With just two games on Thursday's limited slate, the All-Star break is nearly upon us. This respite from the daily grind of fantasy hoops doesn't mean you should stop working on your roster. Rather, it's an ideal time to reassess the statistical and positional balance of your team. With midseason adjustments in mind, below are three key moves I suggest you consider heading into the break.
Add Malik Beasley
Still a free agent in more than 70% of ESPN leagues, Beasley has become a primary perimeter scoring force for the Timberwolves since being acquired at the deadline last week. Beasley posted strong per-36 rates with Denver during the past two seasons, and now he's realizing his offensive potential in a busy starting role with the Timberwolves.
Wednesday night against the Hornets, Beasley produced a game-high 28 points on a team-high 25 shots to go with nine combined rebounds and assists. For merely the price of a roster spot, Beasley offers an instant infusion of high-volume scoring from a shallow shooting guard position.
Trade for Victor Oladipo
The Pacers were impressive in downing the Giannis Antetokounmpo-less Bucks in a game that aired on ESPN on Wednesday night. A quick glance at the box score might not lead you to chase shares of Oladipo, but the gifted combo guard looked good in a marquee matchup in making all but two of his seven shots while posting seven combined assists and rebounds in the victory.
Given his long recovery from a knee injury, it could still take some time for 'Dipo to fully regain his All-Star form from the past few years, but the price in trades shouldn't prove so prohibitive, given his thus-far modest numbers since returning. I'm buying that with this upcoming break and more seasoning in the coming weeks, Oladipo could regain elite form down the stretch.
Acquire Caris LeVert
LeVert dropped 20 points, 11 combined assist and rebounds and secured four steals in 36 minutes of action in helping end the Raptors' winning streak on Wednesday evening. LeVert is averaging 24 PPG over his past five games; his season average was 13.3 PPG prior to this stretch.
Available in free agency in roughly a third of ESPN leagues, LeVert is an awesome waiver addition in shallower leagues. In formats where he's rostered, the price shouldn't prove prohibitive in trades for LeVert compared to his statistical potential, especially when we consider the elite isolation efficiency he flashed in the second half and into the playoffs last season.
Terrence Ross, Orlando Magic: 5 points (2-12 FG), 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 4 steals, 1 TO
Doncic's multigame absence with an ankle injury didn't seem to limit his effectiveness on Wednesday, as the young superstar tallied another monster line in a rout of the Kings. Deeper into the Dallas rotation we find Seth Curry still singeing the nets, as he made all three of his attempts from beyond and netted 18 points in 30 minutes of action. Curry is a free agent in more than 80% of ESPN leagues.
Fultz delivered another solid showing in an overtime win against the Pistons, becoming the first Magic player with 20 points, 10 assists and zero turnovers in a game since Hedo Turkoglu in 2011. Fultz also became the first player 21 years old or younger with at least 20 points, 10 dimes and no turnovers since Kyrie Irving in 2013. The former top pick has produced double figures in dimes twice already in February and has multiple steals in four of his past six games. With the team trusting him as the lead offensive creator, Fultz is finally thriving and merits more attention from fantasy managers heading into the final months of the campaign.
Detroit's Christian Wood is the most-added player of the past week in ESPN leagues and rewarded his new investors on Wednesday with a strong line against Orlando that included 26 points and 12 rebounds. Afforded a team-high 38 minutes Wednesday night, Wood is in a great spot to produce strong statistics for a Pistons team that just moved on from rebounding ace Andre Drummond last week.
Cleveland's Kevin Love didn't play on Wednesday against the Hawks due to a sore right Achilles. Drummond produced a signature double-double, but we also saw Larry Nance Jr. go off in a shift to the starting role in Love's absence. Tristan Thompson thrived as the team's sixth man on Wednesday in drubbing the Hawks, signaling some interesting value for these frontcourt players whenever Love is sidelined down the stretch.
The Knicks' Elfrid Payton produced yet another solid statistical showing on Wednesday in a loss to the Wizards. Payton netted five steals, marking his second game this past week with at least five steals. Payton added 19 points and eight dimes to his line Wednesday night. Stellar assist and steal rates continue to drive real fantasy value for Payton, who remains a free agent in more than 30% of ESPN leagues.
Even in a loss to the Jazz, Miami's Duncan Robinson continued to play well in sinking six 3-pointers. The Michigan product now has at least three 3-pointers in 16 straight games, tied for the fifth-longest streak in NBA history.
Injuries of note
Blazers guard Damian Lillard let Wednesday's game against the Grizzlies on Wednesday with a groin injury and will undergo MRI testing on Thursday. Lillard told reporters after the game he wouldn't be available to compete in the 3-point contest or the All-Star Game.
Karl-Anthony Towns missed Wednesday's tilt against the Hornets with a wrist injury. The ailment doesn't appear serious, per reports from the beat, suggesting we should see KAT back on the court after the break.
Brandon Ingram is listed as questionable with for Thursday's matchup with the Thunder with an ankle sprain that has sidelined him for New Orleans' past two contests. Given that he is set to make his debut in the All-Star Game this weekend, I have a feeling we will see Ingram suit up Thursday night.
The Clippers' Patrick Beverley has been ruled out ahead of Thursday's matchup with the Celtics due to a groin injury that has sidelined him for the past week. Lou Williams is set to start and should enjoy a rewarding usage rate, given that Beverley's distribution role is missing from the lineup.
Analytics advantage for Thursday
Thursday's two-game slate makes for a limited player marketplace in both DFS and redraft competition. One angle to consider would be stacking from the Pelicans' deep and dynamic young roster; New Orleans is third in the NBA in pace with 103.7 possessions per 48 minutes. Daily fantasy shares of Zion Williamson and Jrue Holiday could prove rewarding, while streaming with rebounding guru Josh Hart could prove rewarding, as well.
Top players to watch on Thursday
In a compelling matchup of cross-conference foes, the Clippers' Kawhi Leonard and Paul George face Boston's tandem of young wings Jaylen Brown (who is listed as probable despite dealing with an ankle injury) and Jayson Tatum (who is bound for his first All-Star appearance this weekend).