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Thursday, March 1st, 2012 at 2:51 pm  |  5 responses

Fantasy Basketball: Any Amar’e Takers Out There?

Exactly how low is the price tag on Mr. Stoudemire right now?

by Charles Peach / @Charles_Peach

Amar’e Stoudemire can most likely be had on the cheap right now, but who wants him?

I want him… for the right price. There aren’t many reasons to believe in STAT right now outside of, well, stats. Since last season, his field goal percentage (44.5) has fallen off by nearly 6 points. His points per game have dipped to 17.4 from 25.3, and after blocking 1.9 shots per game a year ago, this year he’s at 0.8, trailing John Wall among many others.

The reason I want him is because I don’t think it can get much worse than this. Of course, there are plenty of things to point to which we can blame for this underachieving. We’ve heard that he’s “lost his explosiveness.” Earlier in the season, he was lost in the Carmelo-dominated offense. Tyson Chandler can do a lot of the things that Amar’e did last year. Then came the arrival of Jeremy Lin (which should work in Stoudemire’s favor, eventually) and the tragic death of Amar’e’s brother. Despite all of this, I still believe we’ll see something that more closely resembles his historical averages through the Knicks’ final 30 games. No drastic change, but improvement.

Stoudemire told Al Iannazzone of Newsday: “It’s time to tune it up a little bit and play great basketball.” And, Coach Mike D’Antoni added (in the same story), “I think he’s ready to explode.”

If you’re in a head-to-head league you may want to think about trading for Stoudemire in time for the playoffs, especially if your team is good but not great. Test his owner by tossing out an offer and see where it goes.

• Another guy you might want to think about trading for is Raymond Felton. Remember the beginning of last season when Felton was doing the same thing for the Knicks that Lin just did for the last dozen games? Well, that Ray Felton is long gone sadly. In fact, Felton is a borderline player to own right now meaning he can probably be had inexpensively on the trade market.

Felton’s been terribly frustrating this year, shooting poorly and turning the ball over a lot. He just lost his starting job to Jamal Crawford. I’m buying this as just the wake-up call that Felton needed. Crawford isn’t a point guard, but Nate McMillan will make him one if Felton continues to play so lousy. So, the pressure is on Felton to shape up. In Crawford’s two starts, Felton has showed signs of playing more efficiently and under control. I’d expect to see more of this from him in the Blazers’ upcoming games, as he tries to earn his way back into the starting lineup.

• Someone I’d be a little uncomfortable owning as the trade deadline (March 15) approaches, is Chris Kaman. Kaman is being showcased by the Hornets right now and he’s tallying some nice numbers – 16.8 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks through his last 10 games.

Initially I thought a trade could be positive for Kaman because he’d get a chance to be a starter and produce regularly what he’s produced in the last 10 games for the Hornets. However, most of his rumored suitors (there aren’t many) already have centers. Of course, if he ended up with the Warriors or Celtics, then I wouldn’t be so worried. But if he goes to the Pacers, for instance, and backs up Roy Hibbert his fantasy value will plummet. So, if you own Kaman, do yourself a favor by keeping your eye on those trade rumors and be prepared to move Kaman if it looks like he might end up in a backup role.

PICKUPS

Jordan Crawford – A must-own right now. Nick Young lost his starting job on Wednesday because Randy Wittman is fed up with him. “I’m done with young guys (as an excuse),” said Wittman. “If they don’t want to play the right way, young guys aren’t going to play.” To make matters worse, Young got injured in the game. Meanwhile, Crawford has been ballin’. In his last 7 games, he averaged 20.4 points and 2 threes, while shooting 51.5 percent from the field.

Derrick Williams – If he was dropped in your league, it’s likely that he was scooped after his near perfect performance on Tuesday (27 points, 4 threes 9-10 FGs). Plus, with Michael Beasley being one of the most frequent names being tossed around in trade rumors, it’s probably worth stashing Williams if you can afford to do it.

Derrick Favors – Paul Millsap is currently dealing with a severely bruised heel, so Favors could be in for some starts in the next few games.

Tristan Thompson – He’s collecting many of the boards left behind when Anderson Varejao went down to injury. He’ll also add some blocks. He should be owned for the next couple of weeks, at least. Until Varejao returns…

Anderson Varejao – If he was let go in your league, I would stash him now. Unless you are trying to make a push to get into the playoffs in a H2H league, Varejao would be a very valuable asset come fantasy playoff time.

Kenneth Faried – He’s been getting some legitimate playing time lately and Nene’s injury is really helping his cause. On Wednesday night against Portland, Faried played only 15 minutes but finished 6-6 from the field with 13 points and 10 rebounds. He has also proved to be active on the defensive end, averaging 1.2 blocks and 1.2 steals over his last 7 games.

Josh Howard – Has now started 4 straight games for the Jazz and is producing consistently. During those starts he averaged 15 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.2 steals while shooting 53.2 percent from the field.

Linas Kleiza – Dropped 21 points with 5 threes on Wednesday night in a win over the Hornets. He’ll be a maddening player to own, but can give you a boost in the short term with threes and points.

Dominic McGuire – Mark Jackson awarded McGuire with his second start of the season on Wednesday night and he collected 15 rebounds in 36 minutes. Now, he didn’t do much of anything else (0-1 FG, 0 points), but the Warriors got a nice win on the road in Atlanta without Stephen Curry. McGuire seems like a Mark Jackson-kinda guy (read: busts his ass on defense). So, don’t be surprised to see McGuire get more starts and possibly a few more Rodman-esque stat lines.

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  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    Hey Charles, I JUST noticed this article. But noticed it wasn’t displayed anywhere on the front page. I was only able to stumble on it from the Wilt article as a link.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Charles Peach

    @niQ: Appreciate the loyalty! Knew you’d stumble upon it. We’ll try and get it noticed soon hopefully.

  • http://staticseth.blogspot.com/ Seth

    Thanks for the heads up on Varejao – definitely will consider picking him up. How come you’re not updating as much this season, Charles? I’ve instead been reading the fantasy blog of another basketball mag I’ll leave nameless. I miss my weekly SLAM fix.

  • Waters1981

    Worth it to drop Diaw and pick up Tristan Thompson? Been wanting to drop Diaw for awhile anyway. Also just picked up Bismack Biyombo and I think he won me blocks already.

  • goattree

    This column has been way too few and far inbetween this year! Whats the deal?

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