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NBA Barometer: Hassan's on the Right Side

Juan Carlos Blanco

Winner of the FSWA 2016 Newcomer of the Year Award, Juan Carlos Blanco has been playing fantasy sports for close to 20 years and covers NBA, MLB, and the NFL for, including serving as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' beat writer. He has previously written for and remains an avid season-long and daily fantasy player in multiple sports.


Andrew Wiggins, F, MIN -
Wiggins' points, rebounds, field-goal percentage, three-point and free-throw attempts are improved over last season. He's averaging more than three more points per game (24.0) than in 2015-16 (20.7), eclipsing the 20 points in four of seven games and 30 points in another. With Ricky Rubio (elbow) out of the lineup the last week and Gorgui Dieng underwhelming on offense, Wiggins has taken on an even larger role alongside Zach LaVine and Karl-Anthony Towns as a principal purveyor of scoring.

Hassan Whiteside, C, MIA -
Whiteside's role is more pivotal than ever, and he's largely delivered this season. He's averaging almost five more shot attempts per game and almost four more points (17.9) over last season's 14.2. He also has double-doubles in six of his first seven games, averaging 16 boards in the last three games alone.

E'Twaun Moore,G, NOP -
Moore has been solid overall as the Pels' shooting guard to open the season, but appears to have potentially hit his stride the last four games. He's averaging 16.0 points and 4.5 assists in that span, while draining at least one three-pointer in each of those games. Although Anthony Davis and to a lesser extent, Tim Frazier, have been the principal sources of offense for New Orleans, Moore has started to consistently carve out a niche as well.

Nick Young, G, LAL -
Young has been rejuvenated under new coach Luke Walton, averaging 17.4 points and draining 14 three-pointers in his last five games. He shoots 46.3 percent from the field, as well, and with his grip on the starting shooting guard job and high scoring upside, he makes for an appealing target.

Derrick Favors, F, UTA -
Favors appears fully recovered from his early season knee problems and rattled off double-digit scoring performances in four straight games. He's posted double-doubles in two of those contests, come up just one rebound short of a third such effort, and has ramped up his playing time well north of 30 minutes in the last two games. Given his role in the offense and previous body of work, he looks ready to serve as an important cog.


Dirk Nowitzki, F, DAL -
Nowitzki (Achilles) continues to be without a firm timetable for return, leaving a combination of Dwight Powell and Harrison Barnes to man his spot. Powell has benefited from the extra run, averaging 12.5 points and 6.5 rebounds over his last two games.

Tony Allen, G, MEM -
Allen missed his second straight game Saturday with a groin injury, giving James Ennis another start. Ennis performed well in Allen's stead when the latter missed the first three games of the season with a knee injury and went for nine points, three rebounds, two assists and four steals in 32 minutes in a Tuesday start against the Nuggets.

Deron Williams, G, DAL -
Williams reportedly endured a setback with his calf strain Thursday, which guarantees he'll at least miss Monday's game against the Knicks. His absence will continue to afford J.J. Barea and Seth Curry additional playing time.

Will Barton, G, DEN -
Barton could return this week from his ankle sprain. However, starting two-guard Gary Harris has already returned from his preseason groin injury, so Barton's absence is mainly affording additional opportunity for 2016 first-rounder Jamal Murray.

Jeremy Lin, G, BKN -
Lin's injured hamstring is scheduled to be evaluated this week. Isaiah Whitehead received some starts in Lin's stead but is now in the concussion protocol, leaving Randy Foye and rookie Yogi Ferrell to man point guard.

Jae Crowder, F, BOS -
Coach Brad Stevens said best-case scenario for Crowder’s ankle injury is a return this week. In the meantime, Marcus Smart figures to continue seeing starting opportunities. He's thrived in that role, scoring double digits in four consecutive games and posting a 12-point, 10-assist double-double against the Knicks on Friday.

Jrue Holiday, G, NOP -
Holiday is scheduled to make his season debut this week. While he may come off the bench initially until he builds his conditioning back up, his return will eventually spell the end of Tim Frazier's starting tenure.

Al-Farouq Aminu>, F, POR- -
Aminu suffered a calf strain last Tuesday against the Suns and will be evaluated in a few weeks. His absence will open playing time for Noah Vonleh and Maurice Harkless, though who will start game to game remains to be seen. However, on occasions when Harkless slides to Aminu's spot at the four, Allen Crabbe and Evan Turner will then also be afforded additional playing time at small forward.

Reggie Jackson, G, DET -
Jackson started taking part in lateral footwork drills last week and remains projected for a late November/early December return. Ish Smith continues to man point guard for the Pistons.

George Hill, G, UTA -
Hill remains sidelined with a sprained thumb, though his absence isn't expected to extend much longer. His starting point guard spot continues to be manned by Shelvin Mack and Dante Exum.

Goran Dragic, G, MIA -
Dragic did not play Saturday against the Jazz. He injured his ankle Thursday against the Bulls. Josh Richardson and Tyler Johnson are expected to be the beneficiaries, and given the lingering nature of ankle injuries, they could both be in line for a multi-game boost in playing time.


Wesley Matthews, G, DAL -
Matthews scored in single digits in his last three games, shooting 24.2 percent (8-of-33). Those numbers are particularly discouraging considering they've come without backcourt mate Deron Williams (calf) in the lineup, which theoretically would have given more opportunities for Matthews to thrive offensively. He's also shooting a career-low 24.1 percent from three-point range, which is supposed to be one of the more proficient parts of his game. Although his starting job doesn't seem to be in jeopardy yet, continued struggles could lead to an eventual change.

Aaron Gordon, F, ORL -
Gordon scored in single digits in five of his last seven games and was relegated to the bench in favor of Jeff Green on Friday. He's averaging over a rebound less than last season, but it's his shooting that's taken a much more noticeable hit. Gordon is shooting 41.1 percent from the field, more than six percentage points lower than last season's 47.3. While the move to the bench may have just been temporary, especially considering the Magic scored only 74 points Friday, Gordon will still have to demonstrate improvement in additional playing time to improve his fantasy profile.

Kris Dunn, G, MIN -
Dunn has gotten an extended opportunity with the first unit in Ricky Rubio's (elbow) stead, but has seen his minutes considerably reduced recently. He's played just 16 and 17 minutes the last two games despite drawing the start in each, going scoreless once and scoring two points in the other. He'd been struggling with larger allotments of playing time prior to that anyhow, posting double digits in just one of the previous five games despite playing 20-30 minutes in four. Tyus Jones has also provided much more of a spark coming off the bench for Dunn, and with Rubio nearing a return, Dunn's days in the starting lineup appear about over.

Thaddeus Young, F, IND -
Young held a major role in the Nets’ offense last season, but with a higher caliber of talent around him in Indiana, his usage has been considerably reduced. He scored in single digits in two of his last five games and was held scoreless in another. Young is averaging a full five points less (10.1) over last season (15.1) and has also seen his rebounds fall from last season's 9.0 figure to 5.8 per game this season. With Jeff Teague, Paul George and the emerging Myles Turner alongside him, Young's offensive potential could well be capped throughout the duration of the season.

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