A busy night with eleven games on a Wednesday night. A ton of beastly numbers but there’s a surprise in store for the stud of the night. There were also some really intense and tight games from tonight. The Hornets is tied first in the East with the Cavaliers after it’s victory against the Jazz. Houston barely squeezed out the victory against the Spurs on their final game of their road trip. And after coming off a victory with the Cavs last night, the Hawks managed to also beat the Bulls on the second night of a back-to-back. That’s pretty impressive. Let’s take a look at the winners and losers in fantasy basketball from tonight’s games.
Stud of the Night: After mentioning him two days ago of how he’s quietly playing well, Otto Porter dropped a beastly line against the Celtics. He scored a career high 34 points on 14-of-19 shooting. He also hauled in 14 rebounds, dished 4 assists, had 3 triples, 3 thefts and 3 blocks with no turnovers. He dropped an immense 9-cat stat line. This might be the best 9-cat performance in this early season. This game boosted his stock to top-10 value in standard leagues and I’d try to sell high after this amazing performance. Don’t expect him to have this type of night since Bradley Beal injured his hamstring and only play 11 minutes. Porter’s been averaging 16.9 points, 8.3 rebounds, 1.4 steals, 1.0 steals and 0.4 turnovers on 61.0 percent shooting and 91.7 percent on the line. That’s some very roto-friendly type of stat line and I don’t think the percentages can be sustained to this level. If it’s anytime to sell high, this is the time.
Jimmy Butler – 39 points (13-24 FG, 9-12 FT), 4 rebounds, 7 assists, 6 steals, 4 triples and 4 turnovers in a tough loss against the Hawks. On any given night, this line could’ve propelled Butler to the Stud of the Night honours. Butler started the game hitting two threes and Hawks started respecting his outside range more and opened up lanes to the hoop. He’s averaging 1.8 threes for the season, shooting them at 43.8 percent. That’s no where near his career averages as he was only a 33.1 percent three point shooter for his career. I’m assuming this will regress back to the mean. Butler has top-15 value right now since his efficiency didn’t take a hit from the increased of 3-pointers. Owners can continue to ride the hot hand but you shouldn’t expect this to last for the entire season.
Zach LaVine – 37 points (14-22 FG, 2-3 FT), 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 7 triples, 1 steal and no turnovers in a win against the Magic. LaVine had the green light tonight and just kept chucking shots from range seemed like almost every one of his triples went in. LaVine’s been hitting his threes this season, hitting them at 48.9 percent rate. He also has a true shooting percentage of 61.8 and I don’t see this sustaining. The Wolves has the luxury to ride the hot hand and right now, it seems like both LaVine and Wiggins are on fire. They’re still young and will have their up’s and down’s. LaVine is playing himself to top-50 value only though because of his lack of contribution to other categories. It seems like he’ll hover around that vicinity for the rest of the season.
Jeff Teague – 30 points (10-16 FG, 9-10 FT), 2 rebounds, 9 assists, 2 steals, 1 triple and a block. Teague was an All-Star two years ago so when you’re up against the likes of Sergio Rodriguez and the Sixers, you try to do everything to make yourself feel good. That’s what Teague did. It’s a good bounce back game for Teague and hopefully this is a good feel-good game for him to gain some confidence back. He was considered a good buy low target, which is reasonable but I still see Teague have career lows across the board. When you’re playing with Paul George, Monta Ellis and Myles Turner, you tend not to get the ball as often. Just ask Thad Young. Teague is still outside the top-100 in standard leagues and if you want to float an offer out still, you better do it quick.
Kawhi Leonard – 34 points (11-26 FG, 8-8 FT), 7 rebounds, 4 triples, 2 blocks, 1 steal. Just when we thought there were no first rounders mentioned in an eleven game night, Kawhi came out with another solid performance. 26 attempts from Kawhi is a career high and there’s a pretty good chance he’ll shoot more than that over the course of this season. He missed some bunnies, especially towards the last moment of the game but owners shouldn’t complain about Kawhi’s efficiency as he’s the fourth best player in 9-cat right now. He’s averaging 97.2 percent from the free throw line and 8.9 attempts. He worked on drawing fouls and getting to the line this offseason. A funny matchup between Kawhi and Harden at drawing fouls. Owners should just keep on enjoying Kawhi.
