There's a wide range of notable items around the NBA this week, from emerging young players to new injuries and even some trade buzz as we approach the league's trade deadline next month.
Here's a look at the most fantasy-relevant news and notes for all 30 teams around the league:
Atlanta Hawks: Dewayne Dedmon has averaged 8.4 points and 8.2 rebounds in his first five games back since missing a month and a half because of a leg injury. He's managed to put up those numbers while getting back into game shape and playing only 21.4 minutes a game, so expect them to improve in the weeks ahead, as long as he can be healthy. Dedmon is on only 22.7 percent of ESPN league rosters and is an excellent streaming option, particularly in leagues that reward double-doubles.
Boston Celtics: Kyrie Irving (shoulder) is out for Thursday's game against the 76ers, so look for Terry Rozier and Marcus Smart to see more time at the point. Smart, who is dealing with an illness, has been cleared to play and will get the start at point guard. Rozier is averaging a career-high 16 points per 40 minutes this season and could play close to 30 minutes with Irving out.
Brooklyn Nets: Allen Crabbe's scoring likely will take a hit once D'Angelo Russell returns for the Nets, but until then, watch out for the sharp-shooting wing. Crabbe scored 20 points in the loss to San Antonio on Wednesday, making it the third time in six games that he's reach the 20-point mark. The 3-point specialist also has averaged 2.5 3PG this season.
Charlotte Hornets: Marvin Williams entered the league in 2005 with some people projecting him to be another Kevin Garnett. That never happened, of course, but all these years later, he's still in the league, and he's carving out a role for himself as a stretch-4. In fact, over the past two weeks, Williams ranks eighth in the league with 3.2 3PG, and the 13-year veteran has averaged at last 1.2 3PG in each of his past five seasons. He is a good streaming option who is available in 81 percent of ESPN leagues.
Chicago Bulls: Kris Dunn chipped a tooth after falling on the court face-first and also suffered a concussion that will keep him out for Saturday's game in Atlanta. Without Dunn to run the point, Jerian Grant -- who has been the subject of trade rumors -- and Denzel Valentine will serve as the primary options handling the ball and directing the offense.
Cleveland Cavaliers: Much has been made of the Cavs' aging roster and lackluster effort on the defensive end of the court. It shows in the stats, too. Entering Thursday, Cleveland's 109.4 points allowed per 100 possessions ranks ahead of only Phoenix (109.5) and Sacramento (110.3), and unless something changes soon, the Cavs could rank last in the league in defensive efficiency before long.
Dallas Mavericks: J.J. Barea could soon return to game action. The veteran score-first guard practiced without any issues on Thursday and, while Mavs coach Rick Carlisle wouldn't commit to Barea returning for Saturday's game at Portland, it appears that the guard will be back soon.
Denver Nuggets: Over the past 30 days, only three players have averaged at least 2.0 steals and 2.0 3-pointers per game. One of them is Denver's Gary Harris (2.2 SPG, 2.1 3PG), while the others are Victor Oladipo (2.4 SPG, 2.1 3PG) and Lonzo Ball (2.0 SPG, 2.6 3PG). Harris is posting career highs in every major statistical category except for rebounding this season, the fourth for the 2014 first-round pick.
Detroit Pistons: Avery Bradley (groin) is 50-50 to play against the Wizards on Friday. He saw a specialist and received an injection in Philadelphia to address his groin issue, and if he cannot play, the Pistons' already-undermanned backcourt will be forced to rely heavily on rookie Luke Kennard and veteran Langston Galloway. Bradley has appeared in 36 of Detroit's 43 games this season.
Golden State Warriors: Jordan Bell sprained an ankle while contesting a Robin Lopez dunk on the opening play of Wednesday's game in Chicago. Bell, who has been a decent streaming option during portions of the season, likely will be sidelined for a while, which could force coach Steve Kerr to lean more on Kevon Looney and David West on the upcoming schedule. Looney logged 30 minutes against the Bulls, in fact.
Houston Rockets: James Harden is set to return from a hamstring injury on Thursday but will be limited to around 25 minutes, per Jenny Dial Creech of the Houston Chronicle. Harden's return is great for those who have The Beard on their fantasy roster, but it will also mean less production out of players like Chris Paul, Clint Capela and Eric Gordon -- all of whom went off while Harden was sidelined.
Indiana Pacers: Darren Collison doesn't get a ton of assists or score a lot of points, but he's one of the most efficient point guards in the league this season, shooting 50.3 percent from the field. Add in his 12.6 PPG, 5.3 APG, 1.2 SPG and 1.3 3PG on the season, and Collison deserves a permanent spot in every 10- and 12-team fantasy league. Even still, he remains available in nearly 25 percent of ESPN leagues.
LA Clippers: How great is Lou Williams playing? Consider this: In the past two weeks, only Stephen Curry is averaging more 3-pointers per game than Williams' 4.1, and only Curry and Anthony Davis are scoring more than Williams' 29.6 PPG. What a great season the 31-year-old is having in his 13th year in the league!
Los Angeles Lakers: Lonzo Ball has missed the past two games due to a knee injury, and it doesn't sound like he'll be back for Friday's home game against the Pacers. "From what I see, he doesn't look like he's ready to start playing," coach Luke Walton said on Thursday. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope left Wednesday's game due to an Achilles injury and didn't return, so there's a chance the Lakers will be without their entire starting backcourt against Indiana. That would leave Tyler Ennis, Jordan Clarkson and rookie Josh Hart to handle the guard duties against the Pacers.
