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    Amen Thompson, F, Houston Rockets

    News broke that Alperen Sengun is likely to miss the rest of the regular season, which was really just a formality given how bad the injury looked and where Houston sits in the standings. Last week we recommended Jock Landale as a natural positional replacement at center (and he’s still a solid option for late-round numbers!) but it’s Amen Thompson who has risen into the starting five, and that’s enough to make him the go-to guy for fantasy value here.

    Thompson only got about two more minutes per game than Landale last week but did a lot more with them, ending up just outside the top-50 in the 9-cat rankings. A lot of that was driven by an absurd .792 mark from the field, but his overall line of 14.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.7 steals doesn’t feel too crazy. With a starting role and the likelihood of an increasing workload, Thompson is a guy you have to try and add if at all possible.

    Aaron Nesmith, F, Indiana Pacers

    A player who has appeared here several times throughout the season, Nesmith is back once more. He got 29.5 mpg last week and should have a more stable role with Bennedict Mathurin done for the year. Nesmith’s line won’t blow anyone away but he delivered across the entire box score with 14.7 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.0 steals, 1.3 blocks and 1.7 triples on .469 shooting. That was good for top-45 returns and while Nesmith won’t do that every week from here on out, he’s locked into a big chunk of playing time and can raise any fantasy team’s floor.

    Dalano Banton, G, Portland Trail Blazers

    Banton was in this same spot last week and his story remains the same, for the most part. He was only a late-round value last week because he shot poorly — .408 two weeks ago and .400 last week — but anyone who didn’t need to think about FG% was able to enjoy some fun counting stats. While he’s not guaranteed to start every night, the Blazers can’t deny him minutes at this point. With 16.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.5 triples per game last week, Banton’s appeal is obvious. It’s hard to find points on the wire and right now Banton is playing his way into reliability.

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