2014-15 Fantasy Basketball Daily Fix — December 17th

harden land

James Harden
Source: Scott Halleran/Getty Images North America

Today’s daily fix features a few players at each position that I highly recommend for today’s 10-game NBA slate along with some breakdowns. There will be both studs who I am confident will deliver huge lines as well as value plays who have a great opportunity to outperform their price. At the end I will list the top-5 players I’ll be using at each position in cash games tonight. Remember that this is written up in advance of any starting lineup or inactive updates. Be sure to keep your eyes on Twitter and/or Rotoworld for updates that could change things in a big way. I will be on Twitter a lot today retweeting and commenting on any news that comes through. Good luck to you all and let’s get money tonight!

Editor’s note: Due to some issues we’re having transferring to a new system for our subscription services, today’s picks for NBA contests on DraftKings are free. 

Point Guards:

Jeff Teague ($7,200) - The pricier point guards tonight have matchups I am not in love with either due to a tough defending PG or the potential for a blow out where they may sit late. I think Teague stands as a nice mid-tier value play against Kyrie Irving and the Cavs who have been diced by PGs all season long. Teague has been a little up and down lately, but this is a spot where I think he posts a line that rises above his price tag. The Hawks are going to try and make this a statement game and to do so Teague will need to go off.

UPDATE: Teague has been ruled doubtful tonight making Dennis Schroder ($3000) a must play. This allows a ton of flexibility when using big money options.

[Read more...]

2014-15 Fantasy Basketball: Box Score Browsing — We Wish Jrue a Merry Christmas

Jrue Holiday

Happy Holidays – tis the season for Pelicans’ guards to start producing!

It doesn’t hurt that the fantasy force known as Anthony Davis has been banged up over the past week, but both Holiday and Tyreke Evans (more on him below) have seriously stepped up their play as of late.

Holiday was an All Star in 2013, which is often over-looked as he’s continually underrated in both fantasy and reality. The dude has great size for a point guard at 6’4”, which has enabled him to rebound well (3.6 for his career) and grab a nice amount of steals (1.4 for this season and for his career).

Holiday isn’t being asked to do too much for New Orleans and it’s showing in his efficiency with his PER of 19.41 easily surpassing the 16.7 from his All Star campaign (which was a great fantasy season as he ended the year ranked 27th overall).

In a season with quite a few ups and downs, the overall stat line is very useful in all formats of fantasy NBA. Holiday’s averaging nearly 16 points, 3.3 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 1.4 steals and career highs in field goal (46%) and free throw percentage (89%).

Over the last week he’s been a monster, averaging 20.0 points, 2.5 rebounds, 8.8 assists, 2.3 steals, 1.8 threes, and 52% shooting from the field with 78% at the line. He’s been so good that he’s been the seventh best player in fantasy during that span, trailing LeBron James, James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Kawhi Leonard, Stephen Curry and Kevin Love (per Basketball Monster).

A more cynical fantasy owner than I might suggest selling high on Holiday and buying low on another star player. Last night I actually traded my Jrue Holiday and Jared Sullinger for Kevin Love and Mirza Teletovic. I’m banking more on Love getting it all together than I am Holiday dropping off too much; the deal could potentially even come down to who steps up more out of Sullinger and Teletovic. [Read more...]

2014-15 Fantasy Basketball: Sizzlin’ and Fizzlin’ — Week 8

Sizzlin-Fizzlin Cover

The whole Golden State Warriors team — minus gimp David Lee — has been sizzlin’ this season as they sit at a cozy 21-2, but I can only pick one player to profile and it has to be Draymond Green. The Michigan State alum has just blossomed into an awesome NBA player in his third season. We definitely saw flashes last season of the potential and many labeled him as a sleeper this off-season with his Paul Millsap-like traits to be a 1+ trey – 1+ block – 1+ steal guy. The only thing holding him back was the Warriors possibly not giving him enough minutes to be a true beast, but with David Lee missing every game so far (minus one where he got re-injured) the path was paved and, wow, has Green ever seized the opportunity.

Photo Credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Photo Credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Dray has played phenomenally on both ends of the court, and even when Lee returns there is no way new coach Steve Kerr can put a major dent in Dray’s playing time. Green is a huge reason for the team’s early success and he should continue to start even when Lee is healthy, but time will tell how that plays out. Lee is a non-factor defensively so even if Dray doesn’t start, he will get plenty of minutes both at SF and backing up Lee. Andrew Bogut is also battling the injury bug right now (what else is new?) so there are plenty of ways for Kerr to insure he keeps Dray-money on the floor.

