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A nice full nine-game slate on Monday night brought some career nights and plenty of surprises. Never a dull moment in this league. Let’s check it out.
Pacers 131, Spurs 118
- Domantas Sabonis - 24 points (11-of-15 FG), 13 rebounds, six assists, one steal, one turnover in 36 minutes
- Myles Turner - 19 points, eight boards, two steals, three blocks, one 3-pointer, three turnovers in 24 minutes
- Chris Duarte - 18 points, three rebounds, two assists, one steal, four triples, one turnover
- Caris LeVert - 16 points (6-of-19 FG), two boards, seven dimes, three 3-pointers, three turnovers in 24 minutes
- Justin Holiday - 17 points, four assists, two steals, five treys, two turnovers in 25 minutes off the bench
- Keldon Johnson - nine points (4-of-11 FG), five rebounds, four assists, one steal, one 3-pointer, three turnover in 23 minutes
- Lonnie Walker - 10 points (4-of-11 FG), four rebounds, two assists, two treys, two turnovers in 27 minutes
When your team scores 131 points in a night, there’s bound to be a long list of excellent performances, as was the case for Indiana on Monday evening. Sabonis did his thing and scored all of his points in the paint (except for his two free throws), and Myles Turner is finally getting it going again after some rough games in some of the latter part of October. Caris LeVert looks healthy and hasn’t missed a beat, and I’m not all too worried about him affecting Chris Duarte even when LeVert is playing minutes in the 30s. Duarte is too good to not play and is a strong hold. T.J. McConnell (10/3/10/3/1) is a must-start guy whenever Malcolm Brogdon isn’t playing, which is often, and he showed why with a beauty of a stat line. Torrey Craig’s 28 and 11 game last Friday had fluke written all over it and you can ignore him.
Dejounte Murray (16/2/6 with one steal and three triples), Jakob Poeltl (11 points, six boards, one block) and Derrick White (13/2/7 with three 3-pointers) all played alright, but overall they’ve been better than they showed tonight but the blowout was definitely a factor. They’ll be fine. Keldon Johnson's line was really boring and the minutes weren't there, but I still like his opportunity and think he could be a little better, but nothing sensational. Devin Vassell (15/3/3/2/1) played well and can be a bit hard to predict but has overall been playing well, and he should probably be rostered in slightly more than 15% of Yahoo! leagues.
Cavaliers 113, Hornets 110
- Jarrett Allen - 24 points (9-of-13 FG, 6-of-9 FT), 16 boards, two assists, one steal, three blocks, one turnover in 35 minutes
- Lauri Markkanen - 21 points (7-of-19 FG), eight boards, two steals, three blocks, two treys, two turnovers in 35 minutes
- Evan Mobley - 15 points, 10 boards, thee assists, two steals, one block, four turnovers in 40(!) minutes
- LaMelo Ball - 30 points, seven rebounds, six assists, two steals, two blocks, five triples, two turnovers in 34 minutes
- Terry Rozier - 23 points, six rebounds, two assists, two steals, one block, four treys, three turnovers in 34 minutes
- Gordon Hayward - six points (2-of-7 FG), three rebounds, two assists, two steals, one block, two 3-pointers, two turnovers in 29 minutes
- Kelly Oubre Jr. - two points (1-of-8 FG), four rebounds, one rebound, one assist, one steal, one block, one turnover, five fouls in 21 minutes
- Ricky Rubio - five points (1-of-8 FG), one board, eight dimes, two steals, one block, one 3-pointer, three turnovers in 25 minutes
Jarrett Allen bounced back in a big way after a disappointing effort against the Lakers last time out, and he’s had a few massive games that have helped boost his value, but the blocks aren’t there yet unfortunately. Lauri Markkanen is shooting in the mid-30s but is doing almost everything else right, so be patient and hope that his shot starts to fall. Evan Mobley continues to be one of the many impressive rookies and notched his third double-double of the season on Monday, and guards Collin Sexton and Darius Garland had decent lines but combined to shoot 10-of-30 from the floor. Ricky Rubio’s 25 minutes are all you need to see, and he’s been a steal for any managers that took the chance on him and should bounce back in a hurry.
