• Tonight’s fantasy results went in every direction, we’ve got the young and old, a former MVP and the current MVP, you name it and tonight’s Dish has got it.

    Buddy Hield unleashed a career-high 41 points as the Kings came up short against the Celtics, Derrick Rose (two points, 1-of-11 FG) was bested by Joel Embiid (zero points, 0-of-11 FG, 0-of-3 FT), some guy signed off the street by the Blazers last week went for 25 points and 10 rebounds on 10-of-20 shooting, and Giannis Antetokounmpo (50 points, 14 rebounds, six assists, three 3-pointers, two steals, zero turnovers) has no interest in returning the MVP trophy.

    Add(s) of the Night

    Kelly Olynyk, PF/C, Miami Heat – 32 minutes, 15 points, 16 rebounds, one assist, four 3-pointers, two steals, four turnovers, 5-of-8 FG, 1-of-1 FT

    He is not the flashiest player in fantasy hoops but Kelly Olynyk always finds new ways to surprise you. His shooting has been down all season, but tonight he was a key cog in guiding the Heat to a 117-110 victory over the Hornets. Throughout his time in Miami, he has proven to be one of the few regularly trusted players in Erik Spoelstra’s system, and it is only a matter of time before he finds a stable role where he can deliver reliable late-round value due to his efficient stat lines and robust 3-point shooting skills. While he won’t win you a fantasy championship, he is a useful player to fill out the end of your roster.

    Taurean Prince, SF, Brooklyn Nets – 33 minutes, 18 points, six rebounds, four assists, four 3-pointers, one steal, two turnovers, 7-of-14 FG

    Last year we were all counting on Taurean Prince to be a do it all creator in Atlanta, however, Prince must have seen his shadow last season and decided to retreat to the groundhog hole. Fear not, the six weeks have passed, Prince is ready to be fantasy relevant this year.

    Prince had some sleeper potential heading into this season. With Durant most likely out for the year, plus Kyrie Irving and Caris LaVert getting tripped up with injuries, the opportunity to handle the ball and get plenty of usage is now wide open. The Nets are counting on Prince to produce alongside Spencer Dinwiddie at this point, and he has been delivering across the board production during Brooklyn’s four-game winning streak. That run has taken the Nets from an ugly 5-8 record to a semi-respectable 9-8 standing. Owning Prince will also have positive benefits for your own standard league squad.

    Drop Zone

    We’re not saying that you have to drop any of these guys, only that you should at least consider it depending who’s on your waiver wire. Your mileage may vary based on league size and team build, but for the most part we’ll try to cut dead weight in the 12-team range.

    Danny Green

    I never tried it, but I’m pretty sure owning Danny Green is the equivalent of watching paint dry. Picking out the color is when you put Green in your draft queue, and you tell yourself that he is going to be solid value to fill out your roster in the late rounds. You apply your layers and love the new look, just like you adore watching Danny Green nail seven triples on opening night. How could you not continue obsessing over this new color that is always bringing a smile to your face?

    Nonetheless, you watch that paint continue to dry, and you hang around long enough to look at half a dozen seven point, three rebound, two assist, one 3-pointer, one steal, and one turnover results, and things start getting dull real fast. While that fresh new look is awesome at first glance, in the long run, that new style is never that beautiful. Ditto life with Danny Green, who is bound to fail you when you need him the most. One night of glory is not worth nine nights of sorrow, and you are not about to repaint your walls that often. Hit the eject button.

    Derrick Rose

    Rose has never fully bloomed as a fantasy prospect. Tonight was a reminder of what happens when the bottom falls out, 1-of-11 FG for two points, six assists and a block. I’d call him borderline 12-team league worthy at the moment. His shooting numbers are off the charts and are unsustainable, plus he is only receiving 24 minutes per game, and the Pistons are only getting healthier at this point. Rose has never been a steal or 3-point specialist, and with a shooting slump bound to arrive there is no shame in making a cut or trying to sell-high on Rose after his next big night.

    Injury Report

    Blake Griffin returned to the tune of 17 points, five rebounds and two assists after resting on Sunday. This game was too much of a blowout to tax Blake with a larger workload.

