SPG, 0.3 BPG, and 1.7 TOPG.
Robert Williams: Don’t worry about the low minutes. He just got chewed up and spit out by Embiid. Fortunately, the Celtics do not play the Sixers again this season, so it will be full steam ahead for Time Lord. The big man continues to look like a league-winner. Despite this dud, Williams has still been a top-15 player over the last month with averages of 10.5 PPG on 74.7 FG%, 8.9 RPG, 3.0 APG, and 2.6 BPG.
Kemba Walker: Kemba has been a mid-round player all year, but his sitting out during back-to-back sets is going to make him more of a top-100 player during the fantasy playoffs, unless you are punting FG% (39.8 FG%) where he can still be a mid-round player. He’ll sit out tonight, and then he’ll miss a game during the Celtics’ back-to-back sets that start on April 22th, April 27th, May 11th, and May 15th.
Nuggets 134 Pistons 119
Monte Morris: Morris got the start because Murray was out. Murray might miss another game or two, but his knee injury doesn’t sound like it’s going to be a long-term issue, so I wouldn’t be adding Morris outside of 16-team leagues. In leagues that deep, he does have a little value as his low-end dimes (3.3 APG) come without a turnover hit (0.7 TOPG). The rest of his line is limited (10.4 PPG, 1.1 3PG, 2.2 RPG, 0.7 SPG).
Aaron Gordon: Gordon has played very well since joining the Nuggets, but I haven’t seen anything that suggests he’s going to be more than a low-end option and more than a streamer outside of punt FT%. He has been a borderline top-100 player since the trade, but that ranking is due to some unsustainable shooting (62.8 FG%). His usage rate has fallen off of a cliff in Denver and so has his assist rate. If he was shooting in the mid-40s, he’d only be producing top-150 numbers. That being said, Gordon will be a nice pickup starting on Thursday as the Nuggets start a stretch of three games in four nights on Friday.
Saddiq Bey: A Gary Trent special from Bey. 25/0/1/0/0. That is ridiculous. Despite the big game, Bey is just a streamer in standard leagues. The Pistons’ wing rotation is too messy right now to trust any of the team’s swingmen. Bey isn’t playing enough to be more than a threes streamer outside of very deep leagues. Over his last five, the rookie has played only 22.9 MPG. With that little run, he’s going to be completely useless on nights when he’s not lights out from the field.
Isaiah Stewart (Pick Up): Almost 28 minutes in a game that Plumlee played and started in is very encouraging. Stewart is a strong grab this week with the Pistons still having three games left. After that, whether or not to roster him will come down to your build. If you are punting threes, dimes, or steals, then the rookie can flirt with the top-100 or even the top-80 when he’s rolling. If you are not, then Stewart is likely just going to be a back-end option as long as Plumlee is active. Over the last month, Stewart has been a top-140 player and has averaged 8.9 PPG on 57.3 FG%, 5.9 RPG, and 1.1 BPG.
Warriors 122 Bucks 121
James Wiseman (Drop): Don’t get caught up in the double-double. This is just a low-end line due to the lack of production elsewhere. The minutes have been trending up, but it hasn’t mattered much due to his issues in the guard categories. A lot of bigs struggle in threes, assists, and steals, but few struggle as much as Wiseman does. Over the last two weeks, in 25.3 MPG, Wiseman has managed only 0.1 3PG, 0.7 APG, and 0.1 SPG. His OK numbers in points, rebounds, and blocks do not come close to offsetting those awful numbers. Due to the holes in his line, Wiseman has not been a top-250 player since re-entering the starting lineup.
Kent Bazemore: A nice throwback game from Bazemore. He has actually played reasonably well this year, but the veteran is not getting enough run to be more than a steals streamer, even in 16-team leagues. Over the last two weeks, in 17.2 MPG, Bazemore has averaged only 6.6 PPG, 0.7 3PG, 2.7 RPG, and 1.3 SPG.
Donte DiVincenzo (Pick Up): DiVincenzo’s minutes have held steady since Teague joined the rotation. It’s still very possible they drop once the Bucks are at full strength, but that is something we’ll deal with when it happens. DiVincenzo needs to be owned in all leagues as he’s been a mid-round player for over a month now. Over the last 30 days, fewer than 70 players have been more productive than the Buck, and he has averaged a very helpful 11.1 PPG, 2.2 3PG, 7.9 RPG, 3.5 APG, and 1.5 SPG.