He’s been great all season but this column focuses on the recent, and over the past couple weeks (eight games) Green has been the sixth best fantasy player in 8-category leagues. Just check out this delicious line over that span: 36 minutes, 16 points, 9.1 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.8 steals, 1.5 blocks and 2.1 treys while boasting 47% from the field, 84% from the charity stripe and better than 39% from long range. FILTHY!

While I’d love to say that he’ll keep this up, it’s really just a bit much especially with David Lee coming back soon. The drop won’t be due to a decline in play but a decline in his minutes from 36 recently to more around 30. He should still be able to contribute a 14 points, 7.5 boards, 2.3 dimes, 1.3 steals, 1.0 block and 1.5 treys, which is still great from a guy you likely drafted between rounds 10 and 13. If you find someone who is willing to pay up top-15 value for Dray right now, you have to swallow your draft prowess pride and make the deal. Don’t force a trade by any means, but there’s no harm in hearing what kind of offers owners would throw at you. You should absolutely get paid nicely for such a great do-it-all guy if you can bring yourself to pulling the trigger.

Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The fizzlin’ player profile this week isn’t as high of a level player as I have been doing most weeks, but Brandon Jennings was drafted inside the top-100 in most leagues. While he wasn’t drafted overly high, his owners still have a reasonable level of expectancy in him. Jennings has always done several things well, but he’s available later in drafts because along with his good points, threes, assists, steals and free throw percentage you have to take on his field-goal percentage which is basically like dating a hot girl who has rancid body odor. Unfortunately for those who took on this “hot girl” and accepted the body odor, she got comfortable and now lost the good looks, too.

The Pistons brought in a new coach in Stan Van Gundy this off-season which seemed like a good thing for Jennings since SVG had a similar but less gifted Jameer Nelson in his Orlando days who was a nice fantasy point guard when healthy. During the Piston’s preseason though, SVG was quite critical of Jennings and hinted that he preferred D.J. Augustin who he acquired in free agency in his other role with the team as President. Most thought of this as verbal motivation towards Jennings to step it up, unfortunately though, he didn’t. In the first two games of the regular season Jennings played less than 20 minutes while Augustin played more and better. After that Jennings’ minutes went up and down a bit as did his stats before he had a pretty nice run of good games in mid-November, but then came December. Much like December weather, Jennings’ game got frigidly cold. How cold? Let’s just take a look at his seven game December shot chart:

Brandon  Jennings December shot chart (thru 7 gms)

Brandon Jennings December shot chart (thru 7 gms)

Yeah, that cold. Jennings’ December numbers through seven games sit at 28.6 minutes, 5.3 points, 2.3 rebounds, 7.0 assists and just two total steals. The worst part for him is after shooting a fine 40% from deep in November and hitting over two treys a night, he has shot a shameful 1-of-17 (.059) from three in December. He hasn’t been much better from inside the arc either shooting just 11-of-42 (26%). The advanced stats don’t speak brightly for the kid out of Compton either with a 21.2 eFG%, 28.6 TS%, 17.5 usage rate and a lowly offensive rating of 94.

The only plus for Jennings in this antarctic freeze he’s in is that DJ Augustin hasn’t played overly well himself playing 21.5 minutes and shooting a lackluster 32% from the field. While Jennings is as in the dumps as it gets, he should remain the starter for the foreseeable future or until SVG finds someone out there willing to take him via trade. I can’t blame those in 10-team or shallower leagues for dropping Jennings and even in 12-teamers it has to be tempting if you are in need of stats/wins and there’s a good option available on your waiver wire. If you do decide to hold on in hopes of a revival, bench him until either he heats up or you give up on him and finally cut bait. The poor Pistons, I could use a different player from them every week for the fizzlin’ portion of this column…

For more fantasy hoops analysis and to have any questions you may have answered, follow Zack on Twitter @BigZack44

2014-15 Fantasy Basketball: Waiver Wire Fix — Week 7

Photo Credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Photo Credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Welcome to the week seven Waiver Wire Fix. Be sure to check back here every weekend for the duration of the fantasy hoops season for more wire targets. I’ve begun breaking the column down according to player types. This should help you find the player that fits your teams specific needs best. There will be different categories every week, so I hope you enjoy the new format. If you’re not sure if you should drop a certain player from your team for one of these targets then shoot me a tweet and I’ll give my two cents.

