Thanksgiving Week Fantasy Basketball Recap: Notes on All 30 Teams

Thanksgiving Week Fantasy Basketball Recap: Notes on All 30 Teams

This article is part of our NBA Daily Recap series.

While many of us were busy eating turkey or watching football this past week, there happened to be a great week of NBA action going on. To help catch you up on what you may have missed over the holiday, here is a fantasy takeaway from each team:

Atlanta Hawks 

Okongwu getting run

  • While the 21-year-old center did not quite impress over the weekend, Onyeka Okongwu made his first two starts of the season with Clint Capela (mouth) forced to the sidelines. The USC product averaged 5.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 1.5 steals and 2.0 blocks over 33.5 minutes per game during his two starts.
  • Across his eight career games in which he's played at least 30 minutes, Okongwu is averaging 11.9 points, 9.3 rebounds and 2.4 blocks. While the exact extent of Capela's injury is unclear, Okongwu is a solid fantasy play if the veteran center is forced to remain out. He's rostered in fewer than 10 percent of ESPN leagues.

Boston Celtics

No Tatum, no problem

  • Jayson Tatum (shoulder) missed his first game of the season Sunday, but the Celtics were still able to defeat the Wizards 130-121. Albeit it was just one contest, this gives us our first opportunity to see how the Celtics adjust without Tatum in the lineup. Jaylen Brown carried the load with a season-best 36 points (13-23 FG, 2-7 3Pt, 8-8 FT), five rebounds, and two assists across 34 minutes of play. Brown saw his usage rate jump from 31.4 to 35.4 in his lone game without Tatum.
  • Marcus Smart also saw an increased opportunity, ending the win with 14 points (5-8 FG, 2-4 3Pt, 2-2 FT), four rebounds and seven assists across 27 minutes. The defensive-minded guard's usage percentage rose from his usual 16.6 rating to a 21.8 mark Sunday.

Brooklyn Nets

Big Three rounding into form?

  • The trio of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and Ben Simmons have played a total of 11 games altogether and four of those contests came in the past week. Brooklyn may have split its contests, but this week gave us a good opportunity to see how the Nets' offense will look going forward. Here is how the Nets' Big Three performed across their four appearances last week:
    • Kevin Durant: 24.8 points (18.8 FGA), 6.5 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 1.8 blocks across 36.3 minutes per game.
      • 30th overall nine-category option over the last week
    • Kyrie Irving: 23.5 points (17.0 FGA), 3.0 rebounds and 3.8 assists across 33.7 minutes.
      • 35th overall nine-category option over the last week
    • Ben Simmons: 11.8 points (6.8 FGA), 6.8 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 2.3 steals and 1.5 blocks across 33.2 minutes per game.
      • 27th overall nine-category option over the last week
  • It does seem that the addition of Ben Simmons will hinder Irving's fantasy value due to his role in the playmaking department. However, overall this week certainly proves that all three of Brooklyn's stars can produce solid fantasy numbers together. 

Charlotte Hornets

Hayward catches the injury bug

  • The Hornets can't buy an injury break with Gordon Hayward being out of the foreseeable future due to a shoulder injury. Jalen McDaniels figures to be the biggest beneficiary from Hayward's injury. McDaniels started his only appearance without Hayward this weekend, finishing with eight points (3-9 FG, 0-3 3Pt, 2-2 FT), six rebounds and three steals across 31 minutes. While his fantasy numbs are not standout, McDaniels is a fine pick-up in deeper leagues.

Chicago Bulls

DeRozan sparks the turnaround

  • Entering the week on a four-game losing streak, things were looking pretty ugly for the Bulls. However, Chicago was able to turn things around with wins over both the Bucks and Celtics. DeMar DeRozan carried the load for the Bulls, averaging 31.3 points, 5.4 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 1.3 steals across 38.3 minutes per game while ranking as the 19th overall nine-category fantasy option this week. Chicago now sits at 8-11 throughout as we near the quarter mark of the season. 

Cleveland Cavlaiers

Staying sharp

  • The Cavaliers dealt with injuries to Caris LeVert (ankle), Jarrett Allen (hip), Kevin Love (thumb) and Lamar Stevens (illness) throughout the entire week, yet still looked like one of the better teams going 3-1 with wins over the Hawks Trail Blazers and Pistons. Donovan Mitchell was once again incredible, averaging 31.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.8 steals across 35.3 minutes per game. The first-year-Cavalier's strong play had him ranked as the 25th overall nine-category fantasy asset last week. 

