Fantasy Basketball 2014: Adrieeeeen!!!

Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Jeff Adrien

If you’re a movie fan, chances are ‘Adrieeeeen!’ is a well known ‘quote’, whereas Jeff Adrien is not a well known NBA player.

Forgive me for the recurring theme of poking fun of the name of nearly every player who has appeared in this column throughout the year. I hear or see a name and automatically think of where I’ve heard that name before in different media – usually the Simpsons or a movie.

He’s bounced around a fair bit for such a short professional career, yet only when landing on the Bucks after being included in the Neal-Ridnour-Sessions trade has he actually been able to prove his worth in both fantasy and reality, as he’s averaged 10.7 points, 7.2 rebounds and 52/75 shooting splits in 22 games for the Bucks.

He’s likely not as available as he was this time last week, as he’s rattled off some strong games for the very un-solid Bucks, taking advantage of their cataclysmically bad season – remember when the experts were talking playoffs for the Bucks? Seems like years ago. Or decades if you’re a Bucks fan.

OJ became Mayoverweight. Ersan’s season was Ilyas-over before it began. The Larry Sanders show was cancelled for any number of self-inflicted reasons.

Brandon Knight is the only legit option on the Bucks roster and despite having a lot of hype and tantalizing fantasy skills, Giannis Antetokounmpo is barely old enough to buy a Penthouse yet.

This Bucks team has been stuffed since – and don’t misconstrue this as a compliment to him – Brandon Jennings was still on the team.

Adrien is a classic blue collar guy with sneaky athleticism and physicality that sees him grab his fair share of rebounds and he has no real competition for minutes, apart from Larry Drew’s insistence on not allowing any player to get comfortable with an established role.

In the 11 games he’s played at least 24 minutes in, Adrien has thrown up rock solid numbers: 13.1 points, 7.9 rebounds, 1.5 blocks, just 1 turnover per game and 50/76 splits.

He’s been even better as a starter for the last 4 games, producing 17.5 points, 9 rebounds, 1.8 assists, and 1.3 blocks a night while being given enough minutes to warrant being added over other ‘floaties’ (that term isn’t meant to be as derogatory as it sounds…but the sort of player who’s basically circling/floating around the available player pool…that didn’t get any better but anyway, the comparison fits) such as Chris Kaman or Enes Kanter.

Ray McCallum

The Kings have seemingly been searching for a starting first point guard ever since Mike Bibby was traded to Atlanta in 2008.

I don’t understand their logic personally, Isaiah Thomas has been nothing short of awesome since being made the permanent starter when Grievis Vasquez was traded to Toronto after he failed to show he was better than IT.

Anyway, the reason McCallum deserves a spot on your roster is because they basically have nobody else.

Now that Thomas is hurt (pop quiz, name the Kings’ third string point guard….still guessing…they don’t have one unless you’re counting Jared Cunningham), McCallum is the new driver of the Kings’ tank. Rumblings going around suggest Thomas may be shut down for the remainder of the season as all he’s doing is stepping on the Kings’ ping pong balls whenever he plays.

McCallum is going to play massive minutes from here on out – and don’t let the minor name or poor team performance cloud your judgment on his fantasy NBA value. As I mentioned in a previous column back in January, you can never underestimate a player wanting to make a name for himself on a bad team with no depth.

He’s not going to put up Ramon Sessions’ gaudy numbers because he has ball dominant players alongside him in DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay. However, assists will be aplenty as he’s the only pass first player on the entire roster and the aforementioned Cousins and Gay are hardly known for passing up open shots.

As the starting PG for the Kings, he’s produced 13.4 points, 3.5 rebounds, 7.1 assists, 1.5 steals and just 2.1 turnovers over eight starts – averaging a RIDICULOUS 45.4 minutes a game.

He is a rookie point guard and a second rounder at that, so with the good comes the bad – and the bad is very bad in this case.

The shooting percentages are a disaster at 36% from the field and 53% at the line, but before you go ‘nuts to this guy’ – look at Brandon Jennings over his last seven games: 11.1 points, 2.6 rebounds, 6.4 assists, 0.7 steals, 2.0 threes, 34% from the field and 63% at the line.

Chances are a guy like Jennings isn’t going to be floating round waivers at this time of year in roto leagues, nor will his price be anywhere near as low as McCallum’s for daily leagues.

Anthony Morrow

Morrow can shoot.

He is 8th all time in three point percentage – ahead of current dead-eye shooters Steve Nash, Kyle Korver and Klay Thompson.

The problem is he has never really had a defined role, never really a starter as a second or third option and never really as a sixth man with the promise of 28-30 minutes every night. He’s like that bail out option who you can plug in at SG or SF when someone gets hurt and the team needs 12-15 points from someone who won’t wreck chemistry. Kind of like how a Simpsons episode will fall back on a secondary character like Moe or Apu and produce a great episode 2-3 times (or 10-12 games if you will) per season.

He first came to fantasy prominence when the crazy genius Don Nelson stuck him next to another crazy in Stephen Jackson. Whatever was said to him, it worked, as his first two career starts were MASSIVE fantasy performances that put him on the map.

Over his last seven games for the Pelicans (including three starts) Morrow has been a real asset, especially for those roto or head to head leagues needing a good source of threes and free throw percentage.

He’s thrown up 19.4 points 2.6 rebounds, 2.3 threes and less than 1 turnover a night, coupled with sexy shooting percentages of 57% from the field and 90% from the line on a very helpful 4.1 attempts per game.

