Description: Pistons forward Greg Monroe recorded a double-double on Friday.
Insight: In a game that featured Andre Drummond and Roy Hibbert, Monroe had a game-high 15 rebounds along with 19 points, shooting 7-of-11. Monroe also had three steals, a block and an assist. With no Josh Smith, Monroe is the clear power forward option in Detroit and thus sees a boost in fantasy value.
Description: Pacers center Roy Hibbert led Indiana with 19 points in Friday's loss.
Insight: The scoring is nice, but Hibbert only grabbed five rebounds. Hibbert did have a tough matchup against Andre Drummond, but with no assists, steals or blocks, it would have been nice to see Hibbert get close to a double-double with points and rebounds. On a positive note, he did make 9-of-10 free throws.
Description: Bucks forward Jared Dudley scored in double figures for the fourth straight game on Friday, leading the team with 24 points.
Insight: Dudley's sudden scoring burst can mostly be credited to his great 3-point shooting. Over the last four games, he is 10-for-16 from behind the arc. On Friday, Dudley was a perfect 10-for-10 from the field. He is playing a decent amount of minutes, but fantasy owners will have to count on his hot shooting continuing to make him a player worth starting.
Description: Pacers shooting guard Rodney Stuckey suffered a facial contusion during the third quarter of Friday's game and went to the locker room according to Indy Star Sports.
Insight: Andre Drummond hit him in the face and maybe poked Stuckey in the eye. He had to be helped to the locker room. Stuckey is out for the game. Before he left, Stuckey had nine points, five rebounds, three assists and one 3-pointer in 19 minutes.
Description: Cavaliers forward LeBron James scored 15 points in the final quarter to lead Cleveland over Orland, 98-89.
Insight: James finished with 29 points, shooting 50 percent from the floor and 9-of-11 at the line. James' two misses were the only missed Cleveland free throws of the game as the team shot 92.3 percent at the line. James also had eight assists, five rebounds, two steals and two blocks. He is obviously a must-start every game, but as long as Kyrie Irving is out, James will handle the ball more and accumulate more stats.
Description: Spurs guard Corey Joseph is worth picking up in most leagues.
Insight: That's because Tony Parker is expected to receive extended time off due to his hamstring injury. Gregg Popovich has brought back his players earlier than originally stated before, so perhaps Parker won't be out multiple weeks, but Popovich's history of not caring until the playoffs would suggest Parker will not return until he is completely healthy. Therfore, Joseph is fantasy relevant and a worthy pickup.
Description: Nets guard Jarrett Jack led the team with 27 points on Friday versus the Celtics.
Insight: Jack shot 8-of-14 from the field and went a perfect 10-for-10 at the line. Jack also had seven rebounds, five assists, three steals and a block. In the last three games, Jack averaged 19.7 ppg and 7.7 apg as he is becoming a decent fantasy option as long as Deron Williams is out.
Description: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant will likely not play against the Mavericks on Friday according to The Star-Telegram.
Insight: As we said on Christmas, the old Kobe wouldn't miss games, but apparently losing changes a player. Bryant was really only providing fantasy owners scoring and now that he is missing games, his fantasy value continues to drop.
Description: Celtics rookie Marcus Smart will move back into the starting lineup on Friday.
Insight: This is good news for fantasy owners. Jameer Nelson was playing pretty well as the team's starting point guard, but Smart has more upside in both real life and fantasy. Hopefully Smart can turn around his somewhat disappointing rookie campaign.
Description: Los Angeles guard Jamal Crawford came off the bench and led the Clippers in scoring on Christmas.
Insight: Crawford shot 8-for-18, scoring 24 points. He shot 4-of-10 from the 3-point line. Crawford also had seven rebounds and two assists. Crawford hasn't had a great month of Decemeber, but in the last five games, he is averaging 19.4 ppg.
Description: Warriors small forward Harrison Barnes recorded a double-double on Christmas Day versus the Clippers.
Insight: Golden State had balanced scoring as six different players reached double figures, but no one scored 20 and the Warriors lost, 100-86, to the Clippers. Barnes had 12 points, shooting 5-for-13, with 13 rebounds.
Description: Bulls guard Derrick Rose continues to play well, posting 20 points and six assists in a victory over the Lakers.
