A busy night with eleven games going on in the NBA. Teams are starting to shake up their line ups and trying to fix things now that we’re almost 3 weeks into season. I’ll dive into that part in the talking points section. There were some outstanding performances from tonight and they’re not really from the big name players that you drafted in the first round! Let’s take a look at who stepped up in fantasy tonight.
Stud of the Night: Tonight’s biggest stud goes to Jimmy Butler. He scored a league high 37 points tonight on 11-23 shooting and went perfect from the line with 14 attempts. He also flirted with a triple double by having 8 rebounds and 9 assists to go along with 3 steals and a triple. Wade and Rondo didn’t really step up and the Bulls needed every ounce of Butler to beat the short handed Wizards. Butler’s averaging 32.0 points in 38.3 minutes per game over the last three games. He’s also averaging 5.3 rebounds, 7.0 assists and 4.0 steals while getting to the line 12 times a game. He’s doing everything for your team and is playing like a first rounder, which I didn’t think he would heading into this season. Keep on rolling Buckets.
Nikola Mirotic – 17 points (6-7 FG, 2-2 FT), 11 rebounds, 3 triples, 2 steals and 2 blocks with no turnovers. After dropping a few duds last week and played in less than 20 minutes per game, seems like Mirotic is starting to heat up again. He played in 23 minutes today but it’s the fact that Hoiberg decided to close the game out with him over Gibson or McDermott that’s encouraging. Mirotic is probably the streakiest player to own and once he catches on fire, he’ll play well for a few games hopefully. He was running the break and finishing off alley-oops tonight and looks very motivated. One of those players where if he gets his buckets early, he’ll have the incentive to do other things with more effort. Mirotic owners can breathe a sigh of relief now that you remember the upside that he has.
Myles Turner – 17 points (6-8 FG, 5-5 FT), 8 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 blocks with 4 turnovers. After a hot start to the season, Turner has cooled off a little bit since then. He got outplayed by Embiid and dropped a dud against the lowly Sixers but owners shouldn’t fret since he bounced back nicely tonight against the Celtics. This game did come without Paul George on the team so he was required to do more things on the court, which possibly led to the high turnovers. Turner’s returning second round value averaging 15.2 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.5 blocks and 1.1 steals with pretty elite percentages. He’s been a beast this season and is clearly living up to the hype.
Eric Gordon – 27 points (10-16 FG), 5 rebounds, 7 triples, a steal and a block with 2 turnovers. Gordon was shooting lights out tonight against the Spurs and almost led the team back into the game with his 3 point shooting. Gordon recently got demoted to bench for Corey Brewer to start over him for defensive purposes. This could be a winning situation for Gordon since he can get some minutes as the go-to guy for the second unit and increase his usage rate. He also played 32 minutes tonight while Brewer only played 16. Gordon’s returning mid-round value with his scoring and triples, averaging 16.7 points, 3.0 triples, 0.8 steals and 0.7 blocks. He is still injury prone and hasn’t played a season over 65 games. His value is at its highest now so a sell high wouldn’t be that bad of an idea if you’re scared of his injuries.
Giannis Antetokounmpo – 27 points (9-13 FG, 9-13 FT), 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals and 4 blocks with 5 turnovers. The Greek Freak almost had a 5×5! Owners shouldn’t mind the turnovers when he’s having stat lines like these! He was doing it all against the Grizzlies and the wing defenders on their team couldn’t stop Giannis at all. He made almost every basket inside the paint tonight and if he missed, he either got fouled and went to the line. Giannis has been returning first round value this season with some insane defensive numbers. He’s averaging 21.3 points, 8.4 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 2.0 steals and 2.2 blocks. And he’s only 21. Imagine when he works on his threes and how that stat line would look. He’s scary good and is a locked first round pick for many years to come.
Dud of the Night: The biggest loser from today is none other than Denver’s Jusuf Nurkic. Nurkic grabbed 2 rebounds, a steal and 2 turnovers and dropped an egg in everything else. He only played in 17 minutes tonight against the Detroit Pistons. This doesn’t make sense at all when he’s the most qualified big against the Drummond on the team. It’s not like Nurkic was in foul trouble either. Kenneth Faried got moved to the starting line up ahead of Nikola Jokic tonight as well. I’m starting to question Michael Malone’s coaching ability and his rotation methods on the bigs. He’s playing Wilson Chandler and Kenneth Faried more than they should. But this is coming from a fantasy perspective. the Jurkic combination doesn’t really turn out well offensively and defensively and now it seems like the two would share minutes with a chunk of it going to Faried as the small ball center. Now, it’s a lose-lose situation both the European guys.
Waiver Wire Gems:
Lucas Nogueira (4% owned) – 6 points (3-3 FG), 10 rebounds, 3 steals and 5 blocks in 26 minutes. The Brazilian man played more than Jonas Valanciunas tonight! And he even closed the game out for the Toronto Huskies (they were wearing the Huskies jerseys tonight). That’s 3 games in a row that Nogueira played well in, with two of them coming off the bench when JV is healthy. He’s making impressive defensive plays coming from the weak side and looks really athletic. You can check it out here and here. I can’t blame him from getting playing time since Dwane Casey probably sees a lot of resemblance with him and Biyombo. Casey really likes his athletic blocking type centers. In the 4 games he played, if you average it out, he’s returning first round value!! I know it’s a small sample size but Bebe has some major upside. Go grab him if you got a guy to cut.
