Happy New Year! I know it’s already the 11th of January for those of us that follow the Gregorian calendar, but it’s been awhile, kids. In any case, we’re back and a new feature with each TFJO moving forward will be a guest appearance by some of the top fantasy hoops writers on the interwebs. I ask a question, they answer. But first, below are some suggestions off the waiver wire.
Ben Gordon, SG, Charlotte Bobcats (26% owned in Yahoo! leagues)
Gordon has been digging 2013 like a mofo, averaging 21.7 points (54.2 FG%; 16.0 FGA), two three-pointers, 3.7 assists and 1.7 steals per game in only 27 minutes of play in three January contests. For his career, January (108 games) is usually his best month of the season in regards to points (17.3) and dimes (3.0), so if you’re going to get him at point during the season, it may as well be now. Of course, the major issue with Gordon is time on the court. Thus far, January has been his best month of the season with regards to PT.
Derrick Williams, SF/PF, Minnesota Timberwolves (22%)
Since Kevin Love’s re-injury, Williams has produced very good numbers overall. Granted, he’s not starting in place of Love, but there’s more minutes available and Williams is taking advantage. In his last three games, he averaged 16.3 points on 52.6 percent shooting from the floor (12.7 FGA) and 80.0 percent from the line (1.7 FTA), 1.7 threes, 6.0 rebounds and a steal in only 22 minutes of play. The next several weeks can really show Williams’ value for the T-Wolves moving forward, or more possibly in a trade to another team for some assets.
Nate Robinson, PG/SG, Chicago Bulls (21%)
In the past week (three games), Robinson averaged 15.3 points on 52.9 percent shooting from the floor (11.3 FGA) and perfect accuracy from the line (1.0 FTA). He also dished out 4.7 dimes, hit 2.3 treys and stole the ball twice per game in 28 minutes. However, he started in place of an injured Kirk Hinrich the other night and produced 19 points, six assists, five boards, five steals while knocking down a trio of triples in 42 minutes. Hinrich should be back on the court soon, but Nate Rob does damage when on the deck. Consider him in standard leagues if you need some point guard play, and if he’s somehow available in a deep league, erase his name from the wire.
Tiago Splitter, C, San Antonio Spurs (16%)
Splitter is finally getting some consistent minutes on the court and he’s producing some very solid numbers. In his past three games, he’s averaging 11.3 points (45.8 FG%; 92.3 FT%), 9.7 rebounds and a block in 30 minutes. Can he continue to produce given the opportunities for burn? Ask Clay Davis and he’ll say yes in his own special way.
Alan Anderson, SG/SF, Toronto Raptors (12%)
Anderson has taken full advantage of injuries to Linas Kleiza and Terrence Ross and has potential to see continued minutes because of the former’s knee injury. Thus far in January (four games), Anderson is averaging 15.0 points on 43.4 percent shooting from the field, which isn’t particularly good. But the 1.8 threes, 2.3 assists and 1.3 steals in 26 minutes kind of make up for it. The appealing part of Anderson’s game is his not being shy in chucking (13.3 FGA per game in January). If you’re in a deep league, Anderson is an instant grab. It should be noted that in eight December games, he did average 13.6 points, 2.4 treys and 1.3 steals in 26 minutes, so January isn’t as much of an anomaly as you may think.
Martell Webster, SG/SF, Washington Wizards (4%)
I basically feel like an idiot sitting Webster down in the ultra-competitive 30-Deep fantasy basketball experts league run by the fine folks at CBS Sports. (More on that league below.) Since he only had two games this week, I chose to start the three-game playing, coming-off-injury Tyreke Evans. Idiot. Anyway, don’t be like me and make sure to utilize Webster for what he’s doing currently. In his past three games, he averaged 15.3 points, 2.3 triples, 5.0 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 34 minutes of play. At only 4 percent owned, he’s likely to be available and would be a nice pick-up until he starts being the real Martell Webster again.
