Dose: The Process Continues

Tommy Beer highlights the most impressive individual stats posted during preseason play

We had some big-name players on the docket Tuesday night and it would be tough to be disappointed with the fantasy output we got from most of them. There was no shortage of high-powered teams on the court, as the Cavs, Warriors, and Spurs all took the court. With monster games from James Harden, Anthony Davis, and yes...Joel Embiid...we have lots to talk about, so let's get to it.

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Champs Keep Rolling

The Cavs continued their perfect start to the season with a 128-120 win over the Rockets that featured big games from (surprise!) LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love. James flirted with a triple-double in putting up 19 points, 13 boards, eight assists, and one three-pointer, while Irving had the hot hand to start the game and finished with 32 points, two rebounds, four assists, and four treys. Kevin Love continued his strong start to the season and put up 24 points to go with five rebounds, two steals, one block, and one-three pointer. J.R. Smith’s five three-pointers (15 points, three boards, two assists), the Cavs didn’t get much from their supporting cast. Tristan Thompson had 10 rebounds, but failed to top five points for the third time in four games. While we’ll see a few rogue games from guys like Channing Frye, Mike Dunleavy, and Iman Shumpert when LeBron’s inevitable rest days come up, there isn’t a ton of standard-league fantasy value outside of the Cavs’ Big 3 right now (and yes, J.R. Smith and Thompson do have some end-of-roster value).

James Harden came up HUGE again in the loss with 41 points, seven rebounds, 15 assists, one steal, and five threes and hit the 15-assist mark for the second time in four games this season. Harden’s fantasy owners can breathe easy as his ankle looked fine while he continued his assault for the mantle of top fantasy player. Eric Gordon joined the fun with 16 points, two rebounds, three assists, two steals, and four threes. With Patrick Beverly out, Gordon has carved out some solid fantasy value for himself as long as he can stay on the court. Trevor Ariza avoided a concussion scare when he left the game in the third quarter, but his five stiches didn’t stop him from finishing with 11 points, two assists, and three treys. Nene had a the better big-man game for the Rockets as he finished with 13 points, five rebounds, four assists, and one three-pointer, as compared to Clint Capela’s eight points, four rebounds, one assist, and one block, and Ryan Anderson’s 12 points, four rebounds, one assist, and four three-pointers. Anderson (and somewhat Capela) is still the player to own, but Nene will have some value in deeper leagues if he can stay healthy.

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The Process Continues

Joel Embiid’s hot start didn’t end Tuesday night as the big man put up a monster line of 18 points, 10 rebounds, three assists, and four blocks in 25 minutes in a 103-101 loss to the Magic. Embiid will sit on Wednesday, but his owners have to be thrilled with the start to his NBA career. Dario Saric finally showed up in the loss, as well, with 21 points, three rebounds, one assist, one steal, and three treys. His 31 minutes may take a bit of a hit with Ersan Ilyasova head to Philadelphia, but this game shows the youngster is worth an add in standard leagues. Sergio Rodriguez double-doubled with 12 points, 11 rebounds, and two three-pointers, while Robert Covington struggled with his shot while filling up the rest of his zero-point, five rebound, one assist, three steal, two block stat line. Both players are worth owning in standard leagues, while Covington makes for a strong buy-low target, as well. Gerald Henderson (18 points) and Hollis Thompson (22 points) both pitched in on Tuesday, but neither are must-own players in most leagues. Jahlil Okafor (knee) looks like he may play (and start) on Wednesday and could make for a sneaky DFS start with both Embiid and Nerlens Noel out against the Hornets.

The Magic got a big game out of Nikola Vucevic with 24 points, 14 rebounds, four assists, one steal, and one block in the win, while Serge Ibaka scored a season-high 21 points to go with four rebounds and two blocks. While both players are starting the season strong, Aaron Gordon went in the wrong direction with seven points, two rebounds, four assists, and three steals on 3-of-10 shooting. Owners shouldn’t panic too much, however, and better games are on the horizon. Elfrid Payton put up a few season highs in a line of 18 points, three rebounds, 10 assists, two steals, a block and one three. Payton can be frustrating to own, but games like this make it worthwhile.

