Can a player break out twice? If so, it seems that Norman Powell of the Toronto Raptors is doing exactly that for fantasy managers. Last season, Powell nearly doubled his scoring output in a brilliant out-of-nowhere campaign. This season, however, Powell started off alarmingly slow and it seemed that regression was underway. Yet, as Monday's 24-point showing suggests, the scoring wing is back to top form for Toronto.
Powell -- who is rostered in only 16.2% of ESPN leagues thanks to that sluggish start to the season -- has scored 20-plus points in three straight games. In the process, he has gained more trust from his coaches, as evidenced by his 77 minutes played over the last two games.
We know all about OG Anunoby's incredible value as a "3-and-D" force and the absurd block rate Chris Boucher has compiled for Toronto, but now it's Powell's turn to help fantasy managers from the waiver wire. With Toronto in need of his complementary scoring on a regular basis, adding Powell to fantasy rosters while he's on the upswing could prove savvy.
Blake Griffin, Detroit Pistons: 7 points (2-8 FG), 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 TO
Detroit's Wright was hot from the start in the upset over the 76ers and he even flirted with a triple-double in the victory. Wright is a free agent in nearly 50% of ESPN leagues and has now scored in double figures in three straight games for the first time this season.
Michael Porter Jr. of the Nuggets tied his season-high with 30 points and made a career-high six 3-pointers in a win over the Mavericks. Will Barton is still starting at small forward for Denver as Porter reintegrates into the lineup, but this young scoring force should soon reclaim a featured role in the rotation.
Orlando's Cole Anthony is beginning to gain confidence as the Magic's starting point guard. The rookie was thrust into a starting role after Markelle Fultz was lost for the season and, while he struggled early on, he's since hit his stride -- including a career-high 21 points in the victory over Charlotte. Teammate Evan Fournier also merits serious consideration from fantasy managers, as the shooting guard has averaged 22.5 PPG over the last seven days.
The Trail Blazers rested Rodney Hood due to a thigh injury, allowing Anfernee Simons to shine in a scoring role off the bench for Portland. Simmons made six 3-pointers and scored a season-high 26 points in the loss to the Thunder. That said, with both Hood and Gary Trent competing with Simmons for minutes and shots, it's unlikely that any one of this trio of wings will become a consistent fantasy contributor.
Clippers stars Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are expected to miss the next week of play due to the league's health and safety protocol. The team said neither will travel for the first leg of an upcoming six-game road trip, essentially ruling both men out for at least the next four games. This means Marcus Morris Sr. and Luke Kennard could shift into meaningful starting roles for the Clippers, with Lou Williams and Serge Ibaka becoming potential focal points of the offense.
Injuries of note
The Wizards still have a number of players sidelined in the league's health and safety protocol, including Davis Bertans, Rui Hachimura, and Deni Avdija. Robin Lopez makes for a reasonable streaming option on Tuesday due to Washington's depleted frontcourt.
Analytics advantage for Tuesday
Houston's Christian Wood wasn't able to practice with the Rockets on Monday due to a knee injury and was subsequently listed as doubtful for tonight's matchup with the Wizards. Big man DeMarcus Cousins shifts into a busy starting role whenever Wood sits (his usage rate jumps to a robust 27.1% in such scenarios) and he averaged 16 rebounds in two recent starts with Wood sidelined. You can find Cousins in free agency in nearly 50% of ESPN leagues.
Top players to watch on Tuesday
Utah's Rudy Gobert is second in the league with 2.7 BPG this season. New York's Mitchell Robinson is tied for seventh with 1.7 BPG. The two rim protectors meet tonight in Salt Lake City for what could turn out to be a block party.