Line of the Night/ Waiver Wire Line of the Night: There was an insane triple-double last night and some dude grabbed 30 boards, but neither of those games was the best fantasy line of the night. Instead, waiver wire champion Danny Green (2.61 WARP) finished with 22 points, hitting 5-6 from three and 7-11 from the field, with 2 steals, 2 blocks and 0 turnovers. If that sounds like an underwhelming line of the night, I’d agree, but unlike some other performances, Green was a plus in just about every fantasy category. Ironically, it was also a far better game for Green than the one the other day when Parker, Duncan and Ginobili all sat out. That shouldn’t happen, but this is why they actually play the games.
Honorable Mentions: Monta Ellis (2.56) scored 35 points against the Knicks, adding 3 threes, 6 rebounds, 10 assists and 4 steals to make Danny Green’s line look impotent. However, Ellis also turned the ball over 5 times, which hurt his line just enough to put Green over the top. The bad news for Ellis’ owners is that he’s still working to find consistency in that Bucks lineup – this game came after one in which he shot 3-12 from the floor and scored 9 points.
Carmelo Anthony (1.29) once again had the Knicks best fantasy line, but unlike the other night’s 43 point outburst, he “only” scored 32 in the game, adding 10 boards. No one is loving the Jeremy Lin injury more than Melo, I’d suspect.
The Jazz are a little shorthanded right now thanks to injuries to Raja Bell, C.J. Miles and Josh Howard, so Gordon Hayward (2.42) saw 39 minutes of run against the Rockets and scored a season high 29 points, adding 4 threes, 6 assists and 2 steals. While it is Hayward’s best game of the season, he does have a 0.62 WARP over the past two weeks according to our player rater, good for #31 overall during that span. Ride his hot streak the rest of the season.
Rudy Gay (2.30) scored 32 points for the Grizzlies (on 13-20 from the field) adding 7 rebounds in a win over the Suns. It’s Gay’s first 30+ point game of the season, which is surprising since he’s averaging nearly 19 points a game. And in one of the weirder lines of the year, the Suns best fantasy line actually came from Sebastian Telfair (0.82) in only 13 minutes. Telfair managed to get 8 assists, 4 rebounds, a steal, block and three all in that small amount of time.
Chris Paul (2.24) had 31 points, 6 rebounds, (only) 4 assists and 2 steals as the Clippers took down the Thunder 100-98. He also had the game winning layup with 8 seconds left in the game. Blake Griffin (1.02) added 16, 12 and 7 in his never forget your roots game. Kevin Durant (1.81) led the Thunder with 22 points, 3 threes, 9 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks, but missed what would have been the game winning three at the buzzer.
Despite erroneous reports to the contrary yesterday, Tyreke Evans (1.73) did play for the Kings, and had a game for himself with 19 points, 5 rebounds, 8 assists and 4 steals against the Hornets. Evans’ game log this year looks like a seismograph going off during an earthquake, so if you own him all you can do is stick him in your lineup and take the good with the bad.
With Nicolas Batum returning to the Blazers’ lineup, Jamal Crawford (1.63) got pushed back to the bench, but he still exploded for 34 points, hitting all 13 of his free throws against the Warriors.
Andrew Bynum (1.35) was the guy who grabbed 30 boards last night, also adding 16 points and a couple blocks. His 7-20 shooting performance didn’t help, but someone has to shoot with Kobe out for his third straight game. Pau Gasol (0.85) added 21 and 11, but also shot under 40% from the field in the game.
The GMTR player rater does not award style points for triple-doubles, otherwise Rajon Rondo (0.68) would be king of world after recording his sixth triple-double of the season against the Hawks, finishing with 10 points, 10 rebounds and 20 assists! The bad news (and the reason why he gets no line of the night) is that Rondo shot just 3-16 from the floor (19% if you do the math) and turned the ball over 6 times in the game. Still, I’d take that game from Rondo if it means he’s singlehandedly leading my team to victory in the assists category (and unfortunately destroying my FG%).
Injury Report: Drew Gooden (-1.00) played all of 5 minutes for the Bucks last night before leaving the game with back pain. With the fantasy season wrapping up for many owners, he can be dropped immediately for someone more productive. Eric Gordon also missed last night’s game with a back injury and should be dropped if you’re in a tight matchup this week. As mentioned above, Kobe Bryant missed his third straight game with that shin injury and is currently day-to-day. It’s a tough week if you’ve gone into a playoff battle with Kobe in your lineup, but reports are that his shin is doing better and with the Lakers coming home on Friday, I’d bet he makes his return to the court then against the Nuggets.
Pick Up Lines: I imagine Erik went into an Incredible Hulk type rampage upon seeing that Anthony Randolph (1.77) scored 28 points (shooting 11-16 from the field), with 6 rebounds and 5 blocks against the Nuggets. A shot to the head forced Kevin Love out of the game in the first quarter, which allowed Randolph to get 31 minutes off the bench. Randolph has the NBA form of a bipolar disorder, capable of games like this one night only to completely disappear the next. While he’s presumably going to get good minutes while Love is sidelined, you’ll do yourself and your fantasy team a big favor by staying far away from Randolph.
