The Monday Dose is always a challenge, trying to cram 15 pounds of stuff into a five-pound bag. There were a lot of good things that happened on Saturday and Sunday, some ugly things, and enough injury news to fill up an entire Dose. Here we go.
Games Played for Week 3
4 Games: ATL, BOS, CHA, CLE, DEN, DET, HOU, LAL, MEM, MIN, MIL, PHI, POR, TOR, UTA
3 Games: BRK, CHI, DAL, GSW, IND, LAC, MIA, NOP, NYK, OKC, ORL, SAS, SAC, WAS
2 Games: PHX
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Point guards had some big games this weekend, starting with Ricky Rubio’s triple-double in Sunday’s cakewalk over the Lakers. On top of the 12 points, 10 boards and 14 assists, he also had five steals in a FanDuel bonanza. Michael Carter-Williams posted a sick line on Saturday with 21 points, seven boards, 13 assists, two steals, two blocks and three 3-pointers on 9-of-17 shooting. Some will tell you to sell-high on him, but I’m not one of those guys. I absolutely love owning him. Steve Blake had 19 points, eight assists, three steals and five 3-pointers in Sunday’s ugly loss to the Wolves, and given Steve Nash’s back woes, I think Blake needs to be grabbed in most leagues. See more on Nash in the “bad section” below.
Eric Bledsoe stayed hot Sunday with 24 points, four boards and six assists, and is another guy I’m going to hang onto unless I get a crazy offer. Jarrett Jack broke out on Saturday with 20 points, four boards, five assists, three steals, three blocks and three 3-pointers, and is a guy you should think about picking up for the Cavs. Check out Waiver Wired in case you missed this week’s hot pickups. Patrick Beverley also had his coming out party on Saturday with 19 points, five boards, three assists, four steals, two blocks and two 3-pointers, and should be owned in all leagues. Kyrie Irving also broke out of a funk with 39 points, 12 assists and five 3-pointers on Saturday and I’m guessing he’s pretty psyched for Monday’s matchup with Derrick Rose.
Shooting guards who made an impression over the weekend included Kevin Martin with 27 points and a fat line for the Timberwolves, Bradley Beal with a career-high 34 points and six treys, and Danny Green, who torched the Knicks for 24 points, 10 boards, a steal, a block and six 3-pointers on 8-of-11 shooting Sunday. That’s what you call a FanDuel feast, and he helped me win five of the five games I entered on Sunday.
O.J. Mayo had 28 points and four 3-pointers on Saturday and is a must-start player going forward, Arron Afflalo stayed hot with 21 points, seven dimes and three 3-pointers on Saturday, and Dion Waiters went for 24 points and a monster stat line on Saturday as well.
Small forwards were hot too, led by Kevin Durant’s 33 points, which include a 3-pointer to force overtime where the Thunder beat the Wiz. Corey Brewer had 17 points and a full stat line on Sunday, and Kawhi Leonard came off the bench for 18 points, a steal, a block and a 3-pointer against the Knicks, and his owners were surely thrilled to see some signs of life out of him. Caron Butler broke out on Saturday with 19 points, 13 boards, two steals and three 3-pointers, and should be owned in most leagues.
Shawn Marion had a double-double on Saturday with 14 points and 10 boards, and is playing well enough to be owned in all leagues. Evan Turner stayed hot with 31 points, 10 rebounds and two 3-pointers, making him one of this year’s top value picks on draft night, while DeMarre Carroll is quietly providing deep-league value for the Hawks. He was 5-of-5 for 12 points, seven boards and two 3-pointers on Saturday. Jeff Green also went off on Saturday with a game-winning 3-pointer, one of his five that night, along with 24 points. He’s an automatic four-game start.
Power forwards also came through, as Kevin Love stayed hot with 25 points, 13 boards and three 3-pointers in an embarrassingly easy win over the Lakers Sunday. Markieff Morris hit 9-of-12 shots for 23 points on Sunday and has now hit 30-of-38 shots in three games. Go get him. Nene is healthy enough to play and had 14 points, seven rebounds and six assists before being ejected on Sunday, and was another guy who helped me in FanDuel. Serge Ibaka broke out with 25 points, 12 boards and three blocks on Sunday, and there’s hopefully more where that came from coming soon.
Paul Millsap did it again on Saturday with 18 points, 11 boards, four dimes and two blocks for the Hawks. He got off to a slow start this season and didn’t hit a 3-pointer Saturday, but he is going to shoot them this season and put up monster lines. Thaddeus Young finally broke out of a funk with 29 points, three steals and two 3-pointers on Saturday, providing much needed relief for his owners. Tyler Hansbrough had 23 points, seven boards and two steals on Saturday, and you should just keep an eye on him in case he steals Amir Johnson’s job.
Centers weren’t to be outdone, as little known Jason Smith hit 9-of-12 shots for 22 points, eight boards and two blocks for the Pelicans on Sunday. He’s worth a look if you’re desperate for a big man. Miles Plumlee stayed hot for the Suns with eight points, 12 boards and a career-best five blocks, and Andrea Bargnani backed up Friday’s monster line with 16 points and a 3-pointer on Sunday against the Spurs. I don’t really trust Bargs, but he’s going to play heavy minutes for the Knicks and should be owned in most leagues.
