Originally posted on Hoop Fantasies Fantasy Basketball Blog  |  Last updated 12/7/13
Twenty thoughts from a 10-game night: 1. Khris Middleton has managed to fly under the radar while playing really well of late. His best game of the season came in Milwaukee's 109-105 victory over Washington: 29 points on 11-of-22 shots, four 3-pointers, seven rebounds, two assists, a block and two steals in 47 minutes. Since joining the Bucks' starting five Middleton has averaged 12.7 points (46% FG, 94.7% FT), 4.8 rebounds, 2 assists, .4 blocks, 1.1 steals and 1.7 3-pointers. I'm adding him where I can.2. Hoop Fantasies favorite John Henson put up a huge 19 points and 17 rebounds to go with four assists and a block. Henson's six games as a start looks like this: 12.8 points (53.2% FG, 55% FT), 9.7 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 1.8 blocks and .3 steals. He's a must add.3. Washington's wing position could be in flux. Martell Webster suffered an ankle sprain after launching a last-second three in the first quarter and didn't return. Major bummer because Webster has been fantastic this season. He finished with eight points and two 3-pointers. Otto Porter Jr. made his NBA debut, and his first 14 minutes in the Association didn't go smoothly (0-of-3 field goals, zero points, two rebounds and an assist). Trevor Ariza's value only increases and he looked really good on Friday with 22 points, five 3-pointers, 12 rebounds, four assists, four steals and two blocks. He's a must-add player (73 percent owned in Yahoo and 100 percent owned in ESPN).4. No Michael Carter-Williams meant Tony Wroten time. After disappearing on Tuesday, Wroten entered the starting five and put up a near triple-double (21 points, eight rebounds, nine assists). Wroten added a steal and a block but missed all four of his 3-point attempts. In five starts, Wroten is averaging 19.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 6.2 assists, 1.8 steals, .4 blocks and .4 3-pointers. He's a good spot start as long as MCW misses time with sore knee -- and the rookie could sit out tonight's home game against Denver. 5. Jeff Taylor's time is now with Michael Kidd-Gilchrist out four to six weeks with a fracture in his left hand. In his second start of the season, Taylor led the Charlotte Bobcats in scoring with 20 points (8-of-16 field goals, including two 3-pointers) in a 105-88 win over Philadelphia. Taylor also grabbed eight rebounds, dished an assist, stole a ball and blocked a shot. In two games as a starter, Taylor is averaging 12 points, 4 rebounds, 1.5 assists, .5 steals, .5 blocks and 1 3-pointer. He's worth a speculative add, at least, for now, especially after he flashed super-sleeper potential in the preseason. 6. Kyrie Irivng was shockingly awful as Cleveland fell 108-89 to Atlanta. Uncle Drew missed all nine of his shots -- and all three of his free-throw attempts -- finishing with zero points, four rebounds and four assists. The Cavs are a mess but Irving cannot possibly match this terrible line. Dion Waiters bounced back from a five-point night and dropped 30 points (13-of-20 shooting, 3-of-3 free throws), a three, two rebounds and an assist in 35 minutes. He's streaky, but his ceiling is high. 7. Kyle Korver broke Dana Barros' consecutive games with a 3-pointer streak, knocking down two treys (and 4-of-6 shots) for 10 points, two assists and a rebound. He's putting together a nice season for fantasy owners. Lou Williams played 27 minutes off the bench and went for 13 points, two 3-pointers, three assists and a rebound. He's played three consecutive games, and he's been more solid than bad.8. Ty Lawson strained his left hamstring, left Friday's game and didn't return. He's considered a game-time decision for tonight's game with the Sixers. Lawson managed to play 28 minutes on Friday, finishing with 20 points, two 3-pointers, four rebounds and four assists. If he can't go, Nate Robinson is worth consideration (11 points, a three, four rebounds and an assist). 9. Jordan Crawford continues to impress (22 points, two 3-pointers, four rebounds and eight assists). I've written this before, but I think Crawford may stick even when Rajon Rondo comes back.10. Jameer Nelson returned from a foot injury and rejoined the starting lineup, going for 13 points, three 3-pointers, two rebounds, nine assists and three steals in 30 minutes. Nelson's return didn't hurt Victor Oladipo (17 points, nine rebounds, three assists, a steal, two blocks and two 3-pointers in 40 minutes).11. Tim Hardaway Jr. dropped in five more 3-pointers on the way to 15 points in New York's 121-83 stomping of Orlando. Hardaway played 23 minutes and finished with a rebound and three assists. He now has 14 3-pointers in his last four games. In three December games, the rookie is averaging 16 points (57.1% FG, 100% FT), 4 3-pointers, .3 rebounds, 2 assists and .3 blocks in 22 minutes. Not a must-add but definitely a category specialist. 12. Harrison Barnes looked good again, except for his shooting (5-of-16), with 14 points, seven rebounds, two assists, four steals and a block. Even when Andre Iguodala comes back, I'd bet Barnes retains some of his fantasy value.13. Terrence Jones had struggled in his previous two games, but he put it all together in Houston's 105-83 win over Golden State (16 points, 10 rebounds, three blocks, three steals, a three and an assist). That's why owners should exercise patience with him. Chandler Parsons returned from a back injury, but struggled, making just 3-of-13 shots for eight points, two 3-pointers, four rebounds, five assists and three steals. 14. Reggie Jackson was solid off the bench for the Thunder (15 points, a three, four rebounds, four assists, two steals in 29 minutes). 15. Tyreke Evans rolled his ankle, and it looked nasty. X-rays were negative, so that's good, but he'll likely get an MRI just to be sure. Al-Farouq Aminu struggled to seven points with 3-of-14 shooting. But Aminu hit the boards, grabbing 10, and dishing three dimes. Jason Smith added 12 boards, but also couldn't hit his shots (2-of-8), finishing with four points. Both are worth a look with Anthony Davis out.16. Tyler Hansbrough left Friday's game after three minutes with a strained shoulder. He didn't return, opening the door to Amir Johnson (22 points, seven rebounds and three blocks). Johnson has responded in his last two games after being benched.17. Channing Frye made just 1-of-4 shots for two points in 18 minutes. Bad night for Frye, although he's played really well of late. Markieff Morris stepped up with 25 points (11-of-14 shooting, 3-of-6 free throws), 11 rebounds and an assist. 18. Enes Kanter was awful again with six points, two rebounds and two steals in 20 minutes. To be fair, all of the Jazz's starters were bad and benched. Trey Burke played just 16 minutes for seven points (3-of-9 shooting). 19. Jordan Hill made the most of his 15 minutes (seven points, nine rebounds, two blocks and an assist). The minutes are scary for a guy who was playing so well. But Hill is coming off the bench and getting limited minutes due to knee and ankle issues. Robert Sacre started, played 17 minutes and made 5-of-7 shots for 11 points, along with five rebounds and two blocks.20. Derrick Williams got nine points, nine rebounds and two assists in 25 minutes. He's a low, low-level option. Ben McLemore impressed with 20 points, four 3-pointers, six rebounds, two steals and an assist. The rookie will be an intriguing option as the season plays out.
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