Fantasy 30: Buzz on hot bigs like Drummond and Love

Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond is posting career-best numbers across the board so far this season. Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images

Are you totally up-to-date on what's happening around the NBA? You have to be if you want to stay ahead of the competition in your fantasy league.

To help, I've done the work for you and compiled a look at the most fantasy-relevant news and notes for all 30 teams around the league.

Atlanta Hawks: When John Collins was suspended 25 games due to PEDs, the question for fantasy managers was which Hawks would be impacted most by the absence of Atlanta's star big man. Two games in, the answer is fairly clear: Jabari Parker. In Parker's past two games, he has averaged 30.5 MPG, 18.5 PPG, 6.5 RPG, 1.5 APG and 1.5 SPG. If Parker can stay healthy, he'll be a top-100 fantasy option for as long as Collins is out of the lineup.

Boston Celtics: Quick, who leads the Celtics in assists per game this season? If you guessed Kemba Walker, you would be wrong. Gordon Hayward? Nope. What about Jayson Tatum? Guess again. The answer is Marcus Smart (4.7 APG), who has just about half an assist more per game than Hayward and a full assist more per game than Walker. Smart already is roster-worthy in roto leagues because of his penchant for steals, and if he's going to dish out nearly 5.0 APG this season, his fantasy value gets a nice boost.

Brooklyn Nets: One of the bright spots on the Nets through their first seven games is offseason addition Taurean Prince. The forward is tied for the team lead in minutes per game (33.9) with Kyrie Irving, and he's making the most of his playing time with 15.0 PPG, 7.0 RPG, 1.4 SPG and 3.1 3PG. The key for Prince will be staying healthy; he missed at least 23 games in two of his first three NBA seasons.

Charlotte Hornets: PJ Washington, who left Tuesday's game early due to a leg injury, is probable to play Thursday against the Celtics. Washington has been one of the many rookies to shine in the opening weeks of the season, and only Knicks forward RJ Barrett has averaged more playing time than Washington (32.3 MPG). Washington ranks fifth among rookies with 15.1 PPG and is tied for second with 6.1 RPG -- he was a nice find for the Hornets with the 12th pick of the draft this past June.

Chicago Bulls: Tomas Satoransky was dropped in many fantasy leagues after a sluggish start to the season and a time-share at point guard between Kris Dunn and Coby White, but the versatile veteran is sure to be a popular option on the waiver wire after scoring a career-high 27 points on Wednesday against the Hawks. Satoransky has also had at least five assists in six straight games.

Cleveland Cavaliers: There may not be a bigger sell-high candidate right now than Cleveland's Kevin Love, who is off to a fantastic start to the season (18.9 PPG, 14.4 RPG, 4.1 APG, 1.0 SPG, 2.6 3PG), but hasn't played in more than 60 games in a season since 2015-16. Staying healthy has been Love's bugaboo, and any fantasy team that is reliant on Love is operating with an elevated level of risk.

Dallas Mavericks: Dwight Powell played a season-high 34 minutes against the Magic on Wednesday and now appears to be close to 100 percent, which is noteworthy, considering how useful the big man can be for his scoring, rebounding and efficiency from the field and the free throw line.

Denver Nuggets: Paul Millsap (head) and Gary Harris (ankle) both left Tuesday's game against Miami early, but Nuggets coach Michael Malone said afterward that he didn't think either of the injuries is too severe. Malone indicated that he was hopeful both players would be available for Friday's home game against the 76ers, but this is something to track leading up to tipoff.

Detroit Pistons: Andre Drummond sits atop the ESPN Player Rater, ahead of James Harden and Giannis Antetokounmpo, and the big man is bringing just about everything one could ask out of a big man (except 3-point shooting). Drummond is on pace to set new career highs in MPG (35.9), scoring (21.9 PPG), rebounding (18.6 RPG), assists (3.1 APG), blocks (2.2 BPG) and FT% (67.3).

Golden State Warriors: A couple things on the Warriors. First, if rookie second-rounder Eric Paschall is still available in your league, make sure you snatch him up. He has logged at least 35 minutes in four of the past five games and can score, rebound and shoot efficiently. Second, if you are trying to win the steals category each week, D'Angelo Russell isn't a guard who should be on your team. Russell has yet to record a steal this season despite playing 30.4 MPG in his first five games as a Warrior. Yeesh!