Indianapolis 500

The Pacers continued their high-scoring ways with 115 points in the win over the Lakers on Tuesday. Paul George led the way with seven rebounds, one assist, four steals, one block, two treys and six turnovers, while Myles Turner came back to Earth and “only” scored nine points with six rebounds, two assists, and two blocks. Owners can’t be psyched about that output, but Turner has more than carried his weight thus far. Jeff Teague continued to struggle with nine points on 4-of-15 shooting with six rebounds, six assists, two steals, one trey and three turnovers in 33 minutes, but there’s nothing to worry about here as he’s playing in a high-pace offense and will get things going eventually. Thaddeus Young scored 14 points with six rebounds, three assists, one block, two steals and two treys in 28 minutes, while Monte Ellis (17 points) and C.J. Miles (16 points) had solid games and are both worth a look as end-of-roster players.

The Lakers struggled across the board on Tuesday with mediocre games from D’Angelo Russell (11 points), Luol Deng (10 points), and Nick Young (eight points). Louis Williams lead the team with 19 points while Jordan Clarkson (15 points) and Julius Randle (nine points, 10 rebounds) were other minor bright spots for the Lakers. Struggles like this are bound to happen for the young Lakers, but Russell, Randle, and Clarkson are all still worth owning in standard leagues. Timofey Mozgov will undergo a CT scan on his left eye on Wednesday after suffering a contusion against the Pacers, and Tarik Black will make for a cheap DFS start on Wednesday if Mozgov sits.

Enter the Dragon

The Heat took down the Kings by a score of 108-96 and were led by 25 points, eight rebounds, eight assists, two steals, two blocks, and five three-pointers from Goran Dragic. The Heat also got big contributions from Dion Waiters (20 points) and Hassan Whiteside (14 points, 11 rebounds), and Tyler Johnson (22 points). Whiteside and Dragic are must-own players, but both Waiters and Johnson are worth a look while Josh Richardson is out.

Rudy Gay (30 points, 12 rebounds) and DeMarcus Cousins (30 points, seven rebounds) led the way for the Kings, while Arron Afflalo put up 18 points, three rebounds, and one steal. Ty Lawson only put up two points to go along with five rebounds and four assists, but he’s worth holding onto until Darren Collison comes back from suspension.

Team Tobias

Tobias Harris made #TeamTobias happy with 25 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and a block in 36 minutes on Tuesday. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope hit 7-of-11 shots on his way to putting up 19 points, three rebounds, three assists, one steal, and four threes, while Markieff Morris scored a season-high 22 points to go with four rebounds, one assist, one steal, and two three-pointers. Both players can be inconsistent, but are worth a look in standard leagues for their upside. Andre Drummond (nine points, 13 rebounds) and Ish Smith (10 points, eight assists) both had solid games, but the Pistons didn’t get much from their bench.

Carmelo Anthony scored a season-high 24 points, two rebounds, four steals, and two threes, while Derrick Rose put up 19 points, five rebounds, two assists and a block in 32 minutes. Rose has topped 30 minutes in all three of New York’s games and is worth offering as a sell-high candidate if his strong play continues Joakim Noah only scored two points, but still put up 12 rebounds, eight assists, and two blocks in the loss. Noah is a tough own in standard fantasy leagues, but he’s worth a bench spot for his potential upside if he stays healthy. Brandon Jennings had 12 points, two rebounds, three assists, and two three-pointers, but doesn’t have much value in standard leagues while Rose is healthy.

AD Keeps Rolling

Giannis Antetokounmpo led the way for the Bucks with 25 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists, one steal, two blocks and one three, and continued his strong start to the season in a win over the Pelicans. Tony Snell scored 13 points to go with 10 rebounds, two assists, and three treys, while Malcolm Brogdon scored 14 points with four assists, two rebounds, four steals, and one three. Both players are worth a look in deeper leagues, but Snell is worth monitoring just in case he proves this is more the rule than the exception. Matthew Dellevedova put up a strong line of 11 points, five rebounds, eight assists, two steals, and two threes, while Jabari Parker added 21 points in the win.