LaMelo Ball is officially back after a few rough games and has made 22 of his 42 field goals in his last two games. He’s so much fun both to watch and to roster. Terry Rozier played his best game yet this season and could start to get it going after a nice performance, but Gordon Hayward may not enjoy sharing shots with yet another guy and could take a hit going forward. I have such high expectations for Miles Bridges these days that I didn’t even point him out above, but he had a stacked 13/9/8/3/2 line but hit just four of his 18 shots. If you have any Miles Bridges shares, I’m quite jealous as I can’t say I saw this coming to the extent that it has. P.J. Washington followed up his best game of the season with an even better one, and make sure he’s not on your wire after a frustrated manager pulled the plug after a rough start. Kelly Oubre followed up his 26-point explosion with a complete dud, but he was battling foul trouble. He’ll likely fall somewhere in the middle of his last two performances, but should be rostered unless he goes totally cold.
76ers 113, Trail Blazers 103
- Andre Drummond (brace yourselves) - 14 points, (5-of-11 FG, 4-of-4 FT), 15 rebounds, seven assists, five steals, one block, zero turnovers in 34 minutes as a starter
- Seth Curry - 23 points, six boards, five assists, three treys, one turnover in 34 minutes
- Damian Lillard - 20 points (7-of-20 FG), seven boards, 10 assists, two 3-pointers, three turnovers in 36 minutes
- Norman Powell - season-high 22 points (8-of-12 FG), one board, one 3-pointer, three turnovers in 29 minutes
- Robert Covington - zero points, three rebounds, one assist, one turnover, so many donuts in 19 minutes
- Jusuf Nurkic - seven points, nine rebounds three assists, one steal, two blocks in 28 minutes
Andre Drummond is one of the most obvious flier/DFS plays whenever Joel Embiid (just rest, luckily) sits out, and he made the most of it and then some. He’s actually the first NBA player to tally a 10/15/5 line with five steals and no giveaways since Hakeem Olajuwon in March of 1990. My goodness. He’ll have some great games here and there but won’t go off like this when Embiid plays. Seth Curry is mostly good for points and triples as he doesn’t do much else, but his 54.1% clip from range says that he should be rostered. Furkan Korkmaz (15/2/5 with three treys) won’t be consistent and is more of a guy to look at when Tobias Harris (COVID protocols) is sidelined, which could be for another game or two. Georges Niang (21/5/5 with three triples) is in a similar situation as Korkmaz but is less trustworthy, so he can be ignored for the most part.
I’ve never seen Damian Lillard struggle like he is right now, but he’s too good to not turn it around. He’s shot at least 45% (on very hard shots and high volume, at that) in the last two seasons, which suggests that change is coming for Dame. I still believe in him and there may still be a tiny buy-low window in play for one of the game’s most dangerous snipers. He also got “We want Lillard” chants at Wells Fargo Center, but Lillard says he has “10 toes” in Rip City. Norman Powell’s 22 real points tonight were somehow more than his 20.2 DFS points, which shows that he’s just a scoring guy in Portland. CJ McCollum had a 20/4/3 line on 40% shooting, and he’s been so good that this is considered subpar for McCollum. He’s on the verge of being a first-rounder right now, so opposite of Dame, he could be a sell-high candidate. I have no words for Robert Covington but he’ll probably somehow finish top-75 like he always does, so hang tight even if it hurts. Don’t worry about Jusuf Nurkic, he’s been really good but just didn’t score tonight, and Anfernee Simons should be rostered in way more than 17% of leagues given that he’s scored in double figures in six of the seven Blazers’ games thus far. He could be very, very good one day.
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Hawks 118, Wizards 111
- Trae Young - 26 points (7-of-16 FG, 11-11 FT), four rebounds, six assists, one steal, one triple, six turnovers in 36 minutes
- Clint Capela - 16 points, 12 rebounds, one assist, one steal, two blocks in 33 minutes
- Bradley Beal - 24 points (10-of-21 FG), two boards, three dimes, two steals, three treys, four turnovers in 34 minutes
- Kyle Kuzma - 18 points, six boards, two assists, four 3-pointers, two turnovers in 34 minutes
Trae Young and the Hawks gave the Wizards just their second loss of the season and got a little from almost everyone in a full team effort. Like some other elite point guards, Trae is still struggling with his shot and his 43.8% mark was just his third best of the season, but he’s racking up the dimes and the steals are improving slightly to make up for it. Capela is a nightly double-double threat and is one of the safest yet best fantasy centers while he’s healthy and not bricking free throws, and John Collins had a decent 12/9/6 line with a block but attempted just seven shots in 31 minutes. The fact that the Hawks are so balanced and so loaded takes a bit of the fantasy appeal away from everyone not named Trae or Clint, but Collins and Bogdan Bogdanovic (16/6/6 with four threes) should both be rostered.
