Steve Alexander

Basketball Daily Dose

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Dose: The Wright Answer: Delon

Thursday, January 4, 2018


It was a crazy, busy night in the NBA so we’re not going game-by-game tonight. Instead, I’ll focus on fantasy stories of the night, which basically means injuries (there weren’t many) and surprising performances in a team notes format. Delon Wright, Marquese Chriss, Gerald Green, Michael Beasley, Boban Marjanovic and Terrance Ferguson find themselves in the headlines.

 

Raptors - Delon Wright – The utility man scored several career highs with 25 points with 13 rebounds and four 3-pointers, and also notched five dimes, four steals and a block in 30 minutes against the Bulls. I’ve put him in the Waiver Wired column for the last couple weeks and even started him in a FanDuel league last night. He’s been coming on and the Raptors might finally be ready to turn him loose. Waiver wires are thin right now and Wright looks like one of the better options out there to me. Wright’s averaging 11.8 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.6 steals, 1.4 blocks and 1.2 3-pointers on 57 percent shooting over his last five. He won't be this good again anytime soon, but he's also not a fluke. It’s time to go get him. Jonas Valanciunas was awful, failing to score in 18 minutes. He was hot, but has struggled in his last two games again for the Raptors. He’s been highly inconsistent all season, but should bounce back sooner than later.

 

SunsMarquese Chriss – He stayed hot on Wednesday, hitting 6-of-13 shots and three more 3-pointers for 16 points, four rebounds and five steals in 31 minutes. It’s officially on. Chriss is now averaging 13 points, 8.6 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.8 steals, 1.2 blocks and 2.2 3-pointers on 58 percent shooting over his last five games. He’s the hottest pickup in fantasy right now after being left for dead by almost everyone trying to pick him back up. Tyson Chandler rested and Greg Monroe got the start after sitting on the bench for five straight games. The only thing I learned from Monroe’s line is that he’s still alive and the Suns’ centers are still a motley crew. Josh Jackson played well, hitting 6-of-8 shots for 14 points, but I still don’t trust him at all.

 

Rockets - Gerald Green – He played his fourth game of the season and hit 9-of-15 shots and 7-of-10 3-pointers for 27 points, six boards, two assists and a block in 28 minutes. Eric Gordon is the safe play with James Harden out for the next couple weeks, while Green is the cheap DFS homerun hitter. He’s averaging 18.3 points, 1.3 steals and 4.3 3-pointers over his last three games. He’s at least worth a short-term grab right now. Ryan Anderson had 17 points, seven rebounds, a steal and a 3-pointer and should be fantasy relevant for as long as Harden is out. He’s available in a lot of leagues right now. Eric Gordon scored 17 points with five boards, six assists, two steals and three 3-pointers, and is a must-start player for as long as Harden is out.

 

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Knicks - Michael Beasley – The Knicks’ new sixth man did it again, hitting 8-of-14 shots for 20 points, nine rebounds, three assists, two steals, two blocks and a 3-pointer to lead the team in scoring for the second straight game. Beasley has been crushing for the last four games, as well as the last three weeks, and should be added in all leagues. Kyle O’Quinn had a double-double with 13 & 10, a steal and a block, but he’s very hard to trust as long as Enes Kanter is healthy. Frank Ntilikina played 20 minutes after getting just 16 on Tuesday, but didn’t do much. Jarrett Jack is the ‘now’ guy, while Frankie Smokes is the future in the New York point guard race.

 

Pistons - Andre Drummond and Boban Marjanovic – Drummond was out for the Pistons with a rib contusion and will be ready to play again once he can handle the pain. Boban was a late announcement as the starter and came through with 15 points, nine rebounds, three assists and a block in 22 minutes. It doesn’t sound like Drummond will be out for too long, but if he’s going to miss more games, Boban will be extremely popular in DFS leagues. If you aren’t able to watch the newsfeed right up until game time, you’ll likely miss out on gems like Marjanovic, who was named the starter at 6:51 p.m. on Rotoworld last night. Avery Bradley played through his groin injury and had 15 points and a full stat line in 38 minutes. He should be good to go. Stanley Johnson was out with a hip injury and is day-to-day, allowing Reggie Bullock to start and score 17 points with five 3-pointers in 35 minutes. Bullock should return to obscurity once Johnson is back and didn’t do anything except score and hit 3-pointers.

 

Magic - Mario Hezonja and Jonathon Simmons – The Magic duo are headed in different directions, as Simmons left last night’s game with a back injury and Hezonja had 14 points, nine rebounds, two assists and two 3-pointers in 28 minutes. If Simmons is going to miss time, Hezonja will be worth a short-term add.

 

Thunder - Terrance Ferguson - Not to be confused with SNL’s Turd Ferguson, Terrance got his first start for Andre Roberson (knee) and went crazy for the Thunder, scoring a career-high 24 points with enough highlight dunks to win a contest. He also had three steals and six 3-pointers in the game of his life. He had scored a total of 29 points in his career prior to this one, so this has fluke written all over it. Deep leaguers should at least take notice, but there are other targets you should find in 12-team leagues. But man, he was fun to watch, and probably a little more entertaining than the great Turd Ferguson.

