Out of Nowhere
Jeremy Pargo started at PG for the Cavs and went nuts for a career line of 28 points, five boards, four assists, a steal and four 3-pointers on 11-of-19 shooting in 39 minutes. Run, don’t walk, to pick him up with Kyrie Irving out for a month.
Rookie John Henson came out of nowhere with 17 points and 18 rebounds for the Bucks. My guess is this will be his best game of the season and with Skiles as his coach, and Larry Sanders and comatose Ersan Ilyasova lingering, Henson isn’t a must-own player in my mind. But if your wire has been picked clean and you want to take a flier on him, do it immediately.
Kevin Seraphin started at center and had 21 points and 10 rebounds against the Hawks. It looks like he could start the rest of the way for the terrible Wizards, and owners who held onto him through the tough times have plenty to be thankful for today. Pick him up.
Jason Kidd exploded for 17 points, six boards, five assists, five steals and five 3-pointers, notching the fantasy goldmine of a 5 x 5 game. I had him in a points-league lineup and couldn’t be happier with the pick up for four games. He had some extra motivation going against Mark Cuban’s Mavs, but he’s still playing well enough as the Knicks’ starting SG to be owned in all leagues.
Vince Carter is another old man playing well, going off for a season-high 25 points with five 3-pointers last night. His hamstring injury obviously isn’t a problem and Carter is playing well enough to be useful in most leagues.
Jonas Valanciunas exploded for 16 points, 10 rebounds and a block in 35 minutes. Yes, it came against the Bobcats, but we’ve been touting this kid’s upside all season long. I’ve owned and dropped him in multiple leagues, but am ready to pick him up again, if he’s still available.
Hornet Robin Lopez came out of nowhere with 21 points, 13 boards and four blocks against Roy Hibbert and the Pacers after really struggling over the past several games. Maybe this is a sign he’s going to get hot, so give him a look if you need a center. But also keep in mind that Anthony Davis was out with his ankle injury.
Houston’s Patrick Patterson continues to get heavy minutes and had a season-high 20 points to go along with eight boards and a block against the Bulls. He’s struggled to score and board on the same night, but could finally be ready to break out.
Matt Barnes is now starting for the Clippers and could stay there over Caron Butler, and went off for 19 points, nine boards, four steals, a block and two 3-pointers. I actually pick-and-played him in a couple leagues this week and it’s paying off. But once Butler is healthy, it remains to be seen if Barnes will keep the job, or if he’ll stay productive.
Tiago Splitter came off the bench for a season-high 23 points on 9-of-11 shooting with three rebounds, two steals and a block. He plays for Gregg Popovich, meaning I don’t trust him much, but if you need a center, he could be getting ready to see more minutes. Of course, he won’t shoot it like this every night, which means Pop won’t hesitate to pull him if he’s struggling.
Jason Smith came out of nowhere for 18 points, seven boards and a block in 26 minutes for the Hornets. He’s got skills, but until I see him producing with consistency, I’m going to pretend like this never happened. And keep in mind that Anthony Davis was out with his injury. Bismack Biyombo had 11 points, eight boards, a steal and two blocks in his first meaningful line of the year for Charlotte, meaning you should just put him on your radar. Meyers Leonard started in place of J.J. Hickson, who was out with a shoulder injury, and had 12 points, five boards and two blocks. Leonard looks like he’s going to be a good player, but Hickson is the center you want to own in Portland. Jermaine O’Neal somehow had 17 points, five rebounds and two blocks in 19 minutes for the Suns last night, taking us back to yesteryear. But I’ll be surprised to see him post another line like this anytime soon. If you’re thinking about grabbing him, go with option B.
Shannon Brown and Markieff Morris started over Jared Dudley and Luis Scola last night, and the move could be permanent in Phoenix. Brown had 10 points in a quiet outing, while Morris went off for 19 points and seven boards on 9-of-13 shooting, along with a 3-pointer. Scola played just 19 minutes and had four points, while Dudley scored four in 20 minutes. I’m not going to tell you to cut Scola yet, but picking up Morris looks like a must-move at this point.
Shaun Livingston started over A.J. Price for the Wiz, but Price outplayed him from the bench. Regardless of who starts, this is a timeshare until John Wall is back, but I’d still rather own Price if I was desperate at PG.
Moe Harkless started at SF for Orlando, pushing J.J. Redick to the bench, but I’m still holding Redick in all leagues, and not targeting Harkless in any (yet).
Troy Murphy started over Elton Brand for the Mavs and had two points and five boards before leaving with an illness. The fact he started over Brand says more about Brand’s decline than it does about Murphy’s strong play, and I’m not targeting either player in my fantasy leagues.
Turkey Day Fantasy Football Draft?
My buddy Rick Wolf put together this handy spreadsheet that I’m going to use for a football draft this morning. I’m going to cut up the sheet and put five QBs, 10 RBs, 10 WRs, 5 TEs, 5 Ks and 5 D’s in separate hats, and then have five owners (mostly the kids and clueless) pick fantasy teams for the day. You can also take a serious run at this and have a hardcore draft with your family, but either way, it should help some of the folks you’re watching football with care a little more. Follow me on Twitter and have a great Thanksgiving!