It’s unfortunate the Pelicans are both struggling and saddled with MAX contract of Eric Gordon, as with Anthony Davis’ ever expanding game a player like Morrow could start and threaten the league lead in threes if given the opportunity.

He’s not going to hurt your squad in the remaining games because he doesn’t hurt himself by making bad decisions or turning the ball over like JR Smith can for example.

Follow Sam on Twitter @macetastic and feel free to ask any NBA related questions, whether fantasy or reality.

 

Friday’s DFS NBA 4/4

Friday’s NBA picks could not come at a better time. There are 14 games tonight and this is the time of year when extra research goes a long way. With the amount of DFS MLB that is being played, the talent gets a little thinner in DFS NBA. It’s time to capitalize on this and make big bucks on Draftstreet.

Guards

Reggie Jackson ($10,570) will be starting with Russell Westbrook not playing in tonight’s game against the Rockets. He’s underpriced if you ask me and it’s not because of minutes. He has played 30+ minutes in his last four games and has been great because of it. This is pretty awesome for us as he has averaged 30 fantasy points in his last five games. In those games with 30+ minutes, Westbrook is averaging 16 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, and 1 steal per game.

Dion Waiters ($11,365) has slid over to the shooting guard position with the return of Kyrie Irving, but it shouldn’t impact his fantasy value too much. Sure, he’ll probably not do much in the assist department, but being a second shooting option might actually be beneficial. With Irving back last game, Waiters still took 15 shots and scored 26 points. He added three assists and as long as he doesn’t shoot for a bad FG% against the Hawks, I can see him doing very well for his price.

John Wall ($17,112) has the advantage of playing at MSG tonight and I think that boosts his stock tonight. It sounds corny, but the better players seem to play better on the bigger stage. When Wall went to MSG earlier this season, he went for 20/6/8/2. The other time Wall played the Knicks, he scored 31 points. This is a great matchup for Wall and I like it more because it’s on the road.

Forwards

Greg Monroe ($14,528) has been a very good player since the coaching change. And more recently, he’s been great against some very good teams. Just last game, Monroe went for 17/16/2/3/1. Those numbers are well worthy of the 14.5k price tag. Tonight he’ll play the Nets who he has averaged 17/10/2/1. While those numbers don’t hit value, Monroe should be able to get a bit more with the recent hot streak he is on. He has 65 points and 40 rebounds in his last three games.

Amar’e Stoudemire ($9,647) played just 21 minutes last game and he still did very well for us. He put up a stat line of 13/6/2/0/2 and only missed two shots. It’s nights like that that make me feel more comfortable about using him especially at this price. His splits against the Wizards aren’t great (8/4/1/0/2), but those are with just 20 minutes per game. He’ll likely need 25-30 minutes to reach value. If you think that’s a strong possibility like me then use him tonight.

Kenneth Faried ($15,734) is probably coming off his best game of the season and there is no better time to use him than tonight. He has a decently tough matchup against the Grizzlies, but he has faired decently with just 24 minutes a game. In those minutes he has averaged 12/5/1/1/1. In his last five games, not only is he averaged 21/11/2/2/1, but he’s also averaging 29 minutes a game. This is a nice increase from the three times Faried has played the Grizzlies.

Centers

DeMarcus Cousins ($20,152) should have a very good game against the Warriors tonight coming off a 20/10 game his last time out, against the Lakers, in just 21 minutes. DMC has had trouble staying on the floor due to some mid-game injuries, so I’m hoping that’s why he has only played 19 minutes per game in his two contests against Golden State. In those games, he’s averaging 16/6/1/3. Those are some pretty sweet stats for just 19 minutes.

Al Jefferson ($18,375) has been great in his last four games averaging 38 minutes per game and 25/11/1/1. During this time, he’s shooting 53% from the field and averaging only one turnover per game. He’s limiting the negatives, which is huge on a site like Draftstreet. He goes up against a group of big men in Orlando that haven’t been able to contain him this year. I really like him and you should to with the way he has played against them averaging 20/12/2/3/1 in three games against them.

2014 Fantasy Basketball: Somewhere I Belong

Fantasy Basketball Aaron Brooks

Photo Credit: Scott Halleran/Getty Images NA

In honor of Fix legend Sam Macey’s Prague adventure, I will dedicate this week’s column to a pair of guards who just can’t find their way home. Ramon Sessions and Aaron Brooks have been all over the basketball map, but both have capitalized on enhanced opportunities for run in new cities.

Ramon Sessions

Acquired hours before the trade deadline by his old new team, Sessions has been feasting since entering the Bucks starting five. By the way, his travel buddy Jeff Adrien hasn’t been too shabby either, but I digress. With rookie Nate Wolters on the shelf (broken hand), Sessions has averaged 43 minutes of court time over his last four games – 21 PPG, seven assists, five rebounds, five 3-pointers and 25 made free throws.

Despite impressive per 48 minute production throughout his career, the soon to be 28-year old has found respect difficult to come by. His path has been arduous to say the last: from Miami to Milwaukee to Minnesota to Cleveland to LA back to Cleveland to Charlotte and back to Milwaukee. Got it? Sessions has played in 459 NBA games, yet he’s earned the starting nod in just 119 of them.

He’s been branded with the backup, energizer bunny label mostly because of his three-point shooting limitations. While his physical attributes aren’t jaw dropping either, Sessions is a playmaker – and has been since his days at Nevada playing alongside Nick Fazekas (Japan Basketball League) and Marcelus Kemp (Italian League).

Sessions is worth owning in all formats, as he has a firm imprint on every Milwaukee offensive set. Milk him while you can, he’ll likely be back in the 25-minute range in 2015. Typecasting… it’s an unfortunate process. [Read more...]

