Fantasy Basketball, Week 8
‘Tis the season for trades!
by Charles Peach
There isn’t much left to discover. We know the make-up of most teams. Not many more players will emerge from the waiver wire. If your fantasy team is stuck there is only one possible solution at this point: TRADE!
Use your best judgment when making trades because if you make a crappy one it will send your season into a downward spiral (I’m speaking from experience). When dealing, focus on what the players you are trading for are going to do, not what they’ve done. Sounds like a simple concept, I know, but you can’t base your projections for a player solely upon what he’s done in the first 20-some games of the season.
First, I just want to toss out some random players who I really covet this season. I’m not saying that I’d give an arm and a leg to trade for them but they are providing supreme value for owners right now and most of them were late-round picks:
Andre Iguodala – He wasn’t a late-rounder but I would love to acquire him. I love the way Iggy fills up the stat sheet. Points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, and threes. He can do it all. The thing I love most: He’s played all 82 in four of his five seasons.
Raymond Felton – Another guy you can count on to be on the floor. He’s in a contract year and I really like the way he is playing under Larry Brown; not jacking a lot of bad threes, not turning the ball over excessively, and sitting with the league leaders in steals.
Brendan Haywood – Having a great season so far, averaging a double-double (10 points and 10.6 rebounds). He’s also second in the League in blocks per game (2.2).
Marc Gasol – Somehow that Pau Gasol trade doesn’t look so horrible anymore. The other Gasol is averaging 14.4 points and 9.8 rebounds per game, shooting over 60 percent from the field, and filling the stat sheet nicely with 1.6 blocks and 1.1 steals per game.
Channing Frye – He gets great three-point looks in Phoenix and he’s knocking them down 44 percent of them. He’s pulling down nearly six boards each game and averages one block and nearly one steal as well.
Danilo Gallinari – He’s knocking down threes like crazy for the Knicks; about three of them per game. He does just enough in the other facets of the game to make him a very valuable fantasy player this season. Even if Al Harrington is the starter, expect Gallinari to maintain his solid production in the runnin’ and gunnin’ D’Antoni system.
Here are a few ideas for players you could either buy low or sell high on:
Al Jefferson – Hard to say that he’s a ‘buy-low’ candidate when you look at his last six games (six double-doubles) but overall his numbers are a bit disappointing. Over the previous two seasons Big Al averaged 21.8 points, 11 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks. All of those numbers are down this season so far (16.5 points, 9.1 rebounds, and 1 block).
Derrick Rose – Most people expected him to take a leap this season and it hasn’t happened yet. One could argue he’s even declined from his rookie campaign. But I’d stay bullish on Rose and if you can steal him at a low rate, I think it would be a smart move.
Mehmet Okur – His scoring and rebounding is down to start the season but you can expect him to make up for that throughout the rest of the year.
Gerald Wallace – Stock is sky-high right now. His 12.2 rpg ties Dwight Howard for the league lead. That astounding number is 6.5 rebounds higher than his career average. That also means that he’s ‘Crashing’ even more so the chance for injury is greater.
Erick Dampier – Had a couple of monster games recently and his averages in points, rebounds, and blocks are significantly above those from the last few seasons.
Gilbert Arenas – Hibachi had a triple-double in his last outing and I see that as a perfect selling point. He annihilates your field goal percentage and turnover categories, pretty much giving you zero chance to win them each week. Don’t remind your trading partner of this.
Brandon Jennings – Love having Young Money on my squad. Not when I look at my team’s field goal percentage though. Shoot some offers around to owners in need of threes and/or assists. You could get something very nice in return for your late-round investment.
One other thing that commonly happens around this time of the year is FOP or Fantasy Owner Panic. That’s right; you might see a bottom-dweller in your league irrationally drop a good player out of frustration. So be on the lookout for FOP – it could make you a lucky SOB. Now, to the waiver wire which is thinning out as we speak:
(Amongst the players discussed in this section last week, Mike Conley and Chris Duhon should be given a hard look.)
Jarrett Jack – Jose Calderon missed all of last week with a sore hip and is expected to miss some more time, how much is yet to be determined. If you have room to add Jack this week, I highly suggest it, considering he nearly triple-doubled in two of his four starts last week.
Yi Jianlian – Nearing a return for New Jersey. He’s risky because of frequent injuries but I think he’ll play an important role for the Nets and should be stashed on your fantasy team. The 7-footer is able to hit the deep ball, block shots, and nearly average a double-double.
JJ Barea – He returned to the starting lineup for the first time since the playoff series against Denver last season. In his three starts last week he averaged an admirable 12 points and 7 assists per game. He was also efficient with steals and threes.
Omri Casspi – Nocioni has been playing well and thus keeping Casspi off his back. But the first Israeli in the NBA seems poised to get more minutes in Sac-Town. He put together a couple of nice games in his last two: averaging 17 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2 threes.
On The Radar
Mike Miller – He’s coming back from a calf injury that sidelined him for about a month. When he’s played this year he has shot the ball effectively, hitting over half of his three-pointers.
Andray Blatche – While we’re on the Wizards, I just want to mention his name here to keep him on your mind. I feel like the Wiz would be a team likely to make a deal this season and if they do, it could really create an opportunity for Blatche, either in DC or elsewhere.
Martell Webster – I just don’t understand the inconsistency. I used to think it was because Outlaw and Rudy F. were there to mess with his minutes but now both of them are out for long periods of time and Martell hasn’t responded like we hoped. It might click for him soon so watch intently.
Maurice Evans – All of the Hawks last three games were blowouts so that has helped Evans get some extra tick but he really got his stroke going, hitting 11 of 15 threes and averaging 18.3 points in that span.
Tyler Hansbrough – Nice week for Psycho-T. He averaged 17.7 points in three games. With Danny Granger out of the lineup for the next month or longer, there are some extra minutes to go around.
Brandon Rush – The time is now for Rush to show what he’s got. Like Hansbrough there are a number of Pacers who’d like to make up for those chunk of minutes that Granger left behind. Mike Dunleavy is working his way back into the starting lineup so Rush will have to battle with Dahntay Jones.
Jason Maxiell – Since he has replaced Charlie Villanueva in the starting lineup the Pistons are 6-1. His stats aren’t impressive but if he were to get more minutes he could become a factor. Charlie V is still getting his numbers but for whatever reason they prefer to bring him off the bench.
Louis Amundson – Just keep him on your watch-list. He had a nice line against Denver on Saturday; 12 points, 11 rebounds, 4 blocks, and 2 steals. When Stoudemire and Frye are in foul trouble he gets the opportunity to do things like that but he can only become valuable if one of those guys gets injured or Coach Gentry gives up completely on Frye.
Other Fantasy Note
- Rip Hamilton is back. After a 21-game hiatus due to injury, he posted 18 points and 3 steals. Will Bynum and Ben Gordon were sitting out with injuries so it is yet to be seen how the rotation will shake out, especially when Tayshaun returns.
Fantasy Line of the Week
LeBron James: (@OKC) 44 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 5 threes, 4 steals