While Tuesday’s game schedule was light by Week 14 standards, with five games being played, there was no shortage of action. Things started with the Heat acquiring Terry Rozier from the Hornets for Kyle Lowry and a 2027 first-round pick. Then, the first head coaching change of the season occurred, with the Bucks firing Adrian Griffin. Despite sitting in second plays in the East with a 30-13 record, things were not going smoothly in Milwaukee, as the team has been among the worst in the NBA on the defensive end of the floor.

As for the action on the court, Tuesday’s game between the Nuggets and Pacers was the first for Indiana since it was revealed that Tyrese Haliburton suffered a setback with his injured hamstring. He’ll miss at least three games, opening the door for T.J. McConnell (25% rostered, Yahoo) and Andrew Nembhard (6%) to take on more prominent roles. In the past, McConnell was the easy streaming choice for fantasy managers, even if he was still coming off the bench. In Tuesday’s loss to Denver, both point guards were productive while on the court.

McConnell finished with 17 points, one rebound, seven assists, and one 3-pointer in 21 minutes, shooting 7-of-11 from the field and 2-of-2 from the foul line. While he did commit three turnovers, that hasn’t been the norm for McConnell. As for Nembhard, he tallied 15 points, one rebound, seven assists, and one 3-pointer in 27 minutes. Plus/minus isn’t a scoring category in fantasy basketball, but McConnell (+10) finished with a far better number than Nembhard (-15).

Indiana plays three more games during Week 14 over four days, beginning with the 76ers on Monday. McConnell remains the priority add with Haliburton sidelined, but managers in deep leagues who miss out on him should consider Nembhard as an alternative. Let’s look at a few more of Tuesday’s top pickups:

Larry Nance (15%)

While Nance did start the second half of the Pelicans’ blowout win over Utah, he was more impactful in the first. In 12 first-half minutes, he accounted for 10 points, five rebounds, one assist, one steal, and one 3-pointer, shooting 4-of-4 from the field and 1-of-1 from the foul line. When he was at his best last season, Nance could siphon minutes away from starter Jonas Valanciunas, proving to be an upgrade defensively. Unfortunately, the timing isn’t great, as the Pelicans don’t play again until Friday against Oklahoma City. Also, that game is the first of a back-to-back, which could result in some rotation shuffling. (With that in mind, Jordan Hawkins’ value could increase.)

Jabari Walker (31%) and Duop Reath (20%)

Portland’s controversial loss to the Thunder overshadowed Walker’s performance on Tuesday. In 34 minutes, he accumulated 14 points, 13 rebounds, one block, and two 3-pointers, shooting 6-of-14 from the field. Having started Portland’s last five games, Walker’s provided 12th-round value over the past two weeks, according to Basketball Monster. While Reath is ranked a few rounds higher over this stretch, his value depends on the play (and availability) of starting center Deandre Ayton. Ayton didn’t offer much production in Oklahoma City, but Reath came off the bench and put up 10 points, four rebounds, three assists, one steal, one block, and two 3-pointers in 21 minutes.

Dennis Smith Jr. (11%)

Here we go again with the Nets’ point guard situation. Starter Spencer Dinwiddie offered little in his 19 minutes on the floor, going scoreless while accounting for four assists. As a result, Smith logged 29 minutes, finishing with eight points, five rebounds, five assists, two steals, and one blocked shot. This is a “hot hand” situation, as the 19 minutes played by Dinwiddie were the fewest for him since Brooklyn’s January 11 loss to Cleveland (16 minutes). Smith has hit double figures in two of his last three games, but the minutes split makes this too volatile of a spot to rely on him in most fantasy leagues. However, he remains worthy of a look in deeper leagues.

Simone Fontecchio (8%)

Fontecchio has started Utah’s last 13 games, with inconsistent production being why he remains widely available. The second-year forward was productive against the Pelicans, hitting five 3-pointers and finishing with 18 points, four rebounds, two assists, and two steals in 25 minutes. Fontecchio is pretty much a player who should be streamed on lighter schedule days, as was the case on Tuesday. Utah’s final two games of Week 14 are played on busier days, but they’re against the Wizards (Thursday) and Hornets (Saturday).

Jarred Vanderbilt (6%)

LeBron James being sidelined due to a lingering ankle issue freed up minutes and opportunities for a few of the Lakers’ supplementary frontcourt options, with Vanderbilt being one of them. In 25 minutes off the bench, he produced 12 points, nine rebounds, two assists, three steals, and one blocked shot in the Lakers’ loss to the Clippers. His fantasy value moving forward depends on LeBron’s availability. Still, it should also be noted that Cam Reddish sprained his right ankle during the second half, so it isn’t a lock that he’ll be available for Thursday’s game against the Bulls. That could also free up opportunities for Vanderbilt, even if he continues to come off the bench.





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