Daily contest plays for Tuesday night - Who should be in your line up? ASL's Daniel Brown gives you a couple obvious options and some speculative plays that are more contrarian.
C.J. McCollum has been on fire since the beginning of the month and his high level of production should continue despite spraining his ankle. He's putting up solid fantasy basketball numbers in multiple categories and should be counted on to stay hot as the season comes to an end. He could be a great fantasy NBA option going into the home stretch.
McCollum sprained his ankle in Portland's road loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, but the sprain was too petty to even require an MRI, and he should have little restriction in the season finale.
With one game remaining on Portland's schedule, C.J. McCollum will get the start at shooting guard. The Blazers will take on the Dallas Mavericks, and the young scorer should see plenty of action with the myriad of injuries plaguing the Portland squad. The Northwestern division champions will be without Wesley Matthews, Arron Afflalo, and possibly Nicholas Batum as well, leaving major gaps to be filled by McCollum and company.
Before the loss to the Thunder (when McCollum left early due to injury), the 23-year-old guard had strung together 6 straight impressive performances. Over that span, C.J. McCollum posted averages of 18 points and 1.3 threes on 54 FG%, 4.3 rebounds, 2 assists and 1.7 steals per contest. This particular upcoming match up with the Mavericks might be an easy one for McCollum, as they could be without their best NBA players Chandler Parsons, Monta Ellis, Dirk Nowitzki, and Tyson Chandler, as Dallas is already locked in at the 7 seed for the playoffs.
Look for C.J. McCollum to continue his high level of play in a plus match up with the Mavericks, and for him to get some solid run for the playoffs as well.
Derrick Rose's torn meniscus does not seem to be holding him back, as he had little trouble being present in Chicago's comeback win over the Heat Thursday night. Though his numbers may not have been too strong, his athletic movement indicates that he should be able to contribute heavily in the postseason once the rust wears off.
An outsider staring at statistics may see Rose's fantasy NBA performance as subpar, as he scored 12 points on just 5-15 shooting from the field, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 turnovers. However, there were several times where his body language did not mimic that of a broken down scoring guard and has-been one of the best NBA players around.
One play in particular, a give-and-go with C Joakim Noah, gave the audience a glimpse of what Rose is able to do. Rose passed the ball to Noah, cut behind him, then received a pass back and converted with a dunk from the baseline. He looked very agile, and the knee did not seem to be getting in the way of his decision-making.
Should he stay healthy, Derrick Rose could certainly lead the Bulls to at least a conference championship match up, and possibly even a spot in the NBA Finals. It'll be important to monitor Rose's minutes, and ensure his availability for the postseason, so he can play a pivotal role down the stretch.
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Hornets C Bismack Biyombo has taken over for the injury-plagued star Al Jefferson and has stepped BIG-TIME for Charlotte. As the regular season comes to a close, fantasy NBA owners can not deny his sudden fantasy basketball value when it comes to blocks and boards.
Biyombo has come and seized the opportunity with his extra run at center with Al Jefferson out and is proving to be both consistent and reliable. During his last 6 games, he's had at least 2 blocks in every game, averaging 2.8 blocks over the span. In that same time frame, he's also averaged 8.3 rebounds per contest. Biyombo should continue to see major minutes as he and the Hornets look to secure a spot in the playoffs.
Though his situation seems ideal, the Hornets' tough schedule could limit Bismack Biyombo's immediate upside. Charlotte has to face the Rockets, the Heat, the Hawks, and the Raptors twice, leaving the team's game against the Pistons as the only plus matchup for Biyombo.
At just 22-years-old, Biyombo continues to improve and his ceiling to become one of the better NBA players at his position has to be very high due to his size and athletic ability. He looks to be a decent add for the remainder of the season, as well as a possible sleeper in dynasty leagues. For fantasy relevance for the playoffs, Biyombo should hold mid-round value since Jefferson will likely miss the rest of the regular season to avoid aggravation.
Wizards Center Marcin Gortat has been clashing with his teammates during the past two weeks, but he's also had his best fantasy basketball stretch of games all season long. His fantasy NBA value has fluctuated a decent amount on a nightly basis, and he should not be counted on for predictable and consistent production at this point.
Gortat is coming off a great showing against the lowly Sixers, scoring 23 points in addition to 14 points and 2 blocks, but that should not be hyped up too much. Playing against the Sixers allows for breakout performances on a nightly basis, so his success is not all that encouraging.
The reality is that Gortat has scored 8 points or less in 4 of his last 6 games, but has been racking up the rebounds and the block totals. He hasn't posted back-to-back double digit scoring nights since March 14th and 16th, and his inconsistent play is concerning for fantasy owners looking to succeed in the playoffs.
