Mar. 16 Box Score Analysis (7 Games)
Jazz 117 Celtics 109
Donovan Mitchell: Mitchell is who he is at this point. He’s a mid-round player, but not one who currently has a top-40 gear. The Jazz’s go-to guy has only been a top-70 option this year despite producing some flashy numbers in points (24.6 PPG), threes (3.3 3PG), and dimes (5.4 APG). He continues to be dragged down by his mediocre efficiency numbers (41.8 FG%, 82.4 FT%), high turnovers (3.0 TOPG), and forgettable steals (1.0 SPG).
Bojan Bogdanovic: Bogdanovic is cold again, and he’s now dropped back into the streamer zone. I’m sure he’s got a couple of more top-100 stretches in him, but who knows when they will come. Unless the wire is barren, I would likely move on at this point. Threes are an easy category to stream, and if you hold Bogdanovic, you run the risk of missing on the higher upside options that are going to start popping up over the next month.
Jordan Clarkson: Clarkson just refuses to miss free throws. He’d likely drop out of the top-100 if his FT% reverts back to his usual mid-80s, but we have seen no signs that a dip is coming. The gunner has now connected on 61 of his 63 free throws this season (96.8 FT%). Even if his free throw shooting were to normalize, the Sixth Man of the Year contender would still be a standard-league player due to his star-level usage rate and the strong points (18.0 PPG) and threes (3.2 3PG) numbers that his usage rate allows.
Daniel Theis (Pick Up): Stevens has been messing with Theis ‘minutes, but with Thompson in COVID protocol, he won’t be able to do that for a couple of weeks. As long as the Celtics only have two active centers, Theis should be owned in standard leagues. He should play more than Time Lord most nights and even in a 26 MPG role, he’ll produce useful numbers in the big-man categories while occasionally hitting from deep. On the year, he’s only needed 24.0 MPG to produce top-125 numbers that include 5.1 RPG, 1.1 BPG, and 56.8 FG%.
Marcus Smart (Buy Low): Smart is one of the more obvious buy-low targets in the league. He is still on a minutes limit, but once that is lifted, he’s going to go back to being a top-75 player who can flirt with the early-rounds in punt FG% when he’s on. Punt FG% teams should be very aggressive with their buy-low offers. As long as you’re not giving up a top-50 player in your build, trading for Smart is likely going to end up being a win.
Robert Williams (Pick Up): Moses Brown and Kevin Porter Jr. look like they are going to be fun, but their upside pales in comparison to Time Lord. Those two players could take your team up a notch, but if Williams starts seeing minutes in the mid-20s, he’s going to win leagues. Currently, the only players doing more on a per-minute basis are Jokic, Embiid, and Steph. That’s not bad company. It is going to be a very rough couple of weeks for Time Lord’s opponents. Thompson being stuck in COVID protocol is going to give Williams a 20-minute floor, which will mean at least mid-round numbers every night from the big man.
Bulls 123 Thunder 102
Tomas Satoransky (Pick Up): Sato is 2/2 since getting promoted to the starting lineup. He put up a nice line against the Raptors and was very good last night against the Thunder as well. He is a pickup in all leagues, but he is an especially strong add for teams punting threes. He will gain value there (1.4 3PG) and will be a moderate-sized help in FT% (91.9 FT%). That second point is important because punt threes teams usually struggle to find enough positive FT% impact.
Coby White: I’d hold White in punt FG% for now. Outside of that build, I’d move on. He doesn’t have enough upside to holding through nights like this. On the year, White is ranked outside of the top-150 despite playing 32.7 MPG. The sophomore is looking like a fantasy bust.
Wendell Carter Jr.: Carter started the second half, so maybe the demotion isn’t intended to be a long-term change. His owners will need that to be the case because if he’s going to be stuck in a bench role where he sees minutes in the low-20s, he’s going to be a drop in standard leagues. The young Bull is not a strong enough per-minute producer to survive in a small role. He’s needed 25.8 MPG to produce top-140 numbers. If he loses a few minutes, then he’s likely going to be more of a top-180 player, which will relegate him to 14-team leagues.
Isaiah Roby (Pick Up): Roby is a good player and should be valuable late in the season when the Thunder start to rest Horford more, but his short-term value is hard to peg. Assuming Horford and Bazley play minutes in the high-20s when they are back, that doesn’t leave a ton of playing time for Roby, Brown, and Poku to split up. I could see Brown being valuable in a smaller role due to how strong of a per-minute producer he projects to be, but as we’ve seen with Roby, he needs 26+ MPG to be useful, and he may not get that. He’s worth grabbing until we see how this shakes out, but I wouldn’t drop anyone safe for him.
