The shot clock: 24 fantasy hoops nuggets off trades, injuries and more

Michael Beasley’s fantasy value has never been higher and a look around the rest of the league (AP Photo).

1) Kristaps Porzingis is the latest star to suffer a serious injury this season, and the Knicks’ franchise took yet another major hit. Michael Beasley continues to put up big numbers with Porzingis out, yet he’s still available in 40 percent of Yahoo leagues. During nine starts this season, Beasley has averaged 19.9-6.2-2.1, and he should be a top-100 player moving forward.

2) Emmanuel Mudiay didn’t start but saw nearly 30 minutes off the bench and recorded 14 points with 10 assists during his first game with New York, so he’s the Knicks’ point guard to own and is now on the fantasy radar.

3) For a more in depth look at the winners and losers from the trade deadline, check out my column here.

4) The Pistons won four straight after acquiring Blake Griffin, only to lose at home as big favorites to a depleted Clippers team. Griffin, who’s attempted more three-pointers over the last four games than he did over 82 games his entire rookie season, may not have beaten his old team, but his Usage Rate is up in Detroit, and his owners aren’t exactly complaining about his new home, where he’s throwing halfcourt alley-oops to Andre Drummond.

5) Another player benefitting from the new-look Pistons is Reggie Bullock, who’s averaged 3.1 made threes over his last eight games, shooting 53.2 percent from the field. He’s owned in just one third of leagues and is regularly underpriced in DFS given his newfound playing time.

6) Like Griffin, Jimmy Butler also lost his revenge game last week, although he did put up a big line (38-7-5-4) during Minnesota’s surprising defeat to Chicago.

7) While Butler has thrived (after a slow start with his new team, he ranks as a top-10 fantasy player this year), the Bulls also have to be feeling good about their return, as Zach LaVine sure appears healthy.

8) Here’s the most maddening game of tic tac toe you’ll ever see. The instant replay at the end was great.

9) After dropping 50 points in Sacramento in less than 30 minutes, Damian Lillard joined teammate C.J. McCollum as having both scored 50 in a game in which they sat out the fourth quarter over the past two weeks.

10) Darren Collison is out 2-3 weeks, but Cory Joseph has done nothing in his place other than burn those who’ve used him in DFS.

11) Tyler Dorsey has scored in double digits in four straight games and should see around 25 mpg with Marco Belinelli gone. Dorsey is owned in just one percent of leagues and makes for a fine DFS punt play in the short term.

12) Dewayne Dedmon is back starting, and this time the move looks permanent. He’s grabbed 12.4 rpg on a per 36-minute basis during his career, scored 20 points Sunday and is still available in two thirds of leagues, so Dedmon is someone to add if you need a big.

13) Dwight Powell is fast becoming a DFS favorite, as the underpriced (and under the radar) Mav is productive whether starting or off the bench, and he’s averaged 15.5 points and 8.0 rebounds over the last four games, shooting a remarkable 71.4 percent from the field over the past eight contests.

14) Elfrid Payton looks like he’s going to get all the run he can handle in Phoenix for a Suns team with the third-highest Pace in the NBA, and his fantasy value is on the rise (although it remains to be seen how he’ll coexist with Devin Booker). But Phoenix’s frontcourt remains as messy as ever, as Tyson Chandler wasn’t dealt as hoped, and Alex Len has slumped badly of late. Dragan Bender has at least shown a pulse recently, while Marquese Chriss racked up five fouls in 16:40 of run Sunday, as his frustrating year continues.

15) The Suns, meanwhile, were behind 100-50 at one point during last week’s game versus the Spurs. At least Josh Jackson has flashed plenty of promise. He’s going to be a good one.

16) Over the last seven games, Mario Hezonja has averaged 15.3 points, 5.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.4 steals and 2.4 3pt, shooting 48.7 percent from the floor, yet he’s owned in less than a quarter of leagues.

17) Allen Crabbe has attempted 32 three-pointers over his last two games. He’s available in more than half of leagues.

18) Chris Paul leads the NBA in per-game +/-, while Nene leads in per-100 +/- and Eric Gordon leads in total +/-, as Houston continues to look dangerous.

19) Danilo Gallinari has averaged 21.0 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.6 3pt while shooting 52.2 percent from the field in five games since returning from injury, a span in which he’s been the No. 16 fantasy player. He’s going to see a strong Usage Rate until the next injury strikes.

20) The Clippers are a surprising 3-2 since dealing Blake Griffin, and the eighth spot in the West is there for the taking with New Orleans having lost DeMarcus Cousins. L.A. is in a battle for one of the last playoff spots with the Jazz, who have somehow won nine straight games and now appear nearly certain to make the postseason.

21) Meanwhile, the Grizzlies failed to trade Tyreke Evans or Marc Gasol and just lost by nearly 20 to a Thunder team that was missing Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony and Andre Roberson.

22) Markelle Fultz’s current shooting range is “within the paint.” That doesn’t sound ideal.

23) This Giannis Antetokounmpo slam is the early leader in the clubhouse for dunk of the year. 

24) LeBron James went into Boston with a bunch of brand new teammates and finished +23 in less than 28 minutes of action Sunday, leading to an easy Cleveland win in which they scored 121 points against the NBA’s best defense. Just ridiculous and punctuated by this dunk/staredown by J.R. Smith. The Cavs are winning the East again, in case that wasn’t clear before.

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