Jalen McDaniels in prime position to flourish

Monday’s 11-game slate came to a dramatic end in San Francisco, as Kevon Looney’s putback as time expired gave the Warriors a double-overtime win over the Hawks. Before that, however, multiple low-rostered players either performed well in expanded roles or saw the potential for additional minutes arise due to injury. Two players who fall in the latter category are Jalen McDaniels (29% rostered Yahoo) and Naji Marshall (9%), who came off the bench of the Hornets and Pelicans, respectively.

McDaniels’ fantasy value had already been slightly boosted when Hornets sixth man Kelly Oubre suffered a sprained left (shooting) hand last week. Unfortunately, Charlotte had to deal with another injury during its loss to the Lakers, as Gordon Hayward exited during the third quarter due to a sore left hamstring. Given Hayward’s injury history, he may be out for a little while. With Charlotte due to play three more games this week, McDaniels could find himself in the starting lineup. He played 31 minutes Monday night, scoring 10 points with seven rebounds, two assists, three steals, and one blocked shot.

As for Marshall, his fantasy value took a hit at the end of Week 11 when players such as Zion Williamson, Trey Murphyand Herb Jones returned from injury. During Monday’s loss to Philadelphia, Williamson had to exit with a strained right hamstring. With Murphy being a starter until Brandon Ingram (toe) is cleared to return, Marshall is the player most likely to fill the void left by Williamson. In 15 minutes off the bench Monday night, Marshall accounted for 10 points, five rebounds, and one 3-pointer. His season-long value hasn’t been good, with Marshall sitting outside the top 200 in 9-cat formats, but he’s been a decent streaming option in the past.

Alec Burks (39%)

Detroit was without Killian Hayes again Monday night, as he served the final game of his three-game suspension for hitting Orlando’s Moritz Wagner in the back of the head last week. While this has put a little more responsibility on rookie Jaden Ivey than he’s ready for at this stage in his career, Hayes’ absence also opened up more opportunities for Burks. He’s been a top 50 player over the last week and is providing 13th-round per-game value in 9-cat formats for the season. Burks was one of the few Pistons to play reasonably well in Monday’s loss to the Blazers, scoring 19 points with three rebounds, three assists, and one 3-pointer in 24 minutes.

TJ Warren (27%) and Seth Curry (13%)

Warren hit double figures for the fifth time in six games on Monday, scoring 18 points on 9-of-13 shooting in Brooklyn’s blowout of the Spurs. But the eye-opening numbers were in the steals and blocks categories, as Warren accumulated two of each. He’s never been known for his defense of him, so those numbers should be considered a bonus. But within this rotation, Warren won’t lack quality scoring opportunities. The absence of Royce O’Neale (illness) didn’t thrust Warren into the starting lineup, but one less rotation player did free up a few more minutes for him.

Curry was the player who replaced O’Neale in the starting lineup, and he finished with 16 points, four rebounds, one assist, one steal, and four 3-pointers in 22 minutes. Curry hasn’t been a good fantasy option this season, but he’s definitely worth a look when given the opportunity to start. Playing off of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant benefits a shooter like Curry, who can find open spots and be prepared to shoot when the ball comes his way.

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Victor Oladipo (23%)

Jimmy Butler (knee) was back in the lineup for the Heat Monday night, starting and playing 32 minutes in a win over the Clippers. He scored just nine points, shooting 2-of-8 from the field, with Bam Adebayo and Tyler Herro picking up the slack and combining to score 54 points. Another Heat player who stepped up was Oladipo, who logged 30 minutes off the bench and accounted for 15 points, five rebounds, four assists, one steal, and one 3-pointer. He’s providing top 100 value in 9-cat formats over the last two weeks, which is reason enough to kick the tires on adding Oladipo. Butler’s words before Monday’s game when asked about the state of his right knee should also be in the back of the minds of fantasy managers.

