Fantasy Forecast: Week 10
The talk of the town last week was the Christmas day matchup between the Lakers and Heat, what could be a preview of the NBA finals of the cards all fall the right way. Personally I don’t think the Heat have the depth and talented enough players around their big three to make it all the way to the finals, but that is why we play the games I guess. In fantasy news Monta Ellis has exploded for 119 points and nine steals in the last week; Kevin Durant went all Kevin Durant on the Nuggets on Christmas and dropped 44 points with seven rebounds on them; and yet there is still the bad that comes with the good as Stephen Curry missed six games with an ankle injury and only managed to net his owners four points and 11 assists this past week.
Remember, the draft is only the first part of making a run at the league title. After the draft you still have to pay attention to your players and their injury status. When you set and line-up and forget about it, you end up with four points instead of 119!
PG – Jason Kidd: I normally never own Kidd because he is an absolute killer with his FG shooting, but I can’t ignore his potential this week as the Mavericks play five (5) games. Over the past week Kidd is averaging 41.2 percent shooting from the field, 9.5 assists and 5.0 rebounds a night.
SG - Monta Ellis: There is no player hotter in the NBA right now, so Ellis should be in your line-up every game and he should be owned in all cap leagues. This week the Warriors play the 76ers, Hawks, Bobcats and Heat, so I see no reason why he shouldn’t eclipse the 100 point mark with maybe 10-plus steals.
SF – Caron Butler: Now, let me preface this by saying I’m not a fan of owning Butler as anything more than a utility player for depth. But, as with Kidd, he does play five times this week and has put up 16.5 points on 52.2 percent shooting from the field over the past week. Butler won’t do much more than score for you, but he also isn’t going to hurt you in the turnovers or the A/T ratio for leagues that count it.
PF – Kurt Thomas: I know… isn’t this guy 38-years-old and couldn’t score at an elementary school game of 21? Yes, but there is also some upside to picking up Thomas for a mid-season run. He is starting at center for the Bulls and dual-qualifies at PF and C in all fantasy formats, so he has value there. Plus, Thomas is averaging 7.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocks to go along with his 6.7 points a night over the past week. The blocks and boards alone are worth owning since center is by far the weakest position in all fantasy basketball.
C – Andrew Bynum: Bynum is owned in 81 percent of leagues, but that means there are 19 percent of leagues where he is available and he needs to be picked up before the heavy minutes start. Coach Phil Jackson has said that Bynum is a week or two away from playing heavy minutes, which means you will want to go ahead and still him in the line-up now so you can take advantage as the Lakers feed him the ball to get him into the flow of the offense when the heavy minutes start.
PG - Brandon Jennings: Jennings is going to miss 4-6 weeks with a fractured fifth metatarsal in his left foot. However, he is still owned in 84 percent of leagues and started in 39 percent of those leagues. I would personally just cut him loose and pick up Keyon Dooling since Jennings isn’t coming back until around February and that is a long time to ride your bench.
SG - Brandon Roy: Roy is going to miss another week and that means you will want him on your bench for week 10. There has been talk from Roy that his knee will never be pain free again and he knows it, so I would watch the news carefully because Coach Nate McMillan could shut Roy down for the rest of the season if things don’t get better on their own.
SF – Gerald Wallace: Wallace is dealing with a severely sprained ankle, not to mention the trade talk surrounding him. Word around the campfire is Wallace could be headed to the Trail Blazers, along with D.J. Augustin, in exchange for Andre Miller and Marcus Camby. If this is true, the Bobcats have no reason to rush him back and risk further injury as they were out of the playoff race right around the third game of the season.
PF - Taj Gibson: When Joakim Noah went down it looked as if Gibson could become a fantasy starter if the cards fell right for him. But, instead of everything going right, it all went wrong and Kurt Thomas is starting at center and Carlos Boozer continues to pull the minutes at PF. Gibson is still owned in 44 percent of leagues despite scoring 4.2 points and grabbing just 2.6 rebounds a night over the past 14 days. Why do you still own him?
C – Zach Randolph: Sure, Randolph is a walking double-double, but his shooting is terrible at best. Over the past week he is shooting a humble 30.8 percent from the field, whereas many other centers will average in the 50 percent range due to high percentage inside buckets. If you can take a hit in FG percentage then Randolph will give you points and rebounds, but his FG and FT shooting are enough to keep me far away from owning him.
James Morris hails from Rio Rancho, N.M., and has been playing fantasy sports since 1997. In addition to writing the Timberwolves Fantasy Forecast, Morris also writes fantasy articles for the Boston Celtics, and Indiana Pacers, as well as the NFL fantasy forecast for the Cincinnati Bengals, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Arizona Cardinals. You can also find him on Twitter or get him on Facebook for all your fantasy sports updates.