Detroit Pistons

Bagley producing 

  • The Pistons entered last Monday on an abysmal seven-game losing streak, but Detroit faired much better this week going 2-2 over their four games. One of the main reasons for Detroit's improved play was the stellar production out of Marvin Bagley. The 23-year-old center averaged 16.3 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 1.0 blocks across 25.5 minutes while ranking as the 41st overall nine-category option last week. Bagley is owned in just 26.2 percent of ESPN leagues and is a great pickup for teams in need of bigs. 

Indiana Pacers

Haliburton, McConnell generating open looks

  • I want to touch up on two playmakers for the Pacers, starting with Tyrese Haliburton. The All-Star candidate will not stop dropping dimes, recording a double-double in each of the Pacers' four contests over the week. In fact, Haliburton has now reached double-figures in both points and assists in nine out of his last 10 appearances. Even more impressive, Haliburton has gone for at least 13 assists in five of those showings.
  • While Haliburton and his All-Star level play is the talk of Indiana, T.J. McConnell looked fantastic over the weekend. The veteran point guard saw more opportunities with Andrew Nembhard (knee) out, averaging 12.8 points, 3.3 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 1.8 steals across 23.4 minutes per game. McConnell ranked as the 58th overall nine-category fantasy asset last season If Nembhard is forced out once again, McConnell is a solid play in both season-long and DFS formats

Miami Heat

Bam Bam!

  • With Jimmy Butler (knee) still on the sidelines, Bam Adebayo had a great week, averaging 25.5 points, 11.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists across 34.8 minutes. The Kentucky product saved his best performances for the weekend, topping 30 points in wins over both the Wizards and Hawks. While one should expect Adebayo's production to decrease once Butler makes his return to the lineup, it is encouraging to see the Kentucky product being aggressive from the field. Across the entire week, Adebayo ranked as the 29th best nine-category fantasy option.

Milwaukee Bucks

Allen catches fire

  • While there certainly is a lot to be said about Giannis Antetokounmpo and his dominant 35.3 points, 9.5 rebounds and 5.8 assists over the course of last week, Grayson Allen will be our focus player for the Bucks.
  • Allen was on fire all week long, averaging 15.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.0 steals and 3.0 threes made across 31.2 minutes per game. The Duke product caught fire Sunday, making his first seven three-point attempts during the team's win over the Mavericks. Allen ranked as the 33rd overall nine-category fantasy option last week.

New York Knicks

Brunson explodes

  • Jalen Brunson was one of the most criticized free agent signings last offseason, but the 26-year-old guard has quickly quieted all of the doubters. Brunson went off over the last week, recording at least 30 points in each of his three appearances while averaging 32.0 points, 3.3 rebounds and 7.3 assists per game over that span. The Villanova product recorded just one 30-point outing during the entirety of last season. Over the last week, Brunson ranked as the No. 9 overall nine-category fantasy asset. 

Orlando Magic

Banchero is back!

  • After missing seven straight games due to an ankle injury, Paolo Banchero returned to Orlando's lineup this week. The Rookie of The Year favorite averaged 18.5 points, 2.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists across 33.5 minutes during his first two games back in action. Prior to his injury, Banchero was averaging 23.5 points .8.3 rebounds and 3.6 assists across 34.5 minutes per game.

Philadelphia 76ers

Shake and bake

  • The Philadelphia 76ers looked very strong over the weekend, going 3-1 without the likes of Joel Embiid, James Harden and Tyrese Maxey. Shake Milton has seen his production skyrocket of late, averaging 22.8 points, 6.8 rebounds, 7.8 assists and 1.0 steal across 38.7 minutes per game last week. In fact, Milton even ranked as the eighth overall nine-category fantasy option over the course of last week. Milton is a must-add if he is still available in any leagues. 

Toronto Raptors

Boucher providing value

  • Chris Boucher is quietly playing decent ball for the Raptors as of recently. The 29-year-old appeared in just two out of Toronto's three contests this week, averaging 17.0 points, 14.5 rebounds and 1.0 steal over that span. Looking back a bit further, Boucher has now recorded three straight doubles and is averaging 18.0 points and 10.3 rebounds over his last eight contests. It has not all been pretty however, Boucher is shooting 18.2 percent from deep and 77.3 percent from the free throw line over that span.

Washington Wizards

Deni doing it all

  • Deni Avdija caught my attention this week with some solid all-around play. The third-year pro recorded two double-doubles over his four appearances this week, averaging 10.5 points, 8.0 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 1.3 blocks across 32.5 per game. Avdija ranked as the 92nd overall nine-category fantasy option this past week, but the 21-year-old is still a bit too inconsistent to trust in lineups just yet.

