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We are officially in December and the fantasy season continues to breeze into the holiday season. As a reminder, it takes a bit of luck to win in fantasy leagues, so don't be too discouraged by the recent outburst of injuries if your team is still in good shape in terms of standings. Don't instantly just drop a player with value before you know the full diagnoses. Most of the times, patience pays off.

The injuries across the NBA has been absolutely brutal recently. Latest victims being Anthony Davis and Nikola Jokic. If you haven't checked out our injury updates, make sure to give that a look. I also write a feature during the week on recent notable injuries and which players can benefit. Check out my previous post here. We are expanding our NBA fantasy coverage, as we now have new in-depth articles like Roster Doctor, and Risers and Fallers as well. Be sure to check them out!

Now let's look back on Week 7 and get prepared for Week 8.

Editor's Note: Get our full-season NBA and DFS Premium Pass for 50% OFF. Plus, you also get our full-season NFL Premium and DFS Pass for free! Take advantage of our lowest pricing all year, and get an edge on your competition. Sign Up Now!


Week 8 Schedule

4 Games – Hawks, Celtics, Hornets, Wizards, Jazz, Spurs, Suns, Sixers, Magic, Knicks, Pelicans, Bucks, Grizzlies, Pacers, Pistons, Nuggets, Mavericks, Cavaliers, Bulls

3 Games – Nets, Warriors, Raptors, Kings, Thunder, Timberwolves

2 Games – Rockets, Clippers, Lakers, Trail Blazers, Heat


Week 7 Breakout Performers

LaMarcus Aldridge, PF/C, San Antonio Spurs

Week 7 averages: 32.0 PPG 7.3 RPG 1.7 APG 0.7 SPG 1.3 BPG 2.0 3PM 61% FG 94% FT 0.7 TO

Give credit when it's due. Despite some rumors of the Spurs possibly wanting to move Aldridge this past summer, he came into the season playing some of the best ball of his career. LA was tremendous this week, and has been the lone spotlight for the Spurs this season. There's even reason to believe he might continue this surge even when Kawhi Leonard (quad) returns. I honestly don't think he'll be this good come 2018, but he will most definitely continue to flirt with top 25 numbers all year. There could be some random rest days, much like how he was rested Sunday. However, there's not a lot of studs not named James Harden who don't have the risk of rest days. Sell high if you want, but make sure you get  a reliable stud in return.

Victor Oladipo, PG/SG, Indiana Pacers

Week 7 averages: 27.0 PPG 5.3 RPG 5.3 APG 3.3 SPG 3.0 BPG 2.7 3PM 59% FG 78% FT 3.3 TO

Oladipo is featured on this list yet again, and it's because he's been that good. Oladipo dropped 36 points, seven rebounds, six assists, three steals, and three blocked shots against the Raptors on Friday. Only 11 players in NBA history has ever recorded such a stat line, and some of those names include LeBron james, Michael Jordan, Hakeem Olajuwon, and Shaquille O'Neal. He's a stud, and he was the second-best player this week.

Eric Bledsoe, PG/SG, Milwaukee Bucks

Week 7 averages: 21.7 PPG 3.3 RPG 3.7 APG 2.3 SPG 0.3 BPG 2.0 3PM 58% FG 89% FT 1.7 TO

Eric Bledsoe has found peace in Milwaukee, where he can just play basketball and live up to his All-Star potential. He has made a positive impact for the Bucks, where they are 8-3 with him in the lineup. He has always been an early-round player in his career, so owners who got him in the fourth and fifth rounds of most drafts are looking at a positive bargain. Bledsoe looks healthy and motivated as ever with the Bucks and he will continue to provide top-40 numbers as long as he's on the floor.

Aaron Gordon, SF/PF, Orlando Magic

Week 7 averages: 23.8 PPG 8.0 RPG 2.8 APG 2.0 SPG 1.8 BPG 4.0 3PM 49% FG 76% FT 1.5 TO

To say improved is almost an understatement. Aaron Gordon is the front-runner and arguably a lock for Most Improved Player honors this year and it's because he has taken his game to another level. He has tweaked his jump shot in the off season and it has shown drastically. The athletically gifted and versatile forward went from averaging 1.0 3-pointer per game to 2.4 this season. He's also taken a considerable jump in scoring, from 12.7 last season and averaging 19 points this season. Hopefully you didn't sleep on AG on draft day. He's on second-round value in 9-category leagues.

