Fantasy 30: Updates on Austin Reaves, Jimmy Butler and others

The best fantasy basketball managers make a habit of looking at the NBA schedule, examining box scores and scouring the news for any tidbit that can help give them the edge in their leagues.

Luckily, Eric Moody does all that work for you each and every Thursday with the Fantasy 30, helping answer the tough questions such as whom to start, who are the best fantasy basketball sleepers out there and what’s the latest injury news with key players around the league.

Here’s the latest fantasy news from each of the 30 teams.

Atlanta Hawks: Trae Young has had 96 games in his career with at least 25 points and 10 assists, including 20 this season. Only Oscar Robertson has had more such games before turning 25. The Hawks don’t have a lot of streaming options right now. De’Andre Hunter (rostered in 19.0% of ESPN leagues) is still the best of the bunch, and has averaged 15.2 points and 4.2 rebounds per game this season.

Boston Celtics: Derrick White has had four games with 20 or more points and 10 or more assists and three of his last four games have seen him score 33 or more fantasy points. White is rostered in 64% of ESPN leagues. If he’s available in your league, consider adding him.

Brooklyn Nets: Spencer Dinwiddie continues to be reliable source of assists for fantasy managers. He’s had 11 or more assists in four of his last five games. Dinwiddie has scored 33 or more fantasy points in five consecutive games and looks very comfortable in a Nets jersey.

Charlotte Hornets: Nick Richards‘ future with the Hornets is secure. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Wednesday that he signed a three-year contract extension with Charlotte. With Mark Williams out due to a thumb injury, Richards has filled in nicley with 42 or more fantasy points in three of his last five games. Richards is only rostered in 5.1% of ESPN leagues.

Chicago Bulls: Nikola Vucevic has been consistent for fantasy managers this season, in spite of the Bulls’ ups and downs. He’s scored 33 or more fantasy points in four of his last five games, including two with 50 or more. On a team that lacks viable streaming options, Vucevic, DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine continue to be the most fantasy relevant players for the Bulls.

Cleveland Cavaliers: Donovan Mitchell has had 35 games this season with 25 or more points. He joins LeBron James, Mike Mitchell, Kyrie Irving and Ron Harper as the only players in franchise history to have at 35 games with 25 or more points. You shouldn’t overlook Caris LeVert, who’s rostered in 53.2% of ESPN leagues and plays well off the bench. He has scored 37 or more fantasy points in four consecutive games.

Dallas Mavericks: Luka Doncic‘s recent five-game absence due to a strained left thigh came at the worst possible time for fantasy managers in the playoffs. The good news is he played against the Warriors on Wednesday night and had 58 fantasy points. Doncic and Kyrie Irving should put on some epic performances with the Mavericks trying to cement their playoff positioning, but both of them need to stay healthy.

Denver Nuggets: Next week the Nuggets only play two games, which isn’t ideal for managers trying to win a championship, but Nikola Jokic is playing great, so every performance could help. In three of his last four games, he has scored at least 71 fantasy points and in two of them he has recorded a triple double as well.

Detroit Pistons: The Pistons have one of the worst records in the league and are dealing with plenty of injuries. That being said, Marvin Bagley III is a reliable streamer. When healthy, he has an important role in the Pistons’ backcourt and scored 70 fantasy points against the Hawks on Tuesday. Bagley III is only rostered in 13.4% of ESPN leagues.

Golden State Warriors: Kevon Looney has been playing well lately. In the last seven games, he has averaged 9.0 points, 10.6 rebounds, 1.4 steals and 1.3 blocks. Looney is a solid option for fantasy managers in deeper formats and is only rostered in 21.0% of ESPN leagues. The Warriors play three games next week.

Houston Rockets: With few reliable fantasy options, the Rockets are one of the worst teams in the league. Consider rookie Jabari Smith Jr. if you desperately need a streamer. He is rostered in 46.1% of ESPN leagues and in the last 12 games, the talented rookie has averaged 14.8 points and 7.3 rebounds.

Indiana Pacers: Tyrese Haliburton hasn’t played in two weeks due to a sprained right ankle. He was questionable to play on Wednesday before being downgraded to “out.” Andrew Nembhard is currently the starting point guard with T.J. McConnell backing him up. Both are very good streamers. Nembhard is only rostered in 5.7% of ESPN leagues while McConnell is only rostered in 14.9%. Nembhard has scored 25 or more fantasy points in four of their last five games, while McConnell has scored 25 or more fantasy points in four consecutive games.

LA Clippers: Paul George left Tuesday night’s game against the Thunder late in the fourth quarter after he suffered a sprained right knee while trying to grab a rebound. Wojnarowksi reported that George will be reevaluated in two to three weeks. Terance Mann will likely replace George in the starting lineup. He’s only rostered in 4.7% of ESPN leagues and has put up 15.5 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.9 assists per 40 minutes this season.

Los Angeles Lakers: Austin Reaves continues to string together excellent performances and he’s still only rostered in 17.4% of ESPN leagues. In three of his last four games, he has scored 40 or more fantasy points, including two with 50 or more. Reaves has attempted 53 free throws over that time frame. That’s the most free throw attempts over a four-game span by a Lakers’ guard since Kobe Bryant in April 2013.

Memphis Grizzlies: Ja Morant scored 37 fantasy points in 24 minutes against the Rockets on Wednesday following his nine-game absence. Tyus Jones performed very well for fantasy managers during Morant’s absence, and he finished with 32 fantasy points in 27 minutes on Wednesday. Until Morant’s minutes increase, Jones is worth holding.