Fool’s Gold: I think this is a good chance to talk about Paul Millsap. He had a solid game, scoring 16 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, 6 dimes, 2 triples, 2 blocks, and a steal. Millsap owners wouldn’t really complain about his contribution to the counting stats department. However, he did have a poor shooting night (5-of-13 shooting) and did have 6 turnovers. The Hawks are playing well and is a beast on the defensive end with Howard on board. But on the offensive end, Millsap’s being asked to do too much. Howard’s just a pick and roll guy and the occasional post up but since Horford’s gone, a lot of sets and plays are being run through to Millsap and he’s forcing it a bit too much. He’s averaging 15.1 field goal attempts which is a career high but only hitting them at 43.0 percent, which is a career low. He’s also averaging 3.3 turnovers and is struggling to stay efficient on the floor. Millsap is hovering away from the rim more and more, which means he’s attempting shots further away from the basket which would likely impact his efficiency. He has sixth round value in standard leagues right now and it’s not a good sign for owners who drafted him in the second round.
Dud of the Night: As long as Fred Hoiberg isn’t playing Nikola Mirotic, he should be mentioned here more often. Mirotic ended up with 2 points by missing all 3 attempts from the field, 1 rebound and 1 assist. Hoiberg still doesn’t trust Mirotic and it’s rightly so. He’s in an awkward position. He’s too slow to guard wings and too small to guard bigs, which makes him a liability on defense. He only played in 11 minutes tonight with none in the fourth. Hoiberg turned to McDermott instead when he went small. Wade and Butler together are making 3.3 threes per game at 44.1 percent from range and as long as they keep hitting their threes, Mirotic doesn’t seem likely to be utilised as much. It’s tough to be an owner of Mirotic right now, as he has no value out in the market but he’s too good to drop. I’m on the same boat and I’ll just keep holding on to him.
Waiver Wire Gems:
Thabo Sefolosha (19% owned) – 20 points (8-9 FG, 2-2 FT) 5 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 triples and a block in 29 minutes. Sefolosha was nearly perfect tonight and he couldn’t miss at all. He’s quietly ranked top-50 in under 25 minutes of play. With the occasional rests and decline from Korver, Sefolosha should get more run as the season progresses. He’s also the best wing defender on the team. He’s in a contract year right now and you can see he’s aggressive at getting to the basket. The Swiss man is looking for a payday and he’s working himself towards earning one if he continues to play at this level. His stifle defense is fun to watch, as he’s averaging 2.6 thefts per game this season. This guy should be owned in all leagues.
Justin Hamilton (10% owned) – 21 points (8-13 FG), 4 rebounds, 5 triples and a steal in 23 minutes. Since the last time Hamilton was mentioned, his ownership went up by a couple percent. He’s the first guy off the bench for Brooklyn and can play both the big man spot. Kenny Atkinson really likes him because of his ability to stretch the floor and today, he caught fire. He’s earned himself a pretty good role with consistent minutes on the team but his hot shooting isn’t very sustainable. He is however a good play whenever Brook Lopez sits out. Hamilton is having sixth round value in standard leagues and he’s a good pickup while he’s hot.
Jared Dudley (6% owned) – 19 points (6-9 FG, 3-4 FT), 5 rebounds, 4 triples, 2 blocks and a steal in 30 minutes. Dudley couldn’t miss a shot in the first half and Earl Watson continued to ride along with Dudley’s hot hand. He recently got demoted to the bench and this is his only good game since the season started. The 31 year old will be hard to own but if you want to stream some threes in the deep league with some steals, Dudley is an alright guy.
Hollis Thompson (1% owned) – 19 points (7-12 FG, 2-2 FT), 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 triples and a steal in 26 minutes. Since the start of November, Thompson’s points in each game is 22, 4, 8, 2, 19. That’s as inconsistent as it gets. He’s carving out some consistent minutes on the team as a three point specialist but his shots is just unreliable right now. He had a good opportunity to step up when Covington was cold but now that Covington has found his stroke again, it’ll be even harder for Thompson to step up. If you’re in dying need of some threes in some super deep leagues, then Thompson might be the guy for you if you can handle the ebb and flows of his shooting.
Lucas Nogueira (1% owned) – 10 points (5-5 FG) 7 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks in 29 minutes. The Raptors big man stepped in for Valanciunas and did a solid job. This is only his second game of the season that he’s got playing time so he’s not an add in any leagues. But I’m sure he earned some minutes with performances like this one when JV returns. Jonas isn’t the most durable guy so whenever he’s out, the Brazilian big man is a good plug and play guy.
Hope you enjoyed today’s FFF. Stay tuned for more and follow me on Twitter for more updates and keep shooting questions at me for your fantasy team!