After a brief All-Star break, the NBA is back in full swing with most teams playing either three or four games since March 10. The usual suspects, like Damian Lillard and Giannis Antetokounmpo, are playing at an elite level. But there have also been some surprise players in the highest ranks of Fantasy across the past week.
Let's take a glance at the top 10 players since the All-Star break and also mention a few standouts who you can add through the waiver wire that should have multi-week value.
Rankings refer to total value in eight-category leagues:
Lillard has finished top eight in MVP voting four times in his career, and he's looking to add a fifth season to that. Since the break, he's averaged 35.8 points, 8.0 assists and 6.3 rebounds. Add in 50.6 percent shooting from the field and 5.0 made triples per game, and that's a recipe for the No. 1 rank in Fantasy over his past four games. However, looking ahead, CJ McCollum's (foot) return could reduce Lillard's usage.
With Bam Adebayo (knee) missing the first three games coming out of the break, Butler stepped up and averaged 28.0 points, 8.0 assists, 7.5 rebounds and 3.5 steals. With Adebayo back, Butler's numbers should normalize. On the season, Butler ranks 37th in total value.
It's not surprising that the two-time MVP has averaged 29.3 points, 12.0 rebounds, 10.3 assists, 1.7 steals and 1.0 blocks in this three-game sample. What is surprising is his newly-found free-throw stroke. In December and January, he shot just 59.1 percent from the stripe. Since February, Antetokounmpo has converted 75.8 percent of his free throws. And if we hone in the sample even more, he's an incredible 20-of-21 on freebies. If he can just stick above even 75 percent from here on out, it will be a massive boost to his Fantasy value.
Like Butler, Olynyk was an obvious beneficiary of Adebayo's absence, and since the break, Olynyk has averaged 16.0 points, 7.8 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 2.3 steals and 1.5 blocks in 34.1 minutes. All of those numbers will come down now that Adebayo is back, but Olynyk will remain Fantasy relevant. On the season, the big man ranks a surprising 65th.
LaVine is fifth in both post-All-Star-break value and full-season value, so his numbers haven't shifted much. Since the break, the first-time All-Star has averaged 26.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.5 assists. As coach Billy Donovan tinkers with the Bulls' rotation, LaVine seems to be one of the only sources of stability.
Harden has averaged only 22.3 points on 40.0 percent shooting since the break and still ranks sixth, demonstrating just how great of a player he is. He's contributing 11.7 rebounds, 11.0 assists, 2.0 blocks and 1.0 steals over the past three contests, which has helped boost him up. Eventually, Kevin Durant (hamstring) will return, and it could cut into Harden's usage. But at this point, life's certainties, aside from death and taxes, include Harden being a top five Fantasy player.
Joel Embiid has missed three of the 76ers first four post-break games. The first was due to COVID-19 protocols. But during his first game back, Embiid suffered a bone bruise and will be evaluated in about two weeks. That's meant more of an offensive burden for Harris -- Philadelphia's third-best player. Over the past four games, Harris has averaged 22.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists, 1.0 steals and 1.0 blocks in 28.8 minutes. His workload is artificially low, as the Sixers have been on the winning end of three blowouts. When the games start getting more competitive, Harris' numbers should increase even more.
Through his first 24 appearances, Gallinari looked very much like a 32-year-old with an injury history that had a minimal offseason. He was seeing just 21.8 minutes per game and averaged 11.7 points on 39.1 percent shooting. The recent time off seems to have rejuvenated Gallinari. Over the past four games, the veteran has averaged 21.0 points on 57.4 percent shooting in 30.3 minutes, adding 5.8 rebounds and 1.0 steals. His shooting percentage will normalize again, probably landing around the low-to-mid 40s for the season, but this is an excellent development for Fantasy managers that held onto Gallinari.
Memphis hasn't shied away from feeding the big man lately. He's also had the benefit of playing against some less-than-great center matchups. Since the break, he's averaged 20.8 points on 65.5 percent shooting, 15.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.0 blocks in 31.4 minutes. Most of his numbers are about 10 percent better than average, and he'll come back down to earth soon. But Valanciunas is still in the midst of a great season, as he ranks 65th overall.
Leonard is as good as anyone in the league at getting his numbers, and he's continued to do so after the break. The two-time Finals MVP has averaged 24.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 3.0 steals while shooting 56.0 percent from the field. He's ranked 11th on the season, so this is what we're used to from Leonard.
Standouts you can add off the waiver wire
Nowell is the 17th-ranked player since the break. He's seen plenty of extra run with D'Angelo Russell (knee) and Malik Beasley (suspension) unavailable. Nowell is primarily a 3-point shooter, but he's also shown off some ability to make good decisions with the basketball as well. Over the past four games, he's averaged 18.0 points on 60.9 percent shooting, 4.5 rebounds, 3.5 3s and 3.3 assists in 27.2 minutes. The Wolves are desperate for offense, so he'll keep shooting.
A G League standout last season (and this season, for that matter), Brown was called up to the Thunder after the conclusion of the G League bubble. With Al Horford perpetually a rest candidate and not someone who the Thunder are prioritizing, Brown has seen real minutes (25.0) since the break. He's made the most of the opportunity with averages of 12.5 points on 60.0 percent shooting, 10.3 rebounds and 2.0 blocks. Those numbers track with what he was doing in the G League, and he's going to be both a coach and fan favorite from a hustle perspective, as he's grabbed 5.8 offensive rebounds per 36 minutes. Add Brown and hold him even if his numbers start to trail off. If Horford gets dealt or sent home, Brown will be there to gobble up center minutes.
Houston's roster has been decimated by injuries, which has allowed Martin to see 31.4 minutes per game since the break after returning from a great stint in the month-long G League bubble. In the past four games, Martin has averaged 14.0 points on 52.5 percent shooting, 7.0 rebounds, 1.8 blocks, 1.5 assists and 1.3 steals. That's been good enough for a rank of 43rd. Once Christian Wood (ankle) returns, Martin's workload could be reduced, though it's beginning to seem likely Wood starts at center. If that's the case, Justin Patton's minutes are the most at risk.