Evaluating the Wizards' strength of schedule, the team is only playing 2 weaker opponents out of the 7 remaining contests, with those opponents being the Knicks and the 76ers. Those games offer major upside for Gortat's fantasy basketball owners as he should be able to score and grab boards with ease, but he might need to be avoided for the other 5 games left this season. Consider Marcin Gortat one of the riskier fantasy NBA players going forward, with potential to put up solid lines against the weaker teams.
Wolves forward Chase Budinger has turned it up out of nowhere, scoring in double digits in each of his last 10 games. A giant window of opportunity opened up for the sharp-shooting forward due to a variety of NBA players injuries and he's made the most of his extra playing time.
With Minnesota's shocking abundance of injuries to its core assets of Nikola Pekovic, Kevin Martin, Ricky Rubio, Gary Neal, Kevin Garnett, Gorgui Dieng and Shabazz Muhammad, Budinger has been left help fill some voids left in the team's game plan. He's averaging 32.5 minutes per game over his last ten, and his chances to put up solid numbers should not diminish so long as he remains so heavily involved in the rotation.
Chase Budinger can provide a spark to fantasy NBA rosters with his newly consistent scoring production, specifically from the three point line. Over the last 10 games, Budinger is averaging 1.7 threes in addition to 15.1 points per contest. This recent hot streak is uncharacteristic for the 26-year-old swingman, as he has not cracked 10 points per game in any of his 6 NBA seasons thus far.
Minnesota Timberwolves Head Coach Flip Saunders' praise of Budinger's play should keep him heavily involved in the rotation for the last 8 games of the season, as he also won't be rushing anyone back from injury due to them being eliminated from playoff contention. Though he may not be a guarantee to score tons of points on a nightly basis, his 3 point scoring potential should make him valuable enough to be a considered a solid option in standard fantasy basketball formats.
Nuggets guard Randy Foye's recent play makes him a worthy starting option for fantasy basketball owners in the playoffs. His ability to produce solid scoring numbers on a game-by-game basis could make him a solid add for fantasy NBA rosters.
Before his dud of a performance Wednesday night, his last 4 games were much more impressive than his previous season averages. In the 4 game stretch, Foye posted averages of 18.8 points, 4.5 assists, 2.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals per contest. As long as he remains a vital part of the Nuggets game plan, Foye can be a solid asset to fantasy NBA teams in standard formats.
Randy Foye has been a pretty solid scorer, but his value is contingent upon the presence of teammate Danilo Gallinari. Gallinari's knee injury had him out for a long period of December and January, but if he's healthy, he will most likely demand the ball more as he is the better scorer. However, Gallinari is already set to miss the latter half of back-to-back games due to rest, and just also sustained a shoulder injury in Wednesday night's 99-85 loss to the 76ers. Gallinari expects to be fine to play moving forward, but that shoulder injury is definitely something to be looking out for.
All things considered, Foye's value as a scorer could be of optimal importance for the playoffs, especially in the second half of back-to-back sets when Danilo Gallinari's out due to rest. If Gallinari's shoulder and/or knee injury start(s) to flare up, than Randy Foye's value will skyrocket as the major benefactor of his absence.
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Nuggets forward Danilo Gallinari's recent spike in production has made him an intriguing option for fantasy NBA owners looking for help in the playoffs. His recent hot streak has him surpassing his season averages significantly, and with consistency, Gallinari could put fantasy basketball owners in contention to win their respective titles.
Gallinari's strong play could be attributed to him inching closer to 100% healthy, as well as the firing of Head Coach Brian Shaw. Whatever the reason may be, fans will have to cross their fingers and hope the onslaught continues.
The 26-year-old Italian sharpshooter has overcome an injury-filled first half to this year and is finally coming around. Disregarding the 2 games he sat out for rest, Gallinari's last 5 games have been tops of NBA players, posting averages of 22.8 points, 2.6 threes, 5.2 boards, 3 assists and 1.2 steals per game (all above his averages for the season). This seems like the perfect opportunity to add a multi-faceted asset, but there's one major issue.
The Nuggets seem to be resting Gallinari during the latter half of back-to-back games. Unfortunately, Denver has 3 more back-to-back sets, so owners will have to search elsewhere for production.
His daily league fantasy basketball value is greater than his standard format value due to the sporadic DNP-CDs, but he is still worth an add. When active, Gallinari should be started and is a solid bet for points, threes and rebounds.
Reigning MVP and fantasy NBA stud Kevin Durant will be "removed from all basketball activities" and he will be "out indefinitely." Until Durant can return to the court without pain in his injured foot, Thunder GM Sam Presti says he will not risk further injury to one of the best NBA players in the league.
Thunder coach Scott Brooks said earlier in the week that Durant's rehab had gone through "peaks and valleys." That now seems like a terrible understatement as Durant is being shut down with only a month left in the regular season.
As far as fantasy basketball purposes go, Kevin Durant is done for the season. The only silver lining is for Russell Westbrook fantasy owners, because he is the only premier player left on the team who isn't injured.