Owning a player in the dreaded time share is a situation all astute fantasy owners try to avoid finding themselves in. Each week Iâ€™ll take a look at a few position battles that could affect your fantasy team and then I and my Magic 8 Ball which moonlights as a crystal ball on weekends, will try to predict the best course of action if you own these players or are considering adding or trading for one of them. Last week we looked at some position battles in the Eastern Conference. This week weâ€™re going to check back in on some Western Conference position battles. Next week itâ€™ll be back to the Eastern Conference and back and forth weâ€™ll go each week like a ping pong ball, or a tennis ball if you prefer tennis. Letâ€™s get to it, shall we?
Over his last 10 games Kenyon Martin is averaging 23 mpg/6.1 ppg/4.4 rpg/.9 bpg. Numbers that donÂ´t particularly woo fantasy basketball enthusiasts. If youÂ´re not a fantasy basketball enthusiast, even you wonÂ´t be particularly wooÂ´d. Anyway, the bigger concern is how Kenyon will affect the fantasy value of DeAndre Jordan. LetÂ´s take a look at JordanÂ´s last 10 game averages then, shall we? We shall. Who said that? That was weird. 25.2 mpg/6.9 ppg/10 rpg/2.1 bpg. Yes, his minutes per game are clearly down from the 30ish he was receiving before Kenyon signed but at the end of the morning (morning being an arbitrary part of the day that I chose), you drafted DeAndre for two categories: Rebounds and blocks. HeÂ´s still grabbing as many boards and blocking as many balls in less minutes. ThatÂ´s called efficiency, amigos and amiga. If his owner is nervous about the reduction in minutes then go ahead and hit him up.
Over his last 5 games Rodrigue Beaubois has averaged 28.3 mpg/13.8 ppg/2 rpg/2.5 apg/2 spg/1 3pm. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Vince Carter has averaged 27.6 mpg/10.8 ppg/3.2 rpg/2 apg/.8 spg/1.2 3pm. Right now both should be rostered in deep leagues (deep league being 14+ teams) and started but the question is who will maintain more value for the balance of the season. My Magic 8 Ball says Vince Carter. ItÂ´s a special Dallas Mavericks Magic 8 Ball that I bought on eBay. Anyway, once Delonte West returns, Roddy BÂ´s minutes will be most affected. Until then feel free to ride RoddyÂ´s athleticism but be ready to lose him in a couple of weeks. Insert sad face emoticon here.
LetÂ´s face it, Al Harrington probably wonÂ´t be losing minutes to Kenneth Faried but this position battle is worth noting because Faried is forcing his way onto the fantasy radar even without starter type minutes. Over his last 5 heÂ´s averaging 26.4 mpg/12.8 ppg/8.6 rpg/1.2 bpg/.8 spg. Anyone averaging close to a double-double in 26 minutes of burn has to be looked at for standard leagues. So letÂ´s take a look gander to see if he can continue this production. First, obviously, Nene returned last night and heÂ´ll need his 30 minutes of burn a night. By the way itÂ´s pronounced ne-nay, not nay-nay. If youÂ´ve been pronouncing it wrong, please stop, itÂ´s embarrassing. Anyway, Timfey Mozgov canÂ´t seem to stay healthy and Chris Anderson is, well, heÂ´s more known for his tattoos and haircut then for his basketball playing ability these days. Wilson Chandler could still sign which would complicate the situation more but for now IÂ´m all in on Faried in standard leagues and beyond. Better hurry along now and grab him. Hurry.
We talked about this position battle two weeks ago and since then itÂ´s been Marco Belinelli by TKO over Greivis Vasquez, or by submission if youÂ´re more into mixed martial arts. Anyway, over his last 5 Belinelli is averaging 34.6 mpg/14.6 ppg/4 rpg/1.6 apg/1.2 3pm/0 spg. ThatÂ´s right, zero steals; heÂ´s allergic to defense I guess. On the other hand, Greivis Vasquez has averaged just 21.6 mpg/5.8 ppg/2.6 rpg/4.4 apg with one steal and zero threes on .314 FG over his last 5. If Marco is still available in your standard league go ahead and take a whirl. You can probably lose Greivis for a hot free agent unless you own Jarrett Jack in which case I would behoove you to handcuff them.