DeMarcus Cousins bounced back from a pair of benchings with 33 and 35 points in his two weekend games, making him a must-start this week despite just three games. Robin Lopez had 12 points and 10 boards for the Blazers on Saturday, and is worth a look in two-center leagues. And DeAndre Jordan’s turnaround stayed on track Saturday with 12 points, 18 boards, four assists, two steals and three more blocks. He’s a good value play in FanDuel right now.
The Bad/Injury News
Steve Nash’s back injury is now officially a serious concern and he’ll see a doctor about it on Monday. I’m expecting him to be shut down for the foreseeable future, meaning Steve Blake and Jordan Farmar are both going to see a ton of minutes and opportunity. I was originally in the Farmar camp, but have jumped the fence in support of Blake. We still don’t know exactly what the word is on Nash, but I’m expecting the worst and see no reason to hold him for now.
Tyreke Evans was useless on Sunday and things aren’t going to get any better when Ryan Anderson is back from his fractured toe, which should happen this week. If you want to drop Evans, I’m cool with it. And while I’m not ready to tell you to throw Anderson into your lineup, he’s getting very close. Anthony Morrow stepped up for a sulking Evans with 16 points and two 3-pointers, so keep an eye on him.
John Wall is dealing with a back injury of his own and hit just 3-of-12 shots for 10 points and eight assists on Sunday. I’m not overly concerned, but it’s obviously bothering him, which is probably good news for Beal. LeBron James is also dealing with a sore back, saying “it’s not where it needs to be.” Of course, he played through it on Saturday and only hit 9-of-13 shots for 25 points, eight boards and 10 assists, just missing a triple-double. Keep rolling him out there and keep watching for news.
James Harden is slowed by a foot injury right now and hit just 4-of-15 shots on Saturday. He’s going to try to keep playing through his several nagging injuries, and posted a couple monster lines prior to Saturday’s struggle.
JaVale McGee has a broken left leg and there’s no timetable on his return. Timofey Mozgov, J.J. Hickson and Anthony Randolph are all going to help fill in for him, and I think McGee can be cut in most instances. And if I had to pick one of those three for success, it would be Hickson, although my guess is TinaFey is your starter.
Rajon Rondo apparently played some 3-of-3 without clearance a few weeks ago and we still don’t have a timetable on his return. If you’re sitting on him, hope for Christmas. The Lakers don’t expect Kobe Bryant to play within the next two weeks, which officially means I was wrong. I thought he’d be back by now, simply because he’s Kobe. But this also proves he’s an actual human being and not a machine.
Goran Dragic returned from an ankle sprain on Sunday for 12 points, three dimes and a 3-pointer, but the Suns play just two games this week. Wilson Chandler sounds like he could play on Monday after missing time with a hamstring injury. Pick him up. Brandon Knight is back from the same injury for the Bucks, but isn’t a guy I’d trust putting into lineups right now, despite the four-game week.
Ersan Ilyasova (ankle) and Larry Sanders (thumb) both sound closer to a return, but unless you get a positive update on Monday, they’re probably best left on your bench unless your options are limited.
Kyle Lowry is dealing with an ankle injury and while he says he’s going to play on Monday, we’ll have to wait and see if it happens. His finger injury is also hurting his offensive game right now. Stephen Curry played through his ankle injury on Saturday and looked great with 22 points, five assists, three steals and four 3-pointers, so it looks like a crisis was avoided. Pacers point guard George Hill played through his hip injury over the weekend, but hit just 1-of-6 shots for six points and seven assists. Start him at your own risk. Deron Williams played a season-high 33 minutes for 17 points and 10 dimes on Saturday, and it looks like he’s close to being Deron Williams again.
Carlos Delfino suffered a setback with his foot and it sounds like he’s iffy to play in a single game this season. If you were holding him on your IR, go ahead and cut bait.
J.R. Smith returned from his suspension and knee surgery on Sunday, but hit just 1-of-9 shots for five points in an ugly loss to the Spurs. He’ll be better soon, but he should be started at your own risk. Damian Lillard isn’t injured, but hit just 1-of-15 shots for four points on Saturday. He had been as good as any point guard coming into that one, but that was a FanDuel disaster for many of us. Keep him in your lineup.
Steven Adams had just one point, two rebounds and two blocks on Sunday after blowing up in his previous game. He may eventually take over Kendrick Perkins as OKC’s starting center, but until it happens, he’s too risky for use in fantasy.
Victor Oladipo was quiet on Saturday with five points and a somewhat packed stat line, but I’m not worried about him just yet.
And lastly, the Kings are talking about a lineup shake up. All we know is that DeMarcus Cousins will start at center, so the jobs of Greivis Vasquez, Marcus Thornton, John Salmons and Patrick Patterson are all in some jeopardy. Potential new starters are PG Isaiah Thomas, and SG rookie Ben McLemore, who has played very well in two straight and is worth a stash. Travis Outlaw or Luc Richard Mbah a Moute could get the call at SF, while Jason Thompson could start at PF soon. Keep an eye out to see what lineup the Kings roll out on Wednesday against the Nets, and act accordingly.
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