Fantasy Outlook – Walker a Must Start

By Matt Rochinski
January 21, 2013

If I'm a fantasy basketball player, there are three weeks left in the regular season where I absolutely have to have Kemba Walker in my starting fantasy lineup, starting this week against the Rockets today, Hawks on Wednesday and Timberwolves on Saturday. Why? Because all three of the Cats games this week are at home and Walker has been absolutely money this season at Time Warner Cable Arena®. It 20 games in Charlotte this season, Walker leads the Cats with averages of 19.8 points, 6.2 assists and 1.85 steals. He's also adding 3.0 rebounds and shooting better on his home rims than on the road. Kemba has connected on 46.8 percent of his file goals, including 39.4 percent of his 3-point attempts - both above his season averages. For some players, there's just something about playing in front of the home crowd that gets them going and Walker seems to love putting on a show in the Queen City. Get him in your fantasy lineup.

With the fanfare surrounding the Hornets additions of James Harden and Jeremy Lin in the offseason, there are few fantasy players out there noticing the season big man Patrick Patterson is having with the Rockets. He's shattering all his career marks in his third season with Houston and has actually put up better stats on the road in 2012-13. Patterson is averaging more points (12.2 to 11.3), rebounds (4.8 to 4.7) and assists (1.5 to 1.1) through 13 games away from Toyota Center. He's also shooting better from the charity stripe (80.0 percent to 75.0 percent) and outside the arc (35.3 percent to 35.1 percent) in opposing arenas. The rims have been more kind to him from the field at home, where he's connecting on 51.1 percent of his shots compared to 48.9 percent on the road. But finding a big man who can be equally effective on the road as he can be at home can be a huge benefit to your fantasy squad.

Jeff Teague broke out for the Atlanta Hawks in 2011-12, and now midway through his fourth NBA season, the Hawks will be leaning even heavier on Teague in their backcourt. With Lou Williams lost for the season with a torn ACL, the onus now falls on Teague to lead Atlanta at the point and the Hawks hope to a playoff berth. That’s great news for Teague owners in fantasy leagues. Teague is averaging career bests across the board with 13.4 points, 6.6 assists, 2.4 rebounds and 1.6 steals in 32.7 minutes this season. Expect to see those numbers all increase with his playing time in the second half of the season. More minutes = more stats for your fantasy squad.

As we approach the midway point of the 2012-13 season, most fantasy owners would probably assume a veteran like Andrei Kirilenko might be slowing down – especially after missing all of last season – but this hasn’t been the case. With Kevin Love currently sidelined, AK47 is having his best month offensively, averaging 14.4 points on 52.6 percent shooting from the field. He also continues to fill the stat sheet with 7.0 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 1.40 steals and 1.00 block through the first 10 games of January. Fantasy owners should keep Kirilenko in your starting lineup for a little while longer before trying to get the most out of him in a potential trade later in the season should he start to break down.

Past Fantasy Outlooks
MKG a Tough Fantasy Matchup
Injuries Provide New Options
6th Men Stepping Up
Big Men on the Rise
Bench Putting Up Big Fantasy Stats
Kemba's West Coast Matchups
Henderson, Redick Becoming More Versatile
Reserve Guards, Fantasy Gold
Youth and Experience Valuable in Fantasy
Gordon and Melo Peak Performers
Not-So-Risky Pickups
Reserves Playing Like Fantasy Starters
Consistency Counts for Haywood
Cats Guards Locked In
Is MKG Heading for Fantasy Breakout?
Mullens, Lopez and Mayo Sleepers Waking Up Fantasy World
Walker and Gortat Filling Stat Sheets