Wednesday night’s just got a lot more interesting with full NBA slates each week and plenty of close hard-fought games, last-second drama, and upsets throughout the whole night. 13 games filled up the night last night with another 13 coming up on Friday.
The biggest win of the night was the Clippers getting a nice win at home agains the previously undefeated Spurs. LA ran out early and ended up winning by 22. On the other end of the spectrum, the Lakers again suffered the worst loss as they fell to 1-4 after another underwhelming performance in Utah. The Rockets also lost a tough game as James Harden struggled and they fell to 0-2 at home as they lost to the Nuggets.
Here’s our daily list of the top five stars and five sleepers to know about if you’re already searching the waiver wire. Plus, since there were so many games today’s bonus five lists players who may be off to breakout campaigns based on last night’s good showing. For past posts, click here.
Starting 5 Fantasy Basketball Stars
1. Greg Monroe-Detroit Pistons: In 40 minutes on the floor, Monroe had his first career triple-double with 21 points, 11 assists, 12 rebounds, and a steal. The Pistons still fell short in their loss to the Kings, but for the second night in a row Monroe’s line was the best of the night.
2. David Lee-Golden State Warriors: Lee has 22 points, 14 boards, six assists, and three steals in the Warriors win over Cleveland. He contributes across the board without hurting percentages and has had a solid start to the season as expected. He didn’t have a triple-double, but his fantasy owners will take his stat-stuffing performance.
3. Marcin Gortat-Phoenix Suns: Gortat was a dream fantasy big-man for at least a night hitting 10-14 shots, 3-4 from the line and contributing 23 points, 10 boards, and seven blocks along with a steal and two assists. Gortat is a sneaky top-tier fantasy center averaging 4.2 blocks, 11.8 rebounds, and 15.0 points in the early going for Phoenix.
4. Kyrie Irving-Cleveland Cavaliers: Irving continues his emergence as a fantasy star. Last night against Golden State he had 28 points, four threes, six rebounds, and seven assists. He’s been able to pick up his game without hurting his percentages at all, and is rapidly joining the elite point guards in the game.
5. Rajon Rondo-Boston Celtics: Rondo continues to put up sick assist numbers finishing last night with 14 to go with his 18 points, four boards, and three steals. He played 44 minutes in the C’s overtime victory over visiting Washington and continues to average a double-double with 16 points and 12.5 assists per game. Hes a stud classic point guard who delivers assists and steals at an unequaled pace and chips in 14-20 points per game.
Other names with big games: LeBron James-Miami Heat, Dwyane Wade-Miami Heat, Andrea Bargnani-Toronto Raptors, Zach Randolph-Memphis Grizzlies, Jrue Holiday-Philadelphia 76ers, Kevin Garnett-Boston Celtics, Al Jefferson, Stephen Curry-Golden State Warriors, DeMarcus Cousins-Sacramento Kings, Blake Griffin-LA Clippers, Kobe Bryant-LA Lakers, Chris Kaman-Dallas Mavericks, Kenneth Faried-Denver Nuggets, Jeff Teague-Atlanta Hawks.
Starting 5 Fantasy Basketball Breakouts
1. DeAndre Jordan-LA Clippers: Jordan not only filled the SportsCenter top 10 with a series of intense throwdowns, but he also had a nice final line with 20 points, 11 rebounds, four blocks, and a pair of steals. Jordan has shown flashes of being ready to help CP3 and Griffin in the past, and it would be a huge step forward for LA if they production like this from Jordan.
2. Michael Beasley-Phoenix Suns: Beasley had his breakout for this season. We’ll see if he can sustain his growth, but his night last night in Charlotte was a reminder of how good he can be if he realizes his potential. He had 21 points, 15 rebounds, seven assists, three blocks, and a steal while playing 43 minutes for Phoenix in their 117-110 victory over Charlotte. It was his best game with his new team and the Suns and his fantasy owners hope it’s a sign of much more to come.
3. Amir Johnson-Toronto Raptors: Johnson played 29 minutes with Jonas Valanciunas in foul trouble and contributed 18 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, a steal, and a block in the Raptors road lass to the Mavs. Toronto is struggling and will remain committed to Valanciunas, but if Johnson gets the time he’s a double-double machine.
4. Byron Mullens-Charlotte Bobcats: Mullens had 24 points and eight rebounds last night as a follow up to his 16 and 10 against Dallas. He’s in a Charlotte starting lineup that needs to find scoring and can help your fantasy team if he gets this many looks. He hit six of his 10 three-pointers attempted last night.
5. George Hill-Indiana Pacers: Hill had his best game of the year with 20 points, 4 steals, a block, three rebounds, and five assists. He’s been in double-digits scoring the last three games, but needs to pick up his assist numbers. Until Danny Granger returns, he’ll need to be more of a scorer for Coach Frank Vogel and less of a facilitator. There’s still some good value to be had here.
Starting 5 Fantasy Basketball Sleepers
1. Shannon Brown-Phoenix Suns: Coming into the season, no one was sure of Shannon Brown’s role on the Suns bench and how much he would be able to contribute. After a slow start, he’s scored 18 and 24 points his last two games including knocking down six three-pointers last night against the Bobcats. He added a pair of assists and two rebounds, but his value as the Phoenix sixth-man and fantasy player is mainly in his scoring and shooting. He’s available in over 99% of leagues and could be a huge pickup going forward if he can maintain anything close to his current pace.
2. Carl Landry-Golden State Warriors: Continuing his surprising start off the bench for Golden State, Landry had 19 points and nine rebounds along with a block last night in 26 minutes of action. His minutes will continue to fluctuate as Andrew Bogut works his way back to full strength but he’s owned hi just half of ESPN leagues and can help you with points and boards for at least the immediate future.
3. Kevin Seraphin-Washington Wizards: Seraphin had 16 points, nine rebounds, three assists, and a block while playing starters minutes (36) despite coming off the bench. He debuted against Boston on Saturday with 19 points and 7 boards and could be around a 15 point-10 rebound a night contributor if he continues to see the floor time he is right now. He’s owned in just 13.3% of ESPN leagues as of now but expect that number to climb quickly.
4. Al-Farouq Aminu-New Orleans Hornets: Aminu had 16 rebounds and 10 points last night while adding a pair of steals and three assists. He’s been playing big minutes and contributing solid numbers across the board and now has two steals in each of the Hornets first four games. In a banged up lineup, look for Aminu to continue to step up. He’s available in 33% of leagues and is a solid pieckup at this point at least until all New Orleans’ players return healthy.
5. Randy Foye-Utah Jazz: Foye has assumed the scoring role in the second unit for the Jazz and hit five three pointers to help Utah past the Lakers finishing with 17 points, a block, and a rebound. He’s been in double-digits in four of the Jazz first five games and is averaging 13.6 points per game while shooting 46% from behind the arc. Foye is currently owned in only 2.5% of ESPN leagues.
Other nights worth noting: Luke Ridnour-Minnesota Timberwolves, A.J. Price-Washington Wizards, Ramon Sessions-Charlotte Bobcats, J.J. Redick-Orlando Magic.