Fantasy Basketball, Week 10
Swallow your pride: Pick up Juwan Howard!
Both Yi and Tyrus Thomas lived up to the hype as they both bounced back from injuries in astonishing fashion. Yi scored 22 points, hit 4 threes, and grabbed 8 boards in his first game back with the Nets while Tyrus tallied 21 points and 9 rebounds in his return for Chicago. Each of them should be owned in all leagues.
Not too long ago, Joel Przybilla was the hot waiver wire pickup because Greg Oden went down. This week it was Przybilla’s turn to suffer and Juwan Howard’s time to shine. The Blazers have been depleted but not yet destroyed by injuries this season. Howard is valuable by default almost, averaging 8.7 points and 10 rebounds in his last three games. He’ll be a decent short-term option while the Blazers shop for a better big man. There has also been a Jerryd Bayless breakthrough due to the lack of healthy bodies in Portland. He had a fantastic game on Wednesday, posting 31 points and 7 assists and followed that up with another 7-assist performance on Christmas.
Jonas Jerebko – Great sign this Sunday: Tayshaun Prince, Richard Hamilton and Ben Gordon all returned to action for the Pistons and Jerebko still started and played 30 minutes. He scored 14 points to go along with 7 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 threes, and a block.
Kirk Hinrich – Stepped into the starting lineup for the first time this season and helped the Bulls get a nice win against New Orleans on Saturday. His line was very solid; 14 points, 7 assists, 6 rebounds, and 3 threes. This could just be a short-term option depending on who takes Vinny Del Negro’s place and how much the new coach values John Salmons.
DeJuan Blair – Another player who’s stock has taken off because of a promotion to the starting lineup. An injury to Matt Bonner has provided the rookie an opportunity to produce. He’s averaging 8 points, 11 rebounds, 1.5 blocks, and a steal in his last two games.
Ty Lawson – Chauncey Billups has one of those annoying, lingering groin injuries. He missed three games, tried to return on Christmas but was unable to play in the second half. Lawson will be a solid fantasy option while Billups misses time, the extent of which is unknown.
Tony Allen – It sounds like Paul Pierce could miss about two weeks with an infected right knee. Allen has started the past two games in P-Squared’s absence and been relatively effective in scoring, steals, and rebounds. He should only be considered while Pierce sits.
Nazr Mohammed – Tyson Chandler has a stress fracture in his foot so Nazr will see the floor a lot in the upcoming week. In his last two games he’s averaging 14 points, 8.5 rebounds, one steal, and one block.
ON THE RADAR
Jared Dudley – His playing time is steadily increasing and Grant Hill hasn’t been overwhelmingly impressive. He has hit at least one 3-pointer in 27 of his last 28 games and has the highest 3-point percentage in the league at 50 percent.
Devin Brown – Shooting the ball very well lately, including 6 threes against Chicago on Saturday. He can also be a steady source of steals when he’s playing a lot but he’s going to have to keep up the hot shooting for the minutes to continue coming his way.
Tyler Hansbrough – Tallied consecutive double-doubles last week but it came at the expense of two blowouts. The Pacers have been wretched lately and it’s helping Psycho-T’s fantasy value. His field goal shooting is very poor at 36.5 percent. He didn’t connect on any shot attempts against Miami on Sunday but made all ten of his free throws. If the Pacers weren’t still mired in playoff contention at 9-20 I’d be more inclined to think Hansbrough would see the court more frequently. However, since anything is possible in the Eastern Conference you probably won’t see much more of this from him, especially once Danny Granger returns.
Corey Brewer – Something crazy happened last week. We’ll call it a Christmas Miracle. The Timberwolves won two games in a row. During the big winning streak Brewer totaled 44 points, making 16 of 27 shots.
Randy Foye – Replaced DeShawn Stevenson in the starting lineup and has been mildly productive. With Arenas running the show in DC there is no ball movement on the offensive end. He can hit threes and get assists but it won’t be consistent with Earl Boykins and Nick Young poised to get minutes as well.
Drew Gooden – A battle with back spasms forced him to sit out Saturday night, he played on Sunday however and posted a double-double (19 points, 10 rebounds) on 8-of-8 shooting. Dampier has been playing very well so there will be limited opportunities for Gooden to deliver like this.
DROP OR BUY LOW?
The following players currently have lower value than usual. In some cases, it might be time to drop but in others you may want to consider buying low.
Roy Hibbert – The guy hasn’t had a 10-rebound game since November 18 against the Knicks. He’s often in foul trouble which has contributed to him playing sub-20 minutes in 13 games this season. Recommendation: Drop.
John Salmons – He’s had a miserable start to the season and just lost his starting job. However, Del Negro will be gone soon and that should be good news for Salmons. The Bulls have the personnel to be an up-tempo style team especially with the return of Tyrus Thomas. So depending on who is brought in to be the head coach, Salmons could get his season turned around in a big way. Recommendation: Buy Low.
Ersan Ilyasova – He scored only 13 points and made only 4 of 24 shots in the last three games, a slump that came out of nowhere. Some of his owners might be infuriated and ready to give up on him, an opportune time for you swoop in and grab him. He’ll get it turned around in a hurry. Recommendation: Buy Low.
Boris Diaw – Last season he averaged 15.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 4.9 assists per game, this year he’s well-off that pace. He hasn’t scored in double figures for seven straight games, and has only attempted four free throws in the last nine games. The only big numbers he’s consistently posting are fouls and turnovers. Recommendation: Drop.
Dahntay Jones – Any swag that he had developed in the beginning of the season has officially been squandered. The Pacers are a complete disaster right now so it’s hard to predict who will emerge once the dust settles, but for now I’d say it would be best to look at your other options. Recommendation: Drop.
Mike Dunleavy – He just suffered through a horrendous four-game stretch in which he scored a total of 15 points and made only 6 of his 36 shots. Like I mentioned above, the Pacers are in shambles at the moment but I’m willing to bet Dunleavy is able to get his act together. Recommendation: Buy Low.
Other Fantasy Notes
– Eric Maynor was dealt from the Jazz to the Thunder but it shouldn’t have any immediate impact in the fantasy realm.
– Blake Griffin is “targeting” a return in about three weeks, according to Rotoworld. Hopefully this is an accurate estimate and we’ll FINALLY see the number one pick on the court in January.
FANTASY LINE OF THE WEEK
LeBron had a monster triple-double this week but my favorite line is a classic from Josh Smith against Indiana on Saturday night: 22 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 blocks, and 4 steals.