The Kings' tough start to the season somehow got more difficult on Monday when De'Aaron Fox suffered a Grade 3 ankle sprain in practice. The injury means Fox will be reevaluated in three to four weeks, a crushing blow to the Kings' chances of reentering a competitive contention race in the West.
It's not just Kings fans who feel the sting of losing their top playmaker, as Fox's fantasy managers are left to scramble for replacement production of his 18.2 PPG and seven assists per outing. The key beneficiary, statistically, of Fox's absence might just be the team's sixth man Bogdan Bogdanovic, who has averaged 21.0 PPG, 4.0 APG, 3.0 RPG, 1.5 SPG, and a gaudy 5.5 3PG during the past week of play.
With the team in need of Bogdanovic's creation off the live dribble, he could enjoy a sizable uptick in fantasy value in the weeks ahead. You can find the savvy combo guard in free agency in more than 80% of ESPN leagues as of Tuesday morning.
Kristaps Porzingis, Dallas Mavericks: 4 points (1-11 FG), 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 TO
Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns became the first pair of Timberwolves teammates with 25 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists in the same game since Kevin Garnett and Ricky Davis back in March of 2007. Wiggins now has two games this season with at least 30-5-5 in what has been an impressive resurgence thus far for the still-young wing.
Blake Griffin made his season debut for the Pistons with 19 points and 13 combined assists and rebounds in 24 minutes of action. Derrick Rose also returned to the floor but struggled with just three made field goals in 20 minutes of play. Beyond the obvious positive of Griffin returning to action is that Luke Kennard kept up his scoring production even with these two high-usage vets in the mix; the Duke product delivered 25 points on 17 shots with an impressive five trips to the free throw line in the loss to the Wolves.
Tatum's five points and 6% shooting rate marks the second-worst shooting performance by a Celtics player over the past 65 seasons (minimum 15 attempts). Tatum also tied for the second-worst shooting performance (min. 15 attempts) in a win over the past 65 seasons (since 1955-56), according to Elias. Kemba Walker's night was a bit more impressive, as he produced 29 points and sank eight 3s. He now has 38 3s this season, the most through the first 10 games in Celtics history (Walker has played nine games).
Harden is now averaging an absurd 37.3 PPG this season, the most by any player in the first 10 games of a season over the past 50 seasons. Russell Westbrook notched 26 points in the win over the Pelicans and now has back-to-back 25-point games for the first time this season.
With 33 last night in Utah, the Warriors' D'Angelo Russell has averaged 36.3 PPG the past four games, thanks to an incredible 26.3 shots per game during this sample. The Warriors have lost all four games, but Russell's fantasy managers are undoubtedly enjoying this scoring binge.
Rudy Gobert finally delivered a strong scoring game with 25 points and 14 rebounds. It required historic efficiency for Gobert to go off, with the big man making all but one of his 12 attempts. Gobert's 92% rate from the field is the best by a Jazz player since Karl Malone back in February of 2001 against the SuperSonics.
Speaking of sources of rim protection, Toronto's Chris Boucher produced two blocks and made three 3-pointers as a key reserve for the Raptors on Tuesday. The widely available Boucher is a fun defensive force to consider in deeper formats.
Injuries of note
The Rockets' Danuel House Jr. left Monday's win over the Pelicans with a back contusion. We'll learn more about House's injury ahead of their next game.
OG Anunoby left Monday's game after just two minutes of play with an eye injury. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson was productive in Anunoby's place, but it's unclear yet if OG will miss anymore time due to the injury.
The Clippers' Landry Shamet suffered a sprained ankle on Monday and left the arena on crutches, per reports. The second-year shooting guard will undergo further testing on his ankle to determine a specific plan and timeline for return.
Analytics advantage for Tuesday
Since the Kings play tonight, let's delve deeper into Bogdanovic's potential to earn meaningful production in a game with the Trail Blazers. For one, Portland's porous perimeter defense has allowed the seventh-most fantasy points per game (52) to opposing points guards using DraftKings' scoring key.
Even though Bogdanovic is sixth in passes made per game on the Kings this season, this number is due for correction, given he averaged 50% more passes per game last season. Bogdanovic is impressively second on Sacramento in potential assists this season behind just Fox despite the dip in passing equity. While Cory Joseph will certainly factor into the point guard role with Fox gone, it's a good bet that Bogdanovic's superior distribution skills will surface.
Top players to watch tonight
A fun matchup between the Lakers and Suns provides yet another important litmus test for this rising Phoenix roster. In terms of specific matchups, it's compelling to consider how Aron Baynes, who has been awesomely effective and productive in place of Deandre Ayton thus far, will match up with the Lakers' frontcourt.
Our milestones watch has Anthony Davis just two boards shy of reaching 5,000 career rebounds, while JaVale McGee needs eight swats to reach 1,000 career blocks. It's safe to say McGee's milestone will need to wait, but it will be interesting to see if Phoenix deploys Baynes on Davis in similar fashion to how he was used against the 76ers' Ben Simmons last week in an effective counter from Monty Williams.