Dennis Velasco’s office building almost burned down yesterday. He lived to write about fantasy basketball…
Sorry for the tardiness on this, kids, but there was a situation yesterday in my office building as it was being taken over by Hans Gruber and the rest of his crew. Fortunately, myself and John McClane handled business, bare feet and all. Okay, I’m lying. However, something went down in the health club in my building where some alleged shenanigans in the sauna triggered the fire alarm. I can only imagine the hotness. Fantasies aside, let’s look at who’s been hot the last week and is worth waiver wire consideration.
Standard League Pick-Ups
Francisco Garcia, SG/SF, Sacramento Kings (42% owned in Yahoo! leagues)
In the past week (three games), Garcia, who’s been starting since the end of last month, averaged 13.0 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists and a healthy 2.3 three-pointers in just under 30 minutes of playing time. Overall, in his eight starts this seasons, he’s putting down 14.0 points, grabbing 3.6 boards, dishing out 2.0 assists, hitting 2.1 Kerbys and swiping 1.3 rocks all, again, in just under 30 minutes of play. Garcia is a very versatile player and a jack-of-all trades type in fantasy basketball. He won’t overwhelm you with any dramatic statistics, but will please you across the board. His position versatility is also a key as he’s started at both the both guard spots and small forward this season, allowing more potential burn on the court.
Tyler Hansbrough, PF, Indiana Pacers (23% owned in Yahoo! leagues)
Hansbrough has been inserted into the Pacers’ starting lineup and has done well in his two games this past week, averaging 16.5 points, 8.5 rebounds, a block, steal and an assist, as well as shooting 53.8 percent from the floor and 83.3 percent from the free-throw line. In one of those games he doubled-up with a 23/12 effort against a strong San Antonio Spurs frontcourt while getting 36 minutes of playing time. In the following game, Hansbrough only produced a 10/5 effort in 23 minutes of play versus the Atlanta Hawks, but the game was a blowout and the Pacers went small for most of the game. However, what’s not small is Hansbrough’s upside in both points and boards, especially with Roy Hibbert in a mini-slump of late.
DeShawn Stevenson, SG, Dallas Mavericks (22% owned in Yahoo! leagues)
Stevenson has been a starter for most of the season, but didn’t get starter-type minutes. In November, he averaged 13.5 minutes per game and in December a slight uptick with 16.3 minutes of deck time. However, in five January games, he’s doubled his playing time 33 minutes per contest. Stevenson and all 22 percent of his owners can thank Caron Butler’s season-ending injury for that. In his five games to start off 2011, Stevenson is averaging 17.0 points, 2.6 rebounds, 1.6 assists and hitting an amazing 4.2 treys a game. If that isn’t owning-worthy, I don’t know what is. I feel the same way about Stevenson — barring any trades going down in the next month — as I felt about Nick Young earlier in the season and he’s been one of the top waiver wire pick-ups this season.
Deep League Pick Ups
Greg Monroe, PF/C, Detroit Pistons (15% owned in Yahoo! leagues)
The rookie big man is another beneficiary of increased PT in 2011, getting 32.3 minutes on the hardwood in January with his previous high being 21.6 minutes per in December. In his four games to start off the new year, Monroe is averaging 10.5 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.0 steals. Considering his inexperience, he’s shot a relatively OK 46.9 percent from the field, which you would expect to be higher for a big. Another thing you’d expect is blocks, which is admittedly a downside for Monroe (0.4 a contest this season). However, there’s upside if you like double-doubles. And who doesn’t? In his past three games, Monroe has achieved that desired coupling of points and rebounds — 14/11 versus the Los Angeles Lakers, 16/13 against the Philadelphia 76ers and 10/11 while mixing it up with the Chicago Bulls. He’s still coming off the bench, but Monroe could push out Ben Wallace any day now if he keeps his recent performances up.
Ryan Anderson, PF/C, Orlando Magic (12% owned in Yahoo! leagues)
Anderson came back from injury nine games ago and in every one them has hit at least one triple. In seven of those games he scored in double figures. He’s an ideal stretch four playing with Dwight Howard, and with Brandon Bass not being one hundred percent in the health department, Anderson has been doing damage on the court. In the past week (three games), he’s averaging 11.3 points, 5.3 rebounds, 1.3 blocks (not a regular part of his game, however) and a couple of Kerbys from beyond arc. He’s been an excellent complementary player in the Magic’s robust offense.
Manny Harris, SG, Cleveland Cavaliers (8% owned in Yahoo! leagues)
The rookie has recently been starting for the injury-riddled Cavs and has done a decent job. In his five games as a starter, Harris has averaged 12.8 points, 5.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.4 moneyballs while shooting a solid 45.7 percent from the field and 88.2 percent from the charity stripe. In his last two games when he’s received the most playing time (36.5 and 41.2 minutes, respectively), Harris is averaging 21.5 points, 9.0 boards, a trio of assists and 2.5 threes. Considering this is the Cavs (sorry, Cleveland) and they don’t really have anything to play for, Harris may very well see significant minutes the rest of the season. Don’t miss out if he does.
True Or False
Considering the team’s offensive scheme that consists of missing a lot of shots, if the proposed Carmelo Anthony to the New Jersey Nets trade happened, Melo’s fantasy value will take a hit.
FALSE. If anything, his value (in points, anyway) will go up as — other than Brook Lopez and Chauncey Billups (if he isn’t bought out) — the Nets won’t have much firepower. Sorry, Richard Hamilton, you’ve been ripping more gas than nets lately. In any case, considering all of the assets the Nets will be trading, you don’t think the Nets will allow Melo to do anything he wants on the court? Not only that, Lopez has been having a down year so far, considering preseason forecasts. Will he pick it up with Anthony around? I think so. However, I’d expect Melo to score 30+ points a game simply because he’ll have to if the Nets expect to win anything.
What I Did This Week
I traded Dwight Howard and Devin Harris for Chauncey Billups, Stephen Jackson and Tyrus Thomas. I did this because I wasn’t winning the rebounds category at all this season and felt that Howard was tradeable. I’ve been hanging in blocks and Thomas’ ability should keep me at about where I’ve been for the season. I added treys and assists in a big way with the addition of Billups, whom I have to hope stays in Denver or gets bought out and is signed by a team like the Miami Heat or Los Angeles Lakers. Jackson will also provide that big boost in dimes from the two and three spots. Also, with Larry Brown out as the Charlotte Bobcats coach and Paul Silas in, I have a good feeling about Thomas doing big things, not only on a per-minute basis as he has been all season, but in total numbers the rest of the way. Remember, the magic formula of “more playing time equals more potential production,” which some of the above players are proving correct.
Fantasy Thoughts To Jump Off From
- LeBron James taking a backseat to Dwyane Wade in Miami and Kevin Durant in fantasy hoops? I don’t think so. In the past week, The Chosen One, who fell in drafts due to the talent-taking, averaged 31.7 points, 9.7 rebounds, 6.7 asssists, 2.7 steals and a block in last week’s trio of games. Now that’s a big three right there.
- If the NBA can have you vote for its real life All-Stars, the fantasy basketball community can do the same! There’s still time to vote for the fantasy basketball All-Stars, so check out the poll over at fbasketballblog that Jason has set up. It’s probably more important than any government election you’ll ever be a part of.
Number of Team Games in Week 12
Four Games: CHA, CHI, DEN, DET, HOU, LAL, SAC, SAS
Three Games: ATL, BOS, CLE, DAL, IND, LAC, MEM, MIA, MIL, MIN, NJN, NOR, NYK, ORL, PHO, POR, TOR, WAS
Two Games: GSW, OKC, PHI, UTA