Fantasy Basketball, Week 13
MLK Day: The calm before the storm.
Happy MLK Day! Twelve games throughout the day, beginning with some 1 pm East Coast tip-offs and finishing with a Finals rematch out on the Left Coast.
I feel like the state of fantasy basketball at the moment is in the “calm before the storm” stage. The waiver wire is fairly quiet. There haven’t been many gems from the free agent pool in the last few weeks (Randy Foye, maybe, the latest hot pickup). Meanwhile, GMs across the League are having closed-door discussions as the trade deadline approaches (February 18). Lots of big names are being tossed around in rumors but no splashes yet. Players are starting to wonder if they’ll be packing their bags and donning new colors within the next month. Expect a frenzy of activity soon because once rosters start to get shaken up, players from the wire will emerge.
Last week I speculated the Jazz will elect to trade Carlos Boozer thus making Paul Millsap a strong, buy-low candidate. I don’t want to back away from my prediction. I still think it is a likely scenario, but I want to continue to monitor the situation as close as I can. The best way for me to do that is simple; pay attention to how well Utah is playing because I think that will be a strong factor in their decision to trade or not trade Booz. ‘Should we keep the team together and make a run at it this season? Or, is Carlos counting down the days ‘til he can get out of Utah so trade him now while we can get something in return?’
Utah had just won four straight games before dropping one in Denver last night.
I’ll be checking Twitter (@Charles_Peach) as much as possible from now up to the trade deadline, hoping to catch news on any trades as soon as they happen and pass along whatever I discover. Also, always feel free to hit me up for an opinion about a trade or waiver wire question.
Taj Gibson – Certainly not the first time we’ve discussed Young Taj here. At the moment, I think he’s a decent pickup if you’re in need of rebounds and defensive statistics because the return of Tyrus Thomas hasn’t limited him as much as I thought it might. He has started the last 11 games, over Brad Miller, for the Bulls who are starting to turn things around for Vinny Del Negro. They’ve won four straight.
Delonte West – Another one who’s been on the radar for a while. I think that by the end of the season he’s going to be a staple in fantasy lineups. In my opinion, he makes the Cavs a tougher team by taking pressure off of LeBron on the offensive end and playing hard-nosed, on-the-ball defense against opposing guards. In his last two games he’s averaging 12.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2 steals, and 2 threes.
Mike Miller – Let’s hope that the calf injury is finally behind him now because when he tried to come back the first time he aggravated it and he had to sit out four more games. Now he’s back again and, when healthy, can be an occasional triple-double threat and sharpshooter.
Rudy Fernandez – He’s making his way back from back surgery which kept him off the court for 19 games. When he’s fully healthy you can expect strong three-point shooting as well as a steal or two per game.
Francisco Garcia – Getting ready to make his season debut within the next few weeks, but how much playing time will be available in the crowded Sacramento backcourt? He’s a young, feisty player who will contribute points, threes, and steals but to be consistently valuable he’ll have to be very efficient with Evans, Martin and Udrih ahead of him.
ON THE RADAR
Wayne Ellington – The rook is getting more chances to Make It Wayne after posting a career-high 17 points in the 3OT thriller in Houston, then matching it in Memphis the very next game. We’ve only seen a light shower so far but you should consider picking him up if it does start Waynin’.
Robin Lopez – If he could just start playing like his twin brother… No, Robin isn’t Brook. Robin isn’t going to average 18.8 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 2 blocks anytime soon like I dreamed it up in my head. But Robin could find himself playing more after posting 11 points, 6 rebounds, and (most importantly) 6 blocks against the Hawks last Friday. He would be the rebounding, defensive counter to Channing Frye who is in there for offensive purposes. But after an ugly, 125-99 loss to the Bobcats on Saturday night Grant Hill admitted there is a bit of an identity crisis in Phoenix at the moment. “We’ve got to figure out who we are, who we want to be,” Hill said. If who they want to be includes more Robin Lopez, be ready to scoop him up. But we all know who the Suns are and who they need to be; running, shooting threes, and out-scoring opponents. So, I’m looking at this as the best chance to buy low on the recently struggling Frye (averaging 5 points and 5 rebounds in his last four games).
Nick Collison – Colli is playing his role very well lately as the Thunder have won 9 of the last 13 games. During that stretch he’s averaging 25 minutes, 6.6 points, 7 rebounds, and one block per game. Not jaw-dropping but quietly productive; that’s how Colli rolls.
Carlos Delfino – He played 39 minutes in a lopsided loss to the Jazz on Saturday and had his best game of the season (28 points, 6 threes, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals). However, I wouldn’t add him to my team unless I was really desperate. He’s very inconsistent and his field-goal percentage is sub-40. Plus, the Bucks are about to sign Jerry Stackhouse which will reduce Delfino’s opportunities just a little bit more. Joe Alexander should be making his first appearance of the season sometime this week, so look for him to try to steal some minutes away from Delfino as well.
FANTASY LINE OF THE WEEK
Baron Davis (1/12 @MEM) 27 points, 12 assists, 12 rebounds, 5 steals