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Fantasy basketball daily notes for Wednesday: Russell Westbrook breaks the slump

Russell Westbrook of the Los Angeles Lakers (L) lays it up against Jakob Poeltl (R) and the San Antonio Spurs. Los Angeles Lakers

There were five games played on Tuesday night, with 10 more coming on Wednesday, so let's get into it.

Among the biggest highlights of last night were the performances of Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis. So far, the Lakers haven't looked good through three games, and Westbrook's addition seems to have been a mistake. Before last night, he was shooting 34% from the field and 41% from the free throw line.

With LeBron James out with a sore leg against the Spurs, Westbrook and Davis contributed 91 of the Lakers' 125 points. They each had over 30 points and 10 rebounds, becoming the second Lakers duo to do that in a game this season (James and Davis on October 19). The Lakers also scored 72 points in the paint, second most of any James team in a game without him.


Tuesday Recap

Highlights

Russell Westbrook, Los Angeles Lakers: 33 points (14-33 FGs), 10 rebounds, 8 assists, 3 steals

Dejounte Murray, San Antonio Spurs: 21 points (9-24 FGs), 12 rebounds, 15 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks

Lowlights

Joel Embiid, Philadelphia 76ers: 14 points (2-7 FGs), 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal, 1 block

Kristaps Porzingis, Dallas Mavericks: 9 points (2-10 FGs), 3 rebounds, 1 assist

Tuesday's takeaways

New York Knicks 110, Philadelphia 76ers 92

  • In 28 minutes, Kemba Walker had 19 points, three rebounds, five assists, two steals, a block, and five three-pointers in his best game thus far with the Knicks. Derrick Rose also played well with 13 points, three rebounds, an assist, and a steal off the bench. They eat into each other's fantasy value.

  • Julius Randle had 16 points, seven assists, and two three-pointers in 36 minutes. Despite a middling performance, he's averaging 25.5 points, 11.3 rebounds, 6.5 assists, 2.3 blocks, and 1.3 steals through his first four games.

  • Evan Fournier had 18 points, two rebounds, four assists, and a block in 32 minutes against the 76ers. Four games in, he's 16 of 32 from beyond the arc. He should keep getting attempts from the Knicks.

  • With Ben Simmons still away due to personal issues, Tobias Harris stepped up as the primary playmaker for the Philadelphia 76ers. He tallied 23 points, nine rebounds, nine assists, and two three-pointers in 33 minutes, while shooting 10 of 18 from the field and 1 for 1 from the foul line. Harris scored 46.3 fantasy points. It may be a good time to sell high on him.

  • In 30 minutes, Embiid finished with 14 points, six rebounds, three assists, a steal, and a blocked shot while playing through knee discomfort. Andre Drummond had six points, nine rebounds, two assists, and a steal in 14 minutes. This performance reminds you how valuable he'd be in fantasy if Embiid were to miss time.

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Kemba drops 19 points as Knicks steamroll 76ers in the Garden

Kemba Walker scores 19 points and dishes five assists to lift the Knicks to a dominant win over the 76ers.

Golden State Warriors 106, Oklahoma City Thunder 98

  • While being defended by Lu Dort, Stephen Curry was held to 23 points, four assists, six rebounds, four three-pointers and a block in 32 minutes. He's averaged 29 points, 6.3 assists, 8.3 rebounds, and 1.8 steals per game so far this season.

  • In 31 minutes, Andrew Wiggins scored 21 points, grabbed four rebounds, had four assists, three steals, and a block. Even though he was 0-5 from beyond the arc, Wiggins has scored 10 or more points in every game this season.

  • Damion Lee scored 20 points (four 3-pointers), three rebounds, and one assist. I'd recommend him for deep leagues, especially if you need threes.

  • With a season-high 30 points, four rebounds, four assists and a steal in 36 minutes, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is running at full throttle after a rough start to the season.

  • In 27 minutes, Josh Giddey had seven points, nine rebounds, four assists, a steal and a block. Giddey plays 27.2 minutes a game as a starter. His game offers a lot of promise, and he should be rostered.

Los Angeles Lakers 125, San Antonio Spurs 121

  • Malik Monk did his best LeBron James impersonation and finished with 17 points, a rebound, three assists, a steal, and four three-pointers in 39 minutes. He could go bonkers if James or Anthony Davis are both out of the lineup.

  • In 38 minutes, Jakob Poeltl scored 27 points, had 14 rebounds, a steal, and three blocks. He does exactly what the Spurs need him to do.