Since we last visited this position battle two weeks ago, Jamal Crawford basically took over the position in Portland. Over his last 5 games, Jamal started four times and averaged 30 mpg/.554 FG/.800 FT/17.4 ppg/2.8 rpg/4 apg/2.6 3pm. Fantastic for his fantasy owners but, um, not so good for Portland as they lost 3 of those 4 games he started. As a result, Raymond Felton was inserted back into the starting lineup last night (Monday) and posted 10 points and 11 assists in a Portland win. If you recall two weeks ago, I told you to hold Felton and hopefully you did, though if you lost him nobody would have begrudged you. Anyway, both players should be owned in standard leagues since regardless of who is starting, both should see between 25- 30 minutes of run for each of them to do their thing, or thang if youÂ´re into slang. If I had to own one, itÂ´d be Jamal though.
Whether Andris Bierdrins is starting or not, you really donÂ´t want any part of him and his pathetic .143 FT/2 ppg/4.2 rpg stats so letÂ´s focus on Ekpe Udoh. Yesterday, Mark Jackson named Udoh the starting center for the remainder of the season and over his last 5 heÂ´s averaging 25.2 mpg/10 ppg/4.2 rpg/1.2 bpg on .500 FG/.857 FT. I note though heÂ´s at .707 FT on the season so donÂ´t be misled by that .857 FT stat. Since heÂ´s starting, Ekpe has to be grabbed in all standard sized leagues. Think DeAndre Jordan light, or lite if youÂ´re in Europe.
DonÂ´t forget to check out my Trade Strategy article if you havenÂ´t already. Trade deadlines are fast approaching so check it out. ItÂ´s really good stuff if I do say so myself.
Owning a player in the dreaded time share is a situation all astute fantasy owners try to avoid finding themselves in. Each week I’ll take a look at a few position battles that could affect your fantasy team and then I Â and my Magic 8 Ball which moonlights as a crystal ball on weekends, will try to predict the best course of action if you own these players or are considering adding or trading for one of them. This week weâ€™ll start with some position battles in the Western Conference. Next week Iâ€™ll look at some crucial position battles in the Eastern Conference. Back and forth weâ€™ll go each week like a ping pong ball, or something like that. Letâ€™s get to it, shall we?
Coming off a monster break out fantasy season last year, big things were expected from Wesley Matthews in 2011/12. Unfortunately for his owners, things havenâ€™t gone quite as planned. Through 31 games, the 6â€™5, three point specialist out of Marquette is averaging 33 mpg/12.6 ppg/3.3 rpg/1.8 apg with 1.6 3pm and 1.4 spg on .413 FG. While the threes and steals are certainly respectable, it doesnâ€™t tell the whole story. In 11 February games, Mathews minutes have increased to 34.2 per game yet his scoring averaged dipped to 11.4 and 1.3 threes per. The lack of production combined with the red hot play of Nicolas Batum has forced Coach Nate McMillan to recently make a change in the starting 5. This past weekend, Batum found himself in at the two guard while Wesley found his way to the pine. Over his last 5, Batum has averaged a sizzling 38.6 mpg/.519 FG/.846 FT/20.6 ppg/5.8 rpg/1.6 apg/1.6 bpg/1 spg/2.0 3pm. Folks, those are top 20 fantasy type numbers. It remains to be seen if Batum, at 6â€™8, can defend smaller, quicker shooting guards but for now this position battle is clearly favoring him. Matthews isnâ€™t droppable in standard sized leagues but you can lose him in shallow leagues for a hot free agent if you havenâ€™t already.
