Fantasy 30: Players to be patient with, players to drop

Isaiah Thomas has gotten off to a slow start during his tenure with the Denver Nuggets, but is he worth adding now? Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

Emerging young players, fading veterans and everything in between -- it's increasingly difficult for fantasy managers to keep track of it all as NBA teams head into the final quarter of the regular season.

Here's a look at the most fantasy-relevant news and notes for all 30 teams around the league:

Atlanta Hawks: Trae Young's 22.2 PPG and 9.2 APG this month are the types of numbers that would vault him to the front of the line for Rookie of the Year in most seasons, but he has some strong company for that award. Maybe most encouraging about Young's big month is the efficiency from 3-point land; the first-year point guard has averaged 3.3 3PG on 43.9 percent shooting. To put that in perspective, he's at 1.9 3PG and 32.9 percent shooting for the season.

Boston Celtics: If Marcus Smart has made his way to the waiver wire in your league, there's a reason. Smart has seen his numbers fall nearly across the board this month -- scoring, assists, steals, 3-pointers and FG%. The lone exception is rebounding, which has actually ticked up a notch, but with Smart having less of an impact defensively, it's more difficult to find a roster spot for him in many 10- and 12-team leagues.

Brooklyn Nets: D'Angelo Russell's breakout season has received much attention, as he's notched new career highs with 27.1 points per 40 minutes and 8.8 assists per 40 minutes while also posting a career-best 32.1 usage rate. Lost in Russell's eye-popping season is the way he's handled the ball better too, with the lowest turnover ratio (10.2) of his four-year career. So much to like here.

Charlotte Hornets: Marvin Williams, who has played 30 minutes or more in seven of 10 games this month, is considered doubtful to play against the Rockets on Wednesday due to a sprained toe. If the veteran forward cannot go, more minutes will be available for Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, Miles Bridges and possibly even the often-forgotten-about Frank Kaminsky.

Chicago Bulls: What a month for Lauri Markkanen. The second-year big man has led all Bulls regulars in scoring (26.4 PPG) and rebounding (12.4 RPG) in February while also chipping in a healthy 2.7 3PG. While Markkanen may never be a major contributor in assists, steals or blocks, the impressive combination of scoring, rebounding and 3-point shooting is enough to make him a legitimate top-40 fantasy option heading into next season.

Cleveland Cavaliers: There is a lot to like about Cedi Osman's versatility on the court, and he's put it on display during the past month -- with and without Kevin Love on the court. Though Osman missed four games in February due to injury, his last 10 games have been impressive. In six of those contests, he's made at least three 3s. He's also averaged 18.5 PPG, 4.8 RPG and 3.4 APG during that 10-game span.

Dallas Mavericks: Filling a big role after the trade of Harrison Barnes, Dwight Powell has emerged as a real fantasy option in recent weeks, averaging 14.8 PPG, 5.6 RPG and 2.2 APG while maintaining the efficiency (60.0 FG%) that he's been known for since entering the league in 2014-15. Powell, who is now getting close to 30 MPG, is suddenly a legitimate top-100 fantasy option.

Denver Nuggets: Isaiah Thomas has played four games for the Nuggets, and while his numbers will undoubtedly improve as his minutes rise in the weeks ahead, the veteran point guard isn't worth rostering right now. He has averaged 11.3 PPG and 2.3 APG in 17.0 MPG thus far, and with so many other scoring and passing options on this Nuggets team, a ceiling of around 15.0 PPG and 4.0 APG is probably about it for Thomas this season.

Detroit Pistons: I mentioned a few weeks back when Reggie Bullock was traded to the Lakers that Luke Kennard, among others, would need to step up in the role of 3-point threat. So far, the second-year Duke product has done just that, making 2.8 3PG in the six games since the trade. Kennard doesn't add much besides points and 3s, but he's worked his way into the conversation as a streamer when seeking out 3-pointers.

Golden State Warriors: On Monday in Charlotte, Draymond Green showed no ill effects from the sprained ankle that forced him out of Saturday's loss to Houston. Green nearly put up a triple-double against the Hornets (14 points, 8 rebounds, 10 assists) and added 3 blocks and a steal to the cause, erasing any concerns that the injury could have lingering effects.

