2014-15 Fantasy Basketball: Waiver Wire Fix — Week 4

Photo Credit: David Butler II - USA Today Sports

Photo Credit: David Butler II – USA Today Sports

Welcome to the week four 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: David West (owned in 68% of ESPN leagues), Giannis Antetokounmpo (60%), Courtney Lee (53%), Kelly Olynyk (52%), Iman Shumpert (50%), DeMarre Carroll (30%), George Hill (30%), Solomon Hill (18%) and Mo Williams (10%).

Now, let’s get to this week’s targets.

Must Add:

Jose Calderon (37%) - After missing the first 13 games of the season, it appears that Mr. Calderon is healthy enough to make his Knicks regular season debut this weekend. I preached him from the rooftops this offseason and there’s nothing more I can add that I didn’t already say when I wrote about Calderon in the preseason. This is really just a break for all of you who missed on him or steered away in your drafts to now steal the veteran point guard for nothing. We’re talking about a top-75 player here that is going to help your fantasy team as well as the Knicks in a big way. Ignore your mind telling you he’s old and unsexy, just add him.

Get to the Point:

Trey Burke (47%) - I was admittedly low on Burke coming into the season as I didn’t believe he’d be much more than a streaky scorer with a steal and some threes. Early on I felt that was pretty accurate but recently the University of Michigan star has changed it up, making better passes than normal. While his shooting has been off all season, he’s made up for it of late by racking up dimes and he’s averaging more than eight assists over the past five games. That is more than double the amount of assists he averaged over the first seven games of the season and two more than last season. If you can handle Trey’s brutal shooting from the field (33% on nearly 12 attempts) and are in dire need of assists, think about giving Burke a look. The three and steal a game is a slight bonus here.

Jarrett Jack (17%) - Quietly the journeyman point guard has upped his play recently and is looking like the reliable off the bench guard he was while playing behind Stephen Curry in Golden State. After a rough first seven games of the year, Jack has really been stellar over the past five games. In those five games JJ has erupted for 17 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.4 assists while shooting 58% from the field (on 11 FGA) and 82% from the charity stripe (on 4.6 FTA). On the season Jack has also pitched in more than a steal per game, so if he’s able to keep his impressive play up to the happy medium of 15ppg – 3rpg – 3apg – 1 spg with good percentages, that’s a player who needs to be rostered in all 12-team leagues.

Just in Case:

Nikola Mirotic (1.7%) - At the start of the week Pau Gasol was listed at “probable” by the Bulls but ultimately was ruled out. Then, he sat out Thursday and Friday as well and now we’re wondering if the injury may be worse than originally anticipated. Friday night, Taj Gibson left the game with an ankle injury that at least appeared pretty bad. In that game Mirotic went off on the Blazers playing 33 minutes and stuffing the stat sheet with 24 points, 11 rebounds, two assists and four trifectas on 7/13 shooting from the field. If Pau, Taj or both miss extended time, Mirotic will see a nice bump in minutes and with his size and jumper he can do some legit damage for your fantasy squad. Look for points, boards, threes and some block potential if he were to play over 25 minutes. If you have a player that’s an easy cut or a stream spot you may want to snag Mirotic just in case this all plays out to his benefit.

Stop, Thief:

Corey Brewer (7%) - It’s been an odd week for the veteran wing, no question. Earlier this week it sounded as if Brewer being traded (to Cleveland or Houston) in the coming days was imminent but a few days later and here he still sits. Coach Flip Saunders even came out and told the media that Brewer is tough to sell because he does so much. A day later, Kevin Martin was diagnosed with a fractured wrist and ruled out indefinitely which catapults Brewer right into the starting lineup and a higher usage rate.

Brewer is mostly a steals specialist with 20 swipes over the last seven games, but he’s more than capable of scoring a fair amount when needed. In the past seven contests, CBrew has averaged 13.1 points per game while shooting an impressive 51.7% from the floor. It would feel a lot better rostering Brewer if he pitched in a three ball but that’s just not in his arsenal, shooting just ten on the season only knocking down two of those. Brewer also isn’t a great free throw shooter at 68% on 3.5 FTA but that’s not bad enough to do too much damage. Basically, if you’re in a roto league and need to make a jump in steals, Brewer is a fantastic target and should pitch in more points while Martin is sidelined.

One Injury Away:

Dennis Schröder (1.2%) - The 21-year-old German point guard entered his sophomore season in the NBA with an improved role from his rookie year. The Hawks got rid of Lou Williams leaving the backup PG duties to the young gun Schroder and he’s making the most of it. Jeff Teague is off to a great start to this season and will not give up any minutes beyond just standard breaks. Even in just 16 minutes a night, Schroder is making his presence felt and getting rave reviews from the Hawks coaching staff. He may only be 21 but Schroder is a very speedy and strong kid with great ability taking the ball to the hoop and finishing and/or drawing the foul.

Right now there’s no need for anyone to roster him except in the deepest of leagues, but all it takes in one unfortunate injury to Teague and this kid could become a fantasy gem. Using his numbers from this season, Schroders’ PER-36 line would be 17.2 points, 4.1 boards, six assists, 2.4 steals and great percentages. Now, would he do exactly that, likely not, but he could at least sniff that kind of a line as a starter and would be a huge benefit to whoever adds him. So, while you don’t ever wish an injury upon a player, just remember that if you see any Teague injury news, swoop Schroder immediately.

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

2014-15 Fantasy Basketball: Week 4 Buy/Sell

Photo credit: Erik Drost

Photo credit: Erik Drost

Welcome to the Week 4 Buy Low, Sell High report. We are nearly finished with the first month of the 2014-15 NBA season and boy has time flew by so far. There have been notable breakout seasons from players like Jimmy Butler, Gordon Hayward, and DeAndre Jordan who are all supplying top-15 value. On the flip side, consensus early-round selections like Carmelo Anthony, Chandler Parsons, and Kobe Bryant are all outside the top-50. While fantasy values are never set in stone, we are reaching the point of the season where small sample sizes don’t play as big of a role when evaluating whether statistics for said players are sustainable. The point of this column is to bring some clarity for owners looking to identify some of the best targets and sells in fantasy basketball to this point of the season.

The number listed directly to the right of each players name indicates their Yahoo 9-cat values. Without further ado, let’s get started. You can follow me on Twitter @MattMoczy for more basketball musings.

Buy Low

Kevin Love – (34) 16.7 PTS-10.4 REB-2.6 AST-2.0 3PM-0.7 ST-0.3 BLK-38.9% FG-83.3% FT

While Love is still the 34th-ranked player in 9-cat formats, fantasy owners likely paid a first-round pick for his services and the early results haven’t been promising. Entering this season owning a career 43.9% field goal percentage, Love has been drastically less efficient this year as his 38.9% mark from the field would attest. The 26-year-old is definitely experiencing some growing pains playing alongside LeBron James and Kyrie Irving and he admitted after the Cavaliers lost to the Spurs he’s still trying to get comfortable in his role. Take a gander at the table below to see the noticeable drop-offs in Love’s stats compared to last season.

Year/Cat

MPG

FGA

FG%

3PM

FT%

REB

AST

TO

ST

BLK

PTS

2013

36.3

18.5

45.7

2.5

82.1

12.5

4.4

2.5

0.8

0.5

26.1

2014

36.8

13.1

38.9

2.0

83.3

10.4

2.6

1.3

0.7

0.3

16.7

While regression in points and assists was to be expected, it’s rather shocking Love is almost averaging 10 less points per game than with the Timberwolves in 2013. His horrid field goal percentage is obviously a big factor in his decreased scoring and when he straightens his shot out he should be good for 18-20 PPG. It’s worth pointing out his 13.1 FGA would be his lowest mark since 2009 and it’s evident he’s being cast as the third option on offense a la Chris Bosh. Part of the reason why his field goal percentage is lagging is due to the fact he is being used as more of a perimeter threat than post-up presence on offense as the following shot charts indicate.

