After this week, there will only be about six weeks left to make moves before the fantasy basketball playoffs begin, so with most trade deadlines donezo, it’s time to get busy on the waiver wire. Pop on that Marvin Gaye song on your MP3 player, light a candle, caress your mouse as you look through the free agency pool and wear protection. This paragraph is brought to you by PAUGASOL (People Against Ugly Genetics And Shit in Our Lifetimes).
Standard League Pick-Ups
Marcin Gortat, C, Phoenix Suns (53% owned in Yahoo! leagues)
I usually don’t write about players that are owned above 50 percent in Yahoo! leagues, but thought I would make an exception here with Gortat. Sure, he’s averaging 21.0 points, 13.0 rebounds, 1.7 blocks and shooting an incredible 69.4% from the field in his last three games, including hitting a three-pointer in that span, but that’s not the main reason he’s in this week’s column. The reason he’s in is because of his cockiness. It’s not the nickname, “The Polish Hammer,” that truly defines his puffed out chest of late, but the fact that he’s taking on teams solely by himself! If you follow him on Twitter, you’ll know what I mean, and I get that he may not be running his own account and that English isn’t his first language, but I dig the swagger. For example, he took on the Bucks by himself, as well as the Hornets. Amar’e Stoudemire couldn’t even do that! Well, OK, maybe against the Bucks.
Samuel Dalembert, C, Sacramento Kings (44% owned in Yahoo! leagues)
We know a few things about Dalembert. For instance, he can actually pull off this hairstyle. But not this one. Oh, and he can block shots. Despite only averaging 20.5 minute of deck time this season, Dalembert is rejecting shots at a 1.7 per contest clip. As a starter (16 games), he blocks 2.3 balls per game. Well, guess what, he’s starting again. Partly because he should and partly because Jason Thompson has a sprained ankle and DeMarcus Cousins slid over to the four spot in the Kings’ last game against the Celtics. In 38.3 minutes, Dalembert only scored four points and grabbed seven rebounds, but he did also have five blocked shots, which is a premium category in the fantasy basketball world. Come get some with Dalembert.
Carlos Delfino, SG/SF, Milwaukee Bucks (36% owned in Yahoo! leagues)
If you’re a hardcore fantasy basketball player like I am, you need to get a life because there’s a whole world out there where you can actually deal with real-life problems such as getting the girl at the bar to give you her number. And, then you know, slam windows with the napkin the number is on and ask people how they like them apples. Talk about a fantasy. In any case, if you’ve played this game for a bit, you know that Delfino always produces given the opportunity and he’s starting once again after missing most of the season. As a starter this season (11 games), Delfino has been solid, playing 36.0 minutes, scoring 13.2 points, grabbing 4.0 boards, dishing 2.7 dimes, hit 2.3 kerbys from behind the arc, and swiping 1.7 rocks. He’s a little above those numbers in this short month of February thus far, but with regular PT, as well as the return of hurt players such as John Salmons and Andrew Bogut, he should hit the aforementioned numbers on a nightly basis and contribute to your fantasy squad. Maybe you’ll even start to figure out difficult mathematical problems.
Deep League Pick Ups
Paul George, SG/SF, Indiana Pacers (9% owned in Yahoo! leagues)
The rookie has only played 25 games this season, averaging only 17 minutes of burn each time, but in five of his last six contests George has reached double-digits in points for an average of 13.2 points in that span, while playing 25.7 minutes per. It’s easily the best stretch of his young career and is something solid to build on. Considering the Pacers may make moves by the trade deadline, the man with two first names could actually get consistent minutes and do some things. Pick George up before the storm hits because the kid’s got talent!
Eddie House, PG/SG, Miami Heat (4% owned in Yahoo! leagues)
House is fitting in perfectly with the Heat as all he really needs to do is spot up and hit J’s and treys on the kick-out. He’s doing that and he’s also being clutch about it as seen this past Sunday. And if you didn’t see, how can you miss a pair like that? It’s one of the most historic histrionic moves ever! In any case, gigantic testicles aside (ouch), House has averaged 10.5 points and 1.5 moneyballs in the past week (four games) and while his production is based on his minutes, he seems to be getting enough hardwood time to justify a pick-up in cajones hung low … err, deep leagues.
