Fantasy Forecast: Anthony And Griffin Are Better In Reality Than Fantasy
Because of the shortened season, week 14 this year marks the start of the fantasy playoffs for basketball. What that means is the season is winding down and we are already starting to see teams rest older players (Tim Duncan) for a playoff run. Now, that doesn’t mean you will want to run to the waiver wire and snatch Matt Bonner of Tiago Splitter; but, it does mean that you will want to monitor more closely the pre-game news to find out if your guys are resting or playing.
FA Playoff adds
Goran Dragic: How is this guy still owned in just 64 percent of Yahoo leagues? Over the last two weeks he is averaging 16.3 points, 9.6 assists, and 2.0 steals in just over 37 MPG, which ranks him #8 in the NBA at the PG position.
Klay Thompson: Thompson is in full beast mode as he has put up 19.1 points-per-game over the last two weeks. The only problem is that is all the rookie does is score points, and his shooting isn’t all that proficient (41.3 percent from the field over that timespan). Still, if you can get 20 points a night from the waiver wire (owned in 55 percent of leagues), take it and run!
Gordon Hayward: Hayward was a lottery pick for the Jazz just two years ago, but he has not seen consistent minutes and therefore many fans have written him off as a bust. His 12.9 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists a night over the last two weeks make him a solid addition for those in deeper leagues. There is no reason a player who averages 28 MPG should be unowned in 59 percent of leagues.
Goran Dragic: With nothing new for the Rockets to report on Kyle Lowry’s Bacterial infection, you can be assured for Dragic 35-plus minutes every single night. I already laid out his stats, so if he is available in your league, make sure you right that wrong.
Klay Thompson: Again, I laid out what Thompson’s strengths and weaknesses are above, so you know what you are getting into with him. But, like I said, the guy does score and hit 3’s, and that is what we want from a SG off the waiver wire.
Nicolas Batum: I told you to snag Batum, so hopefully you did as he is now the #2 option for the Blazers offense. The great thing about him moving forward is that he knows he has to step his game up and he doesn’t expect to be handed anything. He doesn’t have spectacular stat lines just yet, but he is someone I wouldn’t hesitate to plug into my starting line-up in the fantasy playoffs.
Ersan Ilyasova: Ilyasova has been dropped in about 5-7 percent of leagues over the last week because he is no longer seeing 30-plus minutes a night. However, despite the minutes he is still averaging 14.0 points and 8.4 rebounds, while shooting 57.5 percent from the field. Scott Skiles is going to frustrate many fantasy owners with his rotation, but Ilyasova is doing his best to produce no matter what role he is asked to fill.
Samuel Dalembert: The addition of Marcus Camby to the Rockets lineup has apparently inspired Dalembert to step his game up once again. Despite averaging just 22:45 MPG over the last week, Dalembert has managed to put up 12.8 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.8 blocks per-game. Camby is there and that means he is going to have to continue to be efficient to have fantasy value. But so far, so good.
Derrick Rose: Rose has already said he won’t return until he is “completely healthy” and he hasn’t practiced with the team as of yet, which means a return isn’t imminent. When he is in the lineup for the Bulls, he needs to be in your fantasy lineup, but I can’t say for sure when that will be. And, because of the uncertainty of his injury, I’d leave him on the fantasy bench for week 14.
Monta Ellis: Ellis isn’t a pure sit ‘em guy really, but his role with the Bucks is vastly different than the one he had with the Warriors. Ellis has seen a two games with the Bucks where he had single-digit shot attempts, as compared to before the trade when he was seeing 20-plus attempts a night on a regular basis. Understand that Ellis isn’t going to be the scoring machine he has prior to the trade, so tailor your expectations for him as you try and win that league title.
Carmelo Anthony: If you listen to me on Sirius/XM radio, you know that I am not a fan of Melo as a fantasy player at all. The guy is a black-hole when it comes to the NBA (objects like the basketball come in… but they don’t come back out) and he is killing fantasy owners with his 39.1 percent shooting from the field and 75.6 percent shooting from the free-throw line over the last two weeks. The Knicks play 4-games this week, which just means you have an anchor pulling you down in multiple stats four times.
Blake Griffin: Much like Carmelo Anthony, I am not a fan of Griffin for fantasy purposes. Did you know that this season Griffin is ranked around the #155 mark for all fantasy players in the NBA? That’s right; despite being taken at the top of the 2nd round in most drafts, he is providing his owners with 14th round value. His 54.8 percent shooting from the charity stripe is abysmal at best, and his 113 turnovers rank him 5th highest for PFs in the NBA. You should have traded him weeks ago when I told you to cash in on his name value.
Marcin Gortat: Too many people are going to get all hyper over Sunday’s game where he 22 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks. Try to remember that it was against Tristan Thompson and the Cavaliers, not a quality opponent. He only plays 3-games this week, but they are against Spurs, Clippers and Hornets. Gortat looked good over his last two games because they were against the Pacers and Cavaliers.
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.