This is a position battle that I never thought would be worth writing about but the extremely poor play of Raymond Felton coupled with the hot shooting hand of Jamal Crawford has made minutes for Felton and his fantasy owners a possible issue going forward. Over his last 5, Felton has averaged 29.6 minutes per, down from his season average of 32.8. Meanwhile, recently Crawford has gotten run at the point late in the 4th quarter of games and Felton has stated he doesnâ€™t feel he has Coach McMillanâ€™s confidence. Stylistically, you couldnâ€™t have two different point guards here. Felton is a ball distributor while Crawford has never met a shot he didnâ€™t like, as his 13.1 attempts in just 26 minutes of burn would attest. In the long run, Felton is the better fit for this offense so those of you sitting with him should not drop him or trade him for a bag of peanuts and a bottle of pop. Does anyone say pop anymore? Anyway, Feltonâ€™s value is low at the moment and the rule of thumb in fantasy is donâ€™t deal your players when their value is at its lowest. Conversely, Crawford is a fine sell high candidate if you can get solid value in return, ie. a starter playing 30+ minutes per for him.
John Salmons has been flat out terrible all season. In 29 games, heâ€™s averaging just 7.1 ppg/3.2 rpg/0.8 3pm/1 spg. Clearly, these numbers arenâ€™t getting it done for fantasy owners if you have any intention of winning your league or finishing in the money. I assume you do. Enter Isaiah Thomas who has thrived this year in mostly garbage time minutes. The real position battle is for minutes and not necessarily the small forward position. Heck, Thomas is just 5â€™9 so heâ€™s certainly not playing the three spot. However, Tyreke Evans is capable of sliding over to small forward to make room for Thomas in the back court and on Friday night, thatâ€™s just what happened. Then on Sunday, Thomas exploded for 23 points, 8 boards, 11 assists and 3 threes in 43 startersâ€™ minutes. On Monday, Coach Keith Smart intimated that Thomas may stick in the starting 5 for the foreseeable future. While his defense may yet be his downfall from fantasy glory, Thomas is a must add in all standard leagues at the moment. As for Salmons, well, you can lose him if you havenâ€™t already.
By now, itâ€™s clear Randy Foye is the starter and Mo Williams has continued to come off the bench and work with the second unit. The question is will one of these players start to trump the other in terms of minutes. Through January, Williams averaged 27.4 mpg. In 11 February games, Mo is averaging 30.8 minutes per. Despite the bump in minutes, heâ€™s been slumping this month on just .363 FG. I think that makes him a decent little buy low candidate if his owner is frustrated with him. As for Randy Foye, over his last 5, heâ€™s averaging 32 mpg/10.4 ppg/3.4 rpg/3.4 apg/1.6 3pm/1 spg. Numbers that certainly arenâ€™t eye popping but the minutes stand out to me. The Clips will continue to give both players around 30ish minutes of burn per so donâ€™t be shy to make a move for Foye if youâ€™re in need of a smattering of points, useful board and assist totals, 1.5 threes and a steal per. Itâ€™s all good in LAC for both of these players.
Assuming Jarrett Jack returns to full health, Greivis Vasquez will start to cut into Marco Belinelliâ€™s minutes at the two guard spot. Whoâ€™s the better player to own going forward? In my mind, it has to be Greivis. Heâ€™ll not only get run at the two but heâ€™ll spell Jack at point guard making it possible for him to still see around 30 minutes of burn a night. Eric Gordon is basically goooone so both Vasquez and Belinelli are worth grabbing. Iâ€™d grab Vasquez in standard leagues everywhere if he was dropped by his owner who figured heâ€™d lose minutes and Belinelli in deep leagues if youâ€™re in need of the 3 ball.
The rookie Markieff Morris has been coming on of late having scored In double digits in 4 of his last 5 while averaging 23 mpg/12.6 ppg/5.4 rpg/1.2 apg/1.6 bpg/1.8 spg/1.4 3pm over that time. His season percentages (.405 FG/.686 FT) are a cause for concern but otherwise he has a fantasy friendly game. Meanwhile, fortunately for his owners, the veteran Channing Frye has also played well during that time, averaging 26 mpg/11.2 ppg/6 rpg/1.8 apg/1.2 bpg/1.4 spg/1.4 3pm. Morris should continue to cut into Fryefectaâ€™s minutes at the power forward spot but Channing has proven in the past that he doesnâ€™t need 30+ minutes of run to produce what you drafted him for, ie. A smattering of points, around 1.5 threes and close to a block and steal per. Iâ€™d continue to run Frye out there in standard leagues even with as little as 25 minutes of burn per while Markieff should be added in all 14+ team leagues and monitored in standard leagues or grabbed if you have room. His upside is real niiiice.
