LeBron returns with a whimper
After missing Wednesday’s game due to back spasms, LeBron James returned to action on Friday and posted a rather pedestrian line of 15 points, six rebounds, and seven assists. He added two steals and one block but didn’t hit a triple in what was a modest fantasy line from the King. The game was a rather low-scoring affair and Ray Allen actually led the team with 18 points. Unfortunately, this line also comes during a week in which many fantasy teams are in their playoffs but James still has one game left this week. In what should be a heavyweight fantasy matchup, LeBron James and the Heat take on Anthony Davis and the Pelicans on Saturday night.
Amir is rolling right now
For a guy who lost his starting job a few months ago and has been relatively erratic for most of his pro career, Amir Johnson has been on an absolute tear as of late. The Raptors big man is averaging 17.5 points, 8.5 boards, and one block per contest over his last six games while shooting over 60% from the field. Those numbers are good enough to be a top-30 player in most leagues and while that’s obviously not going to be a lifelong trend, Johnson should finish the season very strong, making him a nice player to own down the stretch.
Drummond looks just fine
Andre Drummond returned on Friday after a one-game absence due to a scary neck injury and looked great, posting 13 points, 16 rebounds, and one block against the Suns. The Pistons big man first sustained the injury against the Pacers last week and was reportedly in a ton of pain but looked perfectly normal in his 36 minutes of action. The Pistons are pretty much out of it so it’s nice to see Drummond come back and play down the stretch.
Amare keeps turning back the clock
Despite his inconsistent playing time this season and the random DNP’s; Amare Stoudemire has been on quite the tear during the Knicks current eight-game winning streak. On Friday night, the former All-Star tallied 22 points and 10 boards, and while his supplementary stats are limited, his efficiency and contributions in points and boards can be an asset. Stoudemire has been particularly effective over his last three games, averaging 19 points and seven rebounds per game while shooting a high percentage from the field. He’s certainly a risk to go down or need rest but while he’s producing, Stoudemire is worth a look in most leagues, especially since the Knicks are in “all hands on deck” mode as the team strives for a playoff spot.
Gasol, Wroten, and Gordon all go down
There were a number of injuries on Friday night, all of which can impact the fantasy landscape. Marc Gasol went down with a sprained left ankle and subsequently left the arena in a walking boot. He was originally going to return but ultimately did not. The fact that he left in a walking boot is slightly alarming and if he were to miss significant time, Kosta Koufos would likely see a slight bump in value. In Philadelphia, Tony Wroten sprained his right ankle in the fourth quarter and left the arena on crutches. He’s already been ruled out for the start of their three-game road trip, making him a risky hold going forward. James Anderson and Hollis Thompson should see a bump in minutes and production. Finally, Eric Gordon suffered a left knee injury on Friday and did not return, however, coach Monty Williams indicated that the shooting guard could play on Saturday night. Luckily, Gordon tweaked his left knee and not the often injured right knee. It looks like Gordon and fantasy owners avoided a serious situation here.