Love 2013 Shotchart

Love 2014 Shotchart

You can see he is having trouble finishing at the rim and according to NBA.com/stats, Love is shooting 45.5% on shots within 5 feet this season after hitting those shots at a 63.6% clip in 2013. The Cavs would be wise to start feeding Love down in the post more to get him going on the offensive end as he’s really excelled down on the block in his career. It’s also been mildly surprising that Love is averaging 2.1 less rebounds per game this year as he owns a career average of 12.5 boards per game and can likely be somewhat attributed to his newfound role operating further away from the basket on offense. It’s been well documented Love has a great knack for reading shots off the rim and has been one of the best offensive rebounders in the NBA throughout his career. He averaged 3.7 OREB in his six prior seasons, but is currently only averaging 1.9 OREB per this year. Additionally, after posting a 28.4 usage rate in 2013, he only owns a 20.5 usage rate this season. It’s called the LeBron effect.

Look, almost all the negatives have been laid out for you and he is still the 34th-ranked player in 9-cat Yahoo leagues. It’s inevitable he’ll become more comfortable in the offense as the season progresses and his efficiency will undoubtedly improve as well. Love is still a walking double-double who is hitting 2.0 3PM with an 83.3% mark from the charity stripe and his turnovers have practically been cut in half. The 3x NBA All-Star and 2x All-NBA Second Team player is simply too talented to be held down for long. He’ll right the ship sooner rather than later and shrewd owners should be looking to deal for the versatile big man at his current discounted price.

Serge Ibaka – (58) 15.5 PTS-7.8 REB-1.2 AST-1.8 3PM-0.2 ST-1.7 BLK-46.4% FG-73.3% FT

Ibaka came into the 2014 season as a universal late-first or early-second round selection due to his stellar production in the past combined with the unfortunate foot injury Kevin Durant suffered in the preseason. Add in the fact Russell Westbrook broke his hand on a fluky play in the second game of the year for the Thunder and owners had to be feeling pretty, pretty good about drafting Ibaka. Fast forward to where we’re at now and it’s safe to say the artist known as “Iblaka” has been a mild disappointment so far for owners. While the 25-year-old native of Congo has seen his FGA rise (12.1 to 13.9) due to an increased offensive role with the Thunder’s two best players out the lineup, it’s translated to less points (15.5 >15.1) to go along with a major drop in efficiency (53.6% FG > 46.4%). Considering Ibaka owned a 54.6% mark from the field in his five prior NBA seasons, it’s become evident he relies on the playmaking ability of Durant and Westbrook to open up easy shots as he’s still not great at creating shots for himself.

He’s drifting further away from the basket on offense now as his career-high prior to this season in 3PM was 0.3 but he’s become a weapon behind the arc this year as he’s hitting 1.8 3PM while launching 4.5 3PA per game. He’s even hitting from deep at a 39% mark. While the three-pointers are the cherry on top for owners, most would likely admit they would take a few less threes in exchange for an improved FG%. Somehow, Ibaka is only averaging 7.7 rebounds after he pulled down 8.8 boards per game a season ago with KD and Westy on the court and it’s simply inexcusable he hasn’t crashed the boards harder so far. Since Nov. 4, Ibaka has only recorded two double-digit rebounding performances. Additionally, the 6’10 center has always been a great shot blocker but after averaging 2.7 last year and 2.6 blocks for his career, he’s only swatting 1.7 shots this year. So why in the hell is he listed under the buy low column you may ask? Because the returns of KD and Westbrook will help, not hurt him like conventional wisdom would suggest.

The Thunder superstars are both set to return within the next three weeks and when they do operating on the offensive end is going to become much easier for Ibaka due to less defensive attention. Unlike Reggie Jackson who will be discussed later on in the column, Ibaka doesn’t need the ball in his hands too much to be effective fantasy-wise. His usage rate has jumped from 19.6 in 2013 to a 22.8 usage rate this year, but it’s important to remember that increased opportunity doesn’t always mean an increase in fantasy value. With that being said, Ibaka remains one of the best buy low options in the game right now as his value will skyrocket with increased efficiency and more blocks due to the looming returns of KD and Westy as he can concentrate more on rebounding and protecting the paint rather than scoring.

Joakim Noah – (74) 8.4 PTS-10.3 REB-4.7 AST-0.5 ST-1.3 BLK-46.2% FG-60% FT

Concerns over his durability will be lingering for all Noah owners out there should be taken seriously considering his injury-prone ways combined with offseason knee surgery, but he’s been delivering his typical well-rounded lines as of late. While points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, and percentages are all down due to the presence of Derrick Rose/Pau Gasol in addition to his minutes being reduced to keep him healthy, he’s still the 74th-ranked 9-cat value after finishing 19th a season ago. While his per-game averages are lower in many categories, the only major regressions have been in free throw percentage, steals, and points. We all know Noah scoring isn’t his forte so that’s not too big of an issue in regards to his fantasy value. Perhaps most surprisingly, the 29-year-old Florida alum is still racking up the assists as he’s recorded six assists in six consecutive games. This can largely be attributed due to Rose (hamstring) and Gasol (calf) dealing with injuries the last few games, but Noah is an extremely adept passer for a center so don’t expect too much regression in that area.

After averaging 35.9 MPG the last two seasons, Noah is currently only averaging 32.1 MPG this year in order to keep him fresh as alluded to earlier. You can bet as the season progresses head coach Tom Thibodeau, notorious for riding his players into the ground, will unleash him in due time. While Noah’s form on his free throws has earned his shot being nicknamed “The Tornado” due to the unusual rotation when he shoots, he’s not as bad as his 60% mark from the charity stripe would suggest, although watching his form would indicate otherwise. Noah is a career 72.7% free throw shooter so owners can expect him to pick it up sooner rather than later. He will likely return top-40 value when it’s all said and done due to his versatility in the box score and now remains as good of a time as ever to try to trade for him.

Sell High

Roy Hibbert – (36) 14.0 PTS-8.3 REB-1.8 AST-0.2 ST-3.0 BLK-47.3% FT-81.5% FT

While Hibbert has certainly provided a tidy profit for owners thus far based on his 84.3 ADP compared to his current 9-cat ranking, there’s reason to be skeptical he can keep up this pace all year. David West returned to practice today and is likely looking at a return sometime shortly after Thanskgiving and while George Hill isn’t too close to returning, he will eventually make it back into lineup. Their returns will likely cause Hibbert to see a slight dip in points, rebounds, and assists since he won’t be the focal point of the offense anymore. Paul George being absent will definitely help keep his average up in points, but his career-high is 12.9 PPG so it’s foolhardy to expect Hibbert to completely keep up the pace. Even though he stands 7’2, Hibbert has always been a mediocre rebounder for his size and he’ll likely average under eight boards with the return of West. Furthermore, he’s yet to shoot 50 percent or better from the field in his six-year career and while his 47.3% mark from the field is an improvement over last year, it’s nothing special for a center.