Wednesday’s DFS NBA 4/2

There are 13 NBA games tonight, so no better day to get back into the NBA season. The regular season is ending soon, so we have to squeeze whatever we can out of these last games. The normal suspects are playing tonight: expect players going against the 76ers and the studs on the west coast. Here are tonight’s Draftstreet plays!

Guards

Kemba Walker ($15,847) has not only been great recently, but has the matchup tonight against Philly to keep it going. He has shot a ridiculous amount of threes lately (22) and has because of it had a tough FG%. He has added some consistently lines in his last three games going for at least 20/5/8/1 in each of them. While I’m not a fan of his high three-point attempt numbers, it might work out against the 76ers who have been against the three all year.

Mike Conley ($13,753) unintentionally seems to be a favorite of this article and mine. It’s hard not to like him tonight against the Timberwolves and his 21/4/6/2 averages against them this season. On March 24th, Conley went for 23/5/6/2 against them and I see no reason why he can’t do something like that again. He’s averaging over 15 shots per game in his last six and has shot at a 52% clip.

Kent Bazemore ($8,975) has seen pretty inconsistent numbers due to minutes, but he has played 30+ minutes in three straight games. In those games, he’s averaging 16/5/3/2/1. Those are great numbers for this price especially since his worst shooting performance during that time was just 3 for 7. In just 20 minutes averaged against the Kings this season, Bazemore is averaging 9/4/0/1/1.

Forwards

Zach Randolph ($15,270) has been red hot in his last four and faces a team that he has had success against this season, the Timberwolves. He’s averaging 21/9/4/1 against them in three games, which is almost identical to what he has done lately. In his last four, Randolph is averaging 21/9/3/1. It doesn’t sound like Nikola Pekovic will play tonight, so this helps Randolph maintain those great averages against the Timberwolves.

Amar’e Stoudemire ($10,095) is an interesting option tonight against the Nets. The Knicks have that rivalry going and this is a big game for the Knicks as they try and push for the playoffs. Stoudemire hasn’t played since March 30th, so he should be rest enough for 30 minutes and earlier this season against the Nets he did well in just 17 minutes. In that game, Stoudemire had 11 points and four rebounds.

Anthony Davis ($22,073) had a minor ankle injury that resulted in a game’s rest, but he came back huge in his next game. In that game, he played 38 minutes and added 22/8/4/2/4. He did a bit of everything and has that kind of potential tonight against the Nuggets. He’s actually done better than that in his two games against Denver this season. It’s not surprising as the Nuggets have been picked on by big men all season, but Davis has averaged 24/12/2/1/5 against them this season.

Centers

DeMarcus Cousins ($21,008) is probably considered a risky play tonight with the way he has been playing lately, but his matchup feels so safe. DMC does have that huge game against the Pelicans his last time out, but he did go for 17/7/5 and 4/4/2 in the two games before that. If you look past those two games though, his game log has been great. You would think that Cousins has owned the Lakers this season, but that’s not the case. While 19/9/5/1/1 is great, it’s not quite what I expected. I like him for 25/12/3 tonight at least with him getting back on a roll.

Gorgui Dieng ($12,832) will likely start tonight against the Grizzlies with the injury to Nikola Pekovic sititing him out for the Grizzlies game and more. We all saw how Dieng can play when getting big minutes and one of those games was against this same Grizzlies team. Amazingly, he brought down 17 rebounds and even scored 11 points in 37 minutes.

2013-14 Fantasy Basketball: In The Bonus – Waiver Targets Week 23 – Championship

Photo Credit: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Photo Credit: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Here we go, the final week of the majority of league’s playoffs. Hopefully if you’re reading this you’re moving on to your league’s finals for a shot at that oh so precious title. As far as the recipe for winning, you already have it. All season long if you read my columns I preached key strategies to use to get yourself an edge or better chance at winning your leagues.

If you are a reader of mine and you made your league’s championship game or already won the ship, I’d love for you to comment on here or tweet me @BigZack44 and tell me how you did it. I don’t care if it is blatant bragging because you dominated or an underdog story of how you shocked your league and stole the crown, I want to hear about it. You deserve to gloat a bit after a long season of hard work that paid off in the end. Also, if you fought for it and came up short, I’d still like to hear about your season and how it came to an end or lessons you may have learned that you can use next season. Comment here and leave your twitter handle if you have one and/or tweet me and I will give you a follow back if I already don’t.

This was my first season of writing for fantasy hoops and I had a lot of fun doing it. I have to thank The Fantasy Fix for the opportunity to take my fantasy experience to the next level. I have always put in more hours than any person should studying stats and coming up with my own opinions or predictions for my fantasy hoops leagues. What can I say, I am a fantasy degenerate and I can’t help it. Like many of you too I am sure, I have gotten in multiple arguments with my wife over how much attention and effort I put into fantasy sports. Luckily, she was very supportive of me taking on this challenge and opportunity so now she sees it as me helping others as well. I wasn’t sure how she’d take it since our lives had just changed four months prior when we had our first baby, but she was very happy for me and here I am.

I look forward to sharing my offseason work and opinions with my readers next season as I came on too late this season to do that. Fantasy draft prep is the best and most important part of this game and I promise to provide a ton of information to have you ready to dominate from the jump next season. Don’t think that I am done all the way until next season though. I will be helping the site put out info on players who will be in the NBA draft and the fantasy values of all the draftees based on where they land. This is one exciting draft class, especially the top part of the first round, but to have close to ten players likely to be in the class who have superstar potential, that’s phenomenal.