Mirza Teletovic, SF/PF, Brooklyn Nets (0%)
Teletovic is finally being used, thanks to interim Nets head coach P.J. Carlesimo who has seen his share of Europeans succeed while with the San Antonio Spurs. Teletovic averaged 9.3 points (52.6 FG%; 100.0 FT%), a couple of triples, 3.7 rebounds and 14 minutes of game time his past three games. He’s looked very solid defensively as well with a couple of blocks of the shifty DeMarcus Cousins in a game versus the Kings. This could be the beginning of Mirza having a consistent role and being a top-notch producer in deep leagues, at the very least.
And The Answer Is: Patrick Madden
Patrick Madden from Fantasy Basketball Coaches, formerly known as Give Me The Rock, knows his fantasy hoops. He’s contributed to SI.com in the past and is currently destroying in the 30-Deep fantasy basketball league that includes experts from ESPN, Rotoworld, CBS Sports, and of course The Basketball Jones. I put forth the following question to Patrick and his answer follows.
TBJ: Proven fantasy basketball assets such as Derrick Rose and Danny Granger are available in some standard leagues because of injury concerns. Should either be stashed?
Madden: Nothing kills a good fantasy buzz quite like injuries. In fact, a number of the NBA’s best players are currently out: Derrick Rose, Danny Granger, Andrew Bynum and now Anderson Varejao and Kevin Love just to name a few. Hell, injuries are so hot right now that even Greg Oden is reportedly working on a comeback.
With Granger expected back at the beginning of February and positive reports coming out of Chicago with Derrick Rose practicing, the question is: when is a good time to stash some of these guys? Or in the case of Love and Varejao, should you patiently wait for two months or is it time to drop and move on?
The answer is … well, it depends. Those who play in roto leagues, in weekly change head-to-head leagues or have an IR spot on their roster have an fairly easy decision. It makes sense to sit on a player like Rose all season long if you can. Yes, you lose some roster flexibility, but the benefit of owning a player like Rose for even a small part of the season outweighs the loss of a roster spot that would have allowed you to grab Isaiah Thomas for the umpteenth time this year.
But for anyone in a daily changes H2H league, when is the right time to stash an injured player given that you’ll be playing a man down while he is out? Is a month too long? How about two months?
It’s a little much to really dive into here, but according to our H2H fantasy basketball player rater, running an empty roster spot in a daily changes H2H league will cost a team about a half a win per week. So if you stash an injured player like Rose and get nothing out of his roster spot, a team that averages 5 wins per week will average 4.5 wins instead while he is out.
A player of Derrick Rose’s caliber is worth approximately one win per week in a traditional 9-category H2H league. Even if Rose is not fully back on the court until the beginning of March, he’ll still play the last 6-7 weeks of the season, which means the breakeven point for sitting on him is about three months. That means Rose should be owned in all leagues right now, even daily changes H2H leagues The fact that Rose’s return comes during many leagues’ fantasy playoffs makes stashing him even more of a no-brainer. If Rose is available in your league, stop reading and add him immediately.
The same process can be used for other players as well. Granger has about half the value that a healthy Rose does, but he is expected back sooner and is currently worth stashing as well. The tough call here is Love. He could miss all but the last couple weeks of the season (or be shut down entirely), which means that Love owners may have to make the tough decision and drop him.
Number of Team Games in Week 12 (1/14-1/20)
Four Games: ATL, BOS, CHA, CHI, DAL, DEN, HOU, LAC, MEM, OKC, ORL, SAC, TOR, WAS
Three Games: BKN, CLE, GSW, IND, LAL, MIA, MIL, IND, NOR, POR, SAS
Two Games: DET, PHI, PHO, UTA
One Game: NYK
Dennis Velasco is a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association and, along with Matt Satten, won the 30 Deep fantasy basketball experts league in 2009. Velasco also came in late on this, but is currently on Season 5 of The Wire. Sheeeeeeeet. Make fun of him for that on Twitter.