If you drafted Hibbert to be on your squad it’s likely due to his elite shot blocking and free throw shooting for a big so the aforementioned issues may not be as big of an issue to you. It would be much easier to trust Hibbert for the whole year if he didn’t also get off to a fast start last year only to fizzle down the stretch. It will be awfully hard for the 27-year-old Georgetown alum to keep this ranking all year due to his lack of upside. If you can trade him for the likes of Al Horford, Derrick Favors, Joakim Noah, Tyson Chandler,  Jared Sullinger, Marcin Gortat, or Tim Duncan, you should take advantage of the opportunity.

Reggie Jackson – (63) 19.8 PTS-4.9 REB-7.7 AST-1.4 3PM-0.8 ST-40% FG-87.3% FT

While Jackson has been dynamite on the floor this year for the Thunder, the looming returns of Durant and Westbrook within the next few weeks will obviously be a huge detriment to his fantasy value. If you exclude his 3.3 turnovers per game, he would be a second-round value in 9-cat formats so you can see how valuable he’s been. This makes for the perfect time for owners to sell-high on him since he’ll likely return to a sixth man role when the Thunder get a bevy of players back from the injury list. With an 99 ADP, owners have certainly reaped the early benefits so far so cashing in would be the wise move. While his usage rate has skyrocketed from 22.7 in 2013 to 26.6 this season, it’s come at the expense of efficiency. After shooting 44.9% the last two years, his field goal percentage has plummeted to 40 percent on a career-high 17 FGA per game, obliterating his previous career-high of 11.5 FGA he established last year. He’s been especially bad from the field in his last three games as he’s shot 12-44 (27.3%).

R-Jax may be drilling a career-best 1.4 3PM on a career-high 5.2 3PA, but he’s only pouring it in at a 26.9% clip from deep. Operating as the main ball-handler/playmaker for the Thunder at the moment, the Boston College product is dishing out an impressive 7.7 assists. While this is as well and good, he’ll likely see his average fall below five once Westbrook returns to his ball-dominant ways. The return of the two perennial All-Stars should help Jackson in regards to his efficiency, but his popcorn stats will undoubtedly regress to the mean. He will likely settle in as a top-75 player capable of averaging something similar to a 15-4-5 line with a superb free throw percentage so be sure not to sell yourself too short if you decide to trade him.

Thanks for reading and thanks to BasketballMonster.com, Yahoo, and NBA.com/stats for providing the statistical information. Be sure to comment below with any questions or remarks you have concerning the article. You can follow me on Twitter @MattMoczy and I’m more than willing to answer any questions.

2014 Fantasy Basketball Daily Fix, November 21st 2014

DailyFixDKFeaturedImage

Game Breakdowns:

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This article was a collaborative effort between myself (Joshua Kay) and Joshua Lewis (known as crackmonkey83 in DFS circles)

Orlando Magic @ Charlotte Hornets – Start Time – 7:00 PM

Notable stats:

  • Charlotte ranks 3rd lowest in offensive efficiency ( points per 100 possessions )  at 97.5
  • Charlotte ranks 23rd in pace ( number of possessions per 48 minutes ) at 93.53
  • Orlando ranks 12th in pace at 95.93

SPIN ( CHA ):  The Hornets are a team you can reliably fade on most nights.  They play slow, and they further diminish their fantasy value with their inefficiencies on offense.  There is nothing about this matchup with Orlando that makes any one Hornet jump out as an amazing play.  Al Jefferson ( $7,900 ) is seeing a usage rate of 31.9, which is incredibly high, but his rebounding rate has taken such a dive this season ( he has reached double digit rebounds only once ) that he isn’t worth rostering except in premium matchups.  Kemba Walker ( $6,800 ) has dropped to a price point where he makes for an acceptable GPP target, but isn’t worth targeting heavily.  The best play here is Gary Neal ( $3,000 ).  Neal has dropped to minimum salary, and makes for an excellent target in both cash games and GPPs.  He’s the primary option on the second unit, and should see plenty of run with PJ Hairston and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist already ruled out.

SPIN ( ORL ):  With Michael Kidd-Gilchrist injured, opposing small forwards have been abusing the Hornets.  This sets up an excellent scenario for Tobias Harris ( $7,400 ).  Harris is thriving with Victor Oladipo ( $6,500 ) on the court, and he has incredible upside in this matchup.  He’s a great cash and GPP play.  Nikola Vucevic ( $8,600 ) has taken great strides offensively this season, and should thrive against a Hornets team that is ranked 22nd in offensive rebounding percentage.  Al Jefferson is not a good defender, as evidenced by Charlotte’s poor ranking against opposing centers.  Vucevic’s high floor, high ceiling, and consistency make him a very attractive target, even at his elevated price.  Starting shooting guard Evan Fournier ( $5,000 ) missed last game with a sore heel.  Maurice Harkless ( $3,000 ) saw extra minutes and predictably did nothing with them. 

Summary:

All Games:  Gary Neal – SG, Tobias Harris – SF, Nikola Vucevic – C

GPP Only:  Kemba Walker – PG

Phoenix Suns @ Philadelphia 76ers – Start Time – 7:00 PM

Notable stats:

  • Philadelphia ranks 2nd in pace at 100.8
  • Phoenix ranks 4th in pace at 98.9
  • Philadephia ranks 30th in offensive efficiency at 88.3
  • Phoenix and Philadelphia are ranked 17th and 18th, respectively, in defensive efficiency at 103.4 and 103.7
  • Philadelphia turns the ball over an average of 19 times per game, which is 2nd worst in the league.
  • Philadelphia ranks 30th in rebounding with a rate of 46.2

SPIN ( PHX ): The 76ers are a popular team to target with opposing players, but they aren’t quite as terrible defensively as most people think.  Opposing players get a boost from their fast pace and propensity to turn the ball over, but they are not giving up points at quite the rate they did last season.  That said, targeting them is still a good play, but don’t expect every member of the Suns to go bananas.  Goran Dragic ( $7,100 ) is a nice play here as he has excelled in up tempo matchups this season.  If you take a look at his game log, his good performances occur against the faster paced teams, and his poor performances occur against slower teams.  Of the three guards, Dragic’s minutes are the safest.  Eric Bledsoe ( $7,500 ) will be the more popular target, but Dragic is just as strong of a play, and is safer of the two options.  Markieff Morris ( $6,900 ) is in play as well.  but his inconsistencies make him a GPP only target.  Gerald Green ( $5,000 ) has seen a price jump, but given his 40 point upside, he’s in play in GPPs as well.  Isaiah Thomas ( $5,600 ) has been producing in limited minutes, and makes for an interesting GPP play that could pay off big if Bledsoe struggles and finds himself the odd man out for the evening.  Overall, Phoenix is a very tough team to predict, especially given Jeff Hornacek’s propensity to ride the hot hand on any given night.  There will be very good plays, but it’s difficult to know who they will be.

SPIN ( PHI ):  Philadelphia’s offensive efficiency rating says it all.  They are scoring a full 7 points less per 100 possessions than the 2nd worst team in the league, Oklahoma City.  They take horrible shots and they turn the ball over way too much.  Due to his absurd usage rate, Tony Wroten ( $5,600 ) is the only usable player from the Sixers.  Wroten’s usage rate last game was 38.9.  To put that in context, in the 05-06 season, Kobe Bryant set the record for highest usage rate over the course of a season.  His usage rate was 38.74.  Despite coming off the bench and not playing starter minutes, Wroten is a terrific play because he piles up fantasy points at a rate fast enough to more than pay off his modest price tag.  Michael Carter-Williams ( $7,300 ) is in play in GPPs because he can post a very high score if he can manage to shoot the ball well.  His inefficiencies and turnover problems make him a complete avoid in cash games.

