Fantasy Basketball: Add Suns’ Guard Isaiah Canaan
As we celebrate the holiday season, make sure you’re attentive to your roster. Now is not the time to ignore its shortcomings and with some teams pulled between going for it all or starting the opening stages of Fantasy Baseball preparation, the time is right to pull off a move or two that can improve a category or two.
Something to ponder as you hit the dinner table on Christmas: turkey with all the trimmings for the second time in just more than a month is overrated. Hate on me, traditionalists, hate on me, but you’ll know I’m right when eating another leftover turkey sandwich hits you like the rookie wall.
Isaiah Canaan, G, Suns: Mike James probably isn’t feeling much holiday joy for Canaan, who averaged 13 points, five assists and 1.5 steals in his first four games with Phoenix. Those numbers led the Suns to waive James on Saturday, as Canaan should continue to see his minutes climb from the 25 he is currently averaging. Owned in 19 percent of CBSSports.com leagues, Canaan will start eating into the minutes of struggling starter Tyler Ulis soon.
Bismack Biyombo, C, Magic: Nikola Vucevic’s unheralded Fantasy production is lost indefinitely after he broke his left index finger in Saturday’s loss at the Wizards. Biyombo’s rebound rate is a career-low 15.9 percent, but the increased minutes that will come from starting makes him a solid play for boards and blocks. He should continue to rise from his current 15 percent ownership in CBSSports.com leagues.
Yogi Ferrell, G, Mavericks: Dennis Smith returned to the lineup, but Ferrell should still have some Fantasy value as a scoring option off the bench. Ferrell has averaged nearly 13 points per game this month on 48 percent shooting while adding 4.7 boards and 3.3 assists. Ferrell, owned in 27 percent of CBSSports.com leagues, is more of a deep league option at this point.
Streamers. Lots of Streamers
Bam Adebayo, C, Heat: He’s carved himself a spot in the rotation, having averaged 9.4 points and seven boards in his last five games. With Hassan Whiteside expected back two or three weeks, Adebayo could be best used on Tuesday against a Magic team that will lack Vucevic in the middle.
Troy Daniels, G, Suns: Daniels has become a surprising source of production off the bench, hitting double figures in four of his last five games. Phoenix continues to find minutes for him, so run with him in deeper leagues.
Mike Scott, F, Wizards: Like Daniels, Scott has been a sizzling sub, scoring 18 points in just 17 minutes on Saturday. He’s averaging 13 points and four boards this month while playing just over 21 minutes. Scott also brings the bonus of 3-pointers, as he’s shooting 42 percent this season from long range.
P.J. Tucker, F, Rockets: If your team can survive his 38 percent shooting, Tucker will enhance your rebounding, as he has four straight games of at least nine boards. With Clint Capela’s heel slowing him down, Tucker has reasonable short-term value.
I Tried to Warn You, But...
Nuggets F Trey Lyles scored at least 24 Fantasy points for the sixth time this month in Saturday’s win at the Warriors. Lyles is owned in just 58 percent of CBSSports.com leagues, which means you’d better act fast. There are some sell-high aspects to Lyles, but it’s beginning to look like the 12th overall pick of the 2015 draft may be coming out of his shell.
Bet You Didn’t Know That...
Hawks rookie PF John Collins enters the week with the highest PER among rookies at 21.68. Jordan Bell (Warriors) is the only other rookie with a PER above 20.
Best Fantasy-Friendly Game of the Week
Let’s close out the calendar year with Timberwolves at Pacers on Sunday. Both teams are in the Top 10 in scoring and with a combined 11 players averaging double-digits, expect an up-tempo pace from the outset.
Best of the One-on-One Matchups
While James Harden and Kyrie Irving headline the Rockets-Celtics “Is this a Finals preview?” on Thursday, keep an eye on marksmen Eric Gordon and Jayson Tatum. Gordon is averaging 20 points per game this month, while Tatum is third in the league in 3-point accuracy. Neither will be shy in letting it fly from downtown.
Best Fantasy Matchup to Exploit
The Grizzlies are tied for 25th in opponents’ 3-point percentage at 37.7 percent. Keep that number in mind on Tuesday as Devin Booker returns to the Suns’ lineup after missing the last nine games. Booker had averaged 32.5 points per game in his 10 previous games before being sidelined and is shooting 38 percent this season from beyond the arc.
TEAMS PLAYING FOUR GAMES THIS WEEK
Nets, Celtics, Bulls, Mavericks, Warriors, Rockets, Pacers, Lakers, Grizzlies, Timberwolves, Knicks, Thunder, 76ers, Kings, Wizards
TEAMS PLAYING THREE GAMES THIS WEEK
Hawks, Hornets, Cavaliers, Nuggets, Pistons, Clippers, Heat, Bucks, Pelicans, Magic, Suns, Spurs, Raptors, Jazz
TEAMS PLAYING TWO GAMES THIS WEEK
Winner: The Warriors, who average 114.9 points per game at home, don’t leave their confines in a four-game week that starts with a Cavaliers on Christmas Day. They’ll face a Jazz team still without Rudy Gobert and a scoring-challenged Hornets before ending the 2017 portion of their schedule against the Grizzlies.
Loser: Sandwiched between a home and home against a Heat team that is seventh in scoring defense, the Magic also face a rugged Pistons D that is eighth in points allowed per game. With Vucevic out, Orlando will need to replace his 17.8 points and 9.6 boards while facing Miami’s solid interior defense and Detroit’s Andre Drummond, who is second in rebounding at 14.3 per game.
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