Thefree4talk 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 around the league.
Atlanta Hawks: The Hawks fired head coach Nate McMillan on Tuesday. Surprisingly one of the big issues with Atlanta during his tenure was the team's defense. Over each of the last three seasons, the Hawks have ranked in the bottom half of the league in defensive efficiency.
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Boston Celtics: Jayson Tatum has had 32 games this season with 30 or more points. This is the most in a season by a Celtics player since 2001-02 when Paul Pierce had 33. Malcolm Brogdon has had five games this season with 25 or more points off the bench, which is second most in the Eastern Conference.
Brooklyn Nets: As a result of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving's departures, the Nets roster has been turned over. One player who will benefit from this is Mikal Bridges, a key player in Phoenix who Suns fans were sad to see go. Last week, Bridges joined Durant, Irving and Cam Thomas as the only Nets players to score 40 points this season. Monitor the Nets closely to see if Bridges continues to receive significant usage because if so, there could be many more big games coming from Brooklyn's prized new addition.
Charlotte Hornets: Mark Williams now has an opportunity to play more minutes after the Hornets traded Mason Plumlee to the Clippers. Williams has averaged 19.1 points and 14.1 rebounds per 40 minutes this season and is only rostered in 14.7% of ESPN leagues.
Chicago Bulls:Lonzo Ball continues to experience discomfort during basketball activities despite arthroscopic knee surgery before the season, and the Bulls announced this week that Ball has been shut down for the season. Over the past year, there hasn't been much good news regarding Ball's knee, with most updates suggesting they have no idea why it isn't healing. The Bulls have signed Patrick Beverley to help address their point guard woes.
Cleveland Cavaliers: Donovan Mitchell has had 21 games this season with 30 or more points. It's been a great season for him and for Darius Garland. Looking elsewhere on the Cavs, fantasy managers should consider Caris LeVert whenever looking for a streaming option, especially in games Ricky Rubio is ruled out.
Dallas Mavericks:In his career, Luka Doncic has scored 35 or more points in 65 games. This breaks a tie with Damian Lillard for the fourth most since entering the league during the 2018-19 season. Doncic and Kyrie Irving are just a few games into being teammates and learning how to play together in Dallas, who are currently the sixth seed in the Western Conference. With the conference being so competitive, every game is a must win for the Mavericks. Fantasy managers can expect Doncic to continue to deliver in these circumstances.
Denver Nuggets:If you need a streamer don't overlook Bruce Brown. He scored 30 or more fantasy points twice in the last three games. Even if Jamal Murray returns from right knee inflammation on Thursday against the Cavaliers, Brown should still be used in lineups for managers in deeper formats.
Detroit Pistons: James Wiseman didn't start against the Celtics on Feb. 15, but did split minutes fairly evenly with starter Jalen Duren. Wiseman finished with 11 points and five rebounds. It's important to keep an eye on him since he's only rostered in 13.3% of ESPN leagues and has a chance to make an impact on his new squad. There was a reason the Pistons traded for Wiseman.
Golden State Warriors:There is still no timeframe for the return of Stephen Curry, who has been out since early February due to a left leg injury. He has begun some individual on-court workouts and will be evaluated in a week. In the meantime fantasy managers in need of a streamer should add Donte DiVincenzo. Over the last six games, DiVincenzo has averaged 12.8 points, 1.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.5 steals.
Houston Rockets:Jabari Smith Jr. has yet to live up to the hype after being selected No. 3 overall last June. However, he did have one of his most productive game against the Thunder on Feb. 15, scoring 41 fantasy points. Smith Jr. may receive more minutes now that Eric Gordon has been traded to the Clippers, and the talented rookie is only rostered in 36.8% of ESPN leagues.
Indiana Pacers:Buddy Hield has already made 230 3s this season, which is the most in a season by a Pacers player since Reggie Miller made 229 in 1996-97. Meanwhile, Myles Turner continues to outperform his average draft position, putting up 17.9 points and 8.0 rebounds this season -- both career highs.
LA Clippers: With the Clippers lacking depth at the point guard position, Russell Westbrook has found himself in an ideal situation and is in a perfect position to accumulate stats. Westbrook led the league in assists per game when he was Paul George's teammate from 2017-19 in Oklahoma City.
Los Angeles Lakers:Malik Beasley was one of the players acquired by the Lakers prior to the trade deadline as they sought proven talent and perimeter shooting. Playing alongside LeBron James, Anthony Davis and D'Angelo Russell, he should have plenty of open looks. Beasley is only rostered in 39.1% of ESPN leagues. The Lakers close out the season with 13 of their 23 games at home and also have an extremely favorable schedule.
Memphis Grizzlies:Jaren Jackson Jr. has delivered on the hype this season, putting up 16.9 PPG, a career-high 6.7 RPG, 1.1 SPG and a career-best 3.3 BPG. Against the Jazz on Feb. 15, he became the first Grizzlies player with four blocks and four steals in a game since Rudy Gay in 2010.
Miami Heat:It's a fresh start for Kevin Love now that he's on a different Eastern Conference playoff team. Fantasy managers should be excited about this move. Since the Heat don't have much depth behind Bam Adebayo, Love is a crucial rotation player. With 10.5 rebounds per game during his lengthy NBA career, Love should immediately boost the Heat in the rebounding department, where they rank 27th with 41.4 RPG.