Moses Brown (Pick Up): Yes, it was the Bulls. Yes, Horford and Bazley were out. But 20/16/5 is 20/16/5. Pick him up and see how it shakes out. I wouldn’t expect more than 20 minutes on nights when Horford is active, but on nights when he’s not, Brown could post mid-round lines. His numbers in the G League were excellent. With the OKC Blues, Brown averaged 18.5 PPG on 54.9 FG%, 13.9 RPG, and 1.7 BPG in only 26.4 MPG.
Aleksej Pokusevski: It will be interesting to see what Poku’s role is when Horford and Bazley are back. The Thunder want to give him a look, but one of the frontcourt players is going to get squeezed when the two starters are healthy, and currently, Poku is the worst player of the bunch. He’s fine as a flier, but I would not be dropping anyone with a decent long-term outlook for the rookie. He hasn’t been very productive this year (only top-400 per-minute numbers) and the minutes are not safe.
Hawks 119 Rockets 107
Kevin Huerter (Pick Up): Huerter’s value is looking very safe. He’s badly outplaying Bogdanovic (who is just a deep-league option), and Reddish being out for at least a month should keep his minutes in the 30s. Huerter has been a very steady asset all year. He hasn’t had any dominant stretches, but he’s been a top-100 option ever since getting promoted to the starting lineup. Over the last month, Huerter has averaged 12.1 PPG, 1.9 3PG, 3.1 APG, and 1.6 SPG. Those numbers have been good enough to place him inside of the top-75 over that stretch.
Danilo Gallinari (Pick Up): Gallinari owners should send Nate McMillan a gift basket. The man may have just given you a mid-round player. Since the coaching change, Gallo has only played less than 28 minutes once and has hit the 20-point mark in four of six games. Capela coming back will hurt him, but it does look like he’s going to play at least 28 MPG going forward and that will be enough to make him a strong standard-league player. Add in the possibility of a John Collins trade getting him into the low-30s and you have a player that needs to be owned even in very shallow leagues.
Nathan Knight: Back-to-back interesting games from Knight who is worth a flier in deeper leagues in case Capela’s foot injury turns into a more serious issue. Knight is old for a rookie, so he’s a little more NBA-ready than you’d think. Anytime he gets 20+ minutes, he should produce solid numbers in all of the big-man categories while doing a respectable job at the line. In his final season at William & Mary, Knight averaged 10.5 RPG and 1.5 BPG in 29.6 MPG while shooting 52.4 percent from the floor and 77.3 percent from the charity stripe.
Victor Oladipo (Sell High): Oladipo has looked great lately. The problem is that he’s sitting out every third game. Unless he is moved, the shooting guard is going to have very limited value late in the year. There’s the possibility of a shutdown, and the Rockets will sit him anytime he wakes up with a sore pinky finger. It will be a tough sell given his issues with games played, but I would aim for the top-80. On a per-game basis, he’s been better than that lately. Over the last month, Oladipo has put up top-65 numbers that include 25.7 PPG, 2.9 3PG, 5.0 APG, and 1.4 SPG.
Kevin Porter Jr. (Pick Up): It’s probably not going to be pretty on nights when the Rockets’ top-three are healthy, but how often is that going to be? Wood will be in there most of the time, but with the guards sitting so much, it’s likely going to be Wood, Porter, and one of the two most games. In that setup, Porter could be a mid-round player in friendly builds. He’s starting to give off 2019-2020 Caris LeVert vibes. His line is going to be messy and the ranking likely won’t end up as high as his popcorn numbers suggest, but the counting stats should be very good.
Jae’Sean Tate (Pick Up): What a night for the rookie. Wood coming back will hurt him a little bit and so could House’s eventual return, but he’s playing too well right now to leave on the wire. Over the last 30 days, Tate has been a top-75 player with averages of 12.8 PPG on 51.3 FG%, 5.9 RPG, and 1.7 SPG. With the Rockets revving up the tank, it’s not hard to picture Tate putting up mid-round numbers during the fantasy playoffs.
Lakers 137 Wolves 121
Dennis Schroder (Pick Up): Schroder is fine to own until Davis is back. After that, he’ll just be a deep-league option. His minutes haven’t risen since the superstar went out, but his usage has. On the year, Schroder has a usage rate of 22.4 percent. Over his last eight, that number has risen to 26.4 percent. Despite the Davis injury, Schroder is just a low-end option since he doesn’t do anything outside of points (14.6 PPG) and assists (4.6 APG).
Montrezl Harrell (Sell High): Another monster line from Harrell in a cake matchup. He’ll be useful all year, but this is probably his peak. The schedule has been very friendly lately and his nightly upside is going to take a hit when Marc comes back. Aim for the top-75. That may be doable. Due to the recent hot streak, Harrell is now posting top-85 numbers on the year. When Davis gets back sometime in April, he’ll be more of a borderline top-100 option.
