These are the dog days in fantasy leagues, with everything on the line and all sorts of meaningless minutia to sort through. As mentioned yesterday the best place you can be is on our Player News Page, where the whims of the DNP-toting fantasy gods deliver the goods to the masses.
As mentioned last week the Breakdown is done for the 2014-15 season, and I’ll be here next week after Tuesday night’s games to get ready for Championship Wednesday. Then that’s it as we’ll be going into postseason mode and before you know it we’ll be talking NBA draft. I’m looking at new ways to improve the content around here so hit me up with your feedback and ideas. Good luck this week!
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THE BIG NUMBERS
|Kenneth Faried||29||0||11||0||2||2||0||71.4%||Too little, too late for owners?|
|Brook Lopez||26||0||10||2||1||3||1||47.1%||Somebody going to overpay him this summer.|
|Robert Covington||27||4||3||1||2||0||1||72.7%||Pick him up.|
|Marcin Gortat||18||0||7||6||0||4||2||88.9%||Top 20-30 guy (9/8 cat) this past month.|
|Isaiah Thomas||34||4||3||6||0||0||2||58.8%||Kings gonna regret this one for years.|
|Zaza Pachulia||19||0||10||2||5||1||2||61.5%||Early round returns this past month.|
|Derrick Favors||18||0||11||1||1||3||1||69.2%||Hopefully he finishes the season strong.|
|Gerald Green||30||5||2||2||0||1||1||52.6%||Unconfirmed reports said he 'passed' last night.|
|Jimmy Butler||19||3||5||6||2||0||2||60.0%||Does anyone have the guts to pick the Bulls?|
|Trevor Ariza||19||5||2||2||2||0||0||58.3%||Do we have a 'most consistent player' award?|
|George Hill||20||1||6||5||3||0||2||63.6%||Somehow, Hill took a step forward this year.|
|Michael Carter-Williams||30||1||2||8||1||0||2||59.1%||No Giannis helped but owners' will take it|
|Kyrie Irving||27||4||4||9||3||0||6||53.8%||Will CLE ride his young legs to finish?|
|Al Horford||24||1||7||4||2||1||2||55.0%||Watch out for rest, DNPs.|
|Kawhi Leonard||20||0||3||2||4||0||2||60.0%||I think y'all understand my high rank now.|
|Greg Monroe||19||0||10||1||3||2||3||64.3%||Hits the ground running on return.|
|Andre Drummond||22||0||14||0||0||1||4||57.9%||2-3 cat line at best, not the value some think.|
|Ray McCallum||3||1||2||2||2||0||1||14.3%||Theoretically (airquotes), he may go off 1 night.|
|Marvin Williams||1||0||8||3||2||1||2||0.0%||Makes some shots and it's a fine night.|
|Gordon Hayward||4||0||2||1||0||0||0||33.3%||This certainly came out of left field.|
|Eric Gordon||9||1||1||3||1||0||1||30.8%||Gordon probably running on fumes these days.|
|Tyreke Evans||10||1||6||3||1||0||3||30.0%||Inefficiency is sort of his thing.|
|Ed Davis||15||0||12||0||1||0||2||66.7%||Three-cat line isn't really helping much.|
|Joakim Noah||4||0||11||4||2||0||3||33.3%||Been hurting more than helping lately.|
|Deron Williams||10||1||4||13||0||0||5||40.0%||Needs more volume to avoid these pitfalls.|
|Mo Williams||10||2||1||3||0||0||1||30.8%||Hopefully he's showcasing himself this week.|
|Evan Turner||4||0||2||4||1||0||3||40.0%||Isaiah Thomas was volcano-level hot.|
Here’s the best of the best as we navigate the silly season…..
LeBron James is “hinting” that he may sit out the next two games, which are interestingly against the Celtics and that’s noteworthy because the Heat are trying to unseat them to get into the playoffs. I’m guessing that’ll hit somebody’s hot take cannon by the time you guys are reading this. If you’re taking a flier on somebody I’d give Iman Shumpert and Matthew Dellavedova a look.
Rick Carlisle already said Rajon Rondo (knee) might miss a game and the Mavs have nothing to play for. Owners may want to take a look at J.J. Barea for some popcorn lines in games that Rondo does not play.
Rudy Gay (concussion) is still showing symptoms, George Karl still hopes he can return, and anything can happen here. DeMarcus Cousins is traveling to L.A. to see a foot specialist and that has trouble written all over it. Omri Casspi and Jason Thompson are worth a look, though they’re not guaranteed to produce even if they get a full workload.
Jeremy Lin (knee) was a late scratch last night and Dwight Buycks (15 points, five boards, three assists, one steal, one three) became a hope and a prayer for owners needing guard help, assuming Lin misses more time.
Chandler Parsons did not play due to soreness and swelling in his right knee, and with the Mavs locked into the No. 7 seed there’s no reason but chemistry to get him back on the floor. Owners have to look at cutting him pretty aggressively unless news improves quickly.
Giannis Antetokounmpo was a weird DNP last night with Jason Kidd not commenting on why he didn’t play other than to say it was a coach’s decision. Kidd did this shtick with the Larry Sanders situation and has withheld basic info from the press a few other times, but considering it’s Giannis I’d expect some reporter to uncover what’s going on here.