Summary:

All Games: Goran Dragic – PG, Tony Wroten – PG

GPP Only: Eric Bledsoe – SG, Markieff Morris – PF, Gerald Green – SG, Isaiah Thomas – PG, Michael Carter-Williams – PG

Detroit Pistons @ Atlanta Hawks – Start Time – 7:30 PM

Notable stats

  • Atlanta ranks 27th in rebounding with a rate of 47.6
  • Detroit ranks 11th in rebounding with a rate of 50.6
  • Detroit ranks 25th in pace at 93.5
  • Atlanta ranks 16th in pace at 95.6

SPIN ( DET ): Detroit’s major advantage in this matchup will be on the glass.  If Andre Drummond ( $6,700 ) could manage to stay out of foul trouble, the Pistons would rank even higher in terms of rebounding rate.  That said, Drummond led the league in offensive rebounds last season, and it wasn’t even close.  Drummond had 440, and runner-up DeAndre Jordan had 331.  Drummond is an elite rebounder matched up with a team that is terrible at rebounding the basketball.  Given the Hawks don’t attack the rim much, preferring to settle for mid-range jumpers, Drummond is in a great spot to not only soak up a bunch of rebounds, but also stay out of foul trouble.   If he can keep his hands to himself, we may finally see one of those monster games we routinely saw last season.  His fouling issues keep him out of cash game lineups, but he’s a very nice GPP target with expected low ownership tomorrow.  Greg Monroe ( $7,200 ) is a great option for both cash and GPP lineups.  Millsap is a bad defender, and he won’t be able to stop Monroe from attacking the rim.  Monroe will also benefit from Atlanta’s poor rebounding.  Other Pistons can safely be faded, including Josh Smith ( $6,500 ) who, despite having a revenge game, loses significant value playing the 3 instead of the 4, and doesn’t have a good matchup against a returning DeMarre Carroll.

SPIN ( ATL ): With the aforementioned DeMarre Carroll ( $5,100 ) returning, the rest of the Hawks become very poor values. Paul Millsap ( $9,300 ) is priced out, but both he and Al Horford ( $7,000 ) take a hit in rebounding rate with Carroll on the court.  Horford isn’t rebounding anyway, so despite Detroit’s dead last ranking against centers, Horford isn’t very intriguing.  Jeff Teague ( $6,900 ) has come down in a price a bit, and even though Detroit’s #3 ranking against point guards is extremely suspect, he’s nothing more than a low exposure GPP target.

Summary:

All Games: Greg Monroe – PF

GPP Only: Andre Drummond – C, Jeff Teague – PG

Milwaukee Bucks @ Toronto Raptors – Start Time – 7:30 PM

Notable stats:

  • Toronto is third worst in defensive rebounding per 100 possessions
  • Toronto sports the leagues best turnover rate with just 11.6 turnovers per 100 possessions.
  • The Milwaukee Bucks are 4th in the NBA in steals per 100 poss.

SPIN (MIL): The Raptors are giving up the 10th highest opp FG% in the paint, and are in the top half of the league in terms of highest opp FG% at the rim. While it’s still somewhat of a fluid situation due to Head Coach Jason Kidd’s rotations, Zaza Pachulia ( $4,000 ) has seen the lion’s share of the minutes lately, with Larry Sanders quickly falling out of favor. If Zaza starts, he is a good play against the poor defense of Toronto center Jonas Valenciunas. Other than him, it’s very hard to trust any Milwaukee Buck in cash games, and if they won’t be getting many steals due to Toronto’s strong possession abilities, they really are just not that interesting.

SPIN (TOR): With Brandon Knight hounding Kyle Lowry ( $7,800 ) all night, it’s reasonable to suggest that Shooting Guard Demar Derozan ( $7,200 ) might find himself holding the ball more often than normal. Derozan is a strong play in any format due to his consistency. Demar has only recorded fewer than 29 Draft Kings points twice in his last ten games, one of which was a matchup against Chicago Bull elite defender Jimmy Butler. The only thing that ever prevents me from using Derozan on a given night is the way that salary shakes out at other positions — sometimes there is very good value at shooting guard.

Summary:

All Games: Demar Derozan – SG

GPP Only: Zaza Pachulia – C (only if deemed to be starting)

Brooklyn Nets @ Oklahoma City Thunder – Start Time – 8:00 PM

Notable stats:

  • Brooklyn ranks 22nd in pace at 94.76
  • Oklahoma City ranks 27th in pace at 92.68
  • Oklahoma City ranks 29th in offensive efficiency at 95.2
  • Brooklyn and Oklahoma City rank 25th and 26th in assists per game, respectively, at 19.6 and 19.1.

SPIN ( BKN ):  The Nets are a team that rarely offer any good daily fantasy plays, and tonight is no exception.  Tonight’s matchup with Oklahoma City is expected to be low-scoring, which is no surprise given the pace of both teams.  Considering how low Brooklyn ranks in terms of assists, it’s very difficult to target Nets when those valuable assist points are hard to come by.  Fading Brooklyn is a smart move tonight.

SPIN: ( OKC ):  Oklahoma City is easy to figure out on any given night.  With Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant injured, Reggie Jackson ( $7,700 ) has become their do-everything player.  He’s been extremely consistent, and his usage and ability to grab rebounds and dish out assists has turned him into a high floor, high ceiling player that should be targeted aggressively in both cash games and GPPs.  Jeremy Lamb ( $4,900 ) makes for an interesting GPP target.  He has high upside relative to his price if he is knocking down shots.  The rest of Oklahoma City can safely be ignored.

Summary:

All Games:  Reggie Jackson – PG

GPP Only:  Jeremy Lamb – SG

Boston Celtics @ Memphis Grizzlies: Start Time – 8:00 PM

Notable stats:

  • Boston attempts the second fewest free throws per 100 possessions
  • Boston is 1st in FG% in the paint, and 5th in FG% at the rim.
  • Memphis is holding teams to the 5th lowest opp FG% in the paint, and 5th lowest opp FG% at the rim.
  • Memphis attempts the 2nd most field goals in the paint

SPIN (BOS): It’s quite difficult to recommended any Celtics in this game other than Jeff Green ( $6,600 ). With Quincy Pondexter doubtful for Memphis, and Tony Allen having left shootaround early (questionable) to play tonight, that would theoretically leave just Tayshaun Prince, Vince Carter and Courtney Lee as their healthy wings. It’s easy to see Green having a good game if Allen were to miss.

SPIN (MEM): The Memphis side of things is much more attractive since they will be playing up in pace a bit. Zach Randolph ( $7,800 ) leads the NBA in rebound chances per game with 19.8 and playing up in pace should really benefit his game. Shooting Guard Courtney Le( $4,200 ) has a revenge game, and is nicely priced. The only concern with him is health, since he is just a couple days removed from missing an entire game due to illness. He’s not a guy I’m looking to plug into a ton of lineups, but if he is symptom free, he could put on a show.

*IMPORTANT NOTE*

The Grizzlies enjoy being nonsensical with their rotations, allowing their big three to get more rest than other teams do. With Jon Leuer – PF, Kosta Koufus – C, and Beno Udrih - PG questionable for tonight, Mike Conley ( $7,600 ), Marc Gasol ( 8,200 ), and Randolph all see an enormous boosts in stock, and become extremely strong plays

**********

Summary:

All Games: Zach Randolph PF.      Mike Conley – PG, and Marc Gasol – C, if the above Grizzlies are out.

