Thursday, January 20, 2022

Fantasy Basketball Week 12: Who’s hot, who’s not, and a fantasy spotlight player for Wednesday

We’re nearly halfway through Week 12 of the 2021-22 NBA season. While there weren’t any all-time performances on Tuesday’s five-game slate, several point guards put up big-time numbers. More than a few of the game’s best floor generals will suit up for Wednesday’s 11-game slate, and another will make his highly anticipated debut. Let’s go over who’s hot, cold, and why Kyrie Irving is the must-see attraction for Wednesday.

Who’s hot

VanVleet has been the driving force behind the Toronto Raptors‘ three-game winning streak. The star point guard has notched 33 points, 7.0 assists, and 6.0 made threes per contest in his last three outings. He’s converted his threes at a 45 percent clip during that span. While VanVleet could have a tough matchup against the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday, he has an excellent chance to finish strong against the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday.

Morant is back to looking like an All-NBA talent for the streaking Memphis Grizzlies. He’s averaged 30.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 6.2 assists during his team’s six consecutive wins. He’s shot over 60 percent from three on 3.8 attempts per game during that span. Morant will get to rest on Wednesday and has an ideal schedule for the rest of Week 12. He’ll face the Detroit Pistons, Los Angeles Clippers, and Los Angeles Lakers next.

Holiday has been a monster since taking a day off for rest against the Cleveland Cavaliers in mid-December. The Milwaukee Bucks point guard has tallied 22.6 points, 4.9 rebounds, 6.9 assists, and 2.4 steals while shooting nearly 60 percent shooting over his last seven games. He’s a fringe top-10 point guard in points leagues and could climb a spot or two if he keeps playing at this level. 

Who’s not

Since returning from a two-game layoff, Ingram has averaged 13 points on 22 percent shooting. While that two-game sample size is small, fantasy managers haven’t gotten much from the New Orleans Pelicans wing lately. He’s scored less than 17 real points in three straight games for the first time since March of the 2017-18 season. While he’s sure to turn things around, he hasn’t been the elite fantasy asset he should be with Zion Williamson out of the mix for the foreseeable future. 

Wednesday Fantasy Spotlight

Kyrie Irving will play NBA basketball on Wednesday. The Brooklyn Nets star’s vaccination status led to a long-term absence, but he’s set to make his 2021-22 debut against the Indiana Pacers. Fantasy managers who stashed him ahead of the season or picked up him on the waiver wire toward the end of 2021 should be eager to see what they’re getting. You could argue that Irving’s best statistical season came in 2021-22 alongside James Harden and Kevin Durant. He averaged 26.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 6.0 assists per game last season and shot 50 percent from the field. De’Aaron Fox was the only other top-10 fantasy point guard who played fewer than 60 games that campaign.

Rookie Report

Barnes has been one of this season’s most consistent and productive rookies and will face the Bucks for the second time in his career on Wednesday. The Raptors swingman played a ton of minutes in a win the first time he battled Milwaukee. He finished with 15 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and three steals in 38 minutes. Barnes came close to notching his first triple-double his last game, and I expect him to be active at Fiserv Forum.

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