Joe Ingles

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March Madness is giving you the chaotic energy you crave, but don't forget about the other vice you need to satisfy.

The NBA trade deadline is approaching and that means a lot of fantasy fortunes may change with the sweep of a pen and the sending of a tweet. Here are the hottest and coldest players heading into this consequential point of the season.

Booms

Joe Ingles Guard/Forward Utah Jazz

Efficiency has always been Ingles' game and he's really flexed that last week. It only took him 32 shots to score 67 points in three games averaging 22.3 points while shooting 68.8 percent from the field, making 5.7 threes a game, grabbing five rebounds and swiping the ball 1.3 times.

Ingles is safely having a top-100 season in 9-cat but is only rostered in 54 percent of Yahoo leagues. He is a must-own if available.



Richaun Holmes Forward/Center Sacramento Kings

Holmes may want to stay in Sacramento, but his play is garnering a lot of interest from other teams. In four games this past week, Holmes is averaging 17.5 points on 57.4 percent shooting, 9.3 rebounds, 2.5 assists, 2.3 blocks and 0.8 turnovers.

A trade could change his opportunities to produce for his fantasy managers, but as of now, he is getting plenty of chances to excel.

Donte DiVincenzo Forward Milwaukee Bucks

He may not be a fantasy folk hero quite yet, but the man they call Big Ragu is quietly building his legend. He's providing top-100 production in 9-cat and had a very good week, averaging 14.7 points, 9.3 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 2.3 steals in the last three games. He also threw in 2.3 made threes to round out his stand-out week.

He won't wow you consistently, but DiVincenzo will produce across all categories enough to keep you in the hunt for a win most weeks.

Danilo Gallinari Forward Atlanta Hawks

Two weeks in a row? Gallinari is (1) having a really good run and (2) not a lot of people believe in him on Yahoo. Gallo started the week strong with a 29-point performance and ended the week averaging 18.3 points on 54.3 percent shooting, three made three-pointers, one steal and 0.3 turnovers.

Gallinari is providing the young Hawks with a dependable veteran presence that they should continue to lean on for the foreseeable future.

Busts

Bojan Bogdanovic Forward Utah Jazz

While one shooter (Ingles) thrived in Utah this past week, another struggled to make any impact. Bogdanovic averaged under nine shot attempts the last three games, resulting in 9.3 points on 26.9 percent shooting, 0.7 made threes and 4.3 rebounds.

While he isn't the stud he was in Indiana, he is still averaging 15.1 points per game this season. He won't be putting up these dismal numbers for long.

Coby White Guard Chicago Bulls

Losing your starting job is never easy and Coby White has not responded well to the adversity. In his last four games, White is averaging 9.3 points on 36.8 percent shooting, 1.3 made threes, 2.3 assists and 2.5 turnovers; a far cry from his season averages.

Unfortunately for fantasy managers, the Bulls are winning games with White coming off the bench, so it's unlikely that he will be back to getting starters minutes for the time being. It's time to make the choice to hold White or ship him off.

Steven Adams Center New Orleans Pelicans

The Big Kiwi's role on the Pelicans is pretty clear: rebound the ball and don't hurt the team otherwise. In this case, one out of two is bad for the squad and fantasy managers.

In the last three games, Adams has grabbed 9.3 rebounds, but he's only scoring at a 45.5 percent clip, resulting in 4.7 points per game. He's also turning the ball over twice per game in that same span.

If Adams isn't scoring efficiently and taking care of the ball, he is a one-category contributor. If you have the chance to unload him for a more versatile player, now is the time.

Kelly Oubre Jr. Guard/Forward Golden State Warriors

Oubre had a good February, but his March has been marred by injuries and inconsistent play. In four games last week, he averaged 11.8 points on 42.2 percent shooting, 0.8 made threes, four rebounds and 50 percent free-throw shooting.

With Klay Thompson out and Andrew Wiggins still struggling with inconsistency, there will be plenty of chances for Oubre to snap out of his slump.

The Lakers looked lost in the Valley

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The Phoenix Suns are just a win away from sending LeBron James home in the first round of the playoffs for the first time in the King's illustrious career.

After stating that "These shoulders were built for a reason," James referring to facing the challenge of taking on added responsibilities after Anthony Davis was ruled out for Game 5, the Lakers and LeBron disappointed in a big way Tuesday night. L.A. started off hot jumping out to a 10-5 lead behind a couple shots from James and a three from Davis' replacement Markieff Morris. But it didn't take long for the wheels to completely fall off for the defending champion Lakers as they spent most of the first half trying to remember how basketball works.

LeBron James LeBron looking on during Game 5Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Two numbers stick out in the Game 5 loss for the Lakers and those are 34.5 and 12. Los Angeles shot 34.5% from the field on Tuesday night and were minus 12 in turnover ratio. No matter who's on your team, if you can't shoot and you can't protect the ball, the outcome is already determined.