GPP Only: Jeff Green – SF

Cleveland Cavaliers @ Washington Wizards – Start Time – 8:00 PM

Notable stats:

  • Cleveland is allowing the highest mid-range shooting percentage in the NBA
  • Cleveland is allowing the 7th highest opp FG% in the paint
  • Cleveland is allowing the 4th highest opp FG% from mid range
  • Cleveland is bad at defense
  • Washington is allowing the 4th highest opp FG% on above the break 3-pt shots
  • Cleveland has the highest above the break 3-pt shot FG%.

SPIN (CLE): For some reason, Lebron James ( $11,000 ) is much more aggressive on the road, than at home. Perhaps due to a higher burden —  knowing that he has to lead his team in more adverse situations — James is averaging 39.5 minutes per game on the road (37.3 at home) and has taken 105 shots in five road games (compared to 87 in five home games). Expect him to carry a huge burden tonight.

SPIN (WAS): Washington is a lot more interesting to dissect because they are all mostly reasonably priced. John Wall ( $9,400 ) could go absolutely nuts thanks to being guarded by poor defender Kyrie Irving, and Nene ( $5,000 ) is reasonably priced, and being guarded by Kevin Love. Lastly, Marcin Gortat ( $6,100 ) is a very good play.

Summary: 

All games: Nene – PF, John Wall – PG, Marcin Gortat – C, Lebron James – SF

GPP Only: Kyrie Irving – PG, Bradley Beal – SG

San Antonio Spurs @ Minnesota Timberwolves – Start Time – 8:00 PM

Notable stats:

  • Kevin Martin will be out indefinitely. Also, Minnesota has a bad defense.

SPIN (SA): This one is pretty easy: Stay away from the Spurs in cash games cause this one can get ugly in quite a hurry. With Matt Bonner expected to miss tonight’s contest for the Spurs, Aron Baynes ( $3,000 ) becomes a very intriguing “eh, what the heck” GPP play that could return some pretty significant extra value since he should see a ton of minutes in a blowout. Plus, and we don’t know just yet, but it’s possible he could start.

SPIN (MIN): The Timberwolves can be described in this game as a collection of semi-interesting slightly overpriced value plays. With Kevin Martin out indefinitely with a wrist injury, run for Corey Brewer ( $5,200 ) and Andrew Wiggins ( $4,500 ) will significantly increase (especially Brewer since reports are that he is being showcased for possible trades). Shabazz Muhammad ( $4,100 ) and Anthony Bennett ( $4,000 ) are interesting options at the forward flex spot, but their run tonight will be a bit unpredictable since we saw Bennett lose minutes to Robbie Hummel of all people last time out against the Knicks. To answer your questions, no… Hummel is not in play. Gorgui Dieng ( $6,500 ) is interesting, but again, somewhat overpriced, as is Mo Williams ( $4,600 ). 

Summary: 

All games: Corey Brewer – SF

GPP Only: Andrew Wiggins – SF, Mo Williams – PG, Aron Baynes – C, Gorgui Dieng – C, Anthony Bennett – F, Shabazz Muhammad – F

Los Angeles Lakers @ Dallas Mavericks – Start Time – 8:30 PM

Notable stats:

  • Los Angeles is league worst in defensive efficiency at 113.4
  • Dallas is league best in offensive efficiency at 114.9.
  • Los Angeles is 7th in pace at 97.57
  • Dallas is 17th in pace at 95.54

SPIN ( LAL ): Kobe Bryant ( $8.900 ) is simply underpriced relative to what we can reasonably expect from him on a game-to-game basis.  He’s going to shoot, and he’s going to shoot a lot.  He will likely draw the “defense” of Monta Ellis, which puts him in a fantastic spot to put up a huge scoring total as he attempts to keep the Lakers in the game.  He’s an excellent play in both cash games and GPPs.  The return of Nick Young ( $3,600 ) should continue to give the Lakers a boost.  He provides scoring off the bench that they desperately need.  He’s a bit risky in cash games as he mainly just scores, but he’s certainly in play in GPPs as he can give you an excellent return on a minor investment.  Other Lakers aren’t particularly intriguing and can be avoided.

SPIN ( DAL ): Dallas is going to score a lot of points tonight, but it’s going to be difficult to predict where they come from.  They are very balanced in terms of scoring, and at first glance, everyone feels overpriced.  Some of these guys are going to turn into good plays, so Chandler Parsons ( $7,100 ), Monta Ellis ( $8,000 ), and Dirk Nowitzki ( $7,300 ) are all in play.  I wouldn’t stack them, as it seems unlikely they all turn into great plays, but mixing up exposure to all of them seems very prudent.  Tyson Chandler ( $6,300 ) is the favored target.  Despite turning in a consistent string of terrific performance, his price hasn’t moved.  He will be very active on the glass, and is a near lock for a double-double tonight.  He should be targeted aggressively in cash games and GPPs.

Summary:

All Games:  Kobe Bryant – SG, Chandler Parsons – SF, Monta Ellis, SG, Dirk Nowitzki – PF, Tyson Chander – C

GPP Only:  Nick Young – SG

Cash Game Rankings:

*Note* these rankings are price adjusted

UPDATE: Kirk Hinrich, Derrick Rose and Pau Gasol ARE OUT.

Point Guard:

  1. Aaron Brooks – $3,800
  2. Reggie Jackson – $7,700
  3. Tony Wroten – $5,600
  4. John Wall – $9,400
  5. Mike Conley – $7,600 (if Beno Udrih is out)

Shooting Guard:

  1. Kobe Bryant – $8,900
  2. Jimmy Butler – $7,200
  3. Gary Neal – $3,000
  4. Demar Derozan – $7,200

Small Forward:

  1. Tobias Harris – $7,400
  2. Lebron James – $11,000
  3. Corey Brewer – $5,200
  4. Tyreke Evans – $7,400

Power Forward:

  1. Anthony Davis – $11,300
  2. Greg Monroe – $7,200
  3. Zach Randolph – $7,800
  4. Taj Gibson – $5,900
  5. Nene – $5,000

Center:

  1. Tyson Chandler – $6,300
  2. Andrew Bogut – $6,200
  3. Nikola Vucevic – $8,600
  4. Marcin Gortat – $6,100

Viable GPP Salary Super Savers:

These players are only recommended to fill out lineups you make that you find leave you with virtually nothing left. You are at the point where you really don’t want to rework your lineup, so you plug in one of the following guys to make it work.

  1. J.J. Barea – $3,300 – DAL – PG
  2. Gary Neal – $3,000 – CHA – SG — Would be willing to use him in all games
  3. J.J. Hickson – $3,000 – DEN – C
  4. Aron Baynes – $3,000 – SA – C

2014-15 Fantasy Basketball: Week 3 Trend or Mirage?

 

Arron Afflalo  – TREND

The buzz on Afflalo is that he was somewhat of a late bloomer in terms of getting it together on the offensive end of the court.

He was drafted as a potential 3 and D guy by the Pistons, but didn’t really get a chance to shine until his second season in Denver. Having gone through Denver to Orlando and now landing back in Denver, Spell Check has gotten it going over his last four games to the tune of 17.8 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 3.3 threes, just 0.8 turnovers and a very useful 50% from the floor on 13.5 field goal attempts. While his defensive stats are continually poor, he doesn’t turn the ball over and he’ll generally hit his free throws at a high clip, making him a useful player to pair with someone like Rajon Rondo, who is strong in the counting stats but abhorrent in terms of shooting the ball.

Even if Afflalo is dealt to a contender (quite likely) – you can expect him to stay strong at what he’s good at, as he’s comfortable in his role and he doesn’t try to do things he simply can’t.

