Would I drop Lonzo Ball this early? No, but his shooting is so damn putrid that I can understand why the question was asked to me on Friday night. There’s some buy low potential there, but it’s hard to ignore just how bad a shooter he is.
Just a thought….
Denzel Valentine, G, Bulls: Friday’s 18-point outing also came with five rebounds, six assists and a block, part of the reason his CBSSports.com ownership is now at 35 percent. Valentine is shooting just 39 percent from the field, but with Chicago’s seat at the lottery table all but set, Valentine is going to see considerable minutes and could compete with Lauri Markkanen as the team’s top scorer.
Dillon Brooks, F, Grizzlies: The rookie from Oregon is continuing to see his minutes trend upward, as Brooks is currently at 27 percent ownership in CBSSports.com leagues. He’s shooting 45 percent from the field and should eventually average double digits in scoring while adding 5-6 rebounds per game. He’s an under the radar source for steals (1.3 per game) as well.
JaMychal Green, F, Grizzlies: Brooks’ teammate scored 15 points and grabbed six rebounds in Saturday’s loss to the Rockets, his second game of the season after an ankle injury kept him out for the first 13 contests. Green’s ownership is at 51 percent and should continue to climb as he continues to get back into the flow of things. He’s a steady presence of 8-10 points and 7-8 boards per night, numbers that aren’t great but are useful in deeper leagues.
Courtney Lee, G, Knicks: Lee is owned in 36 percent of CBSSports.com leagues after a five-game stretch of shooting that saw him hit 52 percent of his 3-pointers. The streakiness is nothing new, but Lee is hitting the glass at a better than average (for him) rate while also shooting 95 percent from the free throw line.
Streamers. Lots of Streamers
O.G. Anunoby, F, Raptors: Under the radar (nine percent ownership at CBSSports.com), the rookie from Indiana showed a glimpse of his sick potential in last Tuesday’s win at the Rockets when he scored 16 points in 29 minutes that also included a trio of triples. Currently averaging just under 18 minutes per game, Anunoby has sleeper potential this week, with Saturday’s game at an Atlanta team allowing 108.4 points per game as his best matchup.
Kyle Anderson, F, Spurs: He’s quietly become a stat-stuffer, recording at least 20 Fantasy points in five of his last six games, including 26 FP in last Friday’s comeback win over the Thunder. Anderson, owned in 30 percent of CBSSports.com leagues, is averaging just 8.3 points per game, but adds six rebounds and nearly three assists per game. He’s an interesting speculation play for games against the Hawks (Monday) and at the Pelicans on Wednesday.
Chandler Parsons, F, Grizzlies: He ranks among the Top 20 in offensive rating (113.4) despite averaging just 19.6 minutes per game. Parsons is shooting better than 50 percent overall and at the 3-point line thus far and is a sneaky good play in leagues that change lineups on a daily basis. as Memphis has four games on this week’s slate.
J.J. Barea, G, Mavericks: Dallas is getting good usage from Barea, who is owned in 34 percent of CBSSports.com leagues. Barea has a 26.6 percent usage rate and a respectable 16.1 PER while averaging 12.3 points, 4.5 assists and three boards off the bench while being a mentor to rookie Dennis Smith. Home games against the Celtics on Monday and Thunder on Saturday present two good chances to utilize Barea.
Most Fantasy Friendly Game of the Week
Nuggets-Rockets on Wednesday will be a strong stack game with the usual suspects, yet the streaky pair of Denver’s Jamal Murray and Houston’s Eric Gordon have the potential to steal the show in this clash of two of the Association’s top six teams in offensive rating. Murray came into Sunday night’s game against the Lakers, having averaged 27 points per game in his last three while shooting 39.1 percent from 3-point range. Gordon entered the week shooting only 35 percent from the field in his last five, but I’d roll the dice on a player averaging nearly 11 3-pointers per game to get hot.
Best Fantasy Matchup of the Week
Karl-Anthony Towns is the centerpiece of Sunday’s home date against the Suns, yet the hidden gem is the slowly emerging Alex Len, who quietly ranks among the league leaders with 9.2 boards per game. Phoenix has a logjam at center, but Len enters the week with five double-digit rebounding nights in his last seven games, including a season-high 18 boards in last Friday’s win against the Lakers. Len is benefiting from the absence of Tyson Chandler, but with the Suns heavily tilting toward a youth movement, his 61 percent ownership in CBSSports.com leagues will climb once Phoenix jettisons both Chandler and recently-acquired Greg Monroe.
Key Fantasy Matchup to Exploit
A two-fer, courtesy of a Timberwolves defense that is last in the league with 55.7 percent of two-point baskets allowed. This works well for Hornets center Dwight Howard, who is seventh in the league with 31 dunks this season and should get his share of shot attempts at close range against the T’Wolves on Monday night. Orlando’s Aaron Gordon has expanded his game this season, but still knows how to drop the hammer (17 dunks) and will get his chance to do so when Orlando visits Minnesota on Wednesday night.
TEAMS PLAYING FOUR GAMES THIS WEEK
Hawks, Celtics, Hornets, Bulls, Grizzlies, Timberwolves, Pelicans, Knicks, Thunder, Magic, Trail Blazers
TEAMS PLAYING THREE GAMES THIS WEEK
Nets, Cavaliers, Mavericks, Nuggets, Warriors, Pacers, Clippers, Heat, Bucks, 76ers, Suns, Kings, Spurs, Raptors, Jazz, Wizards
TEAMS PLAYING TWO GAMES THIS WEEK
Pistons, Rockets, Lakers