Sam Young, SG/SF, Memphis Grizzlies (3% owned in Yahoo! leagues)
If you were to believe Sam Young, you would think that O.J. Mayo stole candy from babies, tripped blind people on purpose, and disagreed that Sarah Palin was good dice-shaking material.OK , so I’m totally lying as Young hasn’t said anything about Mayo and his character (history says enough, right USC?). In any case, Young has been the main beneficiary of Mayo’s 10-game suspension and in the past week (four games) has averaged 32.5 minutes, 12.5 points on 52.3 percent shooting and 1.5 steals. It’s obvious that Young is a pick-up if you need scoring in the short-term, but perhaps it’ll be for the long-term too as Mayo has been the subject of numerous trade offers. However, how many teams really want to trade for a guy that disagrees with Tracy Morgan?
True Or False
Amir Johnson will keep up his production for the rest of the season.
True. Johnson had a breakout this past month. In 17 January games, he averaged 12.1 points, 7.3 rebounds, while shooting 63.7 percent from the field and 79.1 percent. He owns the power forward position with the Toronto Raptors and there should be no question, even if/when the nut-grabber Reggie Evans returns. In the past week (four games), Johnson dropped 18.3 points, cleaned the glass 9.8 times, stole and rejected 1.3 Spaldings each and shot 62.2 percent from the field. He’s always had the talent, it was only a matter of when. And, sorry Toronto, since the Raptors don’t have anything to play for, Johnson should continue getting the PT and developing. Finally.
What I Did This Week
I finally dropped Denver Nuggets’ PF/C Al Harrington because of his injury questions and picked up the Milwaukee Bucks’ SF/PF Ersan Ilyasova. Ilyasova has done well in the past week (18.4 points, 8.6 rebounds, 58.2 FG%, 81.8 FT%, 2.2 steals in five games) and is only owned in 30 percent of Yahoo! leagues. Someone to think about, but how will he do when the Bucks are completely healthy? I think he’s earned his time, but who knows? Besides Scott Skiles that is.
Fantasy Thoughts To Jump Off From
- If NBA coaches played fantasy basketball, LaMarcus Aldridge would have been named an NBA All-Star reserve. Aldridge is rated as Yahoo!’s number one player (by statistical average) in the past week, during which he scored 29.0 points while shooting 62.2 percent from the floor and 85.7 percent from the charity stripe, hauled in 10.0 rebounds, and added 2.5 rips and 2.0 rejections. Of course it was only two games, but still, is there any denying that he’s deserving?
- Devin Harris, the usually-mostly-scoring point guard for the New Jersey Nets, has been a good source of assists lately, averaging 12.5 the past week (four games), which places him second in that span behind Steve Nash (12.7). Harris’ dime production shouldn’t be considered a fluke as he averaged 9.9 assists in 15 January games. Of course his scoring dipped to a season-low 12.1 for the month.
- I am a 1980s child and had a crush on both Debbie Gibson and Tiffany. It sounds pathetic, I know, but they’ve aged pretty well if you ask me. They recently made a classic movie together called “Mega Python vs. Gatoroid” and all I can say is, “I think I’m alone now.” Take it however you like.
Number of Team Games in Week 16
Four Games: CHA, CLE, DAL, DEN, DET, GSW, IND, LAC, LAL, MEM, MIL, MIN, NOR, ORL, PHI, PHO, SAC, SAS, TOR
Three Games: BOS, CHI, HOU, MIA, NJN, NYK, OKC, POR, UTA, WAS
Two Games: ATL
Follow Dennis on Twitter because he’s like Nostradamus predicting a Pittsburgh Steelers 24-20 Super Bowl victory over the Green Bay Packers.