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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LeBron James racked up 32 points, nine rebounds, eight assists and two steals in a tough loss vs. the Wizards on Thursday.

LBJ sank 13-of-18 field goals tonight, with one 3-pointer, but that was the extent of the Cavs' offensive efficiency -- his teammates shot a combined 29-of-66 from the field (43.9%). Cleveland's revamped lineup had won five straight prior to this loss, but the No. 3 seed Cavs are still just 2.5 games ahead of the No. 6 seed Bucks. With home-court advantage in the playoffs at stake, LeBron's fantasy value looks rock-solid.
Feb 22 - 11:16 PM

Tim Frazier returned to action on Thursday with two points, four rebounds and two assists in 12 minutes off the bench.

Frazier wore a face mask after missing some time before the break with a nasal fracture. The mask didn't seem to impact his play, but even without John Wall (knee), Frazier's fantasy value is very limited due to Tomas Satoransky thriving in the starting role. Leave him on the wire.
Feb 22 - 11:15 PM

Marcin Gortat struggled in 18 minutes on Thursday, scoring six points on 3-of-6 shooting with three rebounds.

The veteran didn't have any assists, steals or blocks, and he was outplayed by backup center Ian Mahinmi (eight points, five rebounds, two assists, one steal in 20 minutes). Gortat hasn't scored more than 11 points in a game since Jan. 13 and his owners should be inured to random duds -- if you've held him this long, you might as well see how he fares on Friday (vs. Charlotte) and Sunday (vs. Philly).
Feb 22 - 11:15 PM

Kelly Oubre stepped up during the Wizards' 110-103 road win on Thursday, scoring 17 points (6-of-12 FGs, 2-of-2 FTs) with five rebounds, three 3-pointers, two assists and two steals.

The All-Star break appears to have rejuvenated Oubre, who logged 32 minutes, and he's worth a look if you need scoring, 3-pointers and FT percentage. He's available on most waiver wires in category-based leagues because of his atrocious slump prior to the break -- in his previous eight games, Oubre averaged 9.0 points on 28.6% shooting. That was among the most poisonous FG% in that stretch, alongside guys like Isaiah Thomas, Dennis Smith Jr. and Aaron Gordon.
Feb 22 - 11:11 PM

Jason Smith picked up another DNP-CD vs. the Cavaliers on Thursday.

Smith has battled a few ailments this season and he missed time before the break with an illness. He's healthy now and his exclusion from the rotation was simply due to coach Scott Brooks' rotations, so we're taking him off the injury report.
Feb 22 - 11:10 PM

Tomas Satoransky was terrific during Thursday's win in Cleveland, scoring 17 points on 6-of-7 field goals and 4-of-4 free throws in 31 minutes.

The 26-year-old guard added eight assists, four rebounds, two steals and one 3-pointer without a single turnover. John Wall (knee surgery) recently got off crutches but he's unlikely to return before mid- to late-March, giving Satoransky at least a few weeks of unfettered minutes as the Wizards' starting PG. He's quietly emerged as one of the best waiver-wire additions this season, with past-month averages of 10.5 points (55.7% FGs, 100.0% FTs), 1.4 triples, 2.9 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.3 steals and 0.6 blocks.
Feb 22 - 11:09 PM

Joel Embiid filled it up during a 116-115 win over the Bulls on Thursday, scoring 30 points with 13 rebounds, five assists, three steals, four blocks, one turnover and three 3-pointers in 35 minutes.

Hello, Mr. Process. This was about as close to a 5x5 as he's been in his career. Embiid's minutes were starting to trend down earlier this month at just 29.7 in his previous February games, so getting up to 35 makes it seem like he could be closer to the 32.5 per game he played back in January. The 76ers are rolling with a six-game winning streak and they now have a 98 percent chance to make the playoffs, per FiveThirtyEight.com. The 76ers also have one of the easiest remaining schedules in the NBA, so playoff fever in Philly looks like it'll go beyond February.
Feb 22 - 11:07 PM

Ben Simmons scored a career-high 32 points with seven rebounds, 11 assists, one steal, one block and two turnovers in 34 minutes against the Bulls on Thursday.

He was very good from the field at 13-of-18, but he did make just 6-of-11 from the line. His free throw shooting has been an Achilles heel, but he knocked down two huge ones with six seconds left to help the 76ers earn their sixth straight win. Plus, coach Fred Hoiberg said the Bulls wanted to foul Simmons on the previous possession, but the 76ers got the ball to J.J. Redick, who made both with eight second left. Simmons and Joel Embiid play very well off each other and the sky is the limit with this duo.
Feb 22 - 11:01 PM
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