Centers weren’t to be outdone, as little known Jason Smith hit 9-of-12 shots for 22 points, eight boards and two blocks for the Pelicans on Sunday. He’s worth a look if you’re desperate for a big man. Miles Plumlee stayed hot for the Suns with eight points, 12 boards and a career-best five blocks, and Andrea Bargnani backed up Friday’s monster line with 16 points and a 3-pointer on Sunday against the Spurs. I don’t really trust Bargs, but he’s going to play heavy minutes for the Knicks and should be owned in most leagues.
DeMarcus Cousins bounced back from a pair of benchings with 33 and 35 points in his two weekend games, making him a must-start this week despite just three games. Robin Lopez had 12 points and 10 boards for the Blazers on Saturday, and is worth a look in two-center leagues. And DeAndre Jordan’s turnaround stayed on track Saturday with 12 points, 18 boards, four assists, two steals and three more blocks. He’s a good value play in FanDuel right now.
The Bad/Injury News
Steve Nash’s back injury is now officially a serious concern and he’ll see a doctor about it on Monday. I’m expecting him to be shut down for the foreseeable future, meaning Steve Blake and Jordan Farmar are both going to see a ton of minutes and opportunity. I was originally in the Farmar camp, but have jumped the fence in support of Blake. We still don’t know exactly what the word is on Nash, but I’m expecting the worst and see no reason to hold him for now.
Tyreke Evans was useless on Sunday and things aren’t going to get any better when Ryan Anderson is back from his fractured toe, which should happen this week. If you want to drop Evans, I’m cool with it. And while I’m not ready to tell you to throw Anderson into your lineup, he’s getting very close. Anthony Morrow stepped up for a sulking Evans with 16 points and two 3-pointers, so keep an eye on him.
John Wall is dealing with a back injury of his own and hit just 3-of-12 shots for 10 points and eight assists on Sunday. I’m not overly concerned, but it’s obviously bothering him, which is probably good news for Beal. LeBron James is also dealing with a sore back, saying “it’s not where it needs to be.” Of course, he played through it on Saturday and only hit 9-of-13 shots for 25 points, eight boards and 10 assists, just missing a triple-double. Keep rolling him out there and keep watching for news.
James Harden is slowed by a foot injury right now and hit just 4-of-15 shots on Saturday. He’s going to try to keep playing through his several nagging injuries, and posted a couple monster lines prior to Saturday’s struggle.
JaVale McGee has a broken left leg and there’s no timetable on his return. Timofey Mozgov, J.J. Hickson and Anthony Randolph are all going to help fill in for him, and I think McGee can be cut in most instances. And if I had to pick one of those three for success, it would be Hickson, although my guess is TinaFey is your starter.
Rajon Rondo apparently played some 3-of-3 without clearance a few weeks ago and we still don’t have a timetable on his return. If you’re sitting on him, hope for Christmas. The Lakers don’t expect Kobe Bryant to play within the next two weeks, which officially means I was wrong. I thought he’d be back by now, simply because he’s Kobe. But this also proves he’s an actual human being and not a machine.
Goran Dragic returned from an ankle sprain on Sunday for 12 points, three dimes and a 3-pointer, but the Suns play just two games this week. Wilson Chandler sounds like he could play on Monday after missing time with a hamstring injury. Pick him up. Brandon Knight is back from the same injury for the Bucks, but isn’t a guy I’d trust putting into lineups right now, despite the four-game week.
Ersan Ilyasova (ankle) and Larry Sanders (thumb) both sound closer to a return, but unless you get a positive update on Monday, they’re probably best left on your bench unless your options are limited.
Kyle Lowry is dealing with an ankle injury and while he says he’s going to play on Monday, we’ll have to wait and see if it happens. His finger injury is also hurting his offensive game right now. Stephen Curry played through his ankle injury on Saturday and looked great with 22 points, five assists, three steals and four 3-pointers, so it looks like a crisis was avoided. Pacers point guard George Hill played through his hip injury over the weekend, but hit just 1-of-6 shots for six points and seven assists. Start him at your own risk. Deron Williams played a season-high 33 minutes for 17 points and 10 dimes on Saturday, and it looks like he’s close to being Deron Williams again.
Carlos Delfino suffered a setback with his foot and it sounds like he’s iffy to play in a single game this season. If you were holding him on your IR, go ahead and cut bait.
J.R. Smith returned from his suspension and knee surgery on Sunday, but hit just 1-of-9 shots for five points in an ugly loss to the Spurs. He’ll be better soon, but he should be started at your own risk. Damian Lillard isn’t injured, but hit just 1-of-15 shots for four points on Saturday. He had been as good as any point guard coming into that one, but that was a FanDuel disaster for many of us. Keep him in your lineup.
Steven Adams had just one point, two rebounds and two blocks on Sunday after blowing up in his previous game. He may eventually take over Kendrick Perkins as OKC’s starting center, but until it happens, he’s too risky for use in fantasy.
Victor Oladipo was quiet on Saturday with five points and a somewhat packed stat line, but I’m not worried about him just yet.
And lastly, the Kings are talking about a lineup shake up. All we know is that DeMarcus Cousins will start at center, so the jobs of Greivis Vasquez, Marcus Thornton, John Salmons and Patrick Patterson are all in some jeopardy. Potential new starters are PG Isaiah Thomas, and SG rookie Ben McLemore, who has played very well in two straight and is worth a stash. Travis Outlaw or Luc Richard Mbah a Moute could get the call at SF, while Jason Thompson could start at PF soon. Keep an eye out to see what lineup the Kings roll out on Wednesday against the Nets, and act accordingly.