Houston Rockets: After playing his third game back since missing 15 games with a thumb injury, Clint Capela told the Houston Chronicle he has a ways to go before being at full strength. "I know I'm not 100 percent yet," Capela said. "I'd say I'm 55, 60 percent now. But my body is feeling good now." The presence of Kenneth Faried takes some of the luster off of Capela, who at one point was playing like a top-30 player but is now more of a 40-50 option as he works his way back and plays with Faried.

Indiana Pacers: Domantas Sabonis will miss a couple of games, per this tweet by J. Michael of the IndyStar, after rolling his ankle in Monday's game. The Pacers play Wednesday at Dallas and Thursday vs. Minnesota, and Sabonis likely won't be available until Saturday (vs. Orlando) at the earliest. In the meantime, look for Thaddeus Young to get extended minutes.

LA Clippers: In Ivica Zubac's first six games with the Clippers, he has seen his playing time rise just over four minutes per game compared to his 33 games with the Lakers this season (from 15.6 to 19.8 MPG). How has that impacted his production on the court? So far, the scoring is up just a tick, from 8.5 to 8.8 PPG, but the rebounding has risen more substantially (4.9 to 6.7 RPG). At this point, he's a reach even as a streamer in 12-team leagues, but the 21-year-old has the talent to become a double-double threat in the years ahead. Keep an eye on how he finishes the season.

Los Angeles Lakers: It's a stretch to roster Rajon Rondo right now, considering that he's barely contributing statistically even while Lonzo Ball remains sidelined. The veteran point guard has put up 4.8 PPG, 3.8 RPG and 4.4 APG during the past five games, shooting just 35.7 percent and being a total nonfactor in steals. It's time to send him to the waiver wire if you haven't already.

Memphis Grizzlies: Ivan Rabb (heel) is doubtful for Wednesday's game against the Bulls. Rabb has put up 9.9 PPG and 5.7 RPG during his past 10 games, shooting a healthy 60.9 percent during that span, but the young power forward isn't a major contributor in other statistical categories. This injury will likely send Rabb to the waiver wire in many leagues.

Miami Heat: Like Thomas in Denver, Goran Dragic clearly needs some time to get back to full speed. He has averaged 7.0 PPG and 2.0 APG in his first two games back from a 31-game absence, playing 19.5 MPG off the bench -- and that's come with Justise Winslow out of the lineup in both games. Winslow didn't practice Tuesday but is expected to return to the lineup Wednesday against Golden State, which won't exactly help Dragic's production.

Milwaukee Bucks: After sitting out Monday's game at Chicago, Giannis Antetokounmpo (knee) is listed as probable for Thursday's game against the Kings. The Greek Freak has played in 55 of 60 games this season and has never missed more than seven games in any of his previous five NBA seasons. Durability isn't a question, but whether the Bucks start giving him more rest down the stretch is more of the concern for fantasy owners. Something to watch closely.

Minnesota Timberwolves: Dario Saric's nine games this month show the limitations in his fantasy value. He has averaged 12.8 PPG, 6.2 RPG and 2.3 3PG but doesn't have a single block and is a virtual nonfactor in terms of steals and assists. What Saric offers right now in Minnesota is a more efficient version of Williams or Barnes.

New Orleans Pelicans: Anthony Davis is barely playing. Nikola Mirotic is now suiting up for the Bucks. And then there's Julius Randle going to town! Randle has averaged 21.3 PPG, 7.1 RPG, 3.0 APG, 1.3 SPG and 1.8 3PG during his past eight games, shooting 48.3 percent in that span. Davis' loss is Randle's gain, and Randle is showing that he's over the injury that cost him six games at the end of January and early February.

New York Knicks: DeAndre Jordan has been one of the most durable players in the league since entering the NBA way back in 2008, but he missed his second straight game on Tuesday due to an ankle injury and could remain out for Thursday. Red-hot rookie big man Mitchell Robinson has become one of the league's best shot-blockers and is someone to get in your lineup while Jordan is out (and when Jordan returns).

