Fantasy Forecast: Monday, Nov. 19, 2012

Who would have thought that the Timberwolves would be sitting in second place in the Northwest division heading into Week 4 of the NBA season? The Wolves just have to hold on for another three weeks or so as Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love are both targeting December returns. Once they get back and knock the rust off, fantasy owners are going to be in for a treat as both have double-double ability every single game.

You will want to stash Rubio on your bench very soon as he took part in some light drills in Sunday’s practice. Once Rubio is back, Luke Ridnour will lose the most fantasy value of all the Wolves players.

Start ‘em

Jason Kidd – PG Knicks: Anyone who has read my fantasy basketball articles knows how little I care for Kidd as a fantasy player these days. But, I will give credit where credit is due, and at the start of Week 4 Kidd is actually ranked No. 10 for fantasy PGs in Yahoo scoring formats. Despite averaging just 8.6 points, 3.1 assists, 2.3 rebounds and 1.9 steals per-game, Kidd is being extremely efficient with his time on the floor and the 59.4 percent shooting from the field, 1.000 percent shooting from the free-throw line (9-for-9) and four turnovers actually help him more than they hurt him. Kidd is someone I would give a look as he is owned in just 59 percent of Yahoo leagues.

Danny Green – SG Spurs: Can you believe that one website that is owned and operated by NBC Sports has Green ranked as the 45th best SG for Week 4? Not 45th best player, the 45th best SG! The guy is currently ranked No. 8 for SG’s in Yahoo fantasy leagues and is averaging 11.7 points, 3.0 rebounds, 2.1 3-pointers and 1.2 steals in 29:06 minutes a night while being owned in just 58 percent of leagues. Green is a major sleeper heading into this week with 4 games and 42 percent availability.

Kyle Korver – SF Hawks: Korver is little more than a sniper from the outside, but that is not always a bad thing in fantasy basketball. Those in play in leagues that count 3-pointers (I do in several leagues), Korver comes in handy as he is hitting 2.5 3’s a night and putting up 10.9 points, 3.9 rebounds and 1.1 steals per-game in the process. Korver is exactly what his stats suggest, so chalk Friday’s game against a Kings team in disarray up as a fluke.

Metta World Peace – SF/PF Lakers: Yes, MWP qualifies at both SF and PF, and the top 25-30 PFs are owned in a majority of Yahoo fantasy leagues. So, Mr. Peace looks like a sexy option with his 45 percent ownership and 17.3 point, 5.0 rebound averages over the last week. It is only a matter of time before MWP remembers he is MWP and not Rudy Gay, but I have no problems riding this bandwagon until the wheels fall off.

Jason Thompson – PC/C Kings: When you think of the Sacramento Kings right now only one word comes to my mind, chaotic. The good news for Kings fans (few as they may be) is that coach Keith Smart said on Saturday that he was going to make some changes to the line-up going forward. Thompson has been largely overlooked thanks to DeMarcus Cousins, but he is averaging 13.0 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per night over the last two weeks.

Thompson qualifies at both PF and C, and is unowned in 57 percent of Yahoo leagues despite being ranked No. 59 overall right now.

Sit ‘em

Mike Conley – PG Grizzlies: Conley entered 2012 with a pre-season rank of No. 28 in Yahoo fantasy leagues, and right now he is ranked No. 28 in Yahoo fantasy leagues. This is one of the rare times when they have gotten it right. However, this week the Grizzlies play just two games and there is only so much damage Conley can do while not on the floor. Those in weekly and cap leagues will want to sit Conley down this week.

Dwyane Wade – SG Heat: And on the other side of the SG rankings we have D-Wade who comes in at No. 17 as that same site I mentioned earlier, despite Wade missing the previous two games with a foot injury, and the Heat playing just twice this week. The problem with Wade is that he is a threat to go off for 20-plus in any given game. But, Wade can’t score when he isn’t playing, and he hasn’t been playing even when the Heat do take the floor. I’d give him another week to rest up and stick him back in your line-up for Week 5.

Luol Deng – SF Bulls: Deng has been better this season for fantasy owners as he is averaging 18.6 points and 7.2 rebounds a game (15.3 points and 6.5 rebounds in 2011-12). However, the Bulls play just two games this week and there is only so much a player can do in two games. Even if he hits his average both nights, that is just 38 points and 14 rebounds. You would be better off going with someone like Green (dual qualifies at SG and SF) or Korver (owned in just 33 percent of leagues) this week, with the real possibility of keeping them beyond next Sunday.

Ersan Ilyasova – PF Bucks: It wouldn’t matter if Ilyasova played double headers every single night this week, I still wouldn’t recommend starting him. He is averaging just 6.9 points and 5.3 rebounds a night this year, and owners are almost forced to ride this out because we saw what he was capable of last season (13.0 points and 8.8 rebounds a night). Don’t cut him unless you can get a red hot free agent, but certainly stick him on your bench until he can put together two or three strong games in a row.

Roy Hibbert – C Pacers: I had the pleasure of sitting down with Hibbert at Danny Granger’s basketball camp in 2011, and you might have a hard time finding a nicer guy that really does tower over you like a giant (7’2”). But, this is fantasy basketball and loyalty is not in my vocabulary. This season Hibbert is averaging just 8.8 points and 8.0 rebounds, but is chipping in 2.4 blocks a night to help out. The real problem comes in that he is shooting a putrid 37.9 percent from the field, which is amazing considering his position and proximity to the rim, and 45.5 percent from the free-throw line. Heck, even Shaquille O’Neal was able to end his career with a 52.7 percent mark, and he brought on a whole new defensive strategy (hack-a-Shaq) because of his poor charity stripe shooting. If I were playing the Pacers, I’d just foul Hibbert during the opening tip-off and continue doing so until I was running low on bodies on the bench!


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.