Anthony Davis had 35 points in the loss to go with 15 rebounds, two assists, three steals and three blocks in 37 minutes. He’s had top-3 value to start the season, but it’s never a bad idea to see if you can sell-high for a king’s ransom on the injury-prone star. Tim Frazier (20 points, nine assists, four steals), E’Twaun Moore (17 points), and Solomon Hill (18 points, six rebounds, four assists, two steals, and three treys) all pitched in solid efforts. Both Frazier and Hill are worth owning in standard leagues, while Moore’s value is limited to deeper leagues.

LaVine Takes Control

Zach LaVine put up 31 points to go with four rebounds, two assists, and five three-pointers on 11-of-19 shooting and looked like the mid-round pick his fantasy owners expected in a 116-80 blow-out of Memphis. Kris Dunn started and put up 10 points, six assists, four rebounds, five steals, two treys. Make sure he's not on your waiver wire with Ricky Rubio (elbow) out. Gorgui Dieng scored 17 points with six rebounds, two assists, three steals, and two blocks, while Andrew Wiggins (17 points) and Karl-Anthony Towns (11 points, 10 rebounds) both helped the cause in the win.

There's not much to write about in terms of the Memphis disaster of a game with Mike Conley and Marc Gasol resting, but Deyonta Davis (17 points), Andrew Harrison (12 points), and Troy Williams (14 points) were the highlights of the Grizzlies bad night. While all three are worth monitoring, there isn't a fantasy move to be made here with Conley and Gasol only sitting one night. Tony Allen's season-debut was silver lining for the evening, but he only scored four points as he'll need some time to shake off the rust.

Jazz Deny Popovich

Spurs had coach Gregg Popovich has never started with a 5-0 team and the Jazz continued that streak by handing the Spurs their first loss of the season in a 106-91 win on Tuesday. George Hill led the way with 22 points, two rebounds, seven assists, one steal, and three treys, while Rodney Hood poured in 19 points of his own with five rebounds, one assist, one steal, and four three-pointers. Both players are benefitting from the absence of Gordon Hayward, but both are worth owning in standard leagues for the time being. Derrick Favors only scored six points in 16 minutes in his first start of the season, while his fellow big man Rudy Gobert only put up six points to go with 12 boards. Favors will get better as he gets healthy, and Gobert’s blocks will come as this was his first game of the season without one. Trey Lyles looked good off the Jazz bench with 15 points, seven rebounds, three assists, two blocks and two 3-pointers, but he’s more of a player to watch than scoop up, as Boris Diaw sat on Tuesday.

Kawhi Leonard was the bright spot for the Spurs in a disappointing home loss with 30 points, seven rebounds, two assists, two steals, and five treys, while LaMarcus Alrdidge put up 21 points, four boards, one assist, and one block. Pau Gasol owners have to be worried a bit, as his stat line of eight points, eight rebounds, two assists, and three blocks has become more of the rule than the exception thus far. Gasol will have his bigger games as the season progresses, but fantasy owners may end up being a little disappointed with the big man if they took him in the earlier rounds of drafts.

Dubs Dominate Blazers

Steph Curry scored 28 points to go with four rebounds, three assists, one steal, and five treys in the 127-104 win, while Kevin Durant put up 20 points, five rebounds, two assists, four steals, and one block in 31 minutes. The two have been able to coexist thus far and while they’ll likely keep each other from challenging for the top overall spot in fantasy, fantasy owners can’t complain about their output thus far. Draymond Green owners fall in the same category as the big man only scored six points, but put up a juicy stat line of eight rebounds, nine assists, three steals, two blocks, and one three-pointer. Klay Thompson had a rough game in shooting 6-of-17 from the field for 14 points, five rebounds, four assists, and zero threes (0-for-7 from downtown). Ian Clark hit 8-of-8 shots for a career-high 22 points in 25 minutes, but can be left on waiver wires in standard leagues for now.

Damian Lillard led the way for the Blazers with 31 points in the loss to go along with two assists, one rebound, one steal and four treys, while C.J. McCollum (16 points) and Al-Farouq Aminu (six points, 10 rebounds, three assists, three steals, and one block) were the other lone bright spots for the Blazers in an otherwise forgettable game. Evan Turner scored a season-high 14 points, and Jake Lyman put up 17 points in eight minutes, but neither are a must-own in standard leagues right now (especially Layman).