Fantasy Forecast: Week 17
Not only am I writing on Super Bowl Sunday, but we are also counting the down the days to the trade deadline to see who wins in the Carmelo Anthony sweepstakes. There have been tons of rumors from all around the league and now teams willing to rent Melo are making it worse. The latest rumor has Anthony going to the Knicks, Eddy Curry's contract and Anthony Randolph to the Timberwolves, and finally Corey Brewer and Wilson Chandler heading to the Nuggets. Personally I don’t see this happening because it simply doesn’t make sense for a player of Anthony’s caliber. All the Nuggets can get is Brewer and Chandler for Melo? As my friend Chad Ochocinco would say “CHILD PLEASE!”
As fantasy owners you will have to keep an eye on where Anthony goes and what the team getting him gives up. If Randolph does move he will become a hot waiver wire addition since he is owned in just 35 percent of leagues right now. Be ready to snatch him up as he has the skills to be an above average player on almost any team… including the Knicks.
PG – Ramon Sessions: Ok, so the Cavaliers have lost an amazing 24 games in a row to set an NBA record. The team will win one eventually; but, in the mean time, put Sessions and his 15.8 points and 7.8 assists a night over the past week into your lineup.
SG – Wesley Matthews: Matthews has been dealing with a bum ankle, but his 31 points against the Cavaliers on Saturday night should give his owners enough confidence to put any doubts to rest. Over the past week, Matthews is averaging 20.8 points a night while hitting 55.6 percent of his 3-pointers and 55.6 percent of his shots from the field… the kid is en fuego.
SF – Christian Eyenga: A guy that qualifies at PG, SG and SF is hard to find. But, what is even harder to find is two guys on a team that has lost 24 straight games that I would recommend starting. That is just what we have here as Eyenga is averaging 10.2 points, 3.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.8 in both steals and blocks over the past week. Not stats that will make you drool, but certainly worth playing in the utility spot and he is owned in just four percent of leagues.
PF – Amir Johnson: Johnson is not someone you think of when it comes to a difference maker in fantasy leagues, but when a player is averaging 16.7 points, 9.0 rebounds, 1.6 blocks and 1.3 steals while shooting a blistering 67.1 percent from the field. It is surprising to see him owned in just 65 percent of leagues, so check your wire because he might just be available.
C – Marcin Gortat: Why Robin Lopez and his 7.5 points and 3.5 rebounds a night are still starting is beyond me. Gortat is putting up an impressive line of 15.2 points and 9.3 rebounds in 25:49 MPG over the past two weeks. He is owned in just 54 percent of leagues, so snatch him up before someone else does!
C – Roy Hibbert: Hibbert has become a full start ‘em now that the Pacers made a coaching change and have moved away from a small-ball lineup. With 12.9 points, 6.6 rebounds and 1.7 blocks a night over the past two weeks, Hibbert is a great player to own and trade for.
PG – Mike Bibby: Besides playing just two games this week, Bibby has been garbage over the past two weeks. A starting PG should put up just a bit more than the 4.8 points and 2.8 assists, not to mention shoot far better than 30.6 percent from the field and 50.0 percent from the free-throw line. Bibby is on the wrong side of his NBA career, and we are watching his fantasy career come to an end.
SG – Gilbert Arenas: First it was Vince Carter, now it is Agent Zero… what is it about the Magic that just kills SG’s and their fantasy value? Can someone explained why Arenas is owned in 80 percent of leagues despite his 8.0 points and 37.1 percent shooting in 21:28 MPG over the past month? I’d cut him personally, but you should sit him at the very least.
SG – Eric Gordon: Gordon is dealing with a sprained wrist and was expected to miss 3-4 weeks back on January 25th. The reason I put him on here is because the Clippers have him listed as day-to-day and have him traveling with the team on road trips, causing a lot of owners to play him just in case. Gordon has said that his wrist doesn’t feel any better and there is no reason to doubt him. Keep Gordon on the bench until further notice.
SF – Ron Artest: Ron-Ron reportedly asked to be traded, then he denied that rumor… so who knows what is going on with him and his role on the Lakers for the future. However, we do know that his fantasy role has come down to holding down the waiver wire as just 48 percent of fantasy players currently own him. Over the past month he has only been able to average an empty 9.3 points a night while shooting a meager 42.6 percent from the field.
PF – Tim Duncan: Look, Duncan’s numbers are down across the board and he has officially hit the decline of his career. I’m not going to say totally sit him, but I would look at trading him to someone who still sees value in his name. Over the past two weeks he is averaging just 12.7 points, 6.8 rebounds and 0.8 blocks a night, bad enough to rank him right around #175 for all fantasy players.
C – JaVale McGee: McGee had a solid run in January as he averaged 9.0 points, 7.2 rebounds and an outstanding 2.8 blocks a night for the Wizards, but all that came to a halt when he came down with a case of the sniffles at the end of the month. Since returning from his two-game absence he is averaging 6.3 points, 3.0 rebounds and 1.3 blocks-per-game. He did put up 12 points and five boards on Saturday, but I’d give him another week before I consider putting him back into the rotation.
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.