Before we get to next season though, let’s finish this one by taking a look at these waiver wire targets to help you this final week strong.

First, let me list some names that I have mentioned in recent weeks that you should also look at who could still be available in your league: Ramon Sessions, Avery Bradley, Gorgui Dieng, Matt Barnes, Vince Carter, Tiago Splitter, James Anderson, Jeff Adrien to name a few.

Henry Sims (owned in 11.1% of leagues) – Remember after the Sixers got rid of Spencer Hawes and we knew some big man had to step up and we assumed it’d be Byron Mullens? Yeah, that never went anywhere but now we’ve been welcomed to Sims city. He’s come into his own as of late and it doesn’t seem like it’s going to stop anytime soon. The Sixers have no other options there and he’s playing well, so it will continue. Over his last four games he’s averaged 15.5 points, 10.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 0.8 steals, 0.8 blocks while shooting 58% from the field and 75% from the free-throw line, OH Henry! (Sorry.) Sims is worthy of being owned in all leagues going forward if you need a big man and/or don’t want your opponent adding a big asset like Sims.

Jordan Hill (33.8%) – Hill has had several ups and downs this season and they have went from one extreme to the other. He’s been a must own and a couple of weeks later not even worthy of being owned in deeper leagues. Right now, he’s worth owning in most leagues again as he’s really been effective since returning from injury. In five games since becoming active again, Hill has averaged 16.8 points, 11 rebounds and one block per game. When Hill gets minutes, he delivers and right now he’s been receiving around 25 minutes of playing time and he’s tearing it up out there.

Terrence Ross (26.4%) – Mr. Ross hasn’t been the most consistent player this season, but he at least knows his role on the team now and is hot of late. Ross is a player you mostly target for points, steals and treys. He’s hit 12 trifectas leading the charge for his 16.7 points, while also getting over a steal per game in his last four. Ross is a solid option in 12-teamers and deeper and a great stream play in shallower leagues depending your statistical needs during the week.

Samuel Dalembert (8.9%) – If it is rebounds and/or blocks you’re in need of you should take a look at big Sam in Dallas. I know he lacks the sexiness of some potential waiver targets, but this youth/upside isn’t a category in your league. Rebounds are rebounds no matter who you get them from and Bert is bringing down 11.4 a night over his last five games not to mention 2.5 blocks in those games as well. Sure, seven of those swats came in one game but he has the potential to do that on any given night. You can at least count on him for one block a night to go along with his double digit boards and solid percentages. He’s a perfect stream target if you need help there, but he’s also a fine player to hold in 12-teamers and up if you see you’re going to need him. The Mavericks have four games next week, that’s potential for 40 boards and 5+ blocks. That can make a big impact on a week’s matchup.

All percentages were gathered from ESPN.com

Follow me on Twitter @BigZack44 for more fantasy hoops analysis/tips and to answer any questions you may have. Go win those championships.

Friday’s DFS NBA 3/28

Hopefully we had some readers cash in Draftstreet’s 150K Tournament on Wednesday, but if not let’s get back on the board tonight. We have plenty of games to choose from (12), so jump back on the horse tonight. I took the day off on the four game slate yesterday, but the largeness of tonight excites me. Here are today’s plays!

Guards

Mike Conley ($13,689) is one guard I can’t stop considering this week. The guy has been as consistent as can be lately and has done well for us. His rebounds were down in his last game, but he still managed 19 points and six assists. In his last six games, he has scored 18+ points in five of them. Tonight he faces the Warriors, a team that he has averaged 17/3/4/2 against this season in three games. He’s shooting 50% from the field in those games, which he has also done in his last three regular season games.

Dion Waiters ($13,156) is a guy that takes a ton of shots each game, but is making enough of them right now to hit value. Waiters has played tons of minutes since the Kyrie Irving injury and has also picked up the slack by consistently shooting the rock a ton. In his last six games he has taken 120 shots. Waiters has also made 46% of them. After looking at those numbers, you’re not surprised to see he is averaging 23/4/6/1 during that time. I love his price tonight against the Nets.

Kendall Marshall ($8,839) gets the matchup against the Timberwolves and Ricky Rubio that I love. He is getting no more than 30 minutes lately, but he hasn’t gone under 23 minutes in six straight games. In his last five games, Marshall is averaging 6/2/6/1 in 26 minutes per game. I think he can do better than that with the matchup he has tonight.

Forwards

Tim Duncan ($16,273) should be on everyone’s GPP squad tonight without a doubt. He has put up unbelievable numbers against Denver this season and just recently dominated them. Just last game, Duncan faced the Nuggets and went for 29/13/5/2/2 and shot 60% from the field. You never really know with Popovich coaching, but Duncan could easily go for 30/12/3 tonight.

Jordan Hill ($12,457) has made me feel some type of way lately with the way he has been playing. Hill has seen 27+ minutes in three of his last four games and in each of them he had at least 13 rebounds. In two of those games, he went for 28 real points. The guy is playing great and although he faces the Timberwolves and two big guys who can rebound, he has dominated recently for a reason.

Kevin Love ($21,379) is an obvious pick with the way the Lakers have played against him and every other big man in the NBA. Love had a down game his last time out against the Hawks, but still managed 14/12/4. Tonight against the Lakers, he is going up against a team that has given up an average of 27/14/3/1/1 against him in three games. Love has 60 point potential tonight.

Centers

Marc Gasol ($14,274) has owned the Warriors tonight and that’s why I like combining him with Conley as a solid Grizzlies duo. Gasol is not a huge scorer (14ppg on the season), but against Golden State, he’s averaging 18 a game. He has also added nine rebounds, three assists, one steal, and three blocks per game against them. Gasol has scored at least 14 points per game in four of his last five games.

