Derrick Rose began his second stint with the New York Knicks in stellar fashion on Tuesday with 10 points and three assists in his first 11 minutes of action. Rose and impressive rookie scoring guard Immanuel Quickley entered the game against the Miami Heat with a few minutes left in the first quarter and helped spark a sizable run for New York. Given the trust Rose and coach Tom Thibodeau have established, given this is now their third stint working together in the NBA, it's safe to consider the guard to be a solid fantasy investment.
Rose played just 20 total minutes for the Knicks in the close loss, but lofted nine shots and controlled the offense while he was on the court. The former MVP sported a robust usage rate of 26%, comparable to his 29.9% clip for the Detroit Pistons prior to being dealt. Rose is a fantasy free agent in roughly 50% of ESPN leagues.
The more important fantasy narrative might be found in Motown, though, as Detroit's Delon Wright has thrived in recent games without Rose filling a high-usage role. During the last eight games, Wright has averaged 13.6 PPG to go along with 5.4 RPG, 6.4 APG, and an elite 2.5 SPG. Wright is currently available in roughly 30% of ESPN leagues.
Josh Jackson has assumed Rose's role as Detroit's top bench scorer with double-digit points in five straight games and 17.3 PPG during the last seven days. Capable of delivering some big scoring performances, Jackson has become a solid streaming addition to consider.
Utah's Mitchell tied a season-high while recording his 50th career 30-point game, moving into fifth all-time in Jazz history for such performances. The Jazz knocked down 18 3-pointers while downing the Celtics and have now made 425 threes this season -- the most through the first 25 games of any season in NBA history.
It was good to see Boston's Jaylen Brown score 33 points in his return from a multi-game absence due to a knee injury. The performance marked Brown's sixth 30-point game of the season, matching his total from all of last season.
In the loss to the 76ers, Sacramento's De'Aaron Fox continued his strong play with 34 points and 16 combined assists and rebounds. Fox has averaged 31.3 PPG during the last six games and, like Brown, is making a serious bid for his first All-Star nomination.
Juan Toscano-Anderson continues to play a sizable role for the Warriors. The forward has averaged 10.2 PPG and 7.8 RPG with solid shooting and defensive rates during the last five games for Golden State. "JTA" produced 11 points and eight boards in last night's win over the Spurs and remains a free agent in the vast majority of ESPN leagues.
Josh Hart of the Pelicans became the first player in franchise history with 20 points and 15 rebounds off the bench in a win over the Rockets. One of the league's best rebounding guards, Hart could become truly relevant for fantasy purposes if the team moves Lonzo Ball and JJ Redick by the trade deadline.
Eric Gordon produced 23 points for Houston and has now scored at least 20 points in five straight games. While John Wall and Victor Oladipo regularly rest, Gordon has become the steadiest fantasy force from the Houston backcourt. Yet, the shooting specialist is rostered in just 58.2% of leagues.
Injuries of note
Toronto's OG Anunoby is listed as questionable for tonight's matchup against Washington. The dynamic defender has missed several games due to a calf injury and his return would be a major boon for fantasy managers.
Paul George of the Clippers has been ruled out for tonight's game against the Timberwolves. Sixth man Lou Williams has averaged a team-high 6.3 more DraftKings points (per 36 minutes) with George off the floor this season.
Atlanta's De'Andre Hunter will miss up to two months due to a meniscus injury that required surgery. With Bojan Bogdanovic also injured, Cam Reddish becomes a viable streaming option for tonight's matchup against Dallas.
Minnesota's Karl-Anthony Towns is listed as doubtful to play on Wednesday against the Clippers. Coach Ryan Saunders told reporters that, after a lengthy absence due to COVID-19, the All-Star needs to improve his lung capacity before returning to games. Guard D'Angelo Russell is listed as questionable with leg soreness, although this time it's in his left leg and not related to the right quad injury that had been limiting him in recent games.
Analytics advantage for Wednesday
Scoring guard Devonte' Graham won't suit up for Charlotte this evening, setting up rising rookie LaMelo Ball as a starter for the sixth straight game. Ball has been spectacular as a starter and should be considered as a building block in DFS lineups against a Memphis defense allowing 48.7 DraftKings points per game to point guards, 12th-most in the league. Charlotte's Malik Monk makes for a fun streaming option for those in deeper formats, considering he's averaged 5.1 3-point attempts and nearly 14 points (per 36 minutes) with Graham off the floor this season.
Top players to watch on Wednesday
The Bucks take on the Suns to wrap up ESPN's Wednesday doubleheader, two teams on pace for top-four playoff seeds in their respective conferences. The Bucks have won a season-high five straight games and have scored at least 120 points in all of them, tied for the longest such streak in franchise history. Guard Jrue Holiday is on fire during this stretch, averaging 17.5 PPG while shooting 67.4% from the field. For the Suns, Chris Paul is on pace to join LeBron James as the only active players to average 15 points and five assists in each of their first 16 seasons.