Bobby Portis (Pick Up): Portis will be worth streaming until we see Giannis back on the court. The big man is still producing elite per-minute numbers and is a good bet for a double-double and low-end numbers in threes and steals whenever he plays big minutes. The Buck is currently producing an impressive 19.0 PP36 on 53.9 FG%, 1.9 3P36, 11.9 RP36, and 1.3 SP36. Once Antetokounmpo and P.J. Tucker are healthy, Portis will be a drop in most settings.
Bulls 113 Pacers 97
Tomas Satoransky (Hold): Hold Sato through this quiet night. The Bulls’ new starting point guard has been a mid-round player since getting his promotion. Since taking over from Coby White, Sato has produced top-70 numbers that include 10.5 PPG on 52.5 FG%, 1.1 3PG, 6.1 RPG, and 1.5 SPG. The expanded role has also turned him into a sneaky source of FT% impact. As a starter, Satoransky has connected on 94.4 percent of his 1.4 FTA.
Coby White (Drop): Thirty-one minutes is a pleasant surprise, but it’s not enough to get me interested in White in standard leagues. In that setup, I still view him as a streamer. As we saw earlier in the year, minutes in the 30s doesn’t necessarily mean useful numbers from White. The sophomore will likely go back to playing minutes in the mid-20s next game anyway, and that will make him just a low-end punt FG% option in deeper leagues. Since getting benched 10 games ago, White has not been a top-225 player and has averaged only 10.1 PPG on 38.6 FG%, 1.3 3PG, 3.3 APG, and 0.9 SPG.
Justin Holiday: Holiday has forgotten how to shoot and it has cost him some minutes and destroyed his fantasy value. He’s still been useful lately in punt FG%, but outside of that build, he has been droppable. What to do with him depends on if FG% is a swing category in your playoff matchup and how badly you need threes and steals. Holiday has shot only 32.4 percent from the field over the last month, but he has maintained some solid numbers in the threes (2.4 3PG) and swipes (1.4 SPG) categories over that stretch.
Goga Bitadze: Bitadze is a stud per-minute producer and will be a must-stream if we get a couple of games where both Turner and Sabonis are out. Goga is currently producing top-35 per-minute numbers and would be a good bet for a double-double (16.6 PP36, 9.9 RP36) and a couple of blocks (3.7 BP36) if he were to get a couple of starts. Once Sabonis and Turner are back, Bitadze will just be a blocks streamer (1.1 BPG in 10.4 MPG).
Clippers 133 Blazers 116
Patrick Beverley: Those punting points or in 14-team leagues should keep an eye on Beverley. When healthy, and playing minutes in the mid-20s, he usually produces a fairly useful punt points line, especially in nine-category leagues. This season, in only 23.6 MPG, Beverley has been a top-100 punt points option. In eight-category leagues, he’s not as interesting, as a fair amount of his value is derived from his low turnover rate (0.9 TOPG).
DeMarcus Cousins: Cousins is worth watching since we still don’t have a clear picture of what is going on with Ibaka, but for now, he’s just a desperation stream. I doubt the Clippers give him decent minutes with how well they’ve played with Zubac as their starter. Minutes in the mid-teens are possible, but as we saw in Houston, that’s not enough to make him useful.
Damian Lillard: Big yikes. I hope my Lillard-owning subscribers aren’t in the playoffs right now because this one hurts. This is obviously an unfortunate fluke, but Lillard has lost a little something since McCollum came back, which has been the pattern this year. Lillard hasn’t been quite as elite with McCollum in the lineup. You can’t do anything about it now, but it is something to keep in mind for next year’s draft. Since he got his backcourt mate back, Lillard has only been a top-25 player.
Enes Kanter (Pick Up): With Jusuf Nurkic dealing with knee soreness, Kanter needs to be owned in all leagues. At this point, it’s hard to picture Nurkic being unleashed down the stretch, and because of that, there is a good chance that Kanter is useful all the way to the buzzer. Aside from a mega-dud against the Bucks last week, Kanter’s value has held up reasonably well since Nurkic returned. Since being forced back to the bench, Kanter has been a top-75 player and has averaged 10.3 PPG on 60.9 FG%, 11.5 RPG, and 1.0 BPG in 25.6 MPG.
