Archive for the ‘Fantasy’ Category

After a week off for the All-Star break, we’re back and we have some solid pickups to consider off the wire. And, yes, Jeremy Lin is mentioned in this article too. You just can’t escape the guy.

Waiver Wire Considerations

Jordan Crawford, PG/SG, Washington Wizards (57% owned in Yahoo! leagues)
Crawford’s two recent starts over Nick Young is a sign of things to come. Crawford’s owners are about to get a nice boost for their fantasy squads. However, even when you factor in the three previous games when he was just a sub, Crawford has gone off in the past two weeks (five games), averaging 24.0 points, 56.2 FG%, 83.3 FT%, 2.2 3PTM, 3.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists. It may be a wise move to take a shot now on Crawford for the rest of the season because he’s put together consistent production previously last year in the months of March (15 G; 18.2 points, 3.7 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 1.5 steals) and April (8 G; 17.0 points, 5.4 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 1.0 steals). Get him!

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This week we have a ton of suggestions for those of you in deep leagues or need some help in specific categories. Also, we take a look at some sell-high candidates like, oh I don’t know, Jeremy Lin. Obviously, I’m not Linsane. Let’s talk fantasy.

Waiver Wire Considerations

Shane Battier, SG/SF, Miami Heat (16% owned in Yahoo! leagues)

Battier is the perennial “glue guy,” even in fantasy basketball. During his heyday he would contribute across the board in every category. It’s been a bit of a transition playing with The Big Two and Three-Quarters with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, but in his third month, it seems he’s getting into a groove. In the past week (four games), Battier averaged 9.3 points, 68.2 FG%, 1.5 triples, 3.2 boards, 0.8 dimes, 1.0 steal and 0.8 blocks. After a rocky start (1.0 points and 10.0 percent shooting from the field in December), Battier has improved from month-to-month since. He’s a deep league add only with some standard league consideration if you need dimes and the potential for defensive stats help.

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I swear, unlike most media outlets this past week, I will not speak about Jeremy Lin. I won’t. I promise.

Fine, I’m lying, but I also give you some other wavier wire suggestions that can help you produce like a fantasy Jeremy Lin, coming out of nowhere. OK, probably not, but only because it’s almost impossible to be that good.

Waiver Wire Considerations

Vince Carter, SG/SF, Dallas Mavericks (48% owned in Yahoo! leagues)
If you’ve played fantasy hoops as long as I have (since 1994), seeing Carter’s name on a waiver wire list is still kind of shocking. Sure, he’s been regressing for a few years now, but I still remember when he was a stats machine. I guess I’m just getting old like VC. In any case, age aside, Carter is handling business across the board the past week (three games) — 12.0 points on 46.7 percent shooting from the floor, 3.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.7 3PTM and 2.3 steals. His minutes are limited to 26 minutes per game, but for old bones like Carter’s, it’s a good thing as long he remains effective with the time he gets on the deck. He’s also starting again, and as a starter, his numbers pretty much line up with the aforementioned stats other than boards and dimes, which is about one less per for the season. If you like what you saw numbers-wise, you may want to add Half-Man, Half-Amazing to your squad if he’s available.

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How about that Super Bowl? It seems when the New York Giants and New England Patriots meet in the big game, it’s going to be dramatic. Unfortunately for the Pats, they’re 0-2 against Big Blue and, yeah, Eli Manning is on the same elite level as Tom Brady. I’m talking about the wrong sport, but you have to give props to champions. Hopefully, you’ll be getting the same type of props at the end of the regular NBA season too, right?

Read below for some help.

Waiver Wire Considerations

John Salmons, SG/SF, Sacramento Kings (36% owned in Yahoo! leagues)
Salmons has been having a disappointing season thus far, averaging only 7.9 PPG on 37.6 percent shooting for the season. However, he did average 14.0 (73 games in 2010-11) and 19.9 (30 games in 2009-10) in a little under a season-and-a-half with the Milwaukee Bucks previously. So what happened? It could be age (31 years old) showing a decline in skill or it could be a new team of youngsters that are going to shoot the ball. Yeah, we’ll go with the latter and the aforementioned hideous field goal percentage. This season, Salmons is averaging 8.5 shot attempts (12.3 last season) and about 29.5 minutes of play (35.0 last season). However, in his last two games, Salmons is averaging 12.5 shot attempts and almost 40 minutes on the court. He shot 13-for-25 in that brief span with 16.5 points and a trio of triples. Two games do not make an undeniable trend for improvement for Salmons, but given his track record and the playing time he’s getting, Salmons certainly deserves to at least be watched.

