NBA

Fantasy 30: Anthony Edwards, Julius Randle and other NBA notes

The best fantasy basketball managers make a habit of looking at the NBA schedule, examining box scores and scouring the news for any tidbit that can help give them the edge in their leagues.

Luckily, Eric Moody does all that work for you each and every Thursday with the Fantasy 30, helping answer the tough questions such as whom to start, who are the best fantasy basketball sleepers out there and what’s the latest injury news with key players around the league.

Here’s the latest fantasy news from each of the 30 teams around the league.


Atlanta Hawks: Dejounte Murray left Wednesday’s game against the Hawks after just four minutes due to a left ankle sprain. The void was filled by Aaron Holiday, who finished with 21 fantasy points. Holiday becomes a streaming option with Murray now expected to miss two weeks. Holiday is only rostered in 0.2% of ESPN leagues.

Boston Celtics: The Celtics have scored at least 125 points in 12 games, the most in the league. In Wednesday night’s game against the Suns, Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum each scored 25 or more points for the 14th time this season. Among all duos, this is the most in the league.

Brooklyn Nets: Ben Simmons is expected to play against the Hawks on Friday. In the past, the Nets have been cautious with Simmons. It wouldn’t be surprising if he came off the bench and had his minutes limited in his first game back from a left calf strain. In four of his last five games, Joe Harris has scored 26 or more fantasy points. Harris remains on the streaming radar in deeper formats even with Simmons back on Friday.

Charlotte Hornets: Jalen McDaniels is only rostered in 7.3% of ESPN leagues and it is truly baffling. Gordon Hayward‘s shoulder injury has positioned McDaniels for success, and now P.J. Washington could miss time with an eye injury. McDaniels has scored 33 or more fantasy points in four of the last five games. He is having the most productive offensive season of his career.

Chicago Bulls: Over the last eight games, Zach LaVine has put up some solid stats for fantasy managers. He’s averaged 24.4 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 4.6 APG and 1.6 SPG during that spanning, scoring at least 32 fantasy points in every game.

Cleveland Cavaliers: On Wednesday, Jarrett Allen returned from his back injury to score 55 fantasy points against the Lakers. Since Evan Mobley‘s statistical performance may drop, fantasy managers should consider trading him away right now. Two players to trade for would be Zion Williamson or Jerami Grant.

Dallas Mavericks: Luka Doncic had his 52nd career triple-double on Tuesday against the Nuggets. Among players age 23 or younger, it’s the second most in league history. In other Mavericks news, Tim Hardaway Jr. has delivered some outstanding performances after struggling with his shot for much of the first part of the season. He has scored 34 or more fantasy points in five consecutive games and is only rostered in only 21.5% of ESPN leagues.

Denver Nuggets: As Michael Porter Jr. continues to miss time due to a left heel strain, Bruce Brown is starting and impressing for the Nuggets. Over the last seven games, he’s scored 25 or more fantasy points in five of them. Brown is only rostered in 28.3% of ESPN leagues.

Detroit Pistons: Killian Hayes (25.1% rostered) is another player who should be on more fantasy teams. In spite of the return of Jaden Ivey, Hayes continues to receive significant usage. In the last five games, Hayes has averaged 37.6 fantasy points during the past five games and is well positioned to thrive due to the continued absence of Cade Cunningham.

Golden State Warriors: Against the Jazz on Wednesday night, Jordan Poole reminded fantasy managers how lethal he can be whenever one of the Warriors’ perimeter starters is out. With Stephen Curry and Andrew Wiggins unavailable against the Jazz, Poole prospered with 36 points, four rebounds and eight assists.

Houston Rockets: Flashes of Tari Eason‘s fantasy potential has been on display in recent games. The only thing he needs is to play more minutes. Eason has scored 40 or more fantasy points three times in the last six games he has played 20 or more minutes in. Eason is only rostered in 7.9% of ESPN leagues, and the Rockets could use all the assistance they can get.

Indiana Pacers: On Wednesday night, Tyrese Haliburton became the first player in Pacers history to score 25 points and accumulate 15 assists in a game. Aside from Stephen Curry, he is the only other player to accomplish this feat this season. Haliburton has averaged 50.6 fantasy points per game. In the two recent games Haliburton missed, rookie Andrew Nembhard played well, including an electric performance against Curry and the Warriors. Keep him on your watch list.

LA Clippers: Kawhi Leonard and Paul George have played 110 games together, including the regular season and playoffs. Together, they shot 25.9% from the field against the Magic on Wednesday, their worst field goal percentage since joining the Clippers in 2019-20. Meanwhile, fantasy managers who waited to draft Ivica Zubac at the center position have been pleased with the results. Against the Magic, Zubac recorded his 12th double-double of the season.

Los Angeles Lakers: Thomas Bryant had an opportunity to showcase his skills for the Lakers’ coaching staff with Anthony Davis out, and he delivered. In two consecutive games, Bryant scored 31 or more fantasy points. Whether he gets more minutes remains to be seen, but fantasy managers should keep an eye on him for whenever AD misses time. Bryant is only rostered in 8.3% of ESPN leagues.