Hector Roman is a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association and is the founder of www.hecmanhoops.com, a fantasy basketball blog providing advice, strategy and insight to help you win your fantasy hoops league. If you would like to contact Hector, you can email him at email@example.com and/or follow him on Twitter Â @hecmanhoops
This week was definitely a unique one in the fantasy basketball world. Below is a list of players that have started to pick up the pace and should be scooped up in all leagues where they are still available on the waiver wire.
(PG, NYK)- Jeremy Lin has absolutely rocked the sports world during the last week and rightfully so. The Harvard graduate has played at a super-star level with Anthony and Stoudemire sidelined, scoring at least 20 points in each of his five starts (including a 38 point performance against the Lakers).
The guard hasn’t dished out less then seven assists in all five starts, and has literally carried the Knicks on his back as of late, leading them to five straight victories.
It’s apparent that Lin has solidified himself as the Knicks starting point-guard for the future, and he should be picked up in all fantasy leagues if he is still available for some reason.
Even once Anthony and Stoudemire return to the floor, Lin should be able to post solid numbers consistently (even though you can’t expect him to keep up the torrid pace that he has been playing at as of late).
Greivis Vasquez (PG, NOH)- With Jarrett Jack sidelined for the last bunch of games (and expected not to return for at least another week), Vasquez has taken full advantage of his starting opportunity.
The Venezuelan is averaging 13.5 PPG, 7.6 APG, 3.8 RPG, and 1.6 SPG in 32.6 MPG during his last six games.
Vasquez is clearly a must add in all fantasy leagues right now and should continue to post these numbers until Jack returns to the floor. Even then, Vasquez will cut into Jacks minutes and could remain as a solid contributor.
Expect a very similar week to what the guard just had.
Linas Kleiza (SF, TOR)- Kleiza has been known to go off when given the opportunity to play solid minutes, and now could be the time for him to shine.
During his last five games, the forward has dropped 16.6 PPG, including a 30 point performance. Even though Kleiza’s minutes aren’t exactly where they should be, averaging just 24.2 MPG during five games, his playing time will definitely increase with leading scorer Andrea Bargnani sidelined indefinitely.
Kleiza can consistently provide scoring above anything else, and should be picked up in all fantasy leagues if you’re in need of a solid forward.
Randy Foye (SG, LAC)- With Chauncey Billups out for the rest of the season, Randy Foye has slid into the starting lineup for the Los Angeles Clippers.
In three games as a starter, Foye is averaging just over 12 points per contest. Foye is a very solid guard option who can go off on any given night. The great thing about Foye is that he can contribute all across the board, as he is an efficient shooter, passer and defender.
Foye’s minutes should continue to increase for the remainder of the season and his fantasy production should keep climbing upwards as well. The guard should definitely be picked up in your league if you’re in need of a consistent guard.
Ersan Ilyasova (PF, MIL)- Ilyasova has been on fire recently, averaging 15.3 PPG and 11.3 RPG during his last three games. The forward has shown flashes of brilliance in the past and now could be the time for him to really come out of his shell.
With Andrew Bogut out for the rest of the season, Milwaukee is in need of solid big man to step up and replace the production that Bogut used to provide.
Ilyasova’s minutes will continue to rise if he can keep up the production, which we expect him to.
Pick up the forward if he is still available in your league and ride the wave that he is currently on.
Brandon Ribak, CEO/Co-Founder of www.FanSkills.com, provides you with weekly advice, strategy and tips on how to win your fantasy basketball league. If you have any fantasy questions or would like to contact Brandon, please reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.