Greg Monroe is a Solid Pickup at Center
Darius Miller NO Pelicans – START ‘EM
The news that Boogie Cousins blew out his Achilles is incredibly sad, and it will completely shake up the Pelicans’ rotation and game plan for the rest of the season. It’s hard to tell exactly what all the implications will be just yet, but it seems safe to bet on Darius Miller getting more shots and more minutes. In the game in which Cousins went down on Friday night, Miller finished with 20 points in 29 minutes, going 6 for 10 from 3-point range.
With Cousins and Alex Abrines both out long-term, the Pelicans have to figure out a new plan. That plan likely revolves around giving Miller more playing time, and more importantly, more usage. The plan seems to be sliding Anthony Davis down to the center spot and letting Miller and Dante Cunningham take time at PF. Miller is likely to get the lion’s share, however, as he has already been playing at a pretty high level, including averaging 32.4 minutes and 13.4 points over his last games.
Owners should expect a boost to near 40 minutes for Miller, and more importantly, he should get more shots. He has taken just over nine shots per game over his last five games, but with DeMarcus Cousins’ 18 attempts per game now off the court, those shot attempts will spread around. Expect Miller to get at least a few of those attempts, worth about four points, as Miller is shooting nearly 50 percent from beyond the 3-point line this season. He becomes an instant Fantasy option moving forward, especially if you’re looking for 3-pointers. Plug him into your lineups this week. He should be a solid DFS value as well. (29 percent ownership)*
Greg Monroe, C – PHO Suns
Greg Monroe has been on the injury list himself as recently as last week, but he returned to find himself as the only healthy center on the roster. Starting center Tyson Chandler, as well as backups Alex Len and Alan Williams, are all on the injury report. This means, at least for the time being, that Monroe is the guy in Phoenix.
It is true that 7’1″ power forward Dragan Bender will slide down at times to play center, thus preventing Monroe from getting true starter-level minutes. It is also true that Monroe has been awesome regardless. In his three games back, he has averaged 14 points and 11.3 rebounds per game, in just 28.7 minutes of work. That is worth rostering if he can keep it up, and he will have the chance to do so with such an injury-riddled frontcourt. (53 percent)*
— FanSided NBA (@FanSidedNBA) January 29, 2018
Mason Plumlee, C – DEN Nuggets
Mason Plumlee has been a little inconsistent so far, but not any more than his teammates. The Nuggets can’t seem to decide if they are a good team or not. Their record is 26-23, but they are beating some good teams and losing to some awful ones. Just in the month of January they beat the solid Portland Trailblazers and hung in there with the Warriors, but they also lost to the 11-30 Hawks, the 13-25 Kings, and the 15-25 Suns.
But I digress. This is a write up of Mason Plumlee, not the Nuggets. Plumlee has struggled at times to put up points, even with increased playing time due to the Paul Millsap injury. But in the past several games, the Nuggets have used a two-center look that seems to have Plumlee working. Over his last five games, Plumlee has averaged 9.6 points, 7.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.2 blocks, and 1.6 steals. If you take out his 13-minute game against the Suns on the 19th, his averages are 11.8, 8.8, 3.0, 1.3, and 1.8, respectively. He is not dropping monster points and he is not a ball magnet on the boards, but he is fairly well-rounded, and probably deserves a bench spot, especially with all the elite centers getting hurt lately. (25 percent)*
Malcolm Brogdon MIL – SIT ‘EM
Brogdon will miss his second straight game after straining his calf. The injury isn’t thought to be overly serious, but he is an Elevated Injury Risk with a Below Average Health Performance Factor according to Inside Injuries, so there’s still some concern. The Bucks also play the second of a back-to-back on Monday, so Brogdon’s status likely will come down to a game-time call. Brogdon has been a solid piece for the Bucks, and he puts up Fantasy-relevant stat lines most nights, but he’s not enough of a must-play to throw him in your lineups when there are questions about his health. Keep him on the pine for this week until he can prove that he’s close to 100 percent. He’s way too risky to plug into DFS lineups over the next week. Wait until he proves he is fully healthy; calf strains are tricky and often recur.
Kyle Anderson SAS – START ‘EM
With both Kawhi Leonard and Rudy Gay on the shelf, big things are expected out of Kyle Anderson in San Antonio. Recently, he has disappointed in his opportunity with those players out. He’s scored just nine points on 12 field goal attempts combined over his last two games. However, if you’re playing Anderson looking just for scoring output, then you’re likely to be disappointed. His value comes from across the whole stat sheet. He’s a solid rebounder, a capable passer, and he’s had a bunch of steals recently as well. His scoring will catch up eventually if he continues to get close to 30 minutes a night, which should happen as long as Leonard and/or Gay are out. Gay may return soon, but Leonard is a question mark for the remainder of the season at this point. Stick with Anderson for now, even if he has been frustrating at times.
Jamal Crawford MIN – SIT ‘EM
Crawford can still put up points at the age of 37, but his Fantasy upside is limited due to his lack of production elsewhere. With Jimmy Butler returning, Crawford will get fewer minutes and take fewer shots, which could keep him from scoring enough to make him a Fantasy option. He was still able to put up 16 points in just 20 minutes in Butler’s first game back Saturday, but don’t expect that kind of efficiency to keep up. He’s still an important piece for Minnesota, but don’t bank on him helping your Fantasy team much this week. Keep him on the bench and don’t choose him for any DFS lineups.
*Ownership Percentages from Yahoo.com Fantasy Basketball
Greg Monroe Photo Credit: AP Photo/Rick Scuteri
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