Derrick Williams (1.15) also benefited from the Love injury, scoring 27 points and adding 8 rebounds and 3 threes in 38 minutes. He’ll likely get the starting PF job as long as Love is out, and should be a nice source of points, rebounds, threes and blocks during that time. I would be much more likely to go with Williams over Randolph until Love returns.
Speaking of Love, he suffered a mild concussion after taking an elbow to the head and spent last night in a hospital. Given the NBA’s procedures around concussions, he’s out for tonight’s Wolves game, so those in tight playoff battles this week need to quickly find another option for Love (say J.J. Hickson or Derrick Williams) as he could miss Saturday’s game as well.
With Kobe out, Metta World Peace (1.71) did his best Kobe impression by scoring 26 points on 10-15 shooting, with 5 threes and 2 steals against the Spurs. World Peace now has three 19+ point scoring games over his last 4 games. Matt Barnes (0.99) is also benefiting from Kobe’s absence, as he finished with 13 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists. I’d consider neither guy a hot grab, as Kobe is day-to-day and could be back for the Lakers’ next game on Friday.
No LaMarcus Aldridge equals a J.J. Hickson (1.70) explosion last night against the Warriors. As one of the only Blazers’ big men left standing (unless you happen to be a big Luke Babbitt fan), Hickson finished with 23 points and 13 rebounds in nearly 40 minutes on the court. This game came against the Warriors, so a word of warning there, but Hickson is an immediate add in all leagues at this point, especially since a MRI found an abnormality in Aldridge’s hip and he’s increasingly likely to be shut down for the year. The bad news is that the Blazers play only 7 games the rest of the year, which is the fewest in the league.
Joel Przybilla (-0.44) is also an option if you are in an incredibly deep league and need some rebounds, primarily. Przybilla saw a season high 28 minutes starting at center for the Blazers and grabbed 14 boards, although the rest of his line (2 points, 1 assist, 0 steals, 0 blocks) is anemic. But if you happen to play in a 20-team league, I bet those rebounds are looking pretty good right now.
Surprise, surprise, Eric Gordon missed last night’s game with lower back tightness (nice job playing for that next contract, Gordon), so Marco Belinelli (1.45) got the start at shooting guard and finished with 21 points and 3 threes. This Hornets team is a mess right now and the only two guys on the team I’d feel comfortable playing on a nightly basis are Chris Kaman and Greivis Vasquez. Leave Belinelli on waivers for now, as Gordon could potentially be back sometime this year to steal his minutes yet again.
A game after going all Manimal on us, Kenneth Faried (1.42) followed it up with another good game, scoring 16 points, with 12 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks in 36 minutes. Again, it came against a Wolves team that was giving a lot of minutes to Anthony Randolph and Anthon Tolliver, not exactly two guys known for their defensive abilities. Still, you’ve got to like the minutes he’s getting and with Al Harrington playing through a torn meniscus, Faried could continue to see good minutes for the rest of the season. He’s available in over 60% of leagues right now and makes a nice add, especially in deeper leagues.
Waiver Wire Team Assemble! Hanging out in the 30-40ish area of last night’s performances is our regular waiver wire crew: Brandon Rush (0.96) had 13 points, hit a couple three and had 5 rebounds in 26 minutes; Shannon Brown (0.81) scored 18 while hitting 4-10 from three; Chandler Parsons (0.81) did a little bit of everything and a lot of nothing against the Jazz; Jason Thompson (0.79) bounced back from three bad games in a row to finish with 18 and 7; Mike Dunleavy (0.75) scored 19 points and hit a couple threes while getting 36 minutes on the bench; and Landry Fields (0.67) had 11/5/6 starting at PF for the Knicks. We’ve talked about most of these guys ad nauseum this season and with the possible exception of Brown, all make better short-term spot starters than long-term fantasy options.
Markieff Morris (0.68) has now strung together three good games in a row, including last night’s 17 points and 6 rebounds against the Grizzlies. He has also seen at least 26 minutes in each of those three games. Keep an eye on his minutes as the season comes to an end, especially if the Suns completely fall out of playoff contention. He could be one of those guys with a monster last week if the Suns decide to play all their young guys.
DeMarre Carroll (0.58) got his second straight start at SF for the injury depleted Jazz. It went much, much better than his first as Carroll finished with 10 points, 7 boards and a couple of steals in 26 minutes. I wouldn’t pick him up in a 12 team league (especially considering his disasterous first start), but he is worth at least a watch in larger leagues as long as he continues to start for the Jazz.
Biggest Loser: I had to check to see whether Michael Beasley (-1.14) got hurt in the Wolves game since he played all of 10 minutes even with Kevin Love leaving the game, but I can’t find any news that he did (let me know if I’ve missed something). Instead, he just had a severe case of Beasley-itis, finishing with 0 points, 0 rebounds and 0 assists after playing about 30 minutes in each of the Wolves last two games.
And while he’s only owned in about one-third of leagues, Carl Landry (-1.37) demonstrated why he can’t be trusted in fantasy with an 8 point, 3 rebound “performance” against the Kings. Landry is not someone you want to hand the keys of your fantasy team to with the season on the line.
Daily rankings and stats come from the GMTR H2H Player Rater (beta version). They are based on the stat Wins Above Replacement Player (WARP) an estimate of the number of wins a player produces per week in H2H leagues over a replacement (waiver wire) player.
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