Let’s take a brief look at players who may be available in your fantasy league for this Thanksgiving week. Every NBA team has either 3 or 4 games, so there are no outliers in terms of volume this week. Teams that face good defenses might find themselves at a disadvantage (Atlanta, Charlotte, Indiana, Sacramento, San Antonio), but that’s the only team-wide bias I have for the ensuing week. Basically, play your best dudes.
First of all, wait a second: why is Zach Randolph’s ownership 38.7%? Aaaaand, why is it climbing?? Do yall know something I don’t? Cuz, I thought my former fantasy basketball boyfriend ZBo was, as the scientists say, on the goddamn bench for the foreseeable future and may be, like, retired ‘n shit. I wonder if those owners are just ZBo fans, refusing to give up? If that’s the case, then I love you all. ZBo forever.
Let’s only discuss Top 100 players on ESPN Basic:
He is a top 50 player and is owned in less than 70% of leagues. He’s been more valuable than Bradley Kind of a Big Beal, Victor MFing Oladipo, and Chris Paul. If he’s available and you don’t pick him up, then you’re basically a war criminal.
He is the 25th best player in ESPN basic. He’s owned in 29% of leagues. He’s been more valuable than Ben Simmons, Jimmy Butler, Kawhi Leonard, Klay Thompson, Aaron Gordon, and Zach Randolph (...so far…). IF HE IS UNOWNED IN YOUR LEAGUE, PLEASE, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, AND ALL HIS ANGELS, AND THANKSGIVING ITSELF, PLEASE PICK HIM UP. I KNOW YOU DON’T KNOW WHO HE IS, BUT HE’S REALLY NICE, AND HE’S REALLY GREAT AT BASKETBALLING, FANTASY OR OTHER. BOB COVINGTON ON THE WIRE IS AN ATROCITY AKIN TO THE REVELATION AT THE END OF “Soylent Green.” NO SPOILERS, BUT IT’S BAD!
He is a top 30 player on the year, top 25 over the past month, and top 15 over the past two weeks. He is, as the French say, “on zee flame, n’est-ce pas?.” He’s scored in double digits in 13 of 15 games, he averages 6+ rebounds per game, 2+ assists, and 1+ 3PA. (He’s a Power Forward for the Toronto Raptors. In the NBA. Yup, Canada has a team.) Anyway, out of all players who average, at least, those stats I just mentioned (14/6/2, 1+ three point attempt), Pascal Siakam has the third highest plus/minus. Do you know who are 1 and 2? Giannis and Anthony Davis.
Siakam is less owned than Josh Richardson. He’s less owned than Dennis Schroder. He’s less owned than his teammate, Jonas Valanciunas, who doesn’t start. He’s less owned than Nicolas Batum and he’s been twice as valuable.
The Thanksgiving story is about hungry pilgrims trying to make it in a difficult world, and finding friendly faces who give them gifts of nourishment. I HEREBY GIVE YOU PASCAL SIAKAM, FANTASY PILGRIMS. Remember to show your gratitude on Thanksgiving Day, and eat an extra helping of stuffing and/or sweet potatoes with marshmallows in my honor.
Dear God. Three players in the NBA are averaging 11+ points per game, 3+ RPG, 2+ APG, 1.5+ steals per game, and 2.9+ 3PM: Paul George (99% owned), James Harden (99% owned), and...Justin Holiday (3% owned). Holiday is getting the minutes and he’s rewarding the miniscule amount of owners who roster him. He’s a top 50 player in ESPN basic. He’s given more value at SG than JJ Redick (!!!!), Luka Doncic, Golden Gary Harris, Donovan Mitchell, Devin Booker, Andrew Wiggins, Caris LeVert, Gordon Hayward, and Kobe Bryant’s life coaching.
I mean, who the hell DOESN’T have room on their team for Justin Holiday and those cray-ass stats?? That’s bananas. I have no idea what Holiday’s minutes will be like once, or if, Chicago returns to full health, but this kind of fantasy production can no longer be ignored. Pick him up, if you can, and roll with him while he receives this much playing time.
...is a top 60 player, 12% ownership. Kinda weird.
...is a top 60 player, 3% ownership. Seems KINDA WEIRD.
Jaren Jackson, Jr.
The man is heating up. He’s had 4 double-digit scoring games in a row, he’s made a three in his last three games, and only 8 other players in the NBA can meet or exceed his averages of 12+ PPG, 4+ RPG, 1+ APG, 1+ SPG, 1+ block per game: Giannis, AD, Steven Adams, Paul Millsap, Rudy Gobert, Nikola Vucevic, Andre Drummond, and Brad Beal. Damn good list to be on!
And, 3J’s been even better lately. He has 10 blocks over his last three games. Pick this rookie up while you can, because he looks like a top 75 player for the year, even when JaMychal Green’s healthy.
Ross is WIDELY available. Wide, like, the width between galaxies. We’re talking about plenty of availability here. He’s currently a top 100 player, and he’s been more valuable than his wingmate on the Magic, Evan Fournier, another top 100 player with 40+% ownership. Ross’s ownership is less than 5%.
Attention must be paid to Green on the Washington Wizzle-Wazzles. He’s been a top 100 player, and his ownership is 1.2%. I know, I know: it’s Jeff Green. He’s burned us all before. But, he seems to be thriving in his role: he’s currently shooting 48 FG% (and a career best 60% true shooting), his best rate since 2010-11, and he’s grabbing 5+ RPG, which he also hasn’t done since 2011. If his outside shot starts dropping at a better rate, he’ll be even more useful. Consider this your begrudging but obligatory annual suggestion to see if Jeff Green can help your team.
E’Lite E’Twaun Moore
His ownership is up 9%, bringing it to...11% overall! Hooray! Moore can score. If you don’t need points and elite production, then cool, your team must be really damn good. But, if you have a roster spot or two available for streaming or just good pickups, then please, meet Mr. E’Twaun Moore. He’s here to save your team.