Jonas Nader

The Week Ahead

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The Week Ahead: Week 8

Sunday, December 3, 2017


NBA Week 8 Schedule:

 

4 Games: ATL, BOS, CHA, CHI, CLE, DAL, DEN, DET, IND, MEM, MIL, NOR, NYK, ORL, PHI, PHX, SAS, UTA, WAS

 

3 Games: BKN, GSW, MIN, OKC, SAC, TOR

 

2 Games: HOU, LAC, LAL, MIA, POR


With two games on the schedule for five different teams, the only players I'm starting from this franchises are James Harden, Chris Paul, Clint Capela, DeAndre Jordan, Lou Williams, Goran Dragic, Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic. If anyone has any lineup questions, you can ask me on Twitter here!

 

 

Streaming Schedule

 

Monday: ORL, CHA, NYK, IND, PHX, PHI, BKN, ATL, MIL, BOS, CLE, CHI, MIN, MEM, GSW, NOP, DEN, DAL, DET, SAS, WAS, UTA

 

Tuesday: PHX, TOR, UTA, OKC, WAS, POR

 

Wednesday: SAC, CLE, CHI, IND, ATL, ORL, DAL, BOS, MEM, NYK, GSW, CHA, DET, MIL, DEN, NOP, MIA, SAS, MIN, LAC

 

Thursday: LAL, PHI, WAS, PHX, OKC, BKN, HOU, UTA

 

Friday: CHI, CHA, GSW, DET, CLE, IND, DEN, ORL, TOR, MEM, DAL, MIL, SAC, NOP, BOS, SAS

 

Saturday: WAS, LAC, MIA, BKN, LAL, CHA, ORL, ATL, PHI, CLE, NYK, CHI, UTA, MIL, OKC, MEM, SAS, PHX, HOU, POR

 

Sunday: TOR, SAC, BOS, DET, DEN, IND, DAL, MIN, PHI, NOP, ATL, NYK

 

 

Weekly Streaming Options:

 

*These are players owned in less than 40% of leagues with four games on the schedule

 

Ersan Ilyasova (35% owned)- With John Collins (shoulder) out 2-3 weeks and Dewayne Dedmon (leg) out even longer, Ilyasova is suddenly looking at big minutes for a depleted frontcourt. The Hawks have four games this week and Ilyasova is averaging 15.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 2.0 triples over his last two games.

 

Marco Belinelli (37% owned)- The Hawks will eventually give younger guys like DeAndre Bembry more run at the expense of their veterans, but for now, Belinelli is still rolling along with averages of 14.4 points, 3.4 assists, 2.4 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.8 triples over his last five. 

 

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (31% owned)- He missed six games early this season for personal reasons and the Hornets monitored his minutes when he came back, but the restrictions have been lifted for a while and MKG has been trending up. While he won’t take any 3-pointers, MKG is worth a look if you’re targeting rebounds and defensive stats. 

 

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Denzel Valentine (30% owned)- Yes he’s cooled off, but Valentine is still a hold in a four-game week. In 10 starts this season, Valentine has solid averages of 9.7 points, 7.1 rebounds, 4.2 assists, 1.0 steals and 2.3 triples, but he hasn’t been shooting the ball well. 

 

J.J. Barea (26% owned)- I don’t like his outlook after the new year, but Barea is still getting the job done with Dallas deploying so many two-PG lineups. He’ll have some value until Seth Curry (leg) is back and is putting up 12.0 points, 8.0 assists, 2.8 rebounds, 0.8 steals and 2.0 triples in 21.8 minutes over his last five. 

 

Kenneth Faried (26% owned)- Nikola Jokic (ankle) will miss most, in not all, of Week 8. Faried has a great chance to showcase himself and is putting up 13.0 points, 9.8 rebounds and 0.5 blocks on 67.9 percent shooting over his last four games. He’s also an improved free throw shooter (72.2 percent), so he’s a solid streaming option this week if you need a big. 

 

Mason Plumlee (21% owned)- If not for his terrifying free throw percentage (43.5%), Plumlee would be a much better short-term pickup than Faried. With Jokic out, Plumlee started and played 31 minutes with 12 points, six boards and six assists. 

 

Lance Stephenson (22% owned)- Born Ready is staring to find his rhythm in Indiana and he’s a dangerous player when his confidence is high. He’s averaging 14.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.8 triples in 25.2 minutes per game over his last five, though it’s worth noting that Victor Oladipo missed one of those. Still, Stephenson can be a sneaky play with four games on the schedule. 

 

Darius Miller (6% owned)- People are still sleeping on Miller despite putting together a whole month of solid value. He’s a big beneficiary with Anthony Davis (groin) out and averaged 11.6 points, 2.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 0.5 steals and 3.1 triples in his last 10 games. 

 

Alec Burks (21% owned)- The Jazz need his offense right now with Rodney Hood (ankle) banged up and Burks came through in a big way with 22.0 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.7 steals and 2.6 triples over his last three games. Joe Johnson (finger) still isn’t close to a return and Hood is day-to-day, so Burks’ window to produce is still wide open for the time being. 

 

 

My Favorite Long-Term Pickups of the Week

 

*These are players owned in less than 25% of leagues that should have more value as the season progresses. 