I only discuss players that are owned in less that 51% of ESPN leagues. I also won’t repeat players that I’ve mentioned in a previous column unless it’s absolutely needed because they’ve leaped into an even better opportunity. This all said, if any of these players are available in your league you should grab/consider them: Danny Green (owned in 64% of ESPN leagues), Giannis Antetokounmpo (61%), Trey Burke (50%), Jose Calderon (40%), Louis Williams (40%), Gorgui Dieng (35% – should be close to 100% while Pekovic out), K.J. McDaniels (34% – Great stls/blks from a wing), George Hill (24% – stasher, out until late December), Mo Williams (22%), Corey Brewer (17% – steal-matic) and Tyler Zeller (14%).

Now, let’s get to the waiver wire targets for this week. [Read more...]

2014-15 Fantasy Basketball: Weekly Leaders — Who’s Hot?

swaggy p

Swaggy P
Source: Jonathan Moore/Getty Images North America

In this article we will be going over the top 10 players in each major statistical category (excluding percentages). We will list and review each category to give you the best analysis for your fantasy basketball league. This is everything you need to know about the hottest players of the week.

Points
1. LeBron James, CLE 31.3
2. James Harden, HOU 31.0
3. Russell Westbrook, OKC 27.5
4. Blake Griffin, LAC 26.5
5. Chandler Parsons, DAL 26.0
6. Jeff Green, BOS 24.3
7. Kemba Walker, CHA 23.0
7. LaMarcus Aldridge, POR 23.0
7. Damian Lillard, POR 23.0
10. Kobe Bryant, LAL 22.7

Biggest Surprise
No real surprises here at all. All familiar faces.

Who’s For Real?
Harden has a real shot at winning the scoring title this season and in the future.

Who’s A Fraud?
Only person that can even be considered close to a fraud is Green. But he’s really not.

Who’s Missing?
Kevin Durant is still a no show on this list as is the banged up Carmelo Anthony.

Further Analysis:
King James is back on top this week. He missed a game with knee soreness but it did not seem like an issue when he eclipsed 40 points in his return.

[Read more...]

2014-15 Fantasy Basketball: Week 7 Buy/Sell

Beal Fantasy

Photo credit: Keith Allison

We have reached Week 7 and it has seemed like a blur as the NBA season is roughly a quarter of the way finished. If you’re looking at the standings and your team is towards the cellar, don’t panic just yet. Perhaps injuries have wreaked havoc on your squad and you’ve been unable to see your team at full strength or maybe you own some colossal disappointments that have contributed to the misfortune. On the flip side, just because you’re at the top of the standings doesn’t mean you can relax and coast your way to victory. Exploring the trade market is an excellent way to improve upon your weaknesses so be sure to closely examine your standings to see the logical areas of your team you can upgrade. We are far enough along in the season where small sample size should no longer be an issue for the vast majority of players so make sure to take advantage of the opportunities out there. With that being said, never make a trade just for the sake of change. The end goal of every trade is to make your team better so be sure the trade accomplishes this.

For those who tuned in for the the Week 6 edition, buy low recommendation Chandler Parsons has really taken off as of late with 26 points per game over the last three games. Additionally, sell high guys like Tyson Chandler have cooled off while Andrew Bogut (knee) is again donning suits on the bench thanks to his injury. What a surprise. If you were able ship any of these oft-injured studs off or trade for Parsons/Batum, would love to hear about your deals in the comments sections if you so choose. Without further ado, let’s start the Week 7 edition off by expounding upon return of the Pizza Guy. [Read more...]

2014-15 Fantasy Basketball Daily Fix, December 12th

DailyFixDKFeaturedImage

 What’s in this edition?

Full Game Breakdowns of:

  • DET/PHX
  • LAC/WSH
  • PHI/BKN (you won’t want to miss this one)
  • NY/BOS
  • CLE/NO
  • Positional and Price-Adjusted Cash Game Rankings
  • Positional Price-Adjusted GPP Option rankings
  • All for just $1 !