Nerlens Noel left last night’s game with a right ankle sprain and he’s already unlikely to play on Saturday. At this time of the year, you also have to ask the question of whether or not he’ll get shutdown. Thomas Robinson went for 11 and 12 with two steals, but nobody around the team gets the sense that he’s entitled to anything under any circumstance. There is no clear beneficiary of any time off for Noel at this point.
Donatas Motiejunas (back) is out for the season, including the playoffs, and while we’re talking Rockets I noted last week that Terrence Jones needed to play his way back into shape. Jones scored two points and that’s all he did in 17 minutes last night, and he’s a risky player to start until he looks a lot better. These things tend to happen quickly when a player is still on the floor and getting back on track, and we all know about Jones’ upside so dropping him might bite you next week in Roto leagues.
For more injury news check out our injury page.
Derrick Rose got back on the floor and played 19 minutes as he moved right back into the starting lineup. He hit 3-of-9 shots for nine points, two rebounds, two assists, one steal and four turnovers against the Magic, and he’s worth a look for all owners as long as you aren’t expecting a lot. Focusing only on his proficient areas, though, he might be able to get going in a hurry next week.
Greg Monroe returned from an 11-game absence and got right back on track with 19 points, 10 boards, one assist, two blocks and three steals in 31 minutes. He was only expected to play 5-6 minute stints, but obviously he exceeded that and needs to be in all lineups.
Danilo Gallinari returned from a day off and scored 27 points with seven rebounds, four assists, two blocks and seven threes, and if he’s not ruled out of games he needs to be in lineups, obviously. Ty Lawson also returned from a forearm injury and scored 16 points on 7-of-13 shooting with three rebounds, eight assists and one steal in 39 minutes. The Denver crew is basically a nightly crapshoot so owners need to stay on their toes.
Rodney Hood has been playing with a lot of confidence lately and he scored 20 points with three treys, eight boards, four assists and a block in last night’s win over the Kings. In the grand scheme of late-season pickups he is above average but he needs this type of volume to make it work. Keep in mind, too, that last night’s win came against a Kings team that gives opposing coaches a favorable spot to get younger players good experience. Gordon Hayward played just 20 minutes and hit 1-of-3 shots, which isn’t going to happen unless he’s asked to take a step back for development purposes. Memphis, Portland, Dallas and Houston might not be as easy to do that with, depending of course on playoff rest patterns.
Ryan Kelly might have scared folks off with his 3-of-17 mark from the field on Tuesday, but naturally he bounced back last night with 6-of-8 hits for 17 points, three treys, two assists, one steal and two blocks in 33 minutes. There’s enough minutes and volume here for him to be owned going forward. Tarik Black was a low-end pickup from yesterday’s Dose but he sputtered, playing just 17 minutes with just five points and two boards to his credit. If a low-end big man could help you, he’s still worth a look since Byron Scott usually plays him more.
Robert Covington could have easily been dropped given the Sixers’ two straight two-game weeks, and last night his 27 points with four treys should send owners back to the wire to pick him up now that the schedule isn’t such a liability.
C.J. McCollum has been steady for owners that have already picked him up and last night he put up 13 points, three rebounds, two steals and a trey in 25 minutes. That’s probably his floor unless he has a terrible shooting night, and for his upside there’s a chance that the big guns get rested here and there in the team’s remaining games.
Chase Budinger continued to get it done for owners and he should already be owned across the board, but he hit 5-of-12 shots for 12 points, five steals and two threes to further solidify that argument last night. While we’re talking Minny – Justin Hamilton was meh last night with six points, nine boards and a steal in 27 minutes, but I’m not moving off him or anything like that. The Wolves got blown out in the Rose Garden and he gets a solid matchup against the Lakers on Friday.
Gerald Green scored a season-high 30 points in 30 minutes last night, and your guess is as good as mine as to whether or not Jeff Hornacek is going to let him loose on a nightly basis. He’s an unrestricted free agent next season so there’s no overwhelming appeal to enhance his market value – or detract from it – but Green is going to shoot almost every time he touches the ball and that gives him some unique upside.
Ryan Anderson could easily be a drop after last night’s zero-point, 13-minute flop. Of course owners wanted more, but low minutes against a good defense in his first back-to-back scenario isn’t the best measuring stick. If you can afford to hold through one more game, that’s the play I’d make.
Mike Muscala started for Paul Millsap (shoulder) last night and put up nine points, one rebound, two steals and one block in 24 minutes. The line probably saved a couple of you out there, but with Millsap possibly coming back on Friday owners can be aggressive making the cut. The only caveat I’d add is that I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Muscala alternated good games with bad ones the rest of the way.
I need to use this space to issue a mea culpa on Will Barton. Not because he has been terrible, because he hasn’t been bad on the whole, but rather because he hasn’t justified all the ink. Last night he scored just four points with three rebounds, two steals and one block, and as usual those wacky defensive numbers may have actually been useful for some of you. He just hasn’t gotten the chance to turn in big numbers like I had hoped, and he’s most certainly a drop candidate.