Fantasy Forecast: Lin-sanity breaks out in New York
Week 8 of the NBA season is here and the talk of the NBA has to be Jeremy Lin. Being a point guard in the NBA is tough because you have to be a floor general, someone that is smart enough to see everything going on around and you adapt accordingly; that is where Lin’s Harvard education comes into play. Not only that, but the kid is humble. Show me an NBA player that sleeps on his brother’s couch and I will show you a guy headed to the D-League!
From a fantasy standpoint, Lin is putting up an amazing average of 27.3 points, 8.3 assists and 2.0 steals over the last week. Obviously he can’t keep that line up all season, because he would then go from waiver wire to possible league MVP. Carmelo Anthony and Amare Stoudemire are going to reassert themselves at some point, and Baron Davis will be healthy at some point, but Lin isn’t going to just disappear and I really believe this guy is going to finish the season as the waiver wire pick-up of the 2011-12 season.
Too many people are pegging Lin as a sell high guy right now and I couldn’t disagree more. I think he is someone you hold on to because the Knicks look like real contenders with him playing as well as he is and unless someone is willing to shell out a king’s ransom for him, I would hold on to him. On my weekly Sirius radio show I do with RotoExperts, we had a caller that traded Lin for Rajon Rondo, and I think he got taken to the cleaners. The simple truth is Rondo is more name than game this season, ranking in the No. 140 range, while Lin is already in the top 85 players over the last two weeks and the top 40 over the past week.
Ricky Rubio: Rubio is yet another example of how the international game differs from the NBA game, as he is averaging 11.3 points, 9.2 assists and 2.9 steals a night over the past month. From a fantasy perspective, Rubio is a high-end tier 2 PG this week given his 4-game schedule and hot play.
Jared Dudley: Dudley is finally back in the starting 5 and he is playing well enough (15.8 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.2 3-pointers a night over the past week) to justify sticking him back in your line-up. Not just his improved play, but the Suns play a 5-game clip this week and that means added value for those in cap leagues.
Danny Granger: Many people sold low on Granger early in the season because he was shooting in the low 30 percent range and the Pacers were looking a little lost on the floor most games. However, the team has found their groove and Granger has turned into the veteran I knew he had in him. Over the past two weeks he is putting up 22.0 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.2 steals, 2.4 3-pointers a night, while shooting 40.8 percent from the field. The FG percentage is still low, but he is improving and those who held on to him are being rewarded.
Serge Ibaka: Ibaka is a player that is all over the map in terms of production, scoring 6 points with 9 rebounds and 10 blocks one night, then turning in 16 points, 11 rebounds and 2 blocks the next night. That being said, the kid is a great source of blocks and rebounds and he gets enough minutes to where he could post a double-double on any given night. If you are brave enough to deal with the roller coaster of production, you could be rewarded with 10 blocks or 13 rebounds for doing so.
Nikola Pekovic: This man has hit the fantasy scene with as much impact as Lin has, but he is flying under the radar because he plays for the Timberwolves. Still unowned in nearly half the leagues out there, Pekovic is averaging 16.5 points and 9.7 rebounds over the past week. Those numbers are good enough to put him in the top 35 players in all of fantasy basketball, but he is on the waiver wire in a majority of the leagues out there!
Jason Kidd: Just as I said that Rondo is more name than game, Kidd is actually the president of said fan club. So far this season Kidd is averaging an abysmal 4.3 points, 5.6 assists, 4.7 rebounds a night, and is shooting 29.5 percent from the field. Why this guy is owned in about 70 percent of leagues out there is beyond me; he isn’t going to improve enough to justify that number.
Kevin Martin: The Rockets are in abandon ship mode and owners of their players need to follow suit. Kevin McHale has started pulling his starters and Martin just isn’t seeing the minutes (16:40 MPG over the past week) to justify putting him in the line-up right now. This is a prime example of how you can go from fantasy hero to fantasy zero in a matter of just a few weeks.
Carmelo Anthony: Melo is dealing with a groin injury that has him missing time, and his owners missing stats from a high draft pick. Not only that, but the emergence of Lin means there are going to be adjustments to the offense once Melo is back on the court anyway. I’d float Anthony around the trading block and see if someone is willing to trade for his name, and overlook his stats.
Nene Hilario: Nene is going to miss a few games with a strained calf. There is no witty insight or statistical breakdown on this one folks, the guy is out and should be sat until he is back to being healthy once again.
Spencer Hawes: Hawes is another case of being out this week. Word came down that he will not accompany the Sixers on their 3-game road trip this week, which means he will miss all but one game in the best case scenario. Stash him on the bench again this week and let him prove he is healthy before sticking him back in your line-up.
For more Fantasy advice, follow James Morris on Twitter or on Facebook and tune into SiriusXM channel 87 and Sirius channel 210 every Thursday at 9:30 a.m. CT when he talks NBA fantasy hoops.