Last night gold statues named after a dude called Oscar were handed out to the best of the best in Hollywood. However, not every category is cared about like Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Blatant Use of Nudity. Some categories like Best Documentary Short Subject and Best Sound Mixing don’t get as much love and, relative to fantasy basketball, that’s what the below players are like. No overt displays of admiration, but they’re still pretty important. And in this case, can get you into the fantasy hoops postseason.
Standard League Pick-Ups
James Harden, SG, Oklahoma City Thunder (44% owned in Yahoo! leagues)
Bye bye third scoring option Jeff Green. Enjoy the chowdah! With Green’s trade to the Boston Celtics, Harden steps up into the third scoring option for the Thunder after Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. He’ll still come off the bench, but get starter-like minutes on the deck. In the past week (four games), Harden averaged 16.3 points, 48.9 FG percentage, 92.3 FT percentage, 2.3 three-pointers and 2.0 steals. In the two games since Green has left, Harden played 36 and 28 minutes respectively. Expect the time and production from Harden and his beard the rest of the way.
Chase Budinger, SG/SF, Houston Rockets (39% owned in Yahoo! leagues)
Budinger is another player that will benefit from a trade of a former teammate. In this case, it’s Shane Battier who took his jack-of-all trades, but master-of-none talents to Graceland. Budinger has been inserted into the starting line-up the past two games and is averaging 17.5 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.0 three-pointers. Budinger was already doing damage before the trade, averaging 18.8 points, 5.0 boards, and a couple of treys in the past week (four games). Budinger is a prime player that can help a fantasy team get over during the playoffs..
Wes Johnson, SG/SF, Minnesota Timerwolves (35% owned in Yahoo! leagues)
Hey, guess what? Johnson is yet another beneficiary of a trade, one that saw Corey Brewer, a motor/defensive effort guy, going to the New York Knicks where any modicum of defensive ability will be wasted. In any case, Brewer is one less player in the rotation to get in the way of Johnson’s path to domination. OK, maybe not domination, but Johnson should contribute to a pretty good degree. In the last week (four games), Johnson averaged 14.3 points, 4.5 boards, 3.0 dimes, 1.8 triples, 1.3 steals and 1.3 rejections. That’s not a bad line to average. At all. Sixty-five percent of Yahoo! managers better not sleep on this!
Deep League Pick-Ups
Kenyon Martin, PF, Denver Nuggets (14% owned in Yahoo! leagues)
Martin missed the Nuggets last game with the flu, but should return tonight. Kenyon posted a double-double in his last game (18/10) and while he won’t be a double-double machine, he should have his moments with a couple of big men (Shelden Williams, Renaldo Balkman) and Carmelo Anthony (7.7 RPG) now playing for the Knicks and only one big man (Timofey Mozgov) coming back in the blockbuster Anthony Carter trade. In any case, as long as Martin keeps healthy, the opportunity for grabbing boards and cleaning up at the rim will be there.
Will Bynum, PG, Detroit Pistons (8% owned in Yahoo! leagues)
Bynum had a solid week for the Bad Boys and, yes, we’re calling the Pistons that again considering what’s been happening with Richard Hamilton and company channeling Rick Mahorn, Dennis Rodman, and Bill Laimbeer (next head coach?). In four games, Bynum averaged 17.5 points on 50.9 percent shooting from the floor and 85.7 percent from the charity stripe, 2.5 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 1.0 threes and 1.5 steals. Without knowing what the ramifications will be in the Motor City, Bynum who seems like a good boy, could reap the benefits from being a professional.
Matt Bonner, PF/C, San Antonio Spurs (4% owned in Yahoo! leagues)
The TBJ favorite had a great week (three games) from behind the arc, hitting eight of eleven shots while averaging 10.7 points on 63.2 percent shooting from the field, 4.3 rebounds and 2.7 acknowledgments that Matt Osten could be his little brother. On top of the latter average alone, Bonner should be a part of fantasy basketball teams as he’ll contribute big in the three-pointers made category.
True Or False
Deron Williams, who now plays for the lowly New Jersey Nets, will take a significant hit in fantasy value.
FALSE. It’s only been two games, people! And while he hasn’t scored well or efficiently (14.5 points; 32.0 FG percentage), he’s still dropping dimes (14.5 APG) and as he becomes more comfortable with the team, he’ll do big things, especially since he’s the facilitator of the offense and is smart enough to know when to shoot or create for others. D-Will will be fine, and speaking from personal experience, why are Knicks fans so sensitive and negative about the Nets trade? Your team has ‘Melo and the better team! Oh wait, I forgot, the Knicks don’t play defense (last night withstanding) and their owner is still James Dolan.
What I Did This Week
Conceded I will not make the playoffs in one league with only a couple of weeks remaining in the regular fantasy season. Also, I cried. A lot. The funny part is that I was in the Finals in this league last year and the other finalist probably won’t make the playoffs either. What is this football with its parity? Luckily, I will make the playoffs in my two other leagues … and save money on tissues.
Fantasy Thoughts To Jump Off From
- If the 2010 NBA Draft was done over, Greg Monroe probably becomes the second overall pick. In fantasy drafts, a jump would have to be expected as well. As he’s gotten more time from month-to-month, his numbers have been going up as well. In 13 February games, he’s averaging 12.4 points on 58.7 percent shooting and 8.8 rebounds. In the past week (four games), it’s even more impressive – 16.8 points, 58.8 FG percent, 12.8 rebounds and 1.8 steals.
- I’m a college hoops junkie and March Madness is upon us! What makes this extra spicy for me is the fact that my hometown St. John’s University is playing pretty darn well. Giant killers! In any case, many brackets will soon be filtering out to offices across the land and while that’s somewhat of a fantasy, it isn’t quite like the fantasy game that we know where we get to follow individual players. However, that has all changed as Fantasy Team of 16 now enables you to do so. You do have to pay, but if you’re both a college hoops and fantasy sports lover like me, the price is worth it.
- I don’t know if my taste in women now includes ghosts, but my fantasy chick of the week has to be Anne Hathaway. She surprised me with her singing at the Oscars, but overall, she and James Franco stunk it. I haven’t heard that much dead air since high school when I asked girls out. Anyway, I wouldn’t mind being Dan Aykroyd in that famous scene in “Ghostbusters,” especially considering this.
Number of Team Games in Week 19
Four Games: ATL, BOS, CHI, DEN, GSW, IND, MIN, NOR, NYK, PHO, SAS, WAS
Three Games: CHA, CLE, DAL, DET, HOU, LAC, LAL, MEM, MIA, MIL, NJN, OKC, ORL, PHI, POR, SAC, TOR, UTA
Follow Dennis on Twitter because he has no problem admitting he’s a perv! Appreciate the honesty.