Memphis Grizzlies: Marc Gasol missed Wednesday's game due to an illness, but it isn't expected to keep him out for long. The Grizzlies play next on Friday against Sacramento, and there's a decent chance Memphis' star big man will be available for this game against longtime Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph. If Gasol plays, expect a solid performance against the worst-ranked defense in the NBA.
Miami Heat: Knee pain has sidelined Hassan Whiteside for a good portion of the season, and few knew what to expect when he returned, but so far so good. In fact, Whiteside leads the league in blocks per game over the past two weeks, swatting away 3.4 BPG in his past seven games. And he has added 15.1 PPG and 11.1 RPG during that span. It's safe to say that Whiteside, at least for the time being, is back to being a top-30 fantasy player.
Milwaukee Bucks: Gery Woelfel of the Racine Journal Times tweeted Wednesday that while the Bucks remain interested in acquiring DeAndre Jordan, a source says they're no longer the front-runner to get him. Take that for what it's worth. Adding Jordan to the mix would impact Giannis Antetokounmpo's rebound numbers, and it'd also force John Henson back to a reduced role off the bench.
Minnesota Timberwolves: Karl-Anthony Towns isn't blocking shots or getting steals as much as fantasy managers might like, but he certainly hasn't slowed down as a rebounder. In fact, during the past two weeks, nobody is pulling down more rebounds per game than Towns' 14.4. Next on the list? Charlotte's Dwight Howard (14 RPG).
New Orleans Pelicans: Don't expect DeMarcus Cousins to be moved before the NBA's Feb. 8 trade deadline. According to Marc Stein of The New York Times, the Pelicans are planning to offer their prized center a maximum offer for an estimated $175 million over five years. Meanwhile, Davis has another two years left on his deal and Jrue Holiday has four years left after this season.
New York Knicks: Nobody in the NBA has blocked more shots per game in the past month than Kristaps Porzingis (2.8), and with Porzingis also adding 20.6 PPG, 7.4 RPG, 1 SPG and 1.7 3PG during that span, there's a reason he's locked in as a top-15 fantasy player right now.
Oklahoma City Thunder: Russell Westbrook set the standard for fantasy excellence so high last season that anything else seems like a step down. It almost takes someone to point out that he has averaged 27.9 PPG, 9.9 RPG, 10 APG and 2 SPG during his past 15 games. Oh, and he's made 51.2 percent of his shots during that span. This shouldn't go overlooked.
Orlando Magic: It remains to be seen if Khem Birch will become a regular for the Magic, but after a 12-point, 10-rebound, 4-block performance in 19 minutes against the Timberwolves on Tuesday, Magic coach Frank Vogel indicated that Birch will remain in the rotation for now. At 13-31, there is little reason for Orlando to play anything but young players who might have a future on the team, but as soon as Nikola Vucevic returns in early to mid-February, all this is probably a moot point anyways.
Philadelphia 76ers: According to this tweet by 76ers beat writer Keith Pompey, Joel Embiid says he is hopeful to play back-to-backs starting by the end of January. Availability is the biggest issue with Embiid as far as his fantasy value is concerned, so this would be a terrific development for the 76ers, Embiid and fantasy managers alike.
Phoenix Suns: Holding on to Marquese Chriss and waiting for his return to the lineup may not be the smartest decision at this point. Chriss was starting to play better before going down with a strained hip flexor on Jan. 7 and hasn't returned since. He is reportedly considering another MRI, so there's a chance he may not be able to play for a while, and even when he does, he won't be a top-100 fantasy option.
Portland Trail Blazers: Coach Terry Stotts has noticed Shabazz Napier's impressive play of late and is looking for ways to get him to share more time on the court alongside the team's two star guards, Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum. The obvious issue here is the lack of size in that type of lineup, but if it means more minutes for Napier, it also means more fantasy value. Keep an eye on this developing situation.
Sacramento Kings: Bogdan Bogdanovic won't win Rookie of the Year honors this season, but he is working his way into the All-Rookie first-team conversation with his impressive play of late. With 25 points and six 3-pointers against the Jazz on Wednesday, Bogdanovic is suddenly the best fantasy option on a Kings team that now plans to regularly sit two to three veterans a game as it starts to play younger players and build for the future.
San Antonio Spurs: A bruised thigh will keep Manu Ginobili out of the Spurs' lineup on Friday against Toronto, leaving San Antonio even more short-handed, as Rudy Gay (heel) and Kawhi Leonard (quad) remain out. Queue up Danny Green and Kyle Anderson against the Raptors -- both of them, along with Bryn Forbes, likely will be asked to play extended minutes.
Toronto Raptors: Serge Ibaka is back in one of those funks again, and his minutes are suffering along with his production. The veteran big man scored only two points on 1-of-5 shooting in 24 minutes against the Pistons on Wednesday after going for 10 points and five rebounds in 17 minutes against Philadelphia. He has averaged just 9.3 PPG, 4.5 RPG and 0.5 BPG in his past four games, and when Ibaka plays like this, he isn't even worth rostering in 10- and 12-team leagues.
Utah Jazz: Don't be surprised if Derrick Favors ends up in a different uniform after the NBA's trade deadline. According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Jazz big man is available, and teams are inquiring about him, with the Cavs being mentioned as a potential suitor. One would think that such a trade might reduce Favors' fantasy value, since the need to play big minutes isn't the same in other places like Cleveland as it is in Utah.
Washington Wizards: The Wizards have given up at least 100 points in 16 straight games, the longest such streak in the NBA this season, and are an excellent team to stack players against in fantasy. Still ranked 11th in defensive efficiency for the season, that number is deceiving, considering the extent of their recent troubles on the defensive end.