This was probably Bradley Beal’s worst game in his last three, so he’s been very good and still has a shot at leading the league in scoring. Kyle Kuzma is continuing his resurgence in Washington but isn’t all that efficient, but he’s been worth it for a guy drafted past pick 100 in most leagues. Spencer Dinwiddie double-doubled with a 14/5/10 line and his 42.4% mark from the field is honestly better than expected for a guy that tanked team’s field goal percentages in previous seasons. Daniel Gafford returned from a two-game absence and had four points, five boards and three blocks in 15 minutes, and he should at least get minutes in the 20s going forward, which is enough for him to have value in standard leagues. The return of Gafford means Montrezl Harrell won’t feast as much anymore, but he was fine with 13 points and eight boards and has to be rostered.
Raptors 113, Knicks 107
- OG Anunoby - career-high 36 points (13-of-27 FG), six boards, two dimes, one steal, four 3-pointers, one turnover in 41 minutes
- Gary Trent Jr. - 26 points, two boards, two assists, four steals, four triples, one turnover in 43 minutes
- RJ Barrett - 27 points (9-of-13 FG), six boards, one steal, five treys in 39 minutes
- Chris Boucher - two points, one board, one block in 10 minutes
- Precious Achiuwa - two points (1-of-9 FG), one assist, one steal in 17 minutes
OG Anunoby had a career night and basically carried this team on his back tonight to lead them to a win against one of the hottest teams in the league. His offense is visibly improved and he’s such a talent. Gary Trent Jr. now leads the league in total steals with 22 of them, which helps make up for his normally poor efficiency, but his 26 points were a season-high and maybe this will get him going from the floor. Fred VanVleet had a 17/9/8 line with a pair of steals and three 3-pointers, and his shot is slowly starting to fall too and has early-round potential as his ADP suggested. Svi Mykhailiuk got a spot start with Scottie Barnes (thumb) sitting this one out and did well with a 15/5/5 line with two steals two triples, but he’s not a great long-term option and Barnes’ absence won’t be lengthy. Khem Birch played more minutes (31) than Boucher (10) and Achiuwa (17) combined, and they’re both on the verge of becoming cut candidates. It’s much more difficult to drop Boucher because we know he can hoop, but he continues to woof away in Nick Nurse’s doghouse and Pascal Siakam’s return won’t help.
Julius Randle had a 22/9/5 line, however all but four of his points came in the first quarter, giving him 1.3 points per quarter in frames two through four. Not good, but a usable line and at least he got managers a block and four triples. RJ Barrett has 82 points in his last three games and is on a heater right now, but he has just five combined steals and blocks on the season which we’ve always known to be a problem. Kemba Walker (15/3/3) was efficient but boring, Evan Fournier (12/3/2) was inefficient but boring and Mitchell Robinson (six points, 12 boards, one block) had some nice plays but was quiet offensively (they should reward him on offense for his efforts more often).