Houston Rockets: Clint Capela is in a weird spot as the primary big man on a Rockets team playing at the second-fastest pace in the NBA (110.1 possessions per game), and while he's playing well, there is reason for concern. For one, his minutes are down by almost six from last season (from 33.6 to 27.8), and as a result, we have seen his scoring dip from 16.6 to 13.5 and his rebounding fall from 12.7 to 9.6. If fantasy leagues drafted over again, Capela would likely fall a round further.

Indiana Pacers: Myles Turner missed Wednesday's game against Washington, marking the fourth consecutive game he has been forced to sit out. The silver lining in Turner's absence, though, has been Georgian rookie big man Goga Bitadze, who has made his presence felt defensively with 3.0 BPG during the past four games. Bitadze can score, rebound, pass, block and shoot the 3-ball, and he is currently on just 2.8% of ESPN fantasy rosters. Any time Turner is out, Bitadze is worth a look. Please note, though, that Bitadze has been ruled out for Friday due to a concussion.

LA Clippers: Hey, a Paul George update. According to ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk, George is slated to participate in a full-contact practice on Saturday. This is a significant milestone, as PG3 works his way back from offseason surgery on both shoulders. "Once he participates in a full live practice, barring any setbacks, the All-Star swingman could return to action sometime next week," Youngmisuk writes.

Los Angeles Lakers: Kyle Kuzma is on 83.3% of rosters in ESPN fantasy leagues, and he now has played in three games since returning from an ankle injury. But if things don't improve for the swingman, we can expect him to hit the waiver wire. Kuzma is shooting an icy 12.5% from 3-point range and has just one block and zero steals in those three games, rendering him with little value in roto or points leagues for the time being. That will change once he gets back into the swing of things, but you're going to need to exercise patience in order to keep him on your roster.

Memphis Grizzlies: What's different about the Grizzlies than most other teams in the NBA? John Cregan pointed it out in Thursday's column on early-season rotations, and it's worth factoring into your decisions -- Memphis is using a very deep rotation that spreads the minutes around evenly, which isn't good for fantasy purposes. Considering that Jae Crowder is the only player getting more than 28 MPG, there's a certain element of risk with just about every player on this roster (even the promising young ones like Ja Morant, Brandon Clarke and Jaren Jackson Jr.).

Miami Heat: Justise Winslow conked heads with Denver's Millsap on Tuesday night and is questionable to play Thursday against Phoenix due to a headache. If he cannot go, Duncan Robinson and Tyler Herro will likely see a spike in minutes.

Milwaukee Bucks: Brook Lopez doesn't have to score as much as he did in his younger years -- not on a team with reigning MVP Antetokounmpo -- but the big man is an underpriced option in Daily Fantasy leagues right now who can pop off at any time just like he did Wednesday against the Clippers (11 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal and 6 blocks). File that away.

Minnesota Timberwolves: Rookie lottery pick Jarrett Culver -- the No. 6 overall pick this past June -- stepped up big-time Wednesday with Jeff Teague (illness) and Shabazz Napier (hamstring) both out of the Wolves lineup. At 6-foot-6, the Texas Tech product is seen more as a shooting guard, but Minnesota would like to see him play on the ball more; and he got his opportunity against Memphis. He finished with 15 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 3-pointers.

New Orleans Pelicans: The offseason addition of Derrick Favors was expected to bring experience and efficiency to the Pelicans' frontcourt as a replacement to Anthony Davis, but so far, Favors has been unable to get going due to chronic knee soreness. Still rostered in more than 64% of ESPN fantasy leagues, Favors has played in only four games and his 17.3 MPG ranks ninth on the Pelicans. Not good.

New York Knicks: Mitchell Robinson was diagnosed with a concussion Wednesday after being hit with an elbow by Pistons forward Markieff Morris and leaving the game early. Robinson has been ruled out for Friday's game at Dallas, so plan accordingly if you have him on your roster. Coincidentally, it will likely be Marcus Morris Sr. -- Markieff's twin brother -- who replaces Robinson in the Knicks' starting lineup.