Norman Powell (1% owned) – 19 points (4-10 FG, 8-8 FT), 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 triples and a steal in 29 minutes. Powell got the start tonight with DeMarre Carroll resting in a back-to-back situation. This is an encouraging performance from Powell and could earn him more minutes since Carroll and Terrence Ross has been playing pretty poorly. There’s a slight chance that Powell could overtake Carroll’s position in the starting line up but he is a bit on the small end compared to other small forwards. Let’s take a wait-and-see approach with Powell first.
Luc Mbah a Moute – 15 points (6-8 FG, 1-1 FT), 2 triples, a steal and a block in 34 minutes. Let’s call him Luc. Luc is the starting small forward for the Clippers but tonight’s 34 minutes is a season high for him and his previous high was 31 which was yesterday. He’s getting more run and that’s two solid games in a row. Is he the solution to Clippers’ problem on the wings? Maybe not, but if he can string a few solid games with good defensive stats and a triple, he might actually be worth owning because there’s no competition on that team in the small forward section. He’s a triple one threat and over the past 5 games, he’s averaging 1.2 triples, 1.2 steals and 0.6 blocks. Deep leagues should take a look at this man.
Celtics vs Pacers
– Kelly Olynyk is still getting good run with 28 minutes with Al Horford out. He’s back soon though so keep an eye out on his return.
– Paul George tweaked an ankle on Saturday so he missed today’s game. Monta Ellis and C.J. Miles started together.
Lakers vs Pelicans
– D’Angelo finally has a good game after a while. Walton likes to go to his bench and Sweet Lou has been playing well so DLoading’s minutes has been down. Buy low is still hard since owners probably reached for him.
– Anthony Davis tweaked his lower back but returned to the game. It didn’t seem like something that can’t be played through but this might be the starting point of owners’ concern for Davis’ injuries.
Knicks vs Raptors
– After being ejected in his last game, Melo bounced back and had a good game with 31 points. He’s still outside the top-50 right now and Knicks has been losing games non-stop.
– Jonas Valanciunas sat on the bench in the fourth quarter while Nogueira closed the game out. Shades of last season with him and Biyombo resurfaces again. Seems like Nogueira has higher upside than Biyombo too. Owners should be slightly worried.
Sixers vs Hawks
– Embiid rested since its a back-to-back set so Jahlil Okafor got most of the minutes and usage rate.
– Millsap has been looking bad. This might be his lowest point, scoring 6 points and 4 rebounds. This might be a really good window to buy low right now. He’s barely returning top-100 value right now.
Wizards vs Bulls
– Both Wall and Beal sat out tonight so Markieff Morris did majority of the carrying. Rookie Tomas Satoransky looks good though (12 pts/4 rebs/9 asts).
– A rare occasion where Mirotic, Gibson and Lopez all played decently well. Mirotic and Lopez got the call to close the game out tonight.
Spurs vs Rockets
– Ginobili and Parker looked like shades of their young self but doesn’t really have any fantasy value still. Gasol and Aldridge coexisted pretty well tonight, both had decent games.
– Ryno looked bad tonight, only hitting 1-of-13 shots. Just a cold shooting night from Anderson.
Clippers vs Timberwolves
– DJ has slowly ramped up his work load averaging 15.3 points, 12.7 rebounds and 2.0 blocks over his last 3 games. Worries from the start of the season should be gone.
– After a slow start, KAT has been returning first round value while averaging 26.0 points, 9.6 rebounds, 1.6 threes, 1.4 blocks and 1.0 steal over his last 5 games.
Jazz vs Heat
– George Hill still sidelined with a thumb injury. He was hot but now he’s missed 4 games and there’s still no news about the injury apart from the day-to-day status. Favors also only played 6 minutes and didn’t return to the game because of knee soreness. He has too many of these nagging injuries.
– Dragic missed out today because of an sprained ankle he suffered last game and Josh Richardson got the start. James Johnson is looking like a good add in deep leagues.
Grizzlies vs Bucks
– Parsons looked good in 23 minutes of play. He’s slowly shaking off the rust. JaMychal Green should be droppable in standard leagues.
– John Henson started over Miles Plumlee but only played in 18 minutes with Monroe getting majority of the minutes. He’s a blocking machine though.
Nets vs Suns
– Jeremy Lin is travelling with the team and seems like he might return sooner than the expected date. Both Trevor Booker and RHJ looked good tonight and led the Nets to victory.
– T.J. Warren is continuing his breakout play and his defensive numbers really elevates his value this season.
That’s it for Saturday’s edition of FFF. Would like to know whether you think the talking points is a good touch or not. Continue to shoot me questions on Twitter and until next time!