December 30, 2020, 4:17 am
Another busy day around the association with no less than 10 games on the slate. There were a handful of blowout victories which, once again, resulted in some wacky playing time. A plethora of managers still appear to be giving up on their players way too early, something that those with a little more patience can now take advantage of. A prime example is actually the focus of this piece and a stellar example of why it is important to stick to your guns early in the season. Richaun Holmes helped the Kings to a come from behind victory over the Nuggets, their third win from the first four games.
The Sizers also staged a comeback, fending off a tenacious Raptors outfit. The Bulls recorded their first win of the season, while the Knicks continued to defy logic with yet another win. The Magic are another team that has looked impressive thus far, although this is something we have seen from them in previous seasons. The Pelicans couldn’t hit the side of a barn and the Wolves weren’t much better in their thumping at the hands of the Clippers.
Add(s) of the Night
Tyrese Haliburton, G, Sacramento Kings – Haliburton is fast becoming one of my favorite players’ thanks to his high basketball IQ and impressive decision making. The Kings may have blended themselves a gem here and although we are only four games into the season, Haliburton has already been one of the standouts from the most recent rookie class. There is a decent chance he is available in a handful of standard leagues and despite the fact he will encounter a few bumps in the road, he looks like he should be rostered everywhere.
Josh Jackson, G/F, Detroit Pistons – Jackson has been playing the best basketball of his career, although the bar has been set pretty low in that department. He looks to have found himself a nice role in Detroit and the coaching staff seem intent on finding out exactly what they have. Blake Griffin left Tuesday’s game prematurely and will have to go through the mandatory concussion protocol before being allowed to resume action. While Jackson could fall off a cliff in a hurry, he is with picking up at the moment to see if he can finally build a solid resume.
Nerlens Noel, C, New Your Knicks – The question of whether to drop Noel has been flooding my inbox all day, and the short answer is maybe? If you simply need him for his defensive production, then holding on is certainly an option. If you require anything else, it may be best to go your separate ways. His role is simply not there at the moment and Mitchell Robinson seems to be working his way into head coach Tom Thibodeau’s good books. If the current path remains true, Noel is going to struggle to have any sort of across the board value.
Draymond Green remains out for the Warriors, although it does feel as though he is edging closer to a return
Blake Griffin left early after taking a shot from James Wiseman. While the injury doesn’t sound serious, he is going to have to go through the concussion protocols
Killian Hayes rolled his ankle and was unable to return
Joel Embiid took a shot to the back of his knee but was able to return to the game. Given his injury history, it would be wise to monitor the injury report moving forward
Lauri Markkanen came into the game with a calf concern and played only 19 minutes before aggravating the injury
Bradley Beal left the game to undergo concussion testing but was able to return to action
Alec Burks was unable to play due to an ankle injury, although it doesn’t sound as though it will cost him significant time
Kevin Love was ruled out for up to a month with a calf injury. His long injury history could mean the Cavs play it very safe
Jimmy Butler missed Tuesday’s game with an ongoing ankle injury
Terrence Ross was forced to leave the game on Tuesday but returned to finish with 14 points
Al Horford sat out the loss due to load management
George Hill also missed the game with neck spasms
Kawhi Leonard missed his second straight game and should be considered questionable moving forward
Jamal Murray was a late scratch due to an elbow injury
Richaun Gets Rowdy
As mentioned earlier, Richaun Holmes had his best game in quite some time, pouring in 20 points on 77 percent shooting, adding five rebounds, three assists, two steals and one block in 32 minutes. This was a welcome sign for those that drafted Holmes after what can only be decribed as an indifferent start to the season. Holmes was one of the breakout stars of the 2091-20 season before his campaign was cut short by injury. He finally landed in a favorable position after years of being a ‘per-36′ fantasy darling.
During the offseason the Kings acquired Hassan Whiteside, sending fear through those that were hoping to see Holmes build off his career year. Given the Kings track record, there was certainly a belief that they could hand Whiteside the starting role, or at least a meanginful one. The worry then was how much he would cut into Holmes’ upside and subsequent value.
Surprisingly, the Kings appear to be making some correct decisions when it comes to the center rotation, highlighted by Tuesday’s game. Holmes hit a season-high mark of 32 minutes, while Whiteside saw just 13 minutes. Whiteside has proven he can put up solid fantasy production when afforded sufficient playing time btu from a real-life perspective, he is simply not a positive influence. If the Kings are going to stay the path here, Holmes should be able to put up top-60 numbers.
Show No Mercy
The beginning of any fantasy season is full of surprises, both good and bad. This season, in particular, seems to be littered with GM’s who are looknig to score with a hot free agent. A prime example is the man of the moment, Richaun Holmes. After a slow start to the season, Holmes was a pressing subject for many who were questioning his role and whether he was worth offloading in a trade or even to the waiver wire. I know this for a fact because I managed to grab him for nothing in one of my leagues. Holmes is not alone in this discussion, with many players apparently on the chopping block despite the ultra-small sample size.
As much as we bang the drum when it comes to showing patience, there are always going to be those who require a quick-fix and make some hasty decisions. In these instances, savvy managers who are able to play the waiting game can certainly cash-in. As I did with Holmes, it is possible to get a potential mid-round guy off the scrap heap without too much trouble. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, as they say, and so far this season there have been a host of players who fall into that category. A few names off the top of my head might include Brandon Clarke, Otto Porter, Larry Nance, Delon Wright and even T.J Warren.
If you have been biding your time and basically sticking with your original roster, be sure to keep an eye on the waiver wire for players that may pop up from time-to-time. You never know, you could score yourself a real difference maker by simply being first to the pot.