Dallas Mavericks

Doncic and Mavs slowing down?

  • This was certainly the most worrying week for the Dallas Mavericks yet. The team lost each of their three games over the past week to extend their losing streak to four games. Luka Doncic averaged 31.0 points, 6.7 rebounds, 10.0 assists and 5.0 turnovers while shooting 55.6 percent from both the field and the free-throw line over the past week. While Doncic still averaged a 30-point double-double, his poor shooting and turnovers had him ranked as just the 121st overall nine-category fantasy asset last week. The Mavericks now find themselves below .500 at 9-10.

Denver Nuggets

Gordon erupts

  • Aaron Gordon is easily having his best season as a member of the Denver Nuggets thus far. The 27-year-old shined over the course of last week, averaging 25.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.7 blocks while shooting 69.0 percent from the field. Gordon's stellar play had him ranked as the 18th-best nine-category fantasy option last week. Gordon came up particularly clutch in Denver's wins over both the Thunder and Clippers.

Golden State Warriors

Finding their footing

  • After getting off to a slow start to the season, the Warriors continue to find their footing, winning three out of four games this past week. Golden State's starting lineup shined with nearly four players in the top 50 from the last week of play: 
    • Andrew Wiggins: 22.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.7 steals while shooting 54.5 percent from deep on 7.3 attempts across 32.6 minutes per game.
      • No. 3 ranked nine-category fantasy option last week.
    • Draymond Green: 13.7 points, and 4.7 rebounds 9.7 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.7 blocks per game across 32.2 minutes per game
      • No. 16 ranked nine-category fantasy option last week.
    • Stephen Curry: 26.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, 7.0 assists and 1.0 steal across 26.7 minutes per game
      • No. 17 ranked nine-category fantasy option last week.
    • Klay Thompson: 19.7 points, 2.7 rebounds 1.0 assists and 1.3 steals while shooting 51.9 percent from deep on 9.0 attempts per game
      • No. 55 ranked nine-category fantasy option last week.
  • The Warriors are all of a sudden both winning games and providing for fantasy lineups. The reigning champs look like they got all of their rust out and should continue to produce stellar numbers all season long.

Houston Rockets

Euro dominance, Part I

  • Alperen Sengun erupted in his only appearance of the weekend. The second-year center put on a box-out clinic while totaling 21 points (10-17 FG, 0-1 3Pt, 1-1 FT), 19 rebounds, seven assists, two blocks and three steals over 35 minutes during Saturday's 118-105 win over the Thunder. It is becoming increasingly clear that Sengun is more than capable of providing if given the opportunity. The 20-year-old is averaging 21.3 points, 13.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists across his three appearances seeing more than 30 minutes this season.

Los Angeles Clippers

Euro dominance, Part II

  • Just one day after Sengun's monster outing, Ivica Zubac topped that with 31 points (14-17 FG, 3-3 FT), 29 rebounds, three assists and three blocks across 36 minutes during Sunday's 114-100 win over the Pacers. Zubac finished the week averaging 14.8 points, 14.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.5 blocks across 31.5 minutes per game -- good for the 52nd-ranked nine-category fantasy option.

Los Angeles Lakers

Return of The King

  • After missing five straight showings for the Lakers due to an adductor injury, LeBron James made his return to the court over the past week. The 37-year-old helped lead Los Angeles to back-to-back wins over the Spurs while averaging 30.0 points, 9.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 2.0 steals and 1.0 blocks across 34.0 minutes.
  • James had his best game of the year Saturday against the Spurs, going for 39 points, 11 rebounds, three assists, a steal, a block and seven three-pointers. 

Memphis Grizzlies

JJJ impresses

  • Fantasy managers who took the risk on Jaren Jackson are feeling pretty  good right about now. The fifth-year pro recorded at least 20 points in each of his three games over the past week, averaging 21.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 1.3 steals and 2.7. blocks across 26.3 minutes per game over that span. JJJ's impressive play had him ranked as the 11th overall nine-category fantasy option over the past week of action. Jackson even has room to build off his strong early season play as he continues to get re-adjusted to Memphis' rotation. His first outing seeing at least 30 minutes came during Sunday's win over the Knicks.  

Minnesota Timberwolves

Riding five-game streak

  • The Timberwolves started out this past week red-hot, defeating both the Heat and Pacers to extend their winning streak to five games. However, Minnesota cooled off over the weekend, falling to both the Hornets and Warriors. Overall, the Timberwolves have been playing much better basketball behind solid team play. If I had to point out one player who is helping to right the ship, it would be Anthony Edwards for his improved consistency. The third-year pro has recorded at least 19 points in six straight contests while averaging 25.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.7 steals per game over that span. 