Finally, for important updates, use our NBA Beat Reporter Follow List:

Top Games:

Detroit Pistons @ Phoenix Suns – Start Time 9:00 PM – O/U 204, Phoenix (-9.5)

Notable stats:

  • The Pistons rank 6th in percentage of points in the paint
  • The Suns rank 28th in points in the paint given up per game (46.5) — only Boston and Minnesota are worse.
  • Detroit gives up the most opponent rebounds per 100 possessions (47.4)
  • The Suns rank 3rd in points off turnovers per 100 possessions
  • The Pistons rank 8th in committing the fewest turnovers per 100 possessions
  • The Suns have the fifth lowest free throw attempt rate

SPIN (DET): I’m quite surprised by this line. I think the Pistons keep this one close because they are good at things that Phoenix can’t stop (shots inside). Josh Smith ( $7,700, SF ) is a fantastic GPP play. He’s due for a big game, and is always a good candidate in a game that will be played at a higher pace. Furthermore, Phoenix is small up front, which gives Smith an advantage in that he’ll likely see more court time (if he can stay out of foul trouble). Greg Monroe ( $7,200, PF ) is frustrating to own since he basically only rebounds and scores points. He’s hard to recommend at his current price point, but he should score fine tonight. Jodie Meeks ( $3,700, SG ) will make his season debut tonight, presumably off the bench. His role is incredibly unclear, and his return is more of a warning sign to anyone thinking of using Detroit wingmen, rather than it being an interesting spot to use him.

SPIN ( PHX): An uptempo game against a team that allows the most rebounds to opposing teams is a perfect spot to use Eric Bledsoe ( $8,300, SG ) especially coming off his disappointing (but predicted ) follow-up attempt against Miami. Shooting guard isn’t usually a good spot to spend unless it’s on a multi-category monster like Bledsoe. If you’re spending at the 2 guard, spend it here. I really, really hate chasing big games, but if Marcus Morris ( $4,100, PF ) earned his way back into the starting lineup after his monster game against Miami, he needs to be considered. Kyle Singler is a terrible defender and Morris should have his way with lousy Detroit wings all night — if he can get the minutes, since his brother Markieff Morris is likely to struggle against the defense of Josh Smith.

An important note about this game is that we cannot take anything away from the previous meeting between these clubs because Josh Smith was still starting at the “3″ at that time.

Summary:

All Games: Eric Bledsoe – SG

GPP Only: Alex Len – C, Josh Smith – SF, Marcus Morris – PF, Isaiah Thomas – PG (expected to return)

2014-15 Fantasy Basketball: Week 6 Trend or Mirage?

Michael Carter-WilliamsTREND

This guy, this is my kind of guy. This guy, is not my kind of guy.

MCW lit the fantasy world on fire with his explosion onto the scene in his rookie campaign, basically peaking in his first career game with that magical 22 point-7 rebound-12 assist-9 steal-4 threes performance in a victory against the then champion Miami Heat. I can’t help but think of George Costanza where he tells his joke, gets his laughs, and realizing there’s no need to stay round and potentially ruin it, promptly leaves the room.

So much has changed since that fateful night. Teams have figured him out. His career field goal percentage now sits at 40.2%, while his free throw percentage sits at 69.5%. Let’s not even mention the turnover rate which is an absurd 3.7 per game (fourth overall since the start of his rookie year, behind some pretty handy fantasy options). Basically we’re saying he has flaws, but he has value too.

It is worrying that despite awful 40/70 shooting splits last year, they’re actually even worse this season at just 39% from the field and 65% from the line – along with a Josh Smith-esque 23% from deep.

The trend to take note of here is the inconsistent form. MCW isn’t a star in this league and he isn’t the second coming of Penny Hardaway, but there are very few guard eligible players who have a bad night and still net you 10 rebounds and 9 assists, so for that reason if you can stomach the percentages, enjoy the ride.

David WestMIRAGE

David West is one of those classic blue-chip players who just goes and does his work. This year, however, he has less help with two of his amigos George Hill and Paul George both on the side-lines. He returned from an ankle injury and has yet to really produce what he’s known for – rock solid percentages, along with a useful amount of rebounds and assists.

West hasn’t started well at all, as he’s having his least productive season since his second year, in 2004-05. The minutes are down to just under 27 per night, so his counting stats are all well down from last year’s numbers – as he’s sitting at just 5.9 rebounds, 2.4 assists and a combined 0.7 steals/blocks.

