Fantasy Forecast: Monday, Dec. 31, 2012
Week 10 of the NBA season may be not be the halfway point to the season, but it kicks off the New Year and gives players a chance to revamp their image with fantasy owners. Hopefully the New Year will also bring forth a healing hand to the Timberwolves as we are dealing with more than a few nagging injuries. Ricky Rubio missed Saturday’s game with back spasms, Brandon Roy is going to try a new treatment that he hopes will allow him to continue his NBA career, and Chase Budinger is finally off crutches, but still doesn’t expect to run for a few weeks. The good news is that Kevin Love put up a monster double-double of 23 points and 18 rebounds on Saturday. And the steal of the 2012 fantasy draft so far has to be Nikola Pekovic with his 18.7 points, 11.5 rebounds and 49.0 percent shooting from the field over the last 14 days.
The Timberwolves are over .500 this season, Rubio, Love and Pekovic look like a great starting three for the future, and fantasy basketball is in full swing; it is great to be an NBA fan!
Jordan Crawford – PG Wizards: Crawford missed Saturday’s game with a sore ankle, and that hurt me in more than a few leagues. The good news is that he is averaging 22.0 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists over the last seven days, and the Wizards play four games this week. They will need to milk every ounce of ability from their starters to keep these games close, and Crawford will have had two days of rest to get ready for the Mavericks on Tuesday.
Ricky Rubio – PG Timberwolves: Rubio is getting his legs back under him and his health is coming along. There will be times when he logs fewer minutes (or misses a game all together) than we’d like to see. The good news is that the missed game last week had nothing to do with the knee. I consider him day-to-day, but would expect him to be in the line-up more than he is out of it.
Shannon Brown – SG Suns: Brown is logging 34:00 MPG over the last 14 days for the Suns, and with those minutes he has been able to average 16.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.1 steals. Outside of the two bad games against the Jazz and Clippers, he has been very solid the last few weeks and is only owned in 30 percent of Yahoo fantasy leagues. He is a solid sleeper while the hot streak lasts.
Kyle Korver – SF Hawks: Korver was someone I liked in the preseason because his shooting touch is just too sweet to pass up when he is logging the minutes. And, over the past two weeks he has been able to average 12.0 points, 5.0 rebounds, 1.4 steals, 1,1 blocks and 2.9 3-pointers per-night. He is streaky, but you should jump on board this ride with the sharp-shooting starting to heat up once again.
Amir Johnson – PF Raptors: Johnson and Ed Davis are stepping in for injured C Jonas Valanciunas. The great thing about Johnson is that he doesn’t wow you with stats, so he flies under most fantasy radar’s. Over the past two weeks, Johnson is averaging 10.0 points, 7.1 rebounds and 1.9 blocks a night, good enough to rank No. 39 in standard nine-catagory Yahoo leagues. He is owned in just 19 percent of their leagues, so there is no better time than the present to jump on him with Valanciunas out for a few weeks still.
Kosta Koufos – C Nuggets: For someone owned in just 23 percent of Yahoo leagues, Koufos has been well worth owning these past few weeks. Over the last 14 days, he is averaging 9.9 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in 24:30 minutes a night. A near double-double at the center position is hard enough to come by, but one off the waiver wire, come on! Ride this bandwagon until the wheels fall off.
Robin Lopez – C Hornets: As a freebie to all you fantasy basketball lovers out there, Lopez is owned in just 58 percent of Yahoo’s leagues, but is ranked No. 8 overall over the past two weeks. His 116 points, 48 rebounds and 16 blocks during that span prove that he should be owned in any format, no matter how shallow or deep the league is. STOP SLEEPING ON HIM!
Jose Calderon – PG Raptors: With Kyle Lowry back for the Raptors, Calderon’s value is about to sink like a rock thrown into the ocean. If you can sell high on him now, you better hurry up and do so!
Jimmer Fredette – SG Kings: Fredette has the green light to shoot whenever he wants, and has put up four double-digit scoring games out of his last seven games. The problem with him as a fantasy player is that he can’t guard either a PG or a SG, and he doesn’t make contact and draw fouls. His fantasy contributions are limited to strictly points, so while the big-box websites are jumping on his bandwagon, you will know better and go a different route to the fantasy playoffs.
Tyreke Evans – SF Kings: The Kings problems continue as Evans has now missed 12 straight games with knee problems. Word is he is getting a second opinion on it this week, which isn’t good news because that means he didn’t like what the first doctor told him. You can’t play him, and you can’t cut him, so just keep Evans on your bench until further notice. But, be ready to cut ties with him if the second opinion isn’t positive.
David Lee – PF Warriors: The Warriors play just two games this week. And, while Lee is a double-double maniac, there is only so much damage he can do when everyone else in the NBA has an extra game or two to pad their stats against him in week 10. Those in weekly transaction and cap leagues will want to sit him or sell him.
Roy Hibbert – C Pacers: Hibbert is one of those fantasy players that you love to hate. He has size (7-foot-2), so that gives him the ability to snatch plenty of rebounds and block plenty of shots. The problem is that he has the annoying ability to become the invisible man on the Pacers and hurt his fantasy owners more than he helps them. Over his last six games played, he has just one double-digit scoring game and has grabbed double-digit rebounds just twice. He still gets you plenty of blocks (2.7 BPG), but the other stats just aren’t there. He has too much talent to cut ties with him, so just hope that he works on his short comings and gets his game right sooner rather than later.
James Morris hails from Rio Rancho, NM and has been playing fantasy sports for just over 15 years. Not only does he write the Timberwolves fantasy basketball section, but he crosses over the sports boundary and writes the Miami Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals fantasy football sections. Just send him an email and he will reply back the same day with your answer. Or, find him on Twitter (Fantasyguy23) and Facebook to get all your NFL news before it hits the national media. For more news and notes on the team follow the Minnesota Timberwolves and Mark Remme on Twitter, and join the conversation at WolvesNation.com.