Who is trending up? Which rotations are changing? What's the latest with the notable injuries around the NBA?
Here's a look around the league at the most fantasy relevant news and notes for all 30 teams:
As we approach the playoffs, De'Andre Hunter is trending up at the perfect time for fantasy managers. During the last eight games, he averaged 18 PPG, 2.4 RPG, and 1.1 APG in 33.7 minutes. While shooting 52.7% from the field during this span, the 24-year-old forward is available in 87.6% of ESPN leagues. Hunter will be involved in the Hawks' run for the playoffs.
Marcus Smart is another player heating up at the right time for fantasy managers. Over the last eight games, he averaged 16 PPG, 4.0 RPG, 7.4 APG and 1.1 SPG in 34.3 minutes. During that period, only Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown had a higher PPG average. Smart is still available in 15.4% of ESPN leagues.
Nets coach Steve Nash said on Tuesday that he expects Ben Simmons to make his debut before the regular season ends. Furthermore, it's worth pointing out that Andre Drummond is available in 51.3% of ESPN leagues. Why? The veteran big man has averaged 11 PPG and 10.0 RPG per game since joining the Nets.
During his past three games, Mason Plumlee has averaged 8.7 PPG, 7.3 RPG, 5.0 APG, 2.0 BPG and 1.3 SPG. In addition to his rebounding ability, Plumlee's statistical contributions in other areas such as blocks and assists put him on streaming radars. He's available in 74% of ESPN leagues.
Managers in deeper formats should consider Alex Caruso as a reliable source of points, steals, triples and assists. He's available in 71.3% of ESPN leagues and has averaged 8.2 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 3.8 APG, and 2.0 SPG this season. Prior to his wrist injury, Caruso was a top-75 player.
Jarrett Allen announced earlier this week that he would not undergo surgery on his fractured left middle finger and hoped to return before the regular season is over. Until then, Evan Mobley continues to benefit from Allen's absence. Over the past five games, he has averaged 20.2 PPG, 9.2 RPG, 2.4 APG, 2.0 SPG and 1.4 BPG. Mobley is another player reaching his peak at the right time.
During the past 25 games, Luka Doncic has averaged 32 PPG, 10.2 RPG and 8.5 APG. Since Jan. 19, he has made 40 triples in which a center was the closest defender according to Second Spectrum. This is by far the most in the NBA during this period.
Since returning from an ankle injury, Will Barton has played well, putting up 13.3 PPG, 3.3 RPG and 3.7 APG in his last three games. He has been a reliable option all season and is still available in 41.4% of ESPN leagues.
In an attempt to win Rookie of the Year, Cade Cunningham has stepped up his game to close out the season. During the past 11 games, he has averaged 22.3 PPG, 7.5 RPG and 6.0 APG. The Pistons rank 28th in points scored per 100 possessions, so they aren't a fantasy bonanza. However, you can trust Cunningham in your lineup.
Wednesday night against the Celtics, Stephen Curry suffered a left foot injury. On Thursday morning he was diagnosed with a sprained ligament and will be out indefinitely. Jordan Poole, who is still available in 21.6% of ESPN leagues, will benefit due to Curry's absence. He has averaged 25 PPG, 4.5 APG, 3.1 RPG and 1.4 SPG during the past eight games.
Jae'Sean Tate has averaged 12 PPG, 3.0 RPG and 1.0 APG during the past two games. Tate is available in 76% of ESPN leagues and someone to consider for deeper formats. For those in need of statistical production, Kevin Porter Jr. is another option. Porter is only available in 33% of ESPN leagues.
Isaiah Jackson has entered the concussion protocol and has been ruled out of Friday's game against the Rockets. Having a foot injury has made it difficult for Goga Bitadze to stay on the court. Because of this, Jalen Smith is a streaming candidate. He averages 20 points and 12.5 rebounds per 40 minutes. Smith is available in 86% of ESPN leagues.
Ivica Zubac has been a reliable source of statistical production -- especially in terms of rebounding -- during the past 15 games. Over that time frame, he averaged 13 PPG, 10.6 RPG, 2.4 APG, 1.0 SPG and 1.1 BPG. Zubac is still available in 31% of ESPN leagues and is worth having on your roster.
Last night against the Timberwolves, LeBron James' streak of 20-point games ended at 32. This was the longest in the league this season and the longest by a Lakers player since Kobe Bryant from 2005 to 2006. Bryant's streak lasted 63 games.
Ja Morant's absence due to a back injury has come at the worst possible time for fantasy managers. While he's out, Tyus Jones is worth streaming. Jones remains available in 97% of ESPN leagues. Jones has put up 16.2 points, 4.7 rebounds and 8.1 assists per 40 minutes this season.
