On this election day, once you’ve exercised your right to participate in the election process, check out what went down last night in the NBA. There were eight games across the country last night, and the big winners were the Knicks moving to 3-0 and the Wolves coming back from 22 down to beat the Nets in Brooklyn. On the flipside, the toughest losses were the Clippers falling at home to Cleveland and the Pacers who just were crushed by the Spurs in San Antonio.
Each day our starting 5 (archive here) provides you a list of five stars who lit it up and five sleepers to make sure to take notice of as you continue on your path to fantasy hoops glory.
Fantasy Basketball Stars Starting 5
1. Marc Gasol-Memphis Grizzlies: Gasol had probably the best line from last night with 22 points, eight rebounds, eight assists, a perfect 10-10 from the free throw line, and three blocks. Gasol is the most reliable and well-balanced C in the league although he normall doesn’t put up sick point totals like Dwight Howard.
2. O.J. Mayo-Dallas Mavericks: Mayo was a preseason sleeper I bought into in his new role in Dallas and he looked great last night as he went off for 32 against the Blazers hitting six triples and adding a pair of rebounds, two steals, and an assist. When his shot is on, he’ll be a great fantasy player, and it was definitely on last night.
3. DeMarcus Cousins-Sacrament0 Kings: Boogey broke out with 23 points and 15 rebounds to go with a pair of plcks, a couple steals, and an assist. Cousins is a dynamic talent but has started the year slow. He’s still going to have plenty of good days so hold him if you drafted him and hunt him if some joker in your league is selling right now.
4. Kyrie Irving-Cleveland Cavaliers: Irving led the Cavs to a big win over LA hitting a three and free throws late to ice the game and finish with 24 points, 10 assists, three rebounds, and a steal. Irving is truly emerging as an elite point guard and outplayed CP3 statistically in this one.
5. LeBron James-Miami Heat: LeBron finished up with 23 points and 11 boards to go with an assist and a pair of three-pointers in just 30 minutes. He didn’t explode, but another solid night from the #1 overall fantasy player in the game as the Heat trounced the Suns.
Other Big Names with Big Games: Deron Williams-Brooklyn Nets, Darren Collison-Dallas Mavericks, Dwyane Wade-Miami Heat, J.R. Smith-New York Knicks, Zach Randolph Memphis Grizzlies, Anderson Varejao-Cleveland Cavaliers.
Fantasy Basketball Sleepers Starting 5
1. Andrei Kirilenko-Minnesota Timberwolves: Kirlenko was going in the 10th round of drafts and is still unowned in some leagues. Kirilenko is showing signs of a return to form so far in Minnesota and last night he had 16 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, four blocks and a steal. In his three games this year, AK47 has been in double-digits in every game averaging 6.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists, and 2.0 blocks. Kirilenko should be owned and started in almost every format and offers an incredible amount of versatility.
2. Dion Waiters-Cleveland Cavaliers: Waiters played 32 minutes in the Cavs win in LA and hit seven three-pointers on his way to 28 points along with three rebounds and an assist. So far this year, he’s been in double-digits in three of four games. He hasn’t filled up the stat sheet in any other category but can give you some three’s, a couple rebounds, and a good amount of scoring if you need some bench depth. He’s available in some leagues on the waiver wire and his average draft position but him in the mid-11th round.
3. Shannon Brown-Phoenix Suns: Brown had 18 more points last night in Miami bringing his average to 11.5 through the first four games for Phoenix. Brown is the min scorer off the bench and had solid peripherals last night with three boards, two assists, a block, and a steal. He’s only owned in 0.4% of leagues but can give you points, threes, and assists as the Suns sixth man and could really pay off if he makes his way into the starting lineup.
4. Chase Buddinger-Minnesota Timberwolves: Buddinger came off the Minnesota bench with 16 points, six rebounds, a pair of threes, an assist, and a steal. The bench is crowded in Minnesota, but while Kevin Love is out he should get continuing opportunities to play, hit thres, and get som rebounds. He’s owned in under 1% of ESPN leagues but could add at least in the short term to many fantasy teams.
5. Derrick Favors-Utah Jazz: Favors is available in over half of ESPN leagues and played a season-high 26 minutes. He finished with 14 points, eight rebounds, an assist, a block, and three steals in the Jazz loss to Memphis. When Favors gets floor time he’s a solid source of boards, points, and blocks, but he struggles to get consistent playing time behind Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson. He’ll be a instant pickup if either of the Jazz bigs go down, but will have limited value in his current role.