Don’t be surprised if West is shifted to a contending team around the deadline – that’s if the Pacers aren’t in the playoff hunt – but anything’s possible in the East this season. The slow start is more to do with motivation, getting his health back and incorporating new teammates.

Matt BarnesTREND

Barnes had to have paid attention to the criticism being thrown his way, the dude was having such a poor season, Hedo Turkoglu had to be rubbing his fingers together. Or licking them.

He’s hitting his field goals and free throws at his highest clip since playing off the bench for the Los Angeles Lakers in 2010-11, while over his last four games he’s averaged 12.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.5 threes and 54/86 splits.

Barnes has finally found his role and the Clippers are annihilating teams, having won nine straight games and 11 of 12, including losing just once on a seven game road-trip – to their nemesis the Memphis Grizzlies. This is a trend, he’s not reverting back to pre-season Barnes which was a legit fantasy nightmare.

Jared SullingerMIRAGE

My man Sully is struggling, big time.

Is it his coach Brad Stevens’ rotations (likely), or Sully settling for those annoying long jump-shots (very likely), or the 3.3 fouls in just 25.4 minutes per (doesn’t help), or all of the above (bingo)? This slump has him averaging just 6.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 30/67 splits over his last four games.

Sullinger has only had six double-doubles through his 20 games, but last year he had certain stretches where he showed the potential of being a top 50 force in fantasy. You only need to look for the three games preceding his latest slump to see it won’t take much for him to flick the switch – as he averaged 17.7 points, 10.0 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.3 steals, a whopping 2.7 threes and just 1.0 turnover.

The time to buy low on Sullinger is now, he’s as likely to drop 25 and 15 next game as he is have a 8 and 6 stinker, but you don’t want to risk having to overspend on a seemingly inconsistent player.

Tim Hardaway JrTREND

The New York Knicks need a scorer everything, plain and simple.

Tim Hardaway Jr doesn’t do a lot other than score and knock down threes, along with minimizing his mistakes in terms of turnovers (just 1.0 per-36 minutes) – but it’s his potential for 18-20 points with a load of threes every night that should see him picked up in all but the shallowest of leagues.

He should get 28-30 minutes at minimum and when he played at least 28 minutes last year, he was essentially your Nick Young level scorer and threes specialist. In those 21 games he scored at only an ‘ok’ clip, 15.5 points per night, but very solid percentages of 45/86, along with 2.7 threes per game.

This year he’s been even better when given minutes, averaging 21.0 points, 2.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists, a massive 3.3 threes and 52/70 splits. Play Hardaway Jr, this is a trend going forward as long as Melo is hurt and J.R. Smith is still himself.

As always we welcome your feedback, so feel free to hit me up on Twitter (@macetasticand I’ll do my best to reply to any comments.

2014-15 Fantasy Basketball: Box Score Browsing — Thou Shall Covet Covington

Robert Covington

The hype is slightly premature, but if Robert Covington is available in your league, stop reading and add him now.

While his path to fantasy relevance hasn’t exactly been ‘standard’, Covington has shown glimpses of being a legit scoring option, with big upside in threes and free throw percentage in particular.

He went undrafted last season despite a successful (very stat heavy) four years at Tennessee State, ending his college career with averages of 14.8 points, 7.4 rebounds, 1.5 threes, 1.5 steals and 1.3 blocks, along with strong percentages of 48% from the field, 42% from behind the arc, and 80% from the line.

Over the past week he’s averaged 21.0 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 3.0 three pointers and great percentages of 55% from the field, 53% from behind the arc and 10-10 from the line (he’s 21-22 for the season). The College STL/BLK stats are encouraging, as he’s still yet to provide much on the defensive end in the NBA – but we predict the steals to pick up with more experience in the league as he adjusts to playing against athletes who are on par or superior to him.

If Covington can continue to get 28-30 minutes, he should put up serviceable stats and may even crack the top 100 – but much of his playing time and productivity will depend on the injuries to Alexey Shved and Tony Wroten – so monitor their health accordingly.

The Sixers are 17th in threes made this season, but that’s only because they’re 9th in attempts – and they’re dead last in percentage at just 30% – so having a legit long distance threat who flies under the radar makes sense.

The 76ers may have finally turned the corner, having won more games over the past week than they had the three weeks prior, so hopefully they don’t think they’re winning too much by playing Covington big minutes!