LeBron James, SF/PF, Cleveland Cavaliers

Week 7 averages: 27.3 PPG 8.3 RPG 9.0 APG 1.8 SPG 1.0 BPG 1.8 3PM 61% FG 80% FT 3.3 TO

I try not to put the elite players on this list every week, otherwise it would be cluttered with James Harden, Giannis Antetekounmpo, Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, etc. But greatness is greatness. LeBron James has simply been amazing this season and he's been the second-best overall player on the year. He was picked towards the end of the first-round in most drafts and those who got him there are likely to be on top of the standings right now. He doesn't look to be slowly down and the assists could go up when Isaiah Thomas eventually enters the starting lineup. Don't look now, but Cleveland has won 11 straight games.

Andre Drummond, PF/C, Detroit Pistons

Week 7 averages: 16.8 PPG 14.3 RPG 6.5 APG 2.8 SPG 1.5 BPG 0.0 3PM 63% FG 79% FT 2.3 TO

Drummond made most headlines this week probably because of a friendly feud with Joel Embiid. The highlights showed Embiid dominating Drummond and the Sixers ultimately won the game. However, Drummond held his own that game and also limited Embiid to 7-of-21 shooting. All jokes aside, Drummond has been a pleasant surprise this season and it only demonstrates he's truly a first-round play when he's able to hit his free throws.

Donovan Mitchell, PG/SG, Utah Jazz

Week 7 averages: 27.0 PPG 2.3 RPG 4.0 APG 1.0 SPG 0.0 BPG 4.3 3PM 50% FG 87% FT 2.3 TO

Mitchell erupted for a career-high 41 points against the Pelicans on Friday, leading the Jazz to their fifth-straight win. Mitchell has been the best rookie not named Ben Simmons, and he is smiling at the teams (and fantasy owners) who passed on him on draft day. He has knocked down 19 3-pointers in his last four games, and he's quickly erasing the draft day analysis of him not being a capable shooter. It's crazy to think some of us got him from the wavier wire early in the year. He's a must-own, must-start player, and he's only going to get better as the year goes on. Don't even think about selling, there's simply no reason to mortgage off upside.


Week 8 Standard Leagues - Waiver Wire Pickups

Jordan Bell, PF/C, Golden State Warriors (22% Ownership)

Bell has been a positive for the Warriors whenever he has hit the floor this season, which included a career-high 16 points, four rebounds and three blocks in the Warriors’ 133-112 victory over the Magic on Friday. Steve Kerr joked to reporters saying “If I don’t put him out there in Miami [on Sunday], Bob might fire me." Take that with a grain of salt, but Bell's upside is massive his PER-36 numbers are 15.3 points, 9.9 boards, 1.9 steals, and 2.2 blocks. He's all upside and you can pick him up hoping he's able to secure at least 15-20 minutes per game. The Warriors play four times this week.

Kenneth Faried, PF/C, Denver Nuggets (27% Ownership)

Kenneth was a lukewarm pick up after the Paul Millsap injury. However, with Nikola Jokic (ankle) also going down this past week, coach Mike Malone and the Nuggets have no choice but to give him minutes. Faried double-doubled on Thursday against the Bulls with 14 points and 13 boards. He followed it up with another strong performance against the Lakers on Saturday with 13 points and also pulled down nine rebounds in 27 minutes of action. As long as the minutes are there, Faried will provide nice value with a boost to field-goal percentage and rebounding.

Michael Beasley, SF/PF, New York Knicks (4% Ownership)

It may be Beasley's time to shine for the Knicks after all. Two of the Knicks leading scorers of Tim Hardaway Jr. (stress leg injury) and Kristaps Porzingis (ankle/illness) will not travel with the team to Indiana for Monday's contest against the Pacers. All signs points to Beasley getting another starting nod and he is arguably the Knick's best scorer where he will have plenty of opportunities to fill it up across the box score with Hardaway Jr. and Porzingis sidelined. Porinzgis tried to downplay the injury, but it could still be bothering him as big men with long limbs will take longer to heal. Beasley is coming off a 21 points performance on 10-of-19 shooting Sunday, and he could be in for a nice week until we know more on KP and THJ.

Ersan Ilyasova, SF/PF, Atlanta Hawks (35% Ownership)

The Hawks was devastated by injuries this week, losing both Dewayne Dedmon (stress leg injury) and John Collins (shoulder) to injuries. They are looking at extended absences and the Hawks are thin in the front line with only Miles Plumlee and Mike Muscala (ankle) as the only true centers. Muscala is dealing with an ankle injury himself, and the Hawks will continue to give Ilyasova as many minutes as he can handle. Ersan has flashed some upside in previous years when given the opportunities, so it's not a bad idea to give him a look since the Hawks don't have much reliable options. The Hawks also play four times this week.

