By Gabe Allen, RotoWire
Special to Yahoo Sports
Last week, nearly half of the players I suggested suffered injuries or were lost to health and safety protocols before the new matchup period began. Given the way things have been going this month, it’s probably best to take these recommendations with a grain (or block) of salt. It also helps to stay on top of the news feed, as it seems like every few hours another player is placed in protocols.
All caveats aside, here are some players to consider adding in advance of Week 11.
Malik Beasley, Minnesota Timberwolves (41% rostered)
With multiple teammates in health and safety protocols, Beasley has earned at least 30 minutes in three straight games while turning in averages of 17.3 points, 4.3 threes, 3.7 dimes, 2.7 boards and 1.0 steal across 32.3 minutes. It’s anyone’s guess as to how long this recent surge will last, but Beasley has proven he can produce on this level before. In fact, it was just last season that he averaged 19.6 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.5 threes, 2.4 assists and 0.8 steals in 32.8 minutes through 37 appearances.
Jordan Nwora, Milwaukee Bucks (35% rostered)
Over the last four games, Nwora is nurturing averages of 18.8 points, 9.8 boards, 3.0 threes, 1.8 assists, 1.5 steals and 0.5 blocks in 34.5 minutes. Giannis Antetokounmpo (protocols) has sat out every one of these games, and several other starters and regular rotation players have missed time recently as well. Nevertheless, those in deeper leagues looking for a short-term option with sneaky long-term upside could do much worse. When the club is closer to full strength the opportunity may not be there anymore, but he has proven that talent is not the issue.
As such, when the minutes are there, now or in the future, Nwora is worthy of consideration.
Max Strus, Miami Heat (32% rostered)
Strus has been scorching hot of late for a ravaged Heat squad that embodies the “next man up” philosophy. Miami’s depth was the cause for much concern among pre-season prognosticators (myself included). Meanwhile, Strus, who had appeared in 41 games across two seasons before 2021-22, has been simply unstoppable over the last three outings, averaging 24.7 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.3 threes and 2.0 assists across 34.7 minutes.
Chimezie Metu, Sacramento Kings (32% rostered)
During the last five matchups, Metu is managing averages of 13.4 points, 8.0 boards, 2.0 steals, 1.5 assists, 0.8 blocks and 0.7 threes in 29.8 minutes. Richaun Holmes (eye) returned to the lineup for Wednesday’s contest against the Clippers but saw only 17 minutes. Meanwhile, Metu delivered a double-double across 31 minutes. Capable of occupying both the power forward and center positions, Metu is minimally worth a look as a streamer given that seven Kings remain in health and safety protocols.
Terance Mann, Los Angeles Clippers (28% rostered)
Mann has been a reliable enough contributor this season that he’s currently listed as a longshot (+15000) for Most Improved Player. Through his last seven showings, Mann is maintaining averages of 12.6 points, 6.4 boards, 2.6 assists, and 1.0 trey in 34.9 minutes.
Eric Bledsoe (28% rostered), on the other hand, has been incredibly inconsistent this season, but he’s coming off an impressive performance during Wednesday’s win over the Kings — in which he totaled 19 points, eight boards, and seven dimes across 36 minutes. He’s worth a look too, while backcourt mates Reggie Jackson (protocols) and Luke Kennard (hip) remain sidelined.
Cam Reddish, Atlanta Hawks (25% rostered)
With Atlanta as short-handed as any team in the league, Reddish recorded a career-high 34 points while adding six treys, four boards, four dimes and two blocks in 42 minutes during Wednesday’s win over Orlando. Not one to shy away offensively, at least not in recent memory, Reddish’s aggressiveness will be warmly welcomed, especially by those in points leagues.
Other Hawks worth considering include sophomore center Onyeka Okongwu (13% rostered), who has combined for 18 points, nine boards, three blocks, one dime and one steal in 33 minutes of action through his first two appearances of the season. Though the team may want to bring him along slowly following his lengthy injury absence, the situation at hand may dictate a more immediate uptick in minutes.