Grizzlies 106, Nuggets 97
- (King) Ja Morant - 26 points (12-of-22 FG), seven rebounds, eight assists, one steal, one trey, four turnovers in 35 minutes
- Tyus Jones - 17 points, eight rebounds, four assists, two steals, career-high five 3-pointers, one turnover in 27 minutes
- Nikola Jokic - 23 points, seven boards, seven dimes, four blocks, two triples, three turnovers in 33 minutes
- Jaren Jackson Jr. - 11 points, four boards, one steal, one block, three triples in 18 minutes
- De’Anthony Melton - nine points (3-of-11 FG), seven boards, one assist, one steal, one trey and one turnover in 25 minutes
- Michael Porter Jr. - 10 points, eight rebounds, three assists, one steal, one block, one turnover in 36 minutes
- Will Barton - four points (1-of-8 FG), four rebounds, four assists, two steals, two turnovers in 29 minutes
Far more duds in this one with a lower scoring total overall and a combined 44.9% shooting across both teams. King Ja Morant continued his excellence and you couldn’t tell that he was ruled questionable before this one with an elbow issue, but he’s clearly fine. Tyus Jones went nuts and he has a pretty fantasy-friendly game with lots of upside in steals, but his 17 points tonight was more than half of his total points scored in the six games prior. Ignore him for now. JJJ drained three treys in the first quarter but then battled foul trouble and didn’t even get minutes in the 20s, and one must wonder how big the explosion would have been had he kept up his early torrid pace. Melton has three 20-point games this season but has otherwise really struggled, but he’s still a defensive beast, so hang on there. Steven Adams (6/7/1/1/2), Desmond Bane (11/6/2) and Kyle Anderson (9/9/3 with a steal) were all okay but not dud-worthy.
This was a so-so performance for Jokic's standards but he still went off and has seven blocks over his last two contests. He looks even better than last year somehow and could go back-to-back MVP if his 4-3 Nuggets play a bit better. With the exception of Aaron Gordon (15-point, 10-board double-double with a pair of treys), most of Denver struggled, including, you guessed it, Michael Porter Jr. He was 4-of-9 (44.4%) from the field, which isn’t an overly bad percentage, but the nine shots likely reflect his confidence being on the floor right now. I still think he’s going to be fine, but if he’s still playing like this in a week or two, my analysis of him will look a bit different. Will Barton scored in single digits for the first time this year and has been exceeding expectations and belongs on someone’s team, so shake this one off and move on to the next one.
Bulls 128, Celtics 114
- DeMar DeRozan - season-high 37 points (15-of-20 FG), seven boards, two assists, one steal, one block three 3-pointers, one turnover in 34 minutes
- Zach LaVine - 26 points (9-of-20 FG, 7-of-7 FT), three boards, seven assists, one steal, one three, one turnover in 38 minutes
- Jaylen Brown - 28 points, seven rebounds, three assists, one steal, five 3-pointers, one turnover in 34 minutes
- Al Horford - 20 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, one steal, one block, three treys, three turnovers in 33 minutes
- Robert Williams - six points, five boards, one assist, one turnover in 24 minutes
Make it 6-1 now for this new Bulls team and they really fought their way back in this one. There’s not much more to say about DeRozan and LaVine because they’re always so good, but DeRozan was exceptional and led the comeback. Nikola Vucevic quietly almost triple-doubled with a 11/10/9 line with a three and a pair of blocks, and if this is his version of taking a backseat, I’ll take it. Lonzo Ball was good with a 12/4/6 line with a steal and four treys, and the fact that he’s probably the fourth best player on this team is mind-boggling. Javonte Green started again and had six points and eight boards, but I more so have my eye on reserve Derrick Jones Jr., who played 21 minutes and tallied nine points, four boards, one steal, two blocks and a triple for good measure, so I’m curious to see what he does next time out. Ayo Dosunmu had 14 points off the bench and drained all six of his shots, but I’m keeping just one of my eyes on him and he likely won’t end up being a fantasy asset.
The Celtics simply let this one slip away due to 39-11 deficit in the fourth quarter that was part of a 19-point Chicago comeback, and they look miserable right now at just a 2-5 record. Al Horford can’t stop going off, and I’m starting to wonder what was in that water in Cabo where OKC sent him on vacation so early last year. He’s providing first-round value and hasn’t shown signs of slowing down, so if you drafted him, go buy a lottery ticket or two. His elite play is somewhat hurting Time Lord at times, who bottomed out, but he’s too good to worry about. Jayson Tatum was quiet for his standards with an inefficient 20 points and lacked surrounding stats, but Jaylen Brown came through and is such a baller. Marcus Smart had 16 points with four steals but criticized the team after the loss, saying “We're running plays for our best players. The other team knows that […] We've gotta abort that and find another way to get them the ball.” There’s trouble in Boston, so if you roster any Celtics, beware just in case.