Gorgui Deng ($14,259) is tough to pass on tonight against the Lakers. If you’re not using Love then you need to be using Deng. This “cheaper” Timberwolves option has been red hot lately and is primed for another huge night. The Hawks have been bad against big men and Deng exploded for 15/15/2. The same could be done tonight against the Lakers. He has 11+ rebounds in five of his last six games, but has also gone for 15+ rebounds in three of his last four.

Fantasy Basketball 2014: Oh when Gortat comes Marcin in…

Credit: Getty Images

Credit: Getty Images

Marcin Gortat

The common theme for this week’s hints is rebounding, field goal percentage, and blocks.

Marcin Gortat has quietly been playing phenomenal basketball over the last few weeks.

He’s become a legit first fantasy option at C, outplaying the likes of Roy Hibbert, Derrick Favors and Nikola Vucevic over the last 30 days. You’d never know it, but he’s actually rebounded and blocked more shots than Dwight Howard over that span, while playing two more games and hitting his shots at a 51/72 split.

He’s often been overlooked in fantasy – going from underrated in 2011-12, to slightly overrated in 2012-13 – fair to say his value lies somewhere in the middle, which is where he’s been this season.

Of course it doesn’t hurt that this is a contract year for The Polish Hammer, nor does is hurt that Nene – his partner in crime up front for the Wizards – went down hurt over a month ago with a bad knee injury. Gortat’s seen a number of PFs lining up next to him for the Wizards, as they remain right in the thick of the playoff hunt, somewhere they haven’t been since Antonio Daniels was their starting PG and Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison were 20 point scorers. Wow.

The trade deadline has been and gone and you’re not going to find Gortat floating round on the waiver wire like the other two bigs in this week’s column, but for daily leagues he’s the perfect, solid option to draft as you know exactly what you’re getting.

As mentioned earlier, the Wiz are fighting to play in the second season, so Gortat is going to get as much burn as he can handle, which means big minutes and big stats. In his last three games he’s played more than 33 minutes in each, averaging 16 points, 12.3 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.3 blocks per game while shooting at a 53/82 clip – those are top 30-35 stats in any league.

And just think, if the NBA ever got into the NHL-style brawling, Gortat’s a lock for the first round  .

Timofey Mozgov

Mozgov has been on nearly as many highlights as Blake Griffin, though never for the right reasons. Ok not never, he did have this sledgehammer dunk which must have been thrown down with some pent up passion from ending up on the wrong end of posters over so many years.

He’s never been a particularly useful fantasy basketball player either, until now.

Injuries necessitate change in the NBA, and few teams this year have been reamed by the injury bug like the Denver Nuggets.

They’ve lost Danilo Gallinari, JaVale McGee, Nate Robinson, and just last week their most oft-used starter at C, JJ Hickson. None of those players were particularly attractive fantasy options either before or during the season, but all (bar Gallinari and essentially McGee with just 5 games played) proved they had some fantasy worth at some point this year.

It is now time for Mozgov to represent his country the USSR (that’s what we wanted you to think!) Russian Federation in the strongest basketball competition in the world.

He’s mainly been a big body at the end of the bench in his four year career, one of those land masses like the Collins twins or Kendrick Perkins who do little else but defend the post and take up space, producing slim to bupkis in terms of fantasy statistics.

Back to that injury necessitates change cliché – look at his last  five games – in just 21.4 minutes per game he’s produced 10 points, 7.4 rebounds, 52/84 shooting splits and just 1.4 turnovers per game.

It’s easy to say ‘extrapolate that into X number of minutes and he’ll do this’ – but it doesn’t always work that way, in fact it rarely does, as with more minutes means more scouting and defenses preparing for said player. In this case, it just might be worth noting, as his only real competition at the 5 is Anthony Randolph and possibly Yawn Jan Vesely, neither of whom are relevant in fantasy circles as both are as consistent as a Lady Gaga trip to the stylist.

Sure, Darrell Arthur has provided some solid scoring recently, but the Nuggets play in the West where you have to wear your big boy pants nearly every night and a starting C needs to be able to tackle a 7’0” pivot on a nightly basis.

It’s likely Mozgov plays at least half a game, at minimum, from here on out – so check his stats out in the 19 games where he’s played at least 24 minutes in a game this season: 12.6 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.6 blocks, 55% from the field and 71% at the line. Those are really solid numbers, just a shade below a bigger name like his Eastern Bloc counterpart, Marcin Gortat, at a fraction of the price.

Gorgui Dieng

There is always a role in the NBA for players who can defend the post and rebound the ball and if my colleague Zack tells you to add someone, do it.

Fantasy basketball is littered with players who rebound the ball and did enough of the little things to contribute and be rosterable, such as the two fellows above or players like DeAndre Jordan and Omer Asik last season.

He’s only played more than 15 minutes six times this entire season – that’s out of 47 games – but man has he made the most out of his opportunity.

Look at those five games Dieng has started since Nikola Pekovic went down for the 18th time with an ankle injury – 12.2 points, 13.8 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.2 steals, 1.2 blocks, just 0.8 turnovers and solid 56/71 splits.

Yes, I am gutted I missed out on him in every league I’m in, but just because I didn’t nab him right away doesn’t mean anyone else should!

He was a solid rebounder and shot blocker at Louisiana, but he struggled to score and nobody was sure how he would pan out in the pros as he was already ‘old’ for a first round pick at 23 years old. After a draft day trade that saw him land in Minnesota behind wunder-PF Kevin Love and the aforementioned Zangief Pekovic, Dieng wasn’t expected to contribute much his first year.