Alec Burks, PG/SF, Utah Jazz (23% Ownership)

Burks has been lights out this past week, giving owners first-round value play with averages of 22.0 points, 4.7 boards, 2.0 dimes, 2.0 steals, and 2.7 3-pointers per game. He's getting minutes because Rodney Hood (ankle) sidelined. Hood is questionable for Monday's contest, but given how Burks is playing, it's probably wise to pick him up to see what happens since he's still in available in most leagues.


Week 8 Deep Leagues - Waiver Wire Pickups

Mason Plumlee, PF/C, Denver Nuggets (21% Ownership)

Plumlee is in the same situation as Kenneth Faried, where the injuries to Paul Millsap (wrist surgery) and Nikola Jokic (ankle) are out, so Plumlee will benefit. He's a low upside player because he's inefficient in percentages leagues and tends to turn the ball over.

Fred VanVleet, PG, Toronto Raptors (1% Ownership)

The injury to Delon Wright (shoulder) is expected to miss another couple of weeks due to a dislocated shoulder. VanVleet has been great at the back-up point guard position for the Raptors, averaging 9.4 points, 5.2 assists and  has only one turnover in his last five games. He's also capable of hitting the 3-pointer, which he should be useful in deeper leagues.

Nikola Mirotic, SF/PF, Chicago Bulls (32% Ownership)

Mirotic is scheduled to come back this week from his facial fracture this week. It will be interesting to see how he fits in the rotation with Lauri Markkanen and Bobby Portis playing well. Mirotic is capable of flashing mid-round upside, but will need the opportunity and minutes to do so. He's a deep league add for now, but could quickly emerge as a standard league add if he strings a couple of nice games. He's questionable for Monday's contest against the Cavaliers.

Bam Adebayo, PF/C, Miami Heat (11% Ownership)

The Heat only play twice this week, lowering the appeal of Adebayo and Kelly Olynyk. However, Hassan Whiteside (sore knee) is going to recovering from a sore knee and could be out for another week. Adebayo has some upside as he can contribute in field-goal percentage, rebounding, and blocks. He's not going to score much because he's still very raw on offense, so don't expect much.

Kelly Olynyk, PF/C Miami Heat (45% Ownership)

Olynyk has flashed his upside before when he was with the Celtics, but the move to the Heat hasn't given him much more playing time either. With Whiteside sidelined, he could get more run. Olynyk finshed with 14 points, seven boards, five assists and a block in 28 minutes of action on Sunday.

Bogdan Bogdanvoic, SG, Sacramento Kings (8% Ownership)

Bogdanvoic is starting to get a bit more comfortable with the NBA, as he's putting up a quiet 11.4 points on 51% shooting over the last five games. He's not going to have many flashy stat lines, but he had a 19-point, three-rebound, four-assist performance against the Bulls on Friday. His minutes has been steady at around 25 minutes per game, and he will become a must-own if it ever creeps up towards 30. Keep an eye on him.


Buy Low

Isaiah Thomas, PG/SG, Cleveland Cavaliers

This really only applies to you if you're sitting comfortably on top of your standings. The return of the 5-foot-9 All-Star is still very much up in the air, but he's reportedly been spotted putting up shots and practicing with the team. He's still not close to a return yet, but he has started light contact work, which certainly means he's progressing well in his recovery. You shouldn't expect Isaiah Thomas to put up the numbers he did with the Celtics last season. But you can bet he's going to thrive playing next to LeBron James if he's able to stay healthy. He's also motivated more than ever the Celtics traded him away after a MVP-caliber season last year. The scoring might not be as high as last year, but his efficiency and his 3-point makes could increase. Thomas is worth the gamble if you're willing to trade away pieces you won't miss. Thomas was originally scheduled to come back as soon as early January, but there's a small chance he could be back sometime during the holiday season of December.

John Wall, PG, Washington Wizards

Wall has been resting and recovering from a small knee procedure to aid his knee soreness. He was first expected to miss about two weeks when the Wizards announced it on Nov. 25. He did say to reporters that he doesn't have a timetable in mind, but he could be back as early as next weekend. It wouldn't hurt to see if you're able to get one of the best passing point guards in the NBA, especially if you need to secure the assists department.


Sell High

Dwyane Wade, PG/SG, Cleveland Cavaliers

Wade has turned the clock over the past two weeks, providing top-100 value and top-50 value the previous week. He has scored in double-digits in six straight contests and has done a great job in contributing in assists, steals, and even blocks. This may be the best Wade has looked all season and it's a great idea to sell him for a player with a better outlook. Isaiah Thomas is also close to a return and he will almost definitely have a negative impact on Wade's fantasy production. There's no telling if Wade can fully stay healthy either. I advise owners to starting exploring trade offers including Wade as his value has never been higher all season.


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