Fantasy Basketball Pickups: Aaron Nesmith excels in Boston

With multiple teams playing the second game of a back-to-back and some critical injuries, there were some solid pickups on Tuesday’s five-game schedule. But one has been a fixture in his team’s starting lineup for the last month and should be viewed as anything but a flash in the pan at this point in the season. Pacers wing Aaron Nesmith (47% rostered, Yahoo) has started each of the last 17 games he’s appeared in, and the promotion has given his fantasy value a welcome boost.

Over the past month, he’s provided 6th-round value in 9-cat formats and 9th-round value in 8-cat, according to Basketball Monster. During this stretch, he’s averaged 13.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 1.0 steals, 0.6 blocks, and 2.0 3-pointers while shooting 50.4% from the field and 70.8% from the foul line. And in Indiana’s 129-124 loss to the Celtics on Tuesday, Nesmith had one of the best games of his NBA career.

The former Celtics first-round pick matched his career-high with 26 points while accumulating 12 rebounds, seven assists, one blocked shot, and four 3-pointers in 41 minutes, producing the point total on 11-of-17 shooting from the field. A top 100 player for the season in 9-cat formats, Nesmith is approaching that threshold in 8-cat. Firmly entrenched in the Pacers’ starting lineup because of his play on both ends of the floor, he’s someone who more standard league managers need to consider adding if available.

Let’s look at a few more of Tuesday’s top pickups:

Gary Trent Jr. (35%)

Trent has been in the Raptors starting lineup since Pascal Siakam was traded to Indiana, boosting his fantasy value. Over the past two weeks, Trent has provided top 100 per-game value in 9-cat formats. In 32 minutes on Tuesday, he produced a line of 24 points, five rebounds, one assist, one steal, and six 3-pointers in Toronto’s 118-107 win over Chicago. With Immanuel Quickley and RJ Barrett both sidelined, the Raptors took a more balanced approach on offense, with all five starters attempting between 11 and 15 shots from the field. But this didn’t keep Trent from shining, and he’s worth a look moving forward.

Ayo Dosunmu (26%)

Dosunmu has started Chicago’s last two games, and while he didn’t offer much in Sunday’s win over Portland, he was much better on Tuesday. He played 39 minutes in the loss to Toronto, scoring 21 points with five rebounds, two assists, one block, and four 3-pointers. With Patrick Williams (foot) and Zach LaVine (ankle) likely out until the All-Star break, Dosunmu will have fantasy value moving forward. Also worth watching is what happens with LaVine, who’s been the subject of trade rumors. His being moved would free up more minutes for Dosunmu, so he has the potential to be a “silly season” standout.

Precious Achiuwa (18%)

The red-hot Knicks have been without Julius Randle (shoulder) and OG Anunoby (elbow) for the last two games, with the former facing an extended absence. While Josh Hart is the preferred fantasy target, Achiuwa has also been worth a look in deep leagues. He played well in the win over Utah, putting up 18 points, five rebounds, one assist, and two blocks in 40 minutes. Due to the absences, Achiuwa played all his minutes at power forward, but he can also be used at center. His value moving forward depends on Anunoby’s availability.

Rui Hachimura (14%)

LeBron James (ankle) was able to play for the Lakers in Atlanta, but Anthony Davis (hip/Achilles) was not. While Jaxson Hayes was the player moved into the starting lineup, Hachimura was the better streaming play. Shooting 7-of-11 from the field, he scored 16 points with four rebounds, two steals, and two 3-pointers in 23 minutes. Should Davis remain sidelined for Thursday’s matchup with Boston, Hachimura would be worth streaming in that spot, as only four games are on the schedule.

Jaden Hardy (3%)

Here’s one for Wednesday’s ten-game slate, as the Mavericks have already ruled out Luka Doncic (ankle) and Kyrie Irving (thumb). Hardy’s played 26 minutes or more in four games this season, and he’s accounted for at least 17 points in each. And in five starts, he’s averaged 11.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, 4.2 assists, and 2.0 3-pointers per game. The field goal percentage in those starts (35.9%) has been lacking, but he’ll have every opportunity to show what he can do against the Timberwolves.

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