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Sports Data APIs for Individuals!
Indiana Pacers guard T.J. Warren (foot) remains out indefinitely. The veteran continues to rehab after having surgery back in January to repair a stress fracture in his left foot. With Warren's recent efforts to make it back to the court not going so well, likely, he may not be back in the lineup for months, if not longer. Still, for managers in deeper formats, the 28-year-old certainly is worthy of a stash, primarily since he has picked it up on the scoring end over the years. However, his health is always in question, which is certainly something to think about moving ahead.
Utah Jazz shooting guard Donovan Mitchell scuffled from inside the arc, but he dropped a game-leading 27 points to lead his team to victory over Sacramento on Friday. Mitchell was electric from deep, shooting 6-for-14, as he added five rebounds, four assists and two steals to his stat line. But his 9-for-25 overall night did highlight field-goal percentage concerns that those in season-long category formats are undoubtedly interested in. On that same plane, Mitchell's next outing comes against the Nuggets on Tuesday, who have held him to the third-lowest shooting percentage (38.5%) throughout his career. Still, Mitchell boasts an extremely high floor due to his unquestioned role as the engine that makes the Jazz offense hum.
While it has been just two games, Sacramento Kings small/power forward Harrison Barnes is off to a dominant start to the 2021-22 campaign. Barnes followed up his 36-point showing from the opener with a 25-point, 15-rebound performance in Friday's loss to Utah. Barnes appears to have taken his game to a new level, combining for 39 shot attempts over his first two games; in his first two and a half years with the Kings, Barnes has never averaged above 11.1 field-goal attempts per contest. Those fantasy managers who drafted Barnes for his consistency have gotten an early reward, though time will tell how sustainable the increased offensive output can be.
If the first two games of the season are any indication, Sacramento Kings shooting guard/small forward Buddy Hield is certainly embracing his role as the team's No. 1 offensive option off the bench. Hield launched 15 threes during Friday's loss to the Jazz en route to scoring 24 points, as he knocked down six of those attempts from deep. While Hield did not attempt a free throw despite taking 21 shots, he helped his scoring effort by snatching seven rebounds. The Kings will again have a crowded wing this season, but Hield appears to still be the cream of the crop, irrespective of whether or not he's among the starting five.
Oklahoma City Thunder power forward Aleksej Pokusevski delivered a 10-point showing off the bench in his team's defeat to the Rockets on Friday. Pokusevski was a statistical marvel last season, shooting 28 percent from behind the arc, yet he got up an average of 4.6 shots per game from deep. Still just 19 years old, the Thunder clearly remain high on the Serbian, but his role to begin his second year in the league is a bench one; on Friday, he was instant offense, shooting 4-for-9 from the field overall, including going 2-for-7 from deep. But what makes Pokusevski an appealing fantasy prospect is his ability to pack the stat sheet, which he also did by notching seven rebounds, two assists and two steals. He's not yet relevant in the vast majority of formats, but he's a name to remember as the year moves along.
Houston Rockets small forward Jae'Sean Tate was dynamic during Friday's win over the Thunder, stuffing the box score to the tune of 16 points, 14 rebounds and six assists, earning himself a game-high +28 plus-minus. Named an NBA First-team All-Rookie last year, Tate had a quiet opening night performance, one which he quickly flipped the script on. There may be flashier upsides plays for Houston on a nightly basis due to their rebuilding roster, but Tate has proven to be a multi-category darling with high field-goal percentage in tow as well. Rostered in a stunningly low number of leagues in the early going, it wouldn't be surprising to see Tate play his way into medium-sized or larger formats on a consistent basis as the year progresses.
Houston Rockets power forward/center Christian Wood put his myriad skills on display during his team's convincing win over Oklahoma City on Friday, collecting 29 points and 14 rebounds across his 33 minutes. Wood was almost unguardable, shooting 12-for-18 from the floor overall, including going 4-for-6 from behind the arc. He polished off his scorching night of production with three blocked shots, showcasing the elite fantasy upside that he possesses on a nightly basis. After two favorable matchups to begin the 2021-22 year, he runs into the Celtics' defense on Sunday, who stand to offer far more resistance; still, Wood's star is only just ascending.
Indiana Pacers forward Justin Holiday (ankle) was injured during Friday's one-point loss to Washington. The 32-year-old veteran tweaked his left ankle, causing him to miss the fourth quarter and overtime. With a quick turnaround leading up to Saturday's bout against Miami, Holiday may be forced to sit that one out. If that's the case, Jeremy Lamb and T.J. McConnell could see more minutes, with Lamb the favorite to start between the two. Torrey Craig could also benefit, although he doesn't have much of a fantasy upside.
New York Knicks center Mitchell Robinson (hamstring) was injured during Friday's 121-96 win over the Orlando Magic. The big man took a fall during the second half and needed to have his hamstring worked on. The 23-year-old returned to the game, which was welcome news, although it wouldn't be surprising if he made an appearance on the injury report ahead of the rematch on Sunday at Madison Square Garden. Head coach Tom Thibodeau downplayed the significance of the ailment, stating Robinson "should be fine." However, if he isn't, Julius Randle could spend some time in the middle, assuming Taj Gibson (personal) and Nerlens Noel (knee) can't play either.
Los Angeles Clippers forward Nicolas Batum (personal) was not listed on the league's official injury report on Friday night. His absence from the list appears to suggest that he will be available for Saturday's matchup against the visiting Memphis Grizzlies. Luke Kennard, who had seven points throughout 24 minutes during the Thursday night loss to the Warriors, will likely see fewer minutes with the veteran's expected return. Regardless, neither Kennard nor Batum is expected to contribute much on the fantasy end, so managers should look elsewhere to round out their lineup.
Los Angeles Lakers guard Kendrick Nunn (knee) may not return for another two or three weeks, according to head coach Frank Vogel. Nunn is currently dealing with a deep bruise in his right knee and will likely need some time to get into playing shape once the injury has fully healed. Vogel recently stated that the 26-year-old will have a role when he is ready to make it back, so fantasy managers in deeper formats may want to consider stashing him during his absence. Nunn signed with L.A. during the offseason after averaging 15 points during his two seasons in Miami. In the meantime, Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley should see more minutes until he is back on the floor, although neither is worth much from a fantasy standpoint.