Oklahoma City Thunder: Steven Adams returned to the Thunder lineup in Tuesday's win over the Magic, and he found more success than he had prior to missing two games due to a bruised knee. Adams' 11 points and 11 rebounds against Orlando marked his first double-double of the season, and with Adams healthy, it signals the probable end of Nerlens Noel's short-term fantasy value.

Orlando Magic: Michael Carter-Williams flashed a big game out of nowhere on Wednesday, going for 13 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 3 blocks against Dallas. And that came in just 21 minutes of action. Is it a one-time deal that isn't worth getting excited about? Maybe. But what if it isn't? This type of game could spring the former lottery pick to more playing time in Orlando's upcoming games.

Philadelphia 76ers: Ben Simmons left Wednesday's game early and was diagnosed with a sprained AC joint in his right shoulder. An X-ray Thursday on the shoulder came back negative, and while there is no indication how much time Simmons will miss, it appears that the star point guard avoided major injury and shouldn't be out too long.

Phoenix Suns: Aron Baynes is 32, a journeyman who is now on his fourth NBA team in eight seasons, a career backup. But with Deandre Ayton suspended, Baynes is playing like one of the top 10 centers in the game, at least from a fantasy perspective. In 24.4 MPG this season, the veteran is stuffing the stat sheet with 15.0 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 3.6 APG, 1.0 SPG and 2.1 3PG with a 58.7 FG% and 76.2 FT%. Somehow, he is still available in nearly 60% of ESPN fantasy leagues.

Portland Trail Blazers: This has the makings of a lost season for third-year center Zach Collins, who suffered a torn labrum and underwent surgery that will force him to miss four months. Already thin in terms of depth, the Blazers will need to rely on veteran forwards Anthony Tolliver and Mario Hezonja to take on expanded roles in Collins' absence.

Sacramento Kings: Harrison Barnes has played 39 minutes or more in three of the past four games, and that type of workload is as good for fantasy as it is bad for the knees and ankles. Barnes will never be a big factor defensively, but he does have 1.3 SPG, and when you add to that his scoring (15.5 PPG), rebounding (5.4 RPG) and 3-point shooting (1.5 3PG), there is added value here while Marvin Bagley III is sidelined.

San Antonio Spurs: Derrick White stepped up and played a key role for the Spurs last season when Dejounte Murray missed the campaign with an ACL injury. This season, his role has changed, though, and it's apparent in the numbers. While White is scoring more (up from 9.9 to 12.4 PPG), the return of Murray at point guard has caused White's rebounding to fall (3.7 to 2.7 RPG) and the same is true of his assists (3.9 to 1.9 APG). For the time being, that limits White's impact in 10- and 12-team fantasy leagues.

Toronto Raptors: The concern about Marc Gasol (rostered in 59.9% of ESPN leagues) in fantasy circles isn't going away. In seven games this season, the veteran center has reached double figures in scoring only three times and has games with one point, five points and six points (twice). He has also recorded five or fewer rebounds four times and has seen his shooting percentage dip to 36.2%. Give him another week or two to see if things get better. If they don't, it could be time to move on.

Utah Jazz: Last week, Cregan listed the slow-starting Rudy Gobert among his top trade targets in fantasy leagues, the idea being that frustrated managers might be willing to unload a second-round value for pennies on the dollar. A week later, we have some more games to collect information, and the stats haven't improved. That isn't to say they won't in the weeks and months ahead, but Gobert is playing an all-time high with 34.0 MPG yet his shot attempts are down to 6.3 per game and his scoring, rebounding, assists and blocks all remain down. If fantasy managers weren't willing to trade Gobert last week, maybe send them another trade offer this week.

Washington Wizards: Some were skeptical about Rui Hachimura as an NBA player due to his tweener size at 6-foot-8 and lack of a 3-point shot, but the rookie forward out of Gonzaga is showing that he has a place in this league -- and potentially on your fantasy team. Hachimura's numbers don't look amazing following a 0-point game on Wednesday against the Pacers, but he has averaged a healthy 27.6 MPG and has proved that he can score (12.6 PPG), rebound (6.0 RPG) and shoot free throws (6-of-6 on the season).