Fantasy basketball 30 – Draymond Green dishes, Kristaps Porzingis swishes


Who is trending up? Which rotations are changing? And what’s the latest with the notable injuries around the NBA?

Here’s a look at the most fantasy relevant news and notes for all 30 teams:


Atlanta Hawks: First it was Bogdan Bogdanovic who went down for the Hawks. Then, it was De’Andre Hunter, who is expected to miss another 6-9 weeks after undergoing surgery on his right knee last Monday. The rest of the Hawks roster has been forced to step up in the absence of their starting shooting guard and small forward, and it’s John Collins who has benefited most statistically. Collins has raised his January numbers (16.3 PPG on 12.3 FGA) considerably, averaging 21.5 PPG and 15.6 FGA in eight games this month (all without Hunter).

Boston Celtics: Daniel Theis has been ruled out for Wednesday’s game against the Hawks, the second night in a row he will miss due to a sprained finger. Without Theis last game, Celtics coach Brad Stevens started Semi Ojeleye alongside Tristan Thompson in the frontcourt against the Nuggets and brought Robert Williams III off the bench, with Williams chipping in 8 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists and 5 steals. Given Williams’ shot-blocking ability, too, he’s a compelling streaming option whenever Theis is out.

Brooklyn Nets: People are still talking about the Nets’ amazing comeback win over Phoenix on Tuesday night, led by James Harden’s 38 points and clutch go-ahead 3-pointer at the end in a game where both Kevin Durant (knee) and Kyrie Irving (foot) sat out. It’s interesting to see what Nets coach Steve Nash did with his starting lineup in this game, going with DeAndre Jordan as the lone big man alongside nothing but guards and shooters – Harden, Joe Harris, Tyler Johnson and Bruce Brown. Johnson’s 17 points and five 3s in the spot start was a breakout game for the journeyman, and that could be noteworthy in the future anytime the Nets are without KD and Irving… which could again be the case on Thursday against the Lakers. Stay tuned on that.

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With Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant both out, James Harden scores 38 points in the Nets’ comeback win on the road against the Suns.

Charlotte Hornets: The Hornets’ next two games (Wednesday, Feb. 17 vs. Chicago and Friday, Feb. 19 vs. Denver) have been postponed in accordance with the NBA’s Health and Safety Protocols, so adjust your rosters accordingly. When they do return to the court, pay close attention to the play of Terry Rozier, who tends to get overshadowed by LaMelo Ball and Gordon Hayward. Rozier leads the Hornets with 27.3 PPG this month, making 61.4% of his 2-point attempts, 47.2% of his 3-point attempts and 95% of his free throw attempts.

Chicago Bulls: Zach LaVine has put up 30.3 PPG over the last 10 games, posting an impressive 51.2 3FG% in that span to go with it. Now up to 28.2 PPG on the season to go with terrific shooting numbers (51.5 FG%, 43.1 3FG%, 85.4 FT%) and 5.5 RPG, 5.2 APG and 1.0 SPG, LaVine is right behind James Harden as the top shooting guard in fantasy hoops and is positioned to be second-round pick in drafts next season.

Cleveland Cavaliers: Jarrett Allen has made the most of the Cavs’ decision to bench Andre Drummond until they can find a trade partner. Allen, now the team’s starting center for the rest of the season, has averaged 14.0 PPG, 12.0 RPG, 2.0 APG and 1.0 BPG in the two games since Drummond was removed from the rotation. As impressive as these numbers are, they may represent the floor for Allen in this new role. If he continues to play close to 30.0 MPG as he has the last two games, 15.0 PPG and 2.0 BPG could be within range for the energetic big man.

Dallas Mavericks: Kristaps Porzingis has found his shooting touch this month. After struggling through January with a 44.9 FG% and 28.6 3FG% in nine games, the big man has taken seen his confidence grow in eight games this month, posting a 50.0 FG% and knocking down 42.3% of his shots from long range. Efficiency hasn’t ever been a big part of Porzingis’ game, but it is right now in his second season in Dallas; his 47.3 FG% and 85.5 FT% would both be career highs if the season ended today.

Denver Nuggets: Much of Michael Porter Jr.’s fantasy value is wrapped up in his ability to score and shoot the 3, and his recent struggles in both areas are a big concern. Porter was held scoreless in 24 minutes against the Celtics on Tuesday, going 0-8 from the floor, and is 3-19 in his last two games. The former lottery pick is also just 2-18 from long range in his last three games, and has been limited to single-digits scoring in five of seven games this month. Until his shooting heats back up, Porter warrants a spot on the bench in all fantasy formats.

