Monday, May 27, 2024
HomeBasketBallNBAFantasy basketball 30: News and notes on every NBA team - ESPN

Fantasy basketball 30: News and notes on every NBA team – ESPN

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: Trae Young and Dejounte Murray scored or assisted on 70 of the Hawks’ 101 points on Wednesday night against the Celtics. With Young and Murray on the floor together, the Hawks have outscored opponents by 6.8 points per 100 possessions this season, with both players maintaining their high fantasy value in the process.

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Boston Celtics: Derrick White has scored 10 or more points in four consecutive games. During that stretch, he’s also chipped in 2.5 RPG, 5.8 APG, 1.0 SPG, 1.0 BPG and 1.8 3PG. The addition of White last season and Malcolm Brogdon this season have deepened a the Celtics’ backcourt rotation significantly, allowing Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown to concentrate more on scoring and less and creating for others.
Brooklyn Nets: Kevin Durant has scored 25 or more points in all 15 games and aims to become the fifth player in NBA history to score 25 points in each of the first 16 games of a season — the first since Michael Jordan in 1988-89.
Charlotte Hornets: It’s been a rough start to the season for LaMelo Ball and those fantasy managers who have him on their roster. Ball, who missed the first 13 games of the season with a sprained left ankle, appeared to re-injure the ankle Wednesday after stepping on a fan sitting courtside. This opens the door again for Dennis Smith Jr., who is only rostered in 39.3% of leagues, and is also recovering from a sprained ankle.
Chicago Bulls: Andre Drummond is back on the court after missing time due to a shoulder injury, and he can help fantasy managers with FG% and rebounding in category formats. He’s averaged 8.6 PPG and 9.0 RPG in only 16.7 MPG. Drummond shoots 80% of his field goals within four feet of the basket and is shooting 56% from the field so far this season.
Cleveland Cavaliers: Donovan Mitchell has had eight consecutive games with 20 or more points. Meanwhile, Darius Garland has scored at least 20 points and dished out at least five assists in each of his past three games. In his sixth-man role for the Cavaliers, Kevin Love continues to be underrated by fantasy managers. As of right now, he is only rostered in 21.2% of leagues and has averaged 24.3 fantasy points per game.
Dallas Mavericks: The Mavericks need someone to step up offensively behind Luka Doncic and Spencer Dinwiddie. Tim Hardaway Jr., who is rostered in only 8.2% of leagues, could fill the void for Dallas. In three of his last four games, he has scored 22 or more fantasy points. For fantasy managers in category formats, Hardaway Jr. is also a reliable source of points and triples.
Denver Nuggets: Bones Hyland has been on a roll recently, putting up 34.2 fantasy points per game over his past five games. While Hyland missed some time in the league’s safety protocols, when on the court he’s contributed in many statistical categories, including steals. He’s only rostered in 14.5% of ESPN leagues so give him a look.
Detroit Pistons: Isaiah Stewart‘s sprained right big toe will be reevaluated in two to three weeks, and the immediate beneficiary in terms of playing time is Marvin Bagley III, who is only rostered in 14.4% of leagues. Despite missing significant time last season with a sprained right knee, Bagley has scored 17 or more fantasy points in his first two games this season. Jalen Duren, who is only rostered in 5.1% of leagues, could also see his minutes increase. He averages 11.7 points and 13.7 rebounds per 40 minutes.
Golden State Warriors: While Stephen Curry is having an epic season for fantasy managers, defense is a glaring problem for the defending NBA champion Warriors. Golden State is allowing 12.8 more points per game this season than last season, and ranks 23rd in points allowed per 100 possessions. Golden State ranked second in this metric last season.
Houston Rockets: Tari Eason has the skill set to be a highly productive fantasy basketball player. Minutes are the biggest challenge for the rookie; he has only averaged 18.1 MPG thus far. In games where he has played 21 or more minutes, Eason has averaged 26.5 fantasy points. Eason is only rostered in 6.7% of ESPN leagues and I recommend adding him if you’re playing in a deeper league, but I also recommend stashing him in shallower leagues if you have the room.
Indiana Pacers: Bennedict Mathurin (rostered in 58.3% of leagues) had his sixth 20-point game of the season on Wednesday against the Hornets. For the first time this season, the Pacers are also over .500. Indiana never reached .500 last season. Meanwhile, Tyrese Haliburton continues to deliver epic performances. He has already reached 20 points and 10 assists in six games this season.
LA Clippers: Kawhi Leonard, who has played in just two games so far this seaosn, has been upgraded to questionable for Thursday’s game against the Pistons. Given how much the Clippers have been hampered for most of this season, this is a major development. The Clippers enter Thursday ranked 30th in points scored per 100 possessions and in terms of offense, Leonard’s return would be a major boost for Los Angeles.
Los Angeles Lakers: Lonnie Walker IV has scored 10 or more points in three straight games and six of his last seven. For fantasy managers in category formats looking for points with a dash of other stats, he’s a good option. Walker is rostered in 22.3% of ESPN leagues and has averaged 27.7 fantasy points per game this season.
Memphis Grizzlies: Desmond Bane suffered a Grade 2 sprain of his right big toe on Nov. 11 and will be sidelined for another 1-2 weeks. Enter John Konchar, who scored 20 or more fantasy points in both of the last two games. Only rostered in 2.3% of ESPN leagues, Konchar is worth picking up in deeper formats if you need a streamer while Bane is out.