Oklahoma City Thunder: Russell Westbrook is peaking at the right time for fantasy managers everywhere. During the past four games, the electric point guard has attempted 29 shots or more three times and surpassed 40 points in each of those games. He has also averaged 5.0 3PG during those games, a huge improvement from the 1.3 3PG average this season. And let's not forget his teammate Paul George, who has put up 35.2 PPG and 5.1 3PG during the past 30 days. That ranks second and third, respectively, during that span.

Orlando Magic: Evan Fournier quietly put together a very nice month of February, averaging 16.5 PPG, 3.8 RPG, 4.6 APG, 1.0 SPG and 1.9 3PG. All of these numbers were an improvement over the 16 games he played in January. While the 26-year-old has appeared in 70 games or more only twice in his first six NBA seasons, he has showed greater durability in Year 7 and has played in 61 of 62 games this season.

Philadelphia 76ers: Joel Embiid (knee) will miss his fourth consecutive game as he sits out Thursday's contest against Oklahoma City. With Boban Marjanovic (knee) also sidelined for at least a week, that's going to mean more touches for the team's other stars and also more minutes for second-year big man Jonah Bolden and veteran stretch-4 Mike Scott. The soonest Embiid could return is Saturday's home game against Golden State.

Phoenix Suns: T.J. Warren (ankle) hasn't played since Jan. 22, and even if he returns, it's fair to wonder how effective he will be after more than a month out of action. Warren evolved into a 3-point shooter this season (1.8 3PG) and can score in bunches, but his minimal contributions in the other statistical categories limits his upside in leagues with roto scoring. He will enter next season in the 80-100 range in the fantasy rankings.

Portland Trail Blazers: Evan Turner (knee) has been ruled out for Wednesday's game against his former team, the Celtics, which leaves Jake Layman, Rodney Hood and Maurice Harkless in position to play more minutes than usual in Boston. Harkless has averaged 9.6 PPG, 5.8 RPG, 2.0 APG and 1.6 SPG during the past five games, making him a slightly better option than the others. Layman would be next on the list, while Hood, who has notched double-digit scoring only once in seven games with the Blazers, carries the least upside.

Sacramento Kings: Barnes hasn't adjusted to his new team very quickly, averaging just 10.3 PPG on 31.8 percent shooting in his first six games with the Kings. If Barnes is on your roster and you're in need of a roster spot, consider that he could very well have Marvin Williams type of upside the rest of the way this season. That could help crystallize whether you should give up on him.

San Antonio Spurs: Derrick White is currently restricted to 25 minutes a game as he works his way back from a foot injury that sidetracked what had been a red-hot stretch in January. In his first two games back from the injury, he has averaged just 7.0 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 3.5 APG and 2.0 SPG, but he's one to add now as the Spurs need his playmaking to bust out of their woeful month of February (2-7).

Toronto Raptors: Marc Gasol got the start over Serge Ibaka on Sunday in Toronto's loss to the Magic, but on Tuesday, the Raptors went back to Ibaka as the starter while Gasol came off the bench. Right now, Gasol's production is way down compared to where it was in Memphis, and a major drop in playing time is the reason; the veteran center and former Defensive Player of the Year failed to reach 25 minutes in each of his first five games with the Raptors.

Utah Jazz: Jae Crowder isn't the most efficient 3-point shooter around, but during February, the veteran forward made 3.0 3PG, thanks to a healthy dose of attempts from long range (8.1 per game). For the season, Crowder has made 2.2 3PG, which would tie his career high set in 2016-17 while with the Celtics.

Washington Wizards: Bradley Beal was once regarded as one of the least durable stars in the game, but he's done a lot to shed that label in recent years. After playing in all 82 games last season, averaging 36.3 MPG, he has followed that up by playing in all 60 games so far this season, averaging 37.4 MPG. In fact, entering Wednesday Beal leads the league with 2,241 minutes played, just ahead of Pelicans point guard Jrue Holiday (2,237).