Detroit Pistons: Saddiq Bay became only the second Pistons rookie ever to take home Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors and is the future in Detroit, with the team agreeing to sit Blake Griffin for the time being and looking for a trade partner for the former All-Star. Bay is still on just 22.5% of rosters in ESPN leagues, but in the first game since the Griffin news the rookie played 38 minutes and finished with 16 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals. The game before that against a tough Boston team, he put up 30 points and 12 rebounds. Clearly, the Villanova product can play and is worth a look in all leagues while he’s still readily available.

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Saddiq Bey is completely forgotten about in the corner as he drains a long 3-pointer to tie the game.

Golden State Warriors: It appears Draymond Green is taking this whole Magic Johnson thing seriously. Over the last two weeks, Green is the NBA’s leader with 12.3 APG. His eight assists against Brooklyn on Saturday snapped a streak of five straight games with double-digit assists, but on Monday Green matched a career-high with 16 assists in a blowout win over Cleveland. Green has also averaged an impressive 1.6 BPG and 1.8 SPG in seven games this month, but be aware — James Wiseman could return to the lineup in the coming days, which likely cuts into Green’s minutes.

Houston Rockets: Victor Oladipo is doubtful to play Wednesday against the 76ers as he continues to be slowed by a right foot strain, and so far it has been a bit of a rocky road for Oladipo since the trade to Houston. His 18.4 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 1.1 SPG and 2.1 3PG as a member of the Rockets all look alright on the surface, but they are a step down from what he was doing with the Pacers in nine games before the trade (20.0 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 1.7 SPG and 2.8 3PG).

Indiana Pacers: We’ve talked about TJ McConnell in previous weeks, but it’s worth pointing out that the under-the-radar point guard is now tied with Kawhi Leonard for No. 2 in the NBA with 1.8 SPG. Add in McConnell’s 6.6 APG, which is tied with Fred VanVleet for No. 13 in the league, and the Pacers guard is one of the game’s best kept secrets in roto and category leagues. McConnell is currently rostered in only 46.7% of ESPN leagues.

LA Clippers: Paul George (toe) and Nicolas Batum (concussion) have already been ruled out for Wednesday’s game against the Jazz and Kawhi Leonard is questionable due to a lower leg issue. Regardless of if Leonard plays, the shorthanded situation facing the Clippers points to another big night from Lou Williams. The veteran scorer has turned things around since a slow start to the season, averaging 19.0 PPG and 6.0 APG in eight games this month.

Los Angeles Lakers: Anthony Davis went from being one of the top players in fantasy to a major question mark in a hurry. After leaving Sunday’s game with an aggravated Achilles injury, Davis will be out for at least 2-3 weeks, and that impacts a lot of things as far as the Lakers are concerned. Montrezl Harrell played only 18 minutes without Davis in Tuesday’s win over the Timberwolves, but that number could conceivably tick up. Tuesday also saw LeBron James pull down 13 rebounds, the second-highest total of the season for him, and Dennis Schroder take 15 shots. These are all potential things to watch in the coming weeks.

Memphis Grizzlies: Reigning Rookie of the Year Ja Morant is one of the game’s bright young stars, and his name value alone makes him appealing in fantasy leagues, but the Grizzlies’ athletic point guard still has a ways to go before becoming a fantasy star. Morant’s 19.0 PPG and 8.0 APG are both nice, and his 46.9 FG% is above average at the position, but Morant remains below average in terms of rebounding (2.5 RPG), steals (0.9 SPG) and 3-point shooting (0.9 3PG, 26.5 3FG%). As he is right now, Morant is more of a puzzle piece than a star to build around in fantasy leagues – particularly in those that use roto and category scoring.

Miami Heat: In his first three NBA seasons, Bam Adebayo‘s free throw shooting was a blemish on his otherwise well-rounded game; he never shot better than 73.5% in any of those seasons. That’s all gone out the window through the first 25 games this season, though, as Adebayo has impressively taken a career-high 6.1 trips to the line per game and shot an incredible 84.2%. Bam!

Milwaukee Bucks: Much has been made of Giannis Antetokounmpo‘s regression at the free throw line in recent years, but there’s some reason for hope; the Bucks star is at 75.6% from the charity stripe in nine games this month, making 6.9 of 9.1 attempts per game in that span. That percentage is well above his career mark of 71.7% at the line.

Minnesota Timberwolves: D’Angelo Russell is out for 4-6 weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery Wednesday to remove a loose body in his left knee. That means a bigger workload for the veteran Ricky Rubio handling the point, and it also means more shots are available for the team’s other big scoring trio of Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Edwards and Malik Beasley. In Tuesday’s loss to the Lakers, Edwards led the way with a career-high 28 points on 20 shot attempts. It’s the fourth time in the last six games that last fall’s No. 1 overall pick has scored at last 20 points.

