Let’s dive right into this thing. There were six games on Monday night and all the fantasy news you need to know is included, game-by-game. There’s also an injury report that follows, that should highlight on all the relevant guys showing up on the Rotoworld Injury Report. Let’s go.
The NBA Season Pass is up and running, so check it out! Weekly projections and rankings, exclusive live chats, the schedule grid and breakdown, customizable scoring, and much more is all there.
Do you miss football already? Didn’t get into enough hoops leagues? Check out SnapDraft, where you can draft a new team every night and win some cash.
Wolves at Raptors
Kevin Love hit just 3-of-14 shots but still had 13 points, 14 boards and two 3-pointers in the win. It’s nice to know he’s still human. Derrick Williams had 13 points, eight boards, a steal and a block, and with Beasley out until Friday, remains a very solid play the rest of this week. Beasley has caught some heat from Love about the ball moving better without him on the court, so don’t be surprised to see Beasley split time with Williams when he’s ready to return. Jose Juan Barea returned from a hamstring injury and scored a season-high 16 points on 5-of-9 shooting with two 3-pointers and three assists in just 17 minutes. His minutes will be an issue with Ricky Rubio and Luke Ridnour having nice seasons, so only grab him if you’re in a 14-team league, or larger. And even then, you can probably find a more consistent player.
Amir Johnson broke out for 19 points, 11 rebounds, a steal and a block last night in 30 minutes. He’s still a fouling machine, but has played well this season and should be owned in most leagues. James Johnson came through with five points, five boards, four blocks and a 3-pointer off the bench. If you rolled the dice on him with five games, this is about as much as you could have hoped for in Game 1. Jose Calderon had another nice game on Monday and has been a very pleasant early surprise for those of us who drafted him. Keep in mind Jerryd Bayless is due back from an ankle injury on Friday, and while he shouldn’t challenge Calderon’s job, will eat into some of his minutes. DeMar DeRozan has officially cooled off, hitting just 3-of-11 shots and no 3-pointers for nine points. He already has hit his career high in threes with 10 of them, and while he’s struggling right now, should bounce back soon. Try to hang in there with him if you can. Andrea Bargnani had 31 points and nine boards last night as his strong play continues. Conventional wisdom says to sell high, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he keeps this going all year.
Pacers at Sixers
Danny Granger sat out with food poisoning allowing Dahntay Jones to start. Jones had 12 points and a nice line, but is only worth a look if Granger is going to miss substantial time, and that’s not the case here. Paul George had 13 points, seven boards, five assists, two steals and three 3-pointers, and remains a guy who should be owned in most leagues. Roy Hibbert played through his sprained ankle and didn’t block a shot, but did have 19 points and eight boards. Roll with him. Tyler Hansbrough had 10 points and five boards before leaving the game with an eye injury, leaving him iffy for Wednesday against the Hawks. If he’s out, Hibbert and David West should have a huge night against Atlanta.
Spencer Hawes was a go despite a back injury and had 12 points, eight boards and a block in 29 minutes, while Nikola Vucevic came off the bench for 11 points and eight rebounds in just 17 minutes. Hawes has been a bit of a fantasy freak this season, but if he goes down, Vucevic will become a must-own player. Elton Brand was awful again with six points, five boards and a block and I expect frustrated owners will start dumping him soon, especially in smaller leagues. I have no interest in owning him right now, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be producing effectively three weeks from now. Then again, he could also still look like he’s running in quicksand three weeks from now.
Hawks at Nets
Joe Johnson, Jeff Teague and Josh Smith all had big lines in the Hawks’ win, and all remain must starts in fantasy leagues right now. Especially Smith, who is on one of those tears that helps fantasy teams not only win, but dominate. Vladimir Radmanovic started in place of Marvin Williams (ankle), and will likely do so again on Wednesday. He had 14 points, six boards and four 3-pointers, and is worth a spot start against the Pacers tomorrow. Tracy McGrady played just eight minutes as the compact season is already taking a toll on his legs. I see no reason to own him.
Anthony Morrow started and scored 20 points with four 3-pointers and is averaging 18 points over his last three games, knocking down 13 treys over that stretch. He’s on fire and has benefitted from injuries to MarShon Brooks and DeShawn Stevenson, and while he looks like a strong play this week, don’t be surprised if he cools off again soon. I am still grabbing Morrow in leagues where he was dropped. Brooks had 19 points, 10 boards and three 3-pointers for his first double-double, and appears to be over his ankle injury. He bounced back quickly from it and will hopefully stick in the starting five when Stevenson (knee) and Damion James (foot) return from their injuries. Brooks is a must-own player right now, although I benched him in weekly leagues due to the uncertainty of his ankle injury. Get him in your lineup.