Delon Wright (6% rostered) is also worthy of consideration given his long track record of stuffing the stat sheet when opportunity knocks. He posted a serviceable line of nine points, seven boards, four assists and two steals in 39 minutes during Wednesday’s matchup versus the Magic.
Talen Horton-Tucker, Los Angeles Lakers (24% rostered)
Though his field-goal percentage (38.2%) leaves a lot to be desired, Horton-Tucker is providing decent counting stats this season, collecting 10.8 points, 4.4 boards, 2.8 assists, 1.2 steals, 0.9 threes and 0.5 blocks in 28.9 minutes through 16 appearances. With Anthony Davis (knee) sidelined for the next four-to-six weeks, Horton-Tucker will be among those expected to help pick up the slack on both ends for a Lakers team that has mostly struggled thus far. Furthermore, already sporting a career-high scoring average, Horton-Tucker could reach another level if he starts converting his shots at a clip closer to his career mark (43.9% FG).
Gary Harris, Orlando Magic (22% rostered)
Harris has scored in double figures in 10 of his last 11 appearances, including 16 points or more in five of the last seven. With December averages of 14.3 points (46.7% FG, 40.9% 3PT, 84.4% FT), 3.3 boards, 2.6 dimes, 2.0 threes and 1.0 steal in 32.7 minutes, Harris has looked a lot like the player who used to be a key cog for the Nuggets several seasons ago. Regular readers know I almost always advocate adding players such as Harris who have proven capable of contributing at a high level in the past. At 27, Harris could actually be entering the prime of his career after struggling with injuries and inconsistencies since his breakout year back in 2017-18.
Another Magic veteran to consider is Robin Lopez (20% rostered), who has been absolutely exceptional over the last three games while Mo Bamba (protocols) and Wendell Carter Jr. (leg) have been out. During this recent span, Lopez has produced 16.0 points, 7.3 boards, 6.0 dimes and 1.0 block in 34.0 minutes per game.
Kenyon Martin Jr., Houston Rockets (18% rostered)
Martin has scored in double figures in six straight showings, averaging 13.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.2 threes in 27.5 minutes during this recent stretch. With the Rockets relying heavily on their young talent, veteran frontcourt mate Daniel Theis has appeared in only six of the last nine games. As the campaign carries on, Martin’s minutes average (18.2 MPG) might eventually surpass the 23.7 minutes he earned as a rookie in 2020-21.
Coby White, Chicago Bulls (16% rostered)
With the Bulls backcourt in shambles, White went for 24 points, five treys, five boards and two assists in 32 minutes during Monday’s win over the Rockets. It’s rarely a good idea to add a player based on one good game, but this might be an occasion to make an exception, given Chicago’s current situation — that is, assuming you’re only searching for a streamer.
Cameron Payne, Phoenix Suns (16% rostered)
Payne has reached double figures in scoring in six straight games while averaging 13.0 points, 5.2 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 1.2 steals across 26.0 minutes. Most backup point guards can only dream of such heavy involvement. However, a well-oiled machine such as the Suns, which routinely wins games by double digits, facilitates the fantasy relevance of its second unit. Payne is an especially intriguing insurance policy for those already rostering Chris Paul.
Deni Avdija, Washington Wizards (10% rostered)
Avdija has been impressive on both ends lately, with averages of 13.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.7 threes in 26.0 minutes across the last three contests. More importantly, the sophomore forward is rapidly earning the trust of coach Wes Unseld Jr. and warrants consideration, especially in deeper leagues.
Hamidou Diallo, Detroit Pistons (4% rostered)
I’m still inhabiting Saben Lee island. Nevertheless, those searching for another Piston due to the absences of Cade Cunningham (protocols), Jerami Grant (thumb) and Kelly Olynyk (knee) should look no further than Diallo. During the last two games, Diallo has combined for 25 points, 13 boards, five steals and three dimes across 64 minutes, and he should continue earning ample minutes along the wing, at least in the short term.
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