The Toronto Raptors are the only team in the NBA who play five games this upcoming week. The Portland Trailblazers are the only team in the NBA who play just two games this upcoming week. I therefore suggest you should try to stream the Raptors, whilst avoiding the Blazers. Thank you for attending my TED talk.
-We the North play Brooklyn twice (no Kyrie Irving, nor Ben Simmons, nor Kevin Durant), the Pistons, the Magic, and the Cavaliers this week. That’s not a terrible five game week if you’re a Toronto fan. Unfortunately, OG Anunoby is out for the foreseeable future with a hand injury. Precious Achiuwa (PF/C, 4% rostered in ESPN leagues) played in 24 and 30 minutes respectively in the two games OG’s missed. Achiuwa could be the main beneficiary to the absent Anunoby, and he could provide big numbers. In the Raptors’ last game, Achiuwa went for 21-9-2. Thaddeus Young, Khem Birch, and Chris Boucher could also share the minutes. Again, five games in one week is nice, but if you’re streaming for a weekly league, you have to get a little bit lucky with your choices, too. For what it’s worth, I picked up Achiuwa in my main league.
The Brooklyn Nets have four games this week, BUT! Two of them are in Brooklyn (and, NYC’s vax mandate hasn’t lifted yet, so Kyrie Irving still can’t play), while a third is in Toronto, Canada (and, they have vax mandates there, too, so Ky can’t play there, either). The fourth game is in Boston, and hahaha, it would be kinda funny if Kyrie didn’t play in that one, just because of bad memories while wearing the Celtic green.
In games that Ky does not play, you should pay attention to Cam Thomas (SG, 9% rostered in ESPN leagues) and Patty Mills (PG, 22%) on the waiver wire, as they may be available and they could be in line for more minutes. There’s no update on when the Chosen One, Ben Simmons, will play, so the backups will have to step up and help Seth Curry out. Goran Dragic is there, now, too, and he’s only 4% rostered. He’s only played in one game so far, but he could be a sneaky good pickup if he’s anywhere near the player he used to be.
I know we’re avoiding the Blazers this week, but Jusuf Nurkic has been shut down, meaning there are minutes available in Portland’s front court. I have no idea, none, who will be able to take advantage of those minutes, but Drew Eubanks and Trendon Watford seem to be the likely candidates. Both are widely, WIDELY available in ESPN leagues. The Blazers will have a regular week after this light two-game schedule.
Josh Giddey, the Saucy Aussie on Oklahoma City, has a hip injury, and will miss some time. Tre Mann (PG), who’s 3% rostered, will be the starter in Giddey’s place. In the Thunder’s last game Mann went for 22 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals, and he went 3 for 6 from long range. If you’re looking for PG replacements or streamers, consider Mann.
Apparently, we’re going with Point Booker in Phoenix. In the Suns’ game against the Jazz on Sunday Book took the point, and Cam Johnson (SF), one of our faves here at Fake Teams, started. CamJohn went OFF: 23-4-5, 4 of 6 from 3-point range. Johnson is 14% rostered, he’s been one of the best 3PT shooters in the NBA this year, and if he’s starting, then he should be added immediately. Cam Payne may play more when he’s healthy, but Cam Johnson’s proven his worth to the Suns this year, and I think his minutes and shots may maintain.
The Finnisher, Lauri Markkanen (PF/SF), has scored over 20 points in the Cavs last two games. Markkanen is 40% rostered in ESPN leagues, but if he’s on the wire in your league, you should add him and run with him while the scoring lasts. Cleveland keeps losing players to injury, so the Finnisher’s shots could even trend up, depending on the health status for other ailing Cavaliers.
Ayo Dosunmu (SG/PG), a rookie for the Chicago Bulls, just continues to dish dimes: he’s averaging 5 assists per game over his past five games, and he shoots with efficiency, which is nice coming from a rookie. He’ll continue to get a heavy dose of minutes until Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso return. Ayo’s available in 75% of ESPN leagues.
Markelle Fultz (PG) is back! This is mainly for dynasty leagues, or Fultz fans (?), but it’s worth mentioning that he’s coming back from an injury that’s kept him out for a year. Fultz has lots of competition in Orlando, as Jalen Suggs and Cole Anthony are now the primary focus for the Magic in the backcourt. But, this is just a reminder that Fultz Lives, and you should keep him on your radar. Who knows? Maybe he’ll produce and you’ll look like a genius for paying attention to Magic players.
Sticking with the Magic, Chuma Okeke’s (PF) been enchanting recently. He went for 26-9-4 in Orlando’s most recent game, with three steals and a block, and he shot 5 for 7 from distance. Okeke went on a nice run in the second half of last season, too, and he seems to be getting playing time off the bench (25 minutes per game over his past five games). Roster him (he’s available in over 90% of ESPN leagues) until the hot streak ends, if it does.
Jae’Sean Tate (SF/PF), of the Houston Rockets is available in nearly 70% of ESPN leagues. Tate’s averaged 12-5-3 on the year with efficient shooting, and he’s been even better recently. Both he and Alperen Sengun (C) are worthy of notice as the Rockets play out the string.