Caris LeVert solid start from the spot

Two nights removed from a four-point victory over the Heat in Miami, the Cleveland Cavaliers played the return game without a starter Darius Garland. A late addition to the injury report, Garland sidestepped a right quad contusion, opening up a spot in the starting lineup for Caris LeVert (30% of applicants, Yahoo). His status in fantasy basketball was significantly affected by the purchase of the Cavs Donovan Mitchell, with the spot is starting to be a way he could make up some value.

In 27 starts this season, LeVert is averaging 15.0 points, 4.4 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.3 blocks and 2.3 three-pointers in 34.5 minutes while shooting 40.2 % from the field and 76.0% from the foul line. As a reserve (36 appearances), he is averaging 8.9 points, 3.6 rebounds, 3.2 assists, 0.9 steals, 0.3 blocks and 1.0 three-pointers in 26.6 minutes, shooting 42.4% from the field and 67.6% from the foul line.

The spot start was expected to boost LeVert’s value on Friday, but no one expected an explosion. He finished the 119-115 loss to the Heat with 16 points, three rebounds, four assists, one steal, one block and four 3-pointers in 39 minutes. Obviously, that’s not the best statistic, but it’s not the worst either. Mitchell, who scored 30 shots (made 42 baskets) as a de facto point guard, certainly had an impact. But LeVert has done enough to merit transfer consideration the next time Garland sits. Ricky Rubio (2%) is unlikely to be on anyone’s radar to watch Friday’s games, but he dished out a team-high eight assists to go along with eight points, three rebounds and two 3-pointers in 25 minutes off the bench. .

With the end of the regular season a month away, many fantasy leagues have either already started their postseason or are getting close to it. Time means there should be some “dumb season” stars lurking on the waiver wire, due to injuries or the dreaded “injury management” tag. The selections on Friday’s list were thin, but there were some noteworthy names.

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Daniel Gafford (38%)

Gafford has been a fixture in the Wizards’ starting lineup since just before Christmas, but is still listed in less than 40% of Yahoo leagues. And inconsistent production has a lot to do with it. In the four games following his 18 points in a March 2 win over Toronto, Gafford has averaged 7.3 points, 4.8 rebounds, 1.0 assists, 0.8 steals and 0.3 blocks in 24 ,0 minutes. Being part of a lineup with three ball-dominant scorers doesn’t do Gafford any favors, but he was able to collect double figures in Friday’s loss to the Hawks. He played 29 minutes, finishing with 13 points, eight rebounds, two assists and one block, shooting 6-7 from the field. A decent return for managers who stuck with Gafford, but he’s not a player fantasy managers should be actively pursuing at this point.

Jeremy Sochan (37%)

Except Khem Birch (knee), the Spurs’ rotation was its healthiest in years Friday night. Sochan returned to the starting lineup after missing Sunday’s blowout by the Rockets, and the rookie had a good night. Playing 32 minutes, Sochan finished the Spurs’ 128-120 win over Denver with 19 points, eight rebounds, three assists and one steal. The four turnovers weren’t good, but the overall line was. What works in Sochan’s favor, aside from the Spurs giving their young players time to make mistakes, is the schedule. San Antonio ends the season with a 4-4-3-4 schedule in Weeks 21-24 after playing just two games this week.

Austin Reaves (33%)

Return from D’Angelo Russell gave the Lakers a welcome Friday night, as he went 5-of-5 from the field in the fourth quarter to lead them to a 10-point victory over the Raptors. But that didn’t immediately spell doom for the rotation players whose roles were bigger when D’Lo was sidelined. Reaves is one of those guys, as he played 32 minutes off the bench and collected 18 points, two rebounds, five assists and one block.

The same can be said for Dennis Schroeder (46%), who posted 23/1/7/4 (with three 3-pointers) in 33 minutes off the bench, but the focus here is on Reaves. Between LeBron James (ankle) is out and Troy Brown Jr. doesn’t give the Lakers much production, Reaves’ value appears to be protected for now. After Sunday’s game against the Knicks, the Lakers finish the regular season with a record of 4-3-3-4 over the last four weeks.

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Royce O’Neal (23%)

The Nets have an excess of wings, making it difficult to focus on anyone outside of them Mikal Mostovi i Cameron Johnson. But O’Neale, who was an unsung fantasy hero during the early part of the season, has seen his minutes increase recently. He has played 32 minutes or more in three of his last four appearances and finished Friday’s overtime win over the Timberwolves with 12 points, 15 rebounds, two assists, three steals and three three-pointers in 36 minutes off the bench. Nets coach Jacque Vaughn played nine, but only seven reached double-digit minutes. If O’Neale can get 25 minutes a night moving forward, it might be worth keeping him around a bit. Brooklyn ends its season with a 3-4-3-4 record in Weeks 21-24.

Gabe Vincent (6%)

We end up with a man who has already fallen off the fantasy radar despite starting on a consistent basis. Vincent has started Miami’s last 15 games due to the absence Kyle Lowry (knee), and he entered Friday averaging 5.6 points on 29.8% shooting over his last eight. Between Vincent putting up another string of pedestrian stats (six points, one rebound, three assists and one steal in 22 minutes), and after it was announced after Friday’s win over the Cavs that Lowry was slated to play in Saturday’s game in Orlando, no he needs a few remaining candidates to stay on the list.

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