Bobcats at Knicks
Boris Diaw bounced back from a terrible game with 19 points, three 3-pointers, 10 rebounds, seven assists and a steal on 8-of-12 shooting on Monday after torching the Knicks for a similar line last week, and then stinking up the joint in his last game. It’s too bad he can’t play New York every night, but for those of you who rolled the dice on him with five games this week, he’s already given you 2.5 games worth of production in one night. Just know that it’s feast or famine with Diaw thus far, although it’s mostly been ‘feast.’ Tyrus Thomas was in foul trouble and hit just 2-of-7 shots for six points, four boards and two blocks in 22 minutes. He’s starting for Charlotte and should be better than this on most nights, and I think he’s a must-own player until his next injury. D.J. White had 15 points and seven rebounds off the bench, but saw extra run due to Thomas’ foul trouble. Just give him a look in deeper leagues. DeSagana Diop started at center but didn’t do much, while red-hot B.J. Mullens cooled off in just 17 minutes. It figures that Mullens would disappear at the start of a five-game week after playing so well recently, but he had just four points and three boards last night. The good news for those of you who took a flier on him is that he still has four games between now and Sunday to turn it around. The bad news is that he’s still B.J. Mullens. Kemba Walker scored 10 points, but with Gerald Henderson and D.J. Augustin playing well, is going to have a tough time getting enough minutes to be consistent in fantasy leagues.
Iman Shumpert started at point guard and had 16 points, six boards, four assists and three steals, but dealt with cramping in his legs again in a tight win over the Cats. Toney Douglas played through a shoulder injury off the bench, but had just two points in 13 minutes. He is done-zo as long as Shumpert is starting. Carmelo Anthony played through soreness to his right side and had 22 points on 6-of-18 shooting, but it looks like he’ll make it through the week. Tyson Chandler’s slow start was annoying, but he’s feeling it now, scoring 20 points, grabbing 13 boards and a blocking three shots last night. Mike Bibby, who had a couple nice games recently, left with a sprained ankle and played just six minutes. Ignore him. Landry Fields played 37 minutes, but continues to be inconsistent, scoring just five points on 2-of-6 shooting. If I own him, I’m trolling the wire for a more consistent option.
Pistons at Bulls
Brandon Knight had 13 points, five rebounds, one assist and a 3-pointer, and looks like a solid start with five games this week. Just be prepared for him to take a hit when Rodney Stuckey returns from his groin injury. Greg Monroe had 14 points, 10 rebounds, a career-high six assists and a steal, and remains a must-start fantasy center. He’s only blocked four shots this season, which is frustrating, but is playing well everywhere else. Jonas Jerebko has cooled off after a hot start and had just four points on 2-of-8 shooting. He’s going to be dropped in many leagues, so just keep an eye on him in case he starts feeling it again.
Joakim Noah had just four points (zero field goal attempts), eight boards and two blocks in the win, while Carlos Boozer had 23 points and eight boards. Noah has been wildly inconsistent this season and while the blocks are nice, look into trading him for a more consistent performer if you’ve got center depth.
Hornets at Nuggets
Jarrett Jack gave owners a scare after it was announced that he would miss Monday’s game with a foot injury, but then decided he would play just before game time. Hopefully he was stuck in your lineup, as he had 13 points, four boards, nine assists, two steals and a three in the win. He’s a must-own, must-start fantasy point guard until further notice. Hopefully he’s good to go on Wednesday against the Thunder. Marco Belinelli finally broke out last night with 19 points and three 3-pointers in another start for Eric Gordon. I picked him up and threw him in several lineups, so I’m hoping this is the sign of a hot streak coming. He should continue to start for at least the next two or three weeks as Gordon rests his knee. Al-Farouq Aminu came back to earth on Monday with four points, eight boards, five assists, a steal and a block in another start for Trevor Ariza (groin). He salvaged a decent line with the stats, but he’s going to be inconsistent, especially when Ariza and Gordon are back. Carl Landry scored 21 off the bench and Chris Kaman had 20 as the starting power forward, and both players remain must-own at this point. If one of them goes down, the other could go on a real tear.
Al Harrington crashed back to earth last night with two points on 1-of-4 shooting in just 18 minutes. He was averaging 16 points and 1.3 3-pointers coming in, but never got it going last night. I’ve got him in a few lineups and am just hoping this was a bad night for Baby Al. Andre Miller is finally showing signs of cooling off as well, going 0-for-5 with three assists last night. Ty Lawson had 15 points despite a foot injury that required an X-ray, but finished the game. It sounds like he avoided a crisis, but Miller would become a beast if Lawson were to miss time. Miller is probably worth hanging onto, but is far from a must-start player now that his hot start to the season has come to an end. Nene returned to action with nine points, 11 boards, a steal and a block in 30 minutes, and owners have to hope that his heel problem is behind him. It may or may not be, so continue to look for updates on his status. Arron Afflalo scored 13 points in 34 minutes and as long as he keeps getting minutes, I still think he’ll break out of the funk and start scoring and hitting treys. But thus far, he’s been a bust and there’s a reason he might be available in your league.