 

Jordan Bell (21% owned)- Bell still isn’t a lock to play significant minutes despite making a lot of noise last week, but if you’re looking for a lottery ticket to keep at the end of your bench, you’d be hard-pressed to find a player on your wire with more upside. Bell has played just 13.4 minutes per game over his last five, but he’s still been incredibly productive with 6.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 2.2 blocks(!) and 1.0 steals. That’s borderline unfair. 

 

There’s a reason this guy leads the NBA in net rating and coach Steve Kerr joked that GM Bob Myers would fire him if he doesn’t start playing Bell more. The rookie played 16 minutes in his last game vs. Orlando and appears to be on the verge of carving out a 20-minute role. "He's earning more time," Kerr said of Bell. "He's going to play some more. He's a rookie. So he's got to learn the league. He's got to learn concepts. I'm bringing him along slowly. I'm really pleased with his production. You'll see more of him coming up.”

 

Jonathan Isaac (6% owned)- Speaking of lottery tickets, Isaac is another great pickup with potential to break out sooner rather than later. Terrence Ross’ (knee) season could potentially be over, so Isaac’s path to minutes just got even wider. He’s still nursing an ankle injury that has sidelined him since Nov. 11, but he’s been ramping up his activity in practice and could return any day now. With per-36 minute averages of 11.0 points, 8.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 1.2 steals, 2.3 blocks and 0.8 triples, Isaac has the potential to be a fantasy stud and the Magic should unleash them since this is likely going to be another lost season in Orlando. 

 

Jarrett Allen (4% owned)- Allen has been a popular name in the fantasy community this season, but that’s based on potential upside and not current production. He has been a consistent part of the rotation lately, but he’s only getting 17.4 minutes per game over his last five. As soon as he reaches 24 minutes (and he eventually will), he could be a lot of fun to own for his shot-blocking prowess. 

 

 

Sell-High Player of the Week

 

Derrick Favors- Rudy Gobert (knee) is due back any day now, so Favors will have to shift back over to his weaker position (PF) and will also see a dip in minutes. The Jazz refused to play Favors over Ekpe Udoh as the backup center when Gobert was active, so he was only getting minutes in the mid-20s. Maybe that changes, but either way, Favors’ ceiling is significantly lower while Gobert is active. He’s been a top-25 player over the past two weeks, so it’s hard to imagine his value being any higher than it is now barring a trade. 

 

 

Buy-Low Player of the Week

 

Goran Dragic- The Dragon followed up his Eastern Conference Player of the Week Award with one of his worst stretches in recent memory, scoring 7, 6 and 7 points in his last three games. He shot a combined 7-of-29 from the field in that span, and now his frustrated owners are staring at a two-game week on the schedule. There’s no word of any injury and I’m confident that he will bounce back, so this is a great chance to buy low on a player with proven top-50 upside. 

 

 

Latest Injury News

 

*Accurate as of 3:00 ET on Sunday

 

Kemba Walker, who missed the last two games for Charlotte with a shoulder injury, practiced in full on Sunday and has already been called a “go” for Monday’s game barring a setback. Lock him into your lineups for a 4-game week and pray his shoulder holds up. 

 

John Collins has a sprained AC joint in his left shoulder and is expected to miss 2-3 weeks. I still love his rest-of-season outlook, so hold him wherever possible. Dewayne Dedmon is expected to miss 3-6 weeks with a left tibia stress reaction, so the Hawks will have to rely on Ersan Ilyasova, Miles Plumlee and Luke Babbitt. LOL. 

 

Nikola Mirotic (face) is expected to make his debut on Wednesday at Indiana or Friday at Charlotte. He’s not in the best shape for obvious reasons, but does have some upside and is worth keeping an eye on. He likely needs a trade to have legitimate value since Lauri Markkanen is the PF of the future. 

 

Tristan Thompson (calf) could return to the court as soon as this week, but his fantasy appeal isn’t great. Prior to the injury, he averaging career-lows with 4.4 points and 6.6 rebounds and he can’t hit a free throw to save his life. 

 

Nikola Jokic (ankle) will travel with the team during Denver's upcoming six-game road trip "with the hope being that he’ll play towards the middle of the six games.” Owners in weekly leagues should definitely bench him, as it’s not a lock that we’ll see him at all on this road trip. 

 

Hassan Whiteside (knee) said he won't play again until his knee is "totally healed" and will wait until he is "totally 100 percent.” This means we can throw his reported timetable of 1-2 weeks out the window. I wouldn’t be shocked if he’s out until Christmas and he could quickly become a shut-down candidate if the Heat aren’t competitive after the new year. Kelly Olynyk should be owned everywhere and Bam Adebayo is also a nice short-term pickup, but the Heat only play twice in Week 8. 

 

Anthony Davis (left pelvis) is going to be evaluated on Sunday night, but I’m guessing he’s going to miss multiple games. Davis is on crutches and DeMarcus Cousins sounded very concerned when he was asked about his teammate. 

 

Rudy Gobert (knee) went through a light practice on Sunday and is being listed as questionable for Monday's game against the Wizards. He’s been ramping up his activity lately and had a workout in front of coach Quin Snyder a few days ago. This means he’s a full week ahead of his projected 4-6 week timetable, so it won’t be long before the shot-blocking Stifle Tower is back in fantasy lineups. 

 

John Wall (knee) doesn’t have a target date, but if his timetable holds, we won’t see him back in action until next week at the earliest.




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