Terrence RossMIRAGE

It’s not that Ross’ good start is a mirage, it’s that I can’t see him carving out a rosterable (made up word, I know) spot on competitive fantasy teams. Sure, he’s a safe plug for deep, i.e. 14+ team leagues where you’re choosing between adding Vince Carter, C.J Miles or stashing Jodie Meeks (don’t, he’s likely out at least another month), but he’s not going to help you in more than 2-3 categories.

The 51 point explosion last year was an aberration. To put it in perspective he’d scored 48 TOTAL points in the six games leading up to it, while it took him the five games after it to total more than 51.

This is a streaky player, and not the James Johnson or Corey Brewer type who can block 4 shots one game or grab 6 steals in another – threes are everywhere. For every good 6-11 performance he has, there’s a 1-5 or 2-7 outing soon after it.

Courtney LeeTREND

Courtney Lee is another SG who has bounced around the league, as this current Grizz unit is his fifth team in just six seasons.

He’s a rock solid defender, better than advertised athlete and he’s a very capable outside shooter. Basically he’s the perfect SG to compliment the grounded Grizzlies beef up front and grit in the form of Tony Allen. Coming into the season not many picked Lee to start for the Grizz, even fewer likely thought he’d be nine games into the season and shooting 57% from the field, 92% at the line and knocked down two threes at a league leading 62.1% clip! He’s doing it, the Grizz are winning a lot of games, and this is most definitely a trend considering his career stats when he has gotten minutes. In 228 career starts, Lee’s stats are mirroring what he’s currently doing: around 12 points, a couple of rebounds and assists and over one steal and one three per game with 85% at the line and 45% from the field. As long as he’s healthy and the team is rolling, there is no reason to suspect he’s going to drop off too much (I say too much, because he can’t possibly sustain those video game shooting percentages).

Dion WaitersTREND

Yes, a trend can be both good and awful.

The problem for Waiters is, what he’s good at, isn’t needed on this star-studded Cavs team. He isn’t a good or even really an average defender, nor is he particularly adept at knocking down the outside shot or creating for team-mates, but he can score in bunches. Don’t be surprised if Waiters is moved for more veteran pieces as the Cavs look to fill the holes currently littering their roster, at which point you can re-evaluate him for fantasy purposes in case he lands in the ideal spot to produce (the 76ers?).

He’s actually shown some signs of life over his last three games, averaging 11.7 points, 4.0 assists, a crazy 2.7 steals, 1.0 three as well as just 1.0 turnover per game.

There’s upside there especially in PTS/3s/STL, but he’s surrounded by superior talent on the Cavaliers.

Kentavious Caldwell-PopeMIRAGE

I’m still hanging on desperately to the back of the KCP bandwagon – the talent is there with this kid and so is the opportunity with Jodie Meeks still on the shelf.

He’s getting plenty of minutes manning the SG spot but he’s done little other than knock down some threes, cause SVG to pull more hair out, and make fantasy owners question every ‘expert’ who picked KCP as a sleeper! He’s a good defender, was a former lottery pick, has a structurally sound jump-shot and his coach seems to like him – all recipes for success in theory, but KCP has to put these traits into practice.

Still, as a 21 year old on a rather ‘unbalanced’ team, KCP could be doing a lot worse than 11.8 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.9 threes per game – just don’t look at his percentages or any other statistic or you’ll see he’s been hanging out with Josh Smith too much.

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 – Reggie Jackson: Mr November

Reggie Jackson

Everyone knew Reggie Jackson as Russell Westbrook’s back-up who had some potential as a scoring combo guard, particularly excelling in last year’s playoffs while starting alongside Westbrook against the Spurs in their last two games (sure, both losses!). With a plague of Thunder injuries – including a minor one to the man himself – Jackson has been thrust into the starting point guard spot, thriving from a fantasy perspective.

He’s easily topping his career highs in every major statistic, with only his field goal and three point percentages and turnovers suffering – the mark of a player unaccustomed to shouldering such a massive load. It didn’t take him long to hit his strides, as he started with 23 points at Brooklyn and he hasn’t looked back, scoring at least 20 points in six of his nine games. The counting stats are also extremely satisfying for a player with an ADP of 91 in ESPN leagues, as he’s had four assists in every game of the season, while averaging 4.7 rebounds per night – good for 12th among guard eligible players.

Like most young point guards, the 3.6 turnovers aren’t great, in fact they’re a big issue – but when the rotation irons itself out a bit more Jackson will find he won’t have to force the issue as much. Even when the aforementioned Westbrook returns towards the end of the month (touch wood), Jackson’s going to hold value as the second option OKC needs to keep the boat afloat until the MVP returns ready to challenge Anthony Davis for interstellar fantasy domination.

Giannis Antetokounmpo
[Read more...]

2014 Fantasy Basketball Daily Fix, November 19th

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Daily News for November 19th

Bradley Beal returns for the Washington Wizards. He will come off the bench. This renders Rasual Butler, whom while usually useless in fantasy, has actually been receiving more minutes and was creeping onto the punt play radar. Alas, that brief window is gone so fast we hardly knew ye’ Rasual.

P.J. Hairston is out today for the Charlotte Hornets, making Gerald Henderson the only healthy wing options besides Gary Neal and Lance Stephenson. 

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2014 Fantasy Basketball Daily Fix, November 18th

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Los Angeles Lakers @ Atlanta Hawks – Start Time – 7:30 PM

Notable stats:

  • The Lakers are last in the league in defensive efficiency ( 114.7 )
  • The Hawks are 22nd in the league in defensive efficiency ( 105.1 )
  • The Lakers are 7th in the league in pace ( 97.9 )
  • The Hawks are 14th in the league in pace ( 95.8 )

SPIN ( LAL ): Given the pace and defensive struggles of both teams, this should be the most heavily targeted game of the evening.  Kobe Bryant ( $8,800 ) will continue shooting at will, and makes for an excellent play this evening.  He is underpriced, and is a high floor, high ceiling player that is appropriate for both cash and GPP lineups.  Jordan Hill ( $6,800 ) is also a strong play.  The Hawks are terrible at rebounding the basketball, and struggle to defend opposing front court players.  Ed Davis ( $4,400 ) is in play in GPPs because of his ability to produce in limited minutes, but his inconsistency makes him unusable in cash games.

2014-15 Fantasy Basketball: Sizzlin’ and Fizzlin’ — Week 3

Photo Credit: Paul Beaty/AP

Photo Credit: Paul Beaty/AP

Let’s get right to this week’s sizzlin’ player profile. This week we’ll be checking out the studness that is Pau Gasol. It’s starting to feel like I’m a Bulls homer doing back to back sizzlin’ Bulls, but that’s not the case. You know, I actually heard some flack from people when I had Pau ranked inside my top-50 in my preseason rankings, but all I hear now are crickets. Gasol was made to fit in that role and if Boozer could still put up relevant numbers there, I thought Pau could return to fantasy stardom and here he is. He’s ranked as the 19th best player in 8-category leagues this season according to Basketball Monster.

Ten games in and Pau didn’t need anytime to mold to his new team. It was like he had been a Bull for the past few seasons. The chemistry was instant, and he is playing with such comfort and confidence. His stats have been great averaging 18.6 points, 10.6 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 2.5 blocks. He’s also topping his great play off by shooting 49% from the field and 78% from the charity stripe. Pau is doing most of his damage within 5-feet of the basket this season, which has always been the case, but he isn’t taking as many jumpers as he did with the Lakers. The Bulls system allows him to work from the high post to the restricted area and that’s the area he’s been living mostly.