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Significant injuries continue to be a storyline in the NBA as Andrew Bogut goes down and will be out two to three months, rendering him just about useless in this shortened fantasy basketball season. Feel free to drop him in rotisserie leagues and consider doing the same in head-to-head leagues.

So, who should you pick up? Check out the first name on the list below who just might be available in your league, but do it quick. A ton of names to follow afterward.

Waiver Wire Considerations

Drew Gooden, PF/C, Milwaukee Bucks (51% owned in Yahoo! leagues)
If you owned Andrew Bogut, first off, my apologies. Second, I hope you picked up Gooden before anyone else in your league did. Since taking over for the injured Bogut two games ago, Drew’s put up consecutive 23-point efforts on 15-for-29 shooting combined. He’s also averaged 11.5 rebounds in those two games in about 36 minutes of play. In his career as a starter, Gooden averages 12.5 points, 8.6 rebounds, while shooting 47.5 percent from the field and as recent as the 2009-10 season, averaged a double-double (13.7 points; 10.1 rebounds) and shot 48.3 percent from the floor as a starter in 33 games. It’s not out of the question that Gooden produces his career averages as a starter moving forward this season.

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I recently took down my Christmas tree. That has nothing to do with this column, but serves as proof that I got that tedious task out of the way and I know a lot of you should do the same too.

What else should you do? Read this column, but only if you want to win your fantasy basketball league.

Waiver Wire Considerations

Mo Williams, PG, Los Angeles Clippers (40% owned in Yahoo! leagues)
Williams has to have the most broken heart in the NBA. First his buddy, LeBron James, leaves the Cavaliers without telling anyone and then the Clippers trade for Chris Paul AND sign Chauncey Billups during the offseason. What’s a man to do? I guess cry a little, as was the case with the former and just deal with it as it is with the latter. In his return from a three-game absence — and with CP3 resting from an injury — Williams caught fire, shooting 11-for-15 with a duo of treys for 26 points in a close 91-89 win over the NBA champion Dallas Mavericks. He won’t do this on the regular, but he’s capable of going off and has been productive throughout the season. Add in the facts that Paul isn’t the most durable of players and Billups has a lot of games on his NBA bones, you never know how much time Williams will get on the floor. He’s a good add if you need a bench spot filled and some spot starts here and there.

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This week, I’m going to switch it up a little bit for you as I play fantasy basketball chemist and tweak this a bit. I’m still going to do waiver wire prospects, but also add in some flexible sections throughout the season, such as the fantasy impact when a player gets injured or everything that happens during the trade deadline, like when Dwight Howard is traded to the Nets.

OK, that’s my fantasy, but let’s see if I can help you out with yours. Read on!

Waiver Wire Considerations

Matt Barnes, SG/SF, Los Angeles Lakers (24 percent owned in Yahoo! leagues)
It’s a Kobe world right now in Los Angeles after Mr. Bryant threw down 48 and 40 points in the last two games. Who said that Kobe’s body is breaking down? It’s more like Bryant is breaking down anybody that tries to man him up. However, lost in the lights of Kobe world is Barnes, who in the past five games has averaged 10.4 points on 62.5 percent shooting from the field and 81.8 percent from the free throw line, 7.4 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 0.6 three-pointers and blocks, as well as 0.8 steals in about 28 minutes of work. Barnes is softening the blow of losing Lamar Odom and one less Kardashian in the Staples Center.

Goran Dragic, PG, Houston Rockets (6 percent)
In the past week, Dragic had a couple of starts due to a minor Kyle Lowry injury and came strong with a 20 points and eight assists performance following a double-double show of 10 points and 11 assists. Of course, Lowry came back and Dragic’s numbers dipped to averaging six points and two assists in the next two contests, but don’t sleep on Dragic. He has the ability to earn some burn and could possibly produce a bit more if/when Kevin Martin is traded. Dragic is an obvious deep-league consideration.

Kyle Korver, SG/SF, Chicago Bulls (19 percent)
Korver has been going bananas from behind the three-point arc lately, hitting 10 triples out of 18 attempts in the past week (four games). In that span, he’s averaging 13.2 points while shooting 53.8 percent from the deck and 81.8 percent from the stripe, 3.0 boards, 2.6 dimes, a ridiculous trio of triples and 1.4 steals in about 30 minutes of work. Sure, all of this is happening while Richard Hamilton is out, but it’s pretty obvious that Korver is earning some minutes even when Rip returns.

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