Insight: That's three straight games over 20 points has he continues to improve after missing so much time the past three seasons. This was his 19th game this season after playing just 10 a season ago and none in 2012.
Description: Heat guard Dwyane Wade led Miami with 31 points in a win over Cleveland and his old friend LeBron James.
Insight: Wade shot very well in the first half when he posted 24 points, but struggled with his shot after the break. Fortunately, Luol Deng picked up the slack. Wade added five rebounds, five assists and two steals.
Description: Heat forward Luol Deng had a big second half as the Miami Heat downed the Cleveland Cavsd in LeBron James' return to Miami.
Insight: Deng hit 11-of-16 for 25 points and pulled in eight rebounds with eight assists in 40 minutes. That's what we used to see from Deng in Chicago and we hope to see more of it in Miami. He was averaging 14.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.5 apg heading into this contest.
Description: Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving scored 25 points in the Christmas Day loss to Miami.
Insight: Irving shotwell, but the Cavs need more than three assists out of their point guard. Of concern to Irving owners was a hard fall in the final minutes that had him limping. Hopefully, it's nothing serious.
Description: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant missed the Tuesday upset win over Golden State and will miss a second game with what coach Byron Scott called "general soreness."
Insight: The old Kobe was a "warrior" and would never miss games, but this new guy, on a non-competitive team, is apparently ok with taking time off. The Lakers play Dallas on Friday and he has to be considered questionable for that one too.
Description: Grizzlies power forward Zach Randolph is questionable for Friday's game against Houston while dealing with a swollen right knee. UPDATE: Randolph will not play.
Insight: Randolph has missed two games due to the knee issue which are chronic for the double-double machine. He's averaging 16.1 ppg, 11.4 rpg so fantasy owners need him back soon. Jon Leuer has seen an average 28 mpg over the past two contests, averaging 10 ppg and 6.0 rpg.
Description: Thunder guard Russell Westbrook was simply unstaoppable Christmas Day in leading his team to a big win without Kevin Durant.
Insight: Westbrook had 34 points and 11 assists and five steals. He shot 9-of-22 from the field and a perfect 13-for-13 at the free-throw line. He had five rebounds as well. Westbrook is putting up huge numbers, 28.6 ppg, 7.4 apg, 5.7 rpg, and has seriously thrown his hat into the MVP race.
Description: Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony scored 34 points, but he needed 28 shots to get there.
Insight: Anthony's total wasn't enough to get the Knicks a win and they lost for a league-leading 26th time. Melo has scored 30 or more in four straight Christmas Day games. Overall it's been a disappointing season with his averages down in points and rebounds.
Description: Forward Josh Smith, recently waived by the Detroit Pistons, is expected to sign with the Houston Rockets.
Insight: Smith was averaging 13.1 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 4.7 apg, 1.3 spg in Detroit but his presence was stunting Greg Monroe's growth. Smith should step into the power forward slot open by the injury to Terrence Jones.
Description: Thunder small forward Kevin Durant (ankle) is expected to miss Thursday's game against San Antonio.
Insight: For now, consider him day-to-day, but this will be his fourthconsecutive miss. Perry Jones should start but has little to no fantasy value. Russell Westbrook and Reggie Jackson get to shoot more with Durant sidelined.
Description: Minnesota center Nikola Pekovic (wrist, ankle) hasn't played since Nov. 15.
Insight: Coach Flip Saunders gave us a four-week timetable in early December, so he should be returning in early January. Gorgui Dieng had a 20-10 game Tuesday, but is averaging 9.6 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 2.5 apg in 19 starts this season.
Description: Heat forward Chris Bosh is dealing with a calf injury but had hoped to be back for the Christmas Day game against his old pal LeBron James.
Insight: He's been a great fantasy asset to date, averaging 21.6 ppg, 8.2 rpg, 2.1 apg, 1.1 spg and unfortunately, there is no one person to pick up the slack. Chris Andersen and Udonis Haslem get his minutes.
Description: Hornets shooting guard Lance Stephenson is out indefinitely with a sprained pelvis.
Insight: Gerald Henderson should continue see more playing time. Stephenson (10.2 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 4.8 apg) has also been the subject of trade rumors, including one that would send him back to Indiana, as he hasn't fit in very well with his teammates or this offense.