    Malcolm Brogdon looked strong in his return from back spasms on Monday, logging 30 minutes to produce 14 points, eight assists and six rebounds in a win.

    Cam Reddish disappointed in his return from a left wrist sprain, much like his rookie season has gone thus far.

    Hassan Whiteside (bruised right hip) was back in action and went for a double-double with two blocks in 24 minutes.

    Marcus Smart reaggravated a left ring finger injury from his Team USA days this summer during the Celtics win on Monday. He played great, but check back for updates as we see how it looks overnight.

    Kemba Walker (neck sprain) was out on Monday and his trajectory from here is up in the air. Daniel Theis was absent due to an illness, allowing Enes Kanter to have a solid night.

    Rudy Gobert (left ankle sprain) could not take the floor again on Monday. He was questionable heading into this one, and should not be out for an extended period.

    Kevin Love missed Monday’s tilt with the Nets due to a lower back contusion. The Cavs are exercising caution here, which is sound logic when accounting for Love’s medical history. Larry Nance Jr. went off in his absence with 20 points, 13 rebounds, two 3-pointers, one steal and one block.

    DeAndre Jordan is suffering from left ankle soreness and was out on Monday, allowing Jarrett Allen to go for 22 points (9-of-10 FG), 21 rebounds, two steals and two blocks. Perhaps Nance and Allen cut a deal?

    George Hill sat out unexpectedly on Monday with back soreness.

    Serge Ibaka is coming soon, but a sprained right ankle still kept him out on Monday.

    Draymond Green missed Monday’s matchup with a right heel injury. It should not take too long to heal, but the Warriors have little interest in rushing his recovery.

    Hamidou Diallo (sprained right elbow) has been ruled out for Monday and Wednesday.

    Justise Winslow (concussion) is expected to practice on Tuesday and a return is near if you want to take a risk on him in standard leagues.

    D’Angelo Russell (thumb) will travel with the Warriors on there upcoming five-game trip, but we will not be getting any further updates before Saturday. That means the bench mob will remain semi-relevant in deeper formats.

    We received updates on Aaron Gordon (sprained right ankle) and Nikola Vucevic (sprained ankle), with Gordon’s being more optimistic for an early return. He should test things out in practice on Tuesday. Vucevic is still a week or two away.

    One Celtic to Rule Them All

    The good vibes are flowing in Beantown nowadays, as the Celtics sit at 12-4, tied for second place in the Eastern Conference, with Kyrie Irving in the rearview mirror. Five players are well inside the top-100, they are one of the deepest fantasy rosters in basketball. Gordan Hayward was the biggest surprise as he reclaimed his dynamism as a scorer before breaking his left hand eight games into the season. Right as Hayward went down, Jaylen Brown returned to the floor and has made positive strides as a rebounder and scorer during Hayward’s absence. This could spell trouble as both players will have to sacrifice to ultimately share the floor.

    Jayson Tatum has had mixed results, but due to a higher usage rate and a new focus on the three-pointer he remains a durable mid-round value. Kemba Walker has seen a dip in opportunity now that he is operating alongside component teammates, and while he is still due for some improvement as he adapts to the roster, his days flirting with first-round value appear to be a thing of the past.

    Marcus Smart has been the biggest surprise out of this fivesome. Often rumored to be bumped aside by his more offensively-minded teammates, Smart has seen his role increase and has delivered mid-round value with career-highs of 12 points, five assists, well over two 3-pointers and only one turnover a night.

    That is a valuable lesson to keep in mind in fantasy as well, talent doesn’t often come with defensive tenacity, and while teams are likely to bring in new scorers, it is not so simple to find a spark plug that makes the rest of the roster click. A player like Marcus Smart, Patrick Beverly or Jonathan Isaac is always going to have a secure role because the little things they contribute are not going to disappear from game-to-game. They are often irreplaceable.

    Hopefully, you have a guy or two along these lines to register regular doses of steals, blocks and three-pointers to take your team to the next level. Those are the building blocks of a successful season-long fantasy team.

    Be sure to plan ahead and set those lineups before entering a turkey-induced food coma for the second half of this week, have fun out there!

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