February 28, 2021, 5:01 pm
We’ve officially made it to the All-Star break matchup and the silly and superfluous All-Star festivities, which means if you’re playing in a reasonable league with reasonable rules, the next two weeks will be meshed into one long matchup so the second week doesn’t end for you when your opposing Nikola Jokic has a 35-point triple double. This makes streaming especially tough because we’re not completely sure how healthy who is going to be, but it may also mean we’ll get some late scratches for any minor nagging injury in the upcoming four days. This is either a gold mine or a nightmare for you daily players, which I have established I can’t be. I do all the homework and lose because I’m right up on winning a decent chunk of change and Draymond Green gets tossed and ends my career (not this year because I’m not paying for this pathetic version of Draymond). I want to get into it but it’s just too much stress for little old me.
Besides, I’ve been spending a lot of time panicking about how my fantasy hockey teams never have players playing when I need them to because of the rona. On top of that, the NHL is notoriously vague about injuries which means an upper body injury could be a hangnail or a decapitation. They also feel the need to have games at 9:00 in the morning on the west coast because that’s how we get American folks into the sport. Let’s put it on while everyone is asleep. At least baseball season is here so I can cheer on my mediocre baseball team in the NEWLY MINTED American Family Field that used to actually have a connection to the city. Thanks money and goodbye MillerCoors (which I know is not CALLED THAT ANYMORE. Don’t @ me.). Can’t wait for baseball! Let’s go find some mediocre orange ballers.
Week 11 Stream Table
In the stream table, home games are in orange because basketballs are orange. Road games are in blue because blue is not orange. As always, check back for cancellations. This week the stream table is the next two matchups smooshed together with the All-Star break in between.
Back to Backs
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Sun/Mon (of Week 10): CHA, CHI, HOU
Mon/Tues: DEN, SAS
Tues/Weds: ATL, LAL
Weds/Thurs: GSW, IND, NOP, OKC, POR, SAC
Weds/Thurs (of Week 11.5): DAL
Thurs/Fri: CHI, HOU, MIA, NOP, ORL, PHI
Fri/Sat: DEN, IND, WAS
Sat/Sun: ATL, MIN, OKC, POR, TOR
Sun/Mon (of Week 12): GSW, MEM, SAS
Working The Wire
This was tougher than I thought it would be, because there are a few players with weird “out until after the All-Star break” designations, which is as vague as “They’ll play on Thursday or they might play in 2022.” We’ll see what we can do here.
Saben Lee: What a weird one. Saben Lee is here because he’s getting almost two steals a game and is scoring but he also definitely can’t make a free throw. He’s had three really good ballgames and then one that was just meh. He and Dennis Smith Jr. should pretty much handle the bulk of these point guard minutes for a team that, to put it nicely, is really terrible. Lee has streaming potential for the short term and speaking of the point guard combo in Motown…
Dennis Smith Jr.: If there was ever a time to be on Dennis Smith Jr., it’s now. It’s been four years and a lot of useless hype. We’re finally striking gold with a borderline top-100 guy in the unsustainable corner. DSJ could be a volume play for a while and the defensive stats are keeping him smack dab in the picture for fantasy relevance.
On the Radar
Bryn Forbes: I just kind of like Bryn Forbes as a 3-point gunner. His only job is to make shots and any given Sunday he can make five treys and send the fans home happy. That was the case just this last Tuesday. Bad team plus blowout plus hot streak aligns for 23 points in 26 minutes with five triples.
Bruce Brown: Brown was a handy player in Detroit for streaming stretches in 2019-20 and we’ve hit that time again in Brooklyn. He’s taken advantage of some absences from Kyrie Irving and Jeff Green to get the minutes so be wary of some weird rotations and playing time situations. With Kevin Durant out through the All-Star break at the very least (the definition of the previously mentioned “vague timetable”), Brown has played himself into a reliable rotation role for 25 minutes.
Malik Monk: Monk can get buckets and he’s playing the offensive sixth man role well. Devonte’ Graham will put a damper on the offense but for now, we’re looking at points and triples in 25 minutes. Graham could be back in short order, so we’ll keep monitoring this rotation. Monk has earned some run while he’s on a hot streak.
On the Radar
Frank Ntilikina: It doesn’t look like Frank will keep a rotation spot with Elfrid Payton on the cusp of a return but I don’t want to ignore the two good outings he put together this last week. He’ll need some more rotation drama to cement a role so this is basically a “don’t add”.
Patrick Williams: Little bit of a heater here for the rookie with 54.2% shooting this week. It’s good enough for a top-75 look and the last two weeks have him solidly inside standard league streamer territory. It looks like we’re going to get 30 minutes of him and 10 points, six boards and two cash counters is far from bad.
