Fantasy Forecast: Deng If You Do, Dang If You Don't
Now that the Super Bowl is over and the NFL season is officially past us, we have nothing but the NBA season to focus on. Even in a condensed season, the sheer amount of games-per-week is starting to make week 7 feel like week 16!
The big news this week in fantasy basketball has to be the Clippers signing Kenyon Martin to bolster their front court. The move is good in NBA terms, but it is one that should be avoided by people in a standard 12-team format. Martin averaged just 8.6 points and 6.2 rebounds in 48 games with Denver last season, so he isn’t going to be a hot waiver wire add. I’d give him a go in 14-team or deeper leagues, but let someone else handle the headache in 12-team or smaller leagues.
Greivis Vasquez is another hot FA right now and should be added in most formats for the time being. There is some worry with him because the Hornets are a terrible team and they also have Jarrett Jack putting up big numbers while in the starting PG spot. I wouldn’t keep an eye on Vasquez too long if you need a PG because watching in fantasy basketball usually means watching other managers snatch up the guys you were keeping an eye on!
Greivis Vasquez: Right now Vaquez is hot and has played his way into solid minutes even when Jarrett Jack returns. Right now he is worth playing this week regardless of the three-game schedule the Hornets have. He is available on most waiver wires and should be owned in almost all formats until he cools off.
Jason Terry: Terry is a sixth man in the NBA, but his stats are actually good enough to be a solid fantasy starter. Over the last week, Terry has averaged 19.4 points while shooting 52.3 percent from the field. Despite the Mavericks playing just three games this week, Terry is still a very solid second tier SG for week 7.
Luol Deng: Deng went through a full practice on Sunday and should be a full go for the Bulls four-game set this week. Make sure you still him back in all line-ups as he is sure to be a driving force for the Eastern Conference powerhouse.
Drew Gooden: Gooden is one of those funny people who are owned in nearly 98 percent of ESPN leagues, but his trade value is that of the average FA because everyone knows you got him off the waiver wire. Over the last week he has managed to put up 15.3 points and 5.3 boards a night, stats good enough to give him a Player Rating of 7.79. For those true nerds like myself, the PR15 rating system is important and a 7.79 is well above average.
*Nikola Pekovic: This is not a homer pick Wolves fans, the guy has finally taken over the starting C spot for the Timberwolves. In his last three games Pekovic has averaged 17.0 points and 10.7 rebounds, so I see no reason why he shouldn’t be picked up in all standard format leagues at this point. Remember, center is the thinnest of all fantasy basketball positions, so someone like Pekovic holds real value and could be flipped to a team desperate for a decent center.
Mario Chalmers: I’ve stuck with Chalmers in my 10-team expert league all season long, but I finally cut ties with him on Sunday night. He is solid enough to hang around on most teams, but he just isn’t getting enough assists (11 assists over the last 7 days) to justify starting him any further. I personally cut him in favor of Vasquez.
Aaron Afflalo: Afflalo may be the most overrated fantasy player so far this season, as he is still owned in a good chunk of the leagues out there yet he is averaging just 5.8 points and shooting 33.3 percent from the field over the last two weeks. I wouldn’t even own him at this point; but if you do, sit him until he figures his game out.
Kyler Korver: Korver has seen his stock jump 4.8 percent in ESPN leagues, but he is far too inconsistent to be counted on day in and day out in fantasy leagues. Take the 76ers game last week where he played 37 minutes and scored just 9 points, but then two games later (Bucks) he plays 28 minutes and racks up 18 points, 6 rebounds and four 3-pointers. The ride is a little too bumpy for standard format leagues.
Tyrus Thomas: Thomas is starting for the Bobcats, but his minutes are on a downward decline and his stats look like they are on a heart monitor with all the ups and downs we see in them. He is averaging just 7.0 points and 6.7 rebounds in his 25.0 minutes. The good news has to be the 1.3 blocks and 1.0 steals, but the points worry me given the hefty minutes.
Amir Johnson: Johnson dual qualifies at PF and C, so he is useful to own in most formats. However, owning him means you also have to deal with the rollercoaster that is his stats. Over the last week, Johnson has averaged just 6.5 points and 5.3 rebounds while logging 19.8 MPG. He has seen 30-plus minutes just three times all season long, so he isn’t a good bet to be a true starter in standard formats. I’d keep him on the bench this week.
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