Fantasy Forecast: Week 6 Start 'em, Sit 'em
Week 6 is upon us in the NBA and we see multiple teams with a 2-game week, meaning fantasy owners have to be smart when setting their weekly line-ups in games on sites like Yahoo and DraftStreet. Yahoo is the traditional draft and waiver wire set-up that so many of us started out playing years ago. But, in recent years the daily salary cap style leagues like DraftStreet have become more and more popular because they test not only your fantasy knowledge, but your ability to truly manage a fantasy team by staying under a certain dollar figure. I’ve been getting emails since the start of the season with owners playing in the cap leagues asking what players monetary value is, so I will be including more of their analysis in dollar figures going forward. If you haven’t tried a daily league before, it is quite interesting and I suggest you check it out.
Among the 2-game teams are the Timberwolves, who currently hold a 9-10 record heading into the week. With the trade for Luc Mbah a Moute, that could turn around as he looked solid in his first game with the team (7 rebounds, 4 points and 2 blocks in 26 minutes). With the Wolves in a short week are the Lakers, Bobcats, and Wizards. There are plenty of fantasy players on those four teams, so make sure you know what you are getting into when putting any of those players into your weekly or cap line-ups.
In injury news, New Orleans Pelicans PF Anthony Davis suffered a non-displaced fractured to his left hand on Sunday night. The good news (if you can call it that) is that the injury is non-displaced meaning the bone cracks either part or all of the way through, but does move and maintains its proper alignment. The Pelicans obviously don’t have a timeframe for his return yet, but fantasy owners should prepare for a timeframe in weeks, not months. In the meantime, Ryan Anderson will start at PF with Jason Smith as an option for those in deeper leagues.
Nate Robinson – PG Nuggets: Mighty Mouse is one of the more streaky players in the NBA, but right now he is on a hot streak which is good news. On Sunday he finished with 23 points, five assists and five 3-pointers. That makes seven consecutive games with double-digit point totals for Robison, in which he has also hit 21 3’s. He is worth owning in all formats as long as he is hot, and should come at a bargain in cap leagues since he is third on the Nuggets PG depth chart. But, be ready to sit him down when he goes cold again.
Gerald Green – SG/SF Suns: Green was starting in place of Eric Bledsoe who was injured, but came off the bench in the second half of Saturday’s game in favor of Bledsoe. However, P.J. Tucker has been somewhat erratic with statistical production this season, meaning Green could end up replacing him at SF given how well he has played the last two weeks (16.1 points, 2.9 rebounds, 1.9 assists, and 3.1 3-pointers per-game made). Green is more of a sneaky pick-up in Yahoo leagues as he is owned in just 37 percent of their leagues, but is currently ranked 55th over the last two weeks in average stats and 26th in total stats. I know a LOT of you could use a SG/SF, so go check your wire and see if he is available.
Martell Webster – SF/SG Wizards: I want to make it clear that Webster is playing like an All-Star right now and should be owned in all formats (currently owned in 61 percent of Yahoo leagues). The real issue is that the Wizards play just two games this week. The upside to that is they are against the helpless Magic (101.1 PPG scored by opponents) and Bucks (98.8 PPG by opponents) who combined have 9 total wins this season. Even with the 2-game week, I would still give Webster a look in weekly and cap leagues in a flex F or utility spot because his match-ups are too juicy.
Channing Frye – PF Suns: Speaking of Suns that are hotter than the sun itself, Frye is one of those guys that is on a tear and should be owned in all formats right now. Over the last two weeks Frye is averaging 15.3 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1.1 blocks, 1.0 steals, and is adding 2.9 3-pointers a night to sweeten the deal. Frye qualifies at both PF and C, and with the 5-6 rebounds and a block most nights, Jonas Valanciunas owners should hop all over this while they still can (Frye is owned in 42 percent of Yahoo leagues).
Andray Blatche – C/PF Nets:Blatche is a lot like Robinson above in that he is a streaky player that is worth owning now, but you also have to be ready to cut him when he cools off. The Nets are a great team… on paper. But, in reality, they are in the bottom 3-4 teams in the Eastern Conference. Why that is good is because back-ups like Blatche will see plenty of minutes as aging PFs like Kevin Garnett and Reggie Evans rest up with games out of control. Over the last two weeks Blatche has averaged 15 points, 5.5 rebounds, and is shooting 52.2 percent from the field. He will cool off at some point, but you can certainly ride this bandwagon until the wheels fall off. He’s currently owned in 20 percent of Yahoo leagues.
Kemba Walker – PG Bobcats: Walked snapped out of his recent funk on Sunday with 27 points on 10-of-22 shooting from the field and six assists. But, his six turnovers pretty much canceled out the assists. Walker will get a rest this week as the Bobcats play against the Mavericks who have one of the weaker PG rotations in the NBA. He does take on Michael Carter-Williams which is sure to mess with his stats on Friday. So, buyers be aware and beware on Walker this week.
Kyle Korver – SG Hawks: Korver is one of those guys I love in fantasy terms because he can shoot the lights out (51.7 percent shooting this season). The problem is he has missed the past three games with injured ribs, and didn’t even travel with the team to play the Wizards on Saturday. Now, there is no word on his availability for Monday’s game against the Spurs so you kind of have to wonder what that does or doesn’t mean. The Hawks play a 3-game schedule this week with games on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, meaning he could sit out Monday and get a few extra days rest and come back Wednesday. If that happens, he will play a possible 2-game week giving him limited value in weekly transaction and cap leagues.
Rudy Gay – SF Raptors: I’m officially calling for Gay to be put on your trading block as he is doing more harm than good this season as a whole. Sure, on the season he is averaging 19.5 points and 7.3 rebounds, but he is also shooting 37.9 percent from the field and turning the ball over 3.4 times per-game. Gay is a volume shooter that helps in points and rebounds, but hurts you in FG percentage and turnovers. If your team is REALLY good in fantasy basketball, I’ll bet you dollars to doughnuts that an area you are losing in is FG percentage. How do I know this? Because almost all my teams that are really good have the same problem because more points and 3’s usually mean more shots and lower FG percentages. I’d dangle Gay out there and point to the Points and Rebounds and see if you can Catfish someone into a deal that actually makes you stronger.
Jordan Hill – PF Lakers: Hill was on top of my list of waiver wire pick-ups not that long ago. But, he has cooled off over the last three games and has a total of just six points and one block in them. What’s more concerning is the 17 minutes he is averaging over that 3-game span. Hill is in no real danger of losing his starting PF spot, but I do think he is not up for the 30-plus minutes a night the Lakers were playing him. Limited minutes is going to equal limited production, which will only get worse when Kobe Bryant returns possibly by the end of the week.
Jonas Valanciunas – C Raptors: Valanciunas was someone I really liked in the pre-season because he had shown plenty of promise last season and had an off-season to work the kinks out. The problem thus far has been his inconsistent play that has caused his owners nothing but headaches this season. Yes, he put up a big line of 18 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks on Sunday against the Nuggets. But, the reason I’m not overly excited about this is because the Nuggets feature a rotation of J.J. Hickson and Timofey Mozgov at center. I’d say let him do this a few more times before we start jumping back on the bandwagon, something I saw a pretty prominent fantasy website do after Sunday’s game.
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.