With Devin Vassell set to miss a few weeks after undergoing an arthroscopic procedure on his left knee, the Spurs were primed for someone to step up as a solid streaming option. Romeo Langford (2% rostered, Yahoo leagues) has been Vassell's replacement in the starting lineup, but he's been hit-or-miss as far as the production is concerned. But he was solid in Friday's win over the Pistons, tallying 15 points, two rebounds, one assist, one steal, and one blocked shot in 29 minutes. The key for Langford was getting off to a good start, as this gave him a little more leeway for the remainder of the night.
And he isn't the only Spurs player worth a look moving forward, as Keldon Johnson exited Friday's game after 13 minutes with a left hamstring injury. Johnson's injury boosts not only Langford but rookie Malaki Branham (1% rostered) as well. Branham played 26 minutes off the bench, accounting for 14 points, two rebounds, three assists, one steal, and two 3-pointers. With the Spurs still having the second-worst record in the West and trailing 10th-place Utah by five games in the loss column, it's getting "late" quite early for the Spurs as far as reaching the postseason is concerned. With the on-court struggles and recent injuries, Branham and fellow rookie Jeremy Sochan (24%) will figure more prominently in the Spurs' rotation sooner rather than later.
Sochan has been a fixture in the starting lineup, and he recorded a line of 10 points, eight rebounds, two assists, one steal, and one blocked shot in 27 minutes Friday night. His fantasy value hasn't been great, with Sochan ranked outside the top 250 in 9-cat formats. Still, the versatility and place within the Spurs' rotation make him a solid pickup, especially with another game on the schedule for Saturday night (Boston at home).
Friday was a big night for Marshall, who was in the starting lineup for the second straight game. Marshall makes sense as a streamer with Zion Williamson (hamstring) out for at least three weeks and Brandon Ingram (toe) still without an official return date. And he rewarded fantasy managers in the loss to the Nets, scoring a career-high 23 points with nine rebounds, one assist, three steals, and three 3-pointers in 33 minutes.
At the very least, he's worth streaming until Ingram is cleared to play. But, as noted above, we still don't know what the Pelicans' medical staff will determine regarding Ingram's long-term availability. Alvarado also merits a mention, as he put up 17 points, five rebounds, two assists, and three 3-pointers in 32 minutes. His rostered percentage isn't as high as Marshall's, but Alvarado stands to benefit from the Pelicans having multiple injuries to deal with.
Daniel Gafford (38%)
Gafford has started Washington's last nine games, and despite providing 6th-round value in 9-cat formats over the last two weeks, he's still rostered in less than 40% of Yahoo leagues. Gafford finished Friday's loss to the Thunder with 15 points, nine rebounds, two assists, and one blocked shot in 25 minutes. The rebounds, blocks, and field-goal percentage numbers make Gafford a worthwhile pickup, especially with his role now being that of a starter.
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Max Strus (26%)
With Tyler Herro (back) ruled out, Strus was in the starting lineup for the first time since Miami's New Year's Eve win over the Jazz. Playing 38 minutes, he recorded a line of 19 points, two rebounds, three assists, one steal, one block, and five 3-pointers. Strus shot just 5-of-15 from the field, but two important fourth-quarter 3-pointers salvaged the night (and helped push the Heat over the finish line) scoring-wise. A bit limited as a fantasy option when coming off the bench, Strus is a must-stream when inserted into the starting lineup. And with Jimmy Butler still working to get his knee back to full strength, this won't be the last time Strus gets streamed.
Given his current role within the Timberwolves' rotation, Anderson's rostered percentage remains lower than it should be. He played 31 minutes in Friday's win over the Clippers, accounting for 12 points, seven rebounds, six assists, one block, and two 3-pointers. Anderson has good chemistry with Rudy Gobert, and Anthony Edwards exiting Friday's win with a sore left hip (the one he fell on in Milwaukee on December 30) could enhance SloMo's fantasy value even more in the short term. At the very least, fantasy managers can bank on Anderson being in the starting lineup until Karl-Anthony Towns (calf) is cleared to play.
Edwards' early departure also impacts Nowell, who has been a 13th-round player over the last two weeks. He logged 18 minutes off the bench, scoring 14 points with six assists, one steal, and one 3-pointer. Nowell's best opportunities recently have come when D'Angelo Russell has been sidelined, but this would be another shot at fantasy relevance if Edwards cannot play Sunday night against the Rockets. Last but not least is Taurean Prince (1%), who has the most to gain if back spasms keep Naz Reid sidelined. Reid played nine minutes Friday night, with Prince accounting for 10 points, three rebounds, one assist, and three 3-pointers in 26 minutes. That was far more than either Nathan Knight or Luka Garza, who played three apiece.
Philadelphia's situation at the center position has been muddled with Joel Embiid (calf) out of the lineup. Doc Rivers went small for the second straight game, starting P.J. Tucker at the five, and they were bludgeoned on the glass by Nikola Vučević and the Bulls. Harrell got a longer look and did well offensively, scoring 17 points, but he only grabbed four rebounds. With Harrell playing 23 minutes and Paul Reed seven, we can all put our "BBall Paul" pompoms away. Even though he isn't a center, Niang is a more reliable frontcourt streaming option for managers in need, as he's reached double figures in each of his last three games. Playing 20 minutes in Friday's loss, the "Minivan" motored along to 12 points, three rebounds, one assist, and four 3-pointers.
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Duane Washington Jr. (2%)
Washington did not begin Friday as a viable streaming candidate. But that changed when Chris Paul remained in the locker room for the second half of the Suns' loss to the Heat due to a sore right hip. With CP3 and Devin Booker (groin) sidelined, multiple Suns' fantasy values increase, including Washington's. Playing 25 minutes off the bench, he finished Friday's loss with a line of 13 points (5-of-18 FGs, 2-of-2 FTs), two rebounds, seven assists, one steal, and one 3-pointer. Not the best stat line shooting-wise, but the seven assists are key given Phoenix's lack of playmakers (Cam Payne has also been out). Landry Shamet (22% rostered) and Damion Lee (4%) would be priority adds if Paul can't play in Sunday's game against the Cavs, but don't ignore Washington.
Kendrick Nunn (1%)
Nunn is similar to Washington in that he wasn't on anyone's fantasy radar (and rightfully so) as recently as Friday afternoon. But then Austin Reaves (hamstring) joined Lonnie Walker IV (knee) on the sideline, which opened up minutes for Nunn. And he took full advantage of the opportunity, finishing the Lakers' win over the Hawks with 23 points, three rebounds, two assists, one steal, and three 3-pointers in 27 minutes off the bench. Consistent playing has been an issue for Nunn this season, but that should not be the case now, making him worth the risk. And it should also be noted that Dennis Schröder's still rostered in 32% of Yahoo leagues. His value will also be enhanced with Reaves and Walker sidelined for at least two weeks.