Go on, gorgui-yourself on his rebounding stats and add this guy right now if he’s still available,  as he’s not going to cost you much and the upside has already been shown in a handful of games.

Bad puns aside, the guy can play and as long as Pekovic is banged up-ovic, he will get starter’s minutes for a team with barely a snowball’s chance of making the playoffs in the brutal West – so playing young guys might be the company line in April.

Follow Sam on Twitter @macetastic and feel free to ask any NBA related questions, whether fantasy or reality.

2014 Fantasy Basketball Daily Fix: NBA Plays For DraftStreet’s $150K

Wednesday’s DFS action is some of the craziest I’ve ever seen at Draftstreet. This post is brought to you specifically for the $150K Tournament that is going on over there. Draftstreet is offering a 100% bonus up to $200 right now, so after you’re done reading then go deposit and take advantage of this crazy offer! As for the details of this HUGE tournament:

  • $150,000 prize pool.
  • Top 400 paid.
  • 1st place wins $50,000!!!
  • $55 entry free. 3,000 max entries.
  • For the games on Wednesday (3/26)

I’m sure I wasn’t the only one blown away by the details of the $150K contest. As always, I’m here to help you on your voyage towards retirement. This lone contest might be able to do that by itself! As always, I’m here to give you the guys I’m focusing on for the night’s action, but for Wednesday I’m going to give you almost double the plays! That’s right. 5 guards, 5 forwards, and 4 centers!

Guards

Tony Parker ($11,691) sat out Monday and Pop’d readers of this article, but it’s already been said that he’ll play Wednesday. I really like him against the Nuggets and Ty Lawson. Parker has had success against them on the season with a 24/4/6/2/1 game, but he did add five turnovers. I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect five more turnovers against Denver with him averaging just 2.4 turnovers in his last five games.

Isaiah Thomas ($15,980) against the Knicks is almost too good to be true. Who do you consider to be better: Thomas or Jarrett Jack? Well, Jack just went OFF for 31/5/10 against the Knicks on Monday. To go with this, Thomas has scored 24+ points in four of his last five games. During that time, he’s actually averaging 25 points per game. He’s also adding five rebounds and seven assists while shooting 47% from the field. Thomas is questionable right now, so keep an eye on this as the day progresses.

Mike Conley ($13,441) played very well for us Monday night putting up a line of 23/5/6/2 and shooting 75% from the field. Let’s recap why I like him even without a great matchup against Trey Burke: he’s scoring, adding the other stats, and is doing it very efficiently. He’s shooting 54% from the field in his last five games. While the Jazz possess a matchup that could result in a blowout, he’s been doing all of this while averaging 30 minutes.

Jeff Teague ($14,999) has the same matchup against the Timberwolves that I liked for Conley. He’s been much better in March and in his last eight games has been more aggressive. He’s attempted 10+ shots in eight straight games and has done this while still rebounding at least three per game and dishing out at least five assists. Teague has already capitalized on this matchup once this season putting up a line of 19/3/8/3/1. What I love about Teague is how well he has been getting to the free throw line. He’s averaging 8.5 attempts per game in his last four.

Avery Bradley ($9,870) is someone to keep an eye on considering how he left his last game. On the 21st he rolled his ankle then came back in to play a few minutes. He’s been red-hot in his last two games scoring 51 points and adding 8 rebounds. Against the Raptors earlier in the season, he didn’t shoot well from the field, but did add 5 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals per game. He’s hot from the field right now making 10 of his last 18 threes, so I think it’s safe to say he won’t continue to shoot 35% against the Raptors.

Forwards

Greg Monroe ($14,659) is a great option going into this BIG tournament on Draftstreet Wednesday. He has the great matchup against the Cavs and has been playing better lately, so his splits against the Cavs should improve. In two games against them, Monroe is averaging 13/10/3, but in his last five games he’s averaging 17/9/3/2/1. Against the Jazz on Monday, he only played 30 minutes, but put up a big night with 18 points and 11 rebounds.

Zach Randolph ($14,232) had a lame game Monday, but the Jazz are the perfect team for him to get back on the horse against. Before his last game, Z-Bo had posted three straight double doubles averaging 21/13/2. In his last five games, he’s shooting 51% from the field, so the Jazz make for a great matchup for his offensive skills. Randolph should own them like his two-game average against them this season: 21/10/5/1.

Josh Smith ($13,661) is a prime time GPP player and this is what we’re picking for Wednesday. His recent game logs have caused him to see a cheaper price, but there’s a reason why he has done well against Cleveland. He takes a lot of shots and Cleveland doesn’t play good enough defense to stop him. He’s averaging 21/9/3/1/3 in two games against them on the season.

DeMarre Carroll ($10,907) does a little bit of it all, but when he’s scoring he’s a very solid fantasy threat. In his last two games, he’s played 37 minutes a game, shot 12 of 21 from the field, and added four rebounds a game. He’s playing very well with Kyle Korver out and if that continues Wednesday I really like him. He has scored 19 and 17 points in those two games. If you throw in the fact that Carroll can rack up 3-4 steals easy in a game then you have a great option.

Kevin Love ($21,621) is a great fit for your team if you can find some value on Wednesday. If you don’t remember how he did against the Hawks the last time they played let me refresh your memory: 43/19/1/1. There’s nothing really different from then to now. Love played the Hawks when Al Horford was already out for the season. Kevin Love is going to be matched up with Paul Millsap likely for the whole game, but the surrounding players will affect rebounds and Love should dominate them.