It always helps endearing yourself to your fan base, so it should be no surprise that a scrappy underdog who can drop 20 on any night has become a fan favorite.

Eric Bledsoe

As a Suns fan and Bledsoe owner in multiple leagues, I couldn’t be happier about the explosion Eric Bledsoe has had recently.

His all round game has blossomed and he’s doing basically everything you could hope for…in 8 category or points based leagues. The turnovers are a concern, but they look worse overall compared to his latest stretch where his minutes have actually crept up due to the timely Isaiah Thomas injury.

He’s had peaks and mind-numbingly deep valleys, which included 3-15 shooting against the San Antonio Spurs, 9 turnovers versus Memphis, and a 1 point stinker against his former team the LA Clippers – which he made amends for earlier this week with a career night. *It goes without saying, whenever I prepare a piece and write about how well a player is doing, he’ll immediately savage your line-up with a 2-11, 7 turnover disaster overnight.

If you tried buying low, when he was clearly struggling while Thomas was flourishing, then kudos to you – because the only chance you’re going to have at buying low is by pointing to his bad track record in terms of games played in his young career.

Bledsoe’s been on an absolute tear over his last four games, averaging 24.0 points, 5.3 rebounds, 8.3 assists, 2.3 steals, 1.8 blocks, 1.5 threes, and incredible 49/90 splits. That’s what you expect from a $14m per year man, and what many were hoping for judging by his ADP of 34 – essentially at the start of the third round in a standard 12 team league.

J.J. Redick

JJ’s been redick-ulous lately, averaging 20.3 points with 3.8 threes per game and sterling 55/86 percentages over his last four games. He’s taken advantage of Jamal Crawford’s mini-slump, averaging 32.5 minutes per game over that stretch, compared to 29.1 on the season as a whole.

Redick is perennially underrated in fantasy, because he doesn’t put up sexy counting stats like other shooting guards can do. He doesn’t average 5+ rebounds like Lance Stephenson and he averages less than a third the assists Tyreke Evans does – yet he ranks 100 spots higher than Lance and 79 spots ahead of Evans (Yahoo, rotisserie).

What Redick does do, is shoot the long ball and minimize his turnovers – which can’t be overlooked if you’re in leagues that count turnovers (I hate these leagues). He’s averaging just 1.3 turnovers in his 29.1 minutes this year, which is a common theme over the course of his career. From his rookie year in 2006-07 through to this season, he’s averaged just 1.0 turnover per night in 479 career games, a very favourable mark which puts him in elite company in terms of ‘Not turning the ball over’ types.

He’s not going to win you a league, but he’ll go a long way to filling in the gaps for teams with flaws; you could argue he’s the perfect accompaniment to poor FT%/strong defensive bigs such as Joakim Noah or Paul Millsap, as he helps where both players are weak. I left out Andre Drummond, Dwight Howard and DeAndre Jordan, as you’d literally need 5-6 Redicks to mask their FT% woes!

Ed Davis

The 2014-15 Lakers are a farce.

They’re wasting Kobe’s (still productive, points-wise at least) twilight years, though he didn’t entirely help their cause by signing a deal that pays him more than the entire active 76ers roster.

Enough of my kobeef with Bryant, Ed Davis demands your attention, for the second time this season. But this time, it’s personal because he’s the newly minted starter and with Carlos Boozer’s well-deserved reputation of being terrible defensively, Davis won’t have to do much to stay in the starting line-up.

In his first six games to the start the season, he was a really solid pick-up in deep leagues, providing a massive boost in FG% (71%, 27-38 field goals), with solid rebounds (6.8), steals (1.0), blocks (1.3) and points (10.3).

Along with being the worst defensive team since the 2008-09 Kings, the Lakers are a dreadful shooting team. They rank 22nd in FG% (despite placing 3rd in attempts!? Oh yeah, Kobe) and 25th in three point percentage – so as Jordan Hill has shown, rebounds are there to be grabbed so Davis best bring a wheel-barrow.

Davis has never provided a long enough streak of production to really be a lock for line-ups, so tread carefully and don’t drop a slumping player just to add the hot (ok ‘warm’) name out there. For every 15 point-11 rebound game he could have, there’s like a 6 and 5 foul-plagued disaster shortly to follow.

Layups

Rasual Butler

To the rasual fan, Casual Butler…wait let me start again.