 

Spurs - Patty Mills – He scored a season-high 26 points and four 3-pointers in 29 minutes. The Spurs gutted their roster last night and Mills was the big winner, but because he plays for the Spurs, he’ll be impossible to trust going forward. Just keep an eye on him.

 

Sixers - Joel Embiid – He was a surprise starter with a hand injury and had 21 points, 11 boards and four blocks in 35 minutes. Hopefully you had him in your lineup, as he was listed as doubtful all day, and wasn’t even supposed to start until it was announced around 6:30 p.m. Another reason you have to be hanging around the Rotoworld newsfeed up until lineups lock each night. Robert Covington is still struggling for the Sixers (7 points), but should break out of his funk sooner than later.

 

HeatJames Johnson – JJ returned to action and had 16 points, four boards, a steal and three 3-pointers in 24 minutes off the bench. He should hurt Kelly Olynyk at some point, but Olynyk went off for 25 points, 13 rebounds and three 3-pointers on 11-of-15 shooting. He’s been hot and should be held until further notice.

 

Cavaliers - Kevin Love – He hit 1-of-11 shots before leaving with a right ankle injury. It was a lost night for Love, but at least he said after the game that he’s “fine.” Consider him day-to-day for now.

 

Nets Caris LeVert – LeVert was out with a groin injury and Joe Harris stepped up, hitting 6-of-7 shots and 4-of-5 3-pointers for 17 points and four boards off the bench. LeVert is hoping to play on Saturday and has been a must-start fantasy player for a month, while Harris has been hit-or-miss. If you can catch Harris on the right night, it’s fun, but it’s not easy to do. Spencer Dinwiddie had 26 points, nine assists and four 3-pointers without LeVert hanging around last night, and hit the game-winning shot. Jahlil Okafor played for the first time in 10 games and had two points in 11 minutes. Yawn.

 

CelticsTerry Rozier – Rozier hit 8-of-12 shots and four 3-pointers for 20 points, four rebounds, three assists and a block in 20 minutes, while Marcus Smart also played well. But as long as Kyrie Irving and Jaylen Brown are healthy, both of the Celtics’ reserves are tough to trust in fantasy. However, Rozier’s an interesting add right now, scoring in double figures and playing well in five straight games.

 

PacersLance Stephenson & Domantas Sabonis – Stephenson got another start for Victor Oladipo (knee) and bounced back with 15 points, seven boards, five assists and a 3-pointers in 35 minutes. We still don’t know when Dipo will be back, meaning Stephenson is worth at least a short-term add. Sabonis went off for a career-high 24 points in 33 minutes, and with Myles Turner still mysteriously struggling, Sabonis should be owned in most leagues. The Pacers appear to have fleeced the Thunder in the Paul George-for-Sabonis & Oladipo trade.

 

BullsLauri Markkanen & Justin Holiday – Markkanen had 22 points, 12 boards, a steal and two 3-pointers on 9-of-17 shooting last night. Nikola Mirotic stayed hot with 20 points, five boards, a block and three 3-pointers in 26 minutes, while Bobby Portis played just 14 minutes and hit 1-of-7 shots. Markkanen and Mirotic remain must-own players, but if you can cut Portis for Chriss, or another hot free agent, it’s time. I’ve seen Holiday floating around on some waiver wires and he’s too good a scorer not to be owned. He had 26 points, six 3-pointers and a nice stat line on Wednesday and has scored in double figures in seven straight games. He helped pick up the slack for Kris Dunn, who was 1-of-6 for two points, five boards and eight assists last night. It should be interesting to see what impact, if any, the return of Zach LaVine has on Holiday.

 

WarriorsJordan Bell – He was once a must-own, hot pickup, but he had two points and zero blocks in 20 minutes last night. Draymond Green, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson are all healthy again, meaning that Bell is going to have a tough time producing for the league’s most potent offense. With so many hot pickups out there right now, Bell can probably be dumped for one of them. But let’s be clear – I still love him.

 

MavericksDwight Powell – Powell had 21 points, eight boards and two 3-pointers on 7-of-9 shooting last night off the bench. He’s averaging 12 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.2 steals over his last five, making him worth a deep-league look, or a possible DFS punt play. Also, Dennis Smith Jr. is kind of hot and had 14 points, eight assists, a steal and two 3-pointers, and has played very well in his last three. Make sure he’s not sitting out there in your league.

 

JazzJoe Johnson – JJ hit 9-of-12 shots and two 3-pointers for 20 points, seven boards and two assists in 29 minutes off the bench, but it has fluke written all over it.

 

Nuggets - Trey Lyles - Lyles hit 5-of-11 shots and two 3-pointers for 16 points and 11 rebounds in 27 minutes. He’s averaging 17.2 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.2 3-pointers over his last five games and should be owned until we see Paul Millsap play again.



Steve "Dr. A" Alexander is the senior editor for the NBA for Rotoworld.com and a contributor to NBCSports.com. The 2017-18 NBA season marks (at least) his 16th year of covering fantasy hoops for Rotoworld. Follow him on Twitter - @Docktora.
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