Pau is a strong passing big man and the league knows this. With the Bulls good shooting wings, teams have to stay close to their man when Gasol gets the ball down low. This allows Pau to do work on his defender without the threat of a double team, but if they do collapse on him he’s always quick to make the appropriate pass to get a teammate an open look. Gasol also gives the team a big boost defensively compared to what they got from Carlos Boozer last season with an all-around better post defensive presence plus shot blocking ability.

Pau is rewarding the owners who ignored his age and non-sexy factors, and there’s really no end in sight as long as he doesn’t wear down late in the year because Thibs runs his players til their legs fall off. I think Pau will be just fine as long as he stays at 34 minutes as he is currently. While staying top-20 may be tough, I think right around 30 is where you’ll find him at season’s end, and with an ADP on ESPN and Yahoo near 60, that’s a sweet big man value.

Photo Credit: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Photo Credit: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Fizzlin’ player I’ll be looking into this week is Andre Drummond. When fantasy GMs drafted the 21-year-old Pistons big man they were expecting to see another statistical bump up from his studly 2013-14 numbers. Instead they’ve been handed a player who can’t seem to go a game without finding himself in foul trouble. In six of the ten games he’s played so far he has racked up at least five fouls. While Drum has remained a solid rebounder, snatching down 11.2 per game, that’s still two below his average last season. His blocks are right on par with last season at 1.6, but his owners surely were hoping he’d jump to more than two this season.

Andre  Drummond 2013-14 shot chart

Andre Drummond 2013-14 shot chart

The biggest disappointment from Drum has been his shooting. Last season (see shot chart to the left) he shot better than 63% from the field, this season through just 10 games he’s at a cringeworthy 41%. Now sure, shooting greater than 60-percent shouldn’t be an issue when you’re 7′ and take 97.7% of your field goal attempts right at the rim. Drum knows what he’s good at and stuck with it, he didn’t try to be something he’s not and force jumpers. Drum was 474/751 (63%) shooting at the rim last season and 5/17 elsewhere. So why the sluggish shooting start to his third NBA season?

Truth is, it’s really tough to put a finger on it since he doesn’t take many field-goal attempts. Even last season he only took 9.5 shots a game, he’s at 8.7 FGA right now. How do you diagnose a shooting problem for a guy who takes more than 90-percent of his shots at the rim? The only thing I found in the advanced stats was that Andre has just not been making his layups as well as a season ago. The previous season he was 134/239 (56.5%) on layups and this season he’s just 13/32 (40.6%). I’ve had the chance to watch Drummond play about four times this season and he really seems in the dumps. This may just be from all of the foul trouble and/or the bad play getting to his young mind, but he’s got to know that lacking interest isn’t going to help turn things around.

In the end, if you drafted Drummond you have to ride out this hellacious storm because selling him right now is a bad decision. While it’s possible he may not average 13 points, 13 boards and shoot at >60% again, there’s no reason to believe it will stay this bad. Saddle in and be patient with the young big man and know that brighter days are ahead. Stan Van Gundy dealt with Dwight Howard and will get Drum playing at an elite center level again soon. If you don’t own Drummond and can handle his poor free throw shooting (albeit at a less impactful 2 to 4 FTA a game), then go make an offer to his befuddled owner. The double-double and block machine will be back in business sooner rather than later.

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

2014 Fantasy Basketball Daily Fix, November 17th

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Top Game Breakdowns:

This article is a collaborative effort between the two NBA DFS experts here at the Fix, Joshua Lewis (DFS Name crackmonkey83), and Joshua Kay. Don’t forget, if you are a new user to Draft Kings please use this link to sign up!

Dallas Mavericks @ Charlotte Hornets – Start Time – 7:00 PM

Notable stats:

  • Charlotte is allowing the second highest FG% at the rim in the NBA at 65.6%
  • Dallas is allowing the third highest percentage on mid-range shots

SPIN: (CHA): The Hornets have just a few guys in play today, despite the injuries to Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Gary Neal. Shooting Guard Lance Stephenson ( $6,600 ) is going to get plenty of rebounds and lots of run offensively, as he’ll be guarded by the incredibly underwhelming Monta Ellis. Point Guard Kemba Walker ( $7,200 ) is always a GPP play, and at his extremely low price point, it’s very difficult to ignore his large home/road splits. Kemba is averaging 38.6 fantasy points per game at home, compared to just 26 on the road.

SPIN: (DAL): The Mavericks have an incredibly balanced offense, and as a result can be quite frustrating at times for Daily Fantasy. One player for the Mavericks that is safe to play across all formats in all lineups is Center Tyson Chandler ( $6,300 ). The enormous seven-footer is a rebounding menace, and in a game that will be close all night, should see plenty of minutes. Chandler is the only usable Maverick when they play on the road. Power Forward Dirk Nowitzki ( $7,300 ) doesn’t rebound enough for his price, and his shooting percentage is much better at home.

Summary: 

All Games: Tyson Chandler – C, Kemba Walker – PG, Lance Stephenson – SG

GPP Only: Monta Ellis – SG

Orlando Magic @ Detroit Pistons – Start Time – 7:30 PM

Notable stats:

  • Detroit is 2nd in the league in defensive rebounding, and the Magic are 4th WORST in offensive rebounding
  • While all Magic players see a dip in usage rate when Victor Oladipo is on the court, their effective FG% increases dramatically
  • Both teams are in the Top-5 in most Mid-Range shot attempts allowed per game.

SPIN (ORL): The top play for the Magic tonight is Point Guard Victor Oladipo ( $6,100 ). Although he is available on Draft Kings as a shooting guard, “Dipo” plays the point, where he sees a ton of usage. He has taken 28 shots combined in his first two games, and his usage rate so far in a small sample is 31%. Center Nikola Vucevic ( $8,100 ) gets to face the Pistons 30th ranked defense against opposing Centers, so obviously he is a very strong play, but the price may be a bit high. Vucevic has taken five fewer shots already in each game since Oladipo has returned to the court. Power Forward Channing Frye ( $5,200 ) is a bit underwhelming in terms of what he does on the court, but at this price point, there really isn’t many guys that are usable here. I don’t mind him as a last guy into your lineup type play in a GPP if you are left with approximately $5200.

SPIN (DET): Point Guard Brandon Jennings ( $7,100 ) took a predictable break from his torrid 2-game hot streak when his Pistons strolled into town to face the Memphis Grizzlies. Regardless of this disappointing effort, Jennings has been jacking up more shots lately, which makes him an extremely enticing play against a Magic team that has been torched by point guards all season. Jennings should also benefit greatly from Oladipo’s penchant to commit turnovers. Once again, Power Forward Greg Monroe ( $7,200 ) is an enticing play, but as always his lack of steals and blocks will always limit his ability to exceed his price point. Monroe should be good today, but he’s tough to use at the current price, given the fact that he hasn’t exceeded 40 fantasy points since November 5th against the Knicks.

Summary: 

All Games: Brandon Jennings – PG, Victor Oladipo – SG

GPP Only: Nikola Vucevic -C, Channing Frye – PF, Greg Monroe – PF, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope – SG, Josh Smith – SF

Phoenix Suns @ Boston Celtics – Start Time – 7:30 PM

Notable stats:

  • Both the Suns and Celtics are allowing 63% + from the field at the rim.
  • Boston is 4th in pace and Phoenix is 7th

SPIN: (PHX): This game should be a fantasy point gold mine in every way imaginable. The real problem though is that the Suns rotations are quirky since Head Coach Jeff Hornacek has not been shy about saying he will bench his starters if they aren’t performing up to snuff — yes this means you Eric Bledose ( $6,400 ). Power Forward Marcus Morris ( $4,000 ) – who really plays the “3″ is an excellent GPP play given the fact that he gets terrible defender Jeff Green. Morris is also likely to benefit from extra playing time, since Boston plays small and Morris has been getting extra run against such teams all season long. He’s an absolutely fabulous play for his price point — especially at the forward flex spot. Shooting Guard Gerald Green ( $4,500 ) is instant offense off the bench and is always an amazing GPP play especially in what will be a very high paced game. Furthermore, if you believe in such things, this is a “revenge game” for Green, as he played his first two seasons with Boston and wasn’t utilized very well.

