Jusuf Nurkic had a nice Fantasy day Thursday, as he scored 69 Fantasy points (get it?) after a big double-double against the Sixers with 28 points and 20 rebounds. He narrowly missed a triple-double, as the big man recorded eight assists, as well.
Trades are what Fantasy owners that had shared of most Nuggets all season wanted, as there were too many quality players and not enough mouths to feed. The Nuggets killed two birds with one stone, as they completely unleashed Nikola Jokic in Denver and allowed Nurkic to blossom with his move to the City of Roses.
Since Feb. 23, Nurkic has failed to score at least 30 Fantasy points in a game just once, and he’s failed to record 30 minutes just twice over the same stretch as Nurkic continues to stuff the stat sheet.
His 27.2 usage rate in March is his highest mark of the season, so the Blazers are committed to using him as much as possible going forward. That’s beneficial for Fantasy owners, as after the four-game week the Blazers had this week, the team still has three four-game weeks on the schedule.
Assuming you don’t play into Week 25 when every team only plays one or two games, Nurkic has 15 games left to contribute to Fantasy owners starting next week in Week 21 of the season.
The young Lakers were attractive heading into this season with Kobe Bryant finally – FINALLY – out of the way. Heading into next season, they’ll be doubly so, as they’ll have another year of experience and growth underneath their belts.
Julius Randle has been the Los Angeles player that has been most impressive as of late, highlighted by his 23-point, 18-rebound performance last week, which was one of his 15 double-doubles on the season.
Well, would you look at that, George Hill is dealing with another nagging injury. This time around, the toe injury has kept him out of two straight games after it forced him to miss nearly a month earlier this season. There’s no timetable for his return, as he’s considered day to day at this point.
Thus far in Hill’s absence, both Rodney Hood and Dante Exum drew starts, but it’s been clear that Hood is the more usable Fantasy asset for owners. Over his past three games, Hood has scored 33 Fantasy points in 33 minutes and 35 Fantasy points in 30 minutes. The down game came when Hood received just 20 minutes off the bench for 10 Fantasy points.
As long as Hill is out, Hood benefits the most in the Utah backcourt.
Despite playing just eight minutes in Thursday’s loss to Portland in which he gave Fantasy owners a nice zero, it’s been pretty clear that the Sixers have plans for Justin Anderson. In the four prior games to his lackluster performance, Anderson played 26, 24, 30 and 23 minutes, scoring 13, 28, 12 and 30 Fantasy points, respectively.
We’re not ready to go out and add him right away, but he’s on our watch list in 10- and 12-team leagues. In deeper leagues, he’s worth adding just to see if the usage continues heading into your playoffs.
Maybe the ankle injury happened at the right time for Willy Hernangomez. He returned to the starting lineup Wednesday and gave the Knicks a double-double in 28 minutes of action. The injury could have scared owners away and even forced some owners to cut him. He’s an emerging star, so if he’s available in your league (he’s only 64 percent owned in CBS leagues and 24.9 percent owned in ESPN leagues) grab him and start him going forward.
Maybe we’re nitpicking here, because he does have two double-doubles over his past three games, but with the minutes and usage rate that Bismack Biyombo had over that stretch, we want more Fantasy production. Biyombo scored 31, 24 and 11 Fantasy points in his past three respective games, but that came while recording 34, 42 and 35 minutes.
As the only other center on the roster, Biyombo had a chance to really come through for Fantasy owners while Nikola Vucevic has been inactive due to an Achilles injury. You’ll take the numbers, but it’s OK to want more.
Maybe we all fell for Willie Cauley-Stein too quickly. With DeMarcus Cousins out of the picture, it was just assumed that Cauley-Stein would step right in and be a must-start option for Fantasy owners. That manifested right away, as he scored a career-high 29 points and 37 Fantasy points in his first game post-Cousins, but he’s failed to reach that level since.
It’s not fair to use 37 Fantasy points as the expectation for Cauley-Stein, but he’s only scored 30 Fantasy points once in six games since exploding on the scene. Despite averaging 30 minutes per game in those six games, Cauley-Stein is only averaging 9.6 points per game and 19.1 Fantasy Points Per Game during that time.
He’s still worth owning with the usage that he’s receiving, but expectations need to be tempered compared to what they were immediately after the trade.
Heading into Friday, the past two games haven’t been kind to Jrue Holiday, who scored in single-digits for the second consecutive game, registering a total of 18 field goal attempts over the course of the two games.
The oft-injured Holiday has been sensational – and healthy – this season, so it’s more than likely just a blip on the radar. It’s not worth worrying about yet, but if this trend of low-scoring outputs continues, then it’s time to reassess.