New Orleans Pelicans

Graham out of nowhere

  • With Trey Murphy and CJ McCollum sidelined for most of the week, Devonte Graham saw his most meaningful minutes for the Pelicans this season. The 27-year-old guard averaged 15.0 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.0 steal across 21.3 minutes per game over his three appearances last week. Graham was the 40th overall nine-category option over the past week. With Murphy back in the lineup and McCollum expected to return soon, Graham will likely return to a much smaller role.

Oklahoma City Thunder

SGA won't slow down

  • Another week is in the books and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander still looks like one of the best players in the entire league. The 24-year-old star recorded at least 30 points in each of his appearances this week, averaging 30.8 points, 5.8 rebounds, 7.0 assists and 1.3 steals across 36.5 minutes per game. While the Thunder may have gone 1-3 over the past week, SGA is still well on his way to his first All-Star appearance.

Phoenix Suns

Ayton flips a switch

  • The Phoenix Suns rolled through the week with three straight wins to extend their winning streak to four games and currently sit atop the Western Conference at 13-6. The main reason for Phoenix's strong play this week was Deandre Ayton
  • The 24-year-old center averaged 23.7 points, 16.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.3 blocks over his three appearances this past weekend. Ayton saved his best for last, erupting for 29 points (11-19 FG, 7-9 FT), 21 rebounds, three assists, two blocks and one steal over 34 minutes during Saturday's 113-112 win over the Jazz. While Ayton did look great, it is hard to imagine him sustaining this scoring production for the rest of the season, making him a decent sell-high candidate for this next week.

Portland Trail Blazers

Lillard remains sidelined

  • The Portland Trail Blazers played all four of their contests this past week without their star point guard Damian Lillard (calf).  Jerami Grant and Anfernee Simons both saw extended usage without Lillard in the lineup. 
    • Grant averaged a team-high 28.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists across 37.9 minutes over the Trail Blazers' last week. The forwards' best outing came during Friday's 132-129 overtime win, when he dropped a career-high 44 points (10-20 FG, 3-7 3Pt, 21-28 FT), one rebound, two assists and one block over 40 minutes. 
    • Simons also impressed, averaging 25.5 points, 2.8 rebounds and 5.5 assists across 40.4 minutes per game last week. The 23-year-old's best outing came during the win against the Knicks as well, where he finished with 38 points (13-25 FG, 4-13 3Pt, 8-8 FT), four rebounds, five assists and one steal over 47 minutes.
  • As long as Lillard is still on the sidelines, Grant and Simons are both great plays in all fantasy formats.

Sacramento Kings

(Finally) cooling off

  • The Kings started out the month on fire, but Sacramento cooled off a bit this week with losses to both the Hawks and Celtics. From a fantasy perspective, the Kings did not have one single player in the top 100 nine-category options from the past week. De'Aaron Fox was Sacramento's best provider once again with 23.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.3 steals across 32.7 minutes per game over the past week. I still have high expectations for the Kings for the rest of the season, but this week does prove it is hard to trust anyone on Sacramento's roster besides Fox and Domantas Sabonis in fantasy formats.

San Antonio Spurs

All aboard the tank

  • Don't look now, but the San Antonio Spurs are doing a beautiful job in attempting to get Victor Wembanyama on the team next season. The Spurs lost each of their three games this past week to extend their losing streak to a league-worst eight games. In terms of fantasy, keep an eye out for Zach Collins. While he made headlines for whacking Russell Westbrook on Saturday, the team may be without Jakob Poeltl (quad) for the next few games, making Collins an intriguing fantasy option going forward. Collins is averaging 8.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists across 18.1 minutes per game over his first 11 showings this year.

Utah Jazz

Back to reality? 

  • The Jazz were the toast of the league for the first month of the season, but Utah took a major step back this week, losing all four of its appearances this week. The Jazz now sit at 12-10 and one has to wonder if things will continue to decline from here. If anything, Utah's losses may prove just how valuable Mike Conley is to this team.
  • Conley missed the entirety of the last week and his status is still uncertain going forward. Collin Sexton has started in place for Conley, averaging 15.0 points, 1.3 rebounds and 6.3 assists across 29.3 minutes per game over the past week. Sexton ranked as the 109th overall nine-category fantasy asset over that span and is a solid fantasy addition to a team in need of scoring. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Michael Spero
Michael writes in the NBA and NCAAF departments for RotoWire. He is a big-time fan of both the Bulls and Nuggets. Michael spends his time playing pick-up or anxiously rooting for his fantasy teams.
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