Kyle Kuzma (Pick Up): Kuzma is having a nice season on both ends of the court. He’s worth owning in standard leagues at the moment for his points, threes, and boards. Since the break, the Laker has averaged a very helpful 19.0 PPG on 53.7 FG%, 2.7 3PG, and 7.0 RPG. He’ll lose all of his value when Davis is back, but who knows when that will be.
Anthony Edwards (Sell High): I love what Edwards is doing, but it’s hard to see him sustaining his current mid-round level of play. The starting guards will be back eventually to take away a decent chunk of his usage, and he’s unlikely to continue to shoot in the mid-40s as he has over the last couple of weeks. Yes, LaMelo turned it on overnight after a very rough stretch to start the season, but jumps like that are extremely rare. Usually, when a player shows himself to be a sub-40 percent shooter like Edwards has, his efficiency stays low. Don’t sell in punt FG%, as he should be a mid-round player there even after the Wolves get healthy.
Ricky Rubio (Pick Up): Rubio has turned into a must-own player in 10-team leagues. His value is going to crater when Russell and Beasley are healthy, but we will worry about that when it happens. Since the break, Rubio has averaged an excellent 12.5 PPG on 48.4 FG%, 8.8 APG, and 1.8 SPG. Despite his recent excellent play, the Spaniard is still available in 36 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Jaylen Nowell: Nowell is red hot right now and will be worth streaming for his points until he cools off. Over his last five, Nowell has averaged 15.8 PPG on 54.5 percent shooting in 26.4 MPG. He’s also chipped-in 3.0 3PG and 3.2 APG over that stretch. At the moment, I don’t view him as a long-term deep-league option because it’s unclear if the minutes are going to be there on nights when he’s not hot and because his contributions outside of the scoring categories are going to be very limited.
Heat 113 Cavaliers 98
Kelly Olynyk (Sell High): A first-round type of line with Bam in there is great to see and is going to make selling high a lot easier. I would be selling for a couple of reasons. The first is Spo. Spo is probably going to cut Olynyk’s minutes at some point and render the big man just a deep-league option. We can hope and pray that this time around will be different, but if we are being honest with ourselves, we know that it is not going to be. The second reason is Ariza. He’s going to see minutes at the four and some of those minutes are going to come at the expense of Olynyk.
Duncan Robinson (Pick Up): Check to see if Robinson is available in your league. He’s playing like a must-own player at the moment and is available in 32 percent of Yahoo leagues. After a rough start to the year, Robinson has found his 2019-2020 form. Over the last month, in 32.9 MPG, the sharpshooter has been a top-100 player and has averaged 13.4 PPG on 44.3 FG%, 3.4 3PG, 4.1 RPG, 0.9 SPG, and only 0.6 TOPG. Due to his very low turnover rate, he’s more of a borderline option in eight-team leagues.
Kendrick Nunn (Drop): With Ariza coming to town and Bradley eventually coming back, it’s hard to see where the minutes are going to come from. He needs to be watched as season long as he will be a mid-round option when given 30 MPG, but unless you are in a deep league or are crushing the competition and can afford a luxury stash, he’s a drop.
Larry Nance Jr. (Pick Up): Nance is locked in as a mid-round player with Love down again. Even when Love is healthy, he’s going to play enough to be an easy top-100 option. If you play in the 38 percent of Yahoo leagues where he’s available, make that percentage a little smaller. It is very unlikely you don’t have a couple of players on your roster who are less valuable than Nance. There are not many squads out there with nothing but top-65 options. Top-65 is what Nance has been this year in nine-category setups.
Collin Sexton: It looks like the All-Star break cooled him off. This the second very mediocre game in a row from Sexton. While he can get hot from time-to-time and have mid-round stretches, the combo guard should only be viewed as a top-100 option in nine-category leagues. That actually may be a little generous. Sexton has only been a top-150 player over the last two months thanks to his issues with threes (1.5 3PG), rebounds (2.7 RPG), blocks (0.1 BPG), and turnovers (3.0 TOPG).
JaVale McGee: McGee is a strong streaming option for those in need of FG% and blocks now that Love is out again. Over his last four, in only 16.8 MPG, McGee has produced top-120 numbers that include 10.8 PPG on 67.7 FG%, 4.5 RPG, and 1.3 BPG. He will be a name to watch at the deadline. McGee has drawn interest from contenders and would only need about 20 MPG to be useful in 14-team leagues.
Sixers 99 Knicks 96
Seth Curry (Pick Up): Embiid’s absence may be just what is needed to get Curry going. Curry has been north of 20 in the scoring column in both games that Embiid has missed. Will he keep it up when The Process is back? Who knows. But worst-case scenario, you have a nice streamer for the next two or three weeks.
