Rookies & Post-Break Potential

Rookies & Post-Break Potential
Ryan Knaus explores rookie fantasy values during the 2017-18 season, and dives into post-break possibilities for the Suns, Kings and Mavericks.
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Jarrett Jack was a healthy DNP-CD during Thursday's game in Orlando.

Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said repeatedly that he planned to use his young guards more after the All-Star break. Jack is 34 years old on a team headed for the draft lottery, so this shouldn't have taken any fantasy owners by surprise. Send him to the waiver wire, if he's not there already.
Feb 22 - 10:04 PM

Trey Burke scored a season-high 26 points on Thursday, knocking down 12-of-22 shots with two 3-pointers, six assists, four rebounds, one steal, one block and one turnover in 30 minutes.

It looks like Jarrett Jack might be out of the rotation for good, which leaves Burke, Emmanuel Mudiay, Frank Ntilikina and Courtney Lee to handle the backcourt. Mudiay played 23 minutes as a starter tonight, while Ntilikina logged 30 minutes, and the most encouraging sign is that New York went with a lot of two-PG lineups. This will likely be the high-water mark for his fantasy value all season, and we're not overreacting to one big game vs. a poor Magic defense, but deep-league owners can consider him as a speculative add.

Zaza Pachulia will come off the bench on Thursday.

It's possible the Warriors just give Pachulia a DNP-CD with JaVale McGee getting in the starting lineup. Maybe Jordan Bell can leapfrog him once he's healthy, too.
Feb 22 - 10:03 PM

Tim Hardaway Jr. sank 9-of-19 shots to score 23 points on Thursday, adding six assists, two rebounds, one steal, one block and one 3-pointer in 35 minutes.

THJ was slumping horribly heading into the break, until he erupted for 37 points on 14-of-24 shooting in the Knicks' previous game on Feb. 14. It looks like he benefited from extra rest over the past eight days, and owners should confidently lock him into active lineups.
Feb 22 - 10:01 PM

Kyle O'Quinn played well in 19 minutes on Thursday with 14 points (6-of-8 FGs, 2-of-3 FTs), eight rebounds, three blocks and one assist.

O'Quinn had great energy in his first game back from the All-Star break, and for now it seems New York will stick with the 27-year-old as the primary backup for Enes Kanter. His case for minutes was also aided by a poor showing from Luke Kornet, who went scoreless on 0-of-5 shooting. Even if he does avoid a shutdown, though, O'Quinn isn't worth owning in most leagues.
Feb 22 - 10:00 PM

Michael Beasley tied his season-high with three blocks on Thursday, adding seven points, four boards, three assists and one steal in 23 minutes of action.

Beasley hasn't been a well-rounded or consistent fantasy option throughout his career, but he's making the most of his opportunity with Kristaps Porzingis (knee) out of action. Over the past five games he's averaging 16.4 points, 0.6 threes, 8.0 boards, 2.4 assists, 1.2 blocks and 0.8 steals. If you need a forward who can score the ball and chip in some boards with a trickle of other stats, you could do worse.
Feb 22 - 9:59 PM

Courtney Lee started on Thursday but played only 14 minutes, going 4-of-8 from the field with a pair of 3-pointers for 10 points.

Lee added two assists, one rebound and one steal without any turnovers, but this wasn't the post-break performance owners wanted to see. Trey Burke caught fire with 26 points off the bench and the Knicks went with a lot of two-PG lineups, which ate into Lee's role. It's not a great spot for him as a veteran on a bad team, but he should still play a bigger role most nights.
Feb 22 - 9:58 PM

Nikola Vucevic (hand) made his long-awaited return on Thursday, scoring 19 points on 8-of-11 shooting with two 3-pointers, six rebounds, two steals, two blocks and one assist in 24 minutes.

Vuc was on a minute-limit tonight but patient owners must be delighted with the initial returns. The Magic are among the teams likely tanking for draft-lottery position, which could pose a threat to Vuc's role down the stretch, but for now his starting gig and minutes look safe. He'll get a day to rest before squaring off vs. Joel Embiid in Philly on Saturday.
Feb 22 - 9:57 PM
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