Centers

DeAndre Jordan ($15,193) has a prime matchup on Wednesday. He faces the Pelicans, a team that he has averaged 12/16/1/0/4 against in three games this season. What I love about Jordan is that he barely handles the ball, so he limits his negative points. He has shot 70% from the field on the season against them and is also shooting 70% from the field in his last five games.

Andre Drummond ($15,990) reminds me a lot of DeAndre Jordan. Both are elite rebounds with limited offensive game. They don’t score off of post ups or set plays, but more off of fast break dunks and put backs. Against the Cavs though, Drummond has taken 23 shots in two games. This has led him to average 15 points to go along with 14 rebounds and one steal a game. Drummond also limits his negatives due to typically low shot numbers, but could break out at any time due to insanely high rebound numbers and solid block numbers.

Pero Antic ($8,157) is one of those guys that will consistently be around 8-10k because of how volatile he can be. Monday night he put up 17 fantasy points or so and didn’t really hit value. He also didn’t hurt you though and his price is good enough to fit some solid guys in. Like I said yesterday, he will continue to get mid 20s in minutes while starting and can get hot shooting at any time. He is rebounding very well in his last three, averaging eight a game in his last three, but hasn’t scored up to par. If he can nail a few early 3s against the Timberwolves then he could easily see a 25+ fantasy point night.

Kelly Olynyk ($8,389) is another guy in the 8k range who has mid 20s potential on any given night. In his last seven games, he’s only averaging 15.36 fantasy points, but that’s while averaging just 7 points and 6 rebounds. In two of his last three games, he has scored 10 and 16 real points. If there is no real value on the board, Olynyk has the potential to score 10-14 points and add 8 rebounds and a steal. Those kind of numbers while shooting over 55% from the field should give him proper value to help win a GPP.

Monday’s DFS NBA 3/24

After taking the weekend off to fulfill other writing duties, I’m back at it with the NBA picks. We have ten games to choose from this Monday and I’m in love with one forward who isn’t named Kevin Durant, but priced about the same. Let’s take a look at my NBA plays for Draftstreet.

Guards

Jamal Crawford ($10,120) is back to being a sixth man, but that doesn’t mean he won’t get continue to get 30+ minutes and tons of shot attempts. He shot 13 times in his first game back as a bench player and did fairly well overall. He ended the night with 9/4/4/1 in 34 minutes. He faces the Bucks tonight, a team he went 5-9 for against earlier in the season in just 23 minutes.

Tony Parker ($11,190) has big potential against he 76ers tonight. They’re just awful since the start of the new calendar year. Parker hasn’t blown up against them this season, but he has that potential tonight. He has averaged 17/2/5 in his last five games. What I like most about Parker right now is that he has 15+ shots in each of his last three and has shot 53% from the field.

Mike Conley ($13,955) doesn’t have the sexiest price tonight, but I love how he has done against the Timberwolves this season. He’s averaging 20/4/5/1/1 in two games against them and could do more tonight. He has had a few tough matchups in his last five yet is averaging 16/4/5/1 and is shooting 46% from the field. Conley has scored 18+ real points in three of his last four games.

Forwards

Anthony Davis ($23,152) is so good right now that he’s on another planet. In his last six games, he’s averaging 33/2/13/1/3. He’s doing this while shooting 58% from the field and 87% from the free throw line. Davis has a great matchup tonight against the Nets who are without Brook Lopez, one of their best bigs. Earlier this season he put up 24/9/2/3/1 in 38 minutes.

Derrick Favors ($13,558) has a great matchup tonight against the Pistons. His same matchup was one he went for 8/11/0/0/2 against in just 21 minutes. I think he’ll get more than that especially since he’s been averaging 30 minutes in his last five games. In the last three games that he has played 30+ minutes, Favors has gone for 11/12/3/0/5, 28/10/1/3, and 18/9/1.

Kyle Singler ($7,229) is definitely an odd choice tonight, but I think he can rebound nicely from his last game. He saw his minutes be lower due to Jonas Jerebko’s success, but that shouldn’t happen tonight. Singler had played 26+ minutes in nine straight games. Even with Singler’s low minutes in his last game, he’s averaging 10/6/1 with just one turnover per game.

Centers

Pero Antic ($8,022) should be a fine play tonight with the minutes he has been getting. He’s played mid 20s pretty much in each of his last eight games and sometimes more. When he’s hot from the floor he has the potential to put up a line of 14/6/3 like he did two games ago or even 11/10/2/1 like he did against the Bobcats four games ago. In his last five games, he’s averaging 11/6/2, which is about at value for his salary.

Chris Bosh ($12,294) was pretty fired up about how poorly the Heat have played recently and he should use that for greater good on Monday night. He’s playing pretty well in his last six games averaging 13/7/1/1/1, but its’ the matchup that should spark him to greatness. With Wade likely out, Bosh is primed to repeat how great he did against the Trail Blazers the last time they faced each other. In that game, Bosh went for 37/10/1/2.

2013-14 Fantasy Basketball: In The Bonus – Waiver Targets Week 22 – Looking Ahead

Photo Credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Photo Credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Those of you lucky enough to advance to the next round of your fantasy playoffs, congrats! You’re now one step closer to what you’ve worked so hard for this season and now now is no time to let off of the gas. I know fantasy baseball drafts are revving up and many of you have to put some attention in that direction, but you don’t want to take your eye off of the prize here when it matters most. In fact, let The Fix do the hard work for you for baseball and purchase our steal of a draft kit that has all of the info you’ll need quick and easily for you to be ready for your draft(s). The baseball crew did a ridiculous job putting it together and it is loaded with content to set you above the rest of your league from day one.