Description: Nets point guard Deron Williams, who suffered a strained right calf on Friday night, has missed the past two games but is questionable for Friday's game against Boston.
Insight: Williams has a history of leg injuries, so the team is likely to be conservative, but he was back at practice Wednesday which is a very good sign. Jarrett Jack gets 30-plus minutes when Williams is sidelined.
Description: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant missed the Tuesday upset win over Golden State.
Insight: It was just coach Byron Scott giving the 36-year-old with a "million miles" on the engine a rest day after he shot 26-for-91 (28.5 percent) over the past four games. He should return for the Christmas Day game against Chicago.
Description: Bucks guard Brandon Knight scored a season-high 34 points on Tuesday.
Insight: Someone has to take the reigns Jabari Parker is leaving behind because of his injury, and Knight is a guy who could. He certainly did on Tuesday, shooting 13-of-21 and hitting 4-of-7 3-pointers. Knight also had five assists, two rebounds and a steal.
Description: Hornets point guard Kemba Walker led the team with 27 points on Tuesday.
Insight: Walker didn't do much else besides score, but he had good percentages. He was 9-of-18 from the field, 1-for-4 from the 3-point line and 8-for-10 at the free-throw line. Walker also had four assists, two steals and a rebound.
Description: Heat guard Dwyane Wade led Miami with 23 points on Tuesday.
Insight: Unfortunately, it wasn't enough as Miami fell to the lowly 76ers. Without Chris Bosh, Miami has really struggled but for fantasy owners, Wade has put up decent numbers. In addition to the scoring, Wade had six assists and five rebounds.
Description: Sixers point guard Michael Carter-Williams led Philadelphia back to defeat the Heat, 91-87, on Tuesday.
Insight: A two-game winning streak for the 76ers might be a sign the apocalypse is near. Philadelphia outscored Miami, 18-9, in the fourth quarter. Carter-Williams had 20 points with six steals, five assists, three rebounds and a block.
Description: Nets center Mason Plumlee recorded a double-double on Tuesday.
Insight: Plumlee had 19 points and 13 rebounds while shooting 9-of-14 from the field. Although he won't shoot that way very often, if he plays 40 minutes like he did on Tuesday, Plumlee is fantasy relevant.
Description: Nuggets point guard Ty Lawson scored the most points he has all month on Tuesday.
Insight: Lawson put up 29 points with nine assists against the Nets. He shot 4-of-8 from the 3-point line and 50 percent from the floor overall. Lawson is overtaking Kenneth Faried for the best fantasy option on the Nuggets.
Description: Hawks small forward DeMarre Carroll hit a season-high five 3-pointers in the victory over the Clippers on Tuesday.
Insight: Carroll's 3-point percentage is down this month compared to November, but he certainly helped that percentage making 5-of-6 3-pointers on Tuesday. Carroll scored 25 points which is also a season-high.
Description: Timberwolves guard Andrew Wiggins had a big night versus the team who drafted him.
Insight: Wiggins scored 27 points, shooting over 56 percent and making all three 3-pointer attempts versus the Cavaliers. That was nice to see because Wiggins did not reach double digits in scoring in any of the last three games.
Description: Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love had a double-double against his former team on Tuesday.
Insight: Love scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds versus the Timberwolves. Love made one 3-pointer and went 9-for-11 at the line. His numbers aren't as good as they were in Minnesota, but for the most part, they are improving. Although his scoring is down, Love is averaging nearly 3.5 more rpg in December than he did in November.
Description: Pelicans power forward Anthony Davis had a subpar fantasy night for his standards.
Insight: Davis has really set the bar high through the first 25 percent of the season, so it is a little unfair to expect him to average 24.7 ppg, 10.2 rpg and 2.92 bpg while shooting nearly 58 percent. On Tuesday, Davis scored 21 points and grabbed nine rebounds while shooting 44 percent.
Description: Pacers point guard George Hill came off the bench and scored 15 points on Tuesday.
Insight: Hill shot 5-of-8 overall and 2-for-3 from the 3-point line in 21 minutes versus the Pelicans. The 15 points led Indiana in scoring. Without a go-to scorer, Hill has a chance to be the guy on any given night if he gets enough minutes.