Danny Green (Hold): A tough night for Danny on the offensive end and a spectacular night for Danny on the defensive end. Green needs to be owned in all leagues at the moment. He is providing elite numbers for a wing in steals and blocks and is doing enough from deep to crack the middle rounds. Over the last month, the Sixer has been a top-80 player and has averaged 2.5 3PG, 1.5 SPG, and 1.1 BPG.
Dwight Howard (Pick Up): Howard is going to be a very strong source of big-man numbers until Embiid is back. I doubt he plays 27 minutes every night, but he’ll get into the 20s, and that is going to mean about 10 boards and a block or two. That is about what he’s been averaging in the games that Embiid has missed this year. Once Embiid is back, Dwight will just be a low-end option for 16-team league teams punting FT%.
R.J. Barrett (Sell High): Barrett is on a heater right now, and if you’ve been holding onto the sophomore all season long hoping for a stretch like this, take advantage of the situation and cash out for a true standard-league player. Despite shooting 51.4 percent from the field over the last month, Barrett is still ranked outside of the top-190 on the year. He can hold back-end standard-league value when he’s making half his shots, but it’s hard for him to be more than that due to his issues in threes, the defensive categories, and FT%. If you can move him for a top-100 player, that is a solid win.
Nerlens Noel: There we go. Noel looked like pre-All-Star break Noel last night. Unless there is a no-brainer pickup on the wire like Porter Jr. or Brown, I would hold Noel for a few games once Mitchell Robinson is back to see how the rotation shakes out. Outside of the Knicks’ first three games after the break, Noel has done a solid job filling in for Robinson. It is possible that his strong play allows him to stay in the 20+ MPG range once Robinson is back. That doesn’t sound like much, but for a player who is as productive as Noel is on a per-game basis, it is enough to keep him in the standard-league conversation.
Alec Burks: With the Knicks down two point guards, Burks is worth streaming if you need points and FT% impact. Over his last five, Burks has been a top-135 player and has averaged 14.4 PPG, 1.6 3PG, and 1.0 SPG while knocking down 92.3 percent of his 2.6 FTA. The veteran will go back to being just a 16-team league option once the Knicks get healthy.
Blazers 125 Pelicans 124
Damian Lillard: What a monster. Lillard was a little underwhelming early in the season when McCollum was going off, but I wouldn’t expect that to happen again. It was likely just a cold streak to open the year, and McCollum is very unlikely to stay that hot. Lillard should be valued as a top-five player going forward. He’s the sixth-ranked player in nine-category leagues at the moment and is a lot more durable than many of the players in that range.
C.J. McCollum: I wouldn’t expect McCollum to be an early-round player going forward, but there is a good chance that he ends up as more than the top-60ish option that he has been in years past. He’s playing a more fantasy-friendly style this year, which gives him a higher floor than usual even if he doesn’t shoot as well as he did early in the year. McCollum is currently averaging a whopping 10.7 3PA. If he can stay close to 10.0 3PA, he’ll average around 4.0 3PG. At that level of output from deep, he’d likely finish inside of the top-50.
Gary Trent: Trent is expendable despite the big game. He won’t play this much once McCollum gets up to full speed, and once his minutes dip into the mid-20s, he’ll be just a weak deep-league player. The gunner doesn’t contribute in enough categories to hold value in a small role. As a reserve this season, Trent has played only 24.6 MPG and has averaged a forgettable 11.6 PPG on 43.5 FG%, 2.4 3PG, 1.7 RPG, 1.1 APG, and 0.4 SPG.
Lonzo Ball: 17 assists? Excuse me. Where did this come from? This was only the second time this year that Lonzo has cracked double-digits in the assist column. For now, I would consider this a fluke, but his playmaking duties are worth watching closely. If he can become a 7-to-8 APG player down the stretch instead of the 5.5 APG guy that he’s been so far, he will have early-round potential. What a turnaround for Ball after a very rough start to the season.
Josh Hart (Pick Up in DL): Hart is a borderline standard-league player. This line isn’t a fluke, but he has plenty of very quiet nights as well. If you need boards and threes, go ahead and grab him, but I wouldn’t prioritize him over players like Moses Brown, whose roles aren’t as safe, but who have significant late-season upside. Over the last month, Hart has been a top-140 player and has averaged 10.7 PPG, 1.3 3PG, and 6.9 RPG. In 14-team leagues, he needs to be owned.
Nickeil Alexander-Walker: I’m not grabbing NAW at the moment, even in deep leagues, but I am keeping a close eye on him. Bledsoe continues to be terrible, and it’s possible that SVG starts giving NAW more of the veteran’s minutes. If he were to sneak into the 26+ MPG range, he’d be worth owning in 16-team leagues and would produce some decent numbers in points (17.4 PP36), threes (2.4 3P36), and steals (1.9 SP36).