Pat Connaughton: Pistol Pat is playing too many minutes for my liking so as long as that continues he can be quietly valuable in deeper formats. He can get a handful of points, threes and rebounds well for his position and role. It’s secretly not that bad.
On the Radar
Josh Okogie: Okogie started with Malik Beasley out and I’ve historically wanted him to pan out. We’re just not seeing it all the way, but 12 points and two triples in Saturday’s game in 29 minutes isn’t tragic.
Royce O’Neale: Honestly there’s not a lot of great fresh options so we’re back on old steady Royce. I don’t have to keep driving the Royce train because people either get it or they just never will. He’s going to end up being a borderline top-100 player on averages and well inside that on totals just by showing up every night.
Jarred Vanderbilt: This is starting to become a very frustrating because we got 23 good minutes for a double-double with two blocked shots. The Wolves seem to intimate that they can’t play him and KAT together too much, yet he’s still hanging around the starting lineup and there’s clearly something here. This could be a rest-of-season type play where he moves from a streamer to a late-round play nightly.
On the Radar
Doug McDermott: Back on the radar as a starter who can make some 3-pointers, but this is situational.
Robert Williams: If we’re going to get 22 minutes, this is a full send. We haven’t been able to bank on that but 14-11-4 with four defensive stats is incredible per-minute production. Daniel Theis is solid but Tristan Thompson is as snoozy as they come and Aaron Nesmith is only a good idea if we don’t watch any game film. If Williams doesn’t have a solidified 20-25 minutes on the other end of the All-Star break, we’ll know there’s a conspiracy.
Maxi Kleber: The land of many centers seems to have two things guaranteed. Maxi Kleber WILL play 25 minutes and Kristaps Porzingis will also play whenever he’s able. The other three large men (Dwight Powell, Boban Marjanovic and Willie Cauley-Stein) are all guesswork. Kleber gets featured every few weeks on here because he’s just incredible consistent. Over the last week he’s 148th in 9-category leagues. Over the last two months he’s 158th. On the season he’s 141st. Even in a standard league knowing what we’re going to get is worth enough to be rostered at least most of the time.
On the Radar
Nicolas Claxton: Even in a blowout, even in a shorthanded rotation, even with a team with 11 seven-footers, Steve Nash went with a small, spread out rotation with a lot of Jeff Green at center. We need more than 13 minutes.
The Stream Team
PG: Ty Jerome – He looked like he belonged on an NBA floor. There should be 20ish minutes available to Jerome on this Thunder squad.
SG: Jaylen Nowell – Points streamer while Malik Beasley is out.
SF: Tony Snell – Tony Snell is out here running and as the most sarcastic Tony Snell stan in the Western hemisphere, I am happy to present the “20-team league player to have” of the week simply on the basis of getting starter minutes.
PF: Al-Farouq Aminu – Starting and playing ahead of Chuma Okeke much to my chagrin. He’s been a useful player before in 28-30 minutes, so maybe he can be almost a useful player in 23-25. No promises.
C: Kevon Looney – He’s starting sometimes and playing 20 minutes. It’s not much but it’s not nothing in a bad environment for centers. Always come to me for glowing endorsements.
When I make the schedule grid for this article I used to create an excel spreadsheet and import it into our spooky plugin. Unfortunately, that function stopped working so now I have to do some extra busy work which involves copying and pasting to maintain the color of the cells. When I was doing that this week I copied a bunch of one cell that just happened to be a game against the Lakers so half the schedule was covered in “LAL” and I realized that must be what Lakers’ fans just always feel because they’re convinced the league only cares about them. I have a Laker fan in one of my fantasy leagues who literally says 10 years without two championships is a failure because the Lakers “deserve to win at least once a decade.” I just want to be happy.
This article is getting written later than usual, which means I’m watching my beloved Bucks take on the Clippers in a Sunday matinee. The thing I notice most in Clippers basketball is how Nicolas Batum is the new Tony Snell. Somehow he’s a top-75 fantasy player even though he’s just out there going through motions. Nicolas Batum first quarter output: eight minutes, zero stats. Nicolas Batum halftime update: We are on a tear. 15 minutes, three points, one rebound, one assist (although it should have been two assists until Serge Ibaka bricked a bunny). It’s truly fascinating and I’m glad I get to experience this with him on my roster.
I’m not going to belabor the All-Star game too much because that gets beaten to death and we’re annoyed the game is happening, we’re annoyed with the snubs. There’s a lot of calls from Canadian media for Fred VanVleet as a snub, but he goes right along with Trae Young and Khris Middleton and to a lesser extent because he’s just out here compiling numbers on a terrible team, Jerami Grant. I’m also ready for this captain format to go away because I’m boring and I want to see East vs. West again. Let me know your All-Star snubs on Twitter here.