Fantasy Forecast

Fantasy Forecast: Week 12

Life after fantasy football is somewhat more interesting this season than in the past as trade talks involving Carmelo Anthony have rapidly escalated between “interested parties” and a deal is possible as early as this week. Word is that the Nets would land Anthony, Chauncey Billups and Rip Hamilton; the Pistons would get Troy Murphy; the Nuggets would end up with Devin Harris, Derrick Favors and two first round picks. In all this mega deal could exceed fifteen players. The Pistons have to get more than Murphy, but this is going to be a wild ride for sure!

Week 12 features four teams playing just two games (Warriors, Thunder, Sixers and Jazz), while eight teams play four games and the remaining 18 teams play three times. The Thunder playing just twice means your #1 overall pick (Kevin Durant) is going to be a hard play this week.

Start Em'
PG – D.J. Augustin: Augustin is playing out of his mind right now and owners will want to take advantage of it while they can. Over the past two weeks he has averaged 19.8 points, 6.0 assists and is shooting a blistering 49.4 percent from the field and 51.5 percent from the 3-point line. This season he is averaging just 13.9 points and shooting 43.5 percent from the field, so use him in the four games this week, but keep an eye out because his fall from grace is going to happen abruptly.

SG – DeShawn Stevenson: Stevenson is a streaky player that is on the hot tick right now. Over the past week he has managed to average 34 MPG and has posted 19.3 points a night on 48.0 percent shooting. He is starting at SF with Caron Butler out for the season and Dirk Nowitzki recovering from his knee problems, so the minutes are likely to continue but the stats are going to be up and down.

SF – Chase Budinger: Budinger is largely unknown to fantasy owners (owned in just six percent of leagues) since he comes off the bench for the Rockets, but he has been making some noise over the past week with his 9.0 points and 3.4 rebounds a night average. He has been getting roughly 20 minutes a night, but he is a 3-point shooter that can help now and has the potential to become a fantasy starter if the Rockets make a move at or before the trade deadline. Those in deep leagues will want him now, and those in standard formats will want to keep a close eye on him.

PF – Ryan Anderson: This is more of a pick for those in 14-team or deeper leagues as Anderson comes off the bench for the Magic. Brandon Bass is currently starting 10.9 points and 5.3 rebounds over the past two weeks, while Anderson has put up 11.0 points and 5.1 boards a night. The two make a good 1-2 punch at the PF spot for the Magic, so nothing is likely to change unless someone goes into a slump. But, Anderson is certainly someone to snatch in deeper leagues or in a cap league where you have stars and need a cheap player who will put up some stats for you.

C – DeMarcus Cousins: The rookie has officially taken over the starting C spot for the Kings and forced Samuel Dalembert to the bench, and possibly to the trading block. Over the past week Cousins has seen just over 33 MPG and has come through for his 24.0 points and 7.0 rebounds a night. Obviously the points are high, but I think 13 points and eight rebounds a night sounds about right for the kid.

Sit Em'
PG – Deron Williams: It is always hard to sit your starting PG, but when he plays just twice and you are in a weekly transaction league… you are stuck between a rock and a hard place. D-Will has put up 18.5 points and 10.0 assists a night over the past week and his two games are against the Knicks and Cavaliers (who give up an average of 106.2 and 103.6 PPG respectively), but two games are two games and you could probably do better playing someone like Mike Conley or Kyle Lowry.

SG – Monta Ellis: Ellis is another one of our two-game victims this week, so get him out in weekly and cap leagues. If you were able to deal with the 43.3 percent shooting over the past two weeks, then Ellis did reward you with 23.6 points, 6.6 assists and 1.9 steals a night. Playing against the Lakers and Clippers this week means he is going to have one good game and one bad game most likely.

SF – Kevin Durant: As I already mentioned, Durant plays two games this week and they are back-to-back and against the Rockets and Magic. The Magic are ranked fifth in points allowed at just 93.35 PPG while the Rockets give up a robust 104.6 PPG. He is going to light the Rockets up, but I wouldn’t be surprised of the Magic put the clamps on him and force someone else on the Thunder to beat them.

PF – Dirk Nowitzki: Nowitzki is still out with a knee injury that has forced him to miss the last seven games. When asked when he would play again on Saturday, Nowitzki tweeted: "Hope to be back on our 4 game roadtrip next week". That timetable leaves a lot to the imagination, so I am going to bench him in my weekly league and sell him in my cap league until I know a more definitive date for his return.

C – Samuel Dalembert: And the other side of the Kings center coin lands on the Sit ‘em list. Truth be told, I would just outright cut Dalembert and see if you are in one of the 22 percent of leagues that Cousins is still available in. His minutes have dropped from the mid 19’s all the way down to 13 MPG over the past week, so cut him while you can.
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.