Games Played Week 11
4 Games: BOS, BRK, CHI, DAL, GSW, HOU, IND, LAL, MEM, MIN, NYK, OKC, PHI, SAC, WAS
3 Games: ATL, CHA, CLE, DEN, DET, LAC, MIA, MIL, NOP, ORL, PHX, SAS, TOR, UTA
2 Games: POR
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George Hill Kings 65% - After being left for dead earlier in the season Hill has had a bit of a resurgence for the Kings, but didn’t look great in Saturday’s loss to the Spurs when he had seven points and six assists in 34 minutes. De’Aaron Fox is banged up and Hill has looked a lot better over the last two weeks than he did the previous month, although his December numbers still aren’t mind blowing. But averages of 12.6 points, 3.2 rebounds, 3.6 assists, a steal and 2.0 3-pointers on 56 percent shooting are enough to warrant him being owned across the board.
Isaiah Canaan Suns 23% – Canaan has yet to have that “wow” game, but he’s also quietly scored in double figures in all five of his games with the Suns this season. Devin Booker is nearing a return and is said to be practicing as I write this on Sunday, but Mike James and Tyler Ulis have been overshadowed by Canaan lately. He’s averaging 13.4 points, 2.8 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.6 3-pointers over his last five games, and should stick in the rotation, even when Booker is healthy.
Jarrett Jack Knicks 11% - Jack has managed to hold off Frank Ntilikina and is averaging 9.6 points, 4.4 boards, 5.0 assists, 1.2 steals and 0.6 3-pointers over his last five games. He’s not for everyone, but point guards are thin on the wire and he is probably available in your league with a four-game week coming.
Andrew Harrison Grizzlies 4% - Harrison’s been interesting in his last two games, at least from a scoring standpoint, scoring 15 and 12 points. He hit just 3-of-14 shots on Saturday but still had 15 points, five assists, a steal, a block and a 3-pointer. He’s averaging just 8.6 points, 2.6 rebounds, 3.0 assists, a block and a 3-pointer over his last five games, hitting just 32 percent of his shots. He’s far from a must-own player, but with Mike Conley’s return date still a mystery, Harrison can help owners when his shots are falling, and surprisingly, he doesn’t turn the ball over much. Just stay away if preserving your field goal percentage is a primary concern.
Shabazz Napier 5% - Napier has been killing it and blew up for 21 points, three rebounds, five assists, three steals and four 3-pointers on Saturday. He’s scored in double digits in four straight games, but has really excelled in his last two with Damian Lillard out with a hamstring injury. Lillard says he’s playing on Thursday, but there’s a chance Napier could still be effective coming off the bench. But when you combine the Blazers’ two-game schedule and the imminent return of Lillard, Napier couldn’t have peaked at a worse time.
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Jonathon Simmons Magic 59% – Simmons’ ownership has really grown over the last few weeks and he’s almost outgrown this list. He’s averaging 16 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 0.8 steals and 0.8 3-pointers on 48 percent shooting over his last five games and has become entrenched in the starting five for one of the league’s most injured teams. He’s simply a must-own, must-start player at this point.
Jordan Clarkson Lakers 60% - Clarkson had fallen into a three-game funk where he scored just four points in each of them (6-of-26 shooting) before breaking out to hit 7-of-14 shots for 18 points, three boards, a steal and two 3-pointers on Saturday. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is expected to miss next Sunday and Monday’s games due to his legal problems, so Clarkson could have a productive four-game slate in front of him. I just wish he got more than 20 minutes a night.
Denzel Valentine Bulls 18% - Valentine had his streak of double-digit scoring games broken at three on Saturday when he hit just 1-of-3 shots for five points, but he was playing very well prior to that game. Boston defended him well and took him out of the mix, but he had 18 points, five boards, four assists, a steal, a block and four 3-pointers on Thursday against the Cavs, and had 16 points, 10 rebounds, five dimes, a steal and three 3-pointers on Wednesday against the Magic. He’ll take a hit once Zach LaVine is back, but that’s not likely to happen until Jan. 13, at the earliest.
Delon Wright Raptors 2% – Wright is heating up, scoring 14 points with three steals, a block and a 3-pointer on Saturday, and he had 12 points, four boards, four assists, a steal and two 3-pointers on Thursday. He’s averaging 9.0 points, 1.6 steals and 0.8 3-pointers over his last five, but over his last two those numbers jump all the way up to 13 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.5 3-pointers. I’d like him better if the Raptors played four games instead of three this week, but he’s still a player that appears to be trending in the right direction, although it’s a small sample size.
Yogi Ferrell Mavs 16% - Ferrell’s not as attractive as he was last week with Dennis Smith Jr. injured, but he still managed to go for 23 points and five triples off the bench on Friday. He chilled on Saturday with seven points, but was also in foul trouble for that one. He’s averaging 14.2 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.0 steals and 2.4 3-pointers over his last five games and should stay in the rotation with Seth Curry still not ready from his leg injury.
Josh Richardson Heat 65% – Our boy!! He’s about played his way off this list, finally, but I figured we’d give him one last shout out. Richardson has been crushing it for the banged up Heat, averaging 21.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.4 steals, 1.4 blocks and 2.6 3-pointers on 54 percent shooting over his last five games. And for the whole month of December he’s at 17.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 1.1 steals, 1.0 blocks and 2.3 3-pointers on 55 percent shooting. Hopefully you hung with him through the rough stretch, or were able to pick him up and were able to enjoy the benefits of owning Richardson this month.
