Fantasy Basketball Pickups: Andrew Nembhard shines in extended run

Fantasy managers have been well-conditioned on what to do whenever the Pacers are without star point guard Tyrese Haliburton. T.J. McConnell has been the preferred target of many, with Andrew Nembhard (31% rostered, Yahoo) being someone to grab as a last resort. With McConnell joining Haliburton on the list of unavailable players for personal reasons, Nembhard was essentially the last man standing for the Pacers.

Sunday’s win over the Grizzlies was good for Nembhard, who played 37 minutes and finished with 16 points, four rebounds, nine assists, one steal, and two 3-pointers. He was only 5-of-14 from the field, but in addition to the stat line mentioned, he only committed one turnover.

Nembhard’s fantasy value moving forward obviously depends on the availability of Haliburton and McConnell, with the former now considered day-to-day. Haliburton will practice on Monday, the day before the Pacers begin a four-game Week 15 slate in Boston. If he and McConnell remain sidelined, Nembhard’s rostered percentage will increase. But if the Pacers get their All-Star back, it will be time to bid Nembhard farewell in some fantasy leagues.

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

Alec Burks (37%)

Burks wasn’t a pickup as much as a player who benefitted the managers who already had him rostered. Why? That’s because the Pistons didn’t officially rule out Cade Cunningham until just before tipoff. While it may have been safe to assume that Cade wouldn’t play the second game of a back-to-back so soon after his return, the Pistons not listing him on the injury report likely led some to believe he was good to go.

Moving back to Burks, he finished Sunday’s win over the Thunder with 10 points, six rebounds, two assists, three steals, and two 3-pointers in 26 minutes. He’s come up in trade rumors as a veteran guard who can help a playoff-bound team, so these next two weeks could be an audition before the February 8 deadline.

Gary Trent Jr. (34%)

Already playing without Immanuel Quickley and Jakob Poeltl, the Raptors lost a third starter ahead of Sunday’s game against the Hawks, as RJ Barrett was ruled out with a sore knee. Trent was one of the beneficiaries, as he hit four 3-pointers and finished with 16 points, one rebound, and two steals in 26 minutes. It was a solid night for Trent, but that Raptors roster included a bigger fantasy winner for managers to watch moving forward.

Jordan Nwora (< 1%)

Nwora appeared in two games since being acquired from the Pacers (along with Bruce Brown) on January 17. While Trent was already a starter entering Sunday’s game, Nwora wasn’t even in the Raptors rotation. He took advantage of his opportunity to impress, scoring a season-high 24 points with nine rebounds, six assists, one steal, and three 3-pointers in 31 minutes. Nwora’s streaming value depends on Barrett’s availability, but he may have done enough to earn a longer look. Rookie Gradey Dick (2%) also played well, finishing with 15 points, five rebounds, three assists, one steal, and three 3-pointers in 25 minutes.

Ayo Dosunmu (23%)

The absence of Patrick Williams (foot) meant a spot start for Dosunmu, who gave the Bulls solid contributions in their win over Portland. He played 33 minutes, accounting for 11 points, five rebounds, three assists, three blocks, and one 3-pointer. What fantasy managers should do with Dosunmu moving forward depends on Williams, as he’ll be evaluated when the Bulls return to Chicago. Sunday’s game was the last of the team’s road trip, so there shouldn’t be too long of a wait regarding Williams’ timeline. Until that happens, managers who have Dosunmu rostered should hold onto him. Chicago may only play three games during Week 15, beginning with a Tuesday/Wednesday back-to-back.

John Konchar (14%), GG Jackson (10%), and David Roddy (5%)

Luke Kennard joining Memphis’ lengthy list of injured players meant that Konchar, Jackson, and Roddy were of added importance to the rotation. Konchar only scored nine points in Sunday’s loss to the Pacers, but he was also responsible for seven rebounds, four assists, two blocks, and one 3-pointer. He’s blocked 12 shots in his last five games, impressive production for a guard.

Roddy replaced Kennard in the starting lineup, finishing with 14 points, five rebounds, one assist, one steal, one block, and two 3-pointers in 32 minutes. As for Jackson, he contributed 18 points, four rebounds, one assist, one steal, one block, and two 3-pointers in 29 minutes off the bench, shooting 6-of-9 from the field. Konchar is the best to hold onto of the three since he’s likely to be a starter for the foreseeable future.

Jonathan Isaac (3%)

“Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.” That’s where some fantasy managers may be with Isaac, even with the modest line he produced in Sunday’s win over the Suns. He played 23 minutes, accounting for nine points, three rebounds, one assist, one steal, two blocks, and one 3-pointer. The significant development was Isaac saying after the game that he expects to play in Monday’s game against the Mavericks in Dallas, and the Magic did not include him on the initial injury report. We’ll see if this holds, but a talent like Isaac only needs 20-25 minutes (and good health, of course) to provide solid value.

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