Fantasy Forecast: Week 15
Week 15 kicks off with a waiver wire alert. DeMarcus Cousins and Chuck Hayes are both worth a look at the thinnest position in all of fantasy basketball, center. Cousins is owned in 79 percent of leagues, while Hayes is sporting a 70 percent unowned number right now. Over the past week Cousins has averaged 18.8 points and 8.3 rebounds in 25:45 MPG; meanwhile you have Hayes who is logging an impressive 35:15 minutes and putting up 10.0 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.3 steals a night over the past week.
The chances are that Cousins is off your wire, although I did find him available in three of my leagues, so you never know. Hayes is a little streaky with his fantasy numbers, but over the past two weeks, only Kevin Love has put up better overall stats at the center position. I’d be willing to bet you have someone who is underperforming and needs to be cut; you just have to be willing to pull the trigger and make the swap.
If you need a short term add, look at Randy Foye. He started in place of Eric Gordon on Saturday and put up a season-high 21 points on 6-of-15 shooting (including four 3-pointers) with three rebounds, four assists, four steals, and two blocks in 40 minutes. Once Gordon gets back he is completely worthless, so buy low and sell high on him.
* The Bulls, Warriors, Suns and Kings all play two games this week.
PG – D.J. Augustin: Did you know that Augustin is the 4th best fantasy PG over the last two weeks? He has averaged 18.3 points, 7.0 assists and is shooting 46.0 percent from the field and 36.8 percent from beyond the arch. So, why is he owned in just 84 percent of leagues while Mo Williams is owned in 77 percent of leagues and is on the Cavaliers trading block? Augustin has three tough games this week that should bring out the best in the young PG.
SG – Mike Dunleavy: Because of the coaching change, I am going to be adding Dunleavy in most formats I play in this week (owned in 56 percent of leagues). Dunleavy has averaged 15.8 points and 3.8 3-pointers made the past week, and those numbers are likely to stay the same or improve as the team looks for veteran leadership in a time of change.
SF – C.J. Miles:I am going to give you a slight start em’ here as Miles was put into the starting line-up, then pulled back out after just two games. Miles was able to score 22 points with seven rebounds and two steals off the bench last Friday and he has proven that he is instant offense for Coach Jerry Sloan and the Jazz. You can start him in the utility role, but keep an eye on his minutes.
PF – Chuck Hayes: ’ve already laid out the reason why you should add Hayes, but this week he plays three games, two of which are against the Lakers and Jazz… so the Rockets will need him at full speed if they have any chance of keeping up.
C – Emeka Okafor: Okafor had a 17-game run in the middle of December to the middle of January where he put up 12 double-doubles, but a hip injury on Sunday has owners wondering about his status for the coming week. Look, Okafor has played in 306 consecutive games up to this point, so if he can go on Tuesday night, he will be out there playing. I have no problems starting Okafor in weekly transaction leagues or in cap leagues.
C – DeJuan Blair: Despite being owned in just 35 percent of leagues, Blair is putting up 10.3 points and 8.4 rebounds a night over the past two weeks. Blair’s main issue is that he is either really good or really bad… there isn’t a whole lot of middle ground for him to stand on. If you can stand the lows, Blair can give you some waiver wire value.
PG – Steve Nash: Nash is certainly hard to sit since he is averaging 17.2 points and 11.0 assists a night this season, but how much damage can you do in two games? This is simply a lack of games played and you would be better of running with Kenyon Dooling (if Brandon Jennings is on a strict minute count) or Ramon Sessions.
SG - Vince Carter: I usually don’t like sitting players on the same team due to games, so I won’t here. I am sitting Carter because I simply can’t figure out why he is owned in 87 percent of leagues, despite being ranked right around #80 on the season. Over the past week he has managed to average an empty 13.7 points on 42.4 percent shooting from the field and 75.0 percent shooting from the free-throw line. Seriously… you can do better. SG – J.R. Smith: Smith has to be one of the most frustrating players to own in all of fantasy basketball because he will be terrible for six games, then bust out for 23 points in 31 minutes as he did on Sunday against the 76ers. I learned a long time ago to just look at these types of games as short term value builders and not to buy into the hype. Then again, he did score 23 points against the 21-26 Philadelphia 76ers. SF – John Salmons: Word is that he is close to returning and could make his comeback this week, but I wouldn’t be so quick to put him in my line-up. The truth is that the Bucks have a logjam at SG/SF with Carlos Delfino and Corey Maggette showing they can be productive, so I’d wait and see exactly how the minutes shake out before plugging him into your rotation. PF – Jeff Green: Green has been one of the most disappointing players over the past month, averaging just 12.2 points and 5.2 rebounds while shooting a salty 42.5 percent from the field, 68.8 percent from the charity stripe and 31.0 percent from the 3-point line. Kevin Durant keeps the Thunder in most games, so Green’s poor play is going unnoticed for the most part. Keep and eye on him because it may be time to sell him. C – DeMarcus Cousins: This is one of those rare places where I tell you to grab someone and sit them on your bench until next week. If you are in a daily league, then just play him both games this week. But, for those in weekly transaction or cap leagues, you’ll want to add Cousins now and just sit on him until next week. Two games is still just two games.
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.