Caris LeVert Nets 38% – LeVert has quietly scored in double digits in four straight and is averaging 14.5 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.0 steals and 2.3 3-pointers over that stretch. He’s shooting it really well right now, hitting 22-of-40 shots over that stretch and is getting 28 minutes per game. He should be owned in more leagues.
Mike Scott Wizards 21% - I really didn’t expect for Scott to do much this season, but he’s cruising for the Wizards, averaging 18.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.0 steals and 2.0 3-pointers on an incredible 69 percent shooting over his last five games. He’s going to have to cool off at some point, but he’s doing a lot of damage in just 23 minutes a game right now. He’s likely going to be one of the hottest pickups heading into the new week with four games, but we’ll have to see how long it will last.
Mario Hezonja Magic 7% - Hezonja had a big week without Aaron Gordon in the way and is averaging 16.8 points, 4.0 rebounds, 2.0 steals and 3.0 3-pointers over his last four games. He’ll take a hit if Gordon is back on Tuesday, but he can play small forward and shooting guard, too. His confidence is high right now and he’s rolling, but I’d feel a little better about him if Gordon wasn’t due back soon, and if the Magic played four games instead of three this week.
Michael Beasley Knicks 31% – Beasley was fun to own when Kristaps Porzingis was out or struggling last week, as he went on a four-game tear where he scored between 15 and 32 points, and even with Friday’s six-point, 13-minute dud he’s averaging 21.2 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 0.8 blocks and 1.0 3-pointers on 54 percent shooting over his last five. But Porzingis is back, Beasley fell off the map on Friday and could stay off the grid until Porzingis goes down again. But he proved that he can still play last week and might still be a deep-league option, even with Porzingis back at it.
John Collins Hawks 60% - Collins has been rolling in his last three games, averaging 15.7 points, 7.3 boards, 1.0 assists and 0.7 blocks while hitting 19-of-24 shots over that stretch. He’s still figuring out how to play in the NBA but is getting better each week and he should simply be owned in every league imaginable.
Jordan Bell Warriors 30% – Bell flourished last week with Draymond Green sitting out a few games, and Green dinged up his elbow again on Saturday. Green is expected to play on Christmas, but it’s time to pick Bell up. Green’s shoulder could be a lingering issue and the Warriors won’t be afraid to rest him, or at least limit his minutes, especially in blowouts. Bell had a dynamic 20 points, 10 rebounds, a steal and a block on 9-of-13 shooting on Friday and is averaging 9.0 points, 5.8 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.4 steals and 1.6 blocks while shooting 66 percent from the floor over his last five. He’s getting 24 minutes a game right now and while he’s really only a must-play on nights when Green is sitting, he’s probably worth owning in all leagues.
Trey Lyles Nuggets 31% – Lyles is hot, hitting double figures in scoring in seven of his last eight games and the Nuggets are going to keep playing him over Kenneth Faried. He’s averaging 14.8 points, 6.6 boards, 1.8 assists, 0.8 steals and 2.2 3-pointers on 51 percent shooting over his last five, and while he doesn’t have a block in any of those games, he is capable of getting them occasionally.
Frank Kaminsky Hornets 40% – Big Frank has had a couple duds recently, but also has three good games under his belt in his last four, averaging 15 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 2.0 3-pointers over that stretch. He’s shooting it well and getting some nice run off the bench, and he might just be a teammate’s injury away from blowing up.
Bobby Portis Bulls 38% - Lauri Markkanen and Nikola Mirotic are playing well for Chicago, but that hasn’t stopped Portis from doing work. He had 17 points, eight boards and a steal in just 21 minutes on Saturday and is averaging 15.2 points, 7.6 rebounds and a 3-pointer on 49 percent shooting over his last five. I don’t know how long all three Chicago power forwards can continue to co-exist, but so far, so good.
Bismack Biyombo Magic 16% – Nikola Vucevic went down on Saturday and will miss at least a month or so with a broken hand. Biyombo only had eight points, three rebounds, one assist and nothing else in 24 minutes on Saturday after Vuc got hurt. He’s going to start, he’s the only center the Magic have, and he’s worth an add in most leagues despite the fact that he’ll struggle to score 10 points on most nights. He should be ready to rack up a boatload of rebounds and blocks until the All-Star break.
Mason Plumlee Nuggets 34% - Plumlee has been starting alongside Nikola Jokic and is averaging 7.8 points, 8.2 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.8 blocks over his last five games. I don’t know how long he can keep it going, but he’s getting 26 minutes a game these days and is contributing across the board, except in 3-pointers. He’s a sneaky add right now, but I wish the Nuggets played four times instead of three this week.
Bam Adebayo Heat 9% - Bam has been filling in for Hassan Whiteside, who has to be nearing a return from a knee injury (right?) at some point. Adebayo is averaging 9.4 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 0.6 blocks over his last five games and is getting nearly 30 minutes a night. He’ll take a hit once we see Whiteside play again, but is at least worth a look if you need a center with a pulse.
Alex Len Suns 50% - Len has somehow managed to play in seven straight games in the Suns’ crazy center rotation and is averaging 9.2 points, 11.2 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 0.6 steals and 0.4 blocks over his last five games, but has played no more than 21 minutes in any of his last three. I hate dealing with Suns’ centers, but if I had to pick on to roll with, it would be Len.
Tyler Zeller Nets 2% – Zeller has been starting for the Nets and is averaging 7.6 points and 5.2 rebounds on 52 percent shooting over his last five games. He doesn’t have a block or a steal during that stretch though, making him a tough pill to swallow.