Magic 115, Timberwolves 97
- Cole Anthony - 31 points (8-of-17 FG, 9-of-11 FT), nine boards, eight assists, two steals, one block, six 3-pointers, four turnovers in 38 minutes
- Franz Wagner - career-high 28 points, four rebounds, two assists, two steals, one block, five triples, zero turnovers in 31 minutes
- Karl-Anthony Towns - 23 points, 16 rebounds, six assists, two steals, four 3-pointers, two turnovers in 37 minutes
- Anthony Edwards - 24 points, six rebounds, three assists, two steals, two treys, two turnovers in 37 minutes
- Jalen Suggs - 15 points (5-of-14 FG), four rebounds, one assist, one block, one triple in 32 minutes
- D’Angelo Russell - three points (1-of-8 shooting), five boards, three assists, one block in 17 minutes (early exit due to an ankle sprain)
I’m starting to run out of superlatives for how well Cole Anthony has played as he was returning fourth-round value before tonight (likely third now after this) and has been one of the most incredible surprises. I don’t even know if I’d consider him a sell-high guy because he’s playing big minutes alongside Jalen Suggs, so keep rolling with Anthony. Suggs’ line wasn’t awful but, yet again, his efficiency is killing him and it’s almost putting him out of deep-league conversation. Just remember he’s a rookie and will likely have a better second-half of the season. Franz Wagner is another young Magic guy that has completely surpassed expectations, closing in on top-75 value before his career night, which is remarkable for a guy who wasn’t initially drafted in the majority of leagues. Wendell Carter Jr. had a nice 15/14 double-double but had no defensive stats, however his two triples beefed up his line a bit. Mo Bamba scored just eight points but had 10 boards and four blocks, and he’s been pretty awesome.
KAT went off again and is fantasy’s best center right now, and even though the boards are down slightly, he’s doing everything and anyone who grabbed him past pick No. 8 or beyond must be quite pleased. Ant-Man led the team in scoring, but he hasn’t been as efficient as he was post-All-Star-Break last season, but he could get there in a hurry and in turn warrant his lofty ADP. D’Angelo Russell left the game with an ankle injury, and while I feel bad putting him in the “Duds” list, he was on his way to another nightmare shooting night. The sprain didn’t look awful, so hopefully his absence doesn’t extend past a couple of games. These three Wolves are the only ones worth talking about, but keep an eye on new starter Jarred Vanderbilt (10 points, eight boards, nothing else on Monday) in case he gets it going.
- Paul George - 32 points, nine rebounds, seven assists, three steals, two blocks, five triples, four turnovers in 40 minutes
- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander - 28 points, seven boards, two assists, two steals, one block, three treys, two turnovers in 40 minutes
- Eric Bledsoe - five points (2-of-8 FG), three rebounds, three assists, two blocks, four turnovers in 26 minutes
It has to be apparent to everyone that Paul George is not messing around right now, as he tallied a perfect 8-cat line on Monday after a 42-point eruption last Friday. He fell in some drafts just because he’s notorious for gettin cold quick, but he’s a clear first-rounder right now and could finish top-5 and crush his ADP. Eric Bledsoe was pretty bad and it may be time to let him go if you haven’t already, as even Nicolas Batum outplayed him tonight and had a sneaky 14/8/1/2/1 line with four treys, but I’m not buying it. Reggie Jackson had 15 points on 5-of-17 shooting with little else, and I’m a bigger fan of Terance Mann (10/5 with a pair of steals) even though he hasn’t totally gotten it going yet either. PG-13 is the only Clipper to trust 100% of the time.
The Thunder were pretty massive underdogs coming in to this one (they often will be), but they did a good job of keeping things competitive until the final whistle. Shai went off and he’s played fantastic basketball in four of his last five games, and he just has to be active throughout yet another tanking season for him to be worth a third-round pick. Josh Giddey was fun with a 15/5/7/2/2 line and he’ll likely be on a ton of winning fantasy teams, and is going to be even better, so I’m all in on the Australia native. Darius Bazley’s line had potential until I scanned over to his seven turnovers (15 points, six boards, three 3-pointers, one block otherwise), and he’s had a good game or two but is far too raw to be trusted right now. Keep an eye on him just in case.