Miami Heat: Jimmy Butler has scored 20 or more points in nine consecutive games. That ties his longest streak since joining the Heat during the 2019-20 season. In Wednesday night’s game against the Knicks, he finished with 35 points, four rebounds and nine assists. That was Butler’s fourth game this season with 35 or more points, which is the most for a Heat player since LeBron James (14) in 2013-14. Unfortunately, the Heat only have one more game this week.

Milwaukee Bucks: The fantasy managers with Giannis Antetokounmpo on their teams have been happy with his recent performances. In four of his last five games, he has scored 50 or more fantasy points. The Bucks play four games next week. Managers who have Kevin Durant or Doncic on their teams can attest to the importance of availability.

Minnesota Timberwolves: Karl-Anthony Towns returned to the court on Wednesday night and was surprisingly productive when he was paired with Rudy Gobert. When the duo was on the court together, the Timberwolves were +8. Minnesota was -6 when both big men were on the floor together before Towns’ injury. If you need a streamer, consider Jaden McDaniels. He’s scored 32 or more fantasy points in three of his last four games and is rostered in only 27.4% of ESPN leagues.


New Orleans Pelicans: Trey Murphy III is only rostered in 35.0% of ESPN leagues and during the past 10 games, he’s averaged 17.7 points, 4.3 rebounds, 1.8 assists, 1.2 steals and 0.8 blocks. Meanwhile, Brandon Ingram has had 41 games with 30 or more points since joining the Pelicans during the 2019-20 season. That’s the second most in franchise history behind Anthony Davis (128).

New York Knicks: The three games Jalen Brunson has played since returning from a foot injury have been exceptional. Over that period, he averaged 24.0 points and 7.0 assists per game. The Knicks play four games next week, which makes Quentin Grimes a solid streaming option if you’re looking for points and triples. He’s only rostered in 2.0% of ESPN leagues.

Oklahoma City Thunder: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has had 40 games this season with 30 or more points. The only other players in franchise history to accomplish this feat were Kevin Durant and Russell Westbroook. You may have heard of them. Meanwhile, Jalen Williams continues to provide fantasy managers with well-rounded performances. He’s scored 35 or more fantasy points in four of his last six games and is rostered in 63.2% of ESPN leagues.

Orlando Magic: Jalen Suggs has already been ruled out of Thursday’s game against the Knicks due to a concussion. This positions Cole Anthony as a viable streamer. He’s scored 26 or more fantasy points in six consecutive games and is only rostered in 42.9% of ESPN leagues.

Philadelphia 76ers: In Wednesday’s blowout, Joel Embiid didn’t play in the second half due to the “score differential.” However, the 76ers revealed afterward that Embiid had a calf injury. Paul Reed is the most likely starter if Embiid’s ruled out on Friday. Reed is only rostered in 0.2% of ESPN leagues and has put up 13.9 points and 13.3 rebounds per 40 minutes this season.

Phoenix Suns: Devin Booker finished with 33 points, six rebounds and five assists against the Lakers on Wednesday night. No other Suns player surpassed 20 points. With Booker on the court, the Suns shot 50% from the field, but just 33% when he was off the court. Because Kevin Durant is out with an ankle injury, Booker will continue to do the heavy lifting for the Suns.

Portland Trail Blazers: Trendon Watford is an intriguing streamer for a Trail Blazers team that is unlikely to qualify for the play-in tournament. Four of his last five games have seen him score 30 or more fantasy points, including two with 40. Over that period, Watford averaged 32.2 minutes per game. He is only rostered in 3.5% of ESPN leagues.

Sacramento Kings: Domantas Sabonis has had 12 triple doubles this season. That puts him two behind Chris Webber for the most in franchise history. Based on Sabonis’ average draft position, he continues to exceed fantasy managers’ expectations. Sabonis has scored 40 or more fantasy points in four of his last five games.

San Antonio Spurs: The Spurs have hit rock bottom. San Antonio has lost consecutive games by 35 or more points for the first time in franchise history. The Spurs also have seven losses this season by 35 or more points, the most in a season in league history. San Antonio doesn’t have a lot of fantasy goodness.

Toronto Raptors: Pascal Siakam has had five games this season with at least 30 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. He has surpassed Vince Carter for the most such games in a single season in Raptors franchise history. Siakam is closing out the season strong and has scored at least 42 fantasy points in four consecutive games.

Utah Jazz: Lauri Markkanen has had a transcendent season which could end with him being named the league’s Most Improved Player. Since Karl Malone in 1997-98 season, he is the first Jazz player with multiple 40-point and 10-rebound games in a season. Managers looking for a streamer should consider Kris Dunn. As long as Collin Sexton and Jordan Clarkson are out, Dunn should continue to receive minutes. Dunn has scored 52 points and 26 fantasy points in his last two games and is only rostered in 13.4% of ESPN leagues.

Washington Wizards: Fantasy managers should be relieved to find that Kristaps Porzingis has been relatively healthy this season. Porzingis has scored 30 or more points in 13 games this season, his most in a single season. Deni Avdija gets the chance to start because Bradley Beal is dealing with left knee soreness. Avdija is only rostered in 6.1% of ESPN leagues and has averaged 13.3 points and 9.7 rebounds per 40 minutes this season.

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