Line of the Night: It has been one wild ride this year for Tyreke Evans (2.57 WARP). Horrible shooting performances and single-digit scoring games followed by games like this against the Jazz: 31 points, with 6 rebounds, 9 assists and 2 steals. Evans owners would surely appreciate a little more consistency from Evans this season, but his highs keep them coming back for more.
Honorable Mentions: Memphis lost to the hot mess known as the Phoenix Suns, but Marc Gasol (2.18) had the second best fantasy line of the night with 18 points, 13 rebounds and 4 blocks in the game. Thanks Phoenix and your 36% shooting as a team. Or more specifically, thanks Channing Frye (more on that below).
The Suns finally (finally!) got a good performance out of Jared Dudley (1.82), who scored 20 points, adding 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals in the game. The good news is that Jared Dudley is now back in the starting lineup after the Sun scored a season low 71 points on Friday. Dudley has been dropped a ton in leagues and is available in nearly 50% of Yahoo leagues right now, but he is a notoriously streaky player, so don’t assume it’s going to be all roses for him the rest of the season. Still, if you’ve got a spot on your team and Dudley is available, he’s worth one more chance. Come on, he’s sorry, now take him back.
Kobe Bryant (1.87) nearly triple-doubled against the Bucks with 27 points, 8 rebounds, 9 assists and 2 steals. But the Lakers’ lost thanks to a strong performance by Drew Gooden (1.45). Gooden still could qualify as a waiver wire pickup in many leagues (he is currently only 43% owned in Yahoo leagues). His second start was almost as good as his first – Gooden had 23 points and 8 rebounds against the Lakers. With Andrew Bogut out for the next 8-12 weeks with a fracture ankle, grab Gooden ASAP is he happens to be available in your league.
But Kobe was outdone by Kemba Walker (1.86), who actually triple-doubled with 20 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists, adding 2 block against the Wizards for good measure. 10 boards and 2 blocks for the 6-1 Walker? I was going to chastise the Wizards, but he actually is a very good rebounder and shot blocker for his size. It is the first triple-double by a rookie this season and he becomes the third player to have a triple-double in Bobcats’ franchise history. The other two? That’s right, Stephen Jackson and Boris Diaw.
Despite giving up that triple-double, the Wizards beat the Bobcats behind JaVale McGee (1.82) 22 points, 10 rebounds and 5 blocks. John Wall (1.51) also finished with 13 points and 10 assists in the game.
Andre Iguodala (1.54) triple-doubled himself, barely crossing the threshold with 10 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in a blowout win over Detroit. Louis Williams (1.42) chipped in 17 points and was 3-4 from three.
Without Carmelo Anthony for the second straight game, Amare Stoudemire (1.77) finished with a big 23 points, 8 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocks in a 97-84 loss to the Rockets, while Tyson Chandler (1.47) scored 14 points (5-7 from the field), 11 rebounds and 2 steals.
Waiver Wire Line of the Night: Starting his second game in a row in place of the injured Kevin Martin, Courtney Lee (1.37) scored 14 points and racked up 4 steals in about 30 minutes. Lee is one of those low upside guys who is not going to bust out in a starting role (a la C.J. Watson), but is good for about 10 points, a three and 1-2 steals a game whether he is starting or coming off the bench. Martin is currently day-to-day with plantar fasciitis in his right foot and may or may not be available for the Rockets’ game on Monday (got to love NBA injury reports).
Pick Up Lines: A quiet night overall considering there were six games.
Luc Mbah a Moute (1.33) scored 10 points, adding 6 rebounds and 2 blocks in 38 minutes against the Lakers. So why did Mbah a Moute see so much run when he was getting less than 20 minutes a game prior to that. One, Stephen Jackson was suspended for this game for “verbal abuse of an official and failure to leave the court in a timely manner”. That’s not the Stephen Jackson I know. Second, the team used him defensively to guard both Gasol and Bryant at times and he was moderately effective, at least against Gasol. Keep an eye on Mbah a Moute for now, but the Bucks are a mess and he is a defensive first guy whose stats don’t translate into fantasy basketball unless he’s getting a consistent 30+ minutes a night.
Gordon Hayward (1.25) busted out with 21 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and a couple steals in a win over the Kings. I liked Gordon as a mild sleeper going into the year simply because the SF spot on the Jazz was wide open for him with the departure of Andrei Kirilenko. Hayward has effectively crapped all over that opportunity – this was his first double-digit scoring game out of the Jazz’s past 6 – but the minutes will continue to be there and he could be worth a pickup if he can get his shot to start falling with consistency.
Chase Budinger (1.13) is back on the court for the Rockets thanks to the Kevin Martin injury. After racking up a few DNPs, Budinger followed up a 21 point game on Friday with a 19 point game against the Knicks. Budinger makes a decent spot start as long as Martin is out if you need a scorer, but don’t get too optimistic about him, he’s likely to return to the abyss when Martin returns from injury.
Biggest Loser: Tayshaun Prince (-0.93) returned to the court last night for the Pistons after missing two games for personal reasons. He should have taken an extra day off, as his 6 points on 3-9 from the field was the least impressive line among guys actually owned in some leagues.
Right behind him was Channing Frye (-0.89), who scored 2 points on 1-9 shooting in only 14 minutes on the court. On the positive side, Frye and Dudley are now back in the starting lineup for the Suns. So Frye bombed in the start, but all he has to do to turn things around is hold onto the starting job, actually get some minutes and start playing much, much better. Easy, right?
And Andray Blatche (-0.67) had 4 points, 1 rebounds and 0 assists in only 8 minutes off the bench for the Wizards before leaving the game with tightness in his left calf. Blatche had been replaced in the starting lineup by Jan Vesely anyway and is currently in Randy Wittman’s doghouse, so I’d have a short leach with Blatche if he were to miss time with that injury.
Daily rankings and stats come from the GMTR H2H Player Rater (beta version). They are based on the stat Wins Above Replacement Player (WARP) an estimate of the number of wins a player produces per week in H2H leagues over a replacement (waiver wire) player.
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