Fantasy Basketball, Wk 8
Examining the implications of the TWill trade and more.
by Charles Peach / @Charles_Peach
Welcome back, stat absorbers. Nothing shakes up the fantasy world like a good trade. I’ll spare you the details and skip right to the fantasy impact. Terrence Williams was traded to the Rockets. When I heard he was traded, I was immediately excited. But when I actually thought about it for a few seconds, I was bummed out. He’s not going to start in Houston. He probably won’t play as much as he did in New Jersey. The Rockets start Shane Battier and have a number of other guard/forward types to compete with him for minutes. So, to all you TWill owners: If you can afford to hang on to him to see how he does in a few games as a Rocket, do so. If you can’t, I suggest you part ways.
Travis Outlaw/Jordan Farmar – Here are the two Nets that have the most to gain from this trade. With Anthony Morrow also out of the mix with a hamstring injury for a few weeks, there is a lot more opportunity for these guys to shine. Quinton Ross has actually started the last three games so it doesn’t appear that coach Avery Johnson has much faith at all in Outlaw. Farmar started Thursday night against the Wizards but only finished with nine points and three assists.
Derrick Favors – It sounds like the Nets will be doing some more dealing soon. Troy Murphy has his bag packed and he just wants to know where he’s going. Kris Humphries has been starting at power forward and rebounding extremely well for the Nets, so a Murphy trade won’t mean that Favors will immediately become valuable. However, Coach Johnson has alluded to getting Favors in the starting lineup at some point. Basically, he understands that the Nets are going nowhere this season and he wants the third pick in the 2010 Draft to get some solid time under his belt. After all, I’m pretty sure they plan on Favors being a more important piece to their franchise than Humphries.
Ty Lawson – I love Lawson. He’s been one of my favorite players to watch this season. He plays so smart and efficiently. He hustles for loose balls and he grabs rebounds even though he barely sniffs six-feet. He’s been outplaying Chauncey Billups this year, and now that Billups is injured he’s in the starting lineup. In two starts (against the Magic and Spurs) he’s averaging 15.5 points, 6.5 assists, three rebounds, one three-pointer, and only 1.5 turnovers. He’s also shooting 49.7 percent from the field this season. I really hope Chauncey takes his good ol’ time recovering from his wrist injury because I picked up Lawson in a number of leagues!
Nate Robinson – Lil Nate was probably gone within an hour of the news of Rajon Rondo’s injured ankle. He’s going to be productive for the couple of weeks that Rondo misses, and then he’ll be dropped. If you’re in a league that allows you enough moves (at least 30 maximum moves for the season, I’d say) to make a short-term pickup like this, then go for it. He’ll probably be long gone in most leagues, though.
Jonny Flynn – He’s back and looks about ready to take over the starting point guard role. Luke Ridnour has been playing pretty well in his absence but I think it’s safe to say that once Flynn is completely healthy and back in shape, that the job will be his. If you’re in need of assists, this could be a huge help for you.
Tyler Hansbrough – Jim O’Brien has been berating his players in the media lately. The latest to be humiliated by his coach is Josh McRoberts, who O’Brien said was “getting dominated”. O’Brien went on to say that they need rebounders in there, so this could be the chance for Hansbrough to step in and win the job. Keep your eye on him if you’re in need of rebounds.
Jerryd Bayless – Just when we thought it was safe to own Jose Calderon, it looks like the Spaniard has found himself in another timeshare. Calderon missed a few games to deal with a foot injury and the newly acquired Bayless rose to the occasion. He played so well, in fact, that coach Jay Triano said that when Jose returns, “he’ll have to earn his minutes.”
Taj Gibson/Omer Asik – With Joakim Noah being sidelined for two months, it looks as though Gibson is the clear winner. Gibson was very effective before Carlos Boozer debuted. It’s believed that Asik will be rotated into the starting lineup against teams with big centers. He’s much more of a long shot than Gibson to be a fantasy producer. Even with a few starts here and there, I doubt he’d see in the 30 minute-range. But, we’ll wait and see how this works out.
Spencer Hawes – If you’ve been reading this column regularly, you’ve probably noticed that every now and then I demonstrate a touch of Philly-bias. I’ve been high on Spence since the Fantasy Preview and, though it’s taken more time than I imagined, he’s finally starting to make me look less crazy. Hawes started the season hampered by a back injury that kept him off the court in the preseason and prevented him from getting into game shape. It appears now that those troubles are behind him, as he looks much more active on the floor over his last several games. The most encouraging thing about Hawes is that coach Doug Collins seems fervent on letting him develop. Look for him to be a strong source for rebounds and blocks, and also somebody who can knock down a few triples here and there.
Martell Webster/Wesley Johnson – When two names share one spot in this column it’s usually not a good thing. In this case it means both players are performing well but are prevented from reaching their full fantasy potential by the other. Webster made his season debut on Tuesday and finished with 17 points, five rebounds, and two threes. Nobody has enjoyed Webster’s absence more than the rookie Johnson, who’s been starting for the T’Wolves nearly all season. Johnson responded to Webster’s return on Wednesday with 17 points, five assists, four rebounds, and two blocks. I think I’m going to stay away from both players for now because this has time-share written all over it.
Tracy McGrady – T-Mac had his best game of the season in a lopsided win against the Hawks on Tuesday. He finished with 16 points, six rebounds, four threes, and three assists. It’s an enticing line because it’s T-Mac. We wonder if he has a little something left in the tank. This is a sign of hope.
Marcus Thornton – He had a solid rookie campaign last season, averaging 14.5 points and 1.6 threes per game. We haven’t seen much of that guy this year under the Monty Williams regime, until Wednesday night when he led the Hornets to their biggest comeback in franchise history. He scored 19 points, 17 of them coming in the second half. We’ll see if the performance was impressive enough to earn him some consistent playing time moving forward.
Chris Douglas-Roberts – Dropped 21 points in a start against the Spurs on Wednesday. Carlos Delfino is still out because of a concussion he suffered more than month ago but should return soon. John Salmons sat out that game with a sore back, and Corey Maggette has fallen out of Scott Skiles’ circle of trust. So the circumstances worked out well for CDR on that night, but I wouldn’t expect too many more of these performances.
Robin Lopez – After missing 14 games because of a sprained MCL, Lopez delivered 12 points and eight rebounds in his return. He started and played 24 minutes. It was against the Timberwolves, so maybe wait and see how he does against a more formidable opponent. Regardless, it was certainly an encouraging return from injury.
Mike Miller – It’s being reported that he’s cleared for contact and should be ready to return within the next few games. Pick him up immediately if he’s hanging around on your waiver wire.
Mehmet Okur – Scheduled to make his season debut on Friday. I wouldn’t expect much from him this season as he’ll be playing behind Al Jefferson and also because Paul Millsap is playing at a high level.
Josh Howard – Could make his season debut on Saturday against the Heat.