The Suns weren't simply beneficiaries of a poor performance however as the Suns put it on the Lakers early and often and they never let their foot off the pedal for 48 minutes. Phoenix ended with 15 more assists, had seven more combined steals and blocks, and outscored L.A. in the paint by 12 points. Devin Booker and Cameron Payne were spectacular and they seemed to hit big shots every time the Lakers appeared to threaten a comeback. Mikal Bridges was effective on both sides of the ball adding three steals and two blocks to help electrify his team with the defensive effort.


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Julio Jones is trying to force his way out of Atlanta

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The NFL's all-time leader in receiving yardage per game is looking for a new home.

Five time all-pro, Julio Jones, stated on FS1's Undisputed earlier this week that he was "out" of Atlanta and that his only focus on where he wants to play next year includes winning. This corroborates with reports back in April as Ian Rapoport indicated the Falcons were receiving calls for their star receiver prior to the NFL Draft.

It's no surprise that Jones wants out considering the Falcons have only made the playoffs once since their Super Bowl appearance in 2016. Jones is 32 now and coming off a season where nagging injuries kept him off the field for all but nine games in 2020. In those games Jones caught 51 balls for 771 yards while adding three touchdowns. Having only reached double-digit touchdowns once in his career in 2012, the volume and yardage have always been Julio's strengths. A lack of availability would certainly hurt his chances to be a major contributor for any title-contender.

According to SportsLine, the teams with the best odds to land Jones are as follows as of May 28, 2021.

  • Patriots +200
  • 49ers +300
  • Titans +400
  • Raiders +600
  • Ravens +700
  • Chargers +900
  • Colts +1000
  • Packers +1200
  • Dolphins +1400
  • Jaguars +1500
  • Cowboys +2000

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The Nets big 3 are set for a finals run.

Sarah Stier/Getty Images

The play-ins have been a short, but wild rollercoaster and the playoffs are getting ready to set off.

The seeds are finally set, and the first-round matchups are 76ers(1) vs Wizards(8), Nets(2) vs Celtics(7), Bucks(3) vs Heat(6), and Knicks(4) vs Hawks(5).



76ers vs Wizards:

The Russell Westbrook-Joel Embiid rivalry will continue during this year's playoffs and fans cannot wait. The Wizards finished the season with a 16-6 record, and after a lackluster start this season, they have made themselves a dangerous 8th seed. While the 76ers didn't finish the season hot, I'm sure with a team-full of veterans, rest was more of a priority. The 76ers beat the Wizards three times during the season, but two of those games were very close and came early in the season.

The Wizards can definitely make this series a challenging one for the 76ers. The Wizards have shooters all around with Bradley Beal, Davis Bertans. But the 76ers have a much deeper team with guys like Danny Green, Seth Curry, and Dwight Howard providing good veteran leadership. The Wizards are riding on the health of Bradley Beal, who has dealt with hamstring tightness in the past two weeks.



Nets vs Celtics:

The Nets finally seem to be healthy just in time for the playoffs, which is dangerous for Boston. Although the Nets big three only played eight games together, the Nets still finished with a 48-24. The Nets also have a great mix of reliable veterans like Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan, Jeff Green, and Joe Harris. These two teams meet three times during the regular season with Brooklyn taking all three games.

The Celtics have not lived up to expectations this year. After making a conference finals last year, it was expected to carry through the regular season, but they never found their stride. Jaylen Brown will continue to be sidelined with a broken wrist, so most of the load will be carried by Jayson Tatum and Kemba Walker. I see this series being an easy one for the Nets.



Bucks vs Heat:

A rematch of the heated second-round matchup last year, where the Heat upset Milwaukee, who had Giannis dealing with injuries. Interestingly enough, both of these come to the playoffs on the right side with an 8-2 record in their last 10 regular-season games. Giannis is back with more weapons on his sides like Jrue Holiday, PJ Tucker, and Jeff Teague, while also keeping their core from last year. Giannis had had another MVP-type season averaging 28 points and 11 rebounds.

The Miami Heat started the season off slow, probably because of the NBA finals hangover, but got hot after the all-star break. Miami also acquired many new weapons like Trevor Ariza and Dewayne Dedmon. The Jimmy Butler-Giannis Antetokounmpo matchup will be the most important aspect of this series.

Knicks vs Hawks

After what seems like a lifetime drought, the Knicks are finally back in the playoffs! We can all agree that when the Knicks are good, the league is in better spirits. Tom Thibodeau has turned this team around, and you can't forget about how Julius Randle has been playing this season. Possibly the most improved player, Julius Randle has proved all his doubters wrong and has taken the keys to this Knicks franchise. The Knicks have great veteran leadership with guys like Derrick Rose, and Taj Gibson who are familiar with Thibodeau. They also have great young talent with guys like RJ Barret, and Obi Toppin.

The Hawks on the other hand have turned it around since firing Lloyd Pierce and having Nate McMillan made this team do a complete 180. Trae Young and John Collins are one of the best duos in the league. With guys like Lou Williams, Danilo Gallinari, and Bogdan Bogdanovic who can get hot at any point of the game. This series can definitely go to 7 games, with last-second shots determining the outcome.