Milwaukee Bucks:The heart of fantasy managers skipped a collective beat when Giannis Antetokounmpo sprained a ligament in his right wrist in last Thursday's game against the Bulls. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Monday that he should be able to return to the lineup once the pain subsides after being examined in New York. Antetokounmpo also became one of 10 players leading a franchise in all-time points and assists.
Suns-Bucks, 1 p.m. (ABC)
Lakers-Mavs, 3:30 p.m. (ABC)
Timberwolves-Warriors, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Clippers-Nuggets, 10 p.m. (ESPN)
Cavaliers-Celtics, 7:30 p.m.
Pelicans-Trail Blazers, 10 p.m.
*All times Eastern
Minnesota Timberwolves: In three of the last four seasons, Karl-Anthony Towns has missed significant time. Kyle Anderson has benefited from his absence this season, and is only rostered in 16.1% of ESPN leagues. In games where Anderson played 30 or more minutes this season, he has averaged 11.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 5.9 assists. Towns isn't expected to return until the final 10-15 games of the regular season, at best.
New Orleans Pelicans:Zion Williamson has averaged 26.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 4.6 assists this season, but his lack of availability continues to be a problem. In the last four seasons, Williamson has played in just 114 of 287 games for the Pelicans. An aggravation of his hamstring injury has extended Williamson's absence beyond the All-Star break, and while Williamson is out Jonas Valanciunas should continue to benefit from a fantasy perspective.
New York Knicks: Mitchell Robinson is recovering from a fractured thumb, but he participated in practice for two consecutive days this week. Robinson has averaged 7.2 points and 8.9 rebounds per game this season, and both Jericho Sims and Isaiah Hartenstein will be off of the streaming radar as soon as he returns.
Oklahoma City Thunder:It has been a pleasant surprise to fantasy managers that the Thunder haven't tanked, in large part due to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. His 42 games with 25 or more points this season are the second most in the league behind Tatum (45). Gilgeous-Alexander has been superb in both category and points formats and is looking like a first-round talent in 2023 fantasy drafts.
Orlando Magic:Despite being the frontrunner to win Rookie of the Year, Paolo Banchero's field goal percentages and turnovers have hurt his fantasy value, especially in category formats. He has averaged 16.7 points, 7.7 rebounds and 3.2 assists over the last six games. Banchero's field goal percentage during that time frame is 38.3%. Just something to keep an eye on.
Philadelphia 76ers:Joel Embiid has had 12 games this season with at least 25 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. In all formats, he has performed well for fantasy managers. Meanwhile, De'Anthony Melton remains a viable streamer. He's averaged 27.2 fantasy points per game this season and is only rostered in 34.5% of ESPN leagues. Melton's minutes are influenced by two factors: rest and rhythm, according to head coach Doc Rivers.
Phoenix Suns: The addition of Kevin Durant is huge for the Suns who now according to Caesars Sportsbook are +450 to win the NBA championship, the second shortest odds only to the Celtics at +325. Durant, Chris Paul and Devin Booker are exceptional at creating their own shot. As per Second Spectrum, all three rank among the top-five in made off-the-dribble jumpers per game over the last five seasons.
Portland Trail Blazers: Anfernee Simons is out for the foreseeable future due to a sprained right ankle and there is no timeline for his return. Shaedon Sharpe benefits from Simons' absence. Four consecutive games have seen him score 20 or more fantasy points, including two with more than 38 points. Sharpe is only rostered in 4.7% of ESPN leagues.
Sacramento Kings: Malik Monk has been dealing with a right ankle sprain, but practiced on Tuesday and is expected to play against the Trail Blazers on Thursday. A viable streamer in point and category formats, he can supply you with points, triples and assists. Monk is only rostered in 12.4% of ESPN leagues.
San Antonio Spurs: The Spurs are on of the worst teams in the league with a 14-45 record, which should position younger players on the team to play significant minutes. It is worth keeping an eye on Jeremy Sochan, who is rostered in 7.9% of ESPN leagues, and Malaki Branham, who is rostered in 6.5% of leagues. Branham is my favorite of the two. In two consecutive games, the rookie has played 29 or more minutes and scored 36 or more fantasy points.
Toronto Raptors:Jakob Poeltl has scored 34 or more fantasy points in each of his last two starts for the Raptors. Prior to the trade deadline, Toronto needed an upgrade at the center position, which led them to trade for Poeltl. Against the Magic on Feb. 14, Poeltl became the third player in league history with 30 points, an 85% field goal percentage and zero free throw attempts in a game, joining Klay Thompson and David Robinson.
Utah Jazz:Collin Sexton has been ruled out of Thursday's game against the Thunder due to a left hamstring injury and won't be re-evaluated until Monday, Feb. 27, so he can be counted out for Saturday's game against the Spurs. Talen Horton-Tucker is on the streaming radar for managers in deeper formats. He has averaged 18.5 points, 6.0 rebounds and 6.9 points per 40 minutes this season and has had to run point with Mike Conley no longer on the roster.
Washington Wizards:Even though Bradley Beal has yet to practice since the Wizards returned from All-Star break, his status as questionable for Friday's game should be a positive sign. Over the last five games, Beal has averaged 27.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 1.4 steals.
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