Fantasy Forecast: Monday, March 25, 2013

The fantasy basketball playoffs are now in full swing and some owners made it to the second round, and others are in the consolation bracket already. One of the main factors in winning any fantasy league is adding and dropping players based on games played and performance towards the end of the season.

NBA teams that are in the playoffs will often rest their stars more often than fantasy owners would like; on the flip side of the coin you see NBA teams that are eliminated from the playoffs resting their stars to prevent injury. Make sure you check your waiver wire and filter it by the last 14 days to see who is hot and who is not right now. In deeper leagues you can filter it by the last 7 days because the free agent pool is thinner than in standard leagues. Remember, in Yahoo leagues you want to look at their Rank, not O-Rank. The difference is: O-Rank: Player's overall Yahoo ranking based on current and prior seasons.

Rank: Player's ranking based on current season stats only.

Start ‘em

Mario Chalmers – PG Heat:
Chalmers had put together a great 3-game stretch where he averaged 16.3 points and 3.3 3-pointers per-game before putting up just 2 points (0-of-4 shooting), three assists and one steal on Sunday. The problem with Chalmers is he is prone to disappearing in games; the good news is the Heat play four games this week and he has a very good chance of bouncing back on Monday against the Magic. Chalmers is owned in 52 percent of Yahoo leagues.

Gerald Henderson – SG Bobcats: Henderson has been on an absolute tear over the last 14 days, averaging 22.7 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 1.2 blocks and 1.0 blocks a night. For a guy owned in just 57 percent of Yahoo leagues, those are amazing stats to be sitting on the waiver wire. If you are in one of the 43 percent of leagues he is available in, correct that mistake quick, fast, and in a hurry!

Martell Webster – SF Wizards: Over the last 14 days, Webster has managed to average 17.1 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 3.4 3-pointers a night for the Wizards, while shooting 46.5 percent from the field and 85.7 percent from the free-throw line. Not bad for a guy owned in just 46 percent of Yahoo leagues right? With Bradley Beal and Trevor Ariza hurting, the Wizards are turning to Webster for scoring and he is more than happy to come through for them. Ride the bandwagon until the wheels fall off, but be ready to cut him if he cools off.

Brandon Bass – PF Celtics: Bass isn’t going to knock you over with his stats, but he will give you the junkyard lines you need from a fantasy PF to progress in the fantasy playoffs. Over the last 14 days, Bass has averaged 9.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 1.0 steals, 1.0 blocks, and is shooting a healthy 53.6 percent from the field. The points and rebounds will help pad the overall stats from your starters, and the FG percentage can compensate for a SG or SF that drags that category down. Bass is owned in 42 percent of Yahoo leagues as of Sunday night.

Spencer Hawes – C 76ers: Hawes is someone I told you about last week, and my opinion hasn’t changed since then. Over the last 14 days he is averaging 16.3 points, 10.0 rebounds and 2.7 blocks, while shooting 56.0 percent from the field and 80.0 percent from the free-throw line. Those are amazing stats for a guy who wasn’t taken until mid-way through the 11th round, and still sits at 69 percent owned in Yahoo leagues. Hawes should be owned in all formats and leagues sizes to finish out this season.

Sit ‘em

Kyle Lowry – PG Raptors:
Lowry is owned in 94 percent of Yahoo leagues and was taken at the end of the 3rd round in most leagues. But, over the last two weeks he has given back mid 8th round value thanks to his 35.3 percent shooting from the field, 9.7 points, 5.0 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.6 steals per night average. Lowry just isn’t hitting his shots right now and 4-5 assists and 1-2 steals a night doesn’t make up for the 2.6 turnovers he is averaging over the 2-week span, poor shooting, and lack of scoring. I’d leave him on my bench in weekly leagues and sell him in cap leagues.

Manu Ginobili – SG Spurs: Ginobili has been up and down over the last five games for the Spurs, averaging just 9.8 points, 5.6 assists and 2.4 rebounds a night. To make it worse, he is shooting a putrid 29.7 percent from the field and 75.0 percent from the free-throw line over the last 14 days. Those aren’t the types of numbers we want to see from a guy owned in 90 percent of Yahoo leagues, and starting in 72 percent of those leagues. I’d keep him on the bench until he shows more consistency.

Luol Deng – SF Bulls: Most fantasy sites will tell you that since Deng is averaging 15.0 points and 4.8 rebounds a night over the last 14 days, he is unbenchable. But, I will tell you to look at the peripheral stats and see that he is also shooting 42.0 percent from the field, 76.5 percent from the free-throw line, and is turning the ball over 1.7 times while dishing out just 1.7 assists and stealing the ball 0.8 times a night. Taking all the stats into consideration, Deng is giving fantasy owners back 15th round value in Yahoo 9-cat scoring leagues when looking at the last 14 days. With the Bulls fighting to hold off the Celtics for the 6th seed in the East, the pressure isn’t going to do his shot any favors down the stretch. I’d consider sitting him if possible until he figures out the shot.

Pau Gasol – PF Lakers: Too many people are going to run to their waiver wire and grab Gasol in the hopes that he will provide them the top 25 stats Yahoo predicted for him before the season started. The problem with that thinking is he is currently ranked as Yahoo’s 121st player in 9-cat scoring this season and Earl Clark has emerged as someone deserving of additional minutes going forward. The phrase “caveat emptor” (let the buyer beware) comes to mind when talking about Pau Gasol this season.

DeMarcus Cousins – C Kings: Cousins is a lot like Dwight Howard, where he is putting up points (18.7), rebounds (13.3) and blocks (2.0) over the last 14 days, but is still hurting the team in the process. He is hitting just 54.5 percent of his free-throws and turns the ball over 4.3 times a night. Understand that this is just a warning to make sure you have other guys who can pull up the FT percentage and drag down the turnover numbers or you will start off the week losing in two stats categories.


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.