To the casual fan Rasual Butler is yet another journeyman landing in the perfect spot – i.e. a team needing veteran leadership, outside shooting and short-term production due to injuries.

The Wizards are rolling, in no small part to the dynamic scoring punch and savvy defensive plays made by Butler.

People forget he was actually a very solid starter for a couple of years, particularly for the Hornets and Clippers, from 2008-2010. He’s a very one trick pony, basically making his free throws and burying threes, but those two stats along with Butler’s ability to block the odd shot and not turn it over, has seen his playing time swell.

He’s not worth owning in many standard leagues due to his inconsistency and his inability to throw a tennis ball in a swimming pool (just 0.8 assists in 704 NBA games) – but you could do a lot worse in terms of streaming or daily options out there.

Enes Kanter

I kanter resist this guy whenever he ends up on waivers in my money league, which is quite often due to his substantial flaws, especially in roto leagues.

For a big lug to be bereft of any defensive stats or even the odd assist, he surely needs to be a net asset in the other cats, yes?

Kind of.

His ability to grab 15 rebounds seemingly once a week along with his strong field goal percentage at 53% on 11 field goal attempts, makes him a decent second center on most rosters. To put it in perspective, he’s grabbed 15 rebounds three times this season, an amount only bested by Tyson Chandler, DeMarcus Cousins, Andre Drummond, Pau Gasol and DeAndre Jordan – not bad company.

Lately he’s even blocking more shots, having sent back 1.2 per game over his last five, while also averaging a healthy 15.4 points and 10.0 rebounds on 53/75 splits.

Kevin Love

If you’re ever going to buy low on a guy who could still finish in the top 10, now is the time.

Love’s slumped in the second half of this Cavaliers’ winning streak, topping out at just 15.5 points, 41.5% shooting from the floor, 30% from three, 75% at the line, 1.8 assists, and oh yeah, 0.0 steals. The steals we’re used to, same with the 11.8 rebounds, but the poor shooting and low assist numbers are not reflective of Love’s ability or where he’s going to end up as the season progresses.

Love’s shown he can still be a top scorer and rebounder at times, but the Cavs don’t need him to necessarily do both at the same time. When he scores 20 points or more, they’ve gone 3-4; when he’s scored 19 points or less they’re a very healthy 9-4.

He’s already had nine single digit rebounding performances this season, after having just 12 total in 77 games last year – so try using that as ammo when you’re pleading with Love’s owner that he should take 80 cents in the dollar for him!

As always we welcome your feedback, so feel free to hit me up on Twitter (@macetasticand I’ll do my best to reply to any comments.

2014-15 Fantasy Basketball: Sizzlin’ and Fizzlin — Week 7

Sizzlin-Fizzlin Cover

Every week this season I’ll be choosing two players, one who is riding a hot streak (sizzlin’) and one who is ice cold (fizzlin’) of late. I’ll then break them down in player profiles laying out what they’ve done well/poorly and if I believe it will continue or just be temporary. Now, let’s get to the choices for this week.

Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The sizzlin’ player profile for this week is one I wouldn’t have ever guessed would be an option for this style of column, Tyson Chandler. The 32-year-old veteran was thrilled to be reunited with the Dallas Mavericks team that he won a title with in 2011 by being traded from the New York Knicks. The Mavericks were happy to undo a big mistake they made by not re-signing Chandler after their championship season due to his deserved high price tag. Their defense and paint presence hadn’t been close to the same since losing him, and the Mavs couldn’t afford to waste anymore of the Dirk Nowitzki “good” years. So, they brought back Chandler, signed Chandler Parsons and some other fillers and they’re off to a solid 16-6 start to the season.

Enough about the team though, let’s get back to the man of the hour. Chandler has just been on fire to start the season playing 29.5 minutes and posting a very healthy 11.3 points, 11.9 rebounds, 0.7 steals, 1.5 blocks while shooting 70% from the field and 72% from the free-throw line. That’s good enough to place him 24th overall on the season via BasketballMonster.com by 8-category averages. Recently, Chandler has been even more impressive the last two weeks averaging a sizzlin’ 12.4 points, 14.5 boards, 1.4 swipes, 1.5 swats while still shooting 70% from the field although the FT% fell back to his career par of 64%. That sick line leaves him at 9th over the past two weeks according to BasketballMonster. [Read more...]