Fantasy Forecast: Handling <br> A Rocky Fantasy Season

The NBA this season has been an up and down season for sure, with Dwyane Wade playing in just 11 out of the Heat’s first 20 games, Danny Granger shooting 37 percent from the field, Dwight Howard being on the verge of being traded every other day, etc. But, there is the philosophy of “that is why we play the games” too; you never know what is going to happen once the ball is in play, and that means you can draft the best fantasy team on paper and still come in last place due to injury, statistical imbalances, poor trades, etc.

Take for instance Rajon Rondo, who was drafted to be your team’s starting fantasy PG. He is out until right around the All-Star break from what I hear, and that means someone wasted their 2nd round pick on a guy that is going to miss almost half the season. It’s something nobody could have predicted, but it is also something that a good owner can adapt to and overcome.

That being said, that is why you come back here each week and ask me your fantasy questions. I am the harbor master guiding you in to the port of champions! So, toot your horn and pull your anchor up because the S.S. Title Winner is setting sail for Week 6 of the NBA season!

Start ‘em

Mike Conley: Over the last two weeks, you’d be hard pressed to find a better PG in the NBA than Conley. His 14.9 points, 8.5 assists and 2.7 steals per-game are good enough to rank him the NBA’s top 20, and in the top 4 in a per-game average in standard fantasy format’s. This week the Grizzlies play five games and Conley is a legit top play at the PG position.

Kevin Martin: When you think of one-dimensional players, Martin has to be one of the first names that comes to mind; the guy scores and does little else to help your fantasy team. That being said, I want points in bunches from my SG and Martin will certainly do that with four games this week. His FG and FT percentages are above average and he even hits the occasional 3-pointer. I’d give him a top 3-4 ranking this week at the SG position and say he is a must-start.

Danny Granger: In Sunday night’s game against the Warriors, Granger was able to hit 10-of-16 shots from the field (3-of-3 from 3-point land), so his shot is coming around. So far this season he is providing owners 6th-7th round value, despite being drafted in the mid-2nd round. What that means is he is a great buy-low candidate and someone I would make an offer for tonight.

Drew Gooden: With Andrew Bogut out possibly the rest of the season, Gooden becomes a must-own player. Not only will he qualify at both PF and C, but he looks like a 20 point, 8 rebound, 1 block type of player from here on out. The Bucks need offense in a big way and Gooden is going to be a fantasy beast from here on out.

JaVale McGee: When you look at the Wizards team this season, there is little to get excited about. McGee is the exception there, but you also need to keep him in perspective. Yes, he will get you 9-10 rebounds and 3-plus blocks most nights, but his points fluctuate dramatically (2 points one night, 22 points just a few nights later) and he is going to really hurt you if your league counts FT percentage. That being said, a center that can get me 10-plus boards and 3-plus blocks is doing his job in my book and I’ll make it up in other areas if I own McGee on my fantasy team. He is a rebound and block machine!

Sit ‘em

Kyrie Irving: Irving has done well this season for a rookie, ranking himself right around #50 overall so far. This week the Cavaliers only play three games, and all three are against the NBA’s top talent (Celtics, Magic and Mavericks). I think this is going to be a rocky week for Irving and the Cavaliers.

Aaron Afflalo: Afflalo was highly touted heading into the season with J.R. Smith gone in Denver, but expectation has turned to exacerbation as owners are waiting for him to put it all together. He recently came back from a groin injury and looked quiet rusty, so I’d keep him on the bench until he shows that he is back in the flow of the game and has found his spot within the Nuggets offense.

Tayshaun Prince: The joyride is over with Prince and it is time to flip him in a trade if you still can. Prince went from scoring 20-plus points a night to missing two games and scoring single-digits in his return. Even if you want to hang on to Prince to see if he can get the engine started again, I’d leave him on the bench until he knocks some of that rust off.

Channing Frye: Frye is owned in nearly 80 percent of leagues, but he is ranking out right around the No. 140 range this season. He is someone that you can keep an eye on because the Suns are giving him anywhere between 12-27 minutes, but his problem comes in that he just isn’t doing much with his time on the court.

Mehmet Okur: When Okur was traded from the Jazz to the Nets I was excited because the Nets need him about as much as a blind man needs his Seeing Eye dog. The problem is that he has been hurt about as much as he has been healthy and now he is going to miss a few more games with back spasms. If you own Okur just bench him until he is back and providing solid stats.

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