The NBA is always full of surprises. The Memphis Grizzlies, for instance, claim the league’s second-best offensive rating with a gaudy 115.2 points per 100 possessions during the past 10 games. On Sunday night in a win over the Suns, Memphis sank 18 3s, tying the franchise record for a road game, which the Grizzlies set all the way back on Saturday against the Clippers. Memphis has now scored 100-plus points in 16 straight games, good for the longest streak in franchise history. Before this stretch, the team never even had a streak of even 10 such games.
It’s not just top Rookie of the Year candidate Ja Morant and gifted second-year talent Jaren Jackson Jr. who are putting in impressive minutes, as surging scoring guard Dillon Brooks continues to be efficient from the field. Brooks delivered 19 points last night and has averaged 16.4 PPG with 1.3 “stocks” (steals plus blocks) per game since the start of December. Rostered in just 10% of ESPN leagues, Brooks remains the top widely available fantasy free agent from this exciting young Memphis rotation.
Jae Crowder, Memphis Grizzlies: 27 points (9-17 FG), 8 rebounds, 7 assists, 3 steals, 3 blocks, 1 TO
De’Andre Hunter, Atlanta Hawks: 0 points (0-3 FG), 2 rebounds, 2 TO
Carmelo Anthony, Portland Trail Blazers: 11 points (3-11 FG), 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 TO
In a win over Lillard’s Blazers on Sunday, Miami’s Goran Dragic produced the second-most points off the pine in his career with 29 points and an equally impressive 13 dimes. You can add Dragic for the price of a roster spot in roughly half of ESPN leagues.
The Knicks’ Marcus Morris Sr. has thrived statistically in his first year with New York, typified by last night’s career-high 38 points, including six 3-pointers (one shy of his career high). Morris is somehow still a free agent in 40% of ESPN leagues.
On Saturday night, Doncic delivered his league-leading 10th triple-double this season (already the most in a season in Mavericks history). It also marked Doncic’s ninth career 30-point triple-double. Only Oscar Robertson had more in his first two seasons in the league. Maxi Kleber is still excelling sans an ailing Kristaps Porzingis, as the big man produced 24 points in 35 minutes off the bench
In a win over the Pacers on Saturday, Young’s 41 points marked his sixth career 40-point game, tied for the third-most by a player in his first two seasons in the league since the 1976-77 merger. Center Alex Len was also productive in the rare victory for Atlanta. He makes for an intriguing addition in deeper leagues or for those struggling to compete at the center position.
The Pacers’ Aaron Holiday continues to consume a valuable workload whenever Malcolm Brogdon sits, evidenced by his team-high 19 shots from the floor on Saturday against Young’s Hawks. Domantas Sabonis, meanwhile, is currently on pace to be first player to average 15 PPG, 4.0 APG and 3.0 offensive RPG since Kevin Garnett in 2004-05.
Brooklyn’s Caris LeVert played just 16 minutes in his return to action this past Saturday, but wasn’t shy with seven shots and 13 points to show for it. If you can somehow add both Dragic and LeVert in your league, that’s an incredible midseason boon to a fantasy roster.
Injuries of note
ESPN’s Malika Andrews reported over the weekend that Kyrie Irving‘s shoulder injury threatens to spoil his debut season with the Brooklyn Nets. Irving said on Saturday that surgery is not off the table, though he is hoping to avoid it. Shares of Garrett Temple in free agency remain intriguing given what could be a lost season for Irving.
Porzingis hopes to return to action tonight against the Bulls, but if he doesn’t, Kleber and Dwight Powell become top streaming options.
Blake Griffin was ruled out for Sunday’s game against the Lakers with a lingering knee ailment, affording rookie Sekou Doumbouya another start. Even as LeBron James had his way with the rookie yesterday, Doumbouya’s impressive rebounding rate and athleticism are already surfacing in box scores.
Analytics advantage for Monday
A fun fantasy climate in on tap in Sacramento tonight with the Kings hosting the Warriors in a game that claims a healthy projected point total from Vegas. We find tons of streaming equity in this matchup with Alec Burks and Damion Lee still playing well for Golden State. Meanwhile the absence of the Kings’ Marvin Bagley III to injury means that Nemanja Bjelica, who enjoys the second-highest leap in usage rate on the team when his frontcourt peer sits, becomes a viable streaming and DFS target.
Top players to watch on Monday
Lonzo Ball is finally thriving in New Orleans, having produced 20-plus points in three straight games for the first time in his career. This evening, Ball faces Donovan Mitchell in a matchup of talented guards from the 2017 class. Mitchell, meanwhile, has averaged 27.4 PPG on 56% from the floor during the past five games, setting up a meaningful battle of gifted young guards.