Memphis Grizzlies: In three to four weeks, Desmond Bane, who is out with a toe sprain, will begin a gradual reloading protocol. Until then, John Konchar, who is only rostered in 4.4% of ESPN leagues, will continue to benefit. Over the last 11 games, he’s averaged 10.3 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 1.7 APG and 1.3 SPG.

Miami Heat: Victor Oladipo played 19 minutes in his season debut on Tuesday. He finished with nine points, two rebounds and two assists. Gabe Vincent is out with a knee injury, so Oladipo should get playing time, but he will be on a minutes restriction in the near future. Oladipo should remain on fantasy managers’ watch lists for now. He averaged 12.4 PPG, 3.5 APG and 2.9 RPG.

Milwaukee Bucks: In his last eight games, Giannis Antetokounmpo has averaged 35.9 points, 9.6 rebounds and 5.9 assists. In Bucks franchise history, only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has averaged 35 PPG over eight games. This season, Antetokounmpo has averaged 52.7 fantasy points per game.

Minnesota Timberwolves: It has been three straight games where Anthony Edwards has scored 25 points or more and had at least five steals. The last three players to accomplish this feat were Chris Paul in 2009, Allen Iverson in 2002 and Michael Jordan in 1990. Since steals became official in 1973-74, Jordan is the only player to do it in four consecutive games.

New Orleans Pelicans: In the Western Conference, the Pelicans are in first place. Zion Williamson had at least 25 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists for the sixth time in his career on Wednesday night. Trey Murphy III remains a viable streamer while Brandon Ingram is out with a toe injury. In six consecutive games, Murphy has scored 30 or more fantasy points. He is only rostered in 26.1% of ESPN leagues.

New York Knicks: On Wednesday night against the Hawks, Julius Randle had his 27th career game with at least 25 points, 10 rebounds and five assists with the Knicks. Randle has had a slow start to the season, but things have picked up for him lately, especially in the last eight games. Seven of those games have seen Randle score 33 or more fantasy points, including three with 40 or more.

Oklahoma City Thunder: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has scored less than 50 fantasy points in two consecutive games and has 50 or more fantasy points only once in the last four games. Surprised? This is how high the bar has become for Gilgeous-Alexander this year.

Orlando Magic: Recovering from his foot injury, Wendell Carter Jr. is about a week away from returning to play. Currently, he’s an intriguing trade candidate for fantasy managers. Carter Jr. has averaged 16.6 points and 9.1 rebounds this season, putting up 32 fantasy points per game.

Philadelphia 76ers: During the past two games, Tobias Harris has played very well with 40 or more fantasy points in each of them. While it was great to see James Harden back on the court with the 76ers after 14 missed games, The Beard struggled in his return on Monday. In the near term, Shake Milton can still be streamed while Harden gets his feet under him.

Phoenix Suns: Devin Booker has struggled from the field during the past two games, which is reflected in his fantasy point totals of 24 and 17. Since Booker has averaged 45.8 fantasy points per game this season, this is atypical for the Suns’ star shooting guard. In Wednesday’s game against the Celtics, Booker finished with a -40 plus minus, his 2nd-worst in a game for his entire career. With a usage rate of 32.6%, he should bounce back sooner rather than later.

Portland Trail Blazers: It’s great news that Damian Lillard‘s return hasn’t negatively affected Jerami Grant‘s play. In Lillard’s return against the Pacers on Sunday, Grant scored 35 fantasy points. Grant has scored 42 or more fantasy points six times in the last six games, including two games with over 50 points.

Sacramento Kings: Domantas Sabonis had his 15th double-double of the season on Wednesday and in the last nine games he has recorded eight of them. After a slow start to the season, Sabonis’ play has trended up for fantasy managers. Meanwhile, Malik Monk has scored 37 or more fantasy points in three of his last five games even though he didn’t have a great game against the Bucks on Wednesday. He’s only rostered in 19.4% of ESPN leagues.

San Antonio Spurs: Charles Bassey is an intriguing streamer in deeper formats while Jakob Poeltl and Jeremy Sochan remain out for the Spurs. Bassey has played 20 minutes or more in consecutive games and scored 17 or more fantasy points. He is only rostered in 1.2% of ESPN leagues.

Toronto Raptors: During the last two seasons, Pascal Siakam has had 18 games with at least 25 points and 10 rebounds. In his first three seasons in the league, Siakam had only 16 such games. Meanwhile, Fred VanVleet has averaged a dismal 23.8 fantasy points during his past five games. There is no choice but to stick with FVV for many fantasy managers, but at least he scored 36 fantasy points against the Lakers on Wednesday. We may be witnessing a shift in the tide.

Utah Jazz: Nickeil Alexander-Walker finished Wednesday night’s game with 29 fantasy points in 29 minutes. He also played 30 minutes against the Warriors back on November 25 and finished with 34 fantasy points. Whether Alexander-Walker gets additional minutes will be interesting to watch. Be sure to keep an eye on him in the weeks ahead.

Washington Wizards: With Bradley Beal expected out for another week or so due to a hamstring injury, Corey Kispert continues to be on the streaming radar. In three consecutive games, the Gonzaga product has scored 21 or more fantasy points and played 30 or more minutes. Kispert is only rostered in 1.0% of ESPN leagues.


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