“It is. Because I can go out there and compete,” Butler said. “I can’t say that I’m fully healthy. But there are a lot of people that are not. So I think that’s good on a lot of levels. The more rest that I have and able to get that recovery that I need is always going to be better. So hell, whenever I’m not playing, I’m doing something to try to get it right.”

Miami doesn’t have a back-to-back on the schedule this week, but that doesn’t mean Butler is guaranteed to play each of the three remaining games. And even if he does, Oladipo remains a valuable option coming off the bench.

Kyle Anderson (18%) and Jaylen Nowell (10%)

Minnesota played their win over Denver without D’Angelo Russell, who was ruled out due to illness. This impacted Anderson and Nowell the most, with the former getting more opportunities to create and the latter being thrust into the starting lineup. Anderson had one of his best games of the season, scoring 19 points with four rebounds, eight assists, three steals, and three 3-pointers in 31 minutes. As for Nowell, he finished the 124-111 victory with 17 points, four rebounds, two assists, one steal, and one 3-pointer in 31 minutes. Of the two, Anderson would make more sense as the player to hold onto after Monday’s win, as he’ll be a starter until Karl-Anthony Towns (calf) returns.

Austin Reaves (12%) and Troy Brown Jr. (15%)

With Lonnie Walker IV (tailbone) sidelined, a place in the Lakers’ starting lineup was available for the second straight game. Reaves started the December 30 win over the Hawks but had a brutal night, shooting 1-of-13 from the field. So he was back in his usual reserve role Monday night, with Brown receiving the node to start. And both players provided solid value, with Brown scoring 12 points with five rebounds, two assists, three steals, and four 3-pointers in 35 minutes. As for Reaves, he logged 22 minutes off the bench, accounting for 15 points, six rebounds, seven assists, one steal, and two 3-pointers. Something to keep an eye on moving forward is the status of Russell Westbrook, who exited early due to a sore left foot. Reaves would have better value moving forward, as his role won’t change much once Walker is cleared to return.

Cedi Osman (3%)

Donovan Mitchell stole the show in Monday’s overtime win over the Bulls, scoring 71 points with eight rebounds, 11 assists, one block, and seven 3-pointers, but he did have some help. And Osman was among the contributors, as he recorded a line of 19 points, three rebounds, four assists, and four 3-pointers in 36 minutes off the bench. This helped the Cavaliers make up for Caris LeVert shooting 2-of-13 from the field. Both players are impacted by the absence of Darius Garland, who missed a second straight game with a sprained right thumb. If there’s one Cavalier to add right now it’s Kevin Love (34% rostered), who again filled in for Evan Mobley (ankle) and put up 12 points, 17 rebounds, two assists, and three 3-pointers in 38 minutes, but Osman deserves a mention for his performance against the Bulls.

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Drew Eubanks (3%)

Eubanks was not online to be listed here before Monday’s win over the Pistons. But Jusuf Nurkić took a shot to the face during the first quarter and would later be ruled out due to illness. Eubanks was needed more, and the backup center delivered, playing 29 minutes and finishing with 10 points, 10 rebounds, two assists, four steals, and three blocked shots. Providing 6th-round value in 9-cat formats over the last two weeks, Eubanks’ value would be boosted considerably if Nurkic cannot play in Wednesday’s game against the Timberwolves.

Anthony Lamb (1%)

The Warriors have seen multiple reserves join Stephen Curry and Andrew Wiggins on the injury list recently, with Jonathan Kuminga (foot) and James Wiseman (ankle) now expected to miss multiple games, and JaMychal Green (leg) will be down for an extended period as well. That doesn’t leave Steve Kerr with many options behind starters Draymond Green and Kevin Looney, which resulted in Lamb playing 33 minutes in Monday’s win over the Hawks. Shooting 7-of-12 from the field and 1-of-2 from the foul line, he scored 17 points with seven rebounds, four assists, one steal, and two 3-pointers. With the Warriors hosting the Pistons Wednesday night and Green having played 45 minutes in Monday’s double-overtime thriller, Lamb is a player deep-league managers should consider after missing out on his solid performance against the Hawks.

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