Miami Heat: Trade rumors have swirled around Duncan Robinson after being passed over in the rotation by other players. Thomas Darro of reported that the Bulls are interested in trading for Robinson. Chicago’s offense hasn’t been great this season. The Bulls rank 24th in points scored per 100 possessions. Robinson would be a great fit for Chicago and a solid source of points and triples for fantasy managers, so this is something to keep an eye on.
Wednesday’s games
Knicks-Bulls, 7:30 p.m.
Timberwolves-Clippers, 10 p.m.
Friday’s games
Warriors-76ers, 7:30 p.m.
Nuggets-Lakers, 10 p.m.
*All times Eastern
Milwaukee Bucks: Brook Lopez (rostered in 69.7% of leagues) continues to exceed expectations for fantasy managers, and the latest effort was truly eye-opening. Playing the Cavaliers on Wednesday, the veteran center out of Stanford scored 64 fantasy points, including seven 3s, which tied his career high. If Lopez can stay healthy, he has a chance to be one of the better fantasy values this season considering his low average draft position.
Minnesota Timberwolves: Kyle Anderson has been very productive for fantasy managers during the recent six-game stretch. He’s averaged 9.7 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 3.7 APG, 1.7 SPG and 0.8 BPG during that span, and is capable of contributing across a wide range of statistical categories.
New Orleans Pelicans: Larry Nance Jr. (9.3% rostered) should be picked up in more fantasy leagues, especially on nights when the Pelicans are undermanned and Nance is thrust into extended minutes. He has averaged 17.0 points, 9.9 rebounds and 3.9 assists per 40 minutes this season.
New York Knicks: Mitchell Robinson is progressing with his sprained right knee, although his return timetable remains unclear. In the meantime, the Knicks’ defense has struggled without him, currently ranking 25th in points allowed per 100 possessions. Jericho Sims has not struggled over the last five games, while Isaiah Hartenstein has; in three of his last five games, Sims has scored 30 or more fantasy points. He’s still only rostered in 0.5% of ESPN leagues.
Oklahoma City Thunder: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has become the second player in league history to record 10 games of at least 30 points while shooting at least 50% from the field in his first 14 games of a season. The only other player was Wilt Chamberlain, who accomplished this feat during the 1962-63 season. Luguentz Dort also deserves some attention. Rostered in only 31.4% of leagues, the Arizona State product has averaged 30.2 fantasy points per game this season and is worth picking up if you need a swingman.
Orlando Magic: Paolo Banchero is dealing with a left ankle sprain and has already been ruled out for Friday’s game. The rookie has averaged 23.5 PPG, 8.3 RPG and 3.6 APG in 34.5 MPG this season with a 30.5% usage rate, but hasn’t played since Nov. 7.
Philadelphia 76ers: Joel Embiid scored 101 points over the 76ers’ last two games, which were played on consecutive days. Since the NBA-ABA merger, only Kobe Bryant, Bradley Beal and Michael Jordan have scored 100 or more points over a two-day span. Embiid’s 101 points are the most by a center since Wilt Chamberlain in 1967. Tyrese Maxey, however, has struggled with his field goal percentage since James Harden‘s injury. In the last five games, he has only made 34.9% of his field goals.
Phoenix Suns: Cameron Payne has excelled in his four starts with Chris Paul out of the lineup dealing with right heel pain. In those games, Payne (rostered in 11.4% of leagues) has averaged 20.8 PPG and 6.0 APG. The journeyman point guard needs to be rostered across all formats until we get confirmation of when Paul is returning.
Portland Trail Blazers: Jusuf Nurkic returned from his groin injury Tuesday against the Spurs, but only played 15 minutes. He’s also questionable for Thursday’s game against the Nets. Drew Eubanks is still a viable streamer as Nurkic’s minutes increase. He has averaged 25.5 fantasy points over the last four games and is only rostered in 1.1% of ESPN leagues.
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Sacramento Kings: Domantas Sabonis‘ statistical production is on the rise. He has averaged 48 fantasy points per game over the last six games. After getting off to a slow start this season, he’s currently ranked 22nd in ESPN’s Player Rater. Elsewhere in the Kings’ frontcourt, rookie Keegan Murray is dealing with a back injury and Terence Davis could benefit from his absence. As a starter last season, Davis averaged 17.6 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 1.7 APG and 1.4 SPG. Davis scored 31 in Tuesday’s blowout win over the Nets.
San Antonio Spurs: Keldon Johnson averaged less than 1.0 3PG during each of his first two NBA seasons, but after raising that to 2.1 3PG in season three he’s taken his game to new heights from beyond the arc this season. Johnson is taking and making more 3s than ever, and his 3.7 3PG and 42.3% shooting from long range make him one of the league’s top threats from distance. What a great development for the Spurs and the 23-year-old Kentucky product.
Toronto Raptors: Chris Boucher had a down season in 2021-22 and currently is only rostered in 49.7% of ESPN leagues, but he has performed very well with Pascal Siakam sidelined. Over the last four games, Boucher has averaged 18.5 PPG and 8.3 RPG in 28.9 MPG. Boucher’s minutes have always been up and down, so fantasy managers must keep this in mind, but enjoy the production while it lasts.
Utah Jazz: Malik Beasley is a great source of 3s for those fantasy managers playing in category formats. Shooting 41.7% from 3-point range on the season, he has hit at least four triples in four straight games. Beasley has averaged 22.3 fantasy points per game this season and is still only rostered in 41.3% of ESPN leagues.
Washington Wizards: Kristaps Porzingis has scored 25 points in three consecutive games. Combined with his other stats, that has resulted in 50 or more fantasy points in each contest. Porzingis has a usage rate of 26.2% this season and while durability is always a concern, Porzingis dominates in both category and points formats when he can stay healthy.



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