Now, back to what you’re here for, fantasy hoops knowledge. Going to keep it pretty simple this week as you’ve done all the toughest work this season, now it is just making small maneuvers to finish things strongly. Remember in redraft daily lineup leagues to keep that advance at all costs mentality.

If you have already advanced when reading this or you think it’s likely that you advance, it’s time to look ahead a little bit. Don’t dare make any moves for next week if this week’s matchup is still close, but if you have a comfortable lead and can make some moves that don’t kill you this week and also helps you for next week then do it. Take a look at who your next round competition will be and compare your stats this past week (and the past few weeks for while you’re at it for a better idea) and see what categories you should win handily and which categories you have no chance in. Anything you have no chance in, just forget about totally. Focus on five to six categories that you believe you can take and go full speed ahead at those. If you’re in an eight category league and you’re the better seeded team, check to see how ties work. If ties go to the better seed, like ESPN standard, then you need to focus on five categories but know that even four is enough. There’s no shame in advancing via a tie, just move forward.

I’m not telling you to drop Ricky Rubio because you have no shot at winning assists and steals but need to win points and FG%. Holding a player like him in a situation like that is really tough to do but (unless it’s the championship then screw it, do what you’ve gotta do) you don’t want to drop a player like him until you know you’re in desperation mode and it has to be done. I would just advise taking other routes before you take a plunge like that. In the end though, you must survive to the next round at all costs to have a chance one way or the other in it.

Check my previous columns for tons of potential waiver wire options, but here are a few I either haven’t mentioned at all or it’s been a good while and needed re-mentioning:

Avery Bradley (owned in 20% of leagues) – Looking for a boost in points, treys and decent steals the rest of the way? Look no further than the freshly back off of an injury and very athletic, Avery Bradley. After a couple of games of being eased back into action, Bradley has played over 35 minutes the past three games and delivered with great statistical outputs. Over those three games with monster minutes Avery went off for 20.6 points while also snatching four steals and hitting a freakish 11 trifectas. He’s never hit from deep at such a rate but he’s shot it with confidence the past few games and it seems like he worked on his jumper while sitting out a good while with an ankle injury. Look for Bradley to continue to get all the minutes he can handle on the tanking Celtics and should continue to provide solidly in the above mentioned categories. Bradley is fine to own in any league if you need what he can give you. If nothing else, he’s a fantastic stream play for any team.

Gary Neal (2.5%) – There’s not much I can say here that my main man Sam didn’t already lay out beautifully in his most recent column. Neal has scored in double digits in nine of his eleven games with the Bobcats and shot a NSFW 48% from the field, which is quite rare for an off the bench three point specialist to shoot at such a rate. Neal will continue seeing 25+ minutes of work while producing quality points, threes and beneficial percentages for the remainder of the season. Here’s a look at Neal’s beautifully green shot chart since joining the Bobcats:

Shotchart_1395462018614

Gorgui Dieng (10.9%) – This time last year Dieng was helping the Louisville Cardinals head towards an eventual NCAA National Title. The Senegalese big man has been nothing more than a bump on the Minnesota bench most of the season, but recently due to injuries got a shot at the starting center gig. Dieng didn’t waste any time adjusting to the temporary role and rattled off three straight double-doubles. 14.3 boards, 14.6 points and two blocks a game over that three game span is nothing you can just shrug off. Sure, his value is only going to hold up while Nikola Pekovic is sidelined but Pek has a history for nagging injuries. Until word that Pekovic is for sure returning, Dieng needs to be owned in all leagues. There’s nobody reading this right now that couldn’t use a double-double plus blocks machine for their playoff push. Use this monster while you can and enjoy every bit of the perks that come with it.

Dorell Wright (0.5%) – Not a player I am overly high on, but when LaMarcus Aldridge is down with an injury and the Blazers have a five game work week ahead, the price is Wright! Despite only getting around 20 minutes lately, Wright has done enough to be fantasy relevant the last five games. Over those five games Wright is averaging 10.8 points, two treys, 5.2 boards and 0.8 steals which isn’t anything spectacular but it’s not ignorable either. Those numbers also include one nightmare of a night where Wright went 0/8 from the field, so he had four really nice games and one disaster. If you’re in a weekly lineups locking league Wright is a definite target with his decent production spread out over five games for you this coming week. He’s also a decent grab in 12-team leagues if the above scoring/three point shooter options are gone and that’s an area of need.

Drew Gooden (10.2%) – Who would’ve thought that the Wizard’s late season signing of Drew Gooden would land him on any fantasy radars? Here he is though making me write even a brief snippet on Gooden. Gooden has served as an off the bench big man for the Wiz and has surprisingly been bringing some crazy energy to the court with him. The rejuvenated looking Gooden has scored in double figures six of the Wiz last eight games while also doing a respectable job on the glass. Gooden is mostly a deeper league target but could be a fine stream option for owners needing a bump in points and boards in standard leagues if the matchup looks right.

Two more quick mentions to keep an eye on going forward and are deeper league stream options are Tiago Splitter (3.3%) who has put up 11.6 points, 9.3 boards and two blocks a game over his last three. Then, Devin Harris (0.4%) who has been inconsistent but worth noting lately for the Mavericks. Harris could be useful if you need points and assists with decent steals and the occasional three ball.

All percentages were gathered from ESPN.com

If you don’t already make sure to follow me on Twitter @BigZack44 for more fantasy hoops analysis and to answer and of your questions you may have.