Fantasy Forecast: No Love For Bynum And Other Week 3 Projections
One of the most important things to do in the first two weeks of the NBA season is to take a look at your fantasy roster and re-evaluate it. Fantasy sports isn’t a “set it and forget it” thing, you have to monitor it so you can avoid dangers and take advantage of potential failures by others. For instance, why do people still own players like Amare Stoudemire, Ryan Anderson, Rajon Rondo? Stoudemire saw his fantasy value plummet last season, and is a mere afterthought this season. Anderson and Rondo are injured and can be cut until they are closer to returning.
Looking closer to home, the Wolves have Kevin Love who is playing like an absolute beast this season! So far he is ranked 3rd overall in Yahoo 9-cat leagues thanks to his 27.2 points, 14.7 rebounds, 5.0 assists, and 47.4 percent shooting from the field. Those stats were before the Sunday night game in which he put up 25 points, 13 rebounds and 3 assists. Kevin Martin is ranked 9th overall which is amazing considering he was drafted in the 8th round in most Yahoo drafts; Ricky Rubio is holding around the 60-65th overall range depending on your scoring; Nikola Pekovic is in the 180’s range, but came into Sunday night averaging 11.7 points and 9.0 rebounds per-game. When I drafted Pekovic, I did so knowing he wouldn’t block many shots and I am completely fine with the near double-double average.
Jordan Crawford – PG/SG Celtics: Crawford is playing with Rondo out until mid-December, and playing quiet well I might add. I bet you didn’t even notice that Crawford has scored 12 or more points in four of his last five games. I’ll bet you also didn’t notice that over that same 5-game span, he has racked up seven steals, 7 3-pointers, and 18 assists, while averaging 26.6 minutes-per-game. Right now Crawford is ranked 52nd overall in 9-cat Yahoo leagues, and owned in just 11 percent of all Yahoo leagues. He should be picked up right now with the Celtics playing four games this week, but keep an eye on him as he could hit a slump at any time.
J.J. Redick – SG Clippers: Even with the Clippers playing three games this week, I would put Redick up there with just about any SG at this point in the season and feel confident in him. Redick is owned in 78 percent of Yahoo leagues, but is ranked 10th overall (in totals, not averages) in their 9-cat scoring system as of Sunday night thanks to his 123 points, 21 rebounds, 17 assists, 24 free-throws made, and 15 3-pointers made this season. He is flying under the radar, so see if you can scoop him up via trade on the cheap.
Kyle Korver – SG Hawks: Korver was someone I had on my pre-season sleeper list because he just doesn’t get the respect he deserves in fantasy circles. Did you know that he is averaging 15.6 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 1.6 steals, and 3.2 3-pointers over his last five games? Did you also know that he is ranked 9th overall on Yahoo (season totals again) and is owned in just 80 percent of their leagues? I’d go check your waiver wire to make sure he isn’t available, and maybe even send his owner a trade offer to see if he will trade him thinking he is selling high on him. Korver is going to be a great bargain for owners who took him in the 10th round.
Andrew Nicholson – PF Magic: Nicholson is filling in for Glen Davis (foot) off the bench for the Magic, and has actually provided some solid F flex or utility value thus far. Nicholson is averaging 12.1 points and 7.4 rebounds while playing in just under 24 minutes a night. Now, the thing to understand is he is coming off the bench, so he will have good nights and bad nights. But, since PF is a thin spot in fantasy basketball, a guy who can score 12 points and grab seven rebounds off the waiver wire (22 percent owned) is not a bad thing for a short-term rental.
Al Jefferson – C Bobcats: While there is no official word on Jefferson’s return status, I think he is nearing it and that means it is a perfect time to try and buy-low on him. So far this season he’s played in just one game and finished with 13 points, eight rebounds and two blocks. Since then he has missed five straight games with a lingering ankle issue. You can be sure his owners are getting nervous and a little desperate for production. You might be able to slide in there and steal him for pennies on the dollar if the timing is right.
Goran Dragic – PG/SG Suns: Dragic returned on Sunday from his ankle injury, but the stat-line was less than impressive as he finished with 12 points, three assist and one rebound in just over 29 minutes of action. The Suns play just two games in Week 3, meaning those in weekly or cap leagues will want to find other options. Maybe Dragic will have time to practice with the team and hit the ground running in Week 4, but that doesn’t help owners this week.
George Hill – PG/SG Pacers: The good news is that Hill was able to play in back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday. But, the bad news is that he hit just 1-of-6 shots on Saturday and finished with six points and seven assists in 31 minutes. The Pacers play three games this week against the Grizzlies, Bucks and Bulls, all of which could be challenging as he faces Mike Conley, Brandon Knight and Derrick Rose. I’d sit Hill down until he starts heating up again.
Tyreke Evans – SF Pelicans: Evans is owned in 81 percent of Yahoo leagues, and had a pre-season projected ranking of #80 by Yahoo. With that trust in him, he has managed to put up 8.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3.5 assists a night for the Pelicans, while shooting 33.8 percent from the field. Unless Evans finds his shot, he will not find his way out of the Pelicans’ doghouse anytime soon. If it were me, I’d consider finding a trade partner who is willing to trade based on name value.
Ersan Ilyasova – PF Bucks: The Bucks are still an absolute mess. Larry Sanders is missing games with a thumb injury, and Ilyasova has missed their last two games with an ankle injury. He did manage to play 22.3 minutes over their first three games, but he obviously overdid it and now fantasy owners are paying for it. The truth is the Bucks have been one of the worst teams this year with information, so you have to consider any Bucks player literally game-to-game. I’d sit down Ilyasova until he healthy and ready to contribute on a nightly basis.
Andrew Bynum – C Cavaliers: You know, I wouldn’t care if the Cavs played seven games in seven days, I still wouldn’t own or play Bynum! The truth is, he would probably miss about 3 of the games anyway because his body is about as healthy as mine after serving in the Army. So far this season Bynum is averaging 5.2 points, 3.8 rebounds and 1.2 blocks a night for the Cavs. And, he is shooting 32.1 percent from the field, which is atrocious for a center! Why he is owned by 79 percent of Yahoo owners is truly a mystery to me.
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.