Fantasy managers in the midst of a playoff run are having a hard time dealing with Kyle Lowry's slump. In Lowry's last five games, the tough veteran point guard has averaged 5.6 PPG, 7.2 APG, and 5.2 RPG while shooting a disappointing 24% from the field. Don't drop him, but it's worth looking for alternatives to insert into lineups.
Bobby Portis' breakout season has been derailed by Brook Lopez' return from back surgery. Portis has averaged just 9.5 PPG and 6.0 RPG in 29 minutes in the two games that Lopez has played. Fantasy managers may be looking at a timeshare between these two centers for the remainder of the season.
Karl-Anthony Towns became the first Timberwolves player to average 45 points over a two-game span last night against the Lakers. On another note, Patrick Beverley (available in 86% of ESPN leagues) should be rostered in every format. In the last two games, he's averaged 19 PPG, 5.0 RPG, 4.5 APG, and 1.0 SPG.
Herbert Jones was mentioned last week in the column and I will do so again this week. He has averaged 14 PPG, 3.3 APG, 3.3 RPG and 1.7 SPG during the past three games. Jones is available in 86% of ESPN leagues. Depending on your needs, he is a very good deep league pick up.
Immanuel Quickley is a solid addition in deeper formats. In his last three games, he has averaged 12 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 4.0 APG and 1.0 SPG in 27 minutes. Also, here's another reminder that Evan Fournier is still available in 45% of ESPN leagues and is a reliable source of points, triples and other counting stats.
My recommendation of Aleksej Pokusevski last week has paid off for those who have added him in deeper formats. He has averaged 14.3 PPG, 6.3 RPG and 2.3 APG during the past three games. Pokusevski remains available in 95% of ESPN leagues. He should be rostered in most leagues.
Franz Wagner is still available in 37% of ESPN leagues, which is surprising. While not missing a single game this season, he has averaged 15.3 PPG, 4.6 RPG, 3.0 APG and 1.0 SPG. Also, if you are looking for a streamer while Jalen Suggs is out with a right ankle bone bruise, consider R.J. Hampton. He is available in 99% of ESPN leagues.
In their nine games together, Joel Embiid, James Harden and Tyrese Maxey have each scored 20 points or more five times. Over that period, they are each averaging over 20 PPG. Outside of those three, consider Matisse Thybulle if you are looking for steals and blocks in deeper formats. In the last nine games, he has averaged 5.3 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 1.0 APG, 1.2 SPG and 1.1 BPG.
Cameron Payne has averaged 15.3 PPG, 10.0 APG, 4.5 RPG and 1.3 SPG during the past eight games. He is available in 60% of ESPN leagues. Go get him. Chris Paul is out for the remainder of the fantasy season, so Payne will get as many minutes as possible. Booker has also flourished without Paul. During that time, he has averaged 28 PPG and 8.0 APG while shooting 52% from the field.
There are reports that Anfernee Simons will miss the rest of the season due to a quadriceps injury. Brandon Williams will be given as much playing time as he can handle. Williams has averaged 16 PPG, 3.6 RPG and 3.0 APG during the past eight games. He can be found in 57% of ESPN leagues. However, he is shooting just 41.1% from the field during that time frame.
Davion Mitchell has scored 10 or more points in four of his last five games. Over that same period, he has also averaged 25.6 MPG. Mitchell is available in 95% of ESPN leagues and becomes a bigger factor whenever De'Aaron Fox misses games.
Jakob Poeltl has been phenomenal all season, and will be valued much differently heading into fantasy drafts next season. The sixth-year center has averaged 15.4 PPG, 9.0 RPG, 2.5 APG and 1.5 BPG during the past eight games. Unfortunately, the Spurs play only two games next week.
Pascal Siakam recorded his 14th 30-point double-double this season in Wednesday's win over the Clippers. In Raptors franchise history, he is only behind Vince Carter (15) and Chris Bosh (40) in that category. For fantasy managers, Siakam is reaching his stride at the perfect time. During his past eight games, Siakam has averaged 28 PPG, 8.3 RPG and 4.5 APG.
Donovan Mitchell has scored 35 or more points in 40 games in Jazz history. The other three are Karl Malone (151), Adrian Dantley (135) and Pete Maravich (61). In other news, Bojan Bogdanovic (calf) has missed back to back games but is expected to return soon. He has averaged 18 PPG and 2.7 3PG this season and is available in 39% of ESPN leagues.
Consider adding Corey Kispert, who is available in 99% of ESPN leagues, if you need points and triples. Over the last four games, he has averaged 14 points and 2.5 triples.