Grizzlies 124 Heat 112
Dillon Brooks (Pick Up): Brooks being on fire last night doesn’t change anything. His long-term outlook remains the same. He’s a pickup if you are punting FG%, or if FG% is not a swing category in your playoff matchup, and someone you should ignore if you need to win FG%. Look his way if FG% doesn’t matter and you need a points, threes, and steals boost. On the year, Brooks is averaging 16.3 PPG, 1.9 3PG, and 1.3 3PG while shooting 40.8 percent from the field.
Ja Morant: Morant left early with a back issue but fortunately, he’s not going to miss any time. Fortunately may not be the correct word to use here because lots of teams could benefit from moving on from Morant, at least in shallower nine-category leagues. The sophomore has shown no signs of turning it around. In fact, Morant has trended down as the year has gone on. Over the last month, he’s failed to post top-300 numbers in nine-category leagues and is just barely holding onto the top-200 on the year. Assuming he doesn’t turn it up in a major way over the next week or so, Morant will be a drop during the playoffs if points or assists are not competitive.
Victor Oladipo: If your playoffs have started already, feel free to drop Oladipo. He hasn’t even come close to producing numbers worthy of a standard-league roster spot in Miami. If the playoffs are still a week and a half away, and you have locked up a spot, give him a couple of more games to see if he can turn it around. If Oladipo is still struggling this badly two Sundays from now, kick him to the curb. Since joining the Heat, the former All-Star has failed to produce top-350 numbers and has averaged an ugly 10.0 PPG on 31.4 FG%, 0.7 3PG, 3.3 RPG, 4.0 APG, 1.3 SPG, 0.3 BPG, and 3.3 TOPG.
Duncan Robinson (Pick Up): Robinson is getting hot at the perfect time and should once again be owned in standard leagues. Yes, his game is limited, but he’s been doing enough from deep to separate himself from the threes streamers that are usually found on 12-team league wires. Over the last month, the sharpshooter has posted top-75 numbers that include averages of 13.9 PPG on 46.2 FG%, 4.0 3PG, 3.5 RPG, 2.1 APG, and 0.7 SPG.
Lakers 110 Raptors 101
Marc Gasol: Gasol has been playing pissed off since the Drummond signing and his crankiness has led to some fairly useful numbers. Over his last three games without Drummond, Marc has averaged a surprising 9.7 PPG, 1.7 3PG, 7.0 RPG, 0.7 SPG, and 1.7 BPG. Drummond will be back soon, so I wouldn’t be rushing to add the veteran, but if Drummond does go down again, consider streaming Gasol for his upside in threes, rebounds, and blocks.
Markieff Morris (Pick Up in DL): Morris continues to post lines worthy of a spot on 14-team league rosters. It’s wild that Morris is relevant in fantasy leagues in 2021, but crazy developments like that tend to happen at this time of the year. Over his last seven, the Laker has been a borderline top-125 player in nine-category leagues with averages of 11.9 PPG on 48.5 FG%, 2.0 3PG, 7.0 RPG, 1.1 APG, 0.4 SPG, and 0.4 BPG. Due to the lack of defensive stats, Morris is more of a streamer in 12-team leagues.
Gary Trent (Pick Up): This is the downside to Trent. On nights when his shot is off, he is going to be absolutely useless and hurt you in almost every category. Despite the rough night and limited upside, Trent is worth owning if points and threes are swing categories this week and/or next. With the Raptors devastated by injuries, the minutes and shots are going to be there, and Trent is usually going to be a strong contributor in both categories. Over his last four games, Trent has averaged 20.5 PPG and 3.8 3PG.
DeAndre’ Bembry (Pick Up in DL): Stream Bembry until the Raptors get one of their point guards back. In an expanded role, the veteran can be a very nice source of steals who contributes useful numbers in assists and rebounds. Since VanVleet went down, Bembry has averaged a solid 13.5 PPG, 6.0 RPG, 4.0 APG, and 3.0 SPG.
Malachi Flynn (Pick Up): Another nice game from Flynn who should be owned until VanVleet or Lowry is healthy. The blocks that he’s been picking up lately aren’t real, but the points, dimes, and steals are. Give him a look if you need help in a couple of those categories. Flynn should end up producing top-50 numbers this week with the Raptors still having three games left. Over his last three, the rookie has averaged 14.3 PPG, 1.7 3PG, 6.3 RPG, 4.0 APG, 3.0 SPG, and 2.0 BPG.