  • In category formats, Dejounte Murray has a strong chance of finishing in the top-50. In 40 minutes, he scored 21 points (9-24 FG), 12 rebounds, 15 assists, two steals, two blocks, and two three-pointers.

  • Devin Vassell had 19 points, seven rebounds, two assists, two steals, and five three pointers. He's worth adding in deep leagues, or if you need a boost to 3-point shooting.

Dallas Mavericks 116, Houston Rockets 106

  • Aside from scoring 26 points, Luka Doncic collected 14 rebounds, seven assists, two steals, a block, and four turnovers. Doncic's field goal percentage (.409) and turnovers (4.7 per game) are concerning, though. Kristaps Porzingis exited with a back injury, which could push Doncic to carry more of the load.

  • Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 16 points, made two three-pointers, collected two rebounds, and had two steals in 30 minutes. So far, he's averaging 18 points, 1.3 steals, and 3.7 three-pointers. Porzingis' absence could be beneficial to Hardaway as well.

  • Jalen Brunson scored 11 points, four rebounds, 11 assists, and a steal in 28 minutes. As Doncic's backup, he's worth adding in deep leagues. This was Brunson's seventh double-double, and his assists matched his career-high.

  • With 15 points, 10 rebounds, a block, and three three-pointers in 29 minutes, Daniel Theis had his best game of the season. He should be added preemptively.

  • Through four games, Kevin Porter Jr. has coughed up 26 turnovers. On the other hand, he scored 13 points, grabbed five rebounds, made eight assists, and stole two balls against Houston. It would be a mistake to drop Porter this early, as his assist average of six per game is still productive.

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Luka makes and-1 floater vs. Rockets

Luka Doncic shakes the defender and finishes through contact for an and-1 basket vs. the Rockets.

Utah Jazz 122, Denver Nuggets 110

  • In 15 minutes, Nikola Jokic had 24 points, six rebounds, six assists, and three 3-pointers. He did sustain a left knee injury.

  • If Jokic misses time, Aaron Gordon may benefit. He scored a season high 20 points, seven rebounds, an assist, a steal and a block.

  • Will Barton scored 21 points, four rebounds, three assists, a steal, and a block in 37 minutes. After a slow start, he came alive in the third quarter.

  • Michael Porter Jr.'s performance offers managers a buy low window. In 39 minutes, he had 13 points (5-18 FGs), nine rebounds, two assists and two steals.

  • Monte Morris had his best game of the season, scoring 19 points, adding four assists and a steal. Hopefully, he can keep it up, since Jamal Murray continues to recover from a torn ACL.

Injuries of note

  • In Tuesday's game, Jokic left with a right knee contusion.

  • Pacal Siakam practiced fully on Tuesday, and he expects to be back by early November.

  • Caris LeVert has returned to full contact in Pacers practice. He does not yet have a return date set, but this is very encouraging for LeVert since been plagued by injuries for most of his career.

  • Doug McDermott left the Lakers game with a sore right knee.

  • Porzingis is day-to-day with a lower back injury.

  • It is doubtful that Terry Rozier will play against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night.

  • Serge Ibaka has already been ruled out of Wednesday's game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.

  • Brook Lopez won't suit up for Wednesday's game against the Timberwolves. Jrue Holiday will not play Wednesday against the Timberwolves.

DFS Discussion

This new section of the column details top daily fantasy plays and strategies to consider for that day's schedule.

Analytics advantage for Wednesday

The Lakers are an excellent team to expose your lineups to, as they rank bottom-ten in defensive net rating (22nd) and points allowed per game (118.8) while allowing the highest fantasy points per game to point guards. As a result, Gilgeous-Alexander makes an excellent DFS option and a great value at his salary on DraftKings and FanDuel. Over the last two games, he's averaged 29.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, six assists, a steal, and 0.5 blocks.

Here are two other options you may want to consider:

Harrison Barnes, Sacramento Kings

In three games this year, Barnes has averaged 28.3 points, up from 16.1 points last year. Barnes has amassed stats in multiple categories, averaging 10.3 rebounds, five 3-pointers, and one steal per game. Small forwards have a strong matchup against the Phoenix Suns, who allow 30.66 points, 7.45 rebounds, 4.97 assists, 5.38 3-pointers, and 1.65 steals per game to the position.

Franz Wagner, Orlando Magic

This season, Wagner has started and scored in double figures in every game. Additionally, he's accumulating steals, blocks, and 3-pointers, making him an attractive DFS option. Wagner's recent success should continue against a Charlotte Hornets team that gives up 30.52 points, 8.34 rebounds, six assists, 3.39 3-pointers, 0.26 steals and 0.52 blocks per game to small forwards.