SPIN: (BOS): This should be a fabulous matchup for triple-double machine Point Guard Rajon Rondo ( $8,400 ) but his price point and Head Coach Brad Stevens‘s recent silliness, ensures that Rondo is tough to use in cash games for this price. Rondo played 31 minutes and 28 minutes against Cleveland and Indiana respectively — both games coming are recent. He’s an elite GPP play as always, though. When Rondo has lost played less minutes, Small Forward Evan Turner ( $3,900 ) sees an uptick in minutes. It’s an interesting situation, allowing potentially for a GPP lineup in which you fade Rondo, but use Evan Turner. Turner has received 26 minutes and 32 minutes respectively in the Cleveland and Indiana games in which Rondo saw less. Turner of course is only a GPP option. Jared Sullinger and Kelly Olynyk should be good too in this high paced game, but Sullinger as we discussed Friday is tough to use at this price due to lack of blocks and steals (the Greg Monroe issue). Olynyk is a fouling machine so his upside is always capped, and his hurt by Tyson Chandler being such a strong play at his position.

Summary:

All Games: Rajon Rondo – PG (but I’d rather not use him in cash), Jared Sullinger – PF (again, price issue but he should be good)

GPP Only: Gerald Green – SG, Marcus Morris – PF, Evan Turner – SF (only in non-Rondo lineups), Eric Bledsoe – SG, Avery Bradley – SG (price issue, but worth a look in a Boston stack)

New Orleans Pelicans @ Portland Trail Blazers – Start Time – 10:00 PM

Notable stats:

  • Injury issues in this game will skew most of the accrued stats for each team, but Damian Lillard‘s usage rate does skyrocket without Nicolas Batum (who is doubtful)

SPIN: (Pelicans): Pelicans Center Omer Asik ( $5,400 ) is questionable for this game with a lower back injury. This is a situation that could cause some late night scrambling and late swapping, because if Asik misses, Alexis Ajinca will likely start for the Pelicans. He is fantasy irrelevant due to foul issues, but the real bread-winner if Asik misses, will be Power Forward/Small Forward Ryan Anderson ( $5,400 ). Anderson is eligible at Power Forward, but spends a good deal of time at the “3″, a spot that Portland has been horrid defensively against ever since Batum started missing games. Regardless whether or not Asik starts, Anderson is a fabulous GPP play, whose stock only can rise due to the situation. Superhuman Power Forward Anthony Davis ( $10,900 ) is always in play, but he becomes even stronger if LaMarcus Aldridge is out for Portland (he will probably play though). Small Forward Tyreke Evans ( $7,200 ), a shooting guard eligible versatile player who handles the ball quite a bit, will draw the weakest matchup of all of the Pelicans. He’s an incredibly good play across all formats tonight.

SPIN: (POR): As mentioned earlier, Power Forward LaMarcus Aldridge ( $9,600 ) is questionable tonight with an illness, but I expect him to play. He isn’t a great play tonight because of his tough matchup and his penchant for having games where he doesnt rebound the ball. As stated earlier, Nicolas Batum is doubtful, so this elevates Damian Lillard ( $8,500 ) into must-play territory once again. Unfortunately for him, Jrue Holiday is a bulldog defensively for New Orleans, so Lillard could be fairly inefficient. His floor is Reggie Jackson-esque however, due to usage. In order to illustrate this fact, consider that Jackson put up 15 points (3-11 shooting), 11 rebounds and 4 assists last night in a matchup against the elite Patrick Beverley.

Summary:

All Games: Damian Lillard – PG, Tyreke Evans – SG, Anthony Davis – PF, Ryan Anderson – PF

GPP Only: Jrue Holiday – PG ( Damian Lillard is horrible defensively )

Positional Rankings:

These rankings are price relevant, and will only include players that Joshua Lewis and Josh Kay have in their lineups tonight.

Point Guard:

  1. Brandon Jennings – $7,100 (lower to #3 in cash)
  2. Rajon Rondo – $8,400
  3. Damian Lillard – $8,500 (raise to #1 if Aldridge is out)
  4. Kemba Walker – $7,200
  5. Ty Lawson – $7,400
  6. Kyrie Irving – $7,900 (raise to #2 if Lebron sits — questionable with illness, but expected to play)
  7. Mario Chalmers – $5,300 — ONLY if Dwayne Wade is out
  8. Chris Paul – $10,300
  9. Michael Carter-Williams – $6,800
  10. Jrue Holiday – $7,400

Shooting Guard

  1. Victor Oladipo – $6.100
  2. Jimmy Butler – $7,500
  3. Lance Stephenson – $6,600
  4. Tyreke Evans – $7,200
  5. Gerald Green – $4,500
  6. Eric Bledsoe – $6,400
  7. Dion Waiters – $3,700
  8. Monta Ellis – $6,900
  9. Wesley Matthews – $5,900
  10. Avery Bradley – $4,700

Small Forward

  1. Kawhi Leonard – $7,100
  2. Lebron James – $11,000 (try not to pay for him in many spots. If he’s sick, he won’t be very aggressive)
  3. Shawne Williams – $4,400
  4. Tony Allen – $3,800
  5. Luol Deng – $6,200 – cash only (not enough upside)
  6. Evan Turner – $3,900 ( GPP only )
  7. Matt Barnes – $3,900 ( Only if he starts, and only in GPPs)
  8. Mike Dunleavy – $4,400 – GPP only

Power Forward

  1. Pau Gasol – $8,400
  2. Greg Monroe – $7,200
  3. Jared Sullinger – $7,100
  4. Marcus Morris – $4,000
  5. Ryan Anderson – $5,400
  6. Nerlens Noel – $3,000
  7. Channing Frye – $5,200

Center

  1. Tyson Chandler – $6,300
  2. Anderson Varejao – $5,000
  3. Nikola Vucevic – $8,100

 

 

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

jordan land

Source: Ethan Miller/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. Everything you need to know about the hottest players of the week.

Points
1. LeBron James, CLE 36.5
2. Carmelo Anthony, NYK 29.5
3. Kyrie Irving, CLE 29.5
4. James Harden, HOU 26.7
5. Anthony Davis, NO 25.3
6. Reggie Jackson, OKC 24.8
7. Rudy Gay, SAC 24.7
8. Brandon Jennings 23.8
9. Stephen Curry 23.8
10. 2 tied Blake Griffin, Damian Lillard 23.0

Biggest Surprise
No huge surprises this week. It’s always a bit of a surprise when two of the top three are from one team. Not so much in Cleveland though. If we have to pick one person it would have to be Jennings.

Who’s For Real?
Jackson has to do everything for the Thunder right now. Until their stars get healthy look for Jackson to stay on this list.

Who’s A Fraud?
With few surprises, comes no real frauds. Jennings will likely be inconsistent but we wouldn’t say fraud.

Who’s Missing?
Kobe Bryant is the obvious choice here. This is mostly due to the fact he played one of the worst games of his career on Friday.

Further Analysis:
Last week we said the obvious choices for “who’s missing” was LeBron and Melo. The Fraud was Kevin Martin. No surprise Melo and King James are the top two players and Martin is nowhere to be found. [Read more...]