Fantasy Basketball, Week 14
It’s time to construct a deal.
by Charles Peach
The trade deadline in both of my Yahoo! leagues is March 4. If yours is the same, that means there is only two weeks to organize deals after the NBA deadline (February 18). When I’ve tried to formulate trades recently, I get stuck because there are so many players that could potentially be moved. So, I continue to put it off until the NBA trades are made. Nevertheless, we must be prepared when the time comes.
Looking at my lineups everyday, I’m feeling less and less impressed. Know the feeling? If you feel it, make a change. Don’t ride out the rest of the season with a roster you believe isn’t championship caliber. I know it sounds like a rallying cry, but this is why you play fantasy basketball, right? You want to slip on your GM shoes and see if you can’t get your Jerry Colangelo on.
On one of my teams I have a group of players who are in that “Good, but just barely good enough not to drop category.” In case you’re wondering, they are Lou Williams, Ronnie Brewer, Andrei Kirilenko, Eric Gordon and Courtney Lee. I would love to pull a 2-for-1 or a 3-for-2 deal which would allow me to upgrade at a position or two and also leave room for a more flexible roster spot.
In certain situations, it’s smart to make a trade that addresses specific needs. Sometimes you can find the missing piece to the puzzle that way. But don’t get too carried away with certain “needs” players. Often you see trades made that are obviously lopsided, only for the owner of the team giving away the majority to say, “What? I needed assists.”
The best resource I know about for ranking fantasy players is BasketballMonster.com which I always consult when breaking down a trade offer or making one of my own. It might not be flawless, but I consider it a very reliable ranking formula. Enter in the categories for your league and you’ll be surprised how low/high some players are ranked.
Here are a few players (via BM) that you might not expect would be ranked so high (based on standard nine categories):
20. Al Horford
22. Troy Murphy
33. Danilo Gallinari
And some that you might consider low:
34. Joe Johnson
42. Antawn Jamison
91. Dwight Howard (Yeah, turnovers and free throws count just as much in fantasy as boards and blocks.)
93. Vince Carter
So does a Dwight Howard for Al Horford deal sound good? I’m willing to believe it. You can probably get them to throw in another player along with Horford in that deal. Then you might win free throw percentage and turnovers for the first time all season!
Drew Gooden – Could be a very solid addition to your team at this point. Erick Dampier has been missing games here and there because of swelling in his left knee. Recently, Damp hasn’t been the beast on the boards that we were treated to earlier this season. He’s played six straight games without recording double-digit rebounds. Gooden, meanwhile, has been gettin’ busy in his last four games; averaging 13.3 points, 9 rebounds, 1.8 steals, and 1.5 blocks.
Robin Lopez – Looks like the job is his and he’s posting Brook-esque numbers. Channing Frye was one of the best sleepers of the fantasy season up until this point but now it looks like the Suns would rather have a presence in the paint as opposed to the perimeter-dwelling Frye. If I was an owner of Frye, I’d have to hang on to him a bit longer to see if his minutes increase. If it ends up being a situation where they are splitting time evenly I think both could be owned in 12-16 team formats. The situation would certainly be altered if Amar’e were to be moved before the deadline.
Carlos Delfino – Well, he proved me wrong last week. He certainly found his stroke in the last five games, a stretch in which he averaged 18.8 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2 steals, and sunk 18 of his 38(!) three-point attempts. Add him cautiously; his value lies in his ability to sink his threes. If he isn’t hitting those, he probably won’t be playing much.
Corey Brewer – A fringe player in most 12-team leagues. However, he is consistently scoring lately and has connected on 18 of his last 37 three-point attempts. He can be troublesome because of a low field goal percentage and high turnovers but he’s among the league leaders in steals per game.
Anthony Tolliver – The recent D-League call up got some serious tick in the last two games and responded with back-to-back double-doubles. As always, Nellie could decide to play him only 8 minutes in the next game so consider Tolliver a cautious add.
DeJuan Blair – The No-ACL Rebounding Machine has been in full effect in the last six games, pulling down 76 boards. The troubling part is, San Antonio lost four of those games. We’ll see if that’s a coincidence soon, because you know Pop will make changes if the Spurs aren’t winning.
ON THE RADAR
Nazr Mohammed – He hasn’t played more than 29 minutes in a game all season but the stats have been impressive considering the short amount of time spent on the floor. Tyson Chandler is the guy that Charlotte thought would be holding them down at the Center position but he’s missed the last 15 games and it doesn’t appear that his return will be anytime soon. The Bobcats are having success with Nazr starting in place of Chandler, winning 10 of those 15 games. If you’re in a deep league in need of rebounds and blocks, he could help you out. He’s averaging 10.6 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.1 blocks in his last seven games.
George Hill – Started the last three games for the Spurs and he’s been productive; scoring 15.7 points and hitting 2.3 threes per game. If he continues to start and play at least 30 minutes each night he’ll definitely be worth owning.
Taj Gibson – When the Bulls were without Joakim Noah on Saturday night he scored 16 points and hauled in 14 rebounds during a tough victory in Houston.
JJ Hickson – Put together a nice three-game stretch last week averaging 9.3 points and 10 rebounds. Let’s see if he can build on that and keep his minutes at a consistent level.
Kris Humphries – He’s played six games since being traded from the Mavericks to the Nets and is averaging 12.2 points and 6.7 rebounds per game (well above his 5.2 and 3.8 with Dallas). Unfortunately, the Nets lost all six and were outscored by 140 points. Hope he doesn’t mind the losing!
Brandon Rush – We’ve been here so many times before, it’s becoming painful. He’s averaging 16.5 points and 3.5 threes in his last two, and it seems he has the potential to do so night in, night out. When he isn’t making his threes he’s pretty much useless because he does very little else that shows up in the box score. He and Nick Young might be twins.
CJ Watson – He returned to action after missing four games with a laceration on his shooting hand. Earlier in the season he had a 10-game stretch in which he averaged 13.2 points, 2.1 steals, and 1 three-pointer.
Craig Smith – He’s maximizing his minutes off the bench recently averaging 14.2 points and 5.3 rebounds in the last six games.
FANTASY LINE OF THE WEEK
LeBron James (1/23 vs OKC) 37 points, 12 assists, 9 rebounds, 6 threes