New Orleans Pelicans: Steven Adams has been a very solid fantasy option in recent years, but the veteran centers has started to hit the waiver wire in many fantasy leagues after seeing his playing time diminish this month. Adams, who is nursing a back injury, has averaged 25.6 MPG this month after playing 30.6 MPG in 13 games last month. He is available in 18.7% of ESPN leagues as of Wednesday.

New York Knicks: Nerlens Noel (a free agent in 75.2% of ESPN leagues) moved into the Knicks starting lineup the past two games and figures to remain in that role until Mitchell Robinson (hand) returns in 4-6 weeks. A bump in playing time means big things for Noel, at least in roto and category leagues, due to his impact as a shot-blocker. Noel has averaged 29.5 MPG during these past two games with Robinson sidelined and has at least three blocks in five out of six games this month.

Oklahoma City Thunder: The Thunder are getting healthy again in the backcourt, with Theo Maledon returning last game and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander set to play on Wednesday after missing four games due to a left knee sprain. Adjust your lineups accordingly if you roster Hamidou Diallo or Kenrich Williams.

Orlando Magic: Michael Carter-Williams is a streaming option worth considering now that he’s been thrust into extended minutes in Orlando’s injury-depleted backcourt. MCW went for 21 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists in Friday’s win over the Kings, playing 27 minutes, and followed that up with 14 points and 4 assists against the Suns on Sunday. He isn’t the steals threat he was as a younger pro – and he still doesn’t shoot the 3-ball – but Carter-Williams can score and rack up assists, and is available in 92.4% of ESPN leagues.

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Michael Carter-Williams sneaks a no-look pass to Khem Birch and Birch slams it home.

Philadelphia 76ers: Let’s talk Tobias Harris for a minute, shall we. The veteran forward is quietly one of the most efficient scorers in the league this season (52.0 FG%, 42.5 3FG%, 90.2 FT%), and in roto leagues where he’s paired with another player like Khris Middleton it can make for a strong nucleus in terms of shooting percentages. Keep guys like Harris and Middleton in your mind for next season if you play in these type of leagues, because both will likely be there in Round 3.

Phoenix Suns: Dario Saric’s 10.0 PPG this month ranks fifth on the Suns, but the veteran forward still isn’t doing enough in other areas to be rosterable in any fantasy formats at this time. Saric’s 1.1 3PG and 1.0 SPG in 18.1 MPG this season are indicators that he could emerge as more of a fantasy option if his playing time increases at any point this season.

Portland Trail Blazers: The Trail Blazers desperately needed some players to step up after CJ McCollum was injured, and Gary Trent Jr. is certainly doing that. During the past two weeks, Trent’s 3.6 3PG ranks No. 9 in the league and he has also averaged 19.9 PPG, 3.1 RPG and 2.1 APG in that span. He remains available in 51.0% of ESPN leagues.

Sacramento Kings: If we’ve learned anything during the past few games, it’s that Hassan Whiteside can still serve a big purpose in fantasy leagues whenever he gets extended minutes. And with Richaun Holmes (knee) out of the lineup last game, that’s exactly what Whiteside got – 24 minutes – in route to 26 points, 16 rebounds and five blocks. That’s a vintage performance by Whiteside right there, and he remains available in 61.9% of ESPN leagues. If Holmes misses more time, good things could be in store again for Whiteside.

San Antonio Spurs: The NBA postponed the Spurs next three games after four players on the team tested positive for COVID-19. San Antonio’s next possible game is Feb. 24 at Oklahoma City, which means the Spurs will go over a week between games.

Toronto Raptors: Kyle Lowry is questionable to play on Thursday against the Bucks due to the left ankle sprain that caused him to leave Tuesday’s game early on two different occasions. If Lowry can’t go, all eyes would be on Fred VanVleet who – as we’ve seen in recent weeks – has the ability to go off on any given night. Keep an eye on this leading up to tip-off.

Utah Jazz: Joe Ingles is one of the many great stories on the out-of-nowhere Jazz this season. At age 33 and in his seventh NBA season, the versatile Australian is on pace to set new career highs in FG% (51.1), 3FG% (44.2), FT% (87.9) and still is one of the better distributing forwards (4.7 APG) in the game.

Washington Wizards: More than maybe any other player in the league this season, Russell Westbrook is a better fantasy option in points leagues – where the counting stats matter so much – than in roto and category leagues, where the woeful shooting percentages and lack of 3s weight him down considerably. Westbrook’s 40.9 FG% is his lowest since his rookie year back in 2008-09 and his 63.7 FT% is a career low and quite a contrast from the younger Westbrook who shot at least 80.0% from the line for seven straight seasons.



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