Fantasy Forecast with James Morris Week 7
You know, the fantasy NBA season is no easier to predict than fantasy baseball, football or hockey. You go into the draft thinking you have the master plan, you take Elton Brand in the 1st round, and he ends up playing in the #90 range for fantasy players. On the other hand, you take a flier on Nene Hilario in the late rounds of the draft and he ends up being a top ten-fantasy player heading into Week 7 of the NBA season. I’ll give you a few busts and a few guys you might want to keep an eye on over the next few weeks.
Elton Brand: The guy just hasn’t played up to that contract he got, and his owners are wondering if he was worth such a high pick. When he is healthy he has averaged a double-double (barely), but the 16.7 points are disappointing for a 1st rounder.
Kevin Martin: Martin can score, as shown by his 20.8 PPG this season, but his field goal percentage is at 42.6 percent and he offers only a steal per game to go with his points. Guys who can only score (like J.R. Smith) don’t do very well for fantasy owners because fantasy leagues take many stats into consideration. It hasn't helped that he's been injured for 12 games this season as well.
Allen Iverson: A.I.’s value took a hit when he went to Detroit. He has averaged just 15 points and five assists over the past week. Since making the move, he is scoring a point less, dishing out one less assist and shooting five percent worse from the field.
Carmelo Anthony: Melo was drafted as a team’s starting SF and a viable top-35 player, but he's actually playing around the 140-150 range. His 40.9 FG percentage and 3.58 TO’s per game aren’t helping his cause much.
Lamar Odom: I can’t even start to tell you how much of a Bust (Yes, with a CAPITAL B!) Odom is. He was projected in the top 50 and is actually in the 125-ish range. The ONLY reason he is that high is if you count FG percentage; if your league doesn’t count that, he is much lower. How quickly they fall!
Keep an eye on them
Spencer Hawes: Brad Miller is all over the place with his game these days and Hawes is reaping the rewards. He is logging almost 30 minutes per game, and is averaging 12 points, seven boards and almost two blocks a game. If you need a PF/C, give him a look.
Larry Hughes: If you need a guy that will get you a ton of threes and qualifies at multiple positions, Hughes is not a bad option. His stats are as hollow as Martin’s, but he is shooting the long-ball at 47 percent this season and doesn’t turn the ball over.
Matt Barnes: Barnes is splitting time with Grant Hill at SF, but since he is the Suns' fourth leading scorer, I’d say his minutes are safe. He'll get you about 12 points and six rebounds a night, so you could do worse. Just know that he must be taking free-throw lessons from Shaq as shown by his 65.4 FT percentage (Shaq is at 57.4 percent).
Rasho Nesterovic: I don’t say this because I write for the Pacers, rather because center is a very thin spot and you could be holding onto someone like Joakim Noah or Chris Wilcox for no reason. Rasho will only give you about ten points and five boards a night, but that is better than Noah not playing or Wilcox hacking his way out of the game.
J.R. Smith: I know I said his stats are nothing besides points earlier, but if you need them with a few threes, he's your man. He is going to be VERY streaky, so when he is hot, he is hot. When he is cold, make sure you bench him.
PG: Russell Westbrook:Westbrook is a rookie, so his stats will be erratic, but he dropped a 30-spot on Miami and his stats are solid enough to play him with Oklahoma City’s four games this week.
SG: Michael Redd:Redd is finally back from an ankle injury that kept him out for 14 games, and he broke the 20-point mark twice in three games. With the Bucks playing two of their three games against sub .500 teams this week, Redd is a good option.
SF: Andrei Kirlenko:AK-47 is firing points off more like a .22 caliber pistol, but he does so much more than score these days (rebounds, blocks, assists, steals and FG percentage) that he is worth playing even though he only plays three games this week.
PF: David Lee:New York plays three games this week and Lee has slumped the last few games, but when two of your three games are against Chicago and Sacramento, you are a safe bet to rebound.
C: Kevin Love:Love is starting to come around with two double-double games in his last three. With the Timberwolves playing four games this week against top tier Western Conference teams, Love will be needed more than ever.
PG: Rojan Rondo:The Celtics play just two games this week, so it is going to be near-impossible to justify playing anyone on that team if you are in a weekly transaction league. Even the Celtics' Big Three aren’t worth playing for just two games, so Rondo is no exception.
SG: Richard Hamilton:Melo is another one of those two-gamers. If you have daily transactions, you can play him in those games and feel good, but salary cap leagues and weekly transaction leagues need to sit him this week.
SF: Carmelo Anthony: Deng is a bust this season for fantasy owners. He was projected as a top 75 player in the preseason, but is actually ranking near the lower end of the 175 range right now. If you can find someone to take him, it may be time to sell low!
PF: Paul Millsap:He has filled in for Carlos Boozer very well, but Boozer is due back this week, so Millsap will head back to the bench. Don’t get caught looking at his game log when Boozer comes back!
C: Samuel Dalembert:Dalembert has been worth less than his 5th round draft ranking. Since